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  • Video releases for Aug. 15, 2018
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews from Catholic News Service of new and recent video releases available on DVD and/or Blu-ray — as well as for online viewing. Theatrical movies have a Catholic News Service classification and Motion Picture Association of America rating.
  • Decades-long friendship with author flavors bio of activist priest
    Jim Forest has given us an extraordinary biography and memoir of Father Dan Berrigan (1921-2016), the Jesuit priest, poet and peace activist who sometimes went to jail for his convictions.
  • The Meg
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Forty-three summers ago (incredibly), Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" made moviegoers afraid to go in the ocean, for fear of getting bitten (or worse) by a great white shark.
  • Slender Man
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The plot of "Slender Man" (Screen Gems) is concisely summed up when Wren (Joey King), one of the creature's victims, screams, "He gets in your head like a computer virus!"
  • Dog Days
    NEW YORK (CNS) – Written by Elissa Matsueda and Erica Oyama and directed by Ken Marino, the new comedy "Dog Days" (LD Entertainment) is comprised of a number of vignettes, following a variety of Los Angeles residents as they navigate life through a summer of challenges. Helping them in their times of need are their loving canine companions.
  • These two books represent spiritual journeys. Evans migrates from evangelicalism to the Episcopal Church, Bergsma from a Baptist to a Catholic.
  • The Darkest Minds
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A strong sense of deja vu hovers over "The Darkest Minds" (Fox), a dystopian thriller about gifted teens running for their lives.
  • 'Hidden,' streaming, Acorn
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Its striking look and good performances can't salvage the grim and languidly unfolding psychological thriller "Hidden."
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Given its blend of genres, director and co-writer Susanna Fogel's fish-out-of-water action comedy "The Spy Who Dumped Me" (Lionsgate) is surprisingly violent.
  • Christopher Robin
    NEW YORK (CNS) — It's always dangerous to tamper with perfection. And, if there were ever a perfect world, it must be that of the Winnie the Pooh literature created by author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard in the 1920s.
  • How big is too big? A look at media behemoths today
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — The big just keep getting bigger. Well, usually.
  • Compendium of monastic wisdom can aid in anyone's spiritual journey
    If you've ever wanted to sit down and pick the mind of a monk — a man or woman steeped in the church's monastic tradition stretching back to the desert fathers and mothers — then this is the book for you.
  • Jews saved by 'righteous' Dutch Catholic family included author's wife
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pardon Marty Brounstein if he's got a personal stake in his latest book. His wife is a featured character.
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker" (Nintendo) — a game first created in 2014 for the short-lived Wii-U gaming system — is back.
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Though a mixed bag of good values and a bit of dodgy humor renders it acceptable but not ideal for kids, sharp satire makes the witty animated comedy "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" (Warner Bros.) a hoot for their elders.
  • Mission: Impossible — Fallout
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Tom Cruise's by-now iconic American agent Ethan Hunt is at the top of his game in the engrossing espionage sequel "Mission: Impossible — Fallout" (Paramount).
  • Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The exuberant kitsch that was the trademark of the Swedish band Abba lives on in the musical romance "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" (Universal).
  • Music 'powerful' way for people to encounter God, says Paulist priest
    BALTIMORE (CNS) — As a 44-person choir rehearsed "O God, How Manifest Are Your Works" before a celebration concert, Paulist Father Ricky Manalo bounced on his feet as he stood next to the piano. Father Manalo served in the Archdiocese of Portland for many years, residing for some of that time at St. Philip Neri, then a Paulist parish.
  • 'Love on Safari,' July 28, Hallmark Channel
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The charming, appealing and heartwarming TV movie "Love on Safari" premieres Saturday, July 28, 9-11 p.m. EDT on cable's Hallmark Channel.
  • The Beatles, the church and the 1960s intertwine in 'Fab4 Mania'
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Cartoonist Carol Tyler's graphic memoir "Fab4 Mania: A Beatles Obsession and the Concert of a Lifetime" (Fantagraphics) owes its existence to an order of nuns. Namely, the Sisters of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ who taught at St. Bede, the school outside Chicago that Tyler attended in the mid-1960s.
  • Fascinating tale of Vatican search for Peter's tomb rivals a novel
    This book tells one of the most remarkable, and astonishing, true stories ever to come out of the Vatican. There are other books on the topic of the search for the relics of St. Peter, but this may well be the most complete and accurate one so far.
  •  Riverdance to perform for Pope Francis during World Meeting of Families
    DUBLIN (CNS) — The internationally acclaimed Irish dance troupe Riverdance will be among those performing for Pope Francis at the August World Meeting of Families in Dublin, organizers said July 19.
