Roma Downey & Mark Burnett sign on for 2016 ‘Ben-Hur’ reboot

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 On Friday Mike Fleming, Jr., posted this news about the remake of "Ben-Hur" over at Deadline. My big question is will this new film include the entire story, including the role that Balthazar's daughter Iras has in the entire tale.I don't know how you can remake a film like "Ben-Hur" and that spectacular chariot race (do you know how long it really lasts? See below.)Who could ever play Judah Ben-Hur? Chris Helmsworth? Channing Tatum? If only Brad Pitt were younger but even … [Read more...]

Me and St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII … (pretend it’s a movie)

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  John Paul II in America is available on Amazon - used copies!  I had to decide to reach out and shake his hand or take the photo - which is why I was there. So I did! I just ordered a copy of the book from amazon for $.03 - postage about $5.00. Another memory ...  Click here to visit a page with a collage of many photos of our sisters (Daughters of St. Paul US/ES Canada Province) with Pope John Paul II over the years. I wish they had … [Read more...]

“Heaven is For Real” my interviews with Greg Kinnear, Thomas Haden Church & Randall Wallace

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Here is my on camera review of "Heaven is for Real" for "The Industry with Sister Rose" on the INNetwork plus my interviews with Randall Wallace, the Burpo family, Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church. This is a movie about hope, faith, and love. My longer print review is here: Heaven is for Real is a compelling story not a sermon in a can … [Read more...]

‘Walking with the Enemy’ shines light on little-known Holocaust story

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In Budapest, Hungary, head of state Regent Miklós Horthy (Ben Kingsley) was trapped between the Russians on the east and the Nazis from Germany on the west. He was forced to join the Axis in 1941. The first massacre of Hungarian Jews occurred in August that year. After a defeat on the Russian front in 1943, Hitler demanded that the regent punish the 800,000 still living in Hungary and insisted that 10,000 Jews be for supplied for slave labor. This is where "Walking with the Enemy" … [Read more...]

Cesar Chavez’ last fast frames new documentary

Ethel Kennedy gives Communion to Cesar Chavez as he ends the 36 day fast that frames the documentary "Cesar's Last Fast"

If you ask director and filmmaker Richard Ray Perez if the story of Cesar Chavez chose him or if he chose to tell Chavez's story, he would say both.Following the screening of his new film, "Cesar's Last Fast," at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film Showcase March 14, he told the audience that when he was 5 years old in the late 1960s, he first became aware of the table grape boycott while eating lunch at Head Start.Perez came from a family of migrant workers, but it was a … [Read more...]

“Cesar’s Last Fast” in Los Angeles starting Friday

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Don't miss "Cesar's Last Fast" if you are here in SoCal. It is inspiring beyond words. My review is coming ... It's a documentary about the life of Cesar Chavez that uses his final fast - 36 days- as the framework and lens for the storytelling.  … [Read more...]

“Tasting Menu” falls flat

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Of all the possible genres and subgenres of cinema, my favorite is that of “food.” If you ask most authentic food movie aficionados they will head their list of favorite food films with “Babette’s Feast” “Big Night” and for me “Pieces of April” “Mostly Martha” and “Ratatouille.”Now director Roger Gaul is serving up his version of a food movie but I fear, in fact, I am certain, it will never be a classic. It’s about a Spanish restaurant, on the gorgeous Costa Brava, on its last night. The chef … [Read more...]

Earth Day Films from the Sundance Institute

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  I got an email today from The Sundance Institute - it is offering people five films - handpicked -  to watch for Earth Day - today. Click here to access the films - though you may have to register first. As a disclaimer I haven't seen the films but knowing the quality of Sundance documentaries I'll let you be the judge. If all else fails, see Rio 2, a stunning fable for Earth Day.  … [Read more...]

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

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It is never easy to define, much less critique, a Wes Anderson film. They are filled to the brim with quirky characters who march a crooked but adventurous journey to the finish line. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most bizarre caper of them all.It is 1985, and the once stately hotel in the Republic of Zubrowka—somewhere between Germany, Hungary, and Russia—is worn and sagging. We travel back further in time to its former owner, Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham). We learnClick here to con … [Read more...]

“Heaven is for Real” is a compelling story, not a canned sermon

Connor Corum in "Heaven Is For Real" (CNS/Sony)

By now, most people know that I am not a fan of the "Christian" movie genre when these films are more about teaching than storytelling and making sure audiences get "the message" rather than trusting them to use their own moral and religious imagination to savor the story. These films might be movies, but they are certainly not art. In response to the film "God's Not Dead," I wrote an essay called "How movies can save people," and I make the distinction between "Christian" genre films that are … [Read more...]


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