KURT JENSEN

KURT JENSEN
October 2, 2020  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK.  The early medieval “Ballad of Mulan” tells of the exploits of a heroine who, disguised as a man, distinguished herself as a warrior.

In 1998, this classic of Chinese folk literature served as the basis for an animated feature that gained both popular and critical success. Now, director Niki Caro’s live-action take, “Mulan” (Disney), is available for a fee on the streaming service Disney+.


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September 18, 2020  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK.  Of the numerous film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ autobiographical 1850 novel, “The Personal History of David Copperfield” (PG, Fox Searchlight) may rank as the happiest.

As directed by Armando Iannucci, who adapted the screenplay with Simon Blackwell, the movie finds Copperfield (Ranveer Jaiswal and Jairaj Varsani as a boy, Dev Patel as a man) facing life’s challenges, which include child labor, rocky romances, financial instability and duplicitous colleagues, with a hero’s grace and the joy of a secular saint.

 


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September 4, 2020  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK.  “The 24th” (Not rated, Vertical) is the rare historical drama that plays out like a horror film. The story succeeds best in giving names, faces and context to the participants in what became known as the Houston Riot of 1917.


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December 6, 2019  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. “Ford v Ferrari” (PG-13, Fox) revels in its 1960s gender stereotypes, evoking a “Great Man” age of auto racers in which the men were men and the women glad of it.

The historical truth of that is, of course, far more complex. But this film doesn’t try to justify old inequalities. Ties and lapels are skinny, tires squeal, engines roar, vintage sunglasses are everywhere — and death lurks around every sharp turn. It’s a groaning board of vroom-vroom cliches, but told without cynicism, and with some moral core to the principal characters.


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April 20, 2018  |  By KURT JENSEN

NEW YORK. The compact, stylish horror film “A Quiet Place” (PG-13, Paramount) might be a parable about resisting tyranny.

Taken strictly on its surface, it’s a story about how strong, trusting family ties can overcome any obstacle — especially if the members of the clan in question are as technically adept as TV’s MacGyver.


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February 2, 2018  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
NEW YORK. True military adventures don’t come any more rousing than “12 Strong” (R, Warner Bros.), the story of a tiny Special Forces unit that won a significant early victory against both the Taliban and al-Qaida in the weeks after 9/11.
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November 3, 2017  |  By KURT JENSEN
NEW YORK. Viewers committed to scriptural values will be inclined to cut the good-hearted but uneven drama “Same Kind of Different as Me” (Paramount) some slack.
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October 20, 2017  |  By KURT JENSEN
NEW YORK. Misogyny hangs over “Blade Runner 2049” (R, Warner Bros.) as blithely as the thick yellow fog of the post-apocalyptic Los Angeles it portrays.
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