‘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...]

“Korengal” Same valley, same soldiers, different story

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 One of the loglines for Sebastian Junger’s latest documentary film “Korengal” is: “Same valley, same soldiers. Different journey” while another reads: “This is what war feels like.”In one way “Korengal” completes the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepo” that Junger made with cameraman, photojournalist Tim Hetherington who died in 2011 while covering the conflict in Libya. But as Junger expresses it, “’Restrepo’ was intended to be a way for civilians to experience what combat … [Read more...]

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” returns to familiar franchise themes

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   Somehow, I think the Transformers franchise started a trend in "look" even to Noah's prehistoric giants.The violence inherent in all the images is more troublesome.   I have always liked the X-Men film franchise. This most recent installment, again directed by Bryan Singer, revisits themes of predestination and free will, courage and hope, intolerance of "the other",  abuse of power, consequences of atomic bomb fallout (but … [Read more...]

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ explores complex themes (but bring ear plugs)

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 Of all the comic-book-turned-into-movie superheroes, Spider-Man has always been my favorite. Despite the launch of this new franchise in 2012 with director Marc Webb at the helm, my favorite film about the araneae homo is Sam Raimi's 2004 "Spider-Man 2." It's one of the best interpretations of creator Stan Lee's teenage hero as a young man of character and virtue.Ten years later, we have "The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Rise of Electro," and the title says almost everything about … [Read more...]

Top 300 Christian Blogs for Ministry – check it out and blog on (before the zombie apocalypse)

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 Christian blogs, and Catholic Christian blogs in particular, cover a lot of topics. They are also quite popular. Since 2006 Church Relevance has been dedicated to "Creating relevant, effective ministries." I had never heard of it's founder Ken Shaffer before today. But I like how he (and collaborator Craig Van Lorlaar) define their mission: "True relevance is understanding culture andresponding to hurts and needs with the gospel, sacrifical love, and selfless ministering."Now, h … [Read more...]

Sister Rose makes PEOPLE magazine!

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At the press screening for NOAH last week at Paramount Studios Sr Jennifer and I sat next to PEOPLE magazine writer Alynda Wheat and her sweet mother (we spent the wait time talking Candy Crush strategy). After we chatted about the film - now look! We have a date to go to the press screening for Exodus come autumn. This is in the April 14, 2014 issue.I know ALL of you read PEOPLE magazine so you probably saw this already. (My sister Libby sent me a message that she'd seen it though we knew … [Read more...]

“John Wayne: the Life and Legend” review by Peter Bogdanovich

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This morning's New York Times Book Review section has a highly enthusiastic review of Scott Eyman's new biography of John Wayne by director (and former journalist) Peter Bogdanovich: ""Playing John Wayne: Scott Eyeman's 'John Wayne: the Life and Legend.'"  Bogdanovich, who knew "The Duke" for about fifteen years - much longer than the author - reveals his own admiration for the iconic actor and makes you want to read the book.Loyola Press has a special online webpage called "Arts and Faith." … [Read more...]

“Noah” my on camera review

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Here's my on camera review of NOAH on the INNdustry with Sister Rose. It goes along with my print review that you can read HERE at my blog with a link through to NCROnline.  … [Read more...]

“Veiled Desires” reveals the inner realities of cinematic sisters (book review)

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 VEILED DESIRES: INTIMATE PORTRAYALS OF NUNS IN POSTWAR ANGLO-AMERICAN FILM By Maureen A. Sabine Published by Fordham University Press, $30Sometimes there can be a sacramental quality about cinema. When movies tell stories well, they become outward manifestations that transcend the inner realities of their characters in ways that touch the audience. Maureen Sabine has written a masterful book that reveals the sacramentality of cinema about religious women. She is confident of her … [Read more...]


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