In Pixar’s Luca, a gentle, overtly Miyazaki-esque coming-of-age period piece struggles under the heavy weight of iron-clad Disney/Pixar formula requirements and story beats. The charming elements work well enough to carry the film, but only just.
There are day-to-day crises and traumas that are somehow absorbed into the continuity of our lives, and then there are inexorable turning points that divide our lives into “before” and “after.”
In some ways The Mitchells vs. the Machines harks back to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Most obviously, it’s another goofy, rollicking techno-apocalypse centered on a bumpy parent-child relationship between an awkward, gifted youngster and a handy but technophobic dad.
Our seasonal movie-watching during Advent, Lent, and the Christmas and Easter seasons varies from year to year, but Triduum is always the same.
The Bible world of Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s LightWorkers Media productions sometimes seems not unlike a movie about Shakespeare in which you hear lines like “To be or not to be, that is the question” and “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” but everyone seems to have heard them already.
If Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon seems familiar, that might be because … well, because of echoes of a lot of things, really.
“That damn movie follows me around like an albatross,” Christopher Plummer once fumed about the one film for which — despite a prolific, varied, successful career in film, television, and theater — he would always be best known.
21 years. That’s how long I’ve been at this. A film list 21 years in the making. 21 top films. 21 runners-up. 21 honorable mentions.
Wonder Woman 1984 is bonkers in a way that superhero movies these days don’t have the nerve to be.
Pete Docter’s Soul is Pixar’s third straight original feature, following Coco and Onward, that is explicitly about death, finality, and, in some way, what lies beyond.
At this point it seems pretty clear that the kiss of death, creatively speaking, for Disney’s new line of live-action/CGI remakes is a Broadway musical.
Marco Pontecorvo’s Fátima is the first screen version of the Marian apparitions at Fátima and the “Miracle of the Sun” I’ve seen that feels like the characters are living through the story’s events in the present tense.
Halfway through I found myself rooting for the film to be the best version of itself, a sign that a film is working even when it’s not completely successful.
The cowriter and director of a new film about Our Lady of Fátima talks about why he was drawn to the story and how he tried to realize the miraculous, from a very human Virgin Mary to surreal visions of war and hell.
The FX documentary asks hard questions of both sides of the abortion debate — but only one side gets thoughtful answers
Of the seven sacraments at the heart of the Church’s life, from the very beginning perhaps the most intriguing to filmmakers has been, ironically, the least visually impressive — a hidden rite involving only the minister and the recipient.
“Where the Bible comes to life” is the slogan of Sight & Sound Theatres, headquartered in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish country.
In the last few weeks, articles about movies to stream while sheltering in place during your coronavirus quarantine have proliferated across the internet almost as fast as the virus has spread around the world. What makes this article different?
The Way Back blends the beats of two familiar genres, the underdog sports movie and the addiction and recovery movie, in the process finding a rhythm that feels at once familiar and not quite like anything I’ve seen before.
Pixar’s movies tend to play as metaphors for the creative rise and fall of Pixar itself. When someone says “Maybe this place isn’t as adventurous as it used to be,” it’s hard not to hear an echo of the filmmakers’ voices.
Bong Joon-Ho’s brilliantly constructed art-house hit is the most powerful of this year’s many takes on the theme of haves and have-nots.
Is there anything new to say about Louisa May Alcott’s beloved, much-adapted classic? Thrillingly, Greta Gerwig finds that there is.
Noah Baumbach tells persuasive stories about unhappy families. This is one of his most insightful.
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s decade-spanning gangland opus, which turns out to be a very different movie than it seems … but you have to stick with it.
Taika Waititi has directed some cracking comedies, but can even he make Hitler funny?
An exquisite art-house film about a beatified martyr. The triumphant arrival of a belated documentary of a celebrated gospel concert. A fact-based drama about an alliance of devout and unbelieving survivors of clerical sex abuse calling for justice. These are just a few of an unusually large crop of notable films that tackled religious and spiritual themes in 2019.
Let’s face it, they could play John Williams’ ominous “Imperial March” over scenes of Uncle Deadly from the Muppets lobbing Green Goblin pumpkin-bombs at Scrat the saber-squirrel (I mean, they literally could, legally, and you could watch it on Disney+ forever and ever), and many of us would still feel emotions stir.
An ecstatic, anguished three-hour cinematic hymn, Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life sings the life and death of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter in asymmetrical binary form, in contrasting theologies — theology and anti-theology — of the body.
For a Catholic critic — or at least for this Catholic critic — a movie like The Two Popes presents a number of temptations.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood holds a special place — it would not be too strong to say a sacred place — in the hearts of many. Yet that neighborhood is an infinite distance from where we live now.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.