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‘The Vow’ is a forgetful view of a marriage

February 10th, 2012 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

Poor Channing Tatum. Though he isn’t gone, he is forgotten in “The Vow,” director and co-writer Michael Sucsy’s well-intentioned but flawed love story based on real events.

Tatum plays Chicago recording engineer Leo, whose romance with and marriage to artist Paige (Rachel McAdams) have made him a happy man. That all changes, however, when a car accident injures them both, and leaves Paige stricken with partial amnesia.

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‘Chronicle’ original, morally engaging look at use of power

February 6th, 2012 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

“Quis ut Deus?” This Latin motto, traditionally associated with St. Michael the Archangel (whose Hebrew name itself has a similar meaning), translates as “Who is like God?” That question could serve as the tagline for the reasonably original, curiously dark “Chronicle,” an exploration of the troubling results that ensue when mere mortals obtain godlike powers.

Stumbling on a mysterious object, a trio of teens — social outcast Andrew (Dane DeHaan), his duffle-coated, philosophy-mumbling cousin Matt (Alex Russell), and their smooth, more socially accomplished acquaintance Steve (Michael B. Jordan) — find themselves endowed with telekinesis and the ability to fly.

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Whales trapped in ice need a ‘Big Miracle’

February 3rd, 2012 Posted in Movies

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Catholic News Service

“Free Willy,” the 1993 whale rescue film, looks like child’s play when compared to “Big Miracle,” in which not one but three giant mammals are trapped in Arctic ice, and it takes a whole lot more than a sleepy Alaskan town to save them.

Directed by Ken Kwapis and based on the real-life events recounted in Thomas Rose’s 1989 book “Freeing the Whales,” the film is an animal rights activist’s dream. Families, neighbors, corporations, and even superpowers set aside their differences for a spell and work together, seeing in the innocent cetaceans a metaphor for peace and understanding.

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Best films of 2011: Catholic News Service list 10 favorites, along with best family movies

February 3rd, 2012 Posted in Featured, Movies, Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

In late 1965, the three-decade-old National Legion of Decency announced that it was changing its name to the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures.

That switch represented more than just altered terminology. It signaled an intent on the part of the U.S. church’s officially sanctioned film agency to take a more open and positive, though by no means uncritical, approach in its assessment of cinema. Read more »

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“The Woman in Black” fatal to children

February 3rd, 2012 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Reputed to be one of the most frightening ghost stories ever written, Susan Hill’s 1983 novel “The Woman in Black” must certainly count as one of the sturdiest: It has been adapted both for British radio and U.K. television, while the 22-year-long run of its London stage version makes that property one of the longest-lived nonmusicals in West End history.

As penned for the big screen by Jane Goldman, directed by James Watkins and with Daniel Radcliffe headlining as barrister Arthur Kipps, the latest iteration of “The Woman in Black” aims for a classic horror feel.

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‘One for the Money’ a slack adaptation from mystery series

January 30th, 2012 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

The title of the forgettable fish-out-of-water comedy “One for the Money” recalls Carl Perkins’ seminal hit, “Blue Suede Shoes,” a song covered most famously, of course, by Elvis Presley. While this lukewarm cinematic offering won’t knock you down or step in your face, its surfeit of profane dialogue does slander God’s name all over the place.

So our advice: Go, cat, go — away from any theater showing it.

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‘The Grey’ features wolves at the door of lost souls

January 27th, 2012 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

“The Grey” respectfully obeys the immutable law of all story lines in which an aircraft crashes in the Arctic: Some folks are bound to get eaten.

This film, however, with its slight spiritual bent, ducks the cannibalism cliché and makes wolves the hungry ones. The animals are doing what they’re supposed to do by nature, stalking the survivors to thin out the human herd — the better, in the end, to kill them all.

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‘The Iron Lady’ is a poignant, evenhanded biopic

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Catholic News Service

The British market a brand of yeast spread called Marmite. Due to its overwhelmingly strong taste, its label carries the slogan “Love it or Hate it.”

As a result of the visceral reactions, both pro and con, stirred by her controversial 1979-1990 tenure in office, former U.K. leader Margaret Thatcher, now Baroness Thatcher, has been described as the Marmite of prime ministers.

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‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ but emotionally trying

January 25th, 2012 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Few events in recent history have exerted as deeply personal an impact on the lives of millions of Americans, and of people across the globe, as the attacks of 9/11.

So it’s odd and a little baffling that a film based on our national tragedy of a decade ago should register for most of its two-hour-plus running time, at least, as uninvolving. Read more »

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‘Red Tails’ homage to Tuskegee Airmen heroes

January 20th, 2012 Posted in Movies, Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

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Catholic News Service

The last time audiences watched flag-waving hokum on the order of “Red Tails” (Fox), the show may have included a cartoon and a newsreel, and war bonds may have been for sale in the lobby. Patriotic corn, it seems, is not a staple that ages especially well.

During World War II, combat-themed films were relentlessly upbeat because the federal government, as well as the Production Code Administration, decreed such optimism to be in the interest of home-front morale.

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