Archive for the 'Commentaries' Category

A Hard Look at Year of the Dog
When Passion Goes Too Far... And Then Comes Back

It wasn’t until after this rather weird movie was over, and I could talk it over with my husband, that I came to the conclusion that the plotline of Year of the Dog itself may not have been the point of the story. In more general terms, the story is of a young woman who, after an identity-shattering loss, goes a bit off the deep end before returning to some semblance of sanity, while staying true to her new convictions. But, after thinking about it, I think that writer/director Mike White is really making a larger statement, in a way that is non-threatening and accessible to a wide audience.


Movies, Morality, and Ratings
A Hard Look at Our Opinion of Films

One home run is pretty much like another; but put that home run in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, two outs, and the home team down by three, and you’ve got something else entirely. Put that home run in a game that clinches a playoff birth, and it’s even more meaningful. And if it’s the seventh game of the World Series, well…
And yet we seem to ask that each film be the artistic and moral equivalent of that World Series-winning homer. It’s unrealistic. Is the sacrifice fly back in the second inning of Game 2 of the ALCS any less significant? How about a throw to first from the knees back in June?


Safeguarding America from Christianity
Puritanism, Proselytism, and the MPAA

Earlier this summer, the MPAA slapped the independently-produced, Christian-themed film Facing the Giants with a PG rating. Spokeswoman Joan Graves initially told producers that the film’s overtly evangelistic tone—which the film’s pastor-oriented publicity materials openly trumpets—was partly to blame. The resulting furor, fanned by a Focus on the Family CitizenLink alert, even got congress involved. “This incident raises the disquieting possibility that [the] MPAA considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and mindless violence,” commented Missouri’s Republican congressman Roy Blunt. So broadcasters, studios, and exhibitors all seem to agree: religious content, Christianity included, has the potential to offend people.


The Udder Mystery of Barnyard
A PTP Commentary

Like so many movies I’ve seen this summer, Barnyard left me completely baffled. In fact, I was so befuddled by this film that I really have no idea if I enjoyed it or not. If have absolutely no clue if it’s good cinema or B-grade summer popcorn fodder at best. I do know that if […]


What’s Really Scary About Monster House
A PTP Commentary

Monster House scared me. No, really—I was profoundly disturbed by the film. While the production values are generally better than average, and I did laugh out loud on one occasion, the climax of the movie left me with a slight facial tic and a prominent question-bent head-tilt toward the right.
Before I spoil the movie, […]


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