Category Archives: movies

New Janis Joplin documentary from PBS

I’ve watched only part of this 1.7-hour PBS documentary from the American Masters series, “Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue,” but I like it. And if you like La Joplin, watch it soon, as it will expire at the end of May, and then you can’t see it any more. It was aired, as noted below, on […]

“God is a Boob Man”: a nice parody

Thanks to several readers for sending me this clip from yesterday’s Saturday Night Live. It’s very clearly a parody of the risible movie “God’s Not Dead 2,” starring Melissa Joan Hart—famed in her previous life as Sabrina the Teenage Witch. To see the model, the trailer of GND2, click here. Even the lettering is the same. I don’t […]

The decline of good Hollywood movies

In my post on Stephen Fry, several readers took issue with my claim that Hollywood was being taken over by blockbuster action movies, usually connected with franchises, and that was a sign of declining standards. But the turn of Hollywood to reliably profitable “action” movies is a real phenomenon, and I recommend that readers have […]

De Niro pulls his anti-vaxxer film and explains why

As Greg and I posted yesterday, Robert De Niro pushed to have Andrew Wakefield’s new film, ““Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” included in the Tribeca Film Festival. He and his wife have an autistic child, which might explain why he was so gung-ho on showing a film that paints Wakefield as a hero and the […]

“Other ways of knowing”: Out of Africa

I’ve been in long-term “discussions” (a euphemism for “arguments”) with some people who claim that the humanities—in particular art, music, and literature—constitute “ways of knowing” that tell us facts about the universe either unattainable by science, unverifiable by science, or truths first revealed by literature and later verifiable by science. Often these arguments are made by […]

Trump rally features cringe-making “Freedom Kids”

Just to show you how low American politics have fallen, here’s a video of the “entertainment” during a Donald Tump Rally in Pensacola, Florida three days ago. Read a bit more about the “Freedom Kids” at Mother Jones. The tune, if you don’t recognize it, is “Over There” by American showman George M. Cohan, written to […]

Alan Rickman, 1946-2016

by Greg Mayer Alan Rickman, the accomplished British actor of stage and screen, has died of cancer at age 69, as reported by the BBC, the NY Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph, and other media outlets. We have lost two London-born luminaries in the span of a week. Tributes are pouring in from the many […]

Movie review: “Spotlight”

I’ve just seen the new movie “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe‘s coverage of the Catholic child-rape scandal in their city, and how their stories shed light on not only pervasive priestly pedophilia, but its coverup by the Church hierarchy. Their reporting eventually not only led to the criminal conviction of several priests, but brought down […]

Review: “45 Years”

SPOILER ALERT: Some plot revealed, but it doesn’t much matter for this movie. This isn’t a full review of the new movie “45 Years,” which I saw last weekend, but rather a brief summary and a very strong recommendation that you see it. Starring two wonderful actors, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, it’s based on […]

Dawkins has no objection to Church of England’s ad in movie theaters; I disagree

Yesterday I wrote about a one-minute ad, “Prayer is for everyone,” that the Church of England wanted to show in British cinemas. The commercial agency that handles ads for UK movies refused, saying that their policy banned the showing of religious or political ads in theaters. I agreed, for reversing that policy would turn theaters into venues for religious […]

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