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The pornification of Hollywood

When Fifty Shades of Grey made the transition from best-selling novel to box office smash movie – on Valentine’s Day, no less – we were given another opportunity to watch the border between the mainstream movie industry and its pornographic cousin evaporate into further irrelevance. For anyone living in blissful isolation for the last couple of years, Fifty Shades began life as [...]

Social dysfunction

No one’s really sure who coined the term “social media,” but there’s a loose consensus that it came about almost 20 years ago, in and around AOL and the small but vital nexus of tech companies that were busy birthing the internet as we know it today. What no one seems to dispute is the idea that, with social media, something wholly [...]

2014-11-20T08:16:54-05:00November 20, 2014|Announcements, Features, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

A thoroughly modern Noah

We are apparently in the middle of another surge of religious films, which is a sure way of telling that Hollywood is losing money and running scared and desperate to pull in the audience they do their best to ignore when times aren’t so lean. Forgive me for sounding cynical, but if you think I’m being bleak, I dare you to name [...]

2014-05-30T16:18:05-04:00May 30, 2014|Announcements, Features, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

Movies focusing on despair

One of the most profound aspects of Christian teaching is the idea of the sin of despair. It might seem either abstract or inapplicable for many people either too commonsensical or faithful than myself, but once the idea behind it became clear to me, it was like a bright, pitiless light came on in my mind, casting light where I had never [...]

2014-04-24T07:58:52-04:00April 24, 2014|Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

The wonderful middlebrow of Monuments Men

Maybe it’s a good thing, but war movies aren’t anywhere near as popular as they used to be. There is, to be sure, no shortage of violent films doing decent box office, many set amidst vast wars fought in space, or in some wild reimagining of the distant, even mythological past. But dramas set during wars happening in recent memory are thin [...]

2014-03-20T18:48:06-04:00March 20, 2014|Announcements, Features, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

A hell of a documentary

In a world where serious books sell poorly and newsmagazines are a shadow of their former selves – if they’re published at all – the documentary film has taken up much of the burden of bringing topical issues and debate in front of the public. While feature films have stagnated, pooling into either numbing blockbusters or a host of increasingly spiritless genres, [...]

Popes on the big screen

Anthony Quinn as Pope Kiril in the film version of Morris West's novel The Shoes of the Fisherman When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires stepped onto the balcony at St. Peter’s Square last month, he helped provide a satisfactory conclusion to a ritual that – as we were told repeatedly in the thicket of media coverage – is [...]

2013-04-17T16:06:44-04:00April 17, 2013|Announcements, Columnist, Features, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

Overcoming squeamishness watching bin Laden movie

I doubt that I’m the only person who found the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALS last year unsatisfying, both as a skirmish in an ongoing war and, looking at it a bit more flippantly, as a dramatic finale. For all the counter-espionage resources that it took to find the man, and the undeniable military skill of the SEALS [...]

2013-01-11T12:58:36-05:00January 11, 2013|Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

Even if a movie isn’t seen, can it still make a difference?

I’m writing this column at the end of what has to be one of the least interesting summers in movie history. To make matters worse – if you work for a Hollywood studio – it’s also been one of the least profitable, but that doesn’t mean that movies aren’t important. As the Middle East erupted into bloody riots that took the life [...]

2012-10-25T15:08:59-04:00October 25, 2012|Announcements, Columnist, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

College movie offers non-religious thoughts on Christianity

For most families, college is the acid test of their parenting, the point when independence is finally granted and the long years of helicopter parenting (hopefully) cease. In the aftermath of three generations that have embraced youthful rebellion as an inevitable stage of life – an idea almost unheard of a century ago – we send our children off to university (or [...]

2012-09-22T06:22:53-04:00September 22, 2012|Announcements, Features, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

The appeal of the apocalyptical

Growing up during the Cold War, I saw the Earth end many times over. Mushroom clouds bloomed in films and TV shows such as The Day After, Testament, Threads, The War Game, By Dawn’s Early Light, On the Beach, The Bedford Incident, Fail Safe and Miracle Mile. Looking back from today, they might vary in quality but they share a [...]

2012-08-24T17:22:46-04:00August 24, 2012|Columnist, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

Culture matters

Culture matters. I would carve these words on stone slabs and hand deliver them to every conservative and pro-life organization in the English-speaking world if I thought that it would make a difference, but I’m no longer sure it will. We may, I fear, have absented ourselves from culture and the arts for so long that everything we do now is a [...]

The Hunger Games and teenage angst

When The Hunger Games opened in theatres this past March it was a sensation, earning over US$150 million in its first weekend and becoming the third highest-grossing opening weekend of all time. Dealers in hindsight told us we shouldn’t have been surprised – 17.5 million copies of the Suzanne Collins’ original young readers sci-fi novel had been sold in the U.S. by [...]

2012-06-26T17:37:05-04:00June 20, 2012|Columnist, Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|

The Way is pro-life, pro-people

As a purely anecdotal aside, I’d like to mention that few of the people I know who’ve walked the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrim trail that provides the setting for Emilio Estevez’ film The Way, were actually Catholic, or even appreciably Christian. The Camino has become, in an age of widened horizons but jaded palettes, a kind of extreme tourism destination, [...]

2012-04-23T12:12:57-04:00April 23, 2012|Movie Review, Rick McGinnis|
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