JOHN MULDERIG

Staff Member, Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
December 7, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. 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” (PG-13, Warner Bros.) is sharper and more engaging, though defects remain.The sequel is suitable for a wide audience since the mayhem is free of gore and the basic values congruent with scriptural ones. At least for those paying careful attention, however, a single line of dialogue may raise parental concerns.
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November 16, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. 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.
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November 2, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG
NEW YORK. “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 earnest, fact-based drama “Indivisible” (PG-13, Pure Flix) concentrates on the negative side of Lee’s observation, showing the toll a much more recent conflict exacted on the life of Protestant Army chaplain Darren Turner (Justin Bruening).

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October 19, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. “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.
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September 7, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG
NEW YORK. A few flaws notwithstanding, “BlacKkKlansman” (R, Focus) represents an effective — and, strange as it may sound, often entertaining — look at the vicious racism lurking at the fringes of American life and perpetually aspiring to enter its mainstream.
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August 17, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. 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.
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August 3, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. 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” (PG-13, Paramount).

Despite extensive, though mostly restrained, action and the eventual showcasing of Hunt’s fraught marital situation, at least some parents may deem this thrill ride of a film acceptable for older teens.
Despite extensive, though mostly restrained, action and the eventual showcasing of Hunt’s fraught marital situation, at least some parents may deem this thrill ride of a film acceptable for older teens.


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July 6, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. Apparently, it’s time to check in again with everybody’s favorite prehistoric era, because here comes “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (PG-13, Universal).

Director J.A. Bayona’s follow-up to the 2015 reboot of the hugely successful franchise ratchets up the mayhem and adds a bit more gore but keeps the on-again, off-again central romance refreshingly innocent.


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June 1, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG
NEW YORK. Before he grew up to be Harrison Ford, intergalactic freebooter Han Solo was Alden Ehrenreich — or so at least the folks behind “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (PG-13, Disney), the pleasing but insubstantial latest addition to the blockbuster franchise, would have you believe.
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May 4, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. Strong pro-life values are embedded in the towering, richly complex Marvel Comics-based adventure “Avengers: Infinity War” (PG-13, Disney). While this often-dazzling, sometimes-dizzying epic is safest for grown-ups, its positive moral lessons may lead at least some parents to deem it acceptable for older teens as well.
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March 17, 2018  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Director Ava DuVernay’s youth-oriented fantasy film “A Wrinkle in Time” (PG, Disney) wants to blow your mind.

Whether it succeeds will largely depend on your reaction to the sight of a giant version of Oprah Winfrey who, as a celestial guide called Mrs. Which, dispenses New Age-style bromides while dressed in an outfit suitable for a Valkyrie and sporting a makeup job the late female impersonator Divine might have found a bit garish.


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January 19, 2018  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. The life of pop entertainment pioneer P.T. Barnum provides the subject matter for the big, brash musical “The Greatest Showman” (PG, Fox).

Ironically, the film arrived in theaters almost seven months to the day after the demise of the 19th-century impresario’s most lasting legacy, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.


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December 15, 2017  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. Its rather ill-chosen title notwithstanding, “The Man Who Invented Christmas” (PG, Bleecker Street) involves no denial of the Nativity.

Instead, this charming fact-based historical drama tells the origin story of Victorian author Charles Dickens’ beloved 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol.”


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December 1, 2017  |  By JOHN MULDERIG
NEW YORK. A holiday treat suitable for all but the tiniest, “The Star” (Sony) is a delightful animated version of the Christmas story told from the perspective of some of the animals present in the manger.
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October 9, 2017  |  By JOHN MULDERIG
NEW YORK. “American Made” (R, 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.
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