“Would you sing something different?”

The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” was on Ovation tonight, and the scene below just knocks it out of the park. Struggling songwriter and door-to-door salesman J.R. Cash (the incredibly good Joaquin Phoenix — why didn’t he get the Oscar for this?) gets a chance to audition for legendary record producer Sam Phillips, who [Read More…]

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The drug dealer who became a monk

A remarkable vocation story from Vancouver, British Columbia: After years of a life of hedonism and drug addiction, he returned to the faith and for about a dozen years now he has been serving as a hieromonk (pastor-monk) in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Father Taras (Terry) Kraychuk, who currently lives the monastic life in the [Read More…]

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How to plot like Pixar: “Brave” animator tweets secrets of storytelling

If you have a hankering to make a blockbuster classic animated film, one of the people behind the new Disney/Pixar hit “Brave” has been tweeting what he learned at the drawing board.  From the Wall Street Journal: For the past five years, Pixar has served as my film school. As a storyboard artist, working mainly [Read More…]

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RIP, Andy Griffith

Word that the television icon, best known as the sheriff of Mayberry  and father of Opie, has died at the age of 86. People tend to forget what a spellbinding actor he could be. His standout performance in Elia Kazan’s “A Face in the Crowd” is still a stunner — and the story itself, recounting [Read More…]

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RoboChrist: Director Paul Verhoeven plans his own take on Jesus

And it doesn’t sound like something most people reading this will want to see: Deadline reports that the Robocop and Total Recall filmmaker has an alternate take on the life of Jesus Christ brewing, based on his book Jesus of Nazareth that he co-wrote, and the film is sure to stir up some controversy. More [Read More…]

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“Goodfellas” inspiration Henry Hill dies

Am I the only one who thinks he’s lucky he lived this long? The mobster-turned-protected-witness-turned-cultural-icon was 69.  From the AP: Longtime girlfriend Lisa Caserta told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Hill died of complications from longtime heart problems related to smoking. An associate in New York’s Lucchese crime family, Hill told detailed, disturbing and [Read More…]

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The theology of “The Avengers”

Those who enjoyed this movie (count me in!) might also enjoy Fr. Michael Denk’s theological ruminations on it in Crisis: The Hulk, as compellingly played by Mark Ruffalo, is a man at war with himself.  In one scene where mass destruction is evident Captain America says to Bruce Banner (Hulk’s alter-ego): “Doc… I think now [Read More…]

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See you at Spago: Georgia parish sets out to produce faith-based film

While most parishes are busy raising money to fund schools or fix the plumbing, a thriving parish in the Archdiocese of Atlanta is trying to raise funds to produce a movie.   In fact, it bills this as “the first major motion picture from a Catholic parish.” From the Georgia Bulletin: Efforts are underway at [Read More…]

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First look: official trailer for “Les Miserables”

Do you hear the people sing?  Well, you hear Anne Hathaway.  This looks superb. [Read more…]

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First look: “The Great Gatsby”

Here’s a first look at Baz Luhrman’s insanely art-directed-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life high concept rendition of “The Great Gatsby.” I loved the book in high school, and even liked the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow movie of the 1970s, which made pink shirts with white collars unbelievably cool.  This version?  I dunno.  The trailer lurches between being an eyeful — [Read More…]

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