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‘Same Kind of Different as Me’ has its heart in the right place

October 20th, 2017 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Viewers committed to scriptural values will be inclined to cut the good-hearted but uneven drama “Same Kind of Different as Me” some slack.

A poster for the movie “Same Kind of Different as Me” is displayed in this promotional photo for the film. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. (CNS photo/Paramount)

Based on real-life events, the film recounts how wealthy art dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) came to form an unlikely friendship with Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou), a volatile but fundamentally decent homeless man.

Anxious to repair the damage a recent affair has done to his marriage, Ron reluctantly agrees to accompany his spiritually attuned wife, Debbie (Renee Zellweger), on her visits to a local soup kitchen.

There he gradually overcomes the initial (and intimidating) hostility of his future pal, who is first seen wielding a baseball bat while making angry threats against the other beneficiaries of the charity. He also learns the details of Denver’s personal history.

So long as Hounsou dominates the scene, as he does while lyrically recalling his character’s childhood, his redoubtable talent carries the film along.

The other headliners of the cast, including Jon Voight as Ron’s booze-sodden estranged father, Earl, also bring formidable resumes to the project. But they prove less successful in overcoming the limitations of the script. It was adapted from the book, penned by Hall and Moore, by director Michael Carney, Alexander Foard and Hall.

A nondenominational religious subtext and Gospel-congruent values help to hide the aesthetic blemishes. They also contribute to making the movie probably acceptable for older teens, despite the elements listed below.

The film contains some nonlethal violence, a scene of marital intimacy, mature themes, including adultery and racial hatred, sexual references and innuendo. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13.

     

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

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‘The Snowman’ Nordic whodunit is too grusome

October 19th, 2017 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Though it presents itself as a complex, thinking person’s thriller, “The Snowman,” director Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s best-selling crime novel, is not above dabbling in penny-dreadful sensationalism.

Michael Fassbender stars in a scene from the movie “The Snowman.” The Catholic News Service classification is O, morally offensive. (CNS photo/Universal)

In between, this Nordic whodunit returns to plodding wearily across the frozen landscape of its unconvincing mystery story.

Set primarily in Oslo, Norway, the film tracks the efforts of gifted but alcoholism-plagued police Det. Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) to catch a serial killer who uses a snowman as his calling card, building one at each murder site.

Harry’s search is complicated by the fact that his new partner, Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), seems to have a hidden agenda of her own. His tangled relationships with his ex-girlfriend, Rakel (Charlotte Gainsbourg), for whom he still carries a torch, her son Oleg (Michael Yates) and her new live-in love interest Mathias (Jonas Karlsson) offer further distractions.

Needlessly shocking visuals of dismembered limbs, severed heads and the like punctuate the stilted proceedings.

The fact that the killer’s motivation springs from the sordid personal lives of his victims as well as his traumatic childhood makes the movie even seamier. So, too, do subplots involving an abortion mill and the perverse behind-the-scenes behavior of a high-profile public figure, Arve Stop (J.K. Simmons), who poses as a champion of traditional values.

Underlying all of this is a viewpoint, presumably carried over from Nesbo’s book by screenwriters Peter Straughan and Hossein Amini, fully endorsing the ideas of the sexual revolution and implicitly labeling anyone who opposes them as, at best, a hypocrite, at worst, a psychopath.

The film contains excessive gory violence and gruesome images, a suicide, strong sexual content, including aberrant behavior, an adulterous bedroom scene and brief upper female nudity, abortion, domestic abuse and cohabitation themes, profanity and rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is O, morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

     

 

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‘American Made’ feels too turbulent and bumpy

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Catholic News Service

“American Made,” the wild, fact-based story of airline pilot-turned-gun-runner Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), is far too turbulent for youngsters and even too bumpy for most of their elders.

Tom Cruise and and Alejandro Edda star in a scene from the movie “American Made.” The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture . (CNS photo/Universal)

That’s a shame because, given a different treatment, this unlikely tale of a man playing several sides against the middle might have made an entertaining slice of recent history for a much wider audience.

Bored with his career ferrying passengers around the country for TWA, Barry reacts enthusiastically when approached by CIA operative Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) with the offer of a covert mission. It’s the early 1980s and the opening stages of the Reagan administration, and Schafer wants Barry to transport arms to the U.S.-backed contra forces fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

This turns out to be exciting, dangerous but straightforward work. Yet Barry is soon diverted from it by the chance to smuggle cocaine for the leaders of the nascent Medellin drug cartel, Jorge Ochoa (Alejandro Edda) and Pablo Escobar (Mauricio Mejia).

