In 60 Seconds: Despicable Me 2! Lone Ranger! More!

07/12/2013 Comment

The latest season of “Reel Faith” is going strong—we’ve just wrapped our seventh episode, airing tonight, and while I haven’t seen it yet, I think it may be one of our best. David and I rip into The Lone Ranger and talk about Steve Carrell’s summer, from Despicable Me 2 to The Way, Way Back.

There’s nothing like “Reel Faith” on Catholic TV, and I hope you’ll check us out tonight at 8pm EDT (watch NET live). If you’ve enjoyed our show—or our 60 Second Reviews—do me a favor and stop by the Reel Faith Show Facebook page and either leave us a message, or click “like,” or both. Your support helps the show, and helps me. Thanks! 

Either way, enjoy the 60s! (For more 60s, including dueling...READ MORE

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

SDG’s Very, Very Little Movie Glossary

My sometimes obscure review tagging system — explained!

07/06/2013 Comments (36)

Yes, I really have two different terms named after Aragorn. No, I have no excuse for that.

Roger Ebert’s Little Movie Glossary is a minor classic of meta-criticism and an entertaining skewering of movie foibles. We’ve all seen the Climbing Villain, the Nerd Rule and the Waterfall Rule in action, and maybe we were willing to overlook them before, but once a name has been put to them, we start hooting and eye-rolling as soon as we see them coming.

This little essay is barely a footnote to Ebert’s book. Still, in the dozen or so years that I’ve been writing movie reviews, I’d like to think I’ve come up with a few witty, possibly even useful terms — Everything Picture, Medieval Grunge and Mythology-Bound among them — that might contribute to movie discussion.

Anyway, they’ve been...READ MORE

Filed under movies, reviews

Which is groovier: Emperor’s New Groove or Lilo & Stitch?

06/21/2013 Comments (28)

Recent Blu-ray releases include a trio of post–Disney Renaissance features — Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Emperor’s New Groove and Lilo & Stitch — two of which are definitely worth a look.

What all three films have in common, of course, is that they date to an experimental stage in Disney animation following the collapse of the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s, with its show-stopping musical numbers and soulful, misunderstood heroines and heroes wanting more, had collapsed.

You could say Disney had lost their groove, and while they never quite got their groove back, in their efforts to find a new groove they did at least produce a couple of pretty groovy films.

In fact, it’s hard...READ MORE

Filed under animation, disney, family films, movies

Man of Steel: dueling opinions! The Purge! Much Ado! More!

06/14/2013 Comments (9)

Are you watching the new season of Reel Faith? David and I have very different takes on Man of Steel — as you can see from our 60-second reviews below — and on tonight’s episode (8pm EDT) you can hear our debate on the film, as well as our less contentious discussion of The Purge and Joss Whedon’s Much Ado about Nothing. (By the way, you can also read my full review of Man of Steel right here at

Incidentally, this evening I’ll be on Catholic radio from sometime during the last hour of “Kresta in the Afternoon” (5pm EDT) through the first hour of “Catholic Answers Live” (6pm EDT), discussing the latest movies and much more. Listen in!

Man of Steel (DD)

Man of Steel (SDG)...READ MORE

Filed under movies, reviews, superman

The Quran, the Bible & the Flying Spaghetti Monster

06/10/2013 Comments (52)

In my post last week on the Bible and of the Quran I argued that since creation itself reveals God’s “eternal power and deity,” as St. Paul writes in Romans 1, it is possible to have meaningful knowledge of God simply as the eternal, all-powerful cause of everything that exists. By the same token, to speak of the eternal, all-powerful cause of everything that exists is necessarily to speak of the true God, not a false god, no matter what inadequate or false ideas about God one may attach to one’s picture of God.

Even a false god, a pagan god, is understood to have some sort of foundational or explanatory role in the cosmos or the world around us. A god is not simply a powerful and...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, flying spaghetti monster, god, islam, quran

Is the God of the Quran the God of the Bible?

06/07/2013 Comments (64)

No, the God of the Qur’an is Not the God of the Bible,” proclaims the headline of a recent essay at First Things by Gerald R. McDermott, a professor of religion at Lutheran-affiliated Roanoke College.

Staging the question against the backdrop of the 9/11 attacks, McDermott takes issue with the “nuanced but insistent Yes” of a book called Allah: A Christian Response by Yale theologian Miroslav Volf. Volf’s “argument for the identity of the Muslim and Christian Gods collapses under its own weight,” McDermott proclaims.

McDermott’s approach seems problematic to me from a number of perspectives. The very fact that he speaks of “the Muslim and Christian Gods” should be a red flag to any...READ MORE

Filed under god, islam, quran

New Ghibli Blu-rays! My Neighbor Totoro & Howl's Moving Castle

05/31/2013 Comments (19)

This week, one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most beloved and accomplished features, along with one of his less successful efforts, debut on Blu-ray.

My Neighbor Totoro is among the most extraordinary family films ever made. Roger Ebert included it in his Great Films project, justly so. For years now I’ve been mulling over a personal all-time top 10 list (I’ve settled on about six or seven titles), and I’ve gone back and forth whether to give a slot on the list to Miyazaki’s Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro. In the end I think Spirited Away wins out, but it’s close.

The gentle, nearly plotless events in the lives of two young girls moving into a new house are mesmerizing to even the youngest...READ MORE

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Reel Faith is back! On Fox News! Mother Dolores! New 60s! More!

05/30/2013 Comments (6)

Last week Reel Faith kicked off our fourth summer season with a bang, with appearances on Fox News and The Catholic Channel. (You can watch our summer season premiere right now at our website — and tune in for our second episode this Friday. More info)

Even better, at Fox News studios in New York, Suzanne, David and I ran into Mother Dolores Hart, the “Hollywood nun” featured in God Is the Bigger Elvis, the Oscar-nominated documentary about how a successful young actress who costarred with Elvis (and, yes, kissed him onscreen) found consecrated religious life more compelling than Tinseltown. (If you haven’t seen it, you should.)

David had already met Mother Dolores — in fact, he’d...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, movies, reel faith

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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.