Catholic theology believes that God gave man free will, and you can't give somebody free will and then send in a play from the sidelines.

It's funny that there was so much disturbance about having a Catholic in the White House with Kennedy, and when we finally get a religion in the White House that's causing a lot of conflicts, and concerns, and disturbances for a lot of people, it's in the Bush Administration.

When I am writing, my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.

By going to the movies, and because of other things, too, going to college, making a wide variety of friends, moving around traveling, I became a lot more open-minded than the heritage I was born into might have suggested.

I'm kind of glad the web is sort of totally anarchic. That's fine with me.

If a movie isn't a hit right out of the gate, they drop it. Which means that the whole mainstream Hollywood product has been skewed toward violence and vulgar teen comedy.

Why are some people bullied? Because they are different. How? It doesn't matter.

The movies that are made more thoughtfully or made or with more ambition often get just get drowned out by the noise.

It does seem true that a lot of people will do anything, however humiliating, for fame.

You can't just tell actors, especially young ones, to 'act happy' and expect them to do it. They must in some essential way be happy.

The idea that a book can advise a woman how to capture a man is touchingly naive. Books advising men how to capture a woman are far less common, perhaps because few men are willing to admit to such a difficulty. For both sexes, I recommend a good novel, offering scenarios you might learn from, if only because they reflect a lot of doubt.

Sarah Palin lacked the preparation or temperament to be one heartbeat away from the presidency, but what she possessed in abundance was the ability to inflame political passions and energize the John McCain campaign with star quality.

Why has Scandinavia been producing such good thrillers? Maybe because their filmmakers can't afford millions for CGI and must rely on cheaper elements like, you know, stories and characters.

Samurai films, like westerns, need not be familiar genre stories. They can expand to contain stories of ethical challenges and human tragedy.

We think of first love as sweet and valuable, a blessed if hazardous condition.

What a terrible thing it would be to be the Pope! What unthinkable responsibilities to fall on your shoulders at an advanced age! No privacy. No seclusion. No sin.

Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' is a magnificent science-fiction film, all the more intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers.

One of the weapons Marvel used in its climb to comic-book dominance was a willingness to invent new characters at a dizzying speed. There are so many Marvel universes, indeed, that some superheroes do not even exist in one another's worlds, preventing gridlock.

Sometimes it's all about the casting.

Open-heart surgery is now part of a typical life experience for many people. Folks talk casually about 'having a stent put in,' as if they had their tires rotated.

James Cameron's films have always been distinguished by ground-breaking technical excellence.

We exist to have our wealth moved up the economic chain out of our reach.

Who was the real Hitchcock? I interviewed him once and haven't a clue.

It's a good question, because a movie isn't good or bad based on its politics. It's usually good or bad for other reasons, though you might agree or disagree with its politics.

And I think both the left and the right should celebrate people who have different opinions, and disagree with them, and argue with them, and differ with them, but don't just try to shut them up.

I think most people are more susceptible to prejudice than to reason.

'Grand Illusion' and 'Rules of the Game' are routinely included on lists of the greatest films, and deserve to be.

Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other 'isms' grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.

Well, you know what, I'm 60 years old, and I've been interested in politics since I was on my daddy's knee. During the 1948 election, we were praying for Truman. I know a lot about politics.

That's what fantasies are for, to help us imagine that things are better than they are.

I'll tell you, I think that the Internet has provided an enormous boost to film criticism by giving people an opportunity to self publish or to find sites that are friendly.

I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.

There's something depressing about a young couple helplessly in love. Their state is so perfect, it must be doomed. They project such qualities on their lover that only disappointment can follow.

Nobody looks perfect. We have to find peace with the way we look and get on with life.

We are the playthings of the gods.

It is reckless to make broad generalizations about any group of people.

Teaching prejudice to a child is itself a form of bullying. You've got to be taught to hate.

Anyone who reads advice books about romance has one problem to begin with: bad taste in literature.

There is a part of me that will forever want to be walking under autumn leaves, carrying a briefcase containing the works of Shakespeare and Yeats and a portable chess set. I will pass an old tree under which once on a summer night I lay on the grass with a fragrant young woman and we quoted e.e. cummings back and forth.

The Academy is paranoid about its image.

All over the web there are some very good critics and it's become for people who are interested. It's become a very good way to get to reviews and involve yourself in discussions.

It's not often a thriller keeps me wound up as well as 'Headhunters' did. I knew I was being manipulated and didn't care. It was a pleasure to see how well it was being done.

We can now have action movies with two stars where one might be African American and one might be Asian American. One of them doesn't have to be white, and the other one doesn't have to be the ethnic sidekick. We're way over that. And I think it's happening in society, too.

We can't help identifying with the protagonist. It's coded in our movie-going DNA.

'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' is without a doubt the best film we are ever likely to see on the subject - unless there is a sequel, which is unlikely, because at the end, the Lincolns are on their way to the theater.

You can have a movie with hardly any cuts, or very few cuts, that is fascinating, you can't take your eyes away from it... Look at some of the long takes in Citizen Kane.

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

I think we have to get beyond the idea that we have to categorize people.

To die is one thing. How much worse to know that all the life that ever existed on this planet, and all it ever achieved, was to be obliterated?