  • Voiceless veggie mascot offers ministry of presence
    Life’s sweet for Dillon, the 7-foot-tall former cucumber who roams the stands and bemuses fans at games of the Portland Pickles, a collegiate wood bat baseball team in Portland.
  • Unfriended: Dark Web
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Computer hackers are sometimes just like the slashers of 1980s horror films, "Unfriended: Dark Web" (BH Tilt) shows us.
  • Dark to light: Buried under scaffolding, Holy Stairs set for resurrection
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With large sheets of plain plywood blocking public access to the Holy Stairs, one woman lovingly touched a large color photograph of the stairs, made the sign of the cross, lowered her head and prayed.
  • The Equalizer 2
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Reprising his role as dispenser of do-it-yourself justice Robert McCall, Denzel Washington once again imagines that vengeance is his in "The Equalizer 2" (Columbia), director Antoine Fuqua's follow-up to his 2014 thriller.
  • Young musicians serve as 'bridge of dialogue' in Jerusalem
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Eleven young musicians from Jerusalem and the West Bank had the opportunity to show U.S. audiences that music can be a bridge across cultural divides during a brief tour of the Washington-Baltimore area.
  •  'Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived'
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Baseball fans won't want to miss the wonderfully revealing documentary "Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived." Part of the venerable "American Masters'" franchise, the film premieres Monday, July 23, 9-10 p.m. EDT on PBS. (Times may vary; check local listings.)
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — Excessive raunchiness undermines the appealing goofiness at the core of the uneven comedy "Trial & Error."
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — Like the excursion around which it's built, the animated kids' comedy "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" (Sony) makes for a pleasant diversion.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — Way back in 1958, James Stewart's character struggled with vertigo in the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name. But he had it easy compared to Dwayne Johnson's ex-U.S. military security expert Will Sawyer in "Skyscraper" (Universal).
  • WASHINGTON (CNS) — When most people connect sports to Lewiston, Maine — if they ever do — they probably think of Muhammad Ali defending his World Boxing Council heavyweight title, knocking out Sonny Liston, the man from whom he took it, in the first round in 1965.
  • "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," released in 1938, took 80 years to make it to your home for viewing on TV or online. "Chappaquiddick" made it instantaneously. The two productions are the latest to join the tens of thousands (millions?) available for your enjoyment.
  • These two excellent books are best read together, starting with McNamara's insightful page-turner history of the struggles and accomplishments of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, which also includes the achievements of her husband, Sarge Shriver.
  • Phyllis Tickle, who died in 2015, was relatively unknown to many Catholics but was an important figure in recent Christianity in the United States. She was the founding religion editor at Publisher's Weekly, but so much more.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) --The second season of the engaging and fascinating PBS history docuseries "10 That Changed America" premieres Tuesday, July 10, 8–9 p.m. EDT. The second and third episodes of the three-part series will air in that time slot Tuesdays July 17 and 24. But air times may vary in some PBS markets.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — A love of violence for its own sake, a profoundly dishonest attempt to disguise itself as a political allegory and reverse racism characterize "The First Purge" (Universal), a despicable bit of slaughter porn.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — NBA fans will likely appreciate the mostly harmless sports comedy "Uncle Drew" (Summit). Viewers without a passion for the game and its attendant culture may be less indulgent.
  • NEW YORK (CNS) — There's plenty of humor and action in the fast-paced sci-fi adventure "Ant-Man and the Wasp" (Disney).
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Terrorism and the problem of human trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border combine to create a crisis in the grim action sequel "Sicario: Day of the Soldado" (Columbia).
  • ‘Parallel biography' of Father Merton, Bob Dylan insightful
    Robert Hudson is a writer and editor, a recognized Bob Dylan scholar and a member of the International Thomas Merton Society, and here is his starting point: "Although (Father Thomas Merton and Bob Dylan) lived their lives a thousand miles apart, their souls were next-door neighbors."
  • Gotti
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Aficionados of stilted dialogue in low-budget crime sagas will likely find much to savor in "Gotti" (Vertical Entertainment).
  • Race 3
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Fasten your seat belt — and put on your dancing shoes — for "Race 3" (Yash Raj), a wild action thriller.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Apparently, it's time to check in again with everybody's favorite prehistoric era, because here comes "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" (Universal).
  • Superfly
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Going only by its title, kids may mistake "Superfly" (Columbia) for the latest Marvel or DC Comics-based adventure involving a mutant. But the AARP set will recall director Gordon Park Jr.'s 1972 blaxploitation feature "Super Fly," perhaps best remembered today for Curtis Mayfield's soundtrack ("Freddy's Dead," etc.).
