‘Carrie’ brings revenge, more than enough blood, to new audiences

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Since high school bullying can now bring felony charges, the telekinetic revenge of "Carrie" (Screen Gems) seems almost quaint. Someone decided that a reboot of the 1976 horror film based on Stephen King's 1974 novel was a good idea, though. Blood, and lots of it, is the leitmotif in director Kimberly Peirce's crack at the story. There's so much gore, in fact, that it quickly loses all shock value. What's left is a pretty tame gross-out attempt.

‘The Fifth Estate’ proclaims WikiLeaks greatest invention ever

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Even a masterful performance by one of its leads doesn't always make for a satisfying movie overall. And so it proves with "The Fifth Estate" (DreamWorks). Is WikiLeaks really ushering in an entirely new society? Is it a technological innovation so great that it ranks with the invention of movable print, as an opening montage suggests? Whether factual or otherwise, such claims make the film's tone sound, at times, either pompous or feverish.

It’s the best of shows, it’s the worst of shows: the new TV season

NEW YORK (CNS) — There’s both good news and bad for viewers with the advent of the fall television season. The upside mainly concerns hourlong dramas: Some networks have bucked the occult-happy trend of recent years that seemed to fill the small screen with dark tales of demons and goblins. They’ve also gotten away from […]

‘Gravity’ pulls in viewers with rare combo of excitement and enlightenment

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Hold on tight for the ride of your life in "Gravity" (Warner Bros.), a lost-in-space adventure as exhilarating as it is terrifying. Director Alfonso Cuaron serves up a modern-day horror story with top-notch performances by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, plus dazzling 3-D cinematography that envelops the audience in the majesty of space.

Pope as film critic: Mention of a Fellini favorite makes headlines too

NEW YORK (CNS) — Never has passing praise of a Federico Fellini film drawn so much attention. The bulk of the recent interview with Pope Francis by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Italian journal La Civilta Cattolica, concerned how the Holy Father’s experience as a member of the Society of Jesus informs his […]

Tale of one parish’s conversion offers valuable insights for others

“Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, Making the Church Matter” by Michael White and Tom Corcoran. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Ind., 2013). 292 pp., $16.95   The Church of the Nativity is located in northern Baltimore. “Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish” tells how the parish […]

Movie review: ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2’

NEW YORK (CNS) -- A second helping of colorful fun is served up in the cheerful animated sequel "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" (Columbia). Loosely based, like its 2009 predecessor, on a book by Judi and Ron Barrett, directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn's comedy elevates friendship and teamwork over egotism, and re-echoes a familiar -- but nonetheless valuable -- message about environmental responsibility. Some parents, however, will not appreciate the predictable appearance of a bit of potty humor, or the inclusion in the dialogue of a duo of slightly coarse exclamations rhyming with granola.

Books provide excellent formation for evangelizers-in-training

The enormity of the new evangelization and what it means for the church, i.e., the people of God and the institution of which they are a part, should be evident to anyone, especially Catholics invested in their church, of this way of living and being, as Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington describes in his new book. Two other authors also provide helpful volumes on the new evangelization movement.

Authors brings to life stories of those who resisted the Nazis

Nechama Tec's work has centered on the Holocaust, analyzing not only the tragic events of the Nazi genocide of the Jews but also rescuers and survivors.

St. Norbert’s youth ministry, parishioners, draw top Christian musician

If, as St. Augustine said, singing is praying twice, then prayers lifted the rafters of the parish center at St. Norbert Parish in Paoli as two-time Grammy Award nominee Matt Maher performed a live concert recently for more than 600 fans.