If I had not watched Leprechaun with a drunk audience at the Chinese commemorating both its 25th anniversary and St. Patrick’s Day, I would have ran for the exits. This is an unbearably pathetic movie. It is quite amazing, really.



Love, Simon

love, simon

“You deserve everything you want”, a character tells the titular Simon (Nick Robinson) at one point, and just like that the prevalent mentality making waves across America has been perfectly encapsulated.

Christianity does not fly in contemporary Western culture not because of accusations of intolerance and bigotry; Christianity is lame because it tells us that no, we actually do not deserve everything our hearts desire.
Taking up our crosses and denying our pleasures for the sake of obedience is becoming increasingly more difficult in a culture in which everybody is entitled to do whatever they want.


I Can Only Imagine


If I am ever ashamed of my faith it will most likely be after watching a Christian movie. Why is it that this genre has not matured to the point where all those involved in the production realize that they should be sharing the gospel to the sick, not to the healthy? Why are the themes and the messages in their movies just basic reassurances of the most commonly known beliefs that most Christians already know?

This is why the greatest “Christian” movies are not explicitly Christian at all. Silence is a haunting examination of faith in the face of God’s notorious aloofness in times of trouble; Shame is a wrenching portrait of the corroding power of sin and our superhuman effort to try and cope with it.

To a believer these kinds of movies are reminders of the world we inhabit and the life we once lived, while at the same time being reaffirmations of our hope, for we accept without it we are truly lost.
For those without faith, these kinds of movies can work by showing them that there might be something beyond the visible in this world. Jesus might not spare you the suffering, but there’s no longer hopelessness in it. Everything makes just a bit more sense when, at the end of the road, weak and tired, you can talk to a God who loves you in a way that you can only imagine.


The Strangers: Prey at Night


Having had my encounter with Christ after the turbulent teens were behind, I still regret the attitudes, behaviors and general assholishness on display back then. While you could explain part of the rebel in me as rooted in a broken family dynamic, I must also take personal responsibility for my actions. This admission of guilt is tough to find in movies, where everybody is the hero of their own stories. And before you think that I must have walked into the wrong movie since I am talking about teenage angst in a post that should be about killer maniacs, let me assure you that no, I did watch a flick about insane deviants running around hacking people to death.

The main characters are teenagers, and while they are a living embodiment of a cliche, there’s also genuine emotion to them. They’re flawed and scared, but also capable of much good, even if it proves too little too late. That’s something I can definitely relate to.


Every Day

every day

Not just another generically painful YA adaptation, Every Day gets high marks for its intriguing premise alone: an entity that goes by the name of “A” wakes up in a different body every single day. A eventually falls hard for Rhiannon (Angourie Rice), and the story details their efforts to keep a relationship going when one of the partners in it is constantly changing looks, feels, colors and kissing game.

This being a young adult romance, there is but a superficial probing into what being trapped in somebody else’s body, sharing their memories and hurts, would mean to those involved with it. One cannot help but wonder what masters of mind-bending genre, think a Shane Carruth or a Charlie Kaufman, would do with such material.

Nevertheless, the movie possesses such a kind outlook on the world, reserving zero judgement for even the characters that most movies would label as villains, that it remains difficult not to smile throughout it all. Similarly, its conclusion is way more perceptive than movies of its ilk. While I would not watch this movie every day, I certainly would not mind seeing it again.



Darkest Hour


There’s a troubling fad sweeping through the Western world: an abnormal habit of tying everything up to politics. In almost every review I read of Darkest Hour, authors were either comparing Churchill to the sitting American president, or using his achievements as a springboard from which to attack his policies. I understand many social causes are very dear to people’s hearts, and politics is the one arena they believe they can use to enact change. But I don’t care for them in my movies. Let me just watch a solidly crafted picture of a story well told, politics be damned.




Alex Garland has crafted the greatest video game adaptation of all time. The world of Annihilation is the most immersive environment I have visited in a long time; it is also the most ominous. Every specimen in it, from the scattered patches of grass, to the neon coastline to the muddy lagoons, oozes hazard. You attach a controller to the screen and are suddenly playing an Earth-bound version of Doom.

I am only compelled to write at length regarding films that made me feel something; a brief glance at my post history will reveal that I write a mere sentence or two for each movie. This blog is not meant as a movie review site, but as a space in which I can expand on the feelings brought upon by the power of cinema. As such, films are not analyzed from a technical perspective, nor viewed through a political or social lens; they are lived in by emotions and my faith.

For two hours Annihilation trapped me in a world in which the unknown was more dangerous than even the massive deadly beasts roaming through the land. Unanswered questions and a sense of uncertainty are greater foes than the ones we stare in the face.
It is this intense sense of dread and mystery which has attached me so deeply to Annihilation. In an era in which Hollywood has to hold the audiences hand and lead them to the nicely tied in a bow ending in which good triumphs over evil, Alex Garland has provided a conclusion in which the answers only serve as springboards for more questions, for further prodding of every little thing that has preceded it. Such examination stimulates the intellect, invigorating the notion that cinema is truly the only thing that has the capacity to transport you to far away places, to challenge you, to question what it means to be human and what to do with the time we have left.

Are we going to continue sabotaging ourselves, as a character in the film notes is humanity’s favorite past time? In that case the arrival of foreign entities to destroy us must be welcome, for they cannot mess things up more than they already are. Or are we going to plow through adversity until we get the answers? And while the film posits that the end of the road may provide not the type of closure one was expecting, it does incites change. And as long as change is possible, life can carry on.