Richard Linklater’s existential ‘Boyhood”

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Writer/director Richard Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers, and Boyhood does not disappoint. It is a unique film, having been shot over 11 years using the same core actors. But viewers should know that Linklater, through his characters, will talk your ear off in the pursuit of existential meaning. Mason (Ellar Coltrane) is in the first grade and lives with his older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), and mother (Patricia Arquette). Mom is raising the kids mostly on her own, but their … [Read more...]

‘My Old Lady’ review

Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith star in 'My Old Lady'

Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) arrives at what used to be a grand home in Paris. His father has died and left his middle-aged son a gold watch and the apartment. Mathias intends to sell the residence and move on with his life. After three failed marriages, he needs a fresh start. He blames his late father, an adulterer, for his own failures. Mathias enters the home and discovers an elderly woman, Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), and her daughter, Chloé (Kristin Scott … [Read more...]

Actress Roma Downey lends her voice to our annual Webathon

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The Daughters of St. Paul are so grateful to actress/producer Roma Downey for lending a voice to encourage folks to contribute to our annual Daughters of St. Paul webathon. She made this while on location in Morocco where she and husband Mark Burnett are filming the TV miniseries A.D. due out at Easter 2015. Thank you for whatever you can do to help us in our mission of sharing God's Word through the media!    … [Read more...]

‘Call the Midwife’ is a celebration of life

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  During the 1950s, the Anglican sisters of St. Raymond Nonnatus ran a midwifery service and clinic out of their convent in the Poplar section of London's East End. Working alongside them were young women who were trained nurses and qualified midwives. "Call the Midwife," a BBC dramatic series, is based on the stirring and candid memoirs of nurse Jennifer Lee Worth (1935-2011). When the first episodes of "Call the Midwife" aired in the United Kingdom, it was the only … [Read more...]

‘Fury’ fuels the ‘war is hell’ mentality without shining fresh light on it

From left: Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Brad Pitt, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal in "Fury" (CNS/Columbia Pictures)

"Fury" is writer/director David Ayer's latest action film, moving from city streets ("Street Kings," "S.W.A.T.") to the battlefields of World War II. Sgt. Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt) commands a five-man crew on a tank named "Fury." Their assignment is to join with three other tank units and first take one German town, then move on to take a crossroads and hold it. It is after the landing at Normandy -- many men have been killed, yet they must go on and do their jobs. The fifth man on the … [Read more...]

‘Left Behind’ or lost in space?

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The remake of the 2000 film "Left Behind" is based on the first of 12 best-selling novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. This new film is a watered-down and somewhat changed version of the earlier movie with a bigger budget and not much else. There is barely enough undercooked scriptural theology to critique in the vacuous writing and painful acting. However, it offers an opportunity to explore dispensationalism, a popular way of interpreting the Book of Revelation, an idea that never comes … [Read more...]

‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ refreshing, sweet

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Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) is eleven years old and he is always having bad days. He loves to study about Australia but the geography teacher assigns that country to another student, leaving him disappointed. It’s just another bad day. It’s also the day before his birthday and things are not going well for anyone in his family. His mom, Kelly (Jennifer Garner) works for a publisher and a glitch in the launch of a new children’s book threatens her career. His dad, Ben (Steve Carrell), has been … [Read more...]

‘The Heart of the Story: Storytelling in a Digital Age’

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  Here is a link to a presentation I gave at the Communicators for Women Religious (CWR, formerly the NCNWR) conference last week in Long Beach.Click hereHere is the description for the presentation:How shall we tell our stories in the age when traditional and new media converge are creating new languages that in turn create new networks, communities and contested discourse? What are the key elements to craft our stories and to mediate those produced by the … [Read more...]

‘The Decent One’: Documentary on Himmler a compelling contribution to Holocaust filmography

Heinrich Himmler in 1941 (Kino Lorber, Inc.)

 Heinrich Himmler -- the Nazi Gestapo chief, head of the German police in the Third Reich, head of the Reich Main Security Office, and Reich Minister of the Interior -- was born to a Catholic family Oct. 7, 1900, in Munich. His father, Gebhard Himmler, was a tutor to Prince Heinrich of Bavaria, who in turn was young Heinrich's godfather.Heinrich was a good student but poor athlete, and his father used his influence with the royal family so that Heinrich could enter officer training … [Read more...]


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