Our Narcissistic Age Could Use Some ‘Casablanca’ Values

Casablanca never could have been made today. The classic movie, which turned seventy-five this year, features themes that would never fly in today’s world: that personal happiness is not the most important goal; that feelings ought to be ignored at times; and that romantic love isn’t always worth pursuing. Talk about retro values. In case … Continued


The Importance of Winston Churchill and ‘Darkest Hour’

Without a doubt, the best film that I saw in 2017 is Darkest Hour. Trailer: Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement), and starring the incomparable Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, this is historically inspired feature filmmaking at its very finest, as the summary of the plot suggests: During the early days of World War II, with … Continued


What ‘A Christmas Carol’ Teaches Us About Happiness

Two copies of A Christmas Carol, both illustrated, and four different film adaptations, one animated and one featuring Muppets, sit in my parents’ living room. My father, the patron of this Christmas collection, always told his children A Christmas Carol wasn’t just a holiday narrative, it was a human one. A tale of redemption and … Continued


For Christmas, Give Books that Last a Lifetime

Some of the best presents you can give to people over the holidays, or give yourself, are lavish books. I’m not talking about normal books, even the nice hardbacks from the display rack at Barnes & Noble. I mean beautifully crafted, very expensive books that will last a lifetime. Such books, only offered by special … Continued


Why ‘Elf’ is a Terrible Christmas Movie

I hold a lot of controversial pop culture opinions. I think Friends is unfunny, Beyoncé is vastly overrated, and The Force Awakens is the best Star Wars installment. I am completely prepared to defend every one of these views—come at me Star Wars nerds, I dare you—but my thoughts on pop culture rarely have an … Continued


Does Hollywood Hate Christmas?

Christmas is around the corner, and its critics are out again. No, they’re not making coffee cups red or forcing your children to say “Happy Holidays.” But they are coopting the traditions of Christmas in an effort to undermine the family. Two recent movies—Daddy’s Home 2 and A Bad Moms Christmas—both make the holiday seem … Continued


Good vs. Evil in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

This past weekend marked the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII, The Last Jedi. This is the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which has introduced a whole new generation to the joys of Star Wars fandom. This movie has received mixed reviews, which, as a loyal Star Wars fan, baffles me, but … Continued