High-octane ‘San Andreas’ tells audiences to be prepared

Carla Gugino and Dwayne Johnson in "San Andreas" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Jasin Boland)

Ray (Dwayne Johnson) is a Los Angeles firefighter who heads a team of helicopter rescuers. Not long after saving a girl whose car is resting on a canyon cliff, the world seems about to end: San Andreas, Calif.'s main north-south earthquake fault line is triggered by a series of quakes around Hoover Dam in Nevada.But Ray's world is already fragile because of a pending divorce from his wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), and the earlier death of one of his two daughters. Emma introduces him to her new … [Read more...]

‘Marie’s Story’ captures life’s sacramental dimensions

Ariana Rivoire as Marie Heurtin and Isabelle Carré as Sr. Marguerite in the film "Marie's Story" (Film Movement)

In 1899, when deaf and blind Marie Heurtin is 14 years old, her loving father brings her from the family farm to the Larnay Institute near Poitiers, France, run by the Daughters of Wisdom. The young girl, played by Ariana Rivoire in the film "Marie's Story," extends her face and hands to the warm sun as they ride in the wagon. Marie hugs her father. She is at peace.The sisters at the institute are either deaf or hearing, and the girls they teach are all deaf. When the mother superior … [Read more...]

‘The Messengers’ is like a Christian zombie movie for the small screen

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 The rapture is coming -- again. A new television series, "The Messengers," premieres at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central today, April 17, on The CW because "the wheels of Revelation have begun to turn." The end is near, and "angels" or Messengers, have appeared.The Messengers are five select people, men and women, unknown to the others, who are gifted with the ability to heal others. Then there is "The Man" (Diogo Morgado), who wields death and destruction even though he looks like a totally … [Read more...]

Neither faith nor magic saves ‘Little Boy’ from its muddled message

Jakob Salvati as the title character in "Little Boy" (©Metanoia Films)

I imagine that the writers of "Little Boy," Pepe Portillo and Alejandro Monteverde, who also directs, wanted to make a sweet film about faith and the love between a father and his son. They surely wanted audiences to see life through a Catholic lens when they crafted this highly structured, ambitious, well-cast, and beautiful-looking movie, which opens in theaters April 24. Unfortunately, while it may make you shed a tear at the end, it's for all the wrong reasons.As "Little Boy" opens, we … [Read more...]

‘Killing Jesus’ is remarkable but doesn’t give the whole picture

Haaz Sleiman, center, in "Killing Jesus" (CNS/Courtesy National Geographic Channels/Kent Eanes)

8 p.m./7 p.m. Central, Sunday, March 29 National Geographic Channel  "Killing Jesus" airs Sunday on the National Geographic Channel. It is written by Oscar- and Emmy-winner Walon Green and based on Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard's 2013 bestseller of the same title.The title is somewhat misleading, however. By the title, you might expect something like Jim Bishop's 1957 book and 1980 TV movie The Day Christ Died. Instead, this television movie (like the … [Read more...]

‘The True Cross’ airs this Sunday in “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” and tune in for ‘Mary Magdalene’ on Easter

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“The True Cross” airs this Sunday in “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” The latest episode in CNN’s “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” is a fairly interesting examination of purported relics of the True Cross that St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, is said to have brought back from her two-year visit to Jerusalem in 328 CE. According to the show, the Empress Helena, who was a Christian, set out to Jerusalem to find the true cross of Jesus, becoming the … [Read more...]

‘White God’ an unorthodox fable to discuss serious issues

Zsofia Psotta in "White God" (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

 Taking his cue from a 1999 novella by South African writer J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals, Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo's "White God" brings us a cautionary, surreal vision of a "once and future" Eastern European society where the superior few rule the others, and the others rise up in rebellion. Coetzee explores the idea of animal rights in his book of essays..After reading Coetzee's novella, Mundruczo, who also co-wrote the script for "White God," wondered … [Read more...]

The imprudence of a martyr

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I am pleased to post this story from John Donaghy's blog "I Walk the Way." John is a Jesuit-educated associate of the Dubuque-based Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family."The imprudence of a martyr" is about the Spanish-born Fr. Luis Espinal, SJ (1932 - 1980):"Luis Espinal was a print and television journalist, as well as a movie critic. His work revealed the oppression and injustice at the root of the Bolivian political and social system of his day."CLICK HERE to continue reading at … [Read more...]

‘Do You Believe?’ is mainstream … Sunday school

Delroy Lindo in "Do You Believe?" (Courtesy of Pure Flix)

Following up on their success with last year's triumphalist "God's Not Dead," screenwriters Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon have written "Do You Believe?", an interconnected drama for Christians that features 12 lives colliding in a life-changing event.It is nighttime in downtown Detroit. A man, Malachi (Delroy Lindo), is carrying a large cross when he confronts a man in a car at an intersection. He asks: "Do you believe in the cross of Christ?" The man, Matthew (Ted McGinley), says he is a … [Read more...]


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