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Captain Philips

captain philips

I just took in the new American-everyman Tom Hank's movie, Captain Philips which, surprisingly from its limited quality, has made over $218 million so far, and won six Academy awards.  Directed in shaky-realistic-video by Paul Greengrass, who also oversaw two of the Bourne movies, the film has a stark realism.  The problem, I think, is that it is too realistic.  No one in this movie is portrayed as a 'hero', although they sort of try to make Captain Philips/Tom Hanks ... (Continue reading)

Marie of the Incarnation: A Canadian Mystic

marie of the incarnation

Marie de l’Incarnation: Études de théologie spirituelle by Pierre Gervais, S.J.:  A Review   Pierre Gervais is a Canadian-born Jesuit, professor of systematic, sacramental, and spiritual theology at the Institut d’Etudes Theologiques of Brussels as well as editor of the Nouvelle Revue Théologique. In his Foreword, Father Gervais explains the makeup of these “studies” or essays in spiritual theology based on the life and writings of Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672), an Ursuline nun first of Tours (France) and then of Quebec. ... (Continue reading)

Sci Fi Movie Triplex: Interstellar, Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow


My movie selection over the past few months has been in the science fiction genre, which is often heavy on the 'fiction', and light on the 'science'.  The recent, visually impressive Christopher Nolan-directed Interstellar attempts to balance that, telling the story of mankind's search for a new habitable planet with some degree of scientific accuracy.  But how veridical can you be when most of the science in the film is unverified by experiment or experience?  According to Einsteinian Relativity, which ... (Continue reading)

Festival and Ferial, by Anna Rist: A Review

festival and ferial 2

Festival and Ferial Anna Rist Kaufmann Publishing, St. Simon’s Island , 2014 ISBN : 978-0-9905329-3-4   In one of his Odes (IV.2) Horace describes the danger of trying to emulate the majestic Greek poet Pindar. Such daring, Horace says, would bring the would-be poet to a disastrous end, another Icarus flying too high on his waxed wings, only to crash and, perhaps, give his name to a glassy sea. Horace proceeds to described Pindar’s grandeur, his themes and his techniques in what (critics ... (Continue reading)



Calvary (2014) Directed by John Michael McDonagh Written by John Michael McDonagh   Stay for the credits at the end of Calvary, for interspersed in the endless lists of names are still shots of sites significant for the story line: a booth in the town pub, a table in a café, a split rock, the beach—but now they are empty because the priest has been murdered. He’s no longer present, and his absence ... (Continue reading)



Millions Director: Danny Boyle, 98 min., U.K., 2004. Starring: Alex Etel, James Nesbitt, Daisy Donovan Plot: (Spoiler alert!) The UK is about to switch its currency from Pounds to Euros, giving some criminals a chance to rob a train loaded with banknotes destined for incineration. During the robbery, one of the bags falls onto playhouse belonging to Damian, a young boy who talks to saints. Damian then starts seeing what the world and ... (Continue reading)

Pushing Tin

Pushing Tin

Pushing Tin 1999, Director: Mike Newell. Actors: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thorton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie. Music: Anne Dudley.   (Rated R for language and mild sexuality)   “You land a million planes safely; then you have one little ‘mid-air’, and you never hear the end of it.”  – Pushing Tin Plot The film opens in the control room at the New York's Terminal Radar Approach Center (TRAC), where a team of air traffic controllers coordinate some 7,000 flights a ... (Continue reading)

Book review: Why Be Afraid?


Why Be Afraid? A Retreat by Douglas McManaman Justin Press ISBN: 978-0-9917996-6-4 102 pages, softcover $12.95 CDN Deacon Douglas McManaman is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Toronto, ministering especially to those who suffer from mental illness. A high school teacher for twenty-five years, he teaches Religion and Philosophy to senior high school students and is currently the chaplain for the Toronto Catholic Teachers Guild. Why Be Afraid? is based on a retreat he gave. I bought this book for one of my university-aged sons who is ... (Continue reading)

By Reason Alone: Assembling the great puzzle


By Reason Alone: Assembling the Great Puzzle by Jacek Bacz Justin Press, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-98131-844-8 At the start of this rewarding book Jacek Bacz states that it is "the kind of book I wish I had read at age 25." Born into the Catholic Faith in his native Poland, he lost his faith due to the materialist/sceptical influence of a scientific education. (Moving to Canada, he became a research engineer and consultant in electronics and software design.) Eventually he regained his belief in the One ... (Continue reading)

Dracula Untold: Fallen man, the tragic hero


It is perpetually wonderful to me how much truth can find its way into secularists’ stories. Dracula Untold, Universal’s newest origins story, is a prime example. This story creates—out of the historical Vlad III Dracula the Impaler, Prince of Walachia, and Stoker’s detestable Count—a noble character who resonates with the audience through his very human virtues and vices. In Dracula Untold, Vlad Dracula is a faithful and loving father and husband, a selfless leader and protector, a fallen tragic hero. The film begins ... (Continue reading)

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