God gives very few answers


Oh my God, where did this film go wrong? British native Peter Rodger’s documentary was advertised as a valiant attempt to define God in such a way that would pervade religious barriers and promote peace. The actual product, however, is a sloppy, cliché film by a novice director. Rodger and his two-man crew traveled to […]

Believe the hype: Sundance winner is a ‘Precious’ gem


When a small independent film achieves mainstream success through several festival wins and early critical praise, a tidal wave of backlash is almost inevitable. Usually, the innocent underdog is tossed on a pedestal so fast that Oscar purists are quick to call sabotage before the hype can smother anybody else. Slap the names Oprah Winfrey […]

New releases: This week’s DVDs in review


Up Rating: PG Length: 96 min. Now available When film critics and audiences alike believed no animated film could top the incredibly innovative and heartfelt WALL-E, Pixar Animation Studios upped the stakes — again — with Up, the colorful, slightly more mature tale of misanthropic 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner). A former balloon […]

Disney delivers a not-so-cheery ‘Christmas Carol’


The cinematic depection of old, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge — Charles Dickens’ very own Grinch — is hardly original material. A Christmas Carol has been adapted too many times to count. Every winter, dramatic renditions of the novella originally published in 1843 are enacted on stages worldwide. Allusions to the tale and comparisons to Scrooge are […]

Film uses science, not religion, to debate Darwin


With nothing but a projector screen and folding chairs, the tiny Embassy Auditorium of the Davidson Conference Center is a far cry from the 50-foot-high IMAX theater where Darwin’s Dilemma was originally scheduled to be screened. Even though the California Science Center recently backed out of its contract to host the film’s Los Angeles premiere, […]

Documentary becomes Jackson’s final curtain call


This is not a film about Michael Jackson’s life; his eccentricities and tribulations are never addressed. Neither is this film about his death; not once did it mention Jackson’s untimely end. This film is simply a compilation of segments of rehearsal footage for his then-upcoming concert, This Is It. And the film, more concert than […]

Ideologies collide in search for religious truths


Renowned author and self-described atheist Christopher Hitchens goes toe-to-toe with conservative evangelical pastor Douglas Wilson in a new documentary, Collision. The film tracks Hitchens and Wilson through a series of debates held across the United States as they debate the question: “Is Christianity good for the world?” Interspersed with grainy candid footage of the two […]