Catholics in the Movies: a history

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I'd like to recommend my friend Dr. Pat McNamera's Blog  and his special series on Catholics in the Movies. So far he has posted bios about Nita Naldi and Maurice Costello who appeared in 280 movies. Fascinating stuff from my favorite historian of all things Catholic.    … [Read more...]

“Space Warriors” family film premieres Friday, May 31, Hallmark Channel 8/7

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Hallmark ChannelFriday, May 31, 20138/7Jimmy Hawkins (Thomas Horn) is the son of a retired NASA astronaut, Captain Andy Hawkins (Dermot Mulroney) who once worked on the International Space Station.  Jimmy lives with his mom, Sally (Mira Sorvino), who is divorced from Andy.Jimmy love astrophysics and has always dreamed of being an astronaut and against his parents’ wishes, secretly applies to attend a special summer camp session at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama. Th … [Read more...]

“Rebel” tells of Cuban woman who fought in Civil War (PBS Friday May 24)

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REBEL: Story of Cuban woman who fought in the Civil WarVoces series on PBSFriday, May 24, 201310PM ET (check local listings)Loreta Janeta Velasquez, born in Cuba in 1842, was one of an estimated 1000 women who disguised themselves as men to fight on both sides in the American Civil War.   The “politics of national memory” marginalized and challenged her story from the time she published her story in 1876, “A Woman in Battle.”  The book is still in print. This episode of “Voces” a … [Read more...]

Arts & Faith at Loyola Press Interview

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A few weeks ago a blog writer for Loyola Press contacted me for an interview for their "Arts & Faith" page. Here is the interview - thank you so much, Loyola Press (Elizabeth Elliott and Rosemary Lane).Catholic Nun and Film Critic Finds God's Grace at Movies   … [Read more...]

“No Place on Earth” is the incredible story of Ukraine’s holocaust survivors

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In 1993 Chris Nicola, a cave explorer from Queens, NY, was in western Ukraine to research his family tree. While there he decided to explore some the country’s famous Gypsum Giant caves that extend for about 77 miles underground. In fact, he was the first person to ever do so. Deep in one of the caves he came across some artifacts: a cup, a shoe, a comb, buttons, medicine bottles.  He realized that these items belonged to someone, were part of someone’s life and started to ask questions. Finally … [Read more...]

“To the Wonder” yearning to feel life

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 When writer/director Terrence Malick’s latest cinematic painting unfolds Neil (Ben Affleck) and Marina (Olga Kuryenko), playfully cross the causeway to Mont St. Michel at low tide. They visit the old monastery. Neil says nothing but Marina reflects on love and wonders what will come next.They go from France to Oklahoma, with Marina’s daughter, Tatiana (Tatiana Chiline). The house is new, empty, and though almost sterile, filled with light. Marina and Tatiana begin to adapt, but Mar … [Read more...]

Roger Ebert film critic dies

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Gene Siskel, left, and Roger Ebert are shown in a 1994 file photo.(Photo: Associated Press) Today American film critic, Roger Ebert (1942 – 2013), died at age 70 from the effects of salivary gland and thyroid cancer that he had been battling for eleven years.  He started reviewing films in 1967 for the Chicago Sun-Times and continued through several television shows (the most popular “Siskel & Ebert” was with fellow critic Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune who died in 1999) and his online j … [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...]

“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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