Tags: Fatherhood

Post: Chef [video] (2014)

A- | Teens & Up*

I watched pretty much the whole second half of this movie with a smile on my face.   Read more >

Post: Fruitvale Station [video]

Oscar Grant just might be the most memorable character I’ve encountered on the big screen this year. Fruitvale Station: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Post: Despicable Me 2 [video]

He was bad to the bone. Now he’s Dad to the bone. Does his mojo survive the transition? Despicable Me 2: my “Reel Faith” 60-second review.   Read more >

Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)

B- | **½ | +1| Kids & Up

“Dr. Evil without Austin Powers,” I called Gru in my review of Despicable Me. Turning Dr. Evil into Austin Powers (mutatis mutandis, for a family film) is the best possible way to keep the reformed character from losing his mojo. (Oh, how Mike Myers has influenced this discussion!)   Read more >

Article: Top 10 Movie Dads

Picking the top 10 movie dads was both easier and harder than picking the top 10 movie moms. Easier, because there were more candidates to choose from — and harder for the same reason!   Read more >

Review: The Kid With a Bike (2011)

A+ | **** | +4| Teens & Up

Here is a film that will break your heart, fill it with hope and challenge you to say Yes to God and to your neighbor, all at once.   Read more >

Post: Finding Nemo [video]

Finding Nemo in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.   Read more >

Review: Finding Nemo (2003)

A | **** | +2| Kids & Up*

(New review for 3-D rerelease) Andrew Stanton’s Finding Nemo is the best father-son story in all of Hollywood animation, and maybe animation generally. It’s also a stunningly gorgeous film that exploits the potential of computer animation like no film before it and few films after it.   Read more >

Review: The Way (2011)

B+ | *** | +2-1| Teens & Up

Is there grace for such pilgrims as these? Perhaps, but it may not take the form they seem to be seeking. At the end of the road, some viewers might feel let down at what has not changed for the main characters, but perhaps this is to miss the change that matters most. Emilio has said that the film is “pro-people, pro-life.” So it is, in more ways than one.   Read more >

Article: Fatherhood and Hollywood: Dads in the Movies

Hollywood’s ambivalence about fatherhood is deeply entrenched. Ambivalence, though, is not mere hostility; often it is rooted in a real awareness of the irreplaceable importance of fatherhood, and in melancholy or anger over paternal failure in a fallen, broken world.   Read more >

Post: Junior Knows Best

In theaters right now are two charming and visually engaging animated films at opposite ends of the budget spectrum, different in many respects but with some interesting overlap as well. One is How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks’ big-budget CGI adaptation of a popular children’s book. The other is The Secret of Kells, an Oscar-nominated Irish animated indie made on a comparative shoestring budget, now in limited release.   Read more >

Post: Fathers For Good

This week Knights of Columbus website Fathers for Good has a short interview with me in their Newsworthy Dads feature.   Read more >

Review: Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)

B+ | *** | +2-1| Adults

Though not always faithful in small things, Things We Lost is faithful in much. The individual moments are sometimes off, but the large emotional resonances are right.   Read more >

Review: My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

A- | **** | +2-1| Kids & Up*

How can I describe the inexplicable power of My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki’s timeless, ageless family film? It is like how childhood memories feel, if you had a happy childhood — wide-eyed and blissful, matter-of-factly magical and entrancingly prosaic, a world with discovery lurking around every corner and an inexhaustible universe in one’s backyard.   Read more >

Review: Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

B+ | *** | +1| Kids & Up

The film simplifies the original story in many ways, reducing the book’s four sons to three and the half-dozen or so homesteads and plantations the Robinsons build to the one famous treehouse. Wyss’s fantastical menagerie, which included penguins, kangaroos, flamingos, lions, and boa constrictors living side by side, is only slightly restrained by a century and a half of scientific advancement, and the book’s strong element of religious devotion and moral discipline is largely reduced in the film to a moment of silent prayer on the beach.   Read more >

Review: The Incredibles (2004)

A+ | **** | +2| Kids & Up*

The Incredibles is exhilarating entertainment with unexpected depths. It’s a bold, bright, funny and furious superhero cartoon that dares to take sly jabs at the culture of entitlement, from the shallow doctrine of self-esteem that affirms everybody, encouraging mediocrity and penalizing excellence, to the litigation culture that demands recompense for everyone if anything ever happens, to the detriment of the genuinely needy.   Read more >

Review: Cinderella Man (2005)

A- | ***½ | +2| Teens & Up*

Here Crowe overturns another Hollywood convention in an equally strong performance as a boxer who isn’t a morally checkered, socially alienated single man with a history of extracurricular violence and troubling relationship issues (cf. Rocky, Raging Bull, The Boxer), but a wholly decent, self-controlled, devoted family man. He’s not only Cinderella, he’s Prince Charming too.   Read more >

Article: In Good Company: Paul Weitz and Topher Grace

It’s not just a buzzword, either. There’s a special hand gesture that goes along with it. First you hold your hands up, palms outward, fingers spread apart. This where we are: no synergy. Then you clasp your hands into fists with the tips of the fingers of each hand inside the fist of the other hand, so that your hands make a sort of "S" shape. This is where we need to get to: synergy. Get it? (If you think this kind of thing doesn’t really pass for deep thought in corporate convention halls and conference rooms, you don’t know corporate America.)   Read more >

Review: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

A+ | **** | +3| Kids & Up*

“No one is born to be a failure. No one is poor who has friends.” These platitudes, plastered across the packaging of home-video editions of Frank Capra’s evergreen Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life, exemplify the film’s popular but misleading image as sentimental, schmaltzy “Capra-corn.” Yet the film itself is leavened by darker themes and more rigorous morals about self-sacrifice, disappointment, and the fragility of happiness and the American dream.   Read more >

Review: Spy Kids (2001)

A | ***½ | +2| Kids & Up*

The press kit calls it "James Bond for kids," but this over-the-top fantasy romp might be more accurately described as a family-friendly True Lies: The Next Generation, or even a married-with-children Austin Powers — all with Willy Wonka-style wonkiness and inspired set design straight out of Dr. Seuss.   Read more >

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