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Books present correlations between St. Francis and his papal namesake

Posted on April 11th, 2014

The mountain of books written on St. Francis of Assisi testify to the enduring attraction of this saint, usually regarded as the most perfect follower of Jesus. Why two more such biographies?


Smart, restrained ‘Oculus’ is mirror image of most horror films

Karen Gillian and Brenton Thwaites star in a scene from the movie "Oculus." (CNS photo/Relativity) Posted on April 11th, 2014

NEW YORK (CNS) — Brains trump bloodshed in “Oculus” (Relativity), a generally enjoyable horror exercise acceptable for most mature moviegoers. By comparison to the innumerable fright flicks that substitute the merely repellant for the genuinely scary, this film is a lesson in restraint.


‘MLB 14: The Show’ puts video gamers into the batter’s box

Posted on April 9th, 2014

While the Cadillac of sports video games is so realistic it’s eerie, this year’s version of the Major League Baseball game allows users to speed up the game. Instead of a game consuming hours, in the new version nine innings can be played in under 30 minutes.


Book offers excellent overview on religions’ take on today’s issues

Posted on April 4th, 2014

“World Religions and Contemporary Issues” is, overall, an excellent text suitable for use in adult education classes or undergraduate studies. Brennan R. Hill, the author, is professor emeritus in theology at Xavier University and his experience in teaching shows in the format and ease of use and readability of the book.


Movie review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Chris Evans stars in a scene from the movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (CNS photo/Disney) Posted on April 3rd, 2014

NEW YORK (CNS) — The big guy with the red, white and blue shield returns to save the planet in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (Disney), a rousing follow-up to two films, 2011′s “Captain America: The First Avenger” and 2012′s “The Avengers.”


In two popular comics, faith is central for one hero, missing in another

Posted on April 2nd, 2014

NEW YORK (CNS) — The nuclear family and orthodoxy serve as bulwarks against a culture that’s increasingly hostile to people of faith. Such is the message not of Marvel Comics’ “Daredevil” — the protagonist of which is one of the few superheroes who is identifiably Catholic — but rather the teenage Muslim, “Miss Marvel.”



Movie review: Cesar Chavez

Michael Pena stars in a scene from the movie "Cesar Chavez." (CNS photo/Pantelion Films) Posted on March 31st, 2014

NEW YORK (CNS) — Moviegoers of a certain age will remember the movement to boycott grapes — an effort to draw attention to the plight of agricultural workers, and exert economic pressure on their employers, that lasted throughout the latter half of the 1960s.


‘Noah’ bobs along until crashing on the rocks of family drama

Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe star in a scene from the movie "Noah." (CNS photo/Paramount) Posted on March 28th, 2014

The film of the titular hero, portrayed as an ultr-environmentalist, begins as a straightforward recounting of the biblical story of the flood but veers off into a grim, scripturally unfounded drama about a family dispute.


If you like to eat, you’ll devour these books

Posted on March 28th, 2014

Two slim paperbacks overflow with stick-to-the-ribs food for thought about the sacredness of the family dinner table. In one, an Italian-American woman recalls the comforting food of her childhood. In the second, a Baltimore priest with culinary chops writes about the cosmic food fight of good vs. evil.


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