“42″ the story of two men who would not let history pass them by

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 In John Sexton’s passionate book about the game of baseball, “Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game: Seeing Beyond the Game” (Gotham/Penguin, 2013), he describes the mysticism of the game in perfectly accessible terms:“Baseball, as it turns out, can help us develop the capacity to see through to another, sacred space. Indeed, the more we come to appreciate the sport’s intricacies and evocative power, the clearer it is that it shares much with what we traditionally ha … [Read more...]

List of movies about Catholics (Catholic history) in the United States

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Movies about Catholics (Catholic History) in the USA I was asked if I had a list of films about American Catholic history, life, events, and people. Since I didn't, I set out to compile one and asked the help of my good friend and favorite Church historian (and fellow writer at Patheos)  Dr. Pat McNamera.  After reading the list, please feel free to add to it in the Reply section. Thank you!   DocumentariesWomen & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in AmericaArchbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant … [Read more...]

Feeling grinchy about family movies? Don’t miss “Parental Guidance” it’s one of the good ones

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 Artie (Billy Crystal) is the sports announcer for the Fresno, CA minor league baseball team. At the end of the season when he is suddenly let go due to the team’s reorganization,  he and his wife Diane (Bette Midler) get a call from their daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei) in Atlanta. She and her husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott), a computer application inventor, are going away for several days and want the grandparents to take care of their three children. Besides, the other gr … [Read more...]

“Chasing Mavericks” bio of surfing legend Jay Moriarity

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 As a kid, Jay Moriarty loved to watch the waves. He timed the swells and figured out a way to predict the waves that will be good enough to surf.When he is 15, Jay (Jonny Weston) asks his neighbor and surfing hero Frosty  Hesson (Gerard Butler), to teach him to ride the surf break known as the mavericks, the legendary gigantic waves off the coast of northern California. Frost reluctantly agrees but only if Jay will work a “program” while in training.Jay’s father has left the … [Read more...]

‘Here Comes the Boom’ is a terrific bowling movie

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There’s a lot to like about this midlife transformation movie about a bowling champion who sacrifices himself for his neighbor and  perseveres once he sets his sights on doing something good for the world. It's never too late to change.It stars Kevin James as Scott Voss, a lazy Boston high school biology teacher who takes the line of least resistance toward life, getting a date with the school nurse Bella (Selma Hayek), and teaching. He is constantly in trouble with Principal Betcher (Greg Ge … [Read more...]

Undefeated – best sports film of the year

The nation, indeed the world, is enthralled by Jeremy Lin, the undrafted humble Harvard underdog who has stunned the NBA and the New York Knicks with his performances on the basketball court these last couple of weeks.But hidden in the deep South, somewhere around the decrepit environs of North Memphis, Tenn., a high school football team struggles to succeed just as it did in 2010 when The Tigers, the school’s football team, for the first time in the school’s 110 year history, made it to the pl … [Read more...]

The Mighty Macs

The St. Anthony Messenger November 2011 issue has a feature about the story that inspired the film. Check it out!  Here's my review: THE MIGHTY MACS (not yet rated): It is the early 1970s, at the dawn of the women's movement and just before Title IX programs for athletics were extended to women. The president and mother superior (Ellen Burstyn, W.) of the small Catholic all-girls Immaculata College, northwest of Philadelphia, hires a new basketball coach, Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino, Race to Witch M … [Read more...]

Senna: documentary about a champion with faith

  Sports films are the timeless cinematic metaphor for life. I think it is a fair question to ask which of them made you cry the most? Was it "Rudy"? "Field of Dreams"? "Brian's Song"? For me it's David Anspaugh's 1986 "Hoosiers."Some new releases, whether based on fact or fiction, fuse sports and faith quite well and are entertaining and inspiring without falling into the "message" trap. They also avoid sentimentality, though are wrought with emotion and tension. "Senna" is … [Read more...]


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