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Less Darkness, More Lessons in Fifth Harry Potter

In all the Harry Potter movies, witchcraft, wizardry, magic, spells and fleshly power look very appealing. The Order of the Phoenix stays away from some of the more overt dark images and teaches (whether intentionally or not) some interesting spiritual lessons.

Latest Bourne Offers an Uncomfortable Ultimatum

In The Bourne Ultimatum, the identity of Jason Bourne is, at last, resolved, while communicating an uncomfortable message about current events in the post-9/11 world: Those who “volunteer” to “kill the bad guys” are the victims of power-mad warmongers unconcerned about the humanity of their charges.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 11, 2007 |
  • comments
Fifth in Love's Series Shows Improvement

This is the fifth DVD in the popular Fox Faith series which all take place out West during the 19th century. With a new director on board, Love’s Unending Legacy is a major improvement over previous installments.

  • Annnabelle Robertson |
  • December 04, 2007 |
  • comments
Natural Collides with Artificial in Arctic Tale

With so much inherent drama, it’s surprising how artificial Arctic Tale feels. Impressively filmed but driven at times by tension that appears to have been created more in the editing room than by events that actually unfolded on camera, this nature film is a mixed bag.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • December 04, 2007 |
  • comments
Pirates 3 Goes Overboard with Confusing Plotlines

If you thought Pirates 2 was difficult to follow, you ain’t seen nothing yet. In fact, I’ve never been more in the dark about whose allegiance is with whom, and what in the world Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Davy Jones are actually trying to accomplish anyway.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 04, 2007 |
  • comments
Parenting, Priorities Get Comedic Due in The Nanny Diaries

Although lacking the whip-smart, satirical edge of the novel it’s adapted from, The Nanny Diaries is still a pleasant surprise. In fact, there’s even a few food-for-thought moments on priorities and parenting that aren’t even patronizing or particularly cloying. Imagine that.

  • Christa Banister |
  • December 04, 2007 |
  • comments
Waitress an Entertaining But Disturbing Slice of Life

Despite an engaging storyline and well-crafted performances all around, a particularly skewed worldview is what ultimately makes Waitress so disturbing to watch as a Christian.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 27, 2007 |
  • comments
Beauty, Heritage Span the Continents in Namesake

The Namesake, from Indian director Mira Nair, reminds us of a film axiom: Some of the best movies about the American experience have come from filmmakers born in other lands.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 27, 2007 |
  • comments
Hairspray Holds Up As a Solid Movie Musical

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a musical comedy make it to the big screen that was worth the trouble of heading out to the local cinema-plex. Yet easily the year’s most entertaining film thus far, the bright and cheerful Hairspray, gives us a reason to like musicals again.

  • Stephen McGarvey |
  • November 20, 2007 |
  • comments
Willis Shines in Frivolous Live Free or Die Hard

Proving that 50+ is apparently the new 30, Bruce Willis’ John McClane may be a dinosaur in the digital age; but he’s still got the killer instincts and witty comebacks in the face of many, many dangers in Live Free or Die Hard.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 20, 2007 |
  • comments
Santa Clause 3 an Okay Choice for Holiday Entertainment

The story has nothing to do with the Christ of Christmas, but rather extols an important - but way-secondary - theme of family. If you can look past that and just want a few good laughs with your kids, this is not a bad choice for holiday entertainment.

Rescue Dawn - Herzog’s Birthday Present to America

Opening July 4, Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn is a celebration of America and the spirit that motivates our servicemen. But like a great celebration that goes on a little too long, it has a few lulls, some uncomfortable silences and certain excesses.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 20, 2007 |
  • comments
Giants Predecessor an Inspiring, Worthy Effort

Flywheel is actually the first movie made by Kendrick and the now-famous team at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. “Facing the Giants,” their second cinematic effort, created an unprecedented stir as “the little Christian film that could.”

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 16, 2007 |
  • comments
Life-Changing Faith on Display in Amazing Grace

Besides being one of the most well-known hymns, Amazing Grace is also an amazing story - a reminder that believers are called to persevere through trials, and that we sometimes reap rewards in this life as well as the next.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 13, 2007 |
  • comments
Top-Notch Humor, Animation Mark Shrek the Third

With cleverly-written, well-voiced, all-star humor and impeccable animation, Shrek the Third is marred only by a few typical Hollywood worldview elements and some scatological humor.

Ocean's Thirteen and the "Enormity of Success"

Director Steven Soderbergh’s latest film is not an “enormity of success,” but it is disappointing. An outrage? Not really, but that’s the disappointing aspect of Ocean’s Thirteen: It’s hard to care about it much at all.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 13, 2007 |
  • comments
Clean Comedy Returns in Thou Shalt Laugh 2: The Deuce

Tired of filthy stand-up? Think Christians can’t have fun? Think again – and take a gander at Thou Shalt Laugh 2, the hilarious sequel to Thou Shalt Laugh, a top-selling comedy DVD released last year.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 12, 2007 |
  • comments
Ineffective and Corrupt Healthcare Exposed in Sicko

Michael Moore makes a devastating point with his newest movie. He shows us that the American healthcare system has become inaccessible, ineffective and frighteningly corrupt.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • November 09, 2007 |
  • comments
Ratatouille an Unexpected Delight for Kids and Adults

Armed with loads of life lessons (and thankfully, not presented in a cloying, heavy-handed manner) and a clever script, Ratatouille has all the right ingredients to delight—even if resourceful rats aren’t usually your speed.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 06, 2007 |
  • comments
Even Fruitcake More Enjoyable Than Deck the Halls

The hare-brained premise in Deck the Halls is neither heartwarming, particularly original, or funny - three essential components for a holiday comedy. To provide further insight into just how horrible it is, let’s just say it almost makes Christmas Vacation or A Christmas Story seem Oscar-worthy in comparison.

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 06, 2007 |
  • comments
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