Category: On TV and Movies

<em>Her</em>: A Cautionary Tale
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Her: A Cautionary Tale

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Spike Jonze’s film Her, currently out in theaters and an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, is a cautionary tale of the future that awaits us if we continue to hail technology as our savior. Set in the not too distant Los Angeles, Tom Twombly (masterfully portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix) is reeling from a failed […]

<em>Grace Uplugged,</em> The Story of the Ages
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Grace Uplugged, The Story of the Ages

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Good versus good hardly seems like a movie plot, but in Grace Unplugged  Divine good versus worldly goods is pitted against one another. At the heart of the conflict is the pull of a Father’s love and concern for his 18-year-old daughter and her push to get out from under his shadow and make it […]

<em>Gimme Shelter</em>, Why America Can't Be Bothered
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Gimme Shelter, Why America Can’t Be Bothered

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I got a chance tonight to grab a few friends and go see Gimme Shelter staring Vanessa Hudgens. I was looking forward to supporting a movie that would tell the story of a young woman’s struggle through a harrowing life and teen pregnancy. It would be a movie that would not insult my ears with […]

Movie Review: <em>Her</em>
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Movie Review: Her

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From writer/director Spike Jonez’, Her is a rather extraordinary film. It’s really a science fiction/love story about A.I. (artificial intelligence). Set in what looks like the near future, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix doing his best work to date and visually carrying the entire film) works for a company called “Beautiful Handwritten Letters” that composes letters for people. Not business letters or […]

<em>Lone Survivor</em>: A Tale of Horror and Heroism
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Lone Survivor: A Tale of Horror and Heroism

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To the extent that art really does imitate life, every American owes it to themselves and to our troops to see the blockbuster film, Lone Survivor. Panned by cynical elites as “shameless war-porn,” in reality this movie portrays the heroism and sacrifice of four members of Seal Team 10 during a mission gone bad in the mountains of […]

<em>Gimme Shelter</em>, Based on a True Pro-life Story
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Gimme Shelter, Based on a True Pro-life Story

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One of the stupidest things I ever said was to two street urchins in Dublin, Ireland. My friend Margie and I were college students headed back to our bed and breakfast after a night on the town. The two bedraggled boys of around 8 or 9 years of age had asked us for candy. “Go […]

Movie Review: <em>Nebraska</em>
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Movie Review: Nebraska

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Nebraska–the latest offering from director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants)–is more of Payne’s unblinking look at the difficulty of human relationships and relatedness. Reminiscent of David Fincher’s The Straight Story, Nebraska is in the road trip film genre, a physical journey of an old man (an unbelievable performance by Bruce Dern) trying to set things […]

How <em>2001: A Space Odyssey</em> Helped Me Be Pro-Life
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How 2001: A Space Odyssey Helped Me Be Pro-Life

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During a wintery January night in my apartment, while attending college years ago, I was channel surfing, and found a sci-fi movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. I watched in hypnotized awe at the spectacular cinematography. Later on, I was shocked to learn the movie was made in 1968, and not during the late 80s as […]

Movie Review: <em>The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug</em>
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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is, of course, Part Two in a three-part cinematic extravaganza of Tolkien’s beloved book: The Hobbit. How did Peter Jackson and Co. get three movies out of it? By drawing on The Silmarillion and other background information. Perhaps some Tolkien purists are not happy with this amalgam, but for the […]

Movie Review: <em>Saving Mr. Banks </em>
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Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks

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I must begin by saying that Disney has few more intense critics than this writer. I didn’t create an entirely Disney-free household for my children, but those materials generated by that empire that made their way past the threshold were clearly in enemy territory. We made a tenuous peace with some, but refused to be […]

Rick Santorum Distributing Movie: The Christmas Candle
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Rick Santorum Distributing Movie: The Christmas Candle

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“Marketing a movie rivals to some degree running a Presidential campaign.”  So says two term US Senator and 2012 Presidential contender, Rick Santorum.  During last year’s election cycle, Santorum exhibited his organizational and communication skills in winning eleven Presidential primaries, enough to give Mitt Romney a run for his money. In part, no doubt, it […]

Movie Review: <em>Gravity</em>
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Movie Review: Gravity

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“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in space…,” a terrifying movie like “Gravity” hits you in the face. “Gravity” is one of those films that’s truly an experience that one undergoes: one of the tensest time periods ever spent in a cinema. This is an extremely uncomfortable film. Space is the […]

