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Something Old, Something New, by Reed Lackey

28 Feb

AmberandClayOnSteps

One of my biggest criticisms of the genre known as the “Christian film” is that the films too often feel reactionary. Rather than being created from a desire to tell a good story and tell it well, many films in the “Christian” genre are responding to a specific cultural condition with a specific message and an undeniable agenda.

The latest film to fall into this category is Old Fashioned, written and directed by Rik Swartzwelder, who also stars as the lead role opposite Elizabeth Roberts. The film centers around a couple whose romance is more akin to “courtship” than dating and was specifically marketed as the Evangelical response to 50 Shades of Grey. I should be upfront about the fact that I wasn’t expecting much from it.

But the marketing campaign was probably a disservice to the film because what I saw offered me a few surprises, which not only endeared it to me as a positive entry in the “Christian film” genre, but also gave me some glimmers of hope for where that genre might be headed.

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For Mr. Nimoy, by Reed Lackey

27 Feb

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For most of my life, and likely for all of the rest of it, I have been torn between whether I will be governed by my reason or by my emotions. I’m a critical thinker and a logical problem solver with a deductive-reasoning mindset. I’m also a highly sensitive and often emotionally vulnerable man.

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Episode 124: with special guest Reed Lackey

19 Feb

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In this episode, Tyler is joined by Reed Lackey to discuss 50 Shades of Grey, The Wicker Man, and discernment.

Puzzle Maker, by Reed Lackey

3 Feb

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Picture with me, for a moment, a machine. It has its own circuits, electrical impulses, and energy source. But this machine’s purpose extends beyond programmable functions to re-programmable functions. In other words, this machine can learn, can reason, and can deduce. It can evolve.

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Growing Up, by Reed Lackey

20 Jan

For about six months now, I’ve been trying to figure out what the big deal is about Boyhood. I had heard about the inventive filmmaking technique (segments filmed once a year for twelve years so that the actors age with the story), and that concept thrilled and fascinated me. I’ve enjoyed most of director Richard Linklater’s other works– particularly his Before trilogy of movies with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy– and the initial critical praise was overwhelmingly positive.

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Episode 117: The Conjuring

31 Oct

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In this episode, Tyler is joined by Reed Lackey to discuss James Wan’s The Conjuring and Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist.

EPISODE BREAKDOWN
00:00:44- Intro, Jim’s Seventh Favorite Film, Stonehearst Asylum
00:02:20- The Conjuring
01:07:10- Poltergeist
01:50:35- Episode wrap-up

We’re All Mad Here, by Reed Lackey

28 Oct

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Besides Stephen King, the name in literature most synonymous with the macabre and horror genre would have to be Edgar Allan Poe. And like King, Poe’s work has been siphoned for decades to fuel film adaptations, mostly in the 1960s by Roger Corman starring Vincent Price.

The latest adaptation from this notorious master of the grotesque is Stonehearst Asylum, directed by Brad Anderson. It boasts a notable cast, including Oscar winners Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine and a rich choice of source material in Poe’s story, “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.” If you are at all familiar with that story, then much of the film’s conceit will already be known to you, but since that story doesn’t involve a pendulum, a heart, or a raven, I’ll assume you haven’t read it.

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We Are Our Own, by Reed Lackey

7 Oct

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They used to tell me something about spiders when I was a kid—something they still say, actually: “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.” I never believed that for a second. Sure, I was a giant in their world, but they had the ability to hide and the speed and the fangs. They were venomous.

Something else “they” used to tell me growing up—whoever “they” happened to be—was not to be my own worst enemy in life. They meant, of course, that people have a tendency to sabotage the good things in their life, whether they do so intentionally or not. This idea is explored in both literal and metaphorical ways in Enemy, last year’s film by Denis Villeneuve starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

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The Aim of a Film, by Reed Lackey

3 Oct

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I’ve seen films that inspired me, challenged me, provoked me, entertained me, amused me, and bored me. All of these effects, except perhaps the last one, can specifically be intended by the filmmaker and I believe that a fully formed criticism should at least attempt to consider such intentions when evaluating whether or not the film works.

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A Shared Life, by Reed Lackey

12 Aug

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I was in my high school English class when I first learned about poetry from John Keating. I was working my first job at a video rental store when I witnessed Sean Maguire put Will Hunting on the right path in life. I was eleven years old when I first heard the Genie say, “You ain’t never had a friend like me!”

These names are just characters, like countless others in the world of fiction and film. But these particular names, along with so many others like Patch Adams, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Mork from Ork (nanu, nanu) were brought to life by the incomparable Robin Williams.

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