Culture

Occasionally funny but mostly awkward ‘Storks’ stumbles

Popular culture's relentless drive to portray a homosexual lifestyle as form of diversity and out-of-wedlock motherhood as a respectable choice mars this otherwise unobjectionable animated comedy.

Two treatments of politics merit one thumbs-up, one thumbs-down

In a look at two books, our reviewer likes one presentation of Catholic social teaching and its clear and compelling language, but sees many flaws in a volume tracing politics in the Bible.

Movie review: The Magnificent Seven

A chivalrous parable that showcases self-sacrificing heroism, "The Magnificent Seven" (Columbia) can be read as illustrating, in microcosm, Catholic theology's theory of a just war.

In space, no one can hear you yawn

When a video game is set amid the vast, empty expanses of outer space, it had better feature the familiar hallmarks of the action-adventure genre rather than aim for anything resembling reality.

Traitor or champion? ‘Snowden’ looks at controversial leaker

As directed by Oliver Stone, the new film takes a hero-worship tone with its treatment of Edward Snowden, who revealed the secret mass-data collection scheme of the National Security Agency.

Paige O’Hara, voice of ‘Belle,’ recalls magic of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

If you were to meet Paige O'Hara in person, you might not give her a second glance. But you'd know the voice, because she sang and spoke the title role in the 1991 Disney animated classic film.

‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ celebrates the klutzy over-40 film heroine

Typically, romantic comedies do not revolve around characters our youth-crazed culture tends to dismiss as middle-aged. This sequel, coming 15 years after the original film, is a charming exception.

Books on catechesis have wide appeal for professionals, casual readers

Sharing stories of faith -- and inviting others to do the same -- is the goal of two new books on religious education. While the first presents a series of essays on catechetical content, the second shows the value of listening.

17 years later, ‘Blair Witch’ has gotten a lot more boring

Turning the 1999 ultra-low-budget "The Blair Witch Project" into a franchise has meant turning the saga into a conventional slasher film with little suspense and predictable setups. It's more parody than horror.

‘Robinson Crusoe’ goes 3D animated, to good effect, in ‘The Wild Life’

Silliness (and occasional sassiness) aside, the film's animation is first-rate and messages about friendship and courage are worthy. A few action scenes may frighten the littlest ones, but overall it's good, clean fun.