Miss Potter: The Life of Beatrix Potter and the Tale of Peter Rabbit

John ArmstrongFilm

The newly released DVD, Miss Potter, is a superb period-piece with a sterling lead performance by Renee Zellweger as the famous Beatrix Potter, the best-selling children’s author of all-time. I confess I actually like most period-piece movies, especially nineteenth century Victorian ones, and many younger people do not. Maybe it really is a generational thing, I’m not sure. It could … Read More

Life Is Beautiful

John ArmstrongFilm

The film Life is Beautiful won so many international awards that it became a modern classic almost overnight. First filmed in 1998 it originally appeared in American theaters only in Italian, with English subscripts. This is where I first saw it. This film had the most unique distinction of being nominated for both the best feature film and the best … Read More

Hunting for Justice

John ArmstrongFilm

Hunt for Justice is a cross between a documentary and a drama, what I suppose we have come to call a docudrama. It is the story of Canadian Judge Lois Arbour who was named Chief Prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunal which was charged with investigating the atrocities of “ethnic cleansing” in the Balkans. Arthur investigated the rape camps, … Read More

The White Countess

John ArmstrongFilm

The White Countess is the final collaborative film project of James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, two of the most remarkable visual story tellers of our era. This brilliantly told story is situated in Shanghai just prior to the Japanese invasion of World War II. Shanghai was a glamorous, corrupt boomtown filled with émigrés from many parts of the world. The … Read More

Two Inspiring Faith Films

John ArmstrongFilm

I recently watched two films (now on DVD) that were wonderfully inspirational. The first film was: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Pacifist and Nazi Resister (2003) The second was: Mother Teresa (2003). Both were worth the investment of my time. Bonhoeffer is the story of the German pastor/theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who died at the end of World War II as a martyr. He … Read More

A 24 Addiction?

John ArmstrongFilm

I reported several weeks ago that friends convinced me that I needed to watch the popular television series 24, starring Keifer Sutherland as agent Jack Bauer. I think they figured I was much too serious for my own good and that this venture would add a little pop-cultural advancement to my life. Well, it worked. I am not addicted, or … Read More

Freedom Writers

John ArmstrongFilm

The feature film "Freedom Writers" appeared on DVD this week. It stars two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank as a very young Long Beach (CA) high school teacher assigned to a freshman English class made up of students all destined to fail. The kids are African-American, Asian and Latino inner-city kids raised on drive-by shootings in a hard-core death-based culture. The … Read More

24

John ArmstrongFilm

OK, I broke down an decided to watch the popular television series 24. (I watch very little television, though I love movies of various sorts.) I have so many good friends who are avid viewers of 24, and when I call them they tell me to call back later when the show is over, that I became intrigued by the … Read More

Breach: The Shocking Story of a Double-Agent

John ArmstrongFilm

The wonderfully crafted docudrama Breach is both an entertaining and disturbing movie. It is the story of America’s most prominent double-agent spy, Robert Hanssen, who sold more priceless American secrets to the Soviets than any other agent ever convicted in U. S. history. Chris Cooper’s portrayal of Agent Hanssen is anything but humdrum. He chillingly takes the viewer into a … Read More

The Power of Amazing Grace

John ArmstrongFilm

Rarely have I seen a movie that moved me the way Amazing Grace did last evening. The new film, which opened across America on Friday, is the story of the life-long struggle of William Wilberforce to end slavery and reform British society in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The movie should compel Christians to understand how culture can … Read More