Archive for the ‘ Newman ’ Category

Letters to God – Christians Should Vote with their Wallets

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

This Friday an amazing thing is going to happen. The kind of movie that evangelicals loudly claim to want is coming to a theater near you. Letters to God — a film directed by one of the producers of Fireproof — is a family drama about Tyler, a young boy who literally writes, and mails, letters to God. In the letters, Tyler speaks to God as a close friend in a way that recognizes that he may meet his Maker before too long. Tyler has cancer.

As you can imagine, the U.S. Postal Service does not have a lot of luck getting Tyler’s mail to God, so the task falls upon a troubled mail carrier, Brady, to deal with the letters. (more…)

An Interview with Nicholas Sparks

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

Romance, Tragedy, and Responding to the Gifting of God

Romantic tragedy continues to be a strong draw at the bookstore and the box office. Nicholas Sparks, author of numerous best-sellers, including The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Dear John, and his latest The Last Song, is one of the top writers in this genre. On a sunny afternoon in Santa Monica, Sparks and I sat down to talk about his first screenplay for The Last Song (in theaters March 31), his thoughts about writing from a Christian perspective, and how Christians should respond to God’s call to the arts. (more…)

War And Redemption Reign At The Academy Awards

Monday, March 8th, 2010

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

James Cameron will have to console himself with the over $2.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts that his film, Avatar, has raked in over the past few months (and more coming in daily). When it came time to hand out the Oscars at the end of the seemingly-eternal Academy Awards ceremony, Cameron’s neo-pagan/environmental vision was trounced in all the categories that focus on storytelling - though kudos are due to his technical crew who raised the bar on visual 3-D effects - though it didn’t take Tim Burton long to catch on as his opening weekend haul for Alice in Wonderland - another 3-D extravaganza - eclipsed that of Avatar. (more…)

Films To Look For in 2010

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

Once again, MovieMinistry rejects the backward-looking top ten lists. (Do you really need someone else’s opinion to determine which ten films you thought were best?) Instead, we look ahead, to try to help you to identify the upcoming films that appear to have some ministry potential. So if you use film for outreach, or if you are trying to find some movies that may have some great clips that represent teachable moments, this is our first take. (more…)

Committed to Character in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

“If hardcore Star Trek fans are called Trekkers, I guess our fans would be called Munkers.” Producer Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. was talking about the three generations of people who are devoted followers of furry little band members with high-pitched voices. Since their debut as a singing group in the 1950s, Alvin and the Chipmunks have starred in two television series – The Alvin Show in 1963, and Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1983. The Squeakquel is actually their third theatrical release, and if the blockbuster status of the 2007 film is any indication, Alvin’s third outing will likely be a monster hit. (more…)

Old Problems Arise in Twilight’s “New Moon”

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

I have a confession to make. I am not a tweenage girl. And some of them will take immediate offense that I am criticizing what many of them consider “the greatest love story of all time.” I know this because I was at the Thursday midnight screening of The Twilight Saga: New Moon and I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. With every haunted glance, every near-kiss, every desperate clinch, audible sighs erupted throughout the theater, sometimes drowning out the dialogue. When the film was over, I saw numerous young ladies dabbing at their eyes with popcorn napkins. It was really just too much. Really. (more…)

Living Faith Out Loud: Capturing Authentic Christians on Film in THE BLIND SIDE

Friday, November 20th, 2009

by Marc T. Newman [critic]

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy told me that they did not have script approval, and therefore had no control over how they were portrayed on screen in The Blind Side. The film is the story of how the Tuohys brought a troubled, homeless black teen, who could barely read, into their family. They gave him a bed, food, and love, and watched him mature into a dean’s list scholar at Ole Miss, and the finest collegiate left tackle in the nation. The young man was Michael Oher, who is currently playing his rookie season for the Baltimore Ravens. (more…)

God as a Convenient Falsehood in The Invention of Lying

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

No one watching the trailers for Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying would have any idea that the film is largely a thinly-veiled attack on the truth claims of monotheistic religion – one that mirrors Gervais’ personal beliefs (search YouTube for “Ricky Gervais religion” to view his musings). Instead, the unsuspecting moviegoer might think that it is a film about a world in which lying was impossible, (more…)

Telling Half the Story in The Informant!

Monday, September 21st, 2009

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

Hollywood likes to traffic in the seedy. Redemption stories only seem to appear when “redemption” means pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps. Studios have had a couple of great chances to talk about real redemption through biographies lately, but they are unwilling to rise to the occasion. In Walk the Line, the filmmakers focus on Johnny Cash as a free-wheeling hell raiser, but give only a tiny nod to the role played by the church in his redemption. It completely ignores his later life, when he turned to Christ and recorded some of the most haunting gospel music ever laid down. (more…)

Harry Potter and the Terrifying Order to Obey

Monday, July 27th, 2009

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by Marc T. Newman [critic]

Critics of the Harry Potter films have noted that Harry and his friends are often rewarded for lying and breaking the rules. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince should put such fears to rest. The Harry Potter books and films are not sequels – a new story coming along just because the first one sold well. They are, all together, a single story. Critics ought to be careful about making hard and fast claims before the entire story is in. The books are finished, but the films are still being crafted. And, as the characters now are on the verge of adulthood, they discover that actions that may have been winked at in the past begin to carry heavy consequences. (more…)