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  • A Bad Moms Christmas
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Aggressive vulgarity is the incongruous hallmark of the holiday-themed sequel "A Bad Moms Christmas" (STX).
  • Portland Choir & Orchestra performs ‘Christmas Bells are Ringing’
    The 150-member Portland Choir and Orchestra features two guest performers at this year’s Christmas show, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The venue is the Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway in downtown Portland.
  • Six musicians from past VSO Young Artists competitions take the stage
    Vancouver, Wash. — The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series welcomes back local young artists from past seasons for its inaugural Legacy Series concert on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. at Vancouver’s historic Kiggins Theatre (1011 Main St., Vancouver, Washington). Tickets are $25, $10 for students with ID.
  • Beautifully written memoir recounts lives of Syrians, nation in peril
    “The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria” is as much an account of Syria as it is a beautifully crafted narrative of a Syrian family and an independent first-generation Syrian-American woman.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — Autumn is the time when most young people are back at college. But what about the ones who bounce back home? That question provides the premise for the captivating video game "Night in the Woods" (Infinite Fall).
  • Choirs compete in downtown Portland
    “Rally on the Risers,” a friendly competition between several local choirs, takes stage at the Dolores Winningstad Theatre Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The show benefits Marathon Scholars, a local Portland non-profit that mentors under-resourced children to succeed in middle school, high school and college.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — Judi Dench is no stranger to playing royalty, and she shines once again as the titular queen in "Victoria and Abdul" (Focus).
  • Suburbicon
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Corruption lurking under the placid surface of life in the suburbs is hardly a new theme. But the image of universal middle-class depravity presented in the failed black comedy "Suburbicon" (Paramount) is so lurid as to render the movie fundamentally unbelievable. While the filmmakers' artistic intent is clear, moreover, this nihilistic outlook may make the picture offensive to many viewers of faith.
  • Cappella Romana offers up ‘Arctic Lights’ at St. Mary Cathedral
    Cappella Romana, Portland’s vocal ensemble that performs early and contemporary sacred classical music, will sing a variety of Nordic and Eastern European music at St. Mary Cathedral in Portland and at Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego. The Marylhurst program will also include a guest performance by the Marylhurst Chamber Choir, directed by Justin Smith.
  • Orthodox artists work to revive religious sensibility
    MOSCOW (CNS) — One hundred years after Russia’s communist revolution inaugurated an era of church persecution and state-sponsored atheism, an Eastern Orthodox novel recently won the country’s top literary prize, and a statue of the country’s first Christian emperor was erected outside the Kremlin walls.
  • 'The Long Road Home'
    NEW YORK (CNS) — In 2004, soldiers from the Army's First Calvary Division stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, were deployed on a "peacekeeping" mission to the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad.
  • Pope on interviews:
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Replying to questions and giving interviews are a “pastoral risk” Pope Francis said he is prepared to take, because it is the best way to know and respond to people’s real concerns.
  • La Salle Prep Theater’s “Almost, Maine” almost open
    Almost happy. Almost miserable. Almost in love. Through several vignettes, audiences meet the people of the almost town of Almost, Maine, during La Salle Prep’s fall play, “Almost, Maine,” written by John Cariani and directed by La Salle drama teacher Michael Shelton.
  • Jigsaw
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Butchery accompanied by siren-wail screaming, franchise shock value that has long since played out and a rapid descent into self-parody, this is "Jigsaw" (Lionsgate).
  • Same Kind of Different as Me
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Viewers committed to scriptural values will be inclined to cut the good-hearted but uneven drama "Same Kind of Different as Me" (Paramount) some slack.
  • Immigration on stage at UP
    (Portland, OR) – "Immigration and the American Dream,” a Lyric Theater Workshop Showcase directed by Nicole Hanig of the University of Portland department of music, features a repertoire of pieces from musical theater and opera that speak to some of the most pressing issues of our time, including immigration, displacement, and inequality.
  • Thor: Ragnarok
    NEW YORK (CNS) — There's plenty of combat but relatively little bloodletting in the sweeping Marvel Comics adaptation "Thor: Ragnarok" (Disney). So at least some parents may deem this second sequel to the 2011 original acceptable for older teens.
  • The Snowman
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Though it presents itself as a complex, thinking person's thriller, "The Snowman" (Universal), director Tomas Alfredson's adaptation of Jo Nesbo's best-selling crime novel, is not above dabbling in penny-dreadful sensationalism.
  • After Harvey, faith fuels Houston fans; World Series win is boost city needed
    HOUSTON (CNS) — Baseball bats and rosary beads were the only thing on Tonya Killian's mind as she walked toward Minute Maid Park for Game 3 of the 2017 World Series.
