Carmen Andres Archive

The Crimes of Grindelwald

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November 27, 2018 Carmen Andres

It seems hard to believe, but J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World now spans two decades. The first Harry Potter novel was published in 1998, with the film adaptation premiering three years later. The last Potter film was released in 2011, ending our big screen journeys into that universe until the 2016 premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which launched the first of five—yes, five—planned spin-off films destined to push the Wizarding World well into its third decade. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up a year or so after the 2016 film. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who’s […]

A Star is Born

October 19, 2018 Carmen Andres

A Star is Born is a well-worn entry in film lexicons, with the fourth remake of the original 1937 film hitting theaters earlier this month. This latest version of the tragic love story—which Bradley Cooper produced, directed, shares screenwriting credit for and stars in—premiered to overwhelming critical acclaim and praise for everything from the performances and music to the screenplay and direction. Cooper’s A Star is Born is not only an outstanding remake worthy of its Oscar buzz, but also a thought-provoking exploration of the power of art, and revelation of self and truth through it. Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) […]

Peppermint

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September 21, 2018 Carmen Andres

  I was a huge fan of Alias, a television series that ran in the early 2000s starring Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow, an international spy recruited out of college who is highly skilled in spy craft and self-defense. The series was well crafted with complex characters, moral dilemmas and twisting plots, receiving numerous awards and nominations. And, personally, I enjoyed seeing a strong female character as the lead in the action genre. So I was thrilled when I heard that Garner, now 46 and a mother of three, was returning to what looked like a similar role in Peppermint, […]

Incredibles 2

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July 6, 2018 Carmen Andres

When The Incredibles came out, our daughter was five years old and our son had just been born. The film instantly became a family favorite, and the DVD was one of our most viewed. Fifteen years later, with a daughter home from college and a teenage son now in high school, Incredibles 2 was designated a must-happen family event—and we weren’t disappointed. Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first one left off, in the middle of the battle between the superheroes and Underminer, who gets away and leaves Metroville with a lot of collateral damage—something the politicians and media […]

Solo: A Star Wars Story

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June 8, 2018 Carmen Andres

By: Carmen Andres I can barely remember my life without Star Wars. As a kid, I daydreamed about using Jedi powers to do everything from my chores to defending the galaxy. As an adult, when the prequels started coming out, I secured opening night tickets for my husband and myself each time. When our own children got old enough to watch the films, we treated it like a rite of passage—and each new film that comes out is a family event. Solo: A Star Wars Story comes closest to the fun and adventurous feel of the original trilogy—something I didn’t […]

Captain America: Civil War

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May 20, 2016 Carmen Andres

Comic book movies are a big deal at my house. My son’s birthday conveniently falls near the early May release dates of many of the Avenger films, so I often see the movies with a group of my son’s friends, who are avid young fans. It is the internal struggles of the heroes, villains, and even the minor characters that resonate most in this film. Not that I mind. I love comic book films, too—and I’m obviously not alone. But it’s not just the blockbuster nature of the films that attracts audiences. Like all good stories, we are drawn to […]

Miracles from Heaven

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April 22, 2016 Carmen Andres

Good films, like all good stories, tell us something about ourselves and the world around us, and the best stories challenge and inspire us. You might think Christian films would be at the top of my list in this regard, but generally they’re not. From their low production quality to poor storytelling and character development, these films leave me more frustrated than inspired. But the film’s best moments are those without words, especially at pivotal points in Christy’s faith journey. Over the last few years, faith-based films have seen an infusion of Hollywood studios, star power, and directors. Unfortunately, most […]

Young Messiah

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March 18, 2016 Carmen Andres

Bible films have experienced a resurgence in the last decade or so, and last weekend The Young Messiah joined the ranks. Based on Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by bestselling author Anne Rice (which she wrote after her return to Catholicism), the film explores one year in the life of a seven-year-old Jesus as he and his family return from Egypt to Nazareth. To remember that Jesus grew up—and eventually taught the way of the kingdom—in such a volatile place and time strips away some of the Sunday school storybook sheen and fleshes out the Gospels in a fresh […]

Bridge of Spies

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February 19, 2016 Carmen Andres

[This review may contain spoilers] The Oscar-nominated Bridge of Spies is an inspiring story and a great piece of filmmaking. Critics praise the collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, calling the film gripping, satisfying, and even eloquent. It is a timely story that invites us to examine our own roles in our current culture, where fears of terrorism too often drive opinion and policy. But the heart of the film is Hanks’s James B. Donovan, a man of quiet tenacity and compassion who believes in the value of the Constitution and that “every person matters”—even an enemy. The Cold War […]

Creed

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January 22, 2016 Carmen Andres

I grew up watching the Rocky films, so after Sylvester Stallone received a Golden Globe for his performance in Creed, I thought it about time to see that one too. Like Mary Anne, Johnson, and Rocky, we are a family of adopted and wounded brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, mothers and fathers bonded by a sacrificial love. Since it had been decades since I’d seen the first film, I decided to watch Rocky first. Rocky, which won Best Picture, was written by Stallone, who also was nominated for his portrayal of the blue-collar boxer who holds his own in […]

About The Author

Carmen Andres

Carmen Andres is a writer and media consultant who also blogs about faith and culture at In the Open Space: God and Culture (intheopen.blogspot.com). She is a former editor of the Mennonite Brethren magazine, Christian Leader.

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