Movie Reviews

Posted February 15, 2019 at 12:00 am

Roma

Netflix 

Meditative autobiographical drama chronicling the life of a middle-class family (led by Marina de Tavira) in the titular neighborhood of Mexico City in the early 1970s focuses primarily on the breakup of the parents’ marriage and on the out-of-wedlock pregnancy of their devoted maid (Yalitza Aparicio). Grown viewers with long attention spans will find Catholicism subtly interwoven into the clan’s experience as writer-director Alfonso Cuaron muses on his childhood. But graphic content restricts the appropriate audience for his journey down memory lane. Full male nudity, a nonmarital sexual relationship, mature references, including drug use, at least one profanity and a mild oath, a few rough terms, some crude language. L; R 

Mary Queen of Scots

Focus 

Highly

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    Movie Reviews

    Escape Room

    Columbia

    Routine thriller in which, lured by a $10,000 reward, a seemingly random group of people (most prominently troubled slacker Logan Miller and shy college student Taylor Russell) participate in what purports to be an immersive game but turns out to be a deadly struggle for survival. Though the victims of the deception generally bond and Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik’s script attempts, halfheartedly, to weigh the consequences of selfishness against the fruits of altruism, director Adam Robitel’s film is ultimately little more than a less disturbing take on the “Saw” franchise. Since the

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    Movie Reviews

    The Mule

    Warner Bros.

    This ambling, fact-based story of an octogenarian drug runner who becomes a success at it because no one, evidently, believes he’s capable of such a dangerous task is more than a little morally tone deaf. Clint Eastwood, who directed from a script by Nick Schenk, plays an easygoing Illinois horticulturist who has neglected his estranged family for years while puttering around the country hawking prize-winning daylilies. He gets a second chance at life and sudden wealth when a young Latino man makes him an offer to be a drug mule, hauling cocaine

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    Movie Reviews

    Aquaman

    Warner Bros.

    A sprawling, lush spectacle, this DC Comics adaptation is also overlong, overcomplicated and, at times, just plain dumb. After washing up on shore wounded, the queen of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman) is nursed back to health by a lighthouse keeper (Temuera Morrison) whom she weds and with whom she has a son before being forced to return underwater to the arranged marriage she was trying to flee in the first place. Once grown (Jason Momoa), the couple’s superhero offspring reluctantly gets mixed up in the politics of his mother’s kingdom where the realm’s

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    Movie Reviews

    Widows

    Fox

    The ends justify the means in this well-crafted but gritty heist drama from director and co-writer Steve McQueen. After her career criminal husband (Liam Neeson) is killed while robbing money from a corrupt politician (Brian Tyree Henry), a union official (Viola Davis) is threatened with death unless she repays the stolen loot. Using a notebook her spouse left behind with plans for his next job, she recruits the widows (Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki) of two of his gang members to help her pull the projected theft off instead. In adapting a British TV series, McQueen and

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    Movie Reviews

    Instant Family

    Paramount

    After taking in three siblings (Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz and Julianna Gamiz) from foster care, a good-hearted couple (Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne) faces a series of challenges that disrupt their previously placid lifestyle and leave them wondering if they can cope with the commitment they’ve made. Drawing on his own real-life experience, director and co-writer Sean Anders deftly weaves amusing incidents with touching emotional interludes. While the result is a fundamentally pro-family film, the script, penned with John Morris, includes material appropriate for grown-ups only. Much sexual and some scatological humor, implicit

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    Movie Reviews

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    Fox

    Rami Malek gives himself completely to the role of Freddie Mercury in this biopic of the lead singer of the rock group Queen, with impressive artistic results. And Mercury’s musical career, including his collaboration with the other members of the band (Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joe Mazzello) as they resisted narrow categorization and took such creative risks as releasing the lengthy pop aria of the title as a single, is portrayed congenially enough. But the vocalist’s tangled personal life, beginning with his doomed engagement to his live-in girlfriend (Lucy Boynton), who

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    Movie Reviews

    Smallfoot

    Warner Bros.

