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  • The Lion King
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Advances in moviemaking technology allow a story that could only previously be told as a cartoon to be enacted, so to speak, by animals. And so we get "The Lion King" (Disney).
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A classic role-playing game — RPG in gamer jargon — meets creative construction in "Dragon Quest Builders 2." Anyone with a love for fantasy and for the blocky-building style of "Minecraft" is sure to enjoy this release from Square Enix.
  • Beat Saber
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Very few games these days can leave you breathless. But "Beat Saber" achieves that effect in the course of just one song.
    Produced by Beat Games, this virtual-reality rhythm title requires players to combat incoming flying objects with a lightsaber while grooving to the selected music track. The future has arrived — and it's a fun experience for the entire family.
  • William Byrd Festival returns
    This year’s William Byrd Festival, the 22nd in Portland, takes place Friday, Aug. 9 to Sunday, Aug. 25, at various locations around Portland, including Holy Rosary Church in Northeast and St. Philip Neri Church in Southeast.
  • All hymns, all the time: 'Great Catholic Music' makes streaming debut
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholics hear hymns in church, but hardly ever on the radio. Now they can augment their weekly diet of hymnody through a new audio web streaming service called Great Catholic Music.
  • Women's stories offer concrete tips for daughters of God
    Women are all about stories. We grow in faith through conversations and mutual sharing. Three recent books aim to fill a gap in publishers' catalogs: books about feminine spirituality.
  • New book highlights 12 historic homilies delivered in times of crisis
    BALTIMORE (CNS) — As the Nazi regime systematically killed those it deemed mentally ill or "unproductive," a fearless bishop of the Diocese of Munster, Germany, took to the pulpit in 1941 to denounce and challenge what was happening.
  • C.S. Lewis comes to Portland
    Following its hit 2018 national tour, Fellowship for Performing Arts — the producers of “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Great Divorce” — returns to Portland with “C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert.”
  • 'Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A tip for viewers: All isn't as it seems in storied director Martin Scorsese's "Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story." A purported documentary infused with fictitious elements, the fascinating, evocative and revelatory film is currently streaming on Netflix.
  • Three books earn honors
    A trio of Oregon Catholic authors won kudos in the books categories during the awards ceremonies in June at the Catholic Media Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. 
  • Music amid monasticism
    ST. BENEDICT — For Oregon Catholics, and others, it’s become a rite of summer. 
  • Crawl
    NEW YORK (CNS) — What Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" did for sharks, director Alexandre Aja's deliberately claustrophobic chiller "Crawl" (Paramount) sets out to do for alligators. The result involves some undeniably frightening moments but also an amount of bloodletting the casual moviegoer will find excessive.
  • Rare exhibit of Jesuit artists' work in China displayed in Washington
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Visitors to Smithsonian art museums in Washington got a special treat this summer when an exhibit on Chinese empresses also featured a rare display by two Jesuit missionaries whose artwork was in the past largely seen only by royalty and high government officials.
  • Stuber
    NEW YORK (CNS) — With a shared-economy premise that's no doubt meant to be timely and an odd-couple pairing as hoary as David Letterman's beard, "Stuber" (Fox) takes viewers for a spin. But the result is no joy ride.
  • Two Canadian theaters cancel showings of 'Unplanned' after threats
    OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — Two independent theaters have canceled screenings of the pro-life movie "Unplanned" after managers and owners received "serious threats," according to the Canadian distributor of the movie.
  • 'Good Omens,' streaming, Amazon Prime
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Amazon Prime customers will have noticed that an ad for "Good Omens" has recently accompanied every package delivered to them. Is the streaming service's considerable investment in this fantasy show justified? A qualified yes is the answer.
  • Book describes Counter-Reformation content of Catholic art
    The best part of this book is the collection of glossy photos showing masterpieces of 16th- and 17th-century Italian art. The sculptures and paintings exemplify how artistic geniuses delved into Catholicism's deposit of faith to convey biblical and theological themes and events.
  • Midsommar
    NEW YORK (CNS) — All dressed up as slow-moving psychological horror, "Midsommar" (A24) relies on the stale trope of feckless naive visitors to a primitive tribe that specializes in unnatural practices.
  • Dauntless
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Monsters are ravaging the world, and only you can end their rampage in “Dauntless,” the latest free role-playing title from Epic Games. With its bright Pixaresque graphics, easy accessibility and freedom from most morally objectionable content, “Dauntless” will delight a wide range of age groups.
  • Catholic Laughs duo shares love of wholesome comedy
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Parishes can literally laugh their way to the bank, raising up to $4,500 in one night of comedy with the Catholic Laughs organization.
