Megan Basham

Posted May 22, 2006

For those, like myself, who somehow managed to make dinner party conversation over the past year without reading Dan Brown’s pulpy novel, The Da Vinci Code, following the film’s marketing edict to "seek the truth" proves a pretty laborious business. Forget something as thorny as truth, I’d have been happy just nailing down a clear plot line.

Posted May 05, 2006

Few children’s films are as nakedly indoctrinating as this one.

Posted May 02, 2006

No one could claim that the experience of watching United 93 is completely pleasurable, but there is a payoff to stress, tension, and sorrow of reliving that day beyond simply learning more about the activities of the military and FAA. We also learn something about ourselves, and it is this: For every one talking head on television that preaches concession, there are a thousand that refuse to go quietly into the night.

Posted April 28, 2006

Once upon a time, the phrase, “The American Dream” evoked something good, proud, and pure about our nation. It prompted reflections on hardworking immigrants lured to the U.S. by the promise of home ownership, financial stability, and a better future for their children. It brought up images of Norman Rockwell paintings, family holidays, and twilight years spent rocking on the porch surrounded by grandchildren.

Posted April 20, 2006

If you’ve seen Madagascar, you know nearly the entire plot of The Wild.

Posted April 07, 2006

However enthusiastic director Liz Friedlander and producer Diane Nabatoff were for the trust themes in Pierre Dulaine’s real story, they let the distrustful nature of their business get the better of them.

Posted April 05, 2006

Let me be clear: a movie like Slither isn’t for the uninitiated. If memories of killer tomatoes and armies of darkness claim no cherished place in your teenage memories, I can almost guarantee you won’t appreciate it.

Posted March 28, 2006

Despite Hollywood’s contention that adults don’t go to the movies anymore and they have no choice but to pander to indiscriminate male adolescents, sharp, sophisticated entertainment can still break away from the pack.

Posted March 20, 2006

I have seen the terrorist, and he is me. And you. And all of us. But don’t worry, because being a terrorist is now a good thing.

Posted March 16, 2006

Sometimes critics are a little harder on fluffy romantic comedies than the films’ modest aspirations deserve. Yes, Failure to Launch retreads some old ground (as all romantic comedies must, by nature). But we still cheer when Tripp and Paula overcome the odds of their own stereotypical romance.

Posted March 07, 2006

These were films that sympathized with terrorists, demonized capitalism, and turned uniquely American icons into subversive sexual punch lines. These were films that led to lowest box-office receipts in decades and the second-worst Oscar ratings since 1987. No matter how much velvet the Academy wraps its agenda in, its clear the public now knows the truth.

Posted March 03, 2006

Spanking children, praising Jesus, and admonishing her mixed-up nieces, Mama Madea displays the kind of family graces so common to our culture, yet so rarely represented on film, and audiences can’t help responding despite this film's C-grade production values.

Posted February 21, 2006

I can’t prove it, but I have a theory that Freedomland, an over-the-top allegory on racism clumsily wrapped in thriller garb, was supposed to be one of Sony’s Academy Award contenders this year. But when the final product didn’t look like much of a competitor, the studio decided to hold its release until Hollywood’s year-end dash for honors was officially over.

Posted February 14, 2006

When leading men reach a certain age, good scripts become as scarce as natural body parts on Rodeo Drive.

Posted February 08, 2006

Something New, the feature debut from director Sanaa Hamri, lives up to its name. It manages to generate real romantic humor in the midst of social conflict without sacrificing one in service to the other.

Posted January 31, 2006

Everything you see in the advertisement is exactly what you get in the film. And while it isn’t terrible beyond its clichés and predictability, it is a disappointing waste of talent and setting. But even more than its actors, Annapolis squanders its subject.

Posted January 27, 2006

Followers of Christ, after decades of churning out mostly trite, sloganeering entertainment, are finally recapturing the artistic imagination that inspired great works like Milton’s poetry and Bach’s concertos.

Posted January 20, 2006

It’s a strange defense for a movie that spends a good 40 minutes focused on waving grass and watery sunsets to claim there wasn’t enough time to explore documented background about its central character. Perhaps it was a marketing decision, since a noble savage clad in buckskin is much more likely to draw that lucrative teen male demographic than a Christian lady in starched collars.

Posted January 19, 2006

The last few years have shown chinks in Tinsel Town’s anti-religious armor.

Posted January 13, 2006

There’s a reason this perennial Disney formula continues to make money--because, let’s face it, it makes people feel good. And in today’s climate of bait-and-switch movie marketing, sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not going to accidentally pay to see a film that mocks every value you honor.