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REVIEW

A&E Biography: Pope John Paul II — Statesman of Faith (1993)

Pope John Paul II gets the A&E “Biography” treatment in Pope John Paul II — Statesman of Faith, a 50-minute documentary made in 1993 focusing particularly on the Holy Father’s crusades against totalitarianism and violence.

REVIEW

The A-Team (2010)

The new movie, alas, is basically what you’d expect, by which I mean it’s a mess: chaotic, loud, overwrought, mindless, violent, visually incoherent — pretty much an archetypal example of everything that’s wrong with Hollywood today. Was the show this dumb? Does it matter? A movie’s job is not to live down to its source material.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence REVIEW

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

A.I. is a science-fiction fairy tale: a terrible, revisionistic revisiting of "Pinocchio," the story of the little manmade boy who wants to be real — as told by a nihilist who condemns Gepetto for creating Pinocchio, the world for laughing at him, and the Blue Fairy for leading him on when he’s better off being made of wood, which will after all be around long after Gepetto is pushing up daisies.

Abortion, the sanctity of life, and movies ARTICLE

Abortion, the sanctity of life, and movies

43 years after Roe vs. Wade, Americans remain about as deeply conflicted over abortion as ever… The nation’s divided conscience on this subject is reflected on the screen.

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter [video]

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.

ARTICLE

Academy Crowns The King’s Speech

The royal historical drama The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as England’s Prince Albert, later King George VI, was the biggest winner at the 83rd Academy Awards, winning four of its 12 nominations in an evening with few surprises and a poorly staged ceremony whose primary virtue was its comparative shortness.

ARTICLE

The Achievement of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings

As Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was the first great science fiction film and Ford’s Stagecoach was perhaps the first great Western, The Lord of the Rings is the first great cinematic achievement of its kind - a genre that might be described as epic Western mythopoeia, but is often popularly (if imprecisely) called "fantasy" or "swords and sorcery."

REVIEW

Adam (2009)

Writer–director Max Mayer gets a lot right about Asperger syndrome, or AS, from Adam’s verbal literalism and scrupulous honesty to his difficulty gauging emotions in others and assessing what is socially acceptable or not; from his difficulty with eye contact to his driving fascination with a narrow range of topics and cultivation of extensive knowledge and technical vocabulary on those topics.

REVIEW

Adaptation (2002)

Formally, Adaptation resembles the sort of essay a clever student will sometimes pull together by taking the assigned topic as a point of departure for a composition of his own choosing, knowing that it will stand out for originality amid monotonous submissions and win points for daring and wit from a bored teacher appreciative of any show of interest.

REVIEW

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Part Hollywood romance, part paranoia thriller,The Adjustment Bureau is an enjoyable romp in large part on the strength of Damon and Blunt’s likability and chemistry — qualities notably absent in recent star vehicles like The Tourist and Knight and Day.

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The Adjustment Bureau [video]

Complementing my full-length review of The Adjustment Bureau, here’s my 30-second take on the film in verse—the latest of my “Reel Faith” 30-second reviews from NET TV …

REVIEW

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

The story is the classic Robin Hood tale, and it’s all here: the fateful shooting of the King’s deer; Robin’s ignominious duckings upon his first meetings with Little John (Alan Hale) and Friar Tuck (Eugene Pallette); Robin’s penchant for entertaining wealthy victims in high Sherwood style before relieving them of their gold; the trap archery contest which a disguised Robin wins by splitting his opponent’s arrow; the return of Richard (Ian Hunter) from the Crusades disguised in monk’s attire.

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The Adventures of Tintin [video]

Here’s my 30-second take on The Adventures of Tintin.

REVIEW

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)

Tintin in the comics was the perpetual small-town boy next door. Tintin in the movie is like the boy next door who’s been watching “Mantracker,” “Man vs. Wild” and “Mythbusters” for so long that he’s completely jaded to reality.

REVIEW

The African Queen (1951)

Crocodiles, tsetse flies, mechanical difficulties, African rains and burning sun, sickness, an erratic helmer — all these and more plagued the shooting of The African Queen, no less than the onscreen journey of the African Queen down the Ulonga–Bora River during the first World War.

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After Earth [video]

Is After Earth really as bad as people are saying? Here’s my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.

Against Capra’s Critics: In Defense of <i>It&#8217;s a Wonderful Life</i> ARTICLE

Against Capra’s Critics: In Defense of It’s a Wonderful Life

Perhaps the most beloved of Christmas movies, Frank Capra’s sleeper classic It’s a Wonderful Life has inevitably become a target of seasonal, iconoclastic culture-warmongering.

REVIEW

Agent Cody Banks (2003)

Welcome to our second annual Spring Frankie Muniz Morally Problematic Spy Kids Rip-Off Movie, featuring hilarious hijinks offending each year against a different one of the Ten Commandments.

REVIEW

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004)

Unfortunately, while this sequel is the least morally problematic of Muniz’s three big-screen outings, it’s also far and away the lamest, lacking utterly its predecessors’ fitful humor and excitement. When the high point of your movie involves a Queen Elizabeth lookalike getting down to a youth-orchestra Euro-pop version of Edwin Starr’s "War," something has gone disastrously wrong.

Aladdin REVIEW

Aladdin (1992)

Disney’s Aladdin does more than give Williams an opportunity to let loose the comic giant inside him: It offers the Disney animators perhaps their greatest creative challenge, and inspiration, in over half a century.