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  • Notre Dame band members strike chord with concert and connect generations
    INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — Annie Hill and Allie Braschler usually perform in front of 80,000 cheering, clapping and screaming fans in one of the most well-known football stadiums in the world.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
    NEW YORK (CNS) — For a film about magic, 2016's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" was strangely lacking in enchantment. So it's welcome news that the follow-up, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" (Warner Bros.) is sharper and more engaging, though defects remain.
  • 'The Little Drummer Girl,' Nov. 19, AMC
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A 1993 novel by John le Carre, famed for his tales of espionage, served as the basis for AMC's 2016 miniseries "The Night Manager."
  • Special delivery: Vatican Christmas stamps feature inmate's art
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the Christmas season draws near, the Vatican postal service prepared a unique set of commemorative stamps designed by a talented, yet unlikely, artist: a prisoner serving a life sentence.
  • Novel's plot devices as old as fiction itself
    The novel "Anyone but Him" is labeled on its cover "a new adult mystery romance". While it is admittedly new, its plot devices are as old as fiction itself. The story concerns a young woman, Caitlyn Summer, who awakes one morning not knowing who she is or where she is or who is the man sharing her bed.
  • Overlord
    NEW YORK (CNS) — When it comes to disturbing sights, "Overlord" (Paramount), let it be said from the start, sometimes goes overboard. This weird, wild but surprisingly effective blend of war story and chiller from director Julius Avery is thus far too gory and gruesome for most moviegoers.
  • Beautiful Boy
    NEW YORK (CNS) — What "Beautiful Boy" (Amazon) captures best about the raw pain of drug dependency is the sheer randomness of it.
    Addiction is not only not a moral failing, it happens in what used to be called "the best of families." Unfortunately, this very legitimate insight translates here into a tone of smugness.
  • The Girl in the Spider's Web
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Claire Foy, celebrated for her recent portrayal of the young Elizabeth II on the Netflix series "The Crown," takes on a similarly named but much less stately persona as the title character in "The Girl in the Spider's Web" (Columbia).
  • Dr. Seuss' The Grinch
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Somewhere Theodor Geisel may be spinning in his grave over the latest treatment of one of his most famous character creations, "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch" (Universal). If so, he's only revolving gently.
  • 'Mars,' Nov. 12, National Geographic Channel
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Two years after its November 2016 debut, the limited-series docudrama "Mars" returns to cable's National Geographic Channel for its sophomore campaign.
  • 'Instant Family' an instant hit with target audience
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The connections between real-life events and the forthcoming film "Instant Family" were the main topic of discussion at a recent news conference about the comedy.
  • Edifying biographies highlight stories of brave contemporary Catholics
    The newest entries in Liturgical Press' People of God series, these books offer accessible, edifying biographies that are the hallmark of the excellent series. In engaging and incisive narratives they tell the personal and public stories of two contemporary martyrs who have been proposed for canonization.
  • Nobody's Fool
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Writer-director Tyler Perry goes raunchy with the romantic comedy "Nobody's Fool" (Paramount). The vulgar film that results traffics in a flippant, degraded view of human sexuality.
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
    NEW YORK (CNS) — German author E.T.A. Hoffmann's tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" has proven a remarkably rich bit of source material since its initial publication in 1816.
  • Video looks at religion's redemptive role on imprisoned gang members
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — While researching a video project on gangs in El Salvador in 2015, freelance journalist Danny Gold stopped to talk to a guard who told him how a prison group with little to look forward to had found a positive path forward in life — and it involved religion.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Rami Malek gives himself completely to the role of Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Fox), director Bryan Singer's biopic of the lead singer of the rock group Queen, with impressive artistic results.
  • A saint in the making
    There are moments of recognition for anyone watching “All or Nothing,” the documentary about Sister Clare Crockett, an Irish Servant Sister of the Home of the Mother. The realization begins as a musing thought that grows until most viewers — Catholic or not — understand that this is what a saint looks like.
  • 'The Haunting of Hill House,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Horror master Stephen King has been raving on social media about Netflix's limited series "The Haunting of Hill House," and he's not alone. It's one of the best reviewed new offerings of the fall.
  • Winter entertainment across the archdiocese
    There are more choices than time for weekend winter trips to every entertaining corner of the Archdiocese of Portland. Here are a handful to consider — along with the nearest parish and weekend Mass times.
