Road to Guantanamo

Coming on the heels of President George W. Bush’s May 8th remarks that he would like to close the prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, pending the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling on how prisoners there would be tried (www., and the recent suicides of three Guantanamo detainees on June 11th comes Michael Winterbottom’s award-winning film, The Road to Guantanamo. It opens in theaters nation-wide on June 23.   The gritty drama/documentary tells the story of the “ … [Read more...]

Nacho Libre

  I like Jack Black. Ever since I saw him in a darkly comedic sequence in Alison Maclean’s 1999 film Jesus’ Son, I’ve liked Jack Black.   And I like Jared (and Jerusha) Hess’ 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite, about a geek with a big heart and hidden talents. They directed and co-wrote Nacho Libre.   I even liked the trailers for Nacho Libre. So despite all the other films opening this weekend, I went to see Nacho Libre today.   Jack plays Nacho, a young man who happened to become a … [Read more...]

X-Men: The Last Stand

[somewhat of a spoiler]   In X-Men (2000) Stan Lee’s classic Marvel comic is brought to the screen. It tells the story of children who are mutants, that is, they are born with an X-Factor in their genes. This factor gives them special powers. Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) runs a school for these mutants and wants them to learn to control their powers so as to live peacefully with other humans.   In X-2 (2003) an attempt is made on the president’s life and he does already h … [Read more...]

An Inconvenient Truth

On Larry King Live last night (June 20th) Al Gore appeared to talk about his film, the book, and the web site ( see   for An Inconvenient Truth. Someone emailed him a question that went something like this: no one has died of global warming, so what are you talking about?    The fact is, as Gore pointed out, tens of thousands of people have died because human practices have caused drastic changes in weather patterns with consequences showing … [Read more...]

Prairie Home Companion, A

Guy Noir (Kevin Kline) reflects on his job while at the local diner. He is the backstage doorkeeper (and seeker of all things secret and potentially sinister within because he used to be a private eye and assiduously maintains his persona) at the Fitzgerald Theater in  St. Paul, MN.   The Fitzgerald Theater, named for native son and novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, is home to “The Prairie Home Companion”, a weekly radio variety show. No one is supposed to know - but everyone does – that th … [Read more...]

The Omen: 666

                                                    The Omen: Popcorn Theology and Devil’s Food              Fans of the 1976 cult classic film The Omen about the birth of the a … [Read more...]

Da Vinci Code, The

  A retired English teacher approached me last week at Sacred Heart Parish in Covina, CA after I gave a presentation on The Da Vinci Code. She spoke to me in that quiet tone of disappointment used by English teachers and said, “What I regret the most about The Da Vinci Code is that it gives us no heroes.”               Alas, even with such high production qualities, an A-list cast, and the character of Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian Mc … [Read more...]

Da Vinci Code Statement by SIGNIS

World Catholic Association for Communication   “Media for a Culture of Peace”     “The Da Vinci Code”: A film which, finally, the Church has little to be concerned about. Cannes, 17 May 2006 (SIGNIS) – Much ado about very little… Many Christians from different backgrounds and sensibilities were anxious about the release of the film of The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard.  However, far from being a cinema masterpiece, the film is simply a popular en … [Read more...]

Akeelah still free to teachers

AMC ENTERTAINMENT AND LIONSGATE TO KEEP “AKEELAH AND THE BEE” F-R-E-E TO U.S. TEACHERS   WHAT:           With teachers swarming their local AMC theatres this past weekend and AKEELAH AND THE BEE holding strong in the top ten, AMC Entertainment and Lionsgate are extending the offer for every teacher in the United States to receive one free ticket to the film Friday, May 19 through Thursday, May 25, 2006.  The offer is valid exclusively a … [Read more...]

Goal! (The Dream Begins)

 Goal! Or Goal! The Dream Begins is a very good film that is filled with the kindness of strangers. It is about a young llegal immigrant to the United States from Mexico who makes his away to soccer (football) stardom with the Newcastle United team in England.   The film opens with the Munez family crossing the border under the cloak of night. They end up in Los Angeles. Ten years later, Santiago’s mother has deserted the family, but his father (the ever-dependable Latino actor Tony P … [Read more...]