Academy Awards 2017 Predictions: When the Media Nun Met the Film Critic

Acceptance-speech controversies aside, who and what wins the Academy Awards -- taking place Sunday, Feb. 26 -- still matters a lot in Hollywood.Recently at Family Theater Productions in Hollywood -- where I manage social media, blog and produce videos -- we had a panel to discuss the nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards.Before the panel (the February edition of our monthly Prayer and Pasta series), I sat down with what you might call the new Catholic version of Siskel & Ebert … [Read more...]

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‘Hacksaw Ridge’ DVD Release: Interview With Producer Terry Benedict

On Feb. 21, "Hacksaw Ridge" comes out on Blu-Ray and DVD (learn more here), and on Feb. 26, we learn whether or not it wins any of the six Academy Awards it's nominated for, which include best director for Mel Gibson, and best actor for Andrew Garfield.However the awards shake out, the case can be made that "Hacksaw Ridge" -- the World War II story of medic Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor -- is the most successful faith-based film … [Read more...]

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‘Of Kings and Prophets’ Showrunner Chris Brancato Returns to ‘Narcos’ Roots With ‘Las Reinas’ Pilot

Writer/producer Chris Brancato has done different genres in his career, from science fiction (Syfy's "First Wave") to Biblical drama (ABC's "Of Kings and Prophets").But one genre he's returned to again and again is crime, from writing the movie "Hoodlum" to executive-producing NBC's LAPD drama "Boomtown"; writing for NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (for which he was also an executive producer); and producing and writing for NBC's … [Read more...]

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Not Like a Rolling Stone — The Final Miracle of ‘The Young Pope’

Every now and then, someone in the secular media has a revelation. This time, it's courtesy of HBO's fantastical, occasionally heretical and yet compellingly Catholic "The Young Pope," which ended its first season on Monday, Feb. 15.The "progressive" takeover of entertainment is nearly complete, with competing viewpoints -- especially those of the Catholic Church -- being steadily pushed to the margins. Anyone watching awards shows knows that a particular strain of politics has infiltrated … [Read more...]

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HBO’s ‘The Young Pope’: The End Is Near (and I’m a Little Sad)

When I first asked HBO chief Casey Bloys about "The Young Pope" in the summer of 2016 -- he said the 1o-part series wasn't "wildly inaccurate" -- I had very little hope that it would be worth watching.Having seen advance screeners of the final two episodes -- airing tonight (Feb. 12) and Monday night (Feb. 13) -- happy to say I was wrong.Now, that doesn't mean that "The Young Pope" is an accurate portrayal of the Faith, the Church or the papacy. It isn't. It's a fantasy exploring what … [Read more...]

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The Movieguide Awards: Honors That Will Actually Talk About Hollywood?

It's an irony that two of the groups Hollywood generally despises -- political conservatives and orthodox Christians -- might put on an awards show that keeps its focus on the screen.On Feb. 10, Christian media group Movieguide offers the 25th Annual Faith and Values Awards Gala, an awards show that will definitely be upbeat and positive -- and probably mostly about showbiz.The awardees might even talk about their TV and movie roles rather than hectoring viewers on their latest political … [Read more...]

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RIP Capt. Apollo: The Spiritual Side of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ Richard Hatch

Today, actor Richard Hatch passed away at the age of 71. He was in hospice care after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.Hatch first gained fame playing the dashing Captain Apollo in the original 1970s science-fiction series "Battlestar Galactica." He returned in a very different role in the mid-2000s reboot of the show on Syfy Channel.From The Hollywood Reporter: "Richard Hatch was a good man, a gracious man, and a consummate professional. His passing is a heavy blow to the entire … [Read more...]

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NBC”This Is Us’: Why Catholics Should Be Watching This Family Drama

"This Is Us," airing Tuesdays on NBC, may be just what network TV needs right now.For years around Hollywood, at press events and parties, I've been preaching the same gospel to ABC and NBC (not CBS, which has always got it): You're never going to sit at the cool kids' table again. Heck, HBO is lucky if IT doesn't get kicked off the cool kids' table. You're probably not going to win many, if any, Emmys or Golden Globes going forward. How about we try to make some money and survive? How … [Read more...]

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Sundance Entries ‘Novitiate’ and ‘The Little Hours’ Take on Catholic Nuns

There have been wonderful movies about Catholic religious, but at this year's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, filmmakers seem more interested with stories of how nuns are sexually repressed and neurotic, seeking the veil as an escape from unhappy, unfulfilled lives.First up, "Novitiate."From Variety: Both tonally and stylistically, however, “Novitiate” is a very different string of beads [from 'Silence'], plunging into unabashed melodrama as tensions, attractions, and flage … [Read more...]

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‘The Young Pope’: What’s Pius XIII’s Vision for the Church? (VIDEO)

It may have just premiered last Sunday on HBO, but "The Young Pope" has already aired in Europe, and there are plenty of clips on the Internet.The one below is from episode five -- the last of the episodes HBO made available to the press -- and it features former American cardinal Lenny Belardo, a k a Pope Pius XIII, as he give his long-awaited address to the assembled cardinals.It's a doozy. And you might be surprised by your reaction to parts of … [Read more...]

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