Video Reviews: Dawn of Apes! Planes! Deliver Us From Evil! Earth to Echo!

07/21/2014 Comments (3)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues to dominate the U.S. box office, while Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue, like the live-action sci-fi family film Earth to Echo, barely took off. In addition to the 60-second reviews of all these films below, David and I review Dawn and Planes as well as and the musical drama Begin Again in our latest episode of “Reel Faith.” (Find out where and when to watch Reel Faith — and check out our new website.)

Planes: Fire & Rescue (SDG)

See also my full review.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (DD)

See also my full review.

Deliver Us From Evil (SDG)

See also my full review.

Earth to Echo (DD)

I didn’t review this one, but I basically agree with...READ MORE

Filed under family films, reel faith, video reviews

Scott Derrickson: The Epic Video Interview! Transformers! More!

The full Reel Faith video version of my interview with the director of Deliver Us From Evil … plus Reel Faith reviews of the new Transformers flick and the first-ever “abortion rom-com.”

07/03/2014 Comment

Scott Derrickson is such a great interview subject that it was hard for me to cut down our sprawling 45-minute discussion to the 2500-odd words of the text article that ran earlier this week in the Register.

I’m very pleased, then, to be able to offer the Reel Faith video version of the entire interview. There’s a lot here that didn’t make it into the text article, so enjoy!

P.S. What Scott most wants you to know about this interview: Under the table I’m wearing shorts and sandals. (It was really hot in New York that day!)

Also below: David and I offer 2-minute Reel Faith reviews of Transformers: Age of Extinction and the “abortion romantic comedy” Obvious Child. Tune in to Reel Faith...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, culture of death, deliver us from evil, horror, reel faith, scott derrickson, transformers, video reviews

In 60 Seconds: Jersey Boys! Chef! Edge of Tomorrow! More!

06/21/2014 Comments (3)

In our latest episode of Reel Faith, David and I review the Clint Eastwood adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys, the Jon Favreau crowd-pleasing indie Chef and the Jonah Hill–Channing Tatum sequel 22 Jump Street. (Find out where and when to watch Reel Faith — and check out our new website!)

As for the 60s below: I enjoyed both of the current releases I reviewed, but the one I’m really excited about is Chef. I’m also really excited about Ernest & Celestine, new on home video this week.

Jersey Boys (DD)

Sherry. Sherry baby.

Chef (SDG)

I watched pretty much the whole second half of this movie with a smile on my face.

Edge of Tomorrow (SDG)

I’m a sucker for a good...READ MORE

Filed under video reviews

Maleficent, Rape and Sympathy for the Devil

That Maleficent includes a metaphorical rape scene doesn’t make it a bad movie. That it celebrates a heroine with such clear and intentional satanic resonances does.

06/19/2014 Comments (54)

In my latest Decent Films Mailbag, a reader responds to my review of Maleficent:

The fact that you see the removal of Maleficent’s wings as a representation of rape or genital mutilation, in my opinion, exposes to me your “master of suspicion” attitude toward the film. The removal of her wings need not be so much a representation of spiritual rape as a death of innocence of a young girl by a man suffering from selfish concupiscence.  Isn’t this indeed the state of reality we live in today in our society?

Maleficent’s innocence was stolen and she hardens her heart.  The visualization of this when she sits upon her throne (which appears to be a rib cage; she is hiding inside her heart,...READ MORE

Filed under disney, fairy tales, family films, maleficent

So, How Gay IS ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’?

06/13/2014 Comments (46)

How to Train Your Dragon’s Gobber the Belch Comes Out As Gay,” headlines screamed in the weeks prior to the release of DreamWorks’ animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Voiced by Craig Ferguson, Gobber — the tough old trainer with a peg leg and interchangeable prosthetic arm devices — was one of the best characters in the original How to Train Your Dragon.

In a standard-issue “Junior Knows Best” plot with an imperious, disapproving authoritarian father — Stoick the Vast — who didn’t understand his scrawny but thoughtful offspring Hiccup, Gobber was a sympathetic authority figure who gratifyingly didn’t fit the anti-patriarchal narrative. As I wrote in my 2010 review

[Hiccup’s]...READ MORE

Filed under animation, dreamworks, family films, homosexuality, how to train your dragon

In 60 Seconds: Maleficent! Belle! Ida! Blended!

06/06/2014 Comments (6)

Tonight on Reel Faith, David and I review Maleficient, A Million Ways to Die in the West and the British period piece Belle. (Find out where and when to watch Reel Faith—and check out our new website!)

Maleficent (SDG)

Warmed-over Frozen? My case might surprise you. (See also my full review.)

Belle (DD)

No, it’s not a revisionist take on Beauty and the Beast!

Ida (SDG)

A Polish nun embarks on a trip of discovery in this gorgeous black-and-white period piece.

Blended (DD)

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite for the third time after The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates.

More 60 second reviews!

Filed under fairy tales, movies, reel faith, reviews, video reviews

How can I become a film critic?

06/03/2014 Comments (7)

Well, I’m back for the summer!

Another year of diaconal studies is complete, and my reviewing austerity is over until the fall. Two years down, two to go!

Over the summer, I’ll be publishing every week here at NCRegister.com and at Decent Films. I’ll also be appearing weekly on “Reel Faith” (when and where to catch “Reel Faith”).

Along with my return to regular reviewing, I’ll also be bringing back a long-absent feature at Decent Films: Decent Films Mail columns. This week I ran the first Mailbag column in a couple of years, with reader mail on Frozen, God’s Not Dead, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and more. Check it out; there’s more to come.

One letter I got from a reader I thought...READ MORE

Filed under sdg reviews

Reel Faith is back! New 60s! X-Men! Godzilla! More!

05/23/2014 Comments (1)

Hey everyone, Reel Faith is back for the summer! David and I taped the season premiere on Wednesday, and it airs tonight at 8pm! Watch NET live. And check out the latest 60s!

X-Men: Days of Future Past (SDG)

The director who launched the new era of comic-book movies 14 years ago with X-Men is back. (See also my full review.)

Godzilla (SDG)

The latest Hollywood take on the most successful movie monster of all time is a huge hit with audiences and critics…but I’m not feeling the love.

Godzilla (DD)

Want a second opinion on Godzilla?

Million Dollar Arm (SDG)

What happens when an American sports agent goes to the land of cricket, the Taj Mahal and endless traffic jams looking...READ MORE

Filed under movies, reel faith, reviews, superheroes, video reviews

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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.