If it isn’t the brilliant film it could have been, Déjà Vu still contains enough flashes of that film to make it entertaining while you’re watching it. On reflection, though, it feels a bit like a shell game in which the conjurer himself has lost track of where the pea is supposed to be.
Is The Da Vinci Code anti-Catholic? Well, if it isn’t, then we must simply conclude that no such thing as anti-Catholicism exists, or at least that no anti-Catholic movie has ever been made.
Few filmmakers working in Hollywood today enjoy so sterling a reputation as Bird. Although Tomorrowland is only his fifth feature film, and only his second in live action, his achievements in his first four films are extraordinary.
Ultimately, Daredevil works best as a triumph of screenwriting redaction and well-utilized effects over weak characterization and generally uninspired casting. As super-hero movies go, I rank it below Spider-Man, but above any of the films in the Batman franchise.
Imaginatively ambitious and often visually engaging, The Dark Crystal resolutely remains a distant, uninvolving experience. The filmmakers’ attention seems occupied by the technical challenges of bringing this fictional world to life; characters and emotions, even by the archetypal standards of high fantasy, never come to life, and the overarching mythology seems too self-consciously contrived rather than taking on a mythic reality of its own.
So deeply does The Dark Knight delve into the darkness that lurks in the hearts of men that it comes almost as a shock, bordering on euphoria, to find that it maintains a tenacious grip onto hope in the human potential for good.
The Dark Knight Rises is very nearly the thunderous finale that Christopher Nolan’s unprecedented super-hero trilogy needed after the pitch-black nihilism that Heath Ledger’s Joker brought to The Dark Knight … Yet something crucial is missing — a major omission that lingers over the whole trilogy, a question raised ever more insistently in all three films, and at best left unanswered, if not answered negatively.
If you are in love with the 1970s and Johnny Depp, perhaps you will enjoy this. Andrew O’Hehir says he knew he would love the film when he spotted a banana-seat Schwinn bicycle leaning against the front porch of Collinwood in an early scene. All right. But then comes a “happening” featuring Alice Cooper as himself (!), with a disco ball and cage dancers. At Collinwood. Is this really anyone’s idea of a good time?
Dark Shadows in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
The Hunger Games’ Rue is now Ruby: Amandla Stenberg takes the spotlight in another YA dystopia that runs its race, but doesn’t diverge enough from its peers to leave anyone hungry for whatever comes next.
Last week I blogged about my upcoming Catholic Answers Live appearance — but I wrote the wrong day. It’s Thursday, 2/11, not Friday, 2/12, from 7pm–8pm EST / 4pm–5pm PST. Sorry for the confusion!
Wait, where did this movie come from? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is so not the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes I expected or was prepared for.
More thoughtful and restrained than most sci-fi of the period, The Day the Earth Stood Still has aged better than almost all of its peers. … Decades later, it remains a thought-provoking, worthwhile parable.
I don’t object in principle to Keanu–Klaatu’s message. It’s just not a very interesting or enlightening thing for an ambassador from the universe to say. It’s sort of a letdown, not unlike like having the pope show up at your house only to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. There’s nothing wrong with that. You just hope he has more on his mind.
Tim Robbins argues his point fearlessly, not taking the easy way out, not stacking the deck by emotionally manipulating the audience, but instead taking a worst-case scenario: Rather than giving us a murderer who isn’t really so bad, merely misunderstood and mistreated and so forth, Robbins gives us a thoroughly revolting individual, one who spouts racist propaganda not because he believes it but simply because it is shocking and antisocial and hateful; who tries to humiliate the one person interested in his welfare with leering come-ons aimed at her consecrated chastity.
The Decalogue, Kieslowski’s extraordinary, challenging collection of ten one-hour films made for Polish television in the dying days of the Soviet Union, doesn’t answer those questions either. What it does is pose them as hauntingly and seriously as any cinematic effort in the last twenty years.
In the meantime, if you missed my radio reviews this morning of 30 Minutes or Less and Crazy, Stupid, Love, I’ll be on “Kresta in the Afternoon” today around 4:40 EDT talking about both movies — as well as Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I’ll also be reviewing 30 Minutes and Crazy, Stupid tonight with David DiCerto on the penultimate episode of “Reel Faith” (8:30 PM on NET-NY).
For the benefit of RSS readers who may not see the homepage Spotlight notice, I’ll be on the first hour of Catholic Answers Live this Friday, 4/9, from 3pm–4pm PDT (i.e., San Diego time, where Catholic Answers is), or 6pm–7pm EDT (i.e., New Jersey time, where I am).
A couple of busy weeks on the air: Next Friday, 5/7, I’ll be doing an hour of Kresta in the Afternoon from 5pm–6pm EDT. Then the following Friday, 5/14, I’ll be back on Catholic Answers Live from 6pm–7pm EDT. (See homepage Spotlight for “listen live” links.)
Look up at the Decent Films nav bar and you’ll see a new addition: In addition to RSS and Facebook, Decent Films is now on Twitter.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.