Tag: "movie review"

Movie Review: <em>Muppets Most Wanted</em>
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Movie Review: Muppets Most Wanted

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The Muppets are at it again. The clever new caper takes us to a gulag in Siberia, Russia and several other international cities, as The Muppet Show reunites for a world tour. But all is not as it seems. All is not well. Constantine–the World’s Most Dangerous Frog–who looks exactly like Kermit, but with a […]

<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 […]

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>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 […]

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 […]

<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 […]

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 […]

Movie Review <em>Les Miserables</em>
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Movie Review Les Miserables

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There is something in me which resists popular movies, music, and TV series. That new piece of entertainment that everyone is talking about so often disappoints me by its shallowness or downright offensiveness. “It can’t be good if it’s that popular;” I argue, “we have such abominable collective taste”. A quick view of the cable […]

Movie Review: <i>The Memory Keeper's Daughter</i>
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Movie Review: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

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The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is a Lifetime Original Movie available on DVD. It is based on the best-selling novel by the same name by Kim Edwards. Starring Dermot Mulroney, Gretchen Mol, and Emily Watson, it offers a very positive portrayal of a girl with Down Syndrome.  In a world in which the majority of children […]

Movie Review: <em>Moonrise Kingdom</em>
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Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom

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Moonrise Kingdom is a tasty escape into an ordinary-magical world of a quirky bunch of pre-teens and their families in 1965. The film is highly-stylized, deeply amusing, and incredibly well-cast. The always unexpected writer-director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox) gives us a more-deadpan-than-“Napoleon Dynamite” romantic comedy. Involving twelve year olds. Set […]

The Road to Sobriety in <em>Smashed</em>
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The Road to Sobriety in Smashed

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Countless films depict the descent into an uncontrollable addiction and its consequences, but few aptly convey the challenging ascent to sobriety.  Most movies gloss over the complex and strenuous path to recovery and away from addiction.  In short, they inappropriately convey the message that it is easy and permanent once someone manages to triumph over […]

<em>The Greatest Miracle</em>:  Wonderful Idea; Flawed Execution
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The Greatest Miracle: Wonderful Idea; Flawed Execution

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The Greatest Miracle, an animated look at the source and summit of our faith, Holy Mass, opens today in 63 cities.  It is a film that has me feeling quite conflicted. On the one hand, the concept of using film to explore what is going on spiritually in Mass is a wonderful idea. There are […]

<em>Snowmen</em>: A Film for Humans
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Snowmen: A Film for Humans

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As I walked into the theater for a screening of Snowmen, the film’s publicist handed me materials and remarked that there was no sex and no explosions, “just cute kids in snow.” She was right, but that doesn’t fully explain why this movie is good. Goodness cannot be defined by what it is not. In […]

<em>Dolphin Tale</em> and Rethinking Dominion
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Dolphin Tale and Rethinking Dominion

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There are all kind of theories floating around about what life must have been like between Adam and Eve and the animals in the pre-fall Garden of Eden, but I wonder if it looked quite a bit like what I saw at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last week. This impressive facility is the real-world setting […]

<em>WARRIOR</em>: A Fight Film Like No Other
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WARRIOR: A Fight Film Like No Other

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WARRIOR’s story is a gripping, won’t-let-you-go study of what it means to fight for noble causes, what it means to love, forgive, and find redemption.

Movie Review: <em>Resurrect Dead</em>
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Movie Review: Resurrect Dead

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Perhaps about five years ago I began to hear the word “random” with increasing frequency, usually from a teenager, and often as a one-word commentary on life’s apparent incongruities.  FreeDictionary.com defines “random” as “a concept of non-order or non-coherence in a sequence of symbols or steps, such that there is no intelligible pattern or combination.”  […]

<em>Sympathy for Delicious</em>: Healing and Suffering in a Fallen World
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Sympathy for Delicious: Healing and Suffering in a Fallen World

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Have you ever considered what might have happened if Jesus had come to earth not as God, but merely as a man, whose sole purpose was to heal suffering people from their infirmities?  If so, you might be intrigued by Sympathy for Delicious.  Its premise is simple: a young musician, who has lost his career […]

There Be Dragons Indeed
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There Be Dragons Indeed

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I am one of the apparently few people who have seen There Be Dragons, Roland Joffe’s film about St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei.  Only it isn’t really about Josemaria at all.  It’s about Spain. The photography is beautiful and the settings are wonderful (so good that they made me homesick for Spain, where […]

<em>Soul Surfer</em> -- This Year’s <em>The Blind Side</em>
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Soul Surfer — This Year’s The Blind Side

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Bethany Hamilton has an extraordinary story to tell. Working hard to enter the ranks of professional surfing, by the age of 13 she already had a sponsor. But her life was shattered one morning in 2003. Out in the water, on a beautiful day, she was attacked by a 15-foot-long tiger shark. The shark bit […]

<em>The Potential Inside:</em> Not Your Father’s Christian Film
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The Potential Inside: Not Your Father’s Christian Film

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In the age of gratuitous Hollywood sex and violence it’s not surprising that people are starved for family-friendly entertainment. This is not just a matter of opinion.  Movieguide, the world’s premier pro-family movie magazine, has established over and again with its annual Report to the Entertainment Industry that wholesome entertainment sells… big time. The report […]

DVD Review:  <em>Charlton Heston Presents The Bible</em>
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DVD Review: Charlton Heston Presents The Bible

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“I’m not a priest or a scholar.  I’m an actor.  I tell stories.”  These words spoken by the legendary Charlton Heston summarize the theme of the re-released 4-disc DVD set, Charlton Heston Presents the Bible.  The DVD titles include Genesis, The Story of Moses, Jesus of Nazareth and The Passion. In the mid-1950’s, the actor […]

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