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As we approach Thanksgiving, and the weeks that seem to race towards Christmas, there’s plenty to be grateful to God for in our lives. Thanksgiving invites us to take time to consider all of our blessings. While some of us may be thrilled with the material things of life, many of us look around and realize that the most important things in life aren’t things at all. They’re our relationships. That’s our relationship with God in Christ Jesus, as well as our relationships with family, friends, and neighbors. Shortly after Thanksgiving, Christians begin another season of intentional reflection: the season of Advent. Since we’re giving thanks and taking time to celebrate all our relationships, let’s take a closer look at the one relationship that changed the world.
It looked like Disney Animation was dead in the water for a while there. Sure, Pixar has had the company’s back for almost two decades now. In terms of movies that were solely produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, though, it was a bit of a downhill spiral from “Pocahontas” in 1995 to “Chicken Little” in 2005. While there were some under appreciated gems in the mix like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” nothing took audiences by storm like “Beauty and the Beast” or “The Lion King” did.
Ever since it took home the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes (the festival’s top honor) in May, “Blue is the Warmest Color” has been heating up the conversation among film critics and aficionados alike.
In “About Time,” Rachel McAdams plays the wife of a man that can travel through time. No, this isn’t a sequel to “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” but its impossible not to make the comparison. There are a few key differences between the two movies, though. For starters, this film is less about the time traveler’s wife and more about the time traveler himself. “About Time” also has the benefit of being more charming than the other McAdams time traveling romance. As far as time-related romantic comedies go, however, it’s no “Groundhog Day.”
Ron Howard admits he was no racing aficionado when he set out to make the Formula One thriller “Rush,” chronicling the tense 1976 world championship battle between playboy James Hunt and calculating Niki Lauda.
Beholding the late James Gandolfini doing a lovely job in a change-of-pace role significantly intensifies the already funny/sad aspects of "Enough Said," an engaging comic romance set amid the minefields that imperil starting up mid-life relationships. The title notwithstanding, writer-director Nicole Holofcener's look at a 50-ish divorced mother with a daughter about to leave home is never at a loss for words, many of them quite amusing, making the film a leading contender for best girls' night movie of the season. For their part, men will enjoy watching Gandolfini in a relaxed, self-effacing, regular guy performance.
You don’t need to be buttoned-up to be the boss.
Tom Hanks didn’t know where the cameras were.
When an individual is passionate about a certain subject they will jump over as many hurdles as they can to be able to keep their passion alive.
"Mad Men" meets "The Artist" in "Populaire," a superbly crafted, finely acted but somewhat shallow retro rom-com about a young French secretary who, with the help of her highly persuasive boss, hammers her way to becoming one of the fastest typists on the planet.
The 1980s had New Kids on the Block; the '90s had the Backstreet Boys; and now boy bands are resurgent again with British group-of-the-moment One Direction, currently a chart-topping global pop phenom. While hardly a very incisive look at the band or its five individual singers — who are barely old enough to even have personal histories — Morgan Spurlock's documentary "One Direction: This Is Us" should score big with kids.
The outlaw romance "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" is a lyrical, sepia-toned folk tale, awash in 1970s filmmaking and the kind of stylized folksiness that pickling Brooklyn hipsters with handlebar mustaches will positively drool over.
A young adult fiction binge has broken out in "Mortal Instruments: City of Bones."
Even those of us who have yet to date and break up with John Mayer may find “Paradise Valley” unlikable. Kids are apt to spend some time with the humble tunes before moving on to more fulfilling relationships.
Experience the famous sing-alongs, dance moves and romance of this classic musical about the 1959 senior class' duck-tailed, hot-rodding "Burger Palace Boys" and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" in bobby socks and pedal pushers.
"Live in the moment." It's a pat piece of advice we all get at some point in our lives, usually when we're being anxious or obsessive about something we can't control.
On and off screen, it's been a bruising summer for Hollywood.
In a cluster of big-budget extravaganzas about superheroes, zombies, robots, monsters, and things that blow up, two little comedies about the magic of summer have stood out this season. One of these films is “The Kings of Summer,” perhaps the most overlooked picture of the year, thus far. The other film is “The Way, Way Back.” Both of these movies are humorous and identifiable with a familiar, yet eternally meaningful, message about growing up. “The Kings of Summer” and “The Way, Way Back” additionally seem to exist in timeless eras, mostly devoid of new-aged technology and modern references. There’s just one key difference between the two coming-of-age tales.
There’s no denying that Richard Donner set the bar for the “Superman” franchise with his 1978 film. The icy landscapes of Planet Krypton, John Williams’ vigorous musical score, Christopher Reeve’s iconic performance, every aspect of Donner’s movie remains definitive. Since then, most interpretations of Superman have either drawn inspiration from or paid homage to the original classic. One has to give director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan credit for taking “Man of Steel” in the complete opposite direction. Where Donner’s “Superman” was light, funny, and colorful, “Man of Steel” is dark, serious, and brooding. The film presents a vision of Superman that’s new and bold with a satisfying payoff.
If you grew up in the early 90s, you probably remember an animated feature from 20th Century Fox called “FernGully: The Last Rainforest.” It was the environmentally-conscious movie every 90s kid saw, and yet, nobody really liked. The film’s intentions might have been good, but even the youngest children seemed to find its blatant green message overly preachy. The fact that “FernGully” was lacking in any interesting characters or magic didn’t help. “Epic,” which was also coincidentally distributed by Fox, is a bit like “FernGully” if it had smarter, more imaginative filmmakers backing it. While it’s not a massive improvement, “Epic” is at least fun, energized, and subtle with its environmental themes.
On paper, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” is one of those movies that should have crashed and burned. A reboot of a beloved franchise with younger, lesser-known actors stepping into the shoes of an iconic cast of characters. The fact that Abrams went on record stating that he was never a huge “Star Trek” fan didn’t bode well either. Against all odds, though, Abrams not only produced a great “Star Trek” picture, but quite possibly the best “Star Trek” ever made. That’s right, even better than “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
It may be a “tale as old as time,” but "Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” will never feel old hat to generations of new children or eternal fans of romance and fairytales.
Cavemen — they're just like us! — or so "The Croods" seems to be saying with its familiar mix of generational clashes, coming-of-age milestones and generally relatable laughs.
Much like recent arthouse films “Weekend” and “Keep The Lights On,” “North Sea Texas” is a realistic portrait of gay life and romance – not the frequent clichés one may find on TV’s “Modern Family” or “The New Normal.” Adapted from the novel “This is Everlasting” by Flemish writer André Sollie, the film follows a young teen growing up along the Belgian coast as he falls in love with a neighborhood boy. Unlike the star-crossed lovers at the heart of “Brokeback Mountain,” this story luckily has a more hopeful ending for its burgeoning protagonist.
In recent years, there have been some really good Oscar hosts like Hugh Jackman, some acceptable hosts like John Stewart, some disappointing hosts like Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin, and some flat-out horrendous hosts like James Franco & Anne Hathaway. Despite the best efforts of some, none have come close to capturing the same wit, timing, and showmanship of reoccurring hosts like Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, or Billy Crystal. At the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony however, Seth MacFarlane of “Ted” and “Family Guy” emerged as the single most entertaining first-time Oscar host of the 21st century.