‘Watch The Super Bowl Or We’ll Kick This Dog: The Saddest Ads Ever’ says Linda Holmes at NPR

First, my take ...As I watched the commercials during "the game" last night I posted on Facebook: it's sad that character education in America has been taken over by corporations, like corporations control the government and everything else. Coke will love you even when no one else does and Dove will take care of all your body odor needs making you as non-offensive as plastic and socially acceptable anywhere. (And with Coke's sugar context and other additives, well, let's just say that over … [Read more...]

‘American Sniper’ – a question of heroes

* This essay/review contains spoilersIn Clint Eastwood's Iraqi Western, we see the evolution of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's (Bradley Cooper) skills as a shooter as well as his motivation for enlisting in the military and going to war: God, country, family.As Chris (played as a child by Cole Konis) grows up in Texas, his dad, Wayne (Ben Reed), teaches him to hunt and how to handle a rifle. Wayne infuses in the boy ideals of heroism and says aggression is a gift to save others. One Sunday at … [Read more...]

“Martin Sheen: Pilgrim on the Way” is in the house! Launch Feb 7th, 2015

 CLICK HERE for early editorial reviews. The back cover: Martin Sheen, best known for his role as a Catholic president in the prestigious television series The West Wing, returned to the practice of his Catholic faith at the age of forty after decades away. After years of battling alcohol addiction, a near-fatal heart attack, and a nervous breakdown, the stage, film, and television actor renewed his dedication to his family and activated his faith with energy, grace, and joy. Through … [Read more...]

‘Black or White’ is about complicated family situations – and it’s my first time on the Red Carpet!

Mike Binder's new film, "Black or White," is being released right after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and in time for Black History Month. Its release comes after a tumultuous year of riots and marches motivated by the deaths of black boys and men at the hands of white policemen. But the film was in production long before these events because Binder had a story to tell that came from his own extended family. The timing for the release is fortuitous because, as Binder says, "It's time to … [Read more...]

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” – a shorter take

 Director Ridley Scott’s imagining of the first half of the Book of Exodus is dramatic and majestic. We meet Moses (Christian Bale) and his “cousin,” Ramses (Joel Edgerton), who have been brought up together. When Pharaoh (an almost unrecognizable John Turturro) gives them almost matching swords and then switches them, he tells both men to watch out for the other. It is the beginning of a sibling-like rivalry that will frame the rest of the story.They go into battle, where Moses … [Read more...]

“The Imitation Game” is my favorite film of the year

Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), a young mathematician with an IQ almost equal to Albert Einstein’s, answers an ad to work for the British government in 1939 when England declares war on Germany. He joins a team of code breakers at the topsecret facility at Bletchley Park.After months of futile efforts to break the Nazi “Enigma Code,” Turing entreats Winston Churchill to name him team leader so he can build what turns out to be a prototype of a modern computer. Turing’s vision is credited … [Read more...]

“Unbroken”

 Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) is the son of Italian immigrants living in Southern California during the Depression. He skips school, drinks liquor, and smokes. His brother, Pete (Alex Russell), however, sees his potential as a runner. Louie begins to train and win track meets. He earns a scholarship to the University of Southern California; his collegiate record for the mile held for 15 years. He also makes the US Olympic track and field team in 1938 in Berlin.In 1941, L … [Read more...]

‘Broadchurch’ Season Two starts March 4

 I discovered the series BBC "Broadchurch" last year on Netflix. Then came the US version, "Gracepoint' still starring David Tennent as the detective with a past and most everything but the ending a copy of the BBC series. Truth to tell, I liked both series but "Broadchurch" paid attention to the details of the priest character that the US version mashed up completely. About the US version's ending I can only ask: why?There is a religious thread running throughout the first series - … [Read more...]

‘Klansville USA’ on PBS outlines the 1954 rise of the KKK

 “Klansville U.S.A.” is a relatively short film that documents a portion of U.S. history that few may be aware of: the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina after the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954 that effectively began the dismantling of institutionalized segregation. There is an especially poignant and tragic connection between this documentary and the new major film release “Selma,” now in theaters: voting rights activist Viola Liuzzo, who was kille … [Read more...]

“Martin Sheen: Pilgrim on the Way” LA book launch and signing set for Feb. 7, 2015

I hope you can join all of us at the Pauline Book & Media Center for this date.  Refreshments will be served!You can order from Amazon or directly from Liturgical Press, too. Or if you order through our book store I can autograph it for you! Call 310-397-8676 between 10am-6pm, Pacific Time, Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday).Here are some early reactions to the book (people are so kind and generous!): In a world where "celebrity biography" has become synonymous with "scandlous … [Read more...]


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