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  • Unheard
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Echoes of the popular detective-themed radio dramas of the 1940s resonate through "Unheard" (NEXT Studios). This PC game immerses players in a story that compels them to keep moving forward based not on what they can see but what they can hear.
  • Tolkien fan gets to direct a movie on his life
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Dome Karukoski shared one critical, albeit sad, boyhood link with J.R.R. Tolkien: being fatherless.
  • Hesburgh
    NEW YORK (CNS) — There was a time in the 1970s when Holy Cross Father Theodore Hesburgh (1917-2015) seemed to be ubiquitous. Well into his long tenure as president of the University of Notre Dame, Father Hesburgh had by then also been involved in Cold War diplomacy, the civil rights movement and shaping the changing character of Catholic higher education.
  • 'The Burial of Kojo,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Set in Ghana and shot on a minimal budget, the often enchanting yet somewhat opaque fable "The Burial of Kojo" is currently streaming on Netflix. Written and directed by Ghanaian-American hip-hop artist Samuel "Blitz" Bazawule — better known by his stage name, Blitz the Ambassador — this debut film is recorded in English and Ghana's Twi language with subtitles.
  • Film on Austrian priest killed by Nazis gets Iowa world premiere
    DUBUQUE, Iowa (CNS) — The film "Otto Neururer: Hope through Darkness," based on the life of the first Austrian priest killed in a Nazi concentration camp, had its world premiere recently in Iowa.
  • Among three new books on papacy, one stands out
    Each of these three new books on the papacy is informative and interesting.
  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Devotees of the global media juggernaut that takes its name from the Japanese for pocket monsters will no doubt welcome "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" (Warner Bros.), the first live-action feature in the franchise that began with video games in the 1990s. As for those not yet initiated into the mysteries of the Pokemon universe, however, they may feel both left behind and unimpressed.
  • The Hustle
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "The Hustle" (MGM) suffers from being a mechanical ride, punctuated by occasional attempts at crass humor, through a plot based on outdated notions of cleverness and sophistication. It's a gender-swapped remake of 1988's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," which itself was based on a 1964 comedy, "Bedtime Story." And the roots show.
  • Video game aids Notre Dame's reconstruction
    NEW YORK (CNS) — When Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire, the world held its collective breath. The spire fell, and the wooden roof was reduced to ash, but the holy relics were saved, and the interior preserved from the worst ravages of fire. Now more than $1 billion has been raised to restore Notre Dame, and a video game may prove to be the structure's saving grace.
  • Poms
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Moviegoers turning to the senior-themed comedy "Poms" (STX) in the hope of being treated to the kind of zingy dialogue and amusing antics that made the NBC sitcom “The Golden Girls” so popular will come away sadly disappointed. Though the filmmakers' good intentions are evident, the outcome is feeble.
  • Tolkien
    NEW YORK (CNS) — By turns lyrical and moving, "Tolkien" (Fox Searchlight) is a sophisticated profile of the future novelist's youth that succeeds on a number of levels. This may not be the biography that every fan of Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) is looking for, and it may not even fully accomplish what its makers set out to achieve. But, if nothing else, it does tell the story of the young Tolkien and his times.
  • No 'Hesburgh' picture without 'Catholics vs. Convicts,' filmmaker says
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Patrick Creadon, who made the new documentary "Hesburgh" about Holy Cross Father Theodore Hesburgh, the priest who led the University of Notre Dame for 35 years, said that film wouldn't have been possible had it not been for a feature he made three years earlier for ESPN, "Catholics vs. Convicts."
  • WHO guides parents on kids' screen time
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Parents must feel at times it's a losing battle keeping screens out of their children's hands, much less away from their eyes.
    Seemingly out of the blue, however, the U.N.'s World Health Organization issued guidelines April 24 on screen time for young children. The upshot: No screen time for babies under a year old, and no more than one hour a day for children under age 5.
  • 'Good-bad Catholic' in Canadian writer's new fiction
    TORONTO (CNS) — Canadian author and educator Randy Boyagoda hopes an upcoming trilogy of novels will add to the tradition of what he terms "the good/bad Catholic" narratives.
  • Surprising facts can deepen Catholics' understanding of Bible
    This book will provide Catholic readers, including the young, with an excellent introduction to the Bible. A number of its facts are indeed surprising and will inspire and deepen the understanding even of those who are reasonably well versed in biblical studies. Each of the facts is richly illustrated, in color, with relevant Christian art works from over the centuries which adds to the reader's pleasure.
  • Long Shot
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A debased portrayal of human sexuality and relentlessly vulgar dialogue make the tasteless romantic comedy "Long Shot" (Lionsgate) unsuitable for all. Those moviegoers wise enough to steer clear of it will also spare themselves the shrill political commentary that runs through director Jonathan Levine's film, scripted by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah.
