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60s Madness! Mr. Banks, Mandela, Madea, Hustle, Hobbit, Hunger Games, more!

Monday, December 23, 2013 1:14 PM Comments (7)

Whew! Last week I wrapped up the fall semester in my seminary studies and taped the final episode of our holiday mini-season of “Reel Faith.” Now to start catching up on 2013 movies I’ve missed!

David and I also taped our last 60 second reviews for the year. The final batch includes Tom Hanks/Emma Thompson comedy-drama Saving Mr. Banks; the Idris Elba biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Tyler Perry’s A Medea Christmas; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; and Black Nativity!

Enjoy! And watch our “Reel Faith” holiday mini-season finale at the show’s website.

Saving Mr. Banks (SDG)

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. That’s almost enough to sell the picture by itself, isn’t it? (See also my full review.)

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (DD)

Idris Elba is Nelson Mandela in this sweeping biopic covering the recently deceased South African leader’s life from his youth to his once-unthinkable election as president.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (DD)

Perry’s eighth outing as Madea is also the third Christmas movie this season that actually engages the real reason for the season.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (SDG)

In 60 seconds or less, what’s wrong with Peter Jackson’s latest Middle-earth movie? Let me tell you…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (DD)

…or let David tell you.

American Hustle (DD)

Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence star in David O. Russell's crime comedy-drama.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (SDG)

I appreciated the first Hunger Games movie, but at the time I wasn’t eager to watch it again. The sequel has me wanting to watch the first film again — in a good way.

Black Nativity (SDG)

Of the season’s three religiously inflected Christmas movies, this one just might be the most deserving of your time.

Filed under 60-second reviews, movie reviews, reel faith

About Steven D. Greydanus

SDG
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Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register and Decent Films, the online home for his film writing. He writes regularly for Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues, and is a regular guest on several radio shows. Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. He is pursuing diaconal studies in the Archdiocese of Newark. Steven and Suzanne have seven children.