  • Incredibles 2
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The first family of superheroes returns in "Incredibles 2" (Disney), the highly anticipated sequel to a much-loved 2004 animated film.
  • 'American Jail,' July 1, CNN
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Personal, impassioned, but overly tendentious, the documentary "American Jail" premieres Sunday, July 1, 8-10 p.m. EDT on CNN.
  • Yo-Yo Ma holds concert for peace at Chicago Catholic Church
    CHICAGO (CNS) — When world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought his Concert for Peace to St. Sabina Church for the second time June 10, there was a special feature — five original works written with family members who lost loved ones to gun violence as a tribute to the people who died.
  • Three authors explore varied facets of aging, but one disappoints
    These three books are like the parable of the blind men and the elephant — each person touched a different part of the animal and so ended up describing it in ways the others found incomprehensible. Aging, of course, has as many facets as that elephant, so it is not surprising that authors with varied experiences would write about this time of life with different emphases.
  • Fred Rogers' ministry was on TV to kids, says documentarian
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Fred Rogers was ordained for the Presbyterian Church, but instead of a clerical collar, he ministered wearing a red cardigan sweater.
  • Comic book take on the national pastime a well-pitched delight
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Baseball and comic books, two colorful American originals, come together in "The Comic Book Story of Baseball: The Heroes, Hustlers, and History-Making Swings (and Misses) of America's National Pastime" (Ten Speed Press) by author Alex Irvine and illustrators Tomm Coker and C.P. Smith.
  • Catholic disability group sees danger, opportunity in Netflix series
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Season two of "13 Reasons Why," a popular Netflix series portraying, among other things, suicide, sexual assault and substance abuse, might lead some young people to behave in dangerous and self-destructive ways, according to a May 31 open letter by the National Catholic Partnership on Disability.
  • Weapons of mass distraction
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — From the moment of his election, Pope Francis' down-to-earth take on communicating the Gospel has led to countless front-page headlines either praising or criticizing him. But his disarming and sometimes even blunt style also has meant he has become a popular target of "fake news."
  • Priest: 'Ninja' show a way to proclaim Gospel using his God-given talents
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CNS) — An Arkansas Catholic priest is taking his ninja name "Father Flex" national as a contestant on the new season of the NBC reality show "American Ninja Warrior," debuting May 30.
  • With sports betting now in play, so are the risks
    Now that the Supreme Court has struck down a 1992 federal law that banned sports betting in most states, New York is likely to become one of the first to put the practice in play.
  • Book examines Catholic music in ‘70s and ‘80s
    The Catholic folk music revolution of the 1960s broke new ground in Catholic worship and should be recognized for bringing life to faith and faith to life, says composer and author Ken Canedo.
  • Tag


    NEW YORK (CNS) — Some rituals of childhood bonding are best left in the past. The cringe-inducing "Tag" (Warner Bros.) is a perfect example.

    The plot is loosely based on Russell Adams' Wall Street Journal article about 10 classmates (one of whom is now a priest) from Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, Washington, who found a way to keep a game of tag going into adulthood for more than 20 years.
  • Hotel Artemis
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Viewers who check themselves into the "Hotel Artemis" (Global Road) may wind up feeling like prisoners of their own device.

    Though this dystopian thriller, set in the near future, gets off to a stylish start, and features a couple of strong performances, by the time its hyperviolent conclusion is reached, gore and bone-crunching have replaced creativity.
  • First-time movie writer-director reflects on film's Vatican premiere
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Not everybody gets the movie script they wrote produced. Nor does everybody get the chance to direct the film that they've written, especially a first script and a first directing opportunity.
  • Priests urge mutual respect in church dialogue with LGBT community
    Two recent books by U.S. Catholic priests encourage a welcoming, respectful relationship between the church and gay and lesbian Catholics or the entire LGBT community.
  • RFK's faith three-dimensional in books, but two-dimensional on screen
    NEW YORK (CNS) — By all accounts, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, shot down June 5, 1968, as he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, was the most devout Catholic among his siblings.
  • Author Alice McDermott uses faith to give language, lore to characters
    TORONTO (CNS) — Catholic journal of opinion Commonweal describes writer Alice McDermott as one of America's greatest living novelists, while The Washington Post, in a review of her latest book, says the Catholic Church "lurks" in all of her stories.
  • Tag


    WASHINGTON (CNS) — A group of Catholic high school friends has kept in touch — literally — since graduating more than 30 years ago from Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington.
  • Social scientist addresses question of why people are religious
    "Most humans believe (and hope) that life has meaning." That affirmation appears in the list of basic propositions that form the core around which Rodney Stark, a widely known sociologist of religion, builds his new book, "Why God?"