  • Election 2013: Book looks behind the scenes of conclave
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The cardinals participating in a conclave to elect a pope take a very solemn vow of secrecy regarding what occurs in the Sistine Chapel, including anything "directly or indirectly related to the results of the voting."
  • 'Chernobyl,' May 6, HBO
    NEW YORK (CNS) — On April 26, 1986, a core meltdown took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Pripyat, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). The result was one of the 20th century's worst manmade catastrophes.
  • The Intruder
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A routine thriller for most of its running time, director Deon Taylor's "The Intruder" (Screen Gems) becomes increasingly trashy before ending with the justification of a profoundly immoral act in which viewers are meant to revel.
  • 2018 Triple Crown winner relies on Catholic faith
     Jockey Mike Smith, a Catholic who rode Justify last year to a Triple Crown victory, prays before every race, but he doesn't pray to win.
  • UglyDolls
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "UglyDolls" (STX) call to mind that age-old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." They’re based on a line of plush toys that are deliberately designed not to be among the fairest of them all. Lumpy and misshapen, missing eyes and teeth, UglyDolls teach children to look beyond the superficial for inner loveliness and true goodness.
  • El Chicano
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- A masked vigilante prowls the dark, mean streets of the inner city, fighting crime and defending the defenseless. He's a potent symbol of hope and fear, a legend in his lifetime.
  • The Lego Movie 2 Videogame
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Whether for veteran fans of Lego or young children just getting started, "The Lego Movie 2 Videogame" (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) is a wholesome pleasure to play. While the game has its defects, its creativity and simple mechanics make it entertaining as well suitable for players of all ages.
  • Comprehensive biography on first American saint
    Most Catholics have probably heard of or read about St. Elizabeth Seton, the first American-born citizen to be declared a saint, as following her canonization in 1975, it was not uncommon for new or merged parishes and schools to be named in her honor.
  • Author says Chesterton inspires unity among Catholics
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At a time when Catholics seem to be split between conservative or progressive factions, the life and works of English writer G. K. Chesterton can inspire men and women in the church to rise above conflict, said U.S. scholar Dale Ahlquist.
  • Art tour initiative celebrates 'embrace' of century-old church's beauty
    HAMMOND, Ind. (CNS) — Catholic culture is alive in working-class Hammond, specifically in the city's downtown through an initiative to tell the history and share the beauty of the Romanesque Revival-style St. Joseph Church.
  • 'The Red Line,' April 28, CBS
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Ava DuVernay, the director of such acclaimed films as "Selma" and "13th," is one of the executive producers of the CBS limited-series drama "The Red Line."
  • Teen Spirit
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Elle Fanning spends the entirety of the musical drama "Teen Spirit" (Bleecker Street) glowering, as if she understands that life, or at least ambition in show business, is a series of Faustian bargains. Despite that, it's not a dark story with sinister or exploitative elements.
  • Avengers: Endgame
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Aficionados of the Marvel Comics universe are likely to be thrilled by the sweeping epic "Avengers: Endgame" (Disney).
  • Benefit concert for Notre Dame Cathedral to end with Resurrection piece
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — An organist from Notre Dame Cathedral — performing an April 26 benefit concert in Washington for the reconstruction of the iconic Parisian church — will end his program, fittingly, with a piece about Christ's resurrection.
  • Singer-songwriter trades in secular success to share his faith in music
    MIAMI (CNS) — For one of the Catholic world's up-and-coming worship leaders, the church once seemed boring and "too serious."
  • Pope, youth minister offer ideas for bringing back young Catholics
    The statistics are staggering: Roughly one-third of young Catholics in the United States leave the church before their 18th birthday.
  • In Mulieribus to perform at Cathedral
    In Mulieribus, Anna Song, Artistic Director, presents “Gardens of Delight,” Friday, May 17, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland, and Sunday, May 19 at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater, Vancouver, Washington.
  • Singer-songwriter presents Crucifixion in concert
    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) — Singer-songwriter Tatiana "Tajci" Cameron confessed she didn't always like Holy Week. "It always seemed to be full of sadness," she told the crowd of more than 500 who gathered April 14 at St. Michael Church, part of Holy Cross Parish in Sioux City.
  • 'The Abortion Divide,' April 23, PBS
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Thirty-six years after he directed "The Abortion Clinic" for PBS' "Frontline" series, veteran journalist Mark Obenhaus returns to Philadelphia to update his initial reporting in the new documentary "The Abortion Divide."
  • 'Breakthrough' shows miracles happen, prayer is powerful, actress says
    SAN DIEGO (CNS) — This Easter, a new film promises to tell the real-life story of a person who died and miraculously came back to life.
