The 2011 Arts & Faith Top 100 Films!

02/18/2011 Comments (31)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Dreyer, 1927)

As a longtime member of the Arts & Faith community, I’m pleased to report that this week Arts & Faith and Image Journal released the 2011 edition of the Arts & Faith Top 100 Films list—possibly the best edition of the list to date, and in many ways an improvement on last year’s list.

For some background on the Arts & Faith Top 100 as well as Arts & Faith and Image Journal—along with some perspective on why I think this year’s list may be the best—please see my essay “Reading the Eternities: The 2011 Arts & Faith Top 100,” the official introduction to this year’s list. (Some trends I’m pleased to see include more Golden Age Hollywood titles (and more English titles generally; last year’s...READ MORE

Filed under arts & faith, movies, top film lists

30-second movie reviews—in verse!

02/08/2011 Comments (12)

Reel Faith

Here’s something I had fun doing: 30-second movie review videos—some in rhyming verse, some not!

The five spots below were created for my cable TV show “Reel Faith,” which I co-host with David DiCerto. Our next full season is this summer, but the show’s not entirely on hiatus: We did a mini-season over Christmas (the last episode of which you can still watch online), and last week we taped a special one-hour Academy Awards episode that I believe will be airing this Sunday (I’ll let you know).

Now David and I have done a series of 30-second spots that run on NET as advertisements for the show, and are available online at YouTube.

Regular readers are probably familiar with my...READ MORE

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

Sanctum an unholy affront

Serial euthanasia and atrocious dialogue at 5000 feet below

02/04/2011 Comments (1)

It is with a mixture of relief and bewilderment that I learn that there was no actual loss of life in the real-life spelunking misadventure on which Sanctum is based.

Relief, not only because everyone was saved, but because it means however rotten the fictionalized movie account might be, at least it doesn’t defame the dead. And bewilderment, because I have a hard time imagining what would possess someone fortunate enough to have lived through the basic premise of the film without loss of life to extrapolate a tale of such perversity and inhumanity.

Andrew Wight, who was leading an expedition into an underwater cave system in western Australia in 1988 when a cyclone struck, trapping 15...READ MORE

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Sanctum an unholy affront (Part 2)

Serial euthanasia and atrocious dialogue at 5000 feet below

02/04/2011 Comments (22)

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Aggrieved Son has a chip on his shoulder about Robo-Dad dragging him all his life from cave to cave without ever asking if he liked caves. Robo-Dad is not real understanding about Aggrieved’s issues. Robo-Dad is like the former drill sergeant turned therapist in the GEICO commercial: “That’s interesting. You know what makes me sad? You do! Maybe we should chug on over to mamby-pamby land where maybe we can find some self-confidence for you, ya jack-wagon!”

Here is Hardass’s touching speech immediately after a particularly horrifying death: “She made her own choices. She came down here without experience. She [made other mistakes]. That’s three mistakes in a place where you can...READ MORE

Filed under euthanasia, movies, reviews

MovieGuide corrects distortions of Catholic theology (updated)

MovieGuide gets exorcism movie Rite, Catholic teaching wrong

02/03/2011 Comments (25)

Even savvy Catholics used to bizarre distortions of Catholic teaching by non-Catholics might be startled by the howler in a review of this weekend’s top movie, The Rite, at the Christian movie review site

It should be noted that MovieGuide’s blunder seems not to reflect any kind of obvious anti-Catholic bias. On the contrary, to their credit MovieGuide typically treats Hollywood anti-Catholicism as anti-Christian, and positive images of Catholicism as pro-Christian.

You can see this in their review of The Rite, which their anonymous review credits with a “very strong Christian, moral worldview set in Roman Catholic world.” According to MovieGuide, The Rite “portrays a...READ MORE

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UPDATE (Photos!): March for Life: DC Live-blogging

01/25/2011 Comments (45)

Added: Lots more march coverage linked at Michelle Malkin’s website … including a link to this post. (Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers!)

Final update

Crowd pictures from March for Life 2011.

It’s Tuesday morning. Got in last night around 10:30pm.

After leaving the March and taking the Metro back to our car, we drove about an hour and stopped at a rest area to get gas and supper. The place was packed—and it didn’t take us long to realize that the crowds were pretty much all us. Young people in pro-life T-shirts, sisters in habits, priests filled the restaurants. You don’t see that every day.

So far the only mainstream coverage of the March I’ve seen has been from the Washington Post and The Post piece isn’t bad,...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, march for life, pro-life

True Grit and the Grace of God

12/29/2010 Comments (6)

“There is no law west of St. Louis,” a popular saying had it over a century ago, “and no God west of Fort Smith.” It is a verdict one would be not at all surprised to find confirmed in a Coen brothers film set in the time and place in question—even if by then a semblance of law had come to Fort Smith in the person of reputed “hanging judge” Isaac Parker. In fact, one could easily imagine the Coens being drawn to such a setting precisely for those qualities of lawlessness and godlessness.

In 14-year-old Mattie Ross, though, the Coens have a protagonist whose adamantine sense of purpose defies both halves of that 19th-century aphorism. Arriving in Fort Smith to identify the body of her...READ MORE

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True Grit and the Grace of God (Part 2)

12/29/2010 Comments (26)

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The rivalry between the Deputy U.S. Marshall and the Texas Ranger goes beyond the exigencies of the current chase. Rooster slights La Beouf’s Civil War service under General Kirby Smith, probably for the ineffectiveness of Smith’s forces in the Trans-Mississippi against Ulysses Grant and the Union Navy. La Beouf, meanwhile, snorts at Rooster’s loyalty to Captain William Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson, Civil War guerrilla fighters most infamously associated with the Lawrence Massacre.

But Mattie is the real heroine, not least for her skill in managing her two pigheaded escorts. If she is an unusually hard person, she has had an unusually hard life. From her late father she...READ MORE

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About Steven D. Greydanus

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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.