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When the Game Stands Tall

 Football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) leads the De La Salle High School team of Concord, California, that has had an 11- season, 151-game winning streak (1992– 2003). As the team prepares to go up against a formidable opposing team, Coach Ladouceur deals with a heart attack and the growing unhappiness of his wife, Bev (Laura Dern), who says he doesn’t spend enough time with the family. The players face their own family and school challenges as they learn to navigate life. Coach L … [Read More...]

Jeff Bridges, left, and Brenton Thwaites star in "The Giver" (©The Weinstein Company)

‘The Giver’ what happens when we destroy what makes us human

 The word "dystopian" has always intrigued me. The easy definition is that it means "anti-utopian," but it sets up too facile a dichotomy because life never reaches the utopian ideal except in dreams, books and movies. If anything, dystopian means post-apocalyptic, which most often brings us into the realm of science fiction. A once acceptable world, however imperfect, has self-destructed or suffered destruction from outside forces, or a combination of the two. Whatever is left is … [Read More...]

Robin Williams: last comic standing

There's a meme going around Facebook with Robin Williams in what looks like a hoodie that says: "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." The 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor and comedian died Monday of an "apparent suicide." He is said to have been suffering from a deep … [Read More...]

Sin and virtue meet in thoroughly Catholic story of ‘Calvary’

It's present day in County Sligo, Ireland, and Fr. James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) is sitting in the confessional waiting for penitents. A man begins speaking, telling about the horrific sexual abuse by a priest that he endured over several years. Lavelle asks him if he's reported the priest. No, … [Read More...]

‘Gabrielle’ a sweet story of a young woman struggling for acceptance

 Gabrielle (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) is a 22-year old woman who lives in a group home for cognitively disabled adults in Montreal. She has Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder whose symptoms include hyper-socialization, heightened musical skills,  and intellectual disability. Gabrielle is … [Read More...]

‘Deliver Us From Evil’ is dark, violent, and an adventure in grace

Horror-meister Scott Derrickson's newest film, "Deliver Us From Evil," begins with three U.S. Marines in Iraq who come across some strange writing on a wall in an underground cave. What they don't realize is that the writing is from the devil and that when they return home, they bring darkness and … [Read More...]

What? No more princesses at Pixar/Disney?

The news that Pixar and Disney are creating a story with an average (white) girl really captured my attention. "Inside Out" is to be a story about an 11-year old girl named Riley who is becoming an adolescent. The film will deal with five key emotions, especially Joy (voice of Amy Poehler) that work … [Read More...]

“Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago” interview with filmmaker Lydia B. Smith

 Here is my interview with filmmaker Lydia B. Smith about her revealing and inspiring documentary about the Camino de Santiago de Campostela. Find out why six people (and  more really) from different parts of the world, and different ages, walk this ancient pilgrimage route and why and how … [Read More...]

“Alone Yet Not Alone” a one-sided telling of a true story

 "Alone, Yet Not Alone" is inspired a true story based on the 2012 fictional biography, "Alone Yet Not Alone: Their faith became their freedom" by Tracy Leininger Craven. The story is about two of Craven's ancestors Barbara and Regina Leininger who were captured by indigenous people in … [Read More...]


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