Superman Camp

Forget Grendel… it’s clear that Roger Ebert is Beowulf’s greatest enemy. Check out his awe-inspiring review here, in which he shakes the movie like a rag doll, pontificates on a nude Anglina Jolie, and smacks around the MPAA like a two-dollar crack whore. (Favorite quote: “I saw the movie in IMAX 3-D. The movie is also showing in non-IMAX 3-D, and in the usual 2-D. Not bad for a one-dimensional story.”)

My own movie watching, like everything else in my life, has been curtailed by packing. (The next time I tell you that I’m moving, please do me a favor and kill me right then and there.) But I have managed to check out a couple of interesting films:

Jesus Camp
8/10

A remarkably even-handed documentary about religious fanaticism in America’s heartland. An utterly impassive, non-judgmental camera takes us deep into the lives of a fundamentalist Christian camp that seeks to turn regular children into an army (their word) of Christ-loving soldiers, at war with our sinful society.

It’s positively frightening stuff… every kid in this film looks like they’re minutes away from a nervous breakdown. One wonders if they’ve ever been allowed to experience any degree of joy in their lives. The sheer amount of fear that these kids have had drilled into them is heartbreaking. Read Harry Potter and you’re going to hell! Dance and you’re going to hell! Tell ghost stories at camp and you’re going to hell! If you don’t hate homosexuals, you’re going to hell, just like they are!

And wait til you see the anti-abortion protest.

Let me put it this way: their prayer meetings begin with everyone in attendence laying hands on a cardboard cutout of a smiling George W. Bush. Need I say more?

Superman Doomsday
7/10

The famous Death of Superman storyline, adapted into an intriguing animated film. I liked this quite a bit more than I expected to. Some fine voice acting (including a shockingly good Anne Heche!) helps elevate the more melodramatic portions of the story into something enjoyable. Well worth a look. (And don’t miss the excellent audio commentary track.)

-CSJ

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