I have noticed that neither the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops nor the Decent Films Guide (Steve’s a frequent guest on Kresta and Catholic Answers) have a particularly, um, ‘decent’ selection of independent and art-house film reviews available. A few months left in 2009, and one of the best films of the year, “(500) Days of Summer” still remains un-reviewed and un-acknowledged by both. I have seen other movie titles mentioned on here and elsewhere, and same thing: not reviewed.
Decent Films Guide, by its own admission (not enough time with a wife and kids to watch that many movies), has a reasonable-enough excuse: and seems to only review “screener” copies of whatever is sent his way.
The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, however…I’m a little perplexed as to why they still only review predominantly “mainstream” movies.
I guess I don’t understand the logic of why we need more reviews of mainstream, already-heard-of-it movies that are already being reviewed by everyone, including by non-Catholic Christians, when there are so many great movies - undiscovered gems - that are literally ignored. On one hand, we lament there’s no good movies out there; yet, on the other hand, when there is a good movie out there, there’s no place for Catholics to find out about it.
Does Decent Films Guide have some moral obligation or legal obligation to arbitrarily review whatever BluRay or DVD “screener” some studio sent him? Decent Films Guide is at risk of becoming the “Jay Leno” of Catholic film reviews: never shining the light on undiscovered movies, but rather, reviewing the movies (good and bad) we already know about.
One of the reasons why I think Roger Ebert is awesome (which he is) is because he has brought to light so many quality, decent, family-friendly films that otherwise would have been ignored. Why don’t more Catholic film critics have that trait?
I mention Decent Films Guide because I know he visits this message board and will probably see this message.