The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance stands the test of time

The classic film takes an unusually nuanced look at the Old West. Heroes aren’t necessarily who you think they are

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance stands the test of timeJohn Ford was an Irish-American film director whose active career began in the silent era and extended into the 1960s. Along the way, he picked up four Academy Awards for best director. Immense talent notwithstanding, Ford had a dark side. He was, to put it mildly, a bully. You might call him a tyrant. Belittling…

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The wisdom of Star Wars

Trying implies eventually giving up but doing implies putting in the effort until the goal is achieved

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The wisdom of Star WarsStar Wars is one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. References to it are deeply embedded into our culture and the positive truths they bring to life can't be denied. This is most clearly expressed in the teachings of the Jedi, the mystical knights who bring peace and justice to the universe.…

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litter

The movie offers a fun-house-mirror examination of our souls and why we've allowed this kind of cultural plundering to go on for years

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litterCats the movie is worse than bad. It is offal. Its director, Tom Hooper, utterly guts the gentle soul of T.S. Eliot’s classic Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, from which the film is drawn. What’s been dropped at the paying public’s shoes is a cinematic blood sample so horrifying it could make Old Possum’s…

Truth always leads to healing

Though the story of Frozen 2 is a fairy tale, it contains many deep truths

Truth always leads to healingI have to admit I’m not a big fan of fiction and less a fan of blockbuster films. I prefer to know what actually happened and is happening in the world. Still, great fiction is great because it reveals deeper truths about humanity. My intention in seeing Frozen 2 during the opening weekend of its…

Wild Bunch showed True Grit in demythologizing the Old West

Fifty years ago, True Grit and The Wild Bunch opened in theatres. They were both westerns, but they were dramatically different in tone and intent

Wild Bunch showed True Grit in demythologizing the Old WestThe big stories from the summer of 1969 were Neil Armstrong’s moon walk and the counterculture music extravaganza at Woodstock, N.Y. But there were also two classic westerns. One was True Grit and the other was The Wild Bunch. In fact, they debuted within a week of each other. True Grit opened on June 11…

No clowning around: It fails Stephen King’s original

The gulf between facade and fact in the horror novel is wholly ignored in the film version that opened across North America on Friday

No clowning around: It fails Stephen King’s originalIt’s been more than 30 years since Stephen King’s 1986 novel IT first terrified an unsuspecting public and ushered in decades of prejudice against clowns of all shapes and sizes – many of them wholly innocent of mayhem and murder. It’s been nearly as long since the 1990 miniseries first brought the horrific and recurring…

Fool me once … the tough task of parsing truth from fiction

Pranks and tall tales snare the unsuspecting. And so many events of these past 12 months could pass as April Fool’s jokes, except they are – sadly – real

Fool me once … the tough task of parsing truth from fictionNEW YORK, N.Y. Mar. 26, 2017 /Troy Media/ – April Fool's Day will soon be upon us. Pranks and tall tales will snare the unsuspecting. And pity anyone waking from a year-long coma, for they’ll have a hard time separating real facts from the alternative variety. So many events of the past 12 months could…

Take that, millennials, your culture is already old

Millennials will recognize their time has passed when they realize their own children know Emma Watson better as Belle than as Hermione

Take that, millennials, your culture is already oldRED DEER, Alta. Feb. 22, 2017 /Troy Media/ – My university days go back to a time when almost all classes were taught by real, tenured professors, with real PhDs, and not sessional instructors working for the hourly wages of a fast-food cook while completing their doctorates. We were expected to disagree with our instructors…

Fading star power: Hollywood holds little sway in politics

Hillary Clinton enjoyed massive Hollywood and entertainment industry support, but still lost the November election

Fading star power: Hollywood holds little sway in politicsTORONTO, Ont. Jan. 20, 2017 /Troy Media/ – Contrary to the current reality, Hollywood hasn’t always been a monolithic fortress for liberal Democrats. Within living memory, it was more politically diverse. From the 1930s well into the 1970s, Republicans – including very conservative ones – were a vibrant presence in Hollywood. And that presence stretched over a…

Finding, within ourselves, the power to forgive

The new film Hidden Figures goes to the heart of racism in 1960s United States life and illuminates the path to justice through love

Finding, within ourselves, the power to forgiveOTTAWA, Ont. Jan. 17, 2017 /Troy Media/ – Visiting Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, I once overheard a black boy ask his mother: “Why were white people so bad to us?” The question was neither surprising nor unreasonable. The King Center’s detailing of racism’s history makes it a place – Yad Vashem…
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