It’s the best of shows, it’s the worst of shows: the new TV season

NEW YORK (CNS) — There’s both good news and bad for viewers with the advent of the fall television season. The upside mainly concerns hourlong dramas: Some networks have bucked the occult-happy trend of recent years that seemed to fill the small screen with dark tales of demons and goblins. They’ve also gotten away from […]

‘Gravity’ pulls in viewers with rare combo of excitement and enlightenment

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Hold on tight for the ride of your life in "Gravity" (Warner Bros.), a lost-in-space adventure as exhilarating as it is terrifying. Director Alfonso Cuaron serves up a modern-day horror story with top-notch performances by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, plus dazzling 3-D cinematography that envelops the audience in the majesty of space.

Pope as film critic: Mention of a Fellini favorite makes headlines too

NEW YORK (CNS) — Never has passing praise of a Federico Fellini film drawn so much attention. The bulk of the recent interview with Pope Francis by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Italian journal La Civilta Cattolica, concerned how the Holy Father’s experience as a member of the Society of Jesus informs his […]

Tale of one parish’s conversion offers valuable insights for others

“Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, Making the Church Matter” by Michael White and Tom Corcoran. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Ind., 2013). 292 pp., $16.95   The Church of the Nativity is located in northern Baltimore. “Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish” tells how the parish […]

Movie review: ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2’

NEW YORK (CNS) -- A second helping of colorful fun is served up in the cheerful animated sequel "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" (Columbia). Loosely based, like its 2009 predecessor, on a book by Judi and Ron Barrett, directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn's comedy elevates friendship and teamwork over egotism, and re-echoes a familiar -- but nonetheless valuable -- message about environmental responsibility. Some parents, however, will not appreciate the predictable appearance of a bit of potty humor, or the inclusion in the dialogue of a duo of slightly coarse exclamations rhyming with granola.

Books provide excellent formation for evangelizers-in-training

The enormity of the new evangelization and what it means for the church, i.e., the people of God and the institution of which they are a part, should be evident to anyone, especially Catholics invested in their church, of this way of living and being, as Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington describes in his new book. Two other authors also provide helpful volumes on the new evangelization movement.

Authors brings to life stories of those who resisted the Nazis

Nechama Tec's work has centered on the Holocaust, analyzing not only the tragic events of the Nazi genocide of the Jews but also rescuers and survivors.

St. Norbert’s youth ministry, parishioners, draw top Christian musician

If, as St. Augustine said, singing is praying twice, then prayers lifted the rafters of the parish center at St. Norbert Parish in Paoli as two-time Grammy Award nominee Matt Maher performed a live concert recently for more than 600 fans.

Movie review: The Spectacular Now

NEW YORK (CNS) — “Teen Alcoholics in Love” would be a more accurate title for “The Spectacular Now” (A24), a coming-of-age saga that paints a disturbing picture of high-school life in small-town America. Based on the novel by Tim Tharp and directed by James Ponsoldt (who tackled another drinking theme in 2012’s “Smashed”), the film […]

Books on Pope Francis each offer unique perspective on Holy Father

“Pope Francis in His Own Words,” edited by Julie Schwietert Collazo and Lisa Rogak. New World Library (Novato, Calif., 2013). 137 pp., $12.95. “Pope Francis” by Matthew E. Bunson. Our Sunday Visitor, (Huntington, Ind., 2013). 222 pp., $16.95. “Pope Francis: The Pope from the End of the Earth” by Thomas J. Craughwell (St. Benedict Press, […]