Archive for the 'Q&A' Category

Vicky Cristina Redux
Are Thinking Women Misguided, or MIA?

I was just at a major new shopping mall the other day, and it has not only a Victoria’s Secret (which are pretty much ubiquitous these days) but three other shops also pretty much exclusively devoted to women’s slinky underwear. One of them is even styled after a New Orleans brothel, complete with a stoop, theme-park-ride-styled queuing areas, uniformed “hosts” who offer you a personalized greeting, and a series of darkened, spotlight-lit rooms reminiscent of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion… with thongs. I remember walking out of Risky Business because I was offended on behalf of all the women in the audience who were just enthralled with being objectified as either hookers or shrews. Nearly thirty years later, in the era of Girls Gone Wild, women apparently are just as happy having Woody Allen paint them as either misguided prudes or misguided hedons. And where are the men in all this?


Don’t Knock Marshall!!

It’s the film’s job to convince those who are not from West Virginia, those who do not know folks from Marshall—and in particular, those who do not come from a town whose resident’s lives begin and end with football—that football itself could heal the town’s wounds. Mike Smith did a fine job of writing about why he felt the film did not do that. Sometimes trying too hard has the same effect of not trying hard enough.


Getting the Word Out on Amazing Grace

We’ve received more email about Amazing Grace than just about any other film we’ve covered in the last eight months. By and large, reaction to the film has been very positive—but some folks don’t quite understand what Walden Media is doing in marketing this film through its Bristol Bay label.
One reader, Neil Mammen, […]


Three Cheers for Ultimate Gift

Sheila Dean wrote:
We absolutely loved The Ultimate Gift. It never came to our local theatres, so we drove approximately one-half hour to get to it… It left way too quickly! We wanted to share it with many of our Christian friends. What can we do? (Besides wait for the DVD. I sure hope they make […]


Amazing Grace Redux
Not Much Different Than Sunday School

First, it’s worth pointing out that I called Amazing Grace “beyond admirable” as a “history lesson.” That was probably disingenuous of me, as I was trying to be complimentary and knew full well that an “admirable history lesson” is not the same thing as “good history”—any more than an “admirable Sunday School lesson” is the same thing as good theology. Consider the watered-down versions of the stories of David and Goliath—or David and Bathsheba—that VeggieTales serves up and Christians swallow whole. Saturday morning fun, Sunday-morning values, right? Well, only if entertaining little white lies are part of your Sunday morning routine. And they are, for most of us.


The Queen Redux
Why is Mirren Magical as QEII?

One of the elders at my church is fond of the refrain, “But this is not the end of the story!” Too often, in real life or in our critique of art, we pass judgment on the basis of thinking that we are seeing the end of the story when, in fact, we are not. We are only getting a look at a part of the story, and an intermediate end, perhaps, to that one episode. But according to Scripture, mercy triumphs over judgment—and that’s because Godly mercy really knows what the end of the story is! What Frears accomplishes in The Queen is achieving a unique glimpse into two opposing stories—and being merciful to each, through each other.


Painted Veil Redux
There’s More to The Painted Veil Than Edward Norton

I’ve been taken to task for taking Naomi Watts for granted, for not highlighting her work as Kitty Fane. In my review of The Painted Veil, I remarked that “Kitty’s transformational arc is understandable—perhaps because of its predictability,” while calling Edward Norton’s turn as Walter Fane “the real treat of this film.”
One reader responded, […]


Movies and Relativism
How Do We Process the Ethics of Movies?

David Nedostup asks, “How do you fight relativism in the battle for values and ethics? Is the disease sin?”
The first solution to relativism is knowing what we believe. Really knowing it—not taking what we’ve been taught for granted, but really seeking out the truth. In the Bible, the church at Berea was commended because they […]


Another View of Marie Antoinette

Brian Overland had the following feedback on our review of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette:

Your reactions seem to me more or less on target. But I would add the observation that Sofia Coppola’s choice of material is not by chance. Rather, I suspect that she chose it as symbolic of her own life. Essentially, she is […]


An Open Invite

We love your questions, whether they’re about specific movies, specific artists, or what we’ve said about them.
Please feel free to contact us with your questions. If you give us permission, we’ll publish your question—and our response—here on this page. And if you don’t, we’ll respond to you in private anyway…
Thanks for reading!