‘The Rise of the Guardians’ an inspiring fantasy mash-up

North (Alec Baldwin) welcomes Jack Frost (Chris Pine) in this scene from the animated movie "Rise of the Guardians." (CNS/DreamWorks Animation)

Although it took me some time to figure out what was going on and what Dreamworks' handsome, over-long film was trying to say, it became apparent about halfway through that I could easily make connections between the imaginative narrative and Christian beliefs. Seeing "Guardians" bears out the saying "You get out of a film what you bring to it" because you make meaning according to your own lens.The story opens with Jack Frost (the voice of Chris Pine) telling us how he came to be the spirit … [Read more...]

PBS to revisit ‘Downton Abbey’ with Sunday special Nov 25

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"Who will marry whom?" and "Will Mr. Bates get out of prison?" are two of the driving questions that lingered as season two of PBS's highest-rated Masterpiece series came to an end in 2011. As a teaser and fundraising event, PBS is airing a special, hosted by Angela Lansbury, that revisits key moments of the first two seasons, sums up where the series left off and entices with clips about Downtown Abbey's upstairs/downstairs  folks post-World War I, coming up in season three. The new season … [Read more...]

Pianist brings mother’s Holocaust experiences to life

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Live theater is always fresh even when the story breaks your heart. The actors pour themselves into the feat of becoming another and convincing us that their pain, joy, dilemmas, tragedy and triumph are real.Through the kindness of friends, Daughter of St. Paul Sr. Marie Hunt and I were able to experience "The Pianist of Willesden Lane" at the Geffen Playhouse at UCLA.The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater within the playhouse is intimate at only 115 seats, or parlor armchairs, arranged on … [Read more...]

“Restless Heart: The Confessions of St. Augustine” theatrical screening 12/10/12 in Los Angeles

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You are welcome to come in to purchase tickets or to call 310-397-8676. Tickets must be pre-purchased. All sales are final. No tickets will be sold at the door.This is a benefit screening of the film; proceeds will go to the Building Fund of the Daughters of St. Paul here in Culver City, CA (for repairs, new roofs, remodeling, new  carpet, tuckpointing of chapel exterior wall  if the budget can manage it).Bless you!Although there is nothing objectionable in the film it may be over t … [Read more...]

Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, PBS, check local listings & Hulu

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The notice announcing Academy Award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s new documentary “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream” included a photo of 740 Park Avenue, a luxury apartment building in Manhattan. I was rendered completely curious so I replied immediately to the publicist and requested a screener. (Gibney's previous films include "Taxi form the Dark Side" and "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room").You see, my great aunt lived at 740 Park Avenue for almost thirty years. Her n … [Read more...]

In “Skyfall” 007 gets religion! Well, kind of

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 If “Quantum of Solace”, the last James Bond movie, was remarkable for themes of social justice, then the new Bond cat-and-mouse film is just as remarkable for its theology. Well, kind of. It’s more about God embracing James Bond then the other way around. But who knows what will happen in movie 24 of this 50-year franchise when it comes out at some future date?In this latest installment of 007's next incarnation James (Daniel Craig) is riding a motorbike up and down staircases and   … [Read more...]

Metaphors and Journeys of Faith in the Life of Pi & Big Fish

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 Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003) and Ang Lee’s 3D Life of Pi (2012) have a lot in common, and it’s not just the fish or the almost overwhelming cinematography and artistic design that transcend the ordinary.Besides the fact that both films are based on novels, their common bond is the larger than life idea of fish and creation, imaginary worlds, and telling a fantastical story using metaphor, analogy and fable. Both stories share themes about life and death, about faith and miracles, ab … [Read more...]

Trouble with the Curve, Hotel Transylvania,The Perks of Being a Wallflower,

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  This small movie is about the relationship between a grumpy, growling, aging baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves, Gus (Clint Eastwood), and his lawyer-daughter Mickey (Amy Adams). When Gus’ friend Pete (John Goodman) alerts Mickey to Gus’ eyesight problems, she joins her dad to scout players in North Carolina, jeopardizing her promotion to partner at her law firm.Father and daughter spar, but they love each other—and the game—even though Mickey, named for Mickey Mant … [Read more...]

I AM GABRIEL straight to DVD

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This fantasy story takes place in a broken-down rural Texas town where people are being evicted from their homes and farms, others are ill, lack faith, or face other challenges.Then into their midst comes a 12-year old boy who utters words of faith to encourage and invite people to faith. All he will say is, “I am Gabriel.”He then proceeds, in an attitude of severe humor deprivation, to be a voice of encouragement to the good towns people. And he knows things about them no one else does; … [Read more...]

For Greater Glory on DVD Sept 11

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In 1917 the Mexican Constitutional Congress adopted a new constitution. It confirmed the separation of church and state first decreed in the 1857 constitution, returned subsoil rights to the government from ownership and control by foreign corporations, established the basis for secular education, and provided for land reforms. Five articles restricted the power and liberty of the Catholic church. These forbade public worship outside of churches, restricted the church’s right to own property, c … [Read more...]


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