‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ asks: What’s in a name?

Note: there are spoilers but I am assuming you are older than seven if you are reading this and won’t mind or care. Besides if I can’t write about the whole movie this would be a really, really short review. If the spoilers really matter to you, please stop reading now. Everything is going well in Smurf Village, where the all-male, blue Smurfkind folk live together in harmony in a village under the leadership of the overprotective Papa Smurf (Mandy… Read more

‘Newtown’ – a grief and despair so massive

From Margaret Lyons over at the NYTimes “Watching” ‘Newtown’ When to watch: 9 p.m., on PBS (check local listings). Prepare to be emotionally ruined by this unfussy, devastating documentary about the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and 6 adults after also murdering his mother. The doc captures a grief and despair so massive that there’s no getting over it or getting through it; the parents and children and teachers and rescue workers will just… Read more

‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ – a true story of compassion and courage

This latest film from director Niki Caro (Whalerider) is perhaps one of the most unknown historical dramas that took place during World War II and forms part of the canon of Holocaust films. The film opens not long before Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Antonina (Jessica Chastain) Żabiński and her husband Jan (Johan Heldenbergh) and live with their son Ryszard (Tim Radford & Val Maloku) in a villa at the Warsaw Zoo. Jan is the head of the… Read more

Grace and Mercy in “Silence”

“Silence” is a recent film adaptation by Martin Scorsese of Japanese author Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel. The film tells the story of two young Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 17th century to find their mentor, Fr. Ferreira (Liam Neeson) who is reported to have apostatized. It is a long journey from Portugal to Rome, Goa, Macau and finally Japan, where Christianity is outlawed. But this journey is nothing compared to the long spiritual journey of Fr…. Read more

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” and our call to provide sanctuary

  The following is a guest post asking us to reflect on the current refugee situation, indeed crisis, and our response as believers in view of the release of “The Zookeeper’s Wife” film on March 31, 2017.   Our Call to Provide Sanctuary Co-authored by: Lori Margaret, Christian Interfaith Activist Sue Obedi, Hollywood Bureau Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council Rabbi Sarah Bassin, Reform Rabbi   The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the story of Antonina Żabiński, a working wife and mother who… Read more

‘Cries from Syria’: J’accuse! Airs tonight 3/13/17 HBO

The opening scene of Cries from Syria is of a two-year old baby laying dead on the sea shore, the rippled waves washing over him, because the boat bringing him to Europe capsized. This new HBO Documentary film (it premiered at Sundance in January) by Oscar and Emmy nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky premieres tomorrow night on television. The tragedy of the Al-Assad regime’s oppression and genocide is guaranteed to shock even an audience habituated to graphic war violence on television,… Read more

‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ – true story coming soon

I’ll be seeing the film next week; this information is from the publicist. The couple saved at least 300 Jews from death during World War II. Here’s a description of the book from Wikipedia: The Zookeeper’s Wife THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE – Synopsis In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing… Read more

‘The Shack” – finding God in the dark

“The Shack,” based on the 2007 best-selling novel by William P. Young, is now a major motion picture starring Sam Worthington and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. In wide release today, the film, in my humble opinion, far surpasses the novel. As anyone who reads my reviews knows, I am not a fan of the “Christian” genre, because most of those movies lead with a message rather than the story. I prefer to figure out what the movie means rather than… Read more

Hollywood 2016: Oscar review and my votes

2016 was a very good year for Hollywood. Disney made more than $1 billion — again — before the year was half over (the first studio ever to reach that amount in just over four months) and the hits just kept on coming: “Finding Dory,” “The Jungle Book,” etc. I only saw 56 films in 2016, far fewer that my usual 100. However, the quality of those that I did see was certainly worth the time and effort. Of the… Read more

“The Shack” Hollywood Drama with a Catholic Touch

This is the cover of St. Anthony Messenger for March 2017 and here is the link to my story The Shack: Hollywood Drama with a Catholic Touch     Read more




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