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Want to get away from it all? Start by running from ‘Vacation’

Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Christina Applegate and Ed Helms star in a scene from the movie "Vacation." (CNS photo/Warner Bros.) Posted on July 31st, 2015

There’s no summertime relief in the film reboot of the 1983 original as viewers get dragged along on a forced march through a landscape of tastelessness unrelieved by laughs.


‘Pixels’ proves those all arcade quarters weren’t wasted

Michelle Monaghan, Adam Sandler and Josh Gad star in a scene from the movie "Pixels."  (CNS photo/Sony) Posted on July 24th, 2015

The manic comedy about Pac Man, Donkey Kong and other gaming bad guys invading earth might make viewers wish it were “game over” before the film ends.


Thought-provoking almanac will delight Catholic gardeners

Posted on July 24th, 2015

Cover of 'A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac'Any Catholic who enjoys gardening will find spiritual and practical inspiration in this book by a master gardener, retreat leader and Catholic blogger.


Adulthood nears, but not before the prom, in ‘Paper Towns’

Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff star in a scene from the movie "Paper Towns."  (CNS photo/Fox) Posted on July 24th, 2015

In a faithful adaptation of a young-adult novel, kids talk, talk and talk about their anxieties for nearly two hours. Seldom does enlightenment dawn, but they gamely plug away.


‘Southpaw': Boxing as at once repellent and alluring

Forest Whitaker and Jake Gyllenhaal star in a scene from the movie "Southpaw."  (CNS photo/Weinstein) Posted on July 23rd, 2015

The visceral boxing drama is not for the squeamish as it jabs at moral dilemmas. A wily trainer convinces a broken-down fighter to use his head as well as his hands.


Catholics can benefit from Protestant Scripture scholar’s book

Posted on July 21st, 2015

This is the cover of "How to Read the Bible" by Harvey Cox. The book is reviewed by Mitch Finley. (CNS) See BOOK-BIBLE July 17, 2015.A retired Harvard University theologian teaches how to read the Bible with the brain in gear that God gave you. Harvey Cox clearly rejects biblical fundamentalism.


Aptly titled ‘Trainwreck’ scoops romance from the gutter

Amy Schumer and Bill Hader star in a scene from the movie "Trainwreck." The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.(CNS photo/Universal) Posted on July 17th, 2015

Even as the romantic comedy formula starts wearing thin, the offensive portrayal of sexuality brings the whole film to a welcome if implausible end.


Details on Poland’s role in Cold War might overwhelm casual reader

Posted on July 10th, 2015

Book-PolandWhile the Reagan administration had a focused ideological and ethical sense of the political matter, so did the Polish communist leadership, something we in the West might not realize.


Families and all their minions will love ‘Minions’

Minions star in a scene from the movie "Minions."  (CNS photo/Image.net) Posted on July 9th, 2015

This bright, 3-D animated comedy tells the madcap story of the yellow, capsule-shaped creatures whose endearing presence contributed to the “Despicable Me” films.


Movie review: Faith of Our Fathers

Stephen Baldwin stars in a scene from the movie "Faith of Our Fathers." (CNS photo/Faith of Our Fathers Press Room) Posted on July 8th, 2015

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). That’s the overarching theme of “Faith of Our Fathers” (Pure Flix), a well-intentioned but awkwardly uneven account of Christianity’s impact on two generations of families.


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