Discovering, more or less simultaneously, that the contras would rather get rich than fight, Barry develops an elaborate scheme to supply the weapons to the gangsters and the narcotics to the guerrillas, all the while pretending to carry on with his original assignment from Schafer.

The immense wealth Barry amasses as a result delights his loyal wife, Lucy (Sarah Wright Olsen). But it also arouses the suspicions of Craig McCall (E. Roger Mitchell), the local FBI agent in the area of Arkansas to which Schafer has relocated the Louisiana-bred Seals, as well as those of their new home town’s Sheriff Downing (Jesse Plemons).

Director Doug Liman and writer Gary Spinelli revel in the improbability of their tale and the law-flouting skills of their protagonist. But, after further complications set in, they try to have it both ways where the white powder is concerned, condemning government hypocrisy while letting Barry himself off the hook.

Add to this ambivalence their explicit portrayal of the passionate nature of the central pair’s bond and the constant vulgarity that marks the script, and the result is a free-for-all that makes apt fun for few.

The film contains strong sexual content, including graphic scenes of marital lovemaking, a glimpse of full nudity and implied aberrant behavior, some stylized combat and other violence, a drug theme, several uses of profanity as well as rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R.

     

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’ a tedious Lego letdown

September 25th, 2017 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Third time lucky? Not for the Lego screen franchise, alas.

Animated characters appear in the movie “The Lego Ninjago Movie.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. (CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

In following up on 2014’s “The Lego Movie” and “The Lego Batman Movie” from earlier this year, directors Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan, the latter two also co-writers, along with four others, attempt to blend a children’s feature and an action film. The result, “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” is awkward, noisy and tedious, though the boredom is occasionally relieved by the odd flash of wit.

Bookended by live-action sequences featuring martial-arts icon Jackie Chan as a curio shop owner who becomes the story’s narrator, the cartoon follows the exploits of a schoolboy named Lloyd (voice of Dave Franco), a resident of far-off Ninjago City.

With his home town constantly under attack by his villainous father, Garmadon (voice of Justin Theroux), Lloyd is an object of scorn and derision to many of his peers. Yet, unbeknown to them or to Garmadon, Lloyd leads a double life, battling his bad dad in the guise of a ninja warrior.

He’s backed up by a quintet of pals and fellow fighters: Cole (voice of Fred Armisen), Nya (voice of Abbi Jacobson), Jay (voice of Kumail Nanjiani), Kai (voice of Michael Pena) and Zane (voice of Zach Woods). Like Lloyd himself, all of them have trained under the tutelage of Master Wu (voiced by Chan), Lloyd’s wise and virtuous uncle (and Garmadon’s estranged brother).

The forgettable series of explosions and other disturbances that follow from this set-up drown out the script’s listless pursuit of themes like the possibility of personal conversion and the value of family reconciliation. A few of the jokes will likely raise a smile. Garmadon, for instance, insists on pronouncing both the L’s in Lloyd. But the demolition quickly recommences.

The dialogue includes some vague mumbo-jumbo about humans harnessing the power of the elements. Thus one of Lloyd’s comrades can deploy fire, another water, a third ice and so on. Though this aspect of the picture never amounts to much more than an excuse to include the hummable 1990 hit “The Power” on the soundtrack, it’s not for the easily confused.

The film contains perilous situations, a bit of mild scatological humor and a couple of mature references. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II, adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG.

 

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

     

 

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Evil clown terrorizes children in ‘It’

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Catholic News Service

Moviegoers looking for nothing more than to be unsettled will likely be satisfied with the horror adaptation “It.” However, while director Andy Muschiett’s generally effective screen version of Stephen King’s 1986 novel promotes friendship and fear-conquering solidarity, it also includes some grisly sights that, taken together with other elements, make it suitable for few.

Bill Skarsgard stars in a scene from the movie “It.” The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture (CNS/Warner Bros.)

Set in a small Maine town in the late 1980s, the novel took place in the 1950s, the film finds an ensemble of middle-school kids being preyed on by a demonic clown called Pennywise (twitchy Bill Skarsgard) and by other manifestations of evil.

The youngsters, led by stutterer Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher) and Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis), a girl with a dark domestic secret, are bound together by their status as outsiders. Thus they christen themselves the Losers’ Club. Other members include overweight Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), bespectacled Richie (Finn Wolfhard) and undersized hypochondriac Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer).