  • Farm documentary shows 'Laudato Si'' put into practice
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A suggestion, not so much for young viewers but for the adults who may take them to the documentary “The Biggest Little Farm” (Neon): Don't get too attached to any cute animal that has been given a name.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Snappy and substantial, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (Columbia), director Jon Watts' follow-up to his 2017 feature “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” is an adventure full of bloodless derring-do and gentle, innocent romance. As a result, many parents may consider it acceptable for older teens.
  • Annabelle Comes Home
    NEW YORK (CNS) — 'Tis the season, so it would seem, for devilish dollies. First, someone in Hollywood had the bright idea of rebooting the odious “Child's Play” series, setting maniacal Chucky back on the rampage.
  • Truly understanding Christ can transform Christians, author says
    “A mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else,” Franciscan Father Richard Rohr writes in “The Universal Christ.” But to achieve such maturity, it is vital that Christians know who Christ is. It is time, the author suggests, to come to terms with what the full title “Jesus Christ” implies.
    “Is Christ simply Jesus' last name? Or is it a revealing title that deserves our full attention?”
  • When you watch TV, your TV may be watching you
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — It is the latest great irony of our age: We spend so much time watching TV — regardless of device — and it turns out that TV is watching us.
  • Yesterday
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Fans of the lads from Liverpool will rejoice over the mostly amiable Beatles-themed comedy "Yesterday" (Universal). Parents of teens anxious to patronize the film, however, will have mixed feelings, given the lapses in behavior and language it includes.
  • Toy Story 4
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Just how good are the hotshots behind "Toy Story 4" (Disney)? So good that, by the time the closing credits roll, moviegoers will likely feel more emotional connection to an animated spork than they have to the vast majority of live-action human characters they've ever seen on screen.
  • 'True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality'
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Filmmakers Peter, George and Teddy Kunhardt — father and sons — have delivered again for HBO. Their latest work, "True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality," is a remarkable documentary about an exceptional man.
  • Fictional dialogue shows Catholic, Protestant beliefs on Eucharist
    Peter Kreeft offers an accessible and believable portrayal of the two great English apologists, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, in a fictional ecumenical conversation that includes the Rev. Billy Graham. The three (along with Rev. Graham's imagined chauffeur, "Guy") focus principally on the Eucharist. 
  • Child's Play
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The nicest thing that can be said about the reimagined horror film "Child's Play" (Orion), it that is just 88 minutes long. Any longer and it could be designated a method of torture.
  • Late Night
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The decidedly improbable and scattershot comedic elements of "Late Night" (Amazon) give the film the look of something that had its dents hammered out in the editing room.
  • Lifetime film called an 'extraordinary story of power of bravery, faith'
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — The story of an angry, ill boy, a school, an AK-47, and 500 rounds of ammunition, poised to end in tragedy, is rewritten by an empathetic bookkeeper, Antoinette Tuff, whose unswerving faith changes the boy's heart and saves countless lives.
  • Anna
    NEW YORK (CNS) — In Latin and Greek, the name Anna means "full of grace." In the violent thriller "Anna" (Summit), the eponymous leading lady is anything but.
  • Emanuel
    NEW YORK (CNS) — On June 17, 2015, a security camera captured the image of Dylann Roof walking into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He proceeded to participate in a Bible study taking place in the basement.
  • Books on Catholic customs fall short on history
    More than most Christian traditions and perhaps many other religious backgrounds, Catholics are people of the senses, with smells and bells and plenty of colorful and unique traditions. It's helpful to have guides to help us remember and share these in the midst of a culture that sometimes seems to have an attention span of 15 minutes, if we're lucky.
  • Fade to Silence
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Could you survive an endless winter of harsh climates and demonic terrors? That's the question posed by "Fade to Silence" (THQ Nordic) in which characters must eke out a way of life amid a postapocalyptic deep freeze.
  • Men in Black: International
    NEW YORK (CNS) — With "Men in Black: International" (Columbia), director F. Gary Gray serves up an amusing and stylish reboot of the sci-fi comedy franchise that kicked off in 1997.
  • Shaft
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Viewers' reaction to "Shaft" (Warner Bros.), the fifth movie in a series dating back to 1971 and ultimately derived from the novel by Ernest Tidyman, will largely depend on how seriously they take its title character's tainted personal and professional morality.
  • WASHINGTON (CNS) — Dawn Eden Goldstein, rock-music-historian-turned-theology-professor, isn't afraid to say where she's been.
