Videos on Release

Armageddon: A $140 million video game in which Bruce Willis saves the world from a lethal asteroid. Character takes second place to action and special effects. Straight-arrow NASA honcho (Billy Bob Thornton) is forced to hire a top-flight oil driller (Bruce Willis) and his crew of grungy misfits to detonate a nuclear device on the asteroid before it hits earth. Popular with its target audience of teen-age males. (MPAA Rating—PG-13)

Deep Impact: Another big-budget extravaganza about a deadly asteroid headed toward earth. This time there's more emphasis on soap opera than special effects. Faced with the possibility of sudden death, a varied group of characters try to straighten out their lives. The main story is about a hard-charging, female TV reporter (Tea Leoni) who wants to reconcile with her father (Maximillian Schell). It isn't great cinema, but at least it's got heart. (MPAA Rating—PG-13)

The Horse Whisperer: Romance novel-type fantasy about a handsome cowboy who has a healing touch with horses and women. When a teen-age girl (Scarlett Johansson) and her horse suffer a debilitating accident, her high-powered, magazine editor mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) takes them both out West to work with a quiet but wise horse trainer (Robert Redford). The movie doesn't skimp on big emotional moments, so be sure to have your handkerchief handy. (MPAA Rating—PG-13)

The X-Files: The hit TV show's fans will have their passion gratified, but others may find it heavy sledding. The confusing plot has the mysterious explosion of a federal building blamed on a pair of FBI agents (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) who uncover a conspiracy that reaches way back in time. Involved are extraterrestrials and powerful contemporary figures. The movie embellishes the series' hip, paranoid mood with stylish chases and expensive special effects. (MPAA Rating—PG-13)

Black Dog: In his bid to make ends meet and to support his wife and daughter, a former professional truck driver (Jack Crews) who has just been paroled from prison, accepts an “off the books” job from his boss, Cutler (Graham Beckel). He agrees to drive an unspecified cargo from Atlanta to New Jersey. But Cutler's partner, Red (Meat Loaf), is planning to double-cross Cutler and hijack the cargo—an illegal shipment of guns. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Allen Ford and ATF Agent McClaren are also tracking the rig, and are planning on nabbing everyone involved in the operation. The movie contains strong language and repeated violence. (MPAA Rating—PG-13)

The Odd Couple II: Thirty years after first meeting and becoming roommates, Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) meet again in California for the wedding of Felix's daughter, Hannah (Lisa Waltz), to Oscar's son, Brucey (Jonathan Silverman). Although it's been 17 years since they last spoke, Felix and Oscar still get on each other's nerves. Just hours after leaving the airport, they end up lost in the California desert. Despite a weak story, die-hard fans of Matthau and Lemmon might enjoy seeing the comic duo together again. Contains strong language. (MPAA—PG-13)

Hope Floats: Birdee Calvert (Sandra Bullock) tries to rebuild her life, after she learns through national television that her husband Bill (Michael ParÈ) is having an affair with her best friend (Rosanna Arquette). Birdee returns home to her mother, Ramona (Gena Rowlands). The two women were never close, and now with her father in a nursing home, Birdee has to learn to deal with her mother's habit of interfering in her life. (MPAA—PG-13)

Horace Vernet, “The Angel of Death,” 1851

Don’t Wait to Cram for Your ‘Final Exam’

“Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven — through a purification or immediately — or immediate and everlasting damnation.” (CCC 1022)

Francisco de Zurbarán, “The Family of the Virgin,” ca. 1650

Why Do We Ask Mary to Pray for Us?

“After her Son’s Ascension, Mary ‘aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.’ In her association with the apostles and several women, ‘we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.’” (CCC 965)