For Bill, the struggle against Pennywise has a special urgency since he suspects that the malevolent jester was behind the disappearance of his little brother, Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott). The early scene in which Pennywise deploys rows of fangs to bite Georgie’s arm off marks a notable departure from the movie’s generally restrained approach to mayhem.

Screenwriters Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman emphasize the camaraderie uniting the youthful crusaders as they battle their occult opponents. By unwelcome contrast, though, the script ranges virtually all adults on the side of darkness; Beverly’s unnamed father (Stephen Bogaert) is particularly villainous.

Matching Georgie’s dismemberment is a sequence in which Muschietti does to Beverly’s bathroom what Stanley Kubrick did to the elevators of the Overlook Hotel in another Stephen King property, 1980’s “The Shinning,” flooding the place in gallons of gore. Though such moments are rare, they are sufficiently excessive to deter even a large swath of grownups.

Additionally, there’s a nasty undertone to some of the dialogue since the lads of the Losers’ Club revel in exchanging sexual insults, including jibes aimed at one another’s female relatives. An underwear-clad dip in the local quarry also affords the boys a chance to ogle the contents of Beverly’s bra. Though their fascination is played for laughs, it registers as something more than innocent curiosity.

The film contains mature themes, including implied incestuous child sexual abuse, occasional bloody violence and disturbing images, intermittent sexual humor, a few uses of profanity, pervasive rough and frequent crude language and obscene gestures. The Catholic News Service classification is L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

     

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

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‘All Saints’ celebrates Christian family life

August 25th, 2017 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Sincere but less than slick, the low-key, fact-based drama “All Saints” celebrates Christian faith and family life. Believers, accordingly, will likely be inclined to overlook its artistic shortcomings.

Nelson Lee and John Corbett star in a scene from the movie “All Saints.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. (CNS photo/AFFIRM Films)

Director Steve Gomer and screenwriter Steve Armour recount the story of the titular Episcopal parish in Smyrna, Tenn. With its dwindling congregation down to a mere dozen, the church appears to have no future. So its new pastor, Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), arrives with orders from his superior, Bishop Thompson (Gregory Alan Williams), to shut it down and sell off its property.

A former salesman taking up his first assignment in ministry, Michael is not disposed to question his instructions, at least at first. But the revitalizing influence of an influx of devoutly Anglican refugees from Southeast Asia — Nelson Lee plays their leader, Ye Win — begins to change his outlook.

The newcomers are Karen people, the victims of long-standing and bloody persecution by the government of their homeland, Myanmar. Partly in order to aid them, but also with an eye to rescuing All Saints, Michael launches a scheme to transform the fields around the church into a profitable farm.

His plan draws the support of his dedicated wife, Aimee (Cara Buono), but the steady opposition of Forrest (Barry Corbin), an ornery veteran parishioner. Other challenges come in the form of a lack of equipment and a potential drought.

Through the changing fortunes that follow, Michael demonstrates determination, perseverance and solidarity with the immigrants who now make up the bulk of his flock. Gomer clearly aims to inspire his audience, and
“All Saints,” despite its necessary discussion of the ill-treatment to which the Karen have been subjected, is generally wholesome and suitable for most age groups.

Considered on a purely aesthetic level, however, the picture suffers from a sluggish pace and often awkward tone. Good intentions help to make up for, but cannot entirely mask, these defects. Still, patient patrons will find positive values awaiting them under the sometimes-imperfect surface.

The film contains mature themes, including references to atrocities and rape, and a marital bedroom scene. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II, adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

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‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ and bland

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Catholic News Service

Much of the action in the animated children’s comedy “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” unfolds at a frenzied pace. Yet, for all the sound and fury, this is in the end a bland film, unlikely to please any but the least discerning viewers.

Animated characters appear in the movie “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. (CNS photo/Open Road Films)

Perhaps that’s because the folks behind this sequel were too focused on 3-D special effects to waste time giving their characters much personality. Ironically, those effects turn out to raise the main objection to the picture from a parent’s perspective since, together with the many menacing situations to which the plot gives rise, they may be too scary for little kids.

The less-than-dynamic duo at center stage here is made up of squirrels Surly (voice of Will Arnett) and Andie (voice of Katherine Heigl). They’re obviously destined for each other from the start. But, of course, before true love can prevail there must be a conflict for them to resolve.

