When the Game Stands Tall

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 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...]

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

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

 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

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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 depression and has long battled alcohol and drug addiction. As recently as last month, he entered rehab to "fine-tune" his sobriety.Williams was also a husband and father. He was no saint, but he … [Read more...]

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

From left, Kelly Reilly and Brendan Glesson in "Calvary" (Photos by Fox Searchlight Pictures)

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, he's dead. Are you getting help? You mean therapy so I can move forward with my life? No. Then the man tells Lavelle that he is going to kill him, because what good would it do to kill a bad priest? … [Read more...]

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

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 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 very close to her older sister, Sophie (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) who has her own apartment and longs to go to India to be with her fiancé but feels responsible for Gabrielle. Their mother, (Isabelle … [Read more...]

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

Eric Bana, center, and Joel McHale, left, in a scene from "Deliver Us From Evil" (CNS/Sony Picture/Andrew Schwartz)

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 evil with them.New York police sergeant Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) is one tough cop with his own inner darkness. He is married to Jen (Olivia Munn) with one child, Christina (Lulu Wilson). He works … [Read more...]

What? No more princesses at Pixar/Disney?

Finally, a female Pixar hero who's not a princess. (c) Disney/Pixar

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 to keep Riley in balance. The "emotions" (according to a studio presentation) are not made out of "flesh and blood" but "energy".Please give this article a read.it's a wonderful idea but what … [Read more...]

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

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 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 Smith, a non-Catholic, made such a Catholic film.  Here's my online review of the film from "The INNdustry with Sister Rose":       … [Read more...]

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

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 "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 Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763).  The girls and their family had come to America from Germany. The Delaware Indians took the girls (and other captives) over 300 miles into O … [Read more...]


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