  • 'Romero' film remains relevant to today's fight for justice, says priest
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — A handsome new DVD restoration of "Romero," the 1989 drama about martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, is a reminder of the original glory days of Paulist Productions and its founder, Father Ellwood "Bud" Father Kieser.
  • Father McGivney, Knights founder, could hold his own on baseball field
    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CNS) — With the World Series underway, here is a fun fact: Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, played ball. And if one game is any indication, he was pretty good.
  • Indivisible
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it." So Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is supposed to have remarked while witnessing the magnificent panoply of massing troops at the onset of the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862.
  • The Hate U Give
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "The Hate U Give" (Fox) is the kind of movie that used to be hyped as "torn from today's headlines." A more restrained characterization would simply say that this compelling drama explores painful real-life issues of racial justice by fictionalizing them.
  • The Old Man & the Gun
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A career criminal as a jaunty old coot is the conceit that propels "The Old Man & the Gun" (Fox Searchlight).
  • Hunter Killer
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Is it worrisome or reassuring that the only person standing between the world and a nuclear holocaust is Gerard Butler? Viewers of the military potboiler "Hunter Killer" (Summit) will have to decide for themselves.
  • New Bing Crosby bio paints picture of crooner and his priest alter-ego
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Affable fictional clergyman Father Charles "Chuck" O'Malley was the principal figure in two well-received World War II-era movies, 1944's "Going My Way" and its 1945 sequel, "The Bells of St. Mary's."
  • Update: Cartoonist's work lighthearted, aims to provoke thinking on faith
    MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (CNS) — Comics show eternity and everyday life from an angelic perspective.
  • New books explore young adult outreach in face of today's challenges
    The foreign policy texts and mass-market spy thrillers of the late 1980s often inspire a feeling of "if only they knew." Examining the strengths of the Soviet bear in the last years before its collapse gives us reading now a sense of uncomfortable premonition, that we know something the authors didn't, trapping the analysis in amber no matter how sound the writing or scholarship.
  • Authors offer faith-filled ways to deal with process of grieving
    When someone we love dies, most people experience grief. That grief can take many shapes and forms, can last for years or for a short time, and can be mild or intense — or both — during different times of the grief period.
  • Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer" (GVN) is a powerful dramatization of the Philadelphia police investigation and state prosecution that finally ended the infamous, decades-long career of abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
  • Halloween
    NEW YORK (CNS) — One of modern Hollywood's most enduring horror franchises turns 40 this year. To mark the occasion, director and co-writer David Gordon Green presents us with "Halloween" (Universal), a direct sequel to the eponymous 1978 original. 
  • Actress says film captured St. Romero's humanity, inner struggle, courage
    SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Over the years, Ana Alicia has seen her past television and film work rebroadcast, introducing the actress to new generations of fans.
  • New film tells true story of broken marriage restored by God's grace
    SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Most people will never know firsthand what it's like to see their real-life marital struggles played out on the big screen.
    But Darren and Heather Turner do and, as Darren freely admits, "It is surreal, for sure."
  • New documentary reveals rare interview of Blessed Oscar Romero
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A new documentary about Blessed Oscar Romero, featuring a rare interview with him, revealed the martyred archbishop's thoughts regarding accusations that he became too progressive.
  • Author recounts unconventional life of 16th-century Italian noblewoman
    With "Renaissance Woman," Ramie Targoff, a professor of English and co-chair of Italian studies at Brandeis University, offers readers not only an intimate portrayal of the life of Vittoria Colonna (1492-1547), but a wide-ranging and detailed background to her life.
  • Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
    NEW YORK (CNS) — In 2015, Jack Black portrayed real-life author R.L. Stein in the eponymous cinematic adaptation of Stein's phenomenally popular "Goosebumps" series of horror tales for kids.
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Religion in general and Catholicism in particular are central to writer-director Drew Goddard's intense, challenging drama "Bad Times at the El Royale" (Fox).
  • 'The Rookie,' Oct. 16, ABC
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Two years after his eight-season run as mystery writer Rick Castle on the popular ABC series "Castle" ended, Nathan Fillion returns to that network this fall with "The Rookie."
  • John Gagliardi dies at 91; was winningest college football coach ever
    ST. CLOUD, Minn. (CNS) — What must the opposing football team have thought when they began their vigorous calisthenics before the game while the St. John's University Johnnies were stretched out on their backs glancing up at the heavens?
