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Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Monday, February 20, 2017

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TV program and film notes
NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of programs and movies on network and cable television the week of Feb. 19. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
The Lego Batman Movie
NEW YORK (CNS) — In 2014's "The Lego Movie," Will Arnett voiced an amusingly self-absorbed version of Gotham City's Dark Knight. With the entertaining spinoff "The Lego Batman Movie" (Warner Bros.), Arnett's character, together with his inflated ego, takes center stage.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
John Wick: Chapter 2
NEW YORK (CNS) — The stylized, nearly cartoonish nihilism and resulting high body count in "John Wick: Chapter 2" (Lionsgate) create most of the apparent appeal of this second drama about a professional assassin. The rest, as directed by Chad Stahelski from Derek Kolstad's script, consists of small moments — quite small, since there's nearly no dialogue — of mordant and questionable humor.
Friday, February 17, 2017
A Cure for Wellness

NEW YORK (CNS) — The Swiss spa that serves as the primary setting for the creepy, but otherwise pointless horror exercise "A Cure for Wellness" (Fox) operates, it seems, on the Hotel California plan.

As fans of the Eagles' 1977 hit will recall, that means, "you can check out anytime you like; but you can never leave."


Thursday, February 16, 2017
20th-century Masses in concert

The Portland sacred music choir Cantores in Ecclesia, with James O’Donnell as guest director, will sing two 20th-century Masses at a concert set for 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, at St. Mary Cathedral, Northwest 18th Avenue and Couch Street in Portland.


Thursday, February 16, 2017
Marylhurst speaker series sparks dialogue on social justice
Marylhurst University hosts a series of free talks on issues of social justice beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, with Mind the Gaps: How Gender Shapes Our Lives led by Jade Aguilar, assistant professor of sociology and women’s and gender studies at Willamette University.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The Comedian
NEW YORK (CNS) — If a movie's going to be titled "The Comedian" (Sony Classics), and the phrase isn't intended ironically, since the film is about a stand-up comic, the audience has a right to expect that some mirth, at least, awaits therein.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The envelope, please
NEW YORK (CNS) — The quality of the best Hollywood films was higher in 2016 than in some recent years. But the outstanding movies of the 12 months just past tended to deal with challenging subject matter. Assassination, the exactions of combat, even religious repression enforced through torture were all dealt with in a skillful way — but also in a manner not likely to appeal to the casual moviegoer.
Monday, February 13, 2017
TV program notes
NEW YORK (CNS) — Here are some television program notes for the week of Feb. 12 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They are not necessarily recommended by Catholic News Service.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Moonlight
NEW YORK (CNS) — Considered as an exploration of the African-American experience in contemporary society, writer-director Barry Jenkins' powerfully understated drama "Moonlight" (A24) makes a compelling statement.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Fifty Shades Darker
NEW YORK (CNS) — To beat or not to beat, that is the question in the sordid sequel "Fifty Shades Darker" (Universal). Sensible people won't care a whip, er, a whit what the answer is. James Foley pads out his adaptation of E.L. James' novel — the second in a trilogy, heaven help us — with nonsexual scenes that range from the boring to the ridiculous. So anyone with a higher interest than mere prurience will be disappointed.
Friday, February 10, 2017
The Space Between Us
NEW YORK (CNS) — Moral blemishes mar the science fiction-tinged romance "The Space Between Us" (STX), making it unsuitable for youngsters and teens. Dramatically, director Peter Chelsom and screenwriter Allan Loeb waste a promising premise as they imagine the life story of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield), the first human born on Mars.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Physician-author finds God in studies of near-death experiences
Since the beginning of time, death has posed the ultimate enigma. Where exactly do we go after our physical demise? Catholic tradition points to heaven or hell (and sometimes, purgatory). While earlier generations seemed to accept these beliefs on faith, in our age medical advances have made near-death experiences comparatively common.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
TV program notes
NEW YORK (CNS) — Here are some television program notes for the week of Feb. 5 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They have not been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended by Catholic News Service.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Rings
NEW YORK (CNS) — There's something about being tossed down a well and left for dead that can make a girl really cranky. Hence, "Rings" (Paramount), the third film in an American horror franchise based on a 1998 Japanese feature.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
'Call Me Francis' examines the pre-papal life of Jorge Bergoglio
NEW YORK (CNS) — "What am I doing in Rome? People retire at my age," a pensive, melancholy Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Sergio Hernandez) says early on in "Call Me Francis." Netflix's miniseries renders a textured, honest, yet sympathetic portrait of our current pontiff before he was pope.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
NEW YORK (CNS) — "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" (Screen Gems) is the sixth — and presumably last — in a series of video game-based films that began back in 2002.The movies have always kept their connection to the console on open display. This makes them ideal for those who like their zombies, shootouts and occasionally gory incidents of flesh-eating served up with a minimum of story line or dialogue. For anyone beyond the fan base, though, frustration — and a possible headache — awaits.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Gold
NEW YORK (CNS) — Little glitters in "Gold" (Weinstein). To put it another way, there's a sour taste to this loosely fact-based story that a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the lead role fails to dispel.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The Resurrection of Gavin Stone
NEW YORK (CNS) — The parable of the prodigal son gets a soapy Hollywood treatment in "The Resurrection of Gavin Stone" (BH Tilt/High Top), a faith-based comedy-drama. The eponymous character (Brett Dalton) is a washed-up former child star whose bad-boy antics land him in big trouble during a visit to his home town in Illinois. Sentenced to perform 200 hours of community service and unable to leave the state, Gavin reluctantly moves back in with his estranged father, Waylon (Neil Flynn), a carpenter (hint, hint).
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Theater that's therapy
Holy Cross Father Richard Berg knows he’s a blessed man. “Very blessed, with miracles and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” he says.

That’s been reinforced through his life’s work, most recently the process of writing a novel, “Scars,” about post-traumatic stress. “Scars” was adapted into a theatrical production that premiered last month.


Monday, January 30, 2017


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