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

The Hunt for bin Laden May Be Over, but…

05/02/2011 Comments (11)

... let’s not forget: Hop is still in theaters, and will soon be coming to DVD.

It’s like the terrorists have already won.

For a second opinion, see my “Reel Faith” co-host David DiCerto’s 30-second review of Hop:

Full review.

Filed under 30-second reviews, family films, hop, movie reviews, reel faith

Me in My Union Suit!

04/29/2011 Comments (8)

Okay, technically that’s misleading since it isn’t really my Union suit: I rented this Yankee soldier uniform from the helpful folks at the Party Stop & Costume Corner in Westfield, NJ for this 30-second review of the Civil War-era film The Conspirator. I really dug the film, and I had a lot of fun doing this review. Enjoy!

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

“They slaughtered hundreds of people!”

04/15/2011 Comments (24)

He slaughtered at least five of them.

I’ve gotten a number of queries about the fevered discussion about Opus Dei’s murderous history and sinister influence in the Church related by filmmaker Roland Joffé in the press conference I reported on a couple of weeks ago.

Exactly how did the conversation go? For your shock and amusement, here’s the full exchange as Joffé related it. The discussion begins with Joffé mentioning that he’s making a film about Opus Dei.

Friend: Oh my God, that’s a Fascist organization! I mean, they slaughtered hundreds of people!

Joffé: They have? Really? How do you know that?

F: Well, even if they haven’t, they’re extremely influential in the Church. I mean, they basically control the Church.


Filed under movies, opus dei, there be dragons

Let's Avoid the Hop (oh baby)

04/12/2011 Comments (1)

The mere existence of a movie like Hop is depressing enough. That family audiences have embraced it, even amid a paucity of alternatives, is far worse. “An act of aggression against childhood” is how one critic aptly described this movie. If so, family audiences are tragically codependent. Hop is the kind of movie that makes helpless critics wish we could stage an intervention. Parents! It doesn’t have to come to this!

Hop appears to have been conceived in the minds of studio executives contemplating The Santa Clause and its dismal ilk and concluding that if it worked for Christmas, it will work for Easter too. As...READ MORE

Filed under easter bunny, family films, movies, reviews

Let's Avoid the Hop (oh baby) Part 2

04/12/2011 Comments (53)

< Part 1

Marsden, who plays Fred, is 37 years old. When George Bailey was 37 years old, he was a husband and father of four, president of his own company and had a whole neighborhood named after him where he had helped family after family realize the American dream. Hop doesn’t seem to realize what a complete and utter loser its protagonist is. It wants us to believe that Fred is special, that he has remarkable untapped potential—that in some way he is Easter Bunny material.

Fred shows no sign of any particular affinity for Easter—how could he? There’s nothing to care about, except candy. At least with The Santa Clause Christmas had some residual emotional significance for a number of...READ MORE

Filed under easter bunny, family films, movies, reviews

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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.