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Denzel Washington is a Man on a Mission in The Book of Eli

For Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, the son of a Pentecostal minister of 50 years, the opportunity to play a faith-filled character was something close to his heart, especially since one of The Book of Eli's prevalent themes is that "God is love."

  • Christa Banister |
  • January 14, 2010 |
  • comments
Songs, Silliness and Greater Stakes Characterize The Chipmunks' Squeakquel

Even with pop music at the center of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, the filmmakers behind the second big-screen installment of Alvin and the Chipmunks kept the cultural references to a minimum and chose to make a family flick that's really all about the kids.

  • Christa A. Banister |
  • December 22, 2009 |
  • comments
Flirting with Danger: New Moon's Victim Stereotype

Do we really want to be presenting what looks like a classic abuse victim as a role model for young girls?

'A Christmas Carol': The Joy of Second Chances

The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser who is transformed by a ghostly intervention into a good and generous man on Christmas Eve, is one that never seems to grow old.

For Funnyman Michael Jr., Comedy is Serious Business

Michael Jr. does what few others can—be featured on The Tonight Show one night and then take his stand-up routine to a church the next. Wherever he steps up to the microphone, audiences agree Michael Jr. knows what it takes to keep it clean while keeping the crowd in stitches.

Looking for God on The Road

The Road, author Cormac McCarthy’s next book to hit the big screen this month, was inspired by his relationship with his young son John, born when McCarthy was 65. The result is a stunning love story between a father and his son set against the most horrific backdrop imaginable.

  • Jay Swartzendruber |
  • November 23, 2009 |
  • comments
Believers Walk the Talk in The Blind Side

Will The Blind Side become the next Rudy? With the highly anticipated film hitting theaters November 20, mainstream media outlets are asking some good questions, but they may be overlooking the most significant one of all: Could this movie help change the way we view homeless children and how we approach adoption and foster care?

  • Jay Swartzendruber |
  • November 17, 2009 |
  • comments
Stage "Prairie" Lacks the Depth of Previous Incarnations

This week, I joined 2,000 others in witnessing the newest variation on this century old story: Little House on the Prairie, The Musical. An Ingalls tale without Michael Landon. A history book without a soul. This time, there were very few tears.

2012: Anxiously Awaiting Doomsday

December 21, 2012, is the last day listed on what is known as the Mayan "long count calendar." That calendar marks what the Maya -- a now non-existent civilization -- regarded as the end of the present cycle of creation.

Holy Land Pilgrimage Goes Extreme in The Road Less Traveled

Filmmaker and archaeologist Brandon Trones hopes his extreme pilgrimage and the tangible effects of fasting he experienced become a life-changing lesson for viewers of The Road Less Traveled: Hunger for the Holy Land.

What Not to Watch

  • Dr. James Emery White |
  • September 30, 2009 |
  • comments
Douglas Beaumont: Can Anything Good Come from Hollywood?

When it comes to Hollywood’s latest offerings, most of us fight an inner battle between ethics and entertainment. Douglas M. Beaumont addresses this very issue in his new book, The Message Behind the Movie (Moody Press).

Art and Mission Collide in Co-Founder's Work

"My goal is to make films that inspire and move the spirit," says filmmaker and founder Kevin Downes. Two of his films, Six: The Mark Unleashed and Mercy Streets, have just released on DVD.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 21, 2009 |
  • comments
Wish Fulfillment Gets a Foodie Twist in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

A multi-layered story was developed to help bring the concept in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to life. And much like something the Pixar folks dream up, there’s plenty of thoughtful takeaway in this talk of wish fulfillment gone seriously awry.

  • Christs Banister |
  • September 16, 2009 |
  • comments
Hope Is Found in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself

With I Can Do Bad All By Myself, director Tyler Perry hopes that audiences will leave with a message of hope in the story of a nightclub singer named April, a couple of young delinquents, a handsome Mexican immigrant and of course, the reoccurring character Madea.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 11, 2009 |
  • comments
Deconstructing Mad Men: TV's Best Gender-Driven Drama

Since it’s beginning, AMC's heralded Mad Men series has provoked thought about gender issues of the early '60s, but has unpacked them in insightful and challenging ways. As viewers, we observe how relevant it all still is for us today.

Jim Caviezel Eschews Feel-Good Fare in The Stoning of Soraya M.

It's summer, but Jim Caviezel thinks now is actually the perfect time to shake things up at a theater near you with The Stoning of Soraya M.—a disturbing, heart-wrenching film that's the polar opposite of feel-good entertainment.

Father-Daughter Love Story Explored in Imagine That

In Imagine That, Eddie Murphy portrays a father looking for a clue on how to reconnect with his daughter. Just in time for Father's Day, this movie is a surprisingly nuanced look at the joys of fatherhood and the blessings of children.

An Unlikely Hero Lifts Disney Pixar's Up

Disney Pixar takes a bit of a risk with an unlikely hero in its newest release. A crabby old man, Carl is not the cute animal, beautiful princess, or fast machine we so often see in animated films. But Up still works on every level, in no small part because the character and the story are so unpredictable.

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