Everything SDG on ‘Noah’: Vatican Radio, NBC News, EWTN News Nightly and more!

03/29/2014 Comments (13)

This has been a crazy week!

I was interviewed about Noah for Vatican Radio, the NBC News website, EWTN News Nightly, Kresta in the Afternoon and The World Over. (That last segment has yet to air. I also received interview requests for Huffington Post TV and al-Jezeera, but those didn't happen.)

In addition, besides my various pieces here at the Register, I wrote a theological reflection on the film for Catholic World Report. It’s been so much, I decided to bring it all together in one blog post just to keep track of it all. (Note: Don’t miss the Bonus Video That Has Nothing To Do With Noah!)


Listen to the Vatican Radio interview (MP3, a little over 17 minutes). Excerpt:

There’s a...READ MORE

Filed under darren aronofsky, noah, noah 2014, russell crowe, sdg reviews

New 60s! Noah! Muppets Most Wanted! Son of God! More!

03/21/2014 Comments (7)

This week David and I met at NET and shot a bunch of new 60s. Some are still on the editing table, but I wanted to get these to you ASAP.

Okay, technically Noah and Son of God aren’t 60s, since I couldn’t limit myself to 60 seconds! Not even close.

Noah (SDG)

Is Noah too secular for religious audiences and too religious for secular audiences? Here’s my take. (See also my full review.)

Muppets Most Wanted (SDG)

Jason Siegel and Amy Adams are out; can Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey pick up the slack?

Son of God (SDG)

After ten years, Jesus is back on the big screen; was it worth the wait?

Need For Speed (DD)

Fast & Furious: The Knockoff! David drives this one into the...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, biblical films, darren aronofsky, movie reviews, muppets, noah, noah 2014, reel faith, religious films, russell crowe

Best Films of 2013: More Lists

02/28/2014 Comment

For the past few years, after publishing my own annual wrap-up and top films list for the previous year, I pull together a run-down of some of my friends’ and peers’ best-film lists.

Until this year, I’ve led with the ChristianityToday.com Critics Choice and Most Redeeming top 10 lists, in which I’ve voted each year. For 2013, though, ChristianityToday.com took a different approach, asking regular critics to come up with personal movie picks (and, as it happens, I didn’t review any movies for CT.com this past year, so I didn’t do a list). Unfortunately, the new site layout offers no good way to link to these pieces. Google to the rescue: all 2013 Movie Picks at ChristianityToday.com.


Filed under movies, top film lists

Everybody chill out about the ‘Noah’ movie

02/19/2014 Comments (88)

So what’s the deal with the Noah movie?

Does it replace the message of the Bible story with a message created by Hollywood?

Is Russell Crowe’s Noah an environmentalist wacko? Is God a monster out to eradicate humanity entirely?

Get a grip, people.

Some background…

Questions about the movie, a passion project of filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, have been swirling since it was first announced years ago. Aronofsky says he’s been obsessed with the Noah story since seventh grade, when he won an award for a poem he wrote about it. Apparently he’s been noodling concepts for a feature film since high school.

Aronofsky’s concept of Noah as a “dark, complicated character” who suffers from...READ MORE

Filed under bible movies, darren aronofsky, hollywood, movies, noah, noah 2014, religious movies, russell crowe

How Christian is Disney's Frozen? (Not very.) Part 1

Attempts to read Disney’s monster hit as an allegory of the Gospel greatly overstate their case.

02/11/2014 Comments (123)

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
(Pentecost Sequence)

Beware the frozen heart. (Frozen)

As I mentioned in my last post about gay themes in Frozen, I’m mixed on Disney’s monster hit; I like some elements much more than others. Certainly I’m not surprised that it’s a smash: It’s beautifully designed and animated (apart from a poorly designed but surprisingly endearing snowman sidekick), with energetic songs and two princess heroines — a welcome first for Disney — one of whom has Frozone/Iceman-style superpowers she hasn’t yet learned to control.

There are other things to appreciate. Fans celebrate Frozen as a Disney fairy...READ MORE

Filed under disney, family films, frozen, movies

So, How Gay IS Disney’s Frozen?

Does Disney’s monster hit include the first same-sex couple in the studio’s history?

01/31/2014 Comments (288)

See also: How Christian is Disney’s Frozen? (Not very.) Part 1

So basically everyone loves Frozen except me. I’m fine with that. I’m not a fan, but I don’t dislike it; parts of it I like very much, though other elements I found disappointing and off-putting. I’ve watched it twice now, and both times I enjoyed enough things about it to be frustrated by the elements that ultimately keep me from embracing it.

I’m not surprised that it’s such a huge hit. I am a little surprised at the sustained effort of Christian fans to spin Frozen as some sort of Christian allegory (more on this in an upcoming post).

For now, though, I want to address something I noted in passing in my review: the...READ MORE

Filed under disney, family films, frozen, homosexuality, movies, redefinition of marriage

60s Madness! Mr. Banks, Mandela, Madea, Hustle, Hobbit, Hunger Games, more!

12/23/2013 Comments (7)

Whew! Last week I wrapped up the fall semester in my seminary studies and taped the final episode of our holiday mini-season of “Reel Faith.” Now to start catching up on 2013 movies I’ve missed!

David and I also taped our last 60 second reviews for the year. The final batch includes Tom Hanks/Emma Thompson comedy-drama Saving Mr. Banks; the Idris Elba biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Tyler Perry’s A Medea Christmas; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; and Black Nativity!

Enjoy! And watch our “Reel Faith” holiday mini-season finale at the show’s website.

Saving Mr. Banks (SDG)

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. That’s almost enough to sell the picture...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, movie reviews, reel faith

Reel Faith is back! New 60s! Frozen! Christmas Candle! Thor! More!

11/27/2013 Comments (2)

The holiday mini-season of “Reel Faith” is underway, and we have a slew of new 60-second reviews below. Check them out!

Note that David and I disagreed somewhat on Frozen and The Christmas Candle, so the 60s below only tell half the story — and our favorite film of those we discussed this past week, the Robert Redford seafaring thriller All is Lost, isn’t in the 60s below. To get the full picture on all these films, watch Friday’s episode of “Reel Faith,” now online at the website!

Frozen (SDG)

The critics love Disney’s Frozen. I think it’s a limp retread of Tangled. (See my full review.)

The Christmas Candle (DD)

Christian writer Max Lucado’s novela is brought to the screen...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, family films, reel faith

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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.