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Controlling Happiness in ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Culture, Featured, Movie Reviews, Reviews, Sam Hendrian by Impact Admin1 Comment

– By Sam Hendrian – “Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.” These relatable words spoken by Charlie Brown to Linus at the beginning of the 1965 TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas perfectly capture the numbness that the commercialization of Christmas has brought over time. It’s the most wonderful time …

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Conversational Commitment and Unconditional Love in ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’

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– By Sam Hendrian – “Do you know what the most important thing is to me right now? Talking to Lloyd Vogel.” The renowned children’s television host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) speaks these words to the emotionally-wounded journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) in an early scene of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a new, true story-inspired film that is …

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The Immortality of the Soul and a Call to Virtue in ‘Doctor Sleep’

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– By Sam Hendrian – “We’re all dying. The world’s just a hospice with fresh air.” This philosophical observation made by Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) midway through the cinematic Stephen King adaptation Doctor Sleep is rather bleak, but it is also undeniably true. Like the memento mori that monks sometimes keep on their desks, horror films are ultimately necessary reminders …

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The Dangers of Idealizing Love in Richard Linklater’s ‘Before Trilogy’

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– By Sam Hendrian – “The concept is absurd. The idea that we can only be complete with another person is evil. Right?” This fascinating question proposed by Celine (Julie Delpy) to Jesse (Ethan Hawke) in the second film of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy succinctly captures the central theme at play in all three films. Is the idea of “soul …

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Blindness of the Heart in ‘Bride of Frankenstein’

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Culture, Featured, Movie Reviews, Reviews, Sam Hendrian by Impact Admin1 Comment

– By Sam Hendrian – “But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” – 1 John 2:11 Blindness is not limited to the eyes. There are many people who force their hearts to read braille, and even then, …

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What ‘Taxi Driver’ Has to Say About Finding Purpose in the Wrong Places

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Movie Reviews, Reviews, Sam Hendrian by Impact Admin1 Comment

– By Sam Hendrian – This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback Series “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to ME?” These words have been parodied so many times in films over the years that it is easy to forget where they originated from: Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film Taxi Driver. Controversial for its graphically violent climax and morally ambiguous …

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Spiritual Blindness and the Sanctity of Life in Disney’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Movie Reviews, Reviews, Sam Hendrian by Impact Admin1 Comment

– By Sam Hendrian – This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback Series “I ask for nothing/I can get by/But I know so many/Less lucky than I” -Esmeralda, “God Help the Outcasts” This haunting prayer uttered by the gypsy Esmeralda partway through Disney’s animated classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame succinctly captures the beautifully complex, challenging themes of the …

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What Seinfeld Taught Us About Embracing the Humor of Everyday Life (and Transcending Selfishness)

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– By Sam Hendrian – Too tired to watch a whole movie at the end of a long day, the father and son sit down to enjoy a couple half-hour reruns of Seinfeld, sharing many a hearty laugh before it is time to hit the sack. The next morning, their laughter may continue as they gleefully reference the antics of …

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Embracing Our Greater Calling in ‘The Lion King’

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This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback Series – By Sam Hendrian – 25 years ago, Walt Disney Animation Studios released its own take on the classic story of Hamlet called The Lion King. Featuring a thematically-rich story padded with fun, sometimes soul-stirring songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, it arguably remains one of the powerhouse studio’s …