MovieGuide corrects distortions of Catholic theology (updated)

MovieGuide gets exorcism movie Rite, Catholic teaching wrong

02/03/2011 Comments (25)

Even savvy Catholics used to bizarre distortions of Catholic teaching by non-Catholics might be startled by the howler in a review of this weekend’s top movie, The Rite, at the Christian movie review site

It should be noted that MovieGuide’s blunder seems not to reflect any kind of obvious anti-Catholic bias. On the contrary, to their credit MovieGuide typically treats Hollywood anti-Catholicism as anti-Christian, and positive images of Catholicism as pro-Christian.

You can see this in their review of The Rite, which their anonymous review credits with a “very strong Christian, moral worldview set in Roman Catholic world.” According to MovieGuide, The Rite “portrays a...READ MORE

Filed under exorcism, movies, the rite

UPDATE (Photos!): March for Life: DC Live-blogging

01/25/2011 Comments (45)

Added: Lots more march coverage linked at Michelle Malkin’s website … including a link to this post. (Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers!)

Final update

Crowd pictures from March for Life 2011.

It’s Tuesday morning. Got in last night around 10:30pm.

After leaving the March and taking the Metro back to our car, we drove about an hour and stopped at a rest area to get gas and supper. The place was packed—and it didn’t take us long to realize that the crowds were pretty much all us. Young people in pro-life T-shirts, sisters in habits, priests filled the restaurants. You don’t see that every day.

So far the only mainstream coverage of the March I’ve seen has been from the Washington Post and The Post piece isn’t bad,...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, march for life, pro-life

True Grit and the Grace of God

12/29/2010 Comments (6)

“There is no law west of St. Louis,” a popular saying had it over a century ago, “and no God west of Fort Smith.” It is a verdict one would be not at all surprised to find confirmed in a Coen brothers film set in the time and place in question—even if by then a semblance of law had come to Fort Smith in the person of reputed “hanging judge” Isaac Parker. In fact, one could easily imagine the Coens being drawn to such a setting precisely for those qualities of lawlessness and godlessness.

In 14-year-old Mattie Ross, though, the Coens have a protagonist whose adamantine sense of purpose defies both halves of that 19th-century aphorism. Arriving in Fort Smith to identify the body of her...READ MORE

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True Grit and the Grace of God (Part 2)

12/29/2010 Comments (26)

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The rivalry between the Deputy U.S. Marshall and the Texas Ranger goes beyond the exigencies of the current chase. Rooster slights La Beouf’s Civil War service under General Kirby Smith, probably for the ineffectiveness of Smith’s forces in the Trans-Mississippi against Ulysses Grant and the Union Navy. La Beouf, meanwhile, snorts at Rooster’s loyalty to Captain William Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson, Civil War guerrilla fighters most infamously associated with the Lawrence Massacre.

But Mattie is the real heroine, not least for her skill in managing her two pigheaded escorts. If she is an unusually hard person, she has had an unusually hard life. From her late father she...READ MORE

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Tron: Legacy – end of (the) line?

12/17/2010 Comments (6)

I’m the right age and the right demographic to have been a Tron fan back in the day: I was going into high school that summer; I was a movie buff; and we were, for 1982, a fairly computer-savvy family. An effects-driven movie about a computer programmer sucked into cyberspace should have been right up my alley, but somehow I only saw it in bits and pieces, never the whole thing. The lightcycle sequence burned into my brain. I loved Snake, and could play it on our Commodore PET until my tail filled the entire arena with only a few spaces between my nose and my tail, at which point the program invariably crashed.

If you are a fan of the original Tron, there is this to be said for you. Tron...READ MORE

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Tron: Legacy – end of (the) line? (Part 2)

12/17/2010 Comments (30)

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On paper, one might care about the plight of Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges, reprising his role from the original), whose father crossed the digital frontier in the first film, and who has vanished permanently in between films, leaving his son to grow up fatherless. Now a disaffected young hacker who chooses to play anarchic pranks on his father’s company rather than lead it, Sam remembers his father’s bedtime stories about the grid, but has no idea they’re real until one day when he falls down the rabbit hole after his missing father.

For Sam’s journey to matter, he would have to connect in some meaningful way with something in grid-world. His...READ MORE

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Kung Fu Panda vs. How to Train Your Dragon

12/15/2010 Comments (19)

Dragon Warrior or Dragon Trainer?

I seem to be on a comparison kick: A while back I did a massive comparison/contrast between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and The Empire Strikes Back. Then I followed up with a comparison/contrast of Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.

More recently, I found myself in a discussion weighing the relative merits of two of DreamWorks Animation’s recent features, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. How do they stack up? My exhaustive analysis is below! (If Mark Shea thought my Harry Potter/Star Wars post was super-nerdy, wait till he sees this one!)

Warning: Spoilers ahoy!

  • Overall scope: Kung Fu Panda offers a funny-animal genre spoof of every kung-fu movie and hero’s journey...READ MORE

Filed under animation, dreamworks, family entertainment, how to train your dragon, kung fu panda, movies

UPDATE: Reel Faith: The Advent/Christmas edition!

12/03/2010 Comments (15)

Reel Faith

UPDATE (December 3, 2010): A belated announcement that “Reel Faith” is back for 5 weeks only, starting last Sunday. Now airing on Sundays at 7pm, the mini-season runs through December 26.

The first episode, covering Megamind, Morning Glory and Due Date, is currently available at the Reel Faith website. Episode 2, covering Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Tangled and 127 Hours,  airs on NET this Sunday (watch online).

UPDATE (September 2, 2010): Last week’s episode of “Reel Faith,” now available at the Reel Faith website, was the last episode for the summer. Following NET’s season schedule, the show is now on hiatus. When will we return? Watch this space! I’ll keep you...READ MORE

Filed under movies, 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.