April 19, 2019

In other words, Soviet spy Joan Stanley (Dench and Sophie Cookson as the young Joan), doesn’t get caught until she’s too old to go to prison. She lives out her years in comfort as an OAP (old age pensioner in the UK or senior citizen as we say in the US). But when the British government finally catches up with her and arrests her on 29 breaches of the Official Secrets Act, Joan turns to her astonished lawyer son, Nick,… Read more

April 16, 2019

This latest attempt at a spook-fest from the team behind Warner Bros.’ Conjuring-Annabellefranchise is meaningless drivel. All the elements of a horror film are there: the paranormal inserting itself into nature and creating chaos, social and community isolation, unexplained apparitions, loss of control, psychological and physical vulnerability, evil vs good. But the story lacks credibility even though based on an old Mexican legend meant to scare kids into good behavior. There is some relief but no real redemption, just a… Read more

April 16, 2019

FILM REVIEW In April 2018 I had the honor of visiting the production set for the new film “Breakthrough” that will open nationwide tomorrow, April 17.  There I met the real Joyce Smith, played by Chrissy Metz and her son John played by Marcel Ruiz. You can read more about the film and the story behind it in a feature article I wrote for the April 2019 issue of St. Anthony Messenger (see below.) The film is based on the… Read more

March 28, 2019

  Ashley Bratcher plays Abby Johnson, a former worker at Planned Parenthood, in the new film “Unplanned” (Provided photo)   “Unplanned” is a new film from Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, both known for the Evangelical paranoia, audience-bait trilogy “God’s Not Dead.” They have teamed up again for a true-life story. This time it actually works as a feature film, though I wouldn’t call it entertainment exactly. “Unplanned” is the story of Abby Johnson, a former volunteer, then clinic director… Read more

March 28, 2019

  In October 1943, six months after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising the previous April on Passover, the 600 or so slave labor prisoners of the Sobibor death camp learn the Russian army is beginning to push west against Germany. Located southeast of Warsaw on what it today Poland’s border with Ukraine, the mostly male population of the death camp plan a revolt. Led by a Russian officer who is faithful to Stalin, they intend to kill as many SS officers… Read more

March 27, 2019

It is winter, and Diane (Mary Kay Place) is busy serving meals to the homeless, making sure her sick friends are OK and dealing with her deadbeat, drug-addicted son, Brian (Jake Lacy), who won’t do anything to help himself. Diane and her friends, who get together regularly, realize that death isn’t that far away given their age. Diane carries the responsibility for her community and for Brian, who suddenly sees the light and gets religion. Diane is not impressed as… Read more

March 27, 2019

  Photo Credit: (c) Disney Studios World War I has just ended. Holt (Colin Farrell) has returned to his job at the circus after losing his left arm in battle. While he was away, his wife died. Since then, his daughter, Milly (Nico Parker), and son, Joe (Finley Hobbins), have been staying with kind circus performers. It is a sad and awkward homecoming for Holt, but things are about to get exciting. Max (Danny DeVito), who owns the circus, recently… Read more

March 14, 2019

  Five Feet Apart – Stella Grant (Haley LU Richardson) is seventeen years old. She’s a teen girl who likes to do everything other girls her age enjoy but she does it from her almost permanent room in a hospital. Stella has cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and other organs because CF makes the body overproduce mucus that can harbor highly infectious bacteria. A new medical trial is beginning and her friend Poe (Moises Arias),… Read more

January 15, 2019

  Jacques (Vincent Lindon) is an injured war journalist who has recently returned to France after seeing his colleague die in an explosion in a Middle East conflict. He struggles with his hearing and wants to be alone. When he is mysteriously beckoned to the Vatican and asked to be on a team investigating Anna (Galatéa Bellugi), a young woman who says she has seen the Blessed Virgin, he reluctantly accepts. The town in southern France where the apparitions occur is… Read more




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