In this case, it concerns the fact that Surly, his unspeaking sidekick Buddy the rat and the rest of the gang from nearby Liberty Park have long been living off the abundance of an abandoned nut shop. Andie considers this a lazy and unnatural way of life, and is pleased when the negligence of one of her fellow animals causes an explosion that destroys the derelict building.

Trooping back to their original habitat, the critters suddenly find themselves pitted against their city’s corrupt, never-named Mayor (voiced by Bobby Moynihan). Hizzoner plans to bulldoze Liberty Park and turn it into a profit-making amusement concern.

As Surly organizes the resistance to this greed-driven project, huge earthmoving machines bear down on the small creatures. Later, an unmoored Ferris wheel lumbers through the Mayor’s creation, “Liberty Land,” rapidly and spectacularly destroying his handiwork. Grownups with jittery tykes in tow, take note.

Amid all the chases and the animal-human combat, the movie makes respectable, if hardly original, points about protecting the environment and the value of friendship and teamwork. It’s all perfectly acceptable for a wide swath of age groups.

Still, to paraphrase an old candy bar ad, sometimes you feel like a nut; this time, not so much.

The film contains cartoon violence, including explosions, recurring peril and mild gross-out and scatological jokes. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II, adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG.

     

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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‘Annabelle: Creation’ — ‘Whatever you do, don’t unlock that door’

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Catholic News Service

Most of the mayhem wreaked by the figurine-haunting demon at the center of the horror prequel “Annabelle: Creation” is restrained. Yet, as the film progresses, director David F. Sandberg and his collaborators allow their imagery to become briefly but disturbingly graphic.

Stephanie Sigman stars in a scene from the movie "Annabelle: Creation." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

Stephanie Sigman stars in a scene from the movie “Annabelle: Creation.” The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

Accordingly, only those grown moviegoers willing to brave flashes of intense gore should say hello to this particular dolly.

This also is not a good fit for those insistent on strict logic or those who expect the characters on screen to behave rationally. As for Catholic viewers, they will likely be both annoyed and distracted by the wildly inaccurate, albeit incidental, portrayal of their faith incorporated into the proceedings.

In 1950s California, a group of female orphans shepherded by kindly nun Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) have somehow, by circumstances not specified in the script, been displaced from their former dwelling. They’ve been offered refuge, of a sort, at the rambling, spooky home of dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his invalid wife, Esther (Miranda Otto).

The Mullins are still overcome by grief following the death of their young daughter, Bee (Samara Lee), in a tragic car accident a dozen years before. So their hospitality is extended in an effort to brighten the tone of their funereal household. The outcome, of course, is quite the opposite.

No sooner has polio-afflicted Janice (Talitha Bateman) been warned by her brooding host to steer clear of Bee’s locked bedroom than she somehow finds herself inside that chamber, mucking about and stirring up trouble.

Discovering a hidden key to the closet in which the toy of the title has until now been confined, Janice unleashes her, much in the manner of Pandora opening her ill-fated box. Cue a reign of terror for nosy Janice, her BFF, Linda (Lulu Wilson), and the rest.

No matter how hair-raising the terrors to which Annabelle and her guiding fiend subject them, they always move toward danger, never away from it. Even allowing for youthful curiosity, this stubborn refusal to learn from experience becomes a tiresome trait.

Even more taxing, however, is a scene in which Sister Charlotte hears Janice’s confession of her disastrous trespass, not in the context of a confidential conversation but in what is clearly meant to be a formal sacramental encounter. Thus Janice kicks things off by requesting, “Bless me, Sister, for I have sinned,” and Sister Charlotte wraps things up by imposing a penance, though no absolution intervenes.

The fact that only bishops and priests can administer the sacrament of reconciliation is hardly a bit of inside-baseball religious arcana. The mistake is all the more glaring in a movie that clearly wants to position itself, in some vague way at least, as faith-friendly. Equally out of place in that proposed context is the counter-scriptural concept that infernal beings can somehow steal human souls.

There are some old-fashioned shivers awaiting the restricted audience for which this follow-up to the 2014 original can be labeled appropriate. But lapses in reason, believability and even the most rudimentary knowledge of Catholicism may inspire more frowns than frissons.

The film contains a distorted presentation of Catholic faith practices, stylized but briefly bloody violence, gruesome images and at last one mild oath. The Catholic News Service classification is L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R, restricted.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

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‘The Dark Tower’ is full of metaphysical hooey

August 8th, 2017 Posted in Movies Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

Awash in high-flown metaphysical hooey, director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel’s dull sci-fi fantasy “The Dark Tower” is inappropriate for the impressionable.