  • Geostorm
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Mostly murky with a strong chance of boredom is the forecast for "Geostorm" (Warner Bros.). Never, perhaps, has the potential wiping out of life on Earth seemed so ho-hum.
  •  'Acceptable Risk,' streaming, Acorn TV
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The six episodes of the outstanding, immersive suspense drama "Acceptable Risk" are available on the streaming service Acorn.
  • Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween
    NEW YORK (CNS) — There's a brief moment in "Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" (Lionsgate) in which one desperately hopes that the plot has flickered to life.
  • The power of TV, the fear of consolidation:
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — You may recall the adage, “I never quarrel with a man who buys ink by the barrel.” Uttered by Charles Brownson, who served four terms in Congress 1951-59 as an Indiana Republican, he was advising against ruffling the feathers of newspaper types. And in our visual age? It could apply to TV station ownership.
  • British Benedictine, 82, creates mural to capture order’s charisms
    LONDON (CNS) — When Mother Joanna Jamieson went back to art school after more than 60 years in a Benedictine convent, she was likened by one British national newspaper to an “intergalactic time traveler” who hadn’t heard a record by the Beatles or seen a James Bond film.
  • 'Til Death Do Us Part
    NEW YORK (CNS) – “‘Til Death Do Us Part” (Novus) takes a deep dive into the shallow end of the melodrama pool with predictable results.
  • Irish folklife expert says Halloween traditions began in Ireland
    DUBLIN (CNS) — As the seasonal carving of pumpkins gets underway, an Irish folklife expert said there is evidence that the tradition, which is synonymous with Halloween jack-o-lanterns in the United States, actually began in Ireland.
  • Happy Death Day
    NEW YORK (CNS) — With a name like “Happy Death Day” (Universal), a sweet, wholesome story is unlikely to unfold.

    You can say that again.
  • Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Fans of the comic book superheroine Wonder Woman (and of the recent blockbuster film) are advised to steer well clear of “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” (Annapurna).
  • The Foreigner
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Jackie Chan takes a sharp turn from his typically genial screen personality to become the vengeful father of a London terrorist victim in “The Foreigner” (STX).
  • Only the Brave
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The heartbreaking true story of an elite Arizona firefighting team comes to the big screen in “Only the Brave” (Columbia).

    In 2013, the Granite Mountain Hotshots — as the group was known — risked their lives and raced into a raging inferno to save a neighboring town from destruction. Given more recent fire calamities, their striking example of heroism, brotherhood and self-sacrifice is both timely and inspiring.
  • Blade Runner 2049
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Misogyny hangs over “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.) as blithely as the thick yellow fog of the post-apocalyptic Los Angeles it portrays.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Looking for an instant sugar rush but don’t want all those empty calories? Saddle up and lasso “My Little Pony: The Movie” (Lionsgate), a super-sweet animated musical featuring those candy-colored Hasbro toys.
  • The Florida Project
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — A new independent movie, “The Florida Project,” aims to show the life of people whom director Sean Baker calls “the hidden homeless,” as they scratch out a hand-to-mouth existence paying rent in cash weekly in motels along the U.S. Highway 192 strip between Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — Having anchored popular TV series in the past, Mark Feuerstein (“Royal Pains”), Jeremy Piven (“Mr. Selfridge”) and Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) all return to television this fall, but with varying degrees of success.
  • ‘The Story of Us’
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The engaging, if occasionally morally squishy, documentary series “The Story of Us” airs in six one-hour episodes that highlight specific themes on cable’s National Geographic Channel Oct. 11-25 and Nov. 8-22.
  • The Stray
    BALTIMORE (CNS) — For a lot of people, surviving getting struck by lightning might be enough to change their life. Hollywood writer and director Mitch Davis lived through such an ordeal, but in the mind of Davis and his family, that’s not what turned their life around. It was a stray dog named Pluto, who is immortalized in “The Stray.”
  • Verboort Sausage Dinner
    The weather may be crisp or damp. Those who come may be farmers, city slickers or politicians looking for votes. But they all are ready for fun and a unique meal in rural Oregon. It takes place under towering sequoias and in the shadow of a handsome and sturdy brick church.
  • WATCH: Fire inspires Catholic singer-songwriter
    A Catholic singer-songwriter has penned a tribute song to commemorate Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • Battle of the Sexes
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The early 1970s in all its revanchist sexism, double-knit-fabric garishness and choking cigarette smoke is the setting of the coming-of-age story that is "Battle of the Sexes" (Fox Searchlight).
