UPDATE: New 60s! Age of Ultron! Tomorrowland! Ex Machina! Reel Faith is back!

“Reel Faith” is now in its sixth summer season … with a new feather in our caps.

05/22/2015 Comments (4)

We’d like to thank the Academy.

UPDATE: See new 60 second reviews below!

Exciting news!

“Reel Faith” returns to NET TV tonight — with a new feather in our caps: We are now the proud winners of a 2015 Gabriel Award, bestowed by the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals, the U.S. affiliate of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication.

The Gabriel Awards, which date to 1965, are intended to honor excellence in broadcasting. They are not limited to religious programming; in the words of the Academy:

The single most important criterion of a Gabriel winning program is its ability to uplift and nourish the human spirit. Gabriel-worthy programs affirm the dignity of human beings, and recognize and...READ MORE

Filed under reel faith

No, Catholic U is NOT under investigation for offending Muslim students…

Another day, another faux crisis.

05/12/2015 Comments (16)

This is not happening.

…regardless what you may have read recently on Breitbart News, among many, many other right-wing sources.

[Update: See the letter I received from Catholic University below confirming my take on this story.]

“Catholic University investigated for offending Muslims by having too many crosses,” reads the May 11, 2015 headline at Breitbart.

Judging from many comments at Breitbart and on social media, the popular impression many people seem to be taking away from the story is this: Pushy Muslim students at Catholic University in Washington, DC are professing themselves offended by the sight of Christian crosses. They’re demanding that crosses be taken down and Muslim-friendly prayer spaces...READ MORE

Filed under islam, sharia, social media

A book every serious Christian movie buff should have

05/06/2015 Comments (5)

Every serious Christian movie buff should own a copy of Peter Dans’ Christians in the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners. First published in 2009, Christians in the Movies was originally available only in an expensive hardcover edition priced as a library reference work; since then it’s been reprinted in an affordable paperback edition.

Christians in the Movies is not Dans’ first survey of cinema. An associate professor of medicine as well as a dedicated cinephile, Dans was first moved to write about the big-screen depiction of his profession in his 2000 book Doctors in the Movies: Boil the Water and Just Say Ahh! — an entertaining and insightful study of social attitudes regarding...READ MORE

Filed under movies, sdg reviews

No, pastors are NOT facing jail time for not marrying gays…

…despite what you may have seen on social media lately.

04/29/2015 Comments (160)

For some reason a Washington Times article from October 20, 2014 headlined “Idaho city’s ordinance tells pastors to marry gays or go to jail” has been making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter and so forth. (People don’t check dates on social media.)

An excerpt:

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, city officials have laid down the law to Christian pastors within their community, telling them bluntly via an ordinance that if they refuse to marry homosexuals, they will face jail time and fines.

The dictate comes on the heels of a legal battle with Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in the city, but who oppose gay marriage, The Daily Caller reported.


Filed under first amendment, gay marriage, same-sex marriage

There’s only one right order to read the ‘Narnia’ books

Why the chronological numbering used by the Chronicles’ publishers today is a travesty

03/06/2015 Comments (17)

A reader writes:

Thanks for your article on the Narnia movies. I’m wondering why they made the movies in a different order than the numbering of the books. Shouldn’t they have made The Magician’s Nephew before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Horse and His Boy before Prince Caspian? Why are they doing The Silver Chair next? The movie order doesn’t make sense to me.

Okay, let’s clear up a few things.

Whatever the deficiencies of the Narnia movies to date, at least the filmmakers did one thing right: They followed the original publication order, which is how many or most editions numbered them until about 20 years ago. I still have an old boxed edition of the Chronicles that...READ MORE

Filed under children's books, chronicles of narnia, narnia

Does the priest in ‘Calvary’ recommend mortal sin?

03/03/2015 Comments (11)

Many Catholics and other Christians, including me, enthusiastically embraced Brendan Gleeson’s grizzled, unflappable priest Fr. James Lavelle in John Michael McDonogh’s 2014 film Calvary. Calvary didn’t quite crack the Top 10 in my best films list of 2014, but it’s a solid runner-up.

But Calvary is full of depraved, troubled characters, and in trying to minister to them Fr. Lavelle sometimes gets his hands dirty. Does he cross moral lines? A reader writes:

I heard you on the radio a few weeks ago lauding the movie Calvary. So with great anticipation my wife and I waited until it was released on DVD yesterday to finally watch it. Neither one of us liked the film. We were turned off...READ MORE

Filed under law of gradualness, mortal sin, movies, priests

Best films of 2014: More lists!

A lineup of Christian film writers pick the top films of 2014 — and two of the top three picks star the same actress.

02/26/2015 Comments (24)

With the Decent Films redesign now behind me (woo hoo!), it’s time to turn my attention to an annual project I’ve been putting off: my round-up of the year-end top 10 lists of some of my friends and peers (see previous years).

I’m a little late this year, having missed my usual self-imposed deadline of the Academy Awards in my efforts to complete the redesign project. (Then again, I haven’t actually watched the Oscars in at least a couple of years, so why should I set my clock by them?) To make up for it, I’m including more lists this year than ever before, nine in all.

Looking over the nine lists below plus my own top 10, three films stand above the rest — two starring Marion Cotillard....READ MORE

Filed under movies, top film lists

Oscar special! Every Best Pic nominee in 60(ish) seconds! Priests in film! More!

Priests on film, showtimes for the hour-long “Reel Faith” Oscar special and “Reel Faith” video reviews of all eight Best Picture nominees.

02/13/2015 Comments (2)

Well, here I am dropping in again after going on two months. I keep thinking I’m just about to get my head above water, but … well, to mix metaphors, the light at the end of the tunnel keeps receding. I’ll get there at some point. I’m just not yet quite sure when.

What’s occupied the lion’s share of my free time for the last two months — when I haven’t been in class, at work or with family — has been the ongoing redesign effort for DecentFilms.com. This is a herculean task that I initially hoped would be completed by New Year’s, and then by the end of January, and now … well, it still seems just out of reach. I’ll keep you posted. Update: It’s live now! Check it out! 

(SDG’s first law of...READ MORE

Filed under academy awards, hollywood, reel faith, sdg reviews, video reviews

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About SDG

Steven D. Greydanus
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Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register, creator of Decent Films, and a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark. With David DiCerto, he co-hosts the Gabriel Award–winning cable TV show “Reel Faith” for New Evangelization Television. Steven has degrees in media arts and religious studies, and 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. Steven and his wife Suzanne have seven children.