    But it's not the resurrection story you're probably thinking of.
  • The Curse of La Llorona
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "The Curse of La Llorona" (Warner Bros.) constitutes an intense but problematic horror story. Director Michael Chaves' often-effective addition to the universe of the "Conjuring" franchise elicits its fair share of starts.
  • Breakthrough
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Few people can ever have taken those words of Jesus, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, quite as literally as Joyce Smith, the real-life figure at the heart of the faith-affirming drama "Breakthrough" (Fox 2000).
  • Penguins
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- At once the profile of a plucky 5-year-old Adelie penguin the filmmakers dub "Steve" and an introduction to his species as a whole, "Penguins" (Disneynature) is a winning documentary.
  • Vatican cookbook offers rare collection of recipes, history, photos
    During an era in which coffee-table books collect dust while handheld social media consumes idle time, there seems little need for another large hardback to join the lot on bookstore discount shelves. But "The Vatican Cookbook" stands out as an extraordinary and remarkable collection holding within its pages 500 years of recipes, history and photographs.
  • Introduction refutes notion of Dorothy Day as 'dissenting Catholic'
    Terrence Wright, an associate professor of philosophy and director of the pre-theology program at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, has written a well-intentioned introduction to Dorothy Day, setting out to rebut the false idea that she was a "dissenting Catholic."
  • Hellboy
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Near the end of "Hellboy" (Lionsgate), the titular character (David Harbour), who has been churning out mordant wit amid the abundant blood and guts involved in fighting noisily evil monsters and staving off the Apocalypse, remarks, "Doesn't anyone ever stay buried around here?"
  • Christopher Award winners
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The theatrical features "Instant Family" and "Paul, Apostle of Christ" were named winners of Christopher Awards in the award program's 70th anniversary.
  • 'Marcos Doesn't Live Here Anymore,' April 15, PBS
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Catholic themes and imagery prevail in PBS' new documentary "Marcos Doesn't Live Here Anymore." The film, a topical look at issues surrounding immigration, debuts Monday, April 15, 9-11 p.m. EDT. Broadcast times may vary, though, so viewers should consult their local listings.
  • It's in the cards for woman religious who threw perfect pitch
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — The perfect pitch Dominican Sister Mary Jo Sobieck threw prior to a Chicago White Sox game last summer not only went viral but is still out of the park.
  • 'Reconstruction: America After the Civil War'
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Arguably best known as the host of PBS' popular genealogy series "Finding Your Roots," prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes on the same role for the network's documentary "Reconstruction: America After the Civil War."
  • Missing Link
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The fabled Bigfoot monster turns out to be a kind-hearted furball in the animated comedy-adventure "Missing Link" (Annapurna). Though acceptable for grown-ups and older teens, the inclusion of some dodgy humor means this is not a cartoon for kids.
  • After
    NEW YORK (CNS) — What might have been an effective film interpretation of a somewhat grounded college romance in Anna Todd's best-selling "new adult" novel "After" (Aviron) sadly turns into a parade of wooden archetypes.
  • Intersection of faith, politics explored by theologian, retired pope
    What relationship is possible between the realms of faith and politics, key dimensions of life that, to be clear, some believe are so unalike as to be opposed? The question is one of endless fascination for Christians aiming to live with integrity and contribute effectively to the life of their confounding societies.
  • Little
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Ain't nobody got time for reality," says Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall), the successful but outrageously rude Atlanta businesswoman at the center of the comic fantasy "Little" (Universal).
  • The Occupation
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Political intrigue, compelling writing and unique mechanics converge in the engaging stealth game "The Occupation" (Humble Bundle).
  • 'The Kids Are Alright' injects Catholic themes into prime time
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — If you read enough interviews with actors, you'll get to a point in the interview where they say they don't like to see themselves on the screen. That doesn't mean, though, they swear off the screen and stage entirely.
  • Teen kicks cancer, ready to head to World Irish Dance Championship
    ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — For two months, Finnbarr O'Reilly tried to push past the tingling pain that would shoot through his body at random times and in the middle of the night.
  • The Best of Enemies
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "The Best of Enemies" (STX) is an appealing fact-based drama that promotes humane values and Gospel-guided behavior. On that basis, many parents may consider it a rewarding film for older teens, the inclusion of some mature material notwithstanding.
  • Pet Sematary
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The woods of horror writer Stephen King’s Maine are dark and deep but hardly lovely in "Pet Sematary" (Paramount).
  • Shazam!
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Family life is exalted over egotistical self-reliance in "Shazam!" (Warner Bros.), director David F. Sandberg's DC Comics-based origin story.