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‘The Rum Diary’ is alcohol-fueled coming of age story

October 28th, 2011 Posted in Movies Tags: ,

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Smoke, drink, be hung over, repeat. That’s the lusty refrain of “The Rum Diary” (FilmDistrict), although you would expect nothing else from a film based on gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s roman a clef about his early years in the business, living in Puerto Rico.

To its credit, the movie, written and directed by Bruce Robinson and starring Johnny Depp as Thompson’s alter ego Paul Kemp, doesn’t try to glamorize the abundant substance abuse. It’s set in 1960, when such behavior was considered part and parcel of newspapering, along with colorful swearing and perpetually rumpled clothes.

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Paranormal Activity 3

October 24th, 2011 Posted in Movies

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Catholic News Service

The “Paranormal Activity” franchise, which began in 2009, has provided a forceful illustration of the genuine jolts that can be exacted from an audience without resort to the bucket-of-blood approach that characterizes all too many contemporary horror films. In that respect, “Paranormal Activity 3” (Paramount) continues a commendable tradition.

Nevertheless, the satanic elements of the plot that eventually come to the fore will make even many adults want to steer clear of this latest installment, as too may the vulgar language indulged in by the startled.

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The Three Musketeers

October 24th, 2011 Posted in Movies Tags:

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Catholic imagery abounds in “The Three Musketeers” (Summit), the latest remake of Alexandre Dumas’ durable costume epic of 17th-century swordsmanship, French patriotism and political treachery.

A quick inventory: Aramis (Luke Evans), a former priest, blesses himself and carries a rosary. D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) has a climactic swordfight with the Englishman Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen) on the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris — a sequence so overblown, one half-expects Quasimodo to pop out of his bell tower.

As always, there’s also the problematic Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz), who was, of course, the real-life prime minister to King Louis XIII and a practitioner of political intrigue with England and other powers.

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“Mighty Macs” actress visits Padua Academy

October 21st, 2011 Posted in Movies, Our Diocese Tags: , , ,

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Staff reporter

WILMINGTON – Meghan Sabia’s life has been a whirlwind recently as the Oct. 21 release of “The Mighty Macs” drew near, but the Philadelphia actress – who portrays a member of the Immaculata College national championship team in the film – took some time Wednesday morning to speak to students at Padua Academy in Wilmington.

Sabia said she welcomes the opportunity to speak at schools about the film and her experiences, and the environment at Padua suited her just fine.

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‘The Mighty Macs’ is ‘Rocky’ with basketballs

October 20th, 2011 Posted in Movies Tags:

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By Joseph McAleer

“The Mighty Macs” is the fact-based story of a women’s basketball team from a Catholic college who, through the grit and determination of their rookie coach, got a shot at the national title.

This old-fashioned, family-friendly film is “Sister Act” without the singing, “Rocky” with basketballs, and “The Trouble with Angels” with Ellen Bursytn in the Rosalind Russell role of the mother superior.

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Immaculata coach recalls ‘Mighty Macs’

October 19th, 2011 Posted in Featured, Movies

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Catholic News Service

In the same time it has taken the movie “The Mighty Macs” to get from a finished product to 1,000 movie screens, the team the film profiles had won three national women’s college basketball championships.

Cathy Rush, who coached the Immaculata College Mighty Macs to those championships 1972-74, said it was to be expected.

“As soon as the movie was finished, the economy collapsed. There was no money for independent movies,” Rush said in an Oct. 12 interview with Catholic News Service. But, seemingly as suddenly as money dried up to exhibit independent films, Freestyle Releasing stepped in with an offer to distribute “The Mighty Macs,” opening nationwide Oct. 21.

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The Big Year

October 17th, 2011 Posted in Movies

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Catholic News Service

The warmhearted seriocomedy “The Big Year” takes its title from a real-life competition in which birdwatchers across the country vie to spot the greatest number of different species between one New Year’s Day and the next.

Huh, who knew?

Taking up this challenge on screen, each for his own reasons, are wildly successful business tycoon Stu (Steve Martin), rudderless nuclear power plant worker Brad (Jack Black) and much-divorced home contractor Kenny (Owen Wilson). Read more »

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‘The Way’ — A thinking person’s road movie

October 17th, 2011 Posted in Movies

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Catholic News Service

A thinking person’s road movie, “The Way” follows a quartet of central characters along the ancient pilgrimage route from France to the Spanish shrine of Santiago de Compostela, even as it conducts viewers through a reflective, and ultimately rewarding, exploration of elemental themes.

Writer-director Emilio Estevez’s drama challenges materialistic values and treats faith with refreshing respect. But its focus — like the varied motivations of the contemporary pilgrims it portrays — is more broadly spiritual than specifically religious. Thus Catholicism is treated as something the onscreen travelers encounter rather than fully embrace. Read more »

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Moneyball

September 30th, 2011 Posted in Movies

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Catholic News Service

Those who believe America’s national pastime is more resistant to the corrosive effects of money than other pro sports will find equally persuasive ammunition and counterargument in “Moneyball” (Columbia).

Based on Michael Lewis’ 2003 book about baseball’s Oakland Athletics, this thinking person’s sports flick identifies how big bucks have negatively affected the grand old game in recent decades. Yet the fundamental problem is not just the exorbitant sums players are being paid. Rather, it’s that those funds are being irrationally allocated by those who ought to know better — owners, general managers, scouts and coaches.
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Drive

September 30th, 2011 Posted in Movies

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Catholic News Service

You’ll need a good road map to navigate the plot twists and turns of “Drive” (FilmDistrict), a dark, introspective drama about a self-absorbed loner who lives for the open road but unexpectedly finds his conscience along the way.

Despite stylish direction from Nicolas Winding Refn (“Valhalla Rising”), “Drive” ultimately suffers from an identity crisis, unable to decide whether it is an action movie, a love story, a slasher film or a morality tale. Turns out it’s a little bit of everything.

Ryan Gosling portrays the driver, who is aptly called Driver, a man of few words but master of the long, penetrating stare. His coolness quotient is off the charts, reminiscent of a young Steve McQueen.
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