Matthew McConaughey stars in a scene from the movie "The Dark Tower." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS photo/Sony)

Matthew McConaughey stars in a scene from the movie “The Dark Tower.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. (CNS photo/Sony)

As for grown viewers, they should be prepared to slog through an involved exposition of non-scriptural ideas borrowed from the series of novels by Stephen King on which the film, penned with Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen, is built.

Extending rather than adapting the books, the movie uses the psychic nightmares of troubled New York teen Jake (Tom Taylor) to introduce us to a distant world, one of many, and the cosmic battle being fought out there. This struggle pits villainous wizard Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), aka the Man in Black, against Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), aka the Gunslinger.

O’Dim is bent on destroying the supernatural structure of the title which somehow, so we’re informed, keeps the evil lurking at the edges of the universe at bay. The lone remaining member of a group of Old West-style gunmen still resisting O’Dim and his cohorts, Roland is not only out to save the tower but yearns for revenge against O’Dim, whose spells have killed off every ally who has ever stood at his side.

While on the run from some of O’Dim’s minions in the Big Apple, Jake manages to get himself transported to Mid-World, one of the planets where this feud is being played out. Conveniently, the first person he encounters is Roland.

Despite an initially gruff reception, Jake convinces Roland that he can be of service to the cause. The bond that eventually develops between the two – Jake’s fireman father died in the line of duty — is one of the few potentially touching aspects of this tangled tale.

O’Dim’s method of assaulting the tower involves the torturous extraction of energy from the minds of kidnapped children. Since Jake has the gift of second sight, what the script terms “shine,” to an unrivaled degree, his psyche would represent the equivalent of a nuclear missile launched against the vital building — if, that is, O’Dim could only get his hands on the lad.

Roland is also endowed with paranormal powers, as too is a minor character who can read people’s thoughts and communicate with them without speaking. All this is portrayed very positively in a way that might mislead the poorly catechized. As for the religiously well-grounded, they would be wise to spare themselves the necessity of sifting through this pile of New Age nonsense.

The film contains occult themes, much gunplay and other violence, including torture, but with little gore, profanity and a couple of crude terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

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‘The Dark Tower’ is full of metaphysical hooey

August 4th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Awash in high-flown metaphysical hooey, director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel’s dull sci-fi fantasy “The Dark Tower” is inappropriate for the impressionable.

As for grown viewers, they should be prepared to slog through an involved exposition of non-scriptural ideas borrowed from the series of novels by Stephen King on which the film, penned with Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen, is built.

Matthew McConaughey stars in a scene from the movie "The Dark Tower." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults.

Matthew McConaughey stars in a scene from the movie “The Dark Tower.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults.

Extending rather than adapting the books, the movie uses the psychic nightmares of troubled New York teen Jake (Tom Taylor) to introduce us to a distant world, one of many, and the cosmic battle being fought out there. This struggle pits villainous wizard Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), aka the Man in Black, against Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), aka the Gunslinger.

O’Dim is bent on destroying the supernatural structure of the title which somehow, so we’re informed, keeps the evil lurking at the edges of the universe at bay. The lone remaining member of a group of Old West-style gunmen still resisting O’Dim and his cohorts, Roland is not only out to save the tower but yearns for revenge against O’Dim, whose spells have killed off every ally who has ever stood at his side.

While on the run from some of O’Dim’s minions in the Big Apple, Jake manages to get himself transported to Mid-World, one of the planets where this feud is being played out. Conveniently, the first person he encounters is Roland.

Despite an initially gruff reception, Jake convinces Roland that he can be of service to the cause. The bond that eventually develops between the two – Jake’s fireman father died in the line of duty — is one of the few potentially touching aspects of this tangled tale.

O’Dim’s method of assaulting the tower involves the torturous extraction of energy from the minds of kidnapped children. Since Jake has the gift of second sight, what the script terms “shine,” to an unrivaled degree, his psyche would represent the equivalent of a nuclear missile launched against the vital building — if, that is, O’Dim could only get his hands on the lad.

Roland is also endowed with paranormal powers, as too is a minor character who can read people’s thoughts and communicate with them without speaking. All this is portrayed very positively in a way that might mislead the poorly catechized. As for the religiously well-grounded, they would be wise to spare themselves the necessity of sifting through this pile of New Age nonsense.

The film contains occult themes, much gunplay and other violence, including torture, but with little gore, profanity and a couple of crude terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13.

 

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

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