NEW YORK (CNS) — Here are some television program and film notes for the week of Feb. 26 with their TV Parental Guidelines ratings if available. They have not been reviewed and therefore are not necessarily recommended. Sunday, February 26, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — We have to inquire: What kinds of audience laughter are the makers of the misbegotten "Fist Fight" (Warner Bros.) going for? Broad guffaws at human frailties? Nope, none of that. Expansive hoots at outrageous physical comedy? Again, not here. That leaves bitter, humorless sneering at various forms of human degradation. If there's a sweet spot for that, this film has found it. Saturday, February 25, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — Those seeking nothing more from a movie than sheer spectacle may be satisfied with director Zhang Yimou's visually interesting but thoroughly implausible action adventure "The Great Wall" (Universal).
Epic in scale, the film is shallow in emotion and characterization. On the upside though, its central romance is completely chaste and its dialogue mostly free of cursing.
NEW YORK (CNS) — The incredible true story of one orphan's 20-year odyssey to find his way back home roars to cinematic life in "Lion" (Weinstein). Taken from his native India as a boy, Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel) grew to manhood in a loving adoptive family in Australia. But he was haunted by his lost childhood and the beloved mother (Priyanka Bose) he left behind. His 2013 memoir (written with Larry Buttrose), "A Long Way Home," inspired this poignant and uplifting film, directed by Garth Davis.
Some singer-songwriters from Oregon Catholic Press, publisher of this newspaper, have teamed up to produce an album of Scripture-based songs that focus on Christ-centered social justice. Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Anthony Doerr will be awarded his doctorate of humane letters from the University of Portland when he speaks as a guest of the university at the annual Schoenfeldt Distinguished Writers Series on Feb. 27. Monday, February 20, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — The outstanding chemistry between lead actors Judd Hirsch and Jermaine Fowler sustains "Superior Donuts," CBS' promising — if uneven — new comedy.The series premiered Feb. 2, presumably in the hope that following immediately after the long-running "Big Bang Theory" would help its kickoff. All subsequent episodes of the show, which is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts' eponymous play, will air Mondays, 9-9:30 p.m. PST. Monday, February 20, 2017
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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