‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is a love story for our time

Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley star in "The Fault in Our Stars." (CNS/Fox)

Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is in her 17th year of life and fourth year of thyroid cancer. The chemo has severely damaged her lungs, so she needs constant oxygen. She doesn't go anywhere without the tank and plastic tether that keeps her going.Her mom, Frannie (Laura Dern), drops a less-than-enthusiastic Hazel off at the local Episcopal church so she can join in a support group for teens coping with cancer. The group leader, Patrick (Mike Birbiglia), is a cancer survivor who … [Read more...]

Facebook at 10: a Christ-haunted political forum, family reunion, prayer group

Photo: AP

Last week marked the 10th anniversary of Facebook, the social networking site founded more or less (see the 2010 film "The Social Network") by Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm room at Harvard University. OK, Wikipedia says he co-founded Facebook with four other guys, but we really don't remember them, do we? And there were three others who claimed Zuckerberg stole their idea, a legal battle that was settled out of court. In an interview Feb. 4 with Zuckerberg on the "Today" show, there was no mention … [Read more...]

Is it a good thing Pope Francis was named TIME’s Person of the Year?

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Some time ago I was asked to be an expert contributor on film, TV and popular culture to ALETEIA news of the world from a Catholic perspective). Today one of the editor's asked several contributors to consider four questions and I commented for the first time (I didn't have a lot of time so I responded to the questions very briefly):1) Are you surprised Pope Francis was picked?  2) Is this a good thing or a bad thing for the Church and her mission of evangelization?3) Was Pope Francis … [Read more...]

You know that book I’ve been working on for 7 years? Lights, Camera, Faith: Beatitudes and Deadly Sins? It’s finished!

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  Yes, it is finished. The fifth volume in the series Lights, Camera Faith by my co-author Peter Malone, MSH and me. Click here to see the other volumes. And it's not like Peter didn't do his work: he was finished long ago. I was the one who got behind and involved in many other projects. And gave in to writer's block when all it took was a clean desk and the will to do it! So the manuscript is off to the editor. Sure there will be corrections and other steps but the … [Read more...]

‘Starbuck’ the hilarious tale of moral dilemmas and unintended consequences

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 Hanoverhill Starbuck (1979-1998) was a Canadian bull that sired 200,000 daughters around the world -- just under 37,000 in Canada alone. He also sired 209 proven sons, all through artificial insemination. 685,000 doses of his semen was sold in 45 countries globally, earning almost $25 million.David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) is a 42-year old loveable ne'er do well whose code name was “Starbuck” at the Montreal fertility clinic where he was a habitual donor 20 years ago -- and with … [Read more...]

Plato comes to life in DreamWorks “The Croods”

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 In "The Croods," the prehistoric caveman Grug (voice of Nicolas Cage) is the head of the Crood family. These beings believe they are the only creatures of their kind in existence. They live somewhere on the earth in a dark cave and only go out during the day if necessary. Grug tells the younger members of the family -- Eep (voice of Emma Stone), Thunk (voice of Clark Duke) and Sandy (Randy Thom) -- the same bedtime story every night: Obey the rules of the cave that are marked on … [Read more...]

“Francis and the Sultan” documentary released with great timing

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 When it was announced March 13 that the church had a new pope who had taken the name Francis, the first thing that popped into my head was, "St. Francis was the first one to reach out to Islam." This fact had just recently had been reinforced when I screened a new documentary from Franciscan Media, "In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan: a Model for Peacemaking."Talk about great timing for the release of this two-part DVD written and produced by Franciscan Sr. Kathleen A. … [Read more...]

Pope Francis speaks to journalists about his name, wanting a church that is poor, and role of media

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  This morning Pope Francis revealed why he chose the name Francis and then spoke encouraging words to 5,000 members of the press who have been covering the events of the last weeks since Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI announced his retirement.Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter has been in Rome covering the conclave and wrote the following this morning: Pope Francis: I would love a church that is poor.In another post NCR added the complete text of the … [Read more...]

“Veronica Mars” fundraiser for feature film raises $2.5 in just a few hours

KEN WORONER/ WARNER BROS

I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed the UPN television show "Veronica Mars" - starring Kristen Bell - that ceased production in 2005.The New York Daily News reports that the show's creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell began a "Kickstarter" campaign to raise funds for a movie and her fans have responded:"The "Veronica Mars" movie is coming to a theater near you in 2014!"In just 10 hours, scores of fans of the hit television show starring Kristen Bell rallied to raise more than … [Read more...]

“Oz the Great and Wonderful” is about the wizard of ‘id’

Michelle Williams stars in a scene from the movie "Oz the Great and Powerful." (CNS/Disney)

 "Oz the Great and Powerful" opens with Oscar "Oz" Diggs (James Franco), a self-centered small-time carnival magician and would-be ladies' man in Kansas more than a century ago. He tries to woo young women by including them in his shows, just as he tries to con the meager profits out of his assistant, Frank (Zach Braff). As the show is about to begin, Annie (Michelle Williams), perhaps the one woman Oscar truly loves, comes to tell him another man has asked her to marry him. She … [Read more...]


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