Posts tagged "Mockingbird At The Movies"

Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash: A Parable of Stifling Perfection

Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash: A Parable of Stifling Perfection

[Mild spoilers follow.] As a writer, I’ve found, you’re always searching for material. A friend’s talking to you about a bad breakup, years of religious doubt and self-recrimination for doubting, a car wreck, DUI, or lost job. Suddenly, once an insight seems to hit you – or even a situation with a certain intellectual appeal – the ideas become all, and their textures, contexts, and the unfortunate people living in them become pared back, leaving you with what feels like the beginnings of a great article, essay, even poem. The real world fades away, and all you’re left with, all you…

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Jogarza and the Only Left-Handed Catcher (Ever): Netflix’s Battered Bastards of Baseball

Jogarza and the Only Left-Handed Catcher (Ever): Netflix’s Battered Bastards of Baseball

A look into the new Netflix documentary on the scrappy, beer-belching, independent pro baseball team, Portland’s Mavericks, and the joke they pulled on Major League Baseball.

Mining Netflix: The Common Mess of a Punch-Drunk Love

Mining Netflix: The Common Mess of a Punch-Drunk Love

(For the optimal reading experience, listen to the film’s soundtrack on Spotify while reading.) 

The phantasmal kid films of the mid to late 1990’s functioned as educational catechisms for my comprehension of cinematic storytelling. And make no mistake, the 90’s were a golden age for children’s movies. With the birth of Pixar in ‘95 and the far too premature peak of Nickelodeon Movies in the latter part of the decade, there surely was never a better time for school to be in session. There was, however, one common denominator, shared by nearly all children’s films, that severely irked me: the obligatory…

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Mining Netflix: A Baller’s Sanctification in Linsanity

Mining Netflix: A Baller’s Sanctification in Linsanity

You didn’t have to be a basketball fan to know what “Linsanity” was in 2012, you just needed a pulse. When an athlete like Jeremy Lin surfaces, the whole world can’t help but oogle for a minute or two. Jeremy Lin, undoubtedly, earned the rights to that cagey nickname because, plainly, “insanity” was the only way to describe the speed of light metamorphosis that reshaped his NBA career.

As a member of the globally renowned New York Knicks, Lin reached a Rudy-like prestige, only unlike Rudy, Lin was actually good. Jeremy’s openness about his faith was a proverbial cherry atop his…

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Everything Is Awesome: Grace in The LEGO Movie

Everything Is Awesome: Grace in The LEGO Movie

Some thoughts on grace and the new LEGO movie come from Michael Belote, author of the wonderful reboot:Christianity blog and author of Rise of the Time Lords, doubtless the best (review here) geeky intro to Christian doctrine available.

Something weird is happening in Hollywood. Just four months ago, the world was introduced to Frozen, a children’s movie chock-full of theological nuance. As I wrote at the time, I felt like this was the best religious movie in years, and figured it would be quite a while until I saw something similar.

Boy was I wrong.

A few weeks ago, I took my sons (who are…

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Mining Netflix: Love Is Kind of Like Crazy

Mining Netflix: Love Is Kind of Like Crazy

This one comes to us from Netflix aficionado/guru Joe Nooft:

It’s over. The carnage is finished. Some blood may have been shed, but we made it; we survived. Yes, Valentine’s Day came and went. Your sentiment to its 362 day hibernation probably banks on your personal Facebook status, or maybe the functionality of your love life. Depending on your relational footing, last week may have been on the receiving end of a stubborn battering ram armed with personal complaints, all strategically targeting last Friday’s holiday. Or perhaps you drowned last week in an overflow of pastel colored, heart shaped candies, tattooed…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Reflections on Life of Pi

Mockingbird at the Movies: Reflections on Life of Pi

“When every link is a separation, when we understand our communicating with God to be scratches on a wall, the complexity of life does not have to be evaded; we do not cease to wonder and wander, but merely are assured our wondering and wandering are not futile.”

-Matthew Sitman, on Christian Wiman

The Life of Pi struck me at first as a shallow film, with a couple of aphorisms about religion (a house with “room for doubt on every floor”), a movie that excelled in some areas – with four well-deserved Oscars – but something without as much depth as it tries…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Warm Bodies

Mockingbird at the Movies: Warm Bodies

By my own count, there are precisely three films in the underrated genre of Zombie Romantic Comedies, or RomZomComs, if you will. The first was 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, a cult classic where the zombie apocalypse was the occasion in which mid-life crisis Shaun steps up  to win back his ex-girlfriend. The second is 2009’s Zombieland, where anti-social, nerdy germophobe Columbus thrives in the zombie apocalypse by teaming up with a crew of misfit survivors, one of whom quickly becomes his love interest.   The third, and probably not the last, is this year’s Warm Bodies, which does the…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: The Master

Mockingbird at the Movies: The Master

Spoiler Alert! Perhaps you have seen the trailer (theatrical version, above) wherein, to the beat of Joaquin Phoenix’s fist against a window, face down, you hear the voiceover of Lancaster Dodd (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) reading from his own book:

“Man is not an animal. We are not a part of the animal kingdom. We sit far above that crowd, perched as spirits, not beasts…I’ve unlocked, and discovered, the secret to living in these bodies we now hold.”

It has already been said that Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is only loosely derived from Scientology’s creator, L. Ron Hubbard, that Hoffman’s…

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The Dark Knight Dies and Rises: Sacrifice and Freedom in Gotham

The Dark Knight Dies and Rises: Sacrifice and Freedom in Gotham

[Spoiler Alert – those who haven’t seen it, run don’t walk…it’s fantastic!]

“All their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest.”   -Ecclesiastes 2:23

“Put your sword back in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”   -Matthew 26.52

Nolan has now traced the Dark Knight’s journey from streetfighter to hero, from hero to villain, and from villain to…recluse. Wayne has died to the world and only holds on to the shadow-life of mourning for Rachel, and Alfred drops more than a few hints that…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: The American Bondage of an Easy Rider

Mockingbird at the Movies: The American Bondage of an Easy Rider

Flow, river, flow
Let your waters wash down
Take me from this road
To some other town

It is a disservice to lump Easy Rider into the slews of “counterculture” or “indie” filmscapes of the late 1960s and early 70s. It’s not that these descriptors aren’t accurate–both are quite true–or that it wasn’t a hippie-handed film, standing against those “scissor-happy, beautify America” typesetters that George Hanson (Jack Nicholson) could still so aptly classify. What makes it different, though, and thus limited by such descriptors, is that it so inclusively sups with the whole (“All walks of life!”) far too…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Take Shelter from Thyself

Mockingbird at the Movies: Take Shelter from Thyself

Premonition
Take Shelter at MOVIECLIPS.com

 

Premonitions of a storm coming, a storm that turns your loved ones into something they are not–strangers dangerous, poisoned, violent. The storm comes and things are taken–the life you’ve known is under alarming arrest–and your power to resist it is futile. The storm stands in your window and stares at your children, it surreal, god-like lifts your home and all that is within it, it rips from you the order you’ve had in control up to this point and gives you the life of Job–a storm-squalled widower made widower by a private act of God.

Well, it’s easy…

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