My review of “Heaven is for Real”

Enjoying a rare day off following the Triduum marathon, I took my wife to see “Heaven is for Real” at a Monday matinee. I’ll be honest with you: I wasn’t expecting much. The result could have been awful, a preachy mess. The fact that it isn’t—in fact, a lot of it is awfully satisfying—is a [Read More...]

“Heaven” is a real hit. Is Hollywood listening?

Money talks, after all. From The New York Times: “Heaven Is for Real” became Hollywood’s fourth overtly faith-based hit of the year over the Easter weekend, taking in an estimated $21.5 million — double the dismal ticket sales that Johnny Depp mustered for his latest big-budget effort. But God still could not beat a superhero: [Read More...]

NPR: Disney is tolerant of anything but the word “God”

So say the Academy Award-winning songwriters behind the monster hit, “Frozen,” in this interview with NPR:  The husband and wife team behind the Oscar-winning Frozen said on Thursday that while Disney is open to bringing songwriters from diverse backgrounds, God is the only thing that they have seen censored since they have worked there. Speaking on NPR’s Fresh Air show, [Read More...]

F-bombs and Palm Sunday: Mark Wahlberg at MTV Movie Awards

The Catholic actor took the stage at the MTV Awards last night—and it was definitely different: The 2014 MTV Movie awards was filled with its usual wild antics, but the Twitter universe was especially talking about Mark Wahlberg’s acceptance speech in which he cursed profusely, encouraged Americans to go for the dream, and publicly confessed [Read More...]

Scientists say the ark would float—even with 35,000 species of animals

Don’t try this at home.  Although it seems scientists think it would work: Noah’s Ark would have floated — even with two of every animal on board, physicists have determined based on the weight of the beasts and the buoyancy of the boat. The students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of [Read More...]

Fr. Robert Barron weighs in on “Noah”

One of the contemporary church’s most thoughtful evangelists offers his take on one of the year’s most controversial films: “Noah” is best interpreted, I think, as a modern cinematic midrash on the Biblical tale.  The midrashim—extremely popular in ancient Israel—were imaginative elaborations of the often spare Scriptural narratives.  They typically explored the psychological motivations of the major players [Read More...]

Will the success of “Noah” flood theaters with more religious films?

The Russell Crowe epic opened big—the biggest opening week, in fact, in Crowe’s estimable career—and that’s got Hollywood wondering if more biblical epics are on the way: “I think that is a smart assumption,” said Megan Colligan, president of domestic marketing and distribution for Paramount. “Noah is a movie that gets people thinking about big spiritual [Read More...]

Whatever floats your boat: two Catholic critics on “Noah”

From Steven Greydanus at National Catholic Register:  It is not a “Bible movie” in the usual sense, with all the story beats predetermined by the text, and actors in ancient Near Eastern couture hitting their marks and saying all the expected things. It is something more vital, surprising and confounding: a work of art and [Read More...]

Report: Russell Crowe meets Pope Francis

From Religion News Service:  Russell Crowe, who plays the title character in the new Hollywood blockbuster “Noah,” lobbied hard for a personal audience with Pope Francis. What he got Wednesday instead was a blessing. Crowe used social media in recent weeks to try to cajole Francis to watch “Noah,” which has drawn fire from religious [Read More...]

Whatever happened to…Mel Gibson?

This Lent marks the 10-year anniversary of his controversial (and record-shattering) “The Passion of the Christ.” A journalist who befriended Mel Gibson looks at what has happened since. During this season of penitence, the saga of Mel Gibson, I think, offers an opportunity for reflection on the choices we make, the struggles we confront, the [Read More...]