30-Second Review Madness!

06/03/2011 Comments (4)

Over the last several months, while “Reel Faith” has been on hiatus, my co-host David DiCerto and I have kept our hands in the game a bit by taping 30-second video reviews. I’ve blogged mine as they became available, but to celebrate tonight’s season 2 premiere of “Reel Faith” I’ve collected every single 30-second review I could find done by either David or myself. Here they all are, in alphabetical order. If you’ve missed any, please enjoy them!

And please, let me know what you think.

I’ve had a blast scripting my 30-second reviews in rhyming verse—and occasionally using props and costumes—and I hope it’s made them entertaining to watch. David, on the other hand, has done more...READ MORE

Filed under 30-second reviews, movie reviews, movies, reel faith

The Many Faces of Mary

How well do you know Marian iconography?

05/31/2011 Comments (101)

Following up on last week’s “Bad Church Art” post: I don’t mean to pick on Los Angeles’s Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, but ... well, actually, I guess I do, come to think of it.

One combox reader objected that “Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with Christian and Marian iconography would instantly know that this is Mary.” I’m hardly an expert, but I think I have a more than passing familiarity with Christian and Marian iconography. (I’ve seen a number of the works below in person, to start with.)

How about you? Some of the Marian works below are famous; others may not be. How many do you recognize? List them in the combox! While we’re at it, let’s play a game of “One of These...READ MORE

Filed under art, church art, virgin mary

Bad Church Art!

Separated at Birth: L.A. Madonna and Samurai Jack?

05/27/2011 Comments (38)

Okay, so Jimmy got the ball rolling commenting on Rome’s New UGLY John Paul II Statue … and then a reader commented:

Speaking of ugly religious-themed art, anyone ever see the statue of Mary that is in front of the LA Cathedral?  She looks like a character from Star Trek.

… so I just had to say something.

I know exactly what the reader is talking about. The allegedly Marian statue at L.A.‘s Our Lady of the Angels does indeed look like a “Star Trek” character—specifically, like a Vulcan—but there’s another pop-culture comparison that’s even more appropriate.

So appropriate, indeed, that I have to ask:

Separated at Birth: L.A. Madonna and Samurai Jack?


Statue allegedly representing...READ MORE

Filed under art, church art, sacred art, samurai jack, statue

Judgment Day for Camping

05/25/2011 Comments (31)

I don’t like to see anyone’s views, right or wrong, misrepresented or distorted. In my Evangelical Protestant days, I often found myself inadvertently explaining Catholic beliefs against Protestant distortions of those beliefs, not because I accepted them as true, but simply because I felt we should be clear on what other people do and don’t think. Eventually, in explaining the Catholic faith, I began to find that it was not only more intelligible than my Protestant friends recognized, but more intelligible than what I believed as a Protestant.

This is not what happens with the beliefs of someone like Harold Camping, whom I used to listen to on Family Radio back in the 1980s. I even...READ MORE

Filed under end of the world, family radio, harold camping

If Jesus Tarries

05/23/2011 Comments (18)

[EDIT: This just in: Camping is “flabbergasted” after a “really tough weekend.” Okay. I’m glad he’s candid and honest enough to admit that Saturday didn’t go according to plan, instead of trying to spin things in some spiritual, invisible direction. Now he needs to have the integrity to step down, to retire from public ministry in recognition of the harm he has done to his followers and to the faith as a whole.]

This past Saturday, May 21, a major supernatural event predicted last week by Jimmy Akin occurred around 6:00 PM. Suzanne and I both witnessed it, as did many other people, although Jimmy was right there and got a much better view than the rest of us.

What’s more, we witnessed...READ MORE

Filed under end of the world, family radio, harold camping

Rio ... in 30 seconds!

05/09/2011 Comments (5)

Fasten your seat belts … I think this is the fastest talking I’ve done in any of these reviews! In fact, it’s so fast I think I’ll include the words this time, in case anyone wants to double-check a word. Let me know if you like this!

P.S. I like to have at least one rhyme in each review I’m especially proud of. In Soul Surfer it was “island” and “Thailand.” Here it’s “umbrellas” and “favelas.”

From the Guanabara beaches with their rainbow umbrellas
To the iron-roofed shacks of ramshackle favelas
From the carnival floats and their paraphernalia
To the samba schools with their dancers’ regalia
There’s plenty to see-o in Rio.

Director Carlos Saldanha’s a native Brazilian
And his palette...READ MORE

Filed under 30-second reviews, movie reviews, movies, reel faith, rio

There Be Dragons—in 30 seconds!

05/05/2011 Comments (7)

If you don’t have 30 seconds to spare, here’s a spoiler: There aren’t really any dragons.

If you have more than 30 seconds, read the full review.

Filed under 30-second reviews, movie reviews, movies, reel faith, there be dragons

Soul Surfer—in 30 seconds!

05/04/2011 Comments (3)

I just want to say: How often does the opportunity come to rhyme “island” and “Thailand”? You have to appreciate these things when they come. (Soul Surfer full review)

Filed under 30-second reviews, movie reviews, movies, reel faith, soul surfer

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About SDG

Steven D. Greydanus
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Deacon 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.