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Penguins Charm, Yet Again, in Surf’s Up

Unlike Happy Feet’s heavy-handed commentary on the environment and animal rights, the messages in Surf's Up are far less controversial: a lifelong dream often involves risk, winning isn’t everything and respect for elders (and mentors) is essential for success.

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 09, 2007 |
  • comments
Hungry Hearts Seek Solace in Reign Over Me

The characters in Reign Over Me do not look heavenward for help, but the movie’s joy is in its story of old friends reunited—in what that friendship means for one man’s ability to face reality, and for the other’s realization of the blessings he’s already been given.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 09, 2007 |
  • comments
28 Weeks Later: Return of the Moral Horror Movie?

Director Danny Boyle’s terrifying vision of societal decay and survival of the fittest reinvigorated the horror genre in 2003 with 28 Days Later. Now, its sequel, 28 Weeks Later, introduces a stronger family dynamic than its predecessor.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 09, 2007 |
  • comments
Storytelling Found Lacking in Jindabyne

The cinematography in Jindabyne is stunning—one of the highlights. But its portent undertones simply do not work. They detract from the storytelling. As a result, you can’t help feeling depressed after watching this film.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • October 04, 2007 |
  • comments
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer Falls Flat

With its amazing special effects, this sequel to the 2005 summer blockbuster looks like it should be a hit. Sadly, problems involving lack of chemistry, a poor story structure and a faulty worldview cause Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer to only fall flat.

1408 Checks in to Horror and Hopelessness

Should moviegoers check in to 1408? Only if you’re a little low on your claustrophobia, schizophrenia, acrophobia, and especially “blood-o-phobia.” Based on the Stephen King short story of the same name, the horror flick stars John Cusack as a skeptical author of two books on paranormal phenomena.

  • Lisa & Eric Rice |
  • October 02, 2007 |
  • comments
More Mediocre Viewing Found in The TV Set

The TV Set’s message is about the way that networks ruin good television. It also shows us how vapid that world truly is. As a result, the film isn’t bad—just mediocre. Kind of like what we see on television, actually.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • September 27, 2007 |
  • comments
Vulgarity Eclipses Humor in Knocked Up

Knocked Up has some great comic appeal. It has many endearing emotional moments. It even has an uplifting pro-life message. Unfortunately, you will have to stomach a mountain of obscenity to get to the good stuff.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • September 25, 2007 |
  • comments
Suspension of Disbelief Needed for Next

If you like Nicolas Cage, and if you’re into movies like Minority Report, The Lake House, and Memento - and you don’t mind engaging in a lot of “willing suspension of disbelief” - you’ll love Paramount’s new thriller, Next.

Stars Can’t Salvage a Long Evening at the Movies

Late in Evening, the protagonist, Ann (Vanessa Redgrave), is reunited on her deathbed with her old friend Lila (Meryl Streep). The opportunity to see two of the greatest actresses ever in the same scene should justify the price of admission. Save your money.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 25, 2007 |
  • comments
Flying Scotsman Spins a Truly Inspirational Tale

Kids will find loads of role models in The Flying Scotsman. With his can-do attitude about his illness as well as his willingness to follow all the rules of the sport, the true story of Graeme Obree is truly inspirational.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • September 21, 2007 |
  • comments
Gracie a Family Film All the Way Around

Gracie is a family film all the way around. Produced by—and starring—Elisabeth Shue and her brother Andrew, it was financed by their brother and directed by Elisabeth's husband. It’s also a project of fair quality that deserves significant discussion, particularly for Christian families with older teens.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • September 20, 2007 |
  • comments
Age Bests Beauty in Lucky You

Actors Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana have both recently made People magazine’s “most beautiful” list. But in Lucky You, it is the performance of their older, wiser co-star Robert Duvall that is the most beautiful by far.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 18, 2007 |
  • comments
We Are Marshall - Winning Is Everything. Or Is It?

We Are Marshall isn’t terrible, but it fails to measure up to the more effective sports movies of recent years. Considering the powerful true story that inspired the film, the movie’s lack of distinction is a little disappointing.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 18, 2007 |
  • comments
Marriage, Perseverance Propel Away from Her

In Away from Her, the depiction of a 44-year marriage devastated by the onset of a degenerative condition may be smart counterprogramming—especially for adults and older teens looking for a respite from the youth-oriented movies that dominate the screens each summer.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 11, 2007 |
  • comments
Stephanie Daley Takes a Hard Look at Teen Pregnancy

This film could have easily been melodramatic, which would have relegated it to an “After School Special.” Instead, Stephanie Daley offers an excellent character study and a glimpse into the world of teenage pregnancy—with a powerful message about why it should be avoided at all cost.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • September 07, 2007 |
  • comments
Lessons Are Learned the Crass Way in Georgia Rule

Georgia Rule is a super-heavy downer with a high cringe factor and a steady infusion of crassness and perversion. Yes, there are important lessons to be learned about relationships and generational patterns, but it’s not worth the ride to get there.

Hollywood Caters to Basest Instinct in Old Skool

Once again, Hollywood caters to its basest instinct with another uninspired, insulting and cheaply-made rip-off—Kickin’ It Old Skool. It’s Big meets The Bad News Bears (remake) meets a very bad skit from Saturday Night Live.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 31, 2007 |
  • comments
Laughs and Lewdness Make the Cut in Blades

With its over-the-top, absurd storyline, Blades of Glory offers plenty of one-liners that will likely become as memorable as the lines in Napoleon Dynamite. The downside? Perverted jokes, sexual allusions, references to or portrayals of drinking, drugs, smoking, and homosexuality, and a barrage of slapstick violence.

Ultimate Gift Poses Important Life Questions

What matters most in life? And what happens when we don’t appreciate the many gifts that life offers? These are the questions posed by FoxFaith's newest theatrical release, The Ultimate Gift.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • August 21, 2007 |
  • comments
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