For stories that ‘transcend daily life’: CIMA presents 23rd annual entertainment awards

 These days, when many perceive heaven and Hollywood to be polar opposite, mutually exclusive destinations, it’s easy to forget that film and faith have the capacity to intersect in vital, remarkable ways. Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA) was founded in 1992 to serve as a reminder that Hollywood has many professionals who strive “to tell stories that transcend daily life in compelling ways and to communicate the true, the good and the beautiful.”Their work in the entertainment in … [Read more...]

‘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...]

‘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...]

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...]

‘Gleason’ and two other summer movies about fathers: Hunt for the Wilderpeople & Captain Fantastic

 Fathers are a theme that keeps emerging in this summer's movies. We always complain about how women are portrayed in films but how often do we consider the role of fathers? Here are three worthy films that probably deserve more analysis on how fatherhood is presented that I provide here, but if you like meaningful movies, these might be a good choice for you.'Gleason'Steve Gleason played defense for the New Orleans Saints for seven seasons and is famously remembered for a punt … [Read more...]

RISEN now available on DVD, Blu-Ray. digital

RISEN is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, digital, etc.Here's a link to the cast talking about meeting the Pope as well as my review of the film.  … [Read more...]