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With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility: The Timeless Wisdom of Stan Lee’s Stories

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–By Sam Hendrian– “That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” These earnest words said by legendary comic book writer Stan Lee capture the virtuous spirit of the many superhero stories he co-created throughout the years. From Spider-Man …

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Doing Good for the Sake of Good in ‘Instant Family’

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–By Sam Hendrian– “Ellie, people who take foster kids are really special. The kind of people who volunteer when it’s not even a holiday. We don’t even volunteer on a holiday!” These hilarious words said by Pete Wagner (Mark Wahlberg) to Ellie Wagner (Rose Byrne) in 2018’s Instant Family summarize the film’s richly-relevant thematic core. Can noble deeds only be …

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‘The Apartment’: A Poignant Commentary on Virtuous Romance

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews, Sam Hendrian by

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – “Some people take, some people get took. And they know they’re getting took and there’s nothing they can do about it.” These piercing words said by Fran Kubelik to C.C. “Bud” Baxter in 1960’s The Apartment summarize the film’s rather bleak outlook on the modern business …

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‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ – A Timely Exploration of Human Dignity and the Futility of Violence

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 –By Sam Hendrian– This article contains Spoilers “We all have it coming, kid.” These legendary words from Clint Eastwood’s classic film Unforgiven also form the thematic core of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a feature-length anthology of Western short films from directors Joel and Ethan Coen. Recently released to Netflix, it masterfully employs both dark humor and haunting imagery to …

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The Little Things in Life: 10 Terrific Movies About Gratitude

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–By Sam Hendrian– Officially instituted by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, Thanksgiving is a beloved American holiday with a universal appeal. Gratitude is a virtue that no good-hearted person wants to suppress, and Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to let it flow freely. Cinematic history is filled with movies that extol this great virtue, sometimes in haunting and unexpected ways. …

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An Uncommon Veteran: What Mr. Rogers Teaches Us About Winning the War Against Worrying

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–By Sam Hendrian– It’s you I like/It’s not the things you wear/It’s not the way you do your hair/But it’s you I like. These simple yet profound song lyrics help summarize the heroic mission of Fred Rogers, the legendary children’s television host who is profiled in the acclaimed 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A quiet man with a …

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On ‘Support the Girls’, Love Substitutes, and the Dangers of Good Intentions

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews, Sam Hendrian by

– By Sam Hendrian – Won’t forget, can’t regret/What I did for love. So go the famous closing lyrics of the Marvin Hamlisch/Edward Kleban song “What I Did for Love” from the Broadway musical A Chorus Line. While these wistful words may seem nothing but beautiful at first glance, they bear a darker subtext upon further analysis. Just what exactly …