"Houston, We Have a Problem."

Thursday, April 29, 2010 9:47 AM Comments (49)

Those words, uttered by Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell in Ron Howard’s Oscar-winning Apollo 13, plastered across posters for the film, have become a ubiquitous part of the English lexicon—even though they’re not exactly what the real Jim Lovell actually said. According to Wikipedia, Lovell, repeating his fellow Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert, actually said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” All rightee then.

Speaking of which, “All rightee then” is another one of those phrases you hear everywhere, often from people who have no idea where it comes from, or even that it comes from anywhere at all. When Morgan Freeman as God said it to Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty, it took me a beat to process that...READ MORE

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Filming Carmelites

Friday, April 23, 2010 4:38 PM Comments (3)

In 2009, two films were released with the title No Greater Love. One, with shades of Fireproof, is an Evangelical-produced drama about marriage woes and recovery. Forget that one. The one I’m interested in suggests shades of Into Great Silence, Philip Groning’s transcendent cinematic portrait of Carthusian spirituality.

British filmmaker Michael Whyte’s indie documentary No Greater Love takes us into the silence of Most Holy Trinity, a monastery of Carmelite nuns unobtrusively situated in the fashionable Notting Hill area of West London. (My interview with Whyte is in today’s Register Web Exclusives.)

Much like Groning, who waited 16 years for permission to film the monks at the Grand...READ MORE

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Parents' Concerns and the Media

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:14 AM Comments (3)

Last week the US bishops conference released a survey inquiring about parental concerns about inappropriate media content and its effect on children. Called Parents’ Hopes & Concerns About the Impact of Media on their Children, the survey suggests that most parents are concerned about their children being exposed to inappropriate content, and that many are interested in parental control technology such as the V-chip.

According to the survey:

  • More than 80 percent of respondents say they want control of media content involving violence, sex, illegal drug use, alcohol abuse and profane language.

  • Parents are more concerned about inappropriate content on television and the Internet than...READ MORE

Filed under media, parenting

Babies Are Back!

Thursday, April 15, 2010 2:25 PM Comments (5)

Thomas Balmes's Babies opens on May 7, just in time for Mother's Day.

After the population-collapse anxieties of Children of Men, all the unwanted-pregnancy movies of 2007 and a slew of apocalyptic disaster films, is Hollywood moving toward a posterity state of mind?

Babies are everywhere this year, it seems. Babies is the name of a Focus Features documentary, opening on Mother’s Day weekend, about the first year in the lives of four babies from different corners of the world. Also opening that weekend, Rodrigo García’s Mother and Child tells three overlapping stories of women and adoption, including a mother seeking to adopt a baby born during the course of the film.

Then there’s a problematic pair of romantic comedies, The Back-up Plan and The Switch,...READ MORE

Filed under family, movies, pro-life

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

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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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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.