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

Friday, June 13, 2014 10:01 AM 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!

Friday, June 06, 2014 1:10 PM 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?

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 1:56 PM 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!

Friday, May 23, 2014 4:56 PM 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

Did God Die on Good Friday?

And what does controversy over the Virgin Mary have to do with this question?

Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:46 AM Comments (26)

The term “Easter egg” is used metaphorically to refer to a hidden message, joke or feature incorporated into a movie, computer program or other media entity for users to stumble across and appreciate.

There’s something at once ironic and appropriate about this term in connection with a Google Easter egg — a sort of “Good Friday Easter egg” — I came upon some time ago when I happened to Google the words “God died.” Google’s own results feature proposed the following identifying information for this search:

Pretty cool, huh? Alas, this “Good Friday Easter egg” is now apparently defunct. (Please bring it back, Google people!)

God’s not dead — but God did die on Good Friday. This way of...READ MORE

Filed under

Video Reviews: God’s Not Dead! Captain America! More!

Friday, April 11, 2014 5:21 PM Comments (12)

Quick update: Tonight, Friday April 11, I’ll be on the air from 7:00 to 8:30pm Eastern — first on radio, then on TV, talking about everything from Noah, God’s Not Dead and Son of God to Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’ll be on the second hour of “Catholic Answers Live” tonight, taking your calls and chatting with Patrick Coffin about all these movies and more. Check station listings or listen online (7–8pm Eastern).

Then at 8pm, watch a special episode of “Reel Faith” devoted to religion on the big screen. David and I will discuss Noah, God’s Not Dead and Son of God, plus the 10-year anniversary of The Passion of the Christ. Check local listings or watch online (8–8:30 Eastern).

...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, religious movies, sdg reviews, superhero movies

UPDATED: Fr Barron on “Noah”—now with video! Catholic Culture! More!

Thursday, April 03, 2014 3:35 PM Comments (61)

Update: This post now includes the video version of Father Barron’s take on Noah as well as commentary from CatholicCulture.org.

 

Father Robert Barron is one of the Church’s best commentators on popular culture today, so I’ve been waiting for his take on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. He doesn’t disappoint.

You can also read the text version of Fr. Barron’s take.

I’ve often mentioned in my own extensive coverage of Noah that the film relies on the Jewish midrash tradition, but a point I wound up dropping from my first review (mostly for space reasons in a very long review) is that the film essentially is a cinematic midrash. I’m delighted to see that Fr. Barron takes up that point for me....READ MORE

Filed under darren aronofsky, father robert barron, noah, noah 2014

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014 3:22 PM 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

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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.