Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: film (page 3 of 10)

The Way (2010)

the-way-movie-poster-1Emilio Estevez’ The Way joins the ranks of other classic “journey” films (think Wizard of Oz).  Tom Avery (Martin Sheen) is an ophthalmologist, making a career in helping people see.  He and his son Daniel (Estevez) see the world differently. Life has changed after Tom’s wife dies. The relationship, we can gather, between Tom and Daniel has become a difficult one. Daniel decides to go to Europe to walk El Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), a walker’s trek that stretches across France into Spain. On his first day on the journey Daniel dies in bad weather. Tom, already lamenting that he hasn’t heard from his son, gets a call from the French police explaining the situation. And with that, Tom begins his own pilgrimage.

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Project Nim (2011)

In her early work with chimpanzees, Jane Goodall concluded that chimps represented all that is good about humanity. But as she continued her work, she witnessed an unbelievable amount of chimp-on-chimp violence. And she realized that chimps represented the bad aspects of humanity as well. They are, Goodall has stated many times, a lot more like us than we realize.

And that’s possibly why chimpanzees, and apes in general, fascinate us so much. Whether it’s the Planet of the Apes franchise, National Geographic-like TV specials, or even an episode of NBC’s Harry’s Law, we are fascinated with these animals and their human-like nature… as was behavioral psychologist Herbert Terrace of Columbia University in the 1970s.

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Noah’s Ark VeggieTales Style

This week Dreamworks Animation announced the newest VeggieTales movie: Noah’s Ark. This is the first Bible-themed VeggieTales production in more than four years. Emmy award-winning actor Wayne Brady (Let’s Make a Deal) and Christian singer, actress and radio host Jaci Velasquez star in this new feature. VeggieTales Noah’s Ark will be available on DVD and for digital download on March 3, 2015.

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J. Edgar (2011)

J._Edgar_PosterClint Eastwood is a brilliant filmmaker.  We know this.  Just take a look at Million Dollar Baby (2004) or his World War II films Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters From Iwo Jima (2006).  I had to remind myself of this fact throughout J. Edgar (2011).

Like Invictus (2009), this is a slow-paced film.  Eastwood is not in a hurry to get you somewhere.  But that’s part of Eastwood’s storytelling—getting you there—the journey.  This slow-paced storytelling makes you pay attention to the camera angles, the shades of light, the seemingly random inclusions in the camera shot, and so on.  We are hanging on through it all for the good parts.

As Eastwood weaves this tale through the shadows of Hoover’s complex life visually, I expected a juicy political drama.  That’s what I was waiting for.   Instead I got a tale about relationships.  A somewhat unexpected tale.

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Big Eyes (2014)

© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

Margaret Keane, the painter famously known for the big, oversized doe-like eyes of her subjects, is the subject of the new film, Big Eyes. Tim Burton, a Keane collector, directs Amy Adams as Margaret Keane, with the script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewksi (who collaborated with Burton on Ed Wood) tells this real-life story of truth buried under years of lies and deception.

After relocating to San Francisco, Margaret attempts to make a living as an artist. But, in the 1950’s San Francisco, she finds that it is difficult for a divorced, single-mother like herself to get a job, much less make it as an artist. Then, in a moment of serendipity, she meets Walter Keane as portrayed by Christoph Waltz.

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