Tolkien and Lewis, Action Heroes?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 9:53 AM Comments (6)

Word that Eagle Eye co-writer Travis Adam Wright has been tapped to script a planned adaptation of James A. Owen’s fantasy series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica has kicked off a flurry of coverage on Owen’s series, which casts the Inklings—J. R. R. Tokien, C. S. Lewis and Charles Williams, as well as Owen Barfield and Hugo Dyson—as heroes of epic fantasy adventures weaving together Arthurian legend, Greek mythology and the writings of other British writers, not to mention the writers themselves … among other things. (Hat tip to the vigilant Peter Chattaway, who first reported on this project four years ago.)

In Owen’s series, H. G. Wells, J. M. Barrie, Charles Dickens,...READ MORE

Filed under c. s. lewis, j. r. r. tolkien, movies

Twilight: Breaking Dawn's Fork in the Road

Friday, April 09, 2010 10:36 AM Comments (9)

It’s hard to imagine any filmmaker making the final, and probably the most perverse, of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books into a good movie—let alone two movies, which is the plan. But Summit Entertainment is giving it their best shot: After discussions with a list of respected directors including Sofia Coppola, Steven Daldry and Gus Van Sant, Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey) has reportedly emerged as the front-runner, according to Deadline.com.

Summit’s Twilight series is the latest fantasy franchise to postpone the inevitable by doubling down on the final installment. Warner Bros’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens in November, but we won’t be saying goodbye to Harry...READ MORE

Filed under movies, twilight, vampires

Movie Review Haiku!

Thursday, April 08, 2010 11:37 AM Comments (0)

Regular readers know I like to write long. Word count is my enemy. Why write 900 words if you can write 1500? That’s my motto.

Recently, though, I threw word count to the winds and tried something new: counting syllables. Seventeen syllables, to be exact. I’ve written reviews in verse before, but my Dr. Seuss reviews ran as long as I felt like, and even my Scooby Doo review got 24 lines plus annotations.

Well, no more. Behold the rigor of … haiku review!

1. Xanadu is dark
He had it all, then lost it
Rosebud is no more.

2. It was a great show
Tokyo calls, you don’t hear Buzz
Not your finest hour.

3. They awakened us
Called from the moon and beyond
Childhood starts anew.

4. She...READ MORE

Filed under movies

Clash of the Titans Redux

Tuesday, April 06, 2010 8:38 AM Comments (1)

Opening on Good Friday and setting a new Easter weekend box-office record, the new Clash of the Titans features a divine father in the heavens (Liam Neeson, the voice of Narnia’s Aslan, as Zeus) who tells his divine/human son, “I wanted [mankind’s] worship, but I didn’t want it to cost me a son.”

The son (Sam Worthington as Perseus, once again caught between humanity and something else) has descended into the realm of the dead and returned, not to do his father’s will or out of love, but on what boils down to a mission of revenge.

Not only does the son not consider divinity something to be grasped, he doesn’t want it at all; he spurns the worship that his father craves, though his...READ MORE

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Junior Knows Best

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 9:38 AM Comments (3)

Top: Brendan and Aisling from The Secret of Kells; Bottom: Hiccup and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon

In theaters right now are two charming and visually engaging animated films at opposite ends of the budget spectrum, different in many respects but with some interesting overlap as well. One is How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks’ big-budget CGI adaptation of a popular children’s book. The other is The Secret of Kells, an Oscar-nominated Irish animated indie made on a comparative shoestring budget, now in limited release.

Both films are European-set fantasy period pieces, with Vikings and mythological creatures both friendly and decidedly unfriendly. (In How to Train the Vikings are the hero and his people; in The Secret of Kells they’re the bad guys.) 

In each film, the protagonist is...READ MORE

Filed under movies

Amish Grace: Forgiving Our Enemies

Friday, March 26, 2010 10:26 AM Comments (5)

Kimberly Williams-Paisley stars in Amish Grace as an Amish mother bereaved of her daughter in the 2006 Amish school shooting.

Amish Grace premieres this Sunday, March 28 at 8pm EDT / 5pm PDT on LMN.

Three years ago, coinciding with a rash of post-9/11 deaths from respiratory and circulatory ailments about five years after the attacks, my brother-in-law David succumbed suddenly to an incredibly aggressive form of leukemia. He had been in the ash cloud emanating from Ground Zero on 9/11, and my wife Suzanne suspects his death was 9/11-related. As she’s the one with medical training, I usually accept her judgment in such matters.

Do I forgive the 9/11 terrorists? It’s a question I can’t remember asking myself before this week after screening the upcoming Lifetime TV movie Amish Grace. Inspired by the nonfiction...READ MORE

Filed under forgiveness, movies

On DVD: The Blind Side

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 4:26 PM Comments (5)

Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) is a red-state, family-values, guns-and-religion Erin Brockovich. Righteous, indomitable, unflappable, glamorous in plunging necklines and thigh-hugging skirts, she’s also a pistol-packing mama, a happily married homemaker and mother of two, a Bible-belt Evangelical and a dyed-in-the-wool gridiron junkie. She isn’t crass like Julia Roberts’ Oscar-winning part, but she’s as blunt and direct as an offensive tackle, and about as apt to be cowed by other people’s crass or intimidating behavior.

Leigh Anne and Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) are from different worlds. She’s a former cheerleader, an Ole Miss alumna and interior designer married to a successful...READ MORE

Filed under movies, reviews

Bedrock Studios: Birds, the Bible and Children's Books

Monday, March 22, 2010 9:37 AM Comments (10)

This is not Bedrock Studios co-founder Cary Granat.

If the name Bedrock Studios doesn’t sound familiar, you might think it’s because you haven’t watched “The Flintstones” lately … especially since the new production company was co-founded by Cary Granat—not the Hollyrock star, the former CEO of Walden Media—and Ed Stones, er, Jones of Industrial Light & Magic.

Like Walden, Bedrock Studios aims at family audiences. Their first project, an animated buddy film bravely named Turkeys, stars Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson; their sophomore project is an eye-popper: In the Beginning, a 3D live-action adaptation of the creation story of Genesis. Granat is a Christian, and I have to admit I’m curious where this will go. 

Bedrock is also...READ MORE

Filed under movies

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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.