About <i>Don Jon</i>
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About Don Jon

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When I first heard about the subject matter of Don Jon, a new film written by, directed by, and starring child-star-turned-very-successful-adult-star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I was thrilled. Gordon-Levitt was taking on porn addiction! Astoundingly, the very existence of porn addiction is often considered  “controversial,” and is questioned as a true malady. Then I saw that Don […]

Movie Review: <i>Light of Love</i>
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Movie Review: Light of Love

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Light of Love is a new 60-minute documentary by Imagine Sisters. What, you ask, is “Imagine Sisters”? And whatever “Imagine Sisters” is, isn’t it bad syntax? “Imagine Sisters” is a movement (begun by Chicago seminarians—out of the goodness of their hearts and under the patronage of St. Therese) to encourage women’s religious vocations. “Imagine Sisters” […]

New Movie: <i>Mary of Nazareth</i>
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New Movie: Mary of Nazareth

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I recently attended a sponsored screening of the new motion picture Mary of Nazareth, which has just been released by Ignatius Press. First off, let me tell you:  I loved it.  This full-length feature film about the life of Mary, the mother of God, was filmed in Europe and shot in English in high definition.  It […]

<i>Grace Unplugged</i>, St. Augustine, and Miley Cyrus
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Grace Unplugged, St. Augustine, and Miley Cyrus

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Good versus good hardly seems like a movie plot, but in Grace Unplugged in theaters October 4th, Divine good and worldly goods are pitted against one another. At the heart of the conflict is the pull of a father’s love and concern for his 18-year-old daughter and her push to get out from under his […]

<i>Man of Steel</i>: Three Faith Takeaways
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Man of Steel: Three Faith Takeaways

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I’m likely late to the party in writing about Man of Steel, but since I’ve been on the road so much lately I just saw the film this week. The PG-13 rated film ranks an AIII (for adults) from Catholic News Service and a less-than-glowing review from Fr. Robert Barron. My take: I sort of loved […]

Movie Review: <i>Despicable Me 2</i>
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Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

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Gru and his yellow, gobbledygook-spewing, Contac-capsule-shaped minions are baaaack! Despicable Me 2 picks up where Despicable Me left off, but if you didn’t see the first installment, no worries, “2” is a hoot without it. All you need to know is that Gru (Steve Carell) is a former dastardly doer of evil deeds on a […]

Was Gatsby a Catholic? (and More)
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Was Gatsby a Catholic? (and More)

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The Great Gatsby has gotten very mixed reviews. Most of the negative reviews have been a bit snobby and nit-picky in my opinion. It’s to be expected. Whenever anyone tries to adapt a classic piece of literature to film, reviewers often feel (or feign?) strong attachments to it and review cautiously. But I will be honest and […]

From Father to Son in <em>After Earth</em>
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From Father to Son in After Earth

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Being marooned, either on a desert island or in space, has a long literary and film history. There is something about the solitary individual (sometimes the small group) battling against his circumstances, knowing that no cavalry is going to arrive. When the stakes are “perform or die” you normally have captivating drama. The pairing of […]

The Great Gatsby: Four Faith Takeaways
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The Great Gatsby: Four Faith Takeaways

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With the most sincere of apologies to my AP English teacher Brother Aquinas, I never read The Great Gatsby. And owing to old age, any knowledge that I had of the plot from my perusal of the Cliff Notes version has been lost through the years. So I went into today’s viewing of Baz Luhrmann’s […]

Be a Sporting Christian: See “42”
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Be a Sporting Christian: See “42”

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The older the script, the more likely it is that Hollywood will produce a good and uplifting film. The newest version of the Jackie Robinson saga, entitled simply “42,” is well worth viewing twice. I took my wife the 2nd time, and she loved it too. Living as we do in times dominated by the […]

Is God a Methodist? <em>42</em> Inspires and Moves
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Is God a Methodist? 42 Inspires and Moves

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In an opening scene of Brian Helgeland’s moving film, 42, Branch Rickey, the famous president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and played by Harrison Ford, is reviewing files of potential black baseball players whom he might bring into major league baseball in the face of inevitable hate, vitriol, and racism. He picks up Jackie Robinson’s file. “He’s […]

Win a Bible Prize Package
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Win a Bible Prize Package

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Some things come as a surprise and others do not. My family and I watched the first episode of The Bible, the History channel’s 5-part series, so it was no surprise to us that it premiered as the #1 cable telecast of the year and the #1 trend on Twitter.  It was spectacular; just the […]

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