Culture

Buddies of ‘2 Guns’ shoot through corruption, betrayal, crime — with laughs

NEW YORK (CNS) — If the buddy movie “2 Guns” (Universal) is to be believed, the government of the United States is riddled with greed, venality, law-flouting and violent immorality. Fortunately, however, this genre-melding blend of action and comedy clearly revels in its own outrageousness. So its freewheeling political cynicism need not be taken too […]

Top 10 parables of faith on screen

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Since the advent of cinema in the late 1800s, faith has been treated on film in a wide variety of ways, from the respectful to the satiric. As any number of pictures from Hollywood's golden age might be used to demonstrate, however, a reverential approach to the subject of religious belief does not by itself a thoughtful -- or artistically successful -- movie make.

Movie review – The Smurfs 2

NEW YORK (CNS) -- If summer's speedy passing has you feeling blue, then head to "The Smurfs 2" (Columbia) for a jolly pick-me-up. The lighthearted tone of this 3-D sequel -- which, like its 2011 predecessor, mixes animation with live action -- comes courtesy of the familiar azure-hued elves of the title. Young children will be enchanted and laugh themselves silly, while their parents will appreciate the script's positive messages about friendship and family -- potty jokes notwithstanding.

The Wolverine

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Does the idea of a giant suit of samurai armor made out of an indestructible -- but, alas, fictional -- alloy called adamantium strike you as the coolest thing ever? If so, then the macho superhero adventure "The Wolverine" (Fox) might just be the movie for you.

‘RED 2’: Seniors up to challenge of saving the world, again

NEW YORK (CNS) — Those “retired and extremely dangerous” (RED) secret agents are back on the case in “RED 2” (Summit), a lively sequel to the 2010 film based on the graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. In a summer multiplex filled with superheroes and cartoon characters, “RED 2” is a refreshing change […]

‘The Conjuring’ skews exorcism as creepy carnival

NEW YORK (CNS) — Movies involving demonic possession and Catholic faith practices always are an uncomfortable mix, as in “The Conjuring” (Warner Bros.). The demons get a presumption of truth and the run of the plot, while the solemn rite of exorcism is reduced to a kind of voodoo practiced by entrepreneurial ghostbusters with dubious […]

‘Pacific Rim’ rains down monsters, machines and mayhem

NEW YORK (CNS) — Anyone with a hankering for a 21st-century Godzilla movie, or anxiously awaiting the next “Transformers” installment, will cheer the advent of “Pacific Rim” (Warner Bros.). Those not clamoring for either of the above yet amenable to an escapist sci-fi spectacle (also available in 3-D and Imax) should also welcome it. The […]

Churches’ support for interfaith marriages focus of new study

Cultural shifts in the age of marriage, the decline of the option for sacramental marriage among some Catholics, the demise of ethnic/religious enclaves in European American communities, and changing attitudes on human sexuality all have affected the Catholic ministry with young adults and marriage support. The church has made some developments to better support interchurch and interfaith couples and families, but pastoral implementation remains a challenge in many parishes and dioceses.

Movie review: Despicable Me 2

NEW YORK (CNS) — The transformative power of both romantic love and family affection is showcased in the sweet animated sequel “Despicable Me 2” (Universal). Co-directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin’s follow-up to their 2010 feature makes for a thoroughly endearing comedy and provides morally suitable entertainment for family members of all ages. Once again, […]

Book sees U.S. church history as misguided effort to assimilate

As the book title indicates, he tends toward pessimism. He sees the decline and fall principally as the result of efforts by influential church leaders in the19th and 20th centuries to assimilate the church into U.S. society, leading to the watering-down of belief in many traditional Catholic teachings, such as on abortion and artificial birth control, as many Catholics fell victim to the views and attitudes available in a pluralistic environment.