When in Rome #4: Serendipitous Masses

How God (and Saint Sebastian and Saint John Paul II) met James and me in Rome.

04/18/2015 Comments (1)

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My week in Rome is almost up, and for a variety of reasons my plans to blog the trip didn’t work out quite as expected, though I do expect to write at least one more post about our trip. One of my posts, for reasons beyond my control, has gone missing; I’ll write more about this in the future. 

I had other plans that didn’t work out as expected either. At least two people in Rome I hoped to connect with I didn’t manage to (one was my fault, the other, um, less my fault). 

But James and I hit the big things. On Friday morning we visited Saint Peter’s, crypt to copula, completing our mini-pilgrimage to all four of Rome’s major papal basilicas. On Friday...READ MORE

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When in Rome #3: Catacombs of Saint Sebastian!

04/16/2015 Comment

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The week is passing so quickly! 

Over the past three days, among other things, James and I have toured the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls and the catacombs of Saint Sebastian, an experience of Rome’s ancient heritage in both its pre-Christian and Christian modes that offers some perspective on the world of this story.. 

As much as I’ve enjoyed various aspects of the trip so far, the highlight has definitely been sharing this trip with James, who has never been abroad before. In addition to Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, James and I struck out on our own yesterday and visited Rome’s other two major basilicas, Saint Mary...READ MORE

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When in Rome #2

04/14/2015 Comments (10)

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[Note: For reasons beyond my control, this post is temporarily unavailable. More to come — SDG]

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When in Rome #1: I’m in Rome!

04/13/2015 Comments (1)

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I’m back in the Eternal City!

This is my third visit to Rome, and the second time I’m here with one of my kids — actually, two of my kids are here in Rome, but one of them isn’t with me. It’s also the second time I'll be blogging my trip day by day.

My first visit was for the 2009 junket for Angels and Demons. I was alone that time, and while I was here for a number of days and wrote quite a bit during and after that trip, I didn’t document it sequentially the way I did my second visit in my "Romeward Bound" series, when I came with Sarah as part of a 2010 archdiocesan pilgrimage led by Archbishop Myers.

This time, among other things,

Filed under ben-hur, ben-hur 2016, hollywood, movies, rome

There’s only one right order to read the ‘Narnia’ books

Why the chronological numbering used by the Chronicles’ publishers today is a travesty

03/06/2015 Comments (17)

A reader writes:

Thanks for your article on the Narnia movies. I’m wondering why they made the movies in a different order than the numbering of the books. Shouldn’t they have made The Magician’s Nephew before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Horse and His Boy before Prince Caspian? Why are they doing The Silver Chair next? The movie order doesn’t make sense to me.

Okay, let’s clear up a few things.

Whatever the deficiencies of the Narnia movies to date, at least the filmmakers did one thing right: They followed the original publication order, which is how many or most editions numbered them until about 20 years ago. I still have an old boxed edition of the Chronicles that...READ MORE

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Does the priest in ‘Calvary’ recommend mortal sin?

03/03/2015 Comments (11)

Many Catholics and other Christians, including me, enthusiastically embraced Brendan Gleeson’s grizzled, unflappable priest Fr. James Lavelle in John Michael McDonogh’s 2014 film Calvary. Calvary didn’t quite crack the Top 10 in my best films list of 2014, but it’s a solid runner-up.

But Calvary is full of depraved, troubled characters, and in trying to minister to them Fr. Lavelle sometimes gets his hands dirty. Does he cross moral lines? A reader writes:

I heard you on the radio a few weeks ago lauding the movie Calvary. So with great anticipation my wife and I waited until it was released on DVD yesterday to finally watch it. Neither one of us liked the film. We were turned off...READ MORE

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Best films of 2014: More lists!

A lineup of Christian film writers pick the top films of 2014 — and two of the top three picks star the same actress.

02/26/2015 Comments (24)

With the Decent Films redesign now behind me (woo hoo!), it’s time to turn my attention to an annual project I’ve been putting off: my round-up of the year-end top 10 lists of some of my friends and peers (see previous years).

I’m a little late this year, having missed my usual self-imposed deadline of the Academy Awards in my efforts to complete the redesign project. (Then again, I haven’t actually watched the Oscars in at least a couple of years, so why should I set my clock by them?) To make up for it, I’m including more lists this year than ever before, nine in all.

Looking over the nine lists below plus my own top 10, three films stand above the rest — two starring Marion Cotillard....READ MORE

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Oscar special! Every Best Pic nominee in 60(ish) seconds! Priests in film! More!

Priests on film, showtimes for the hour-long “Reel Faith” Oscar special and “Reel Faith” video reviews of all eight Best Picture nominees.

02/13/2015 Comments (2)

Well, here I am dropping in again after going on two months. I keep thinking I’m just about to get my head above water, but … well, to mix metaphors, the light at the end of the tunnel keeps receding. I’ll get there at some point. I’m just not yet quite sure when.

What’s occupied the lion’s share of my free time for the last two months — when I haven’t been in class, at work or with family — has been the ongoing redesign effort for DecentFilms.com. This is a herculean task that I initially hoped would be completed by New Year’s, and then by the end of January, and now … well, it still seems just out of reach. I’ll keep you posted. Update: It’s live now! Check it out! 

(SDG’s first law of...READ MORE

Filed under academy awards, hollywood, reel faith, sdg reviews, video reviews

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About Steven D. Greydanus

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Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register and Decent Films, the online home for his film writing. He writes regularly for Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues, and is a regular guest on several radio shows. Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. He is pursuing diaconal studies in the Archdiocese of Newark. Steven and Suzanne have seven children.