Of all the times for me to go to bed early on Oscar night.
I’m sure you’ve witnessed the envelope rip heard around the world, but just in case you haven’t:
So, yeah, if you’re having a rough Monday morning, just take heart: at least you didn’t produce last night’s Academy Awards.
Here are a few belated thoughts:
First off, I’m elated at “Moonlight’s” win for best picture. I never boarded the “La La Land” hate wagon; indeed, the film was one of my favorites last year. But I saw “Moonlight” after..

This week, it was announced that Family Christian Stores — one of the world’s largest Christian retailers — will close all 240 of its stores. This isn’t really shocking; Family Christian had gone through bankruptcy a few years back. But it will have an impact; more than 3,000 employees are going to lose their jobs as the stores shutter and Christian culture loses one of its largest and most diverse suppliers of books, music and trinkets.
Granted, this is just the nature of the beast these days. ..

The apathy I’m feeling toward Sunday’s Oscar ceremony is very strange.
I’ve written before about my fondness for the Academy Awards. Where most people groan about the Oscars’ penchant for pretension and self-seriousness, I simply love that there’s one night a year where the entire country celebrates movies. Moviegoers tend to award mediocrity so often that it genuinely excites me that we spend a month discussing films often ignored by the mainstream. Sure, if you want you can cringe that audienc..

I’ve seen several movies begin with a car chase. “John Wick: Chapter Two” is the only movie I’ve seen begin with a car fight.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is the former contract killer who sought revenge on the criminals who killed his puppy and stole his car in 2014’s sleeper hit. He ended that film with a new dog; as the sequel opens, he’s returning for the car.
As a mob boss (Peter Stormare) panics about Wick’s impending return, the title character stalks through a warehouse like a slasher, takin..

See, Zach Snyder? Batman can be fun.
Since Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” plunged the Caped Crusader into morally dubious territory in the 1980s, Batman has been defined by a grim aesthetic. Tim Burton made him a tortured weirdo; Chris Nolan a grounded-but-haunted vigilante. “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” depicted him as an angry dudebro, branding his symbol into thugs’ flesh and trying to kill Superman. He’s become pretty one-note.
Sure, Batman’s always been a character that op..

In light of the unprecedented times we’re living in and the national turmoil surrounding us, I’m embarking on a semi-regular project called Movies We Need. As a believer that cinema can encourage action, restore hope and generate empathy, these are films that I believe speak to our times.
Movie: All the President’s Men (1976)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Availability: Streaming on HBO Now/Go, available for rental on Google/ITunes, and on DVD/Blu-Ray
You guys are about to write a story that says the..

Hey everyone,
Not going to lie: it’s been a week. Work, school and home life have been busy, and the general insanity of our world right now has really robbed me of a lot of energy and will to write.
It’s a shame, because I have some really good stuff on deck for you. One new series I want to write and one Oscar-related miniseries of articles, and I’m hoping that starting this weekend those will start posting. And in the weeks ahead I’m going to really be jumping into the reviewing pool again ha..

Itching to see The Shack — or at least to get a taste of it before it comes out five weeks from now? Well, maybe this will tide you over: the powers that be have released two new songs from the film’s soundtrack, one of which even has a music video.
Here is the video, for a new acoustic version of Skillet’s ‘Stars’:

The studio has also released the full version of ‘Keep Your Eyes on Me’, which is sung by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and has previously been heard in the trailers.
Here is a Spotify ..

Photo by Amanda Slater, Flickr. C.C. Licensing.
Season two of “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) on the National Geographic Channel. Once again, I’m writing about it here each week from a Christian perspective as a preview. This post is about episode three, the season finale, “Proof of God.”
In the final episode of “The Story of God’s” second season, Morgan Freeman travels the world speaking to people who believe they’ve experienced proof — often tang..

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For most of the Academy’s history, the award for Best Picture has gone to a fairly big box-office hit, a film that appealed to the vast majority of moviegoers everywhere.
That all changed in 2005, when the prize went to Crash, the first Best Picture winner in my lifetime that was not one of the Top 25 box-office hits in the year of its release. In fact, Crash, which grossed only $54.6 million, ranked way, way ..