Stolen Lives (2009) If the people who make Hallmark television movies ever decided to spice things up with a lingering, forensic eye on dead bodies and a little Morena Baccarin porch humping, it might look something like this curiously lifeless crime drama, which really should have its own caution tape wrapped around it. (more…)
Keep the List Small, Please
Certain conversations are not allowed, nor are certain associations.
We don’t seek out the company of pathological liars. We don’t invite women who have a habit of hitting on married men to dinner parties. We don’t invite Holocaust deniers to speak on public platforms, (unless you’re Columbia University.) We (more…)
I suppose I make an odd culture warrior. I don’t fit the James Dobson brand. I hate the war on drugs, along with its serial abuses against the Bill of Rights. I don’t think the church talks enough about sex, and it certainly doesn’t do a very good job celebrating the sort of sex God intended. I love good (more…)
I have a weakness for movies about western couples who visit some exotic third world hell hole and wonder what in the world they were thinking when they planned the trip.
Moral of the story: stay away from Cambodia. This was extremely well executed, with incredible performances by Joel Edgerton (more…)
How I came to understand Christmas
Even as a child, I was attracted to university catalogs and course guides. It was a nerdy obsession, to be certain, but it promised such a rosy menu of options. Colleges had a way of wrapping up an entire lifetime for you, in gift paper: Take Economics (more…)
Doing the Dictators Proud
Here is what I still find startling about the entire GLAAD public communications manifesto: removing sexuality and religion from the discussion for a moment, the precedent of any group declaring a preemptive ban on criticism feels creepy and totalitarian. Imagine yourself unable to express, say, any negative opinion (more…)
“God Hates Rural Jackasses” Or…
A Few Thoughts on Pastor Michael Hiltzik’s Recent Sermon in the Los Angeles Times
If you never grew up in a religious community, you might not understand how religious you really are. Even if you claim to be a proud, free-sailing atheist, you do have a (more…)
The Market Place of Approved Ideas
A few of my friends are Phil Robertson scoffers, not because they disagree with his position on New Testament sexual morality, but because they feel certain the controversy was manufactured. A revelation of this sort makes the already shrill gay lobby scream bloody murder, and (more…)
In the summer of 2004, we took all the kids back East to see Boston, Concord, Gettysburg, Mt. Vernon, and Williamsburg.
One day, when we were out searching for a pizza place near Harvard, we walked past a crowd of young guys who didn’t quite know how to handle the prospect of such a large (more…)
Some films almost feel as though they deserve a workshop over a review, and Touchy Feely–with its invitation to participate in painfully awkward, claustrophobic family conversations and vast stretches of unexplained premise–certainly qualifies. You don’t wait 20 minutes to understand the story here. You get to wait forever.
Directed by Lynn Shelton, (more…)