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November 2006
Deja Vu Wades into Unfamiliar Waters

It's not a profound work, but Déjà Vu may be the first film from either director Tony Scott or producer Jerry Bruckheimer to demand a second viewing — not only because of the complicated plot, but because of the existential issues it raises about God, man and foreordination.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 22, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Realness Trumps Campiness in Casino Royale

Bond is back. In Casino Royale, the killings are overt, and Bond endures torture on the outside while showing an uncharacteristic vulnerability on the inside (when it comes to women). It's a new, gritty and real Bond – but is that what we really want?

 
Will Ferrell's Got a Flair for Drama in "Fiction"

Like Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show” and Adam Sandler in “Punch-Drunk Love,” funnyman Will Ferrell sets out to prove that he can be serious if the script calls for it, too, (take that Ron Burgundy!) in the whimsical tale “Stranger Than Fiction.”

  • Christa Banister |
  • November 17, 2006 |
  • comments
 
"A Good Year" More Humanistic Than Inspirational

With a very humanistic tone, "A Good Year" seems to imply that trading the fast life for a more leisurely pace is the big answer. And yet we know that that kind of existence - if it’s only about women and wine as it is in this film's scenario - is also empty in the end.

 
Laughs Aplenty, But Not Much Charm in "Flushed Away"

Many say kid flicks have gone straight into the toilet. “Flushed Away,” however, is not filled with “potty humor.” While the humor is dry at times, befitting its British origins, the movie also has a crass quality that feels all too American.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 10, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Little Children Inhabit a Land of the Lost

Little Children is the first movie of the fall to lay claim to awards consideration. The acting, is impeccable, and the direction is visually spot-on. However, the film includes explicit sexuality, images of online pornography and episodes of sexual disorder that go further than needed.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • November 03, 2006 |
  • 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.

October 2006
 
It's No Illusion: "The Prestige" Is Pure Magic

While recent film, “The Illusionist,” was rather slow-moving, maudlin and didn’t offer much payoff after all the tricks were done, “The Prestige” is a deliciously deceptive tale of revenge that keeps you mesmerized for more than two hours.

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 20, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Stars, Stripes and Cynicism on Display in “Flags”

A meditation on Pilate’s question, “What is truth?”, "Flags of Our Fathers" attempts to demythologize the moments we hold dear as a country - in this case, the image of five Marines and a Navy corpsman during World War II (1945) raising the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 20, 2006 |
  • comments
October 2006
Latest Esther Movie Inspires in "One Night With the King"

Since 1913, Hollywood has produced at least nine movies about the biblical Esther. But perhaps the most intriguing is the latest, "One Night With the King", which does a laudable job telling the timeless, inspiring story of a young girl’s bravery amidst treachery, scandal, and genocide.

 
No Votes Here for Robin Williams in "Man of the Year"

What if someone like Jon Stewart beat the odds and was elected president? "Man of the Year" provides that premise, but in order to work, the script would actually have to be funny, and trust me, this story is really short on laughs – even with Robin Williams in the starring role.

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 13, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Scorcese Displays His Heart of Darkness in "The Departed"

With “The Departed,” director Martin Scorcese's passion returns in spades. But the film is, like so many other Scorcese-directed works, overly long, terribly profane, brutally violent and extremely dark.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • October 13, 2006 |
  • comments
 
"Open Season" Gets Back to Nature With Amazing Animation

What fun my eleven-year-old son and I had at a recent screening for “Open Season.” We got to see the 3-D IMAX version of the movie with animation and effects that are simply breathtaking and amazing.

September 2006
Facing the Giants Scores a Touchdown for Faith-Based Films

While Facing the Giants isn't exactly breaking new ground in the sports drama sense, the faith element leaves you feeling inspired. And for a movie with a low budget and no recognizable Hollywood actors to speak of, that's a miracle in and of itself.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 29, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Kevin Costner Helps "The Guardian" Stay Above Water

Underneath all his steely gazes and rapid-fire commands, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Ben Randall is ultimately likeable and even noble in his intentions. Kevin Costner does a great job of displaying those nuances in "The Guardian."

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 29, 2006 |
  • comments
 
"Flyboys" Barely Gets off the Ground

In its desire to reach a broad audience, "Flyboys" intersperses action with romance, settling for clichés in both instances. The bland performances from a mostly undistinguished cast don’t help matters either.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 27, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Penn Dominates a Handsome "All the King's Men"

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 22, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Children Will Be Inspired by Christopher Reeves' "Hero"

"Everyone's Hero" was the dream of the late Christopher and Dana Reeves. Throughout the film, it is clear they wanted to inspire children to value little life experiences along the road so that, if handled properly, they can all help when life calls us up to bat.

 
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Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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