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Category: On Movies

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: Gravity
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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 Don Jon
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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: Light of Love
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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: Mary of Nazareth
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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 […]

Grace Unplugged, 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 […]

Man of Steel: 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: Despicable Me 2
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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 After Earth
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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? 42 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 […]

Weekly Wits
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Weekly Wits 3/1/13

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Movie Review: The Lost Medallion
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Movie Review: The Lost Medallion

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The Lost Medallion is a new family movie about the value of friendship and self-confidence. It begins with Daniel Anderson (Alex Kendrick-Facing the Giants, Courageous) visiting the home of an old woman who fosters many children. A little girl asks him to tell them a story. He agrees, and incorporates into his tale the some […]

Les Miserables and the Index
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Les Miserables and the Index

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For the past several weeks, Catholics around the Internet have been talking about a scandal, and, surprisingly, they’re more or less in agreement.  It is a real-life scandal of a bishop who forgave a criminal for robbing from him.  It is a fictional scandal of a criminal who broke parole, became a successful businessman and […]

Les Mis: Movie Review
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Les Mis: Movie Review

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The musical Les Miserables begins and ends with the sung words “Look down!” That is, look down at the suffering, the poor, those who are told to look down, those who don’t dare lift their eyes to dream. There is a feeling of the socially-conscious Dickens’ work to Les Mis. The nemeses are introduced early: […]

Movie Review Les Miserables
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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 […]

Les Misérables Provokes Mixed Emotions in a Catholic Viewer
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Les Misérables Provokes Mixed Emotions in a Catholic Viewer

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Thanks to a friend and diehard Les Miserables fan, I saw the movie musical but have mixed emotions about it. Hugh Jackman is a fine Jean Valjean, but the Victor Hugo story is highly misleading on the French Revolutionaries; the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, is mostly mediocre; […]

How the West was Really Won
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How the West was Really Won

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On December 9, 1531, a poor and humble man from a remote village, some fourteen miles outside of present-day Mexico City, had a miraculous encounter with a mysterious lady and the Americas would never be the same. That peasant was Juan Diego, and the mysterious lady that he encountered was none other than she whom […]

Movie Review: Elf
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Movie Review: Elf

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Are you among the very, very few who have not seen one of the most recent Christmas classic movies, Elf (2003)? If not, and you have been nice and not naughty this year, then you need to go ahead and treat yourself! Even if you don’t like actor/comedian Will Ferrell who plays the Elf in […]

The Five Best Christmas Movies: And the Gift of Grace and Renewal
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The Five Best Christmas Movies: And the Gift of Grace and Renewal

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Let’s have a happy debate: What are the five best Christmas movies of all time? Obviously, tastes differ and change over time. Here are my five favorites, the ones I am willing to watch every Christmas season, starting with number five and ending with my absolute favorite: Number five: The Bishop’s Wife — In this […]

Movie Review: The Miracle of Marcelino
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Movie Review: The Miracle of Marcelino

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“Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 18:3-4. These words of Jesus resonate in the movie The Miracle of Marcelino. Set in the time of the Mexican Revolution, The Miracle of Marcelino tells the story of a young Mexican boy named Marcelino (Mark Hernandez Mosqueda) who […]

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