‘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).

Excesses of ‘The Great Gatsby’ excusable? Not so, old sport

NEW YORK (CNS) — A great American novel doesn’t always, it seems, translate into a sure-fire film property. A case in point: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1925 tale, “The Great Gatsby.” Director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann’s current 3-D adaptation (Warner Bros.) is at least the fourth effort to bring Fitzgerald’s chronicle of the Jazz Age […]

‘Iron Man 3’ starts telling a deeper story, then just blows things up

NEW YORK (CNS) — Given that his first appearance in print dates back to 1963, the comics-based superhero of “Iron Man 3″ (Disney) may be said to be turning 50 this year. Perhaps a midlife crisis is to blame for the lack of freshness and charm that mark the latest addition to this blockbuster screen franchise — […]

Authors see influence of feminism on church from different perspectives

Book reviews: "Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women" by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle. "Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves," edited by Helen M. Alvare. "Grace Under Pressure: The Roles of Women -- Then and Now -- in the Catholic Church" by Barbara A. O'Reilly.

The Place Beyond the Pines

NEW YORK (CNS) — We have the assurance of the Old Testament that the iniquity of a father will be visited upon his children (Nm 14:18). That happens more than once in “The Place Beyond the Pines” (Focus). Director and co-writer (with Ben Coccio and Darius Marder) Derek Cianfrance elevates a standard crime drama into […]