Lincoln on the Big Screen (4)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Film, History, Politics

When producer Steven Spielberg began to talk with script writer Tony Kushner about his project to do the first serious film on Abraham Lincoln in seventy years their ideas began to coalesce when Spielberg asked, “Why don’t we make a movie about passing the 13th Amendment?” So it is that the new “Lincoln” film came to be about only one … Read More

Lincoln on the Big Screen (3)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Film, History, Politics

The screenplay for the new “Lincoln” film was written by Tony Kushner (photo at left). Kushner began writing for the screen in 2000. He previously co-wrote the screenplay for “Munich” in 2005, a film also directed by Steven Spielberg. Kushner, who is a secular Jew, is widely known for his criticism of religious extremism in Israeli politics, which has created … Read More

Lincoln on the Big Screen (2)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Film, Politics

The famous English/American journalist Alistair Cooke (1908–2004), best known for his moving works like Letter from America and Alistair Cooke’s America, was one of the most devoted students of American history, and personal life in the states, in the twentieth century. Most of you will remember him as the host of Masterpiece Theater, from 1971 to 1992. “Letter from America” was … Read More

"Skyfall"–The Best Bond Film of All?

John ArmstrongFilm

“Skyfall,” the new James Bond film, is more realistic and believable than any Bond film I’ve seen. It is also much less cavalier in its attitude toward morality and womanizing than we have come to expect from the various Bond films. I actually liked it and recommend it, especially if you like action and espionage as much as I do. … Read More

Trouble with the Curve

John ArmstrongBaseball, Film

The new Clint Eastwood film Trouble with the Curve is much, much more than a baseball movie. It is really a character story with a baseball backdrop, much like the well-done book/film, Moneyball. In Trouble with the Curve an ailing baseball scout, Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood), is in his twilight years and living a hum-drum life. Through pressure from his … Read More

The Hunger Games Phenomenon

John ArmstrongCulture, Film

I do not often get into popular cultural movements, whether they involve films or books. In the case of the new popular movie, "The Hunger Games," I decided to see what the fuss was all about and went to see this hugely successful film the day it opened in theaters nationally. I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. I … Read More

War Horse: A Fine Film

John ArmstrongFilm

The much-hyped Stephen Spielberg movie, War Horse, opened on Christmas Day. Since all the festivities at my house were over by early afternoon I decided to see the film in a packed theater at a matinee showing. (The prices are always much less at this first showing.) War Horse has to be one of the three best modern "horse" movies … Read More

Courageous

John ArmstrongFilm, Southern Baptists

The recently released motion picture, Courageous, is the fourth film released by Sherwood Pictures, a church-based film production company that is an extension of the mission of Sherwood Baptist Church (SBC) in Albany, Georgia. The first hit-movie from Sherwood was Facing the Giants, a film with a football theme. This film was surprisingly successful, both commercially and among a significant … Read More

The Debt: A Sobering and Tense Thriller

John ArmstrongFilm, Forgiveness

Each of us has secrets that we keep to ourselves. We know this even though we often try to avoid it. Some of these secrets haunt us profoundly. Sometimes we are able to make a semblance of peace with them over time. This is why confession is so vital to true spiritual and emotional health. The ancient traditions of Orthodoxy … Read More