  • The Mountain Between Us
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The proverbial call of the wild sounds more like a roar in "The Mountain Between Us" (Fox), a trapped-in-the-wilderness survival drama based on the 2011 novel by Charles Martin.
  • Flatliners
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Far from heavenly, but not exactly hellish either, the tepid afterlife-focused thriller "Flatliners" (Columbia) is more like a visit to limbo.
  • A Question of Faith
    NEW YORK (CNS) — As with so many of its forerunners in the religious message movie genre, the sober drama "A Question of Faith" (Pure Flix) seems better suited to preach to the choir than to attract the indifferent or the merely curious.
  • Fall 2017: Could 'The Good Doctor' cure what ails these new shows?
    NEW YORK (CNS) — While fresh faces are featured in two quirky concept shows of the new fall TV season — "Inhumans" and "The Good Doctor" — the established and acclaimed actress Edie Falco puts a new spin on the venerable courtroom drama with "Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."
  • Translator's expertise brings readers to new appreciation of Bible
    Throughout "The Face of Water," Sarah Ruden brings her translator's expertise in the languages and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world to discuss the Bible. She shows how for ancient literature "form and content are inseparable, and equally important."
  • 'Castlevania,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A negatively portrayed Catholic Church is the main antagonist in "Castlevania," a new animated series on Netflix. With its twisted presentation of the faith and of history, the show, based on a video game, is obviously not for children — nor for any but well-grounded adults.
  • Home Again
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Genteel decorum prevails in the romantic comedy "Home Again" (Open Road). At least, it does so everywhere beyond the confines of its protagonist's bedroom. The result is a morally mixed film in which kindly characters follow the misguided marital and sexual dictates of contemporary society.
  • A church for all God's children
    The crowd, more than 250 strong, in Holy Rosary Parish’s Aquinas Hall, hushed as the lights dimmed Saturday night for the third-ever production of “Tolton: From slave to priest.”
  • American Assassin
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The award for the most obvious film title of the year goes to "American Assassin" (CBS Films), an action thriller about — you guessed it — a professional killer from the United States, specifically Rhode Island.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — Even as its end credits roll, there's a great deal that remains puzzling about the chaotic, exhausting, genre-blending allegory "Mother!" (Paramount).
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Stylish but wayward, director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn's action sequel "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (Fox) spoils its own fun by refusing all hint of restraint.
  • Animated characters appear in the movie "The Lego Ninjago Movie." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (CNS photo/Warner Bros.)
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Third time lucky? Not for the Lego screen franchise, alas.
  • Friend Request
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Lots of blood and little sense characterize the second-rate horror flick "Friend Request" (Entertainment Studios).
  • American Made
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "American Made" (Universal), the wild, fact-based story of airline pilot-turned-gun-runner Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), is far too turbulent for youngsters and even too bumpy for most of their elders.
  • Fans of Jesuit author will find surprises in collection of his works
    No matter how many of the bestselling books authored by Jesuit Father James Martin you have read, a great deal of what's in this book — a volume in the publisher's "Modern Spiritual Masters Series" — is likely to be unfamiliar. While it includes some brief excerpts from his most popular books ("The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything," "Jesus: A Pilgrimage," "A Jesuit Off-Broadway" and "Between Heaven and Mirth"), most of what you'll find here comes from articles by Father Martin that appeared in various periodicals including America (over 200 to date), the Tablet, Huffington Post and Portland, the University of Portland's alumni magazine. James T. Keane does the author's many fans a service, then, by presenting them with material they might otherwise never know about.
  • Drama on first African-American priest opening in Portland
    To characterize Father Augustus Tolton’s life as remarkable is an understatement. 
  • Secret deal? Author hopes Vatican archives shed light on efforts to end Holocaust
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Secret negotiations between Heinrich Himmler — the "architect" of the Holocaust — and a Swiss Catholic politician, hired by a Jewish woman and helped by an Italian papal nuncio, may have contributed to ending the mass extermination of the Jewish people, according to a Canadian researcher.
  • Pumpkin patches
    Crunch. It’s the sound of small children racing through a field in search of the perfect carving pumpkin. This annual tradition can fashion wonderful memories for families.
  • Compellingly honest book on prayer contrasts with another offering
    Heather King is a wonderful writer who, in "Holy Desperation," gives us a contemporary rendition of classic Catholic asceticism.
  • Harvest Moon Hoedown in Selma
    When America was made up largely of farms, the Saturday night hoedown was the high point of the week. With movies, television and internet, this tradition has faded, but younger folks are getting interested in authenticity and leaving digital devices behind now and then.