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Katniss and crew shoot straight and true in ‘Hunger Games’ sequel

Patina Miller, Liam Hemsworth, Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Lawrence and Elden Henson star in a scene from the movie "'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1." (CNS photo/Lionsgate) Posted on November 21st, 2014

Stirring action scenes, a solid plot, positive values and no morally problematic content — not only are the characters of the sci-fi thriller “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1″ heroic, so are its creators.


U.N. hosts exhibit of St. Francis’ manuscripts, artifacts from Assisi

Posted on November 20th, 2014

Speakers at the Nov 17 opening of an historic exhibit at the United Nations of medieval manuscripts and papal documents associated with St. Francis of Assisi affirmed the saint’s association with the world body’s peaceful aims and hoped his namesake pope would pay a visit next September.


‘Jane the Virgin’ series thoughtful, yet troubling look at family, love

Posted on November 20th, 2014

The CW’s controversial new comedy-drama “Jane the Virgin” — airing Mondays at 9 p.m. EST — is adapted from the Venezuelan telenovela “Juana La Virgen.” The English-language version toys with the genre’s themes without losing its focus.


Book provides poignant first-person look at Alzheimer’s disease

Posted on November 14th, 2014

Former journalist Greg O’Brien poignantly chronicles the dripping away of his brain’s power and memory, even as he recalls the good things in his life. The book is sad and joyful; depressing and uplifting; tragic and touching.


‘Beyond the Lights’ offers shadowy view of sexuality

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (left) and Nate Parker star in a scene from the movie "Beyond the Lights." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Relativity) Posted on November 13th, 2014

The vulgarity-soaked world of rap music takes a well-intentioned story of romance and mutual support and dims it with a script that takes going to bed before strolling down the aisle for granted.


‘Race the Sun:’ Good, clean solar-powered fun

This is an image from the video game "Race the Sun." The Catholic News Service classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Entertainment Software Rating Board rating is E -- everyone. (CNS photo/Flippfly) Posted on November 12th, 2014

There’s something hypnotic about flight in a video game, and this one is a nice throwback to simpler and more innocent gameplay. Admittedly, it has a short shelf life. But priced at less than $10, it’s cheaper than most movies.


‘St. Vincent’ offers a grouchy, flawed man as a saint for today

Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher star in a scene from the movie "St. Vincent." Posted on November 10th, 2014

An unlikely baby sitter in the person of Bill Murray also serves as an unusual image of sanctity that forces the viewer to ask, just how much bad behavior is excusable in a person who is nurturing, generous and perhaps saintly?


Books explore lives of early church fathers — and mothers

Posted on November 7th, 2014

One book about the early church fathers and another about four women saints from different eras have a lot to teach us today.


Huge squishy robot steals the show in ‘Big Hero 6′

The animated artistry of characters Aunt Cass and Hiro Hamada star in a scene from the movie "Big Hero 6." (CNS photo/Disney) Posted on November 7th, 2014

Christmas shoppers be warned: Kids will want a robot this year, the heroic kind who likes to give hugs as in Disney’s latest 3-D animated adventure. Get to the movie early for a charming animated short film beforehand.


‘Interstellar’ aims high on liftoff, but it has a problem

From left, Timothee Chalamet, Matthew McConaughey and Mackenzie Foy star in a scene from the movie "Interstellar." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (A-III, PG-13). (CNS photo/Melinda Sue Gordon, courtesy Paramount) Posted on November 5th, 2014

Ordinary reality gets left far behind in the three-hour blockbuster. Theoretical paradoxes, messages of overpopulation and frozen embryos, plus themes of love and familial ties may take viewers where no one has gone before.


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