Dumbo REVIEW

Dumbo (2019)

The Disney nostalgia train rumbles on with Tim Burton back at the throttle — not quite throttling the iconic tale of the flying baby elephant, but only barely rising to the challenge, sort of like Casey Junior struggling to clear that daunting hill.

Fathers Know Best? Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Surprising Animated Dads ARTICLE

Fathers Know Best? Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Surprising Animated Dads

Particularly striking to me, and even moving, is a theme connecting Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (though not The Lego Movie): how themes of father–son conflict ubiquitous in other cartoons play out with unexpectedly insightful, consequential fathers.

Captain Marvel REVIEW

Captain Marvel (2019)

At this stage in Marvel Cinematic Universe history you almost need a Tolkieneque set of appendices and diagrams to make complete sense of everything.

Best films of 2018: More lists! POST

Best films of 2018: More lists!

First Reformed made more than half of the nine individual lists below, and unsurprisingly topped the year’s best films according to the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury … What’s more surprising — anyway I’m a little surprised, and delighted — is that another film was even more esteemed in this little community … and it wasn’t any of the films I would have expected.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World REVIEW

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

The two sequels greatly expand the world and the mythology of the original Dragon. Yet our hero’s personal self-development was pretty much complete at the start of Dragon 2.

2018: The year in reviews ARTICLE

2018: The year in reviews

2018 was a remarkable movie year — for family films, films with religious themes, and documentaries — but it was also a year of family men who weren’t there for their families.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [video] POST

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [video] (2018)

Chris Miller and Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Phil Lord / Do whatever Chris Miller and Phil Lord do.
Can they swing from a thread? / No they can’t, they’re Hollywood filmmakers.

Mary Poppins Returns [video] POST

Mary Poppins Returns [video] (2018)

And so does Dick Van Dyke — but if you want the return of Julie Andrews, the movie to see is Aquaman.

Ralph Breaks the Internet [video] POST

Ralph Breaks the Internet [video] (2018)

Ralph doesn’t just break the Internet — he breaks the mold for Disney/Pixar sequels.

The Rider [video] POST

The Rider [video] (2018)

The lead actor in this film told me he feels much closer to God in the South Dakota Badlands than in New York or Paris. There were more theologically explicit films this year, but none that brought God closer to me.