Media Matters Archive
Amid the superhero movies and raunchy comedies, the Cineplex occasionally sneaks in a quiet, “inspired by a true story” film. Such is Belle, which is based on the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy admiral.Belle deals with the racism that existed then, and we view it with a self-righteous disdain for their backward ways. But it doesn’t confront us with our own racist structures today.
Director John Gray channels Russian novelist Dostoevsky’s ghost in his film The Immigrant. While the plot is relatively simple, the film is a portrayal of spiritual and psychological struggle.The story plays with clichés, like that of the innocent prostitute, but Cotillard’s performance and the screenplay mostly avoid this, so that the characters feel real.
My bother and I once asked my dad if we could watch a show on TV, and when we named the show, Dad thought it seemed like a reasonable request. I was probably six and my brother 10, and we couldn’t believe our luck, we could finally switch the channel from PBS. We retreated excitedly to the basement, turned on our 13-inch black-and-white TV and watched in awe as a green giant (or so we had heard he was green) busted up walls and wreaked havoc.Narration can certainly enhance a documentary, but Disney insists on obvious jokes and gags that […]
The Railway Man
Many of us take forgiveness for granted, accepting and offering it without much thought. But what if we faced a truly horrifying wound? Could we then forgive?The film ends up confronting our own lust for vengeance as we identify with this character.
Heaven is for Real
Heaven Is for Real is the fourth Bible-based/faith-based film this year to reach blockbuster status (the previous three were Son of God, Noah, and God’s Not Dead). The success of these films indicates that there is a huge evangelical Christian audience out there looking for films that will support their faith, promoting a belief in Jesus, God, or heaven. Of the four films, only Noah was not endorsed by evangelical leaders, but its high-profile actors, awesome special effects, and violent action scenes ensured a large mainstream audience.Todd’s crisis of faith is the film’s biggest strength, and Kinnear, who is perfectly […]
Topic RecordsIt is a treat to hear these traditional tunes preserved with such care.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Writer’s note: When Michelle Sinclair went on maternity leave we temporarily lost our blockbuster/sci fi/superhero stalwart. Michelle used to have the slot the week before me and my hunch is that she would have written about Captain America: Winter Soldier last week. So I’m channeling my inner Michelle this week on the latest Marvel Comic movie, and latest in the Avengers series.Walt Disney Company’s movie strategy these days is to scoop up well-known brands and release a movie from one of these entities every quarter. The company paid $4 billion for Lucasfilm, another $4 billion for the Marvel Cinematic Universe […]
As more and more films come out based on the “true stories” of people, we encounter the disconnect between appearance and reality and search for a nugget of truth we can take away.Watch such movies with the understanding that they cannot tell the whole story… and learn more of that story.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Despite limiting himself to a unique genre of quirky, intelligent, and surreal comedy dramas, Wes Anderson has become one of the best filmmakers of the 21st century. The Grand Budapest Hotel may be his greatest film yet and is by far my favorite film of 2014 thus far (though it’s early).“There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity.”