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"You can't measure the success of a [film] on how many tickets it sells. You can only measure it in how many hearts it changes." Hayao Miyazaki …more »»  
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What’s the deal here?

Have you ever had a blinding flash of clarity about a better life or a better world? A moment where you thought, “Hey, maybe there’s life before death”? It can change you, and it can start with a moment in a movie.

That’s what is about: finding life through film. Whether a film is old or new, we turn things around: We spend less time critiquing a film and more time asking if the film can critique us. With any film, we:

  • Focus first on how a film embodies the best in life — good, true, beautiful things — even if its filmcraft falls short.
  • Tone down (but don’t ignore) our critique of a film’s failings.
  • Allow a film to show ugly sides of life if, by doing so, it might help us see the best in life more clearly.

Why? Because life is better when the world’s a better place, and that starts with us. Whether on DVD or in a theater, we have a good time with film and we want movies to help us get better. Other bits you’ll find on the site:




A angle on film is about how we change from the inside out and how film can help us do that. It works like this:

Change from the inside out

  • Heart. On the inside, in our hearts, is who we really are. A film can show us the best things in life and move us toward loving them.
  • Beauty. Our hearts move with Beauty — good, true, pleasing things. A film can help us feel the joy of real Beauty or the pain of Beauty’s absence.
  • Love. As a film moves us toward Beauty, we can find and live love and relationship with those around us.

Be thoughtful about film

  • Find a film’s heart. Seeing a film, we want more than the fun of the moment. We also want the film’s heart to move us toward the best in life.
  • Take care with content. We see films that dive deep into ugly issues of this life, and thus show ugly things, but we don’t want to enjoy ugly content for its own sake.
  • Consider what to watch. We see a broad range of films, yet we aim to choose better films that enrich our lives with Beauty in the moment and that also help us get better.

I hope you’ll join us.

Randy Heffner
organizer


Talk about great films: The Big Kahuna (1999)

Before viewing talk
The Big Kahuna insightfully explores the nature of true concern for another individual in the context of friend-to-friend banter, interactions with coworkers, personal crisis, and ...more »»
After viewing talk
I came away from The Big Kahuna with a stronger desire to be sensitive enough to see another’s pain, to get to know them where they are, and to show … more »»
 
…more »»  

Reviews and stuff on other interesting film sites



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Like the boy that shares its name, the Harry Potter series stumbled from the gate, saddled not entirely unexpectedly with inexperience…

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
It is no secret that I disliked the first two Transformers films. In fact, I employ no hyperbole whatsoever in admitting that…

Larry Crowne
Several years ago, one of my dearest friends starred in a national CitiCard commercial in which a woman Feng shuis her house (the…

Cars 2
It was bound to happen. No one can keep a winning streak like that going forever. A 25-year perfect game isn’t exactly shabby.…

The Green Lantern
When I was young, I accidentally punched a hole in the side of our garage wall with a wayward snow shovel. Terrified at the implications…

Super 8
Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy…

X-Men: First Class
In a summer unfortunately glutted with superhero movies, every one an origins story, X-Men: First Class not only eclipses its…

The Tree of Life
Author’s Note: The following is less a standard film review and more a lengthy, deeply personal and impressionistic filmic examination. When…

Kung Fu Panda 2
Kung Fu Panda 2 is disappointing only because it is not the original Kung Fu Panda, a rare animated action-packed adventure that…

The Hangover: Part II
To dispense with a lengthy plot synopsis for The Hangover: Part II would be a profound waste of the time it would take me to write…

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Fan fiction is an awkward literary subset written not by the original creator of a given work, but rather by fans. Nearly always…

Bridesmaids
It is both artistically dishonest and embarrassingly naive to grant the status of “classic” to something only newly born.…

Priest
Priest is the sort of movie you walk into knowing full well its IQ is significantly less than the bucket of popcorn balanced in…

Thor
The problem with the current crop of superhero movies is that once you’ve exhausted the A-list (Superman, Spider-Man, Batman),…

Fast Five
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states roughly that there is a universal tendency for all things to progress from order to disorder.…

Updated: 15 Aug 2013, 06:00 UTC

 


Film Break: “John Carter”
My review of the new sci-fi blockbuster, John Carter, is posted at CT. I’ll happily go on record saying that this is a better…

Ten Favorite Films from 2011
Just in time for Oscar Week. I shan’t bore you with any Academy Award will win/should win talk– though you can make…

Film Break: “The Descendants”
My take on Alexander Payne’s quite good new movie, The Descendants, is now up. Between this one, The Muppets, and, I expect,…

Film Break: This Year’s Favorites
I have seen fewer movies this year than in any previous year that I can remember. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in film,…

Film Break: “Tower Heist”
Silly, but not at all unpleasant.…

Film Break: “The Three Musketeers”
File this one under Morbid Curiosities, I suppose, but my review of the new Three Musketeers movie is posted at CT. You can pretty…

Film Break: “The Ides of March”
A rare interlude for film this morning– and a mighty good one, at that. George Clooney’s The Ides of March is riveting,…

Film Break: “Cars 2″
I reviewed the latest from Team Pixar for CT; you can read my take here. Wish I could say that Cars 2 was yet another addition…

Film Break: “Rejoice and Shout”
Rejoice and Shout is a terrific new documentary– out in limited release today– that functions as a sort of whirlwind…

Film Break: “Hanna”
My review of Joe Wright’s new movie Hanna is posted at CT Movies. I’m afraid the visual stylishness of this one wasn’t…

Updated: 18 Apr 2014, 14:00 UTC