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Houston Baptist University | January 19, 2022

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Essays & Film Reviews

The Cinema of Capra, Part 1: Pride & Humility

May 16, 2015 | “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” This excerpt from the book of James could very well describe any Frank Capra movie. Humility is a strong theme running through the moral center of each of his films. Capra’s own life story recalls the many times he himself was humbled. Growing up as a poor immigrant, he determined at a young age that an education was the way out of poverty...

LEGO, Devo, and Mass-Produced Humanity: The LEGO Movie

February 25, 2014 |

Anyone who has ever gotten a LEGO set knows that when you first pull the pieces out of the box, you have two options: You can follow the instructions or you can build something else entirely. …

Best Films of 2013

January 17, 2014 | 1

Below, Clint Cullum offers his picks for the top ten films of 2013. You can find his list for 2012 here. Also, check out Joshua Sikora’s new review of Gravity, his favorite film of

Gravity: The Best Film of 2013

January 17, 2014 |

Gravity is a film not to be missed on the big-screen. It’s even one of those rare films that truly benefits from the 3D experience. Gearing up for awards season, Gravity is back in theaters for

Troubled Angels: Neil Blomkamp’s Elysium

August 10, 2013 |

To be healed is a powerful motivation. In his short play, The Angel That Troubled the Waters, Thornton Wilder brings a startling clarity to the tension between the desire for healing and the knowledge that …

Fruitvale Station and Oscar Grant

July 19, 2013 |

From Craig Detweiler’s review, Fruitvale Station, Oscar, and Us 

There has been plenty of heat generated by the jury’s verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. I have read so many heartfelt responses and blog posts in …

This is Not the Lone Ranger You’re Looking For

July 8, 2013 |

The Lone Ranger opens on the unfinished Golden Gate Bridge and pans to a floating red balloon, then to the child seated in a Ferris wheel, arms reaching for the toy. A woman in silhouette beside …

The New World

July 3, 2013 |

That Terrence Malick is an enigma need not be overstated. Much has been made and speculated over regarding the director’s almost J.D. Saliger-like reclusiveness and the notoriously mysterious twenty year gap between his second and third …

Much Acclaim About Almost Nothing

June 19, 2013 |

Much Ado About Nothing is easy bait for would-be Shakespeareans. The low-hanging fruit of the comedies, it is the most translatable to a modern audience because of the simplicity of its plot and characters. In some …

Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel

June 14, 2013 |

Steven Greydanus at NCR reviews Zack Snyder’s new Superman film:

In the gritty, desaturated world of modern action blockbusters, it seems there’s no place for bright primary colors of wonder and awe. The screenplay gestures toward …