    Turning the legend of Bigfoot on its head, this animated musical comedy charts the quest of a young yeti (voice of Channing Tatum) to prove that so-called smallfeet, that is, humans, exist, despite the fact that the inscribed stones by which the life of his mountaintop community has traditionally been regulated (their current custodian voiced by Common) deny this. Journeying below the clouds to look for proof, he encounters the host (voice of James Corden) of a nature-themed television show and, by presenting him to his fellow yetis, throws their whole way of

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    Movie Reviews

    Skyscraper

    Universal

    An American security expert (Dwayne Johnson) gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to review the safeguards at the world’s tallest building in Hong Kong whose owner (Chin Han) puts him and his family up there during their visit. A plot to destroy the structure leaves his wife (Neve Campbell) and kids (McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell) trapped by a raging multi-floor fire, with no one likely to be able to save them except Dad. Anyone with a fear of heights will cringe as writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber puts Johnson through his

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    MOVIE REVIEWS

    Black Panther

    Disney  

    Sprawling, energetic but ultimately overlong Marvel Comics adaptation from director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. The young sovereign (Chadwick Boseman) of an imaginary and secret African kingdom where the use of a super-powerful mineral has enabled the population to achieve both prosperity and a range of technological wonders unknown to the outside world must cope with two principal threats to his realm. The first involves a South African arms dealer (Andy Serkis) who has managed to infiltrate the nation and make

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    Movie Reviews

    Risen

    Columbia

    A Roman tribune (Joseph Fiennes) who witnessed the execution of Jesus (Cliff Curtis) is ordered by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) to investigate the disappearance of the crucified man’s body, and recover the missing corpse. But the hunt, in which he’s aided by an ambitious, though untested junior officer (Tom Felton), turns out to have life-altering consequences for the hard-bitten soldier. Designed to have broad appeal, this biblical epic uses its protagonist’s cynicism to clear a path for nonbelievers into the

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    Martin.pdf

    ‘Love’ is spelled ‘w-o-r-k’

    More Than I Knew

    I gave you my heart on a platter

    It was stupid

    I gave you my life like it mattered

    But you took it

    I know that people tell me that it’s gonna take time

    But time feels like forever when you ain’t by my side

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    Movie Reviews

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    Columbia

    Overstuffed but diverting 3-D comic-book sequel in which the title character, aka average teen Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), grapples with the conflict between his superhero mission and his desire to safeguard his girlfriend (Emma Stone), tries to solve the mystery of his parents’ long-ago disappearance and battles a succession of villains (most prominently Jamie Foxx). He also has a fraught reunion with his best friend from childhood (Dane DeHaan) who’s afflicted with a fatal hereditary disease. Giddy special effects and a lively pace help disguise the fact that director Marc Webb’s follow-up to his 2012 reboot covers

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    Sociological study looks at support for interfaith marriages

    Cultural shifts in the age of marriage, the decline of the option for sacramental marriage among some Catholics, the demise of ethnic/religious enclaves in European American communities, and changing attitudes on human sexuality all have affected the Catholic ministry with young adults and marriage support.

    The church has made some developments to better support interchurch and interfaith couples and families, but pastoral implementation remains a challenge in many

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    Do TV, other media play a part in nation’s increasing obesity rate?

    Catholic News Service

    WASHINGTON – A Supreme Court justice once famously said about pornography, “I’ll know it when I see it,” regarding his test for judging what materials should be considered protected speech.

    A similar test may hold true for obesity and whether it should be considered a disease. But in June, the American Medical Association made that determination, recognizing it as a disease and overriding the opinion of a blue-ribbon panel created by the AMA that had said it wasn’t.

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    Movie Reviews

    The Bling Ring

    (A24 Films)

    Disturbing fact-based account of a gang of high school students who targeted their favorite stars and burgled the celebrities’ homes, stealing clothing, jewelry and cash to fill their own closets and pockets. Five teens (Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga and Claire Julien) crave the A-list lifestyle, and so decide to steal the expensive accoutrements that go along with it. They rely on tabloid reports to tell them who’s out of town – then descend

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    Dedication common theme in books about women religious

    At first glance, one might wonder why these two books were paired for review. Clearly, there is the “nun” theme but what really unites the two is the idea of dedication. Both books reflect lives of faith and a sincere and inspiring desire to help others and serve God.

    In “As I Have Loved You: A Conversation With Mother Teresa” John Scully truly offers new insights into the holy and

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    Movie Reviews

    Man of Steel

    (Warner Bros.)

    Action adventure recounting the life of comic book hero Superman (Henry Cavill). Born on Krypton, as an infant his parents (Russell Crowe and Ayelet Zurer) send him to Earth so he can escape his doomed home planet’s imminent destruction. His adoptive human parents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) instill positive values and try to protect his secret. Once grown, an investigative reporter (Amy Adams) is on the verge of disclosing his

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    Movie Reviews

    Now You See Me

    (Summit)

    A quartet of professional magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Isla Fisher) is caught in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse in this entertaining caper film directed by Louis Leterrier. Brought together by a mysterious capitalist (Michael Caine), the four become a world-famous act. But one outrageous stunt they manage to pull off – a long-distance and very public bank robbery – attracts the attention of an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo), his Interpol

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