First off, a salute to Steve Lansingh, who introduced Film Forum, has kept it in fine form since November 1999, and who is now moving on to other things. Steve has done us all a favor, keeping us informed of different perspectives and opinions within the Christian community as well as the film criticism community at large. His work has promoted healthy dialogue about filmmaking, and because of Film Forum many of us have encountered good work we might otherwise have missed. Thanks, Steve, and best wishes in whatever you do for a sequel. It will be a challenge to maintain the standard that you have set.
We've been experiencing "post-Oscar slump." Studios threw all of their quality work at us in the past few months to qualify for Oscar nominations in time, and now critics in the mainstream and religious media alike have been picking through leftovers—half-baked, primarily commercial fare. Here is a review of what they have concluded about February's big releases.
While audiences gave Ridley Scott's Hannibal one of the highest opening weekends in history, many critics in both the religious and mainstream press have reservations about the infamous cannibal's return to the big screen. Like many viewers, Dick Rolfe at The Dove Foundation finds the film's excessively gory spectacles difficult to, uh, stomach. "I had to turn away from the screen lest I pass out in the midst of my film critic peers, some of whom I caught turning their heads at the same time. … We don't need to patronize Hannibal to know what man is capable of at his lowest, most demented state." Others found more to unsettle them than the violence. J. Robert Parks at The Phantom Tollbooth takes issue with the film's " typically condescending approach ...1
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