‘Tower’ film marks 50th anniversary of Texas school shooting

Fifty years ago, on August 1, 1966, a 24-year-old sniper positioned himself on the observation deck of the Clock Tower overlooking the University of Texas, Austin. His name was Charles Joseph Whitman. He shot 49 people. 18 people died, including an unborn baby. Another victim died of complications of the shooting in 2001. Meredith Vieira and Luke Wilson are among the executive producers of "Tower," an award-winning documentary that tells the story of that day from the perspective of several … [Read more...]

‘Priceless’ reveals impact of human trafficking

(This film review is by guest blogger Sister Kathleen Bryant, RSC.)Priceless is a suspense driven film raising a critical issue facing the world today. An ordinary man going about his own human struggles to be a good person is confronted with a choice, which transforms his life at quite a cost. Early on in the film, James, (Joel Smallbone), would rather not ask questions or know what “cargo” he is delivering. The film raises an important question for most of us who would rather not know who … [Read more...]

‘Killing Reagan’ lacks surprises, if you remember March 30, 1981

It was October in Nashville during the run up to the 1980 U.S. presidential election between Republican candidate Ronald Reagan and Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter. There is a stir in the crowd when a Secret Service agent spots a young man named John Hinckley Jr. (Kyle More) with a red backpack. He escapes but his suspicious behavior at the airport leads police to inspect his carry-on suitcase where they find two handguns. He is arrested and released after paying a fine of $62.50 for carrying … [Read more...]

Turner Classic Movies highlights trailblazing women in film for second year

In case you haven't noticed, classic films are "hot" right now, and not only with viewers who may have seen them in theaters 50 or 60 years ago. Turner Classic Movies is a broadcast and satellite channel that was launched on April 14, 1994, at 6 p.m., the 100th anniversary, to the minute, of the first public film showing in New York City (notwithstanding what the Lumière brothers might have to say about that). The first film broadcast on TCM was the 1939 classic "Gone with the Wind." American … [Read more...]

‘Birth of a Nation’ offers lots to talk about

"Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever." --Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson wrote these words in Paris in 1785, in his only full-length book, Notes on the State of Virginia. These same words are on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., and they open Nate Parker's first film as a director and writer, "The Birth of a Nation."This film -- which won an Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January and which Fox … [Read more...]

‘Queen of Katwe’ tells of a mighty girl chess prodigy from Uganda

(This is from my column but I loved, loved, loved, this movie because Phiona is a mighty girl - and her mother a mighty woman)In Katwe, a slum outside of Kampala, Uganda, Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) drops out of school at a young age to help her widowed mother, Harriet (Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o), support the family. Meanwhile, Robert (David Oyelowo) takes a low-paying job at a Christian youth center in Katwe since he cannot find a job as an engineer.Phiona follows her brother to the c … [Read more...]

Catholics in Media to award ‘Ben -Hur’ ‘Ray Donovan’ ‘The Story of God’ October 9th in Los Angeles

This is the news release that was sent out.Culver City, CA Sept, 19 – Catholics in Media Associates has announced it’s honorees for the 2016 CIMA Awards to be presented at the organization’s 23rd annual event on October 9, 2016. All the CIMA Awardees were chosen for their ability to tell stories that transcend daily life in compelling ways and to communicate the true, the good, and the beautiful.Following the 10:00AM Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Ange … [Read more...]

Netflix: The light of grace in human stories

 When Netflix was launched by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1998 as a DVD rental service by mail, late fees applied and the company had fewer than 1,000 titles to loan.A year later, the company began a monthly subscription service and by early 2000 began its flat fee with unlimited rentals, without due dates, late fees or shipping costs. It was a completely new entertainment business model.The demise of Blockbuster and other brick-and-mortar video rental services was just a … [Read more...]

‘Sully’ the man and the miracle

Everyone knows the story of US Airways Flight 1549. On January 15, 2009 Captain Sully “Sullenberger” (Tom Hanks) and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) took off from La Guardia airport in a plane with 155 souls on board, including passengers and crew. They collided with a flock of Canadian geese just a couple of minutes later. They were over Manhattan and radioed they were banking left, turning back to La Guardia. In 207 seconds, with both engines out Captain Sully and Skiles brought the pl … [Read more...]

“Ben Hur” a path of redemption

Today the fourth cinematic adaptation of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a reimagining for the 21st century opens in theaters. The first, in 1907, was a silent short film and made without permission from Wallace's family. The heirs took the filmmakers to court over copyright infringement and it ended with the Supreme Court setting a legal precedent for film and theatrical adaptations of literary works. Carol Wallace, Wallace's great-great-granddaughter, was at the … [Read more...]