  • 'When They See Us,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Highly anticipated but hugely disappointing, the four-part, four-and-a-half-hour limited series "When They See Us" is currently streaming on Netflix. The first three epi-sodes each run an hour, with the finale running 90 minutes.
  • UP poet wins Oregon Book Award
    Matthew Minicucci, an English professor at the University of Portland, is the winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Awards Stafford/Hall Prize for Poetry for his collection titled Small Gods. 
  • Documentary gets at soul of LA gang ministry
    A newly available film produced in the Pacific Northwest offers a soulful inside look at Home-boy Industries, a ministry to former gang members and felons led by Jesuit Father Greg Boyle in Los Angeles. 
  • 'Pitching In,' streaming, Acorn
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Viewers tired of programs involving serial killers and terrorists may want to check out the wonderfully idiosyncratic and restrained dramedy "Pitching In." Streaming now on Acorn, the four-hour limited series originally aired on BBC Wales in February.
  • Stations of the Cross, figures available
    The Cloisters on the Platte, the retreat center built by billionaire Joe Ricketts 30 minutes south of Omaha, Nebraska, has as its centerpiece a half-mile long Stations of the Cross that boasts 60 larger-than-life bronze figures, all created by six artists based in Oregon and Colorado. 
  • Spring a time for fun and deeper thought
    It’s springtime in Oregon and that means outdoor festivals and events are starting up. Also on the spring and early summer agenda are some events that will get people thinking, even praying. 
  • Dark Phoenix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Though somber in tone, the Marvel Comics-based sci-fi adventure "Dark Phoenix" (Fox) has a fundamentally moral outlook and features a more relationship-driven story than many similar films.
  • The Secret Life of Pets 2
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Lessons about overcoming fear and helping those in need are featured in "The Secret Life of Pets 2" (Universal).
  • Book describes a dark side of Mexico's Catholic history
    Mexican Catholicism is symbolized by the positive image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the country's patroness. The image recalls the Dec. 12, 1531, appearance of Mary to a native of the New World, her indigenous features encapsulating the desire to infuse Catholicism into Latin America's native populations. Mexico also is the world's second largest Catholic country, population wise.
  • USCCB releases pope's book on devil
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a new book of Pope Francis' teachings on the history of the devil, "his empty promises and works" and "how we can actively combat him."
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2
    NEW YORK (CNS) — An unforgettable saga of love and sacrifice finally arrives on Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch with the remastered version of "Final Fantasy X/X-2" (Square Enix). These epic games, originally released on PlayStation 2 in 2001 and 2003 respectively, thus become available to a wider audience.
  • Book profiles social justice activists, famous and less well-known
    Just as spring eclipses winter's gloom, "Can I Get a Witness?" will ignite hope in the most downcast soul.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters
    NEW YORK (CNS) — If there were an Academy Award for the most aurally annoying film of the year, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" (Warner Bros.) would certainly be a strong contender.
  • Rocketman
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The musical fantasy "Rocketman" (Paramount), which recounts the early life of rock star Elton John, is a polished and generally appealing film. But it deals with its subject's homosexuality in a way that puts it at odds with scriptural values.
  • Pope: Sport strengthens friendships, brings out best of body, mind
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For young men and women, competitive sports like soccer not only help strengthen their bodies, but also help strengthen their souls in creating last bonds of friendship through teamwork, Pope Francis said.
  • Vaporum
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Gamers seeking the thrill of a challenge are sure to find it in "Vaporum" (Merge Games). This first-person steampunk dungeon crawler, as its developer, Fatbot Games, describes it, abounds in intriguingly mysterious elements.
  • Book highlights diversity in moral theology since '50s
    Once an "ABC person of the week" and a New York Times "man in the news," Father Charles E. Curran is not much of a household name these days. To be sure, he is still remembered for his dissent during the long-running debate over Catholic moral issues. And some will recall that Father Curran was dismissed from the theology faculty at The Catholic University of America in 1986.
  • Everything has its place
    The Iconographic Arts Institute will hold its third annual icon exhibit June 3 - 27 at the Mount Angel Benedictine Abbey Library. Reflecting on the theme of “Everything has its place,” the exhibit will highlight the work of students and their skill in writing sacred icons. 
  • Catholic school teacher in Tennessee gets a shot at stardom on 'Jeopardy'
    HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) — For a moment, Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville and one of its teachers stared television history in the face.
  • 'The Hot Zone,' May 27-29, National Geographic
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Julianna Margulies, who memorably played Chicago attorney Alicia Florrick for eight seasons on CBS' popular drama "The Good Wife," embraces a much different challenge playing army veterinary pathologist Lt. Col. Nancy Jaax in the fact-based miniseries "The Hot Zone."