  • Brewers chaplain finds joy in connecting his love of priesthood, sports
    MILWAUKEE (CNS) — Champagne corks popped in the visiting clubhouse Oct. 7 as the Milwaukee Brewers celebrated their sweep of the Colorado Rockies, advancing to the National League Championship Series.
  • Theater program helps young Kenyans develop critical thinking skills
    NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — A theater education program at schools in one of Africa's largest slums is instilling critical thought in participants as well as providing fun, said a 25-year-old whose ambition is to enter politics to represent the poor residents in Kenya's Parliament.
  • 'The Circus,' Oct. 8-9, PBS
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Understandably, Phineas Taylor ("P.T.") Barnum, whose name is practically synonymous with the big top, figures prominently in PBS' marvelous and engrossing documentary "The Circus."
  • Essays honor work of Servite priest in Catholic-Jewish relations
    The essays in this excellent book are written by scholars from the Americas and Europe, Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims, reflecting on interreligious dialogue in our time.
  • First Man
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- By turns the intimate portrait of its elusive subject's inner life and a lavish look back at the sometimes tragic, ultimately triumphant race to the Moon, "First Man" (Universal), director Damien Chazelle's multidimensional profile of astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), is a splendid piece of moviemaking.
  • Venom
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Whatever you do, don't call that alien who has taken up residence in your body a parasite. The polite term, it seems, is symbiote.
    Such is the dubious lesson in etiquette conveyed by the sci-fi-driven, Marvel Comics-based bit of nonsense "Venom" (Columbia).
  • A Star Is Born
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The third remake of that sturdy warhorse "A Star Is Born" (Warner Bros.) pays occasional homage to its forebears, particularly the 1954 version starring Judy Garland and James Mason, which only serves to indicate that its formulaic "stand by your man" story is somewhat tattered and dog-eared.
  • Catholic coach's story of loss and redemption told in new book
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Longtime baseball writer and broadcaster Tim Kurkjian has called it "the greatest baseball story ever told." And one of its central characters is a Catholic who never played an inning in the big leagues, but got to coach for 30 years in the majors.
  • What hath MTV wrought?
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — In an effort to explore the youth culture of the early 1980s, The Washington Post interviewed several people, some famous, some not.
  • Is 'God Friended Me' beyond the rescue of even the Almighty?
    NEW YORK (CNS) — CBS boasts that it's America's most-watched network. But a trio of its pilots premiering soon — a drama and two comedies — will do little to sustain such popularity.
  • Update: Catholic actor says improv offers lessons for life, faith
    WOODSTOCK, Ga. (CNS) — It's a pre-eminent rule for performers under the bright lights: Make the other actors look better. That's solid advice for life, says improvisational actor Joe Lemmo.
  • 'Bird's-eye view' of famed evangelist chronicles his strengths, flaws
    The Rev. Billy Graham was just shy of his 100th birthday when he died last November. His death meant the loss of one of America's best-known Christian leaders. He was widely respected and dedicated to an evangelical ministry that ultimately found him preaching to large gatherings in some 185 nations.
  • Hell Fest
    NEW YORK (CNS) — With "Hell Fest" (CBS Films), director Gregory Plotkin serves up a decidedly unoriginal film filled with screams, sickening gore and a masked serial killer wielding an ax. It's an extreme parade of mayhem moving toward a perverse conclusion and, as such, unsuitable for viewers of any age.
  • Smallfoot
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Turning the legend of Bigfoot on its head with plenty of laughs along the way comes the animated musical comedy "Smallfoot" (Warner Bros.).
  • People helping people is what attracted actor to 'God Friended Me'
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Television audiences may recall seeing actor Joe Morton as Eli Rowan Pope, the father of professional Washington fixer Olivia Pope, on the hit series "Scandal."
  • Assassination Nation
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The messy teenage satire that is "Assassination Nation" (Refinery29/Neon) devolves into an often violent, heavy-handed morality tale about our online lives, dark sexual secrets, scapegoating, public shaming and mob violence.
  • Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being more protected than the victims. And you could see the pain in his face."
  • Book on Ignatian pilgrimage offers much for travelers, stay-at-homes
    If you've ever made a pilgrimage, or you wish to, then this book will interest you. It answers the question: What can a pilgrimage do for me?
  • Life Itself
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Somewhere inside writer-director Dan Fogelman's drama "Life Itself" (Amazon/Stage 6) lurk the makings of a good movie.