Culture

New comedy just about as funny as the end of the world

Intended as an amusingly outrageous romp through Armageddon, "This Is the End" finds an ensemble of actors in a Los Angeles mansion during the Apocalypse. There they squabble, trade insults and generally waste their time -- as well as the audience's.

Old guys go for the gags at Google, in ‘The Internship’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Director Shawn Levy’s comedy “The Internship” (Fox) has a topical premise along with two likable stars. Humor and inventiveness, on the other hand, are in short supply. Adding insult to comedic injury, the belabored effort has enough bad language and offensive material to cancel out its pertinent message concerning the virtues […]

Movie review – Frances Ha

NEW YORK (CNS) — In the 1990s, comedian Jerry Seinfeld made a hit — and a fortune — with an eponymous TV series which was, he claimed, “about nothing.” Along comes its cinematic sister, “Frances Ha” (IFC), the tale of a feckless 27-year-old who’s waiting for her life to happen. Set, like “Seinfeld,” in New […]

There’s more than meets the eye in ‘Now You See Me’

NEW YORK (CNS) — Professional magicians are caught up in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse — or white rabbit and doves, perhaps — in “Now You See Me” (Summit), an entertaining caper movie. Director Louis Leterrier (“Clash of the Titans”) overcomes a huge handicap — making magic appear convincing on the big screen […]

‘After Earth’: Will Smith and son can go home again, but should they?

NEW YORK (CNS) — You can’t go home again. So, at least, the title of a 1940 novel by Thomas Wolfe admonishes us. That’s a bit of advice the characters in the grueling sci-fi adventure “After Earth” (Columbia) — not to mention the real-life folks behind this plodding project — would have done well to […]

Dialogues between rabbi, new pope tell much about Church’s future

“On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the Twenty-First Century” by Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka. Image Books (New York, 2013). 256 pp., $22.   The publication of a book of informal yet profoundly thoughtful dialogues between a cardinal and a rabbi was a rare event when this […]

Nintendo (finally) rolls out sequel to ‘Luigi’s Mansion’ video game

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Back in 2001, a small title was released on the ill-fated Nintendo GameCube console called "Luigi's Mansion." It featured the lesser-known brother of Nintendo's celebrated mascot Mario. On a console that was a rare miss for the juggernaut corporation, "Luigi's Mansion" was a rare, original gem. The game quickly developed a cult following -- and inspired calls for a sequel.

Think you know sports? New book studies Catholic sports from Middle Ages to now

“Catholic Perspectives on Sports from Medieval to Modern Times” by Patrick Kelly, S.J. Paulist Press (Mahwah, N.J., 2012). 212 pp., $19.95. Jesuit Father Patrick Kelly introduces his book, “Catholic Perspectives on Sports,” by stating that “very little research has been done … on the relationship between Catholic theological and spiritual traditions and sport in the […]

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

NEW YORK (CNS) — The “Metal Gear” stealth-action franchise has been acclaimed for its espionage-based gameplay since its eponymous first installment, released way back in 1987. Setting gamers the intriguing goal of successfully sneaking through its well-crafted levels while avoiding detection, the series has garnered fans for generations. Ridiculous but entertainingly tongue-in-cheek plots about futuristic […]

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ offers sci-fi with big scenes, bigger themes

NEW YORK (CNS) -- The original fans of the long-lived "Star Trek" franchise may be getting older; the TV series that started everything off, after all, first hit antennas (remember them?) nearly 50 years ago. But director J.J. Abrams continues to keep the perennially appealing characters of this sci-fi stalwart young with his second chronicle of their early professional lives, "Star Trek Into Darkness" (Paramount).