JOHN MULDERIG

Staff Member, Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 3, 2022  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. It’s been three long years since Maggie Smith’s tart-tongued matriarch, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, got off one of her memorable zingers. So it must be time for “Downton Abbey: A New Era” (PG, Focus).


 Read story...
May 6, 2022  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has proved to be a mine of prodigious riches for its creator, J.K. Rowling.

Yet, while tales focusing directly on its most famous alumnus, Harry Potter, have mostly been genuinely golden, other sagas arising from the academy have sometimes turned out to be mere flashes of pyrite.


 Read story...
April 15, 2022  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. Positive priest characters are certainly a rarity in contemporary films. So Catholics will welcome the uplifting fact-based biography “Father Stu” (R, Columbia).

While deeply moving, however, this dramatization of the life of Stuart Long (Mark Wahlberg) is also hard-edged, particularly in terms of its dialogue.


 Read story...
March 18, 2022  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. Viewers will find themselves thoroughly absorbed by “The Batman” (PG-13, Warner Bros.). Director and co-writer Matt Reeves’ reboot of the DC Comics-based franchise is a darkly powerful affair, and its script — penned with Peter Craig — plays with the interesting question whether the iconic crimefighter of the title is, in fact, a hero.


 Read story...
March 4, 2022  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. In 2017, Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin were among the executive producers of the HBO documentary “War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend.”

The film explored the U.S. military’s post-9/11 deployment of canines trained for use in special operations as well as the deep affection that often developed between these animals and their human partners.


 Read story...
February 18, 2022  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. In 2017, Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in a generally satisfying adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic Hercule Poirot mystery “Murder on the Orient Express.” Now, he reprises both roles as the precision-loving Belgian detective encounters “Death on the Nile” (PG-13, 20th Century).


 Read story...
February 4, 2022  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania” (PG, Amazon) — the fourth installment in the animated franchise, primarily populated by iconic figures from classic horror films, that kicked off in 2012 — conceals no threatening fangs.

In fact, it suffers from the opposite problem; it lacks bite.


 Read story...
December 17, 2021  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. What do you get when you combine composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, playwright Arthur Laurents and choreographer Jerome Robbins, then throw director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner into the mix?

You get “West Side Story” (PG-13, 20th Century), the splendid second film version of the classic 1957 Broadway musical.


 Read story...
December 3, 2021  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Will viewers be charmed by “Encanto” (PG, Disney)? For the most part, the answer is probably yes, though this vivacious animated musical does include content that could be of concern for the parents of impressionable kids.


 Read story...
October 1, 2021  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. Honesty, we’re assured, is the best policy. For an object lesson in just how badly awry even a well-meaning ruse may go, viewers can consult the earnest musical drama “Dear Evan Hansen” (PG-13, Universal).


 Read story...
September 17, 2021  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Sprightly wit paces the elegant martial-arts showdowns in director and co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton’s Marvel Comics-derived adventure “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (PG-13, Disney).

A treat for grown-ups, the film is too laden with extra-biblical ideas to be recommended for impressionable moviegoers. As for older teens, they’ll likely shrug off its overly-elaborate mythos as so much window dressing.


 Read story...
September 3, 2021  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Since premiering on Nickelodeon in 2013, the Canadian-produced cartoon series “PAW Patrol” has succeeded in gluing the eyes of many a tot to their TV or computer screens.

With the arrival of “PAW Patrol: The Movie” (Paramount), the titular rescue crew of pups bring their adventures to a multiplex near you. The result is a breezy, tenderhearted film suitable for all.


 Read story...
August 6, 2021  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. For most of its running time, the lighthearted adventure “Jungle Cruise” (PG-13, Disney), adapted by director Jaume Collet-Serra from a Magic Kingdom theme park ride, registers as a diverting, if insubstantial, fantasy.

But the gratuitous addition of a scene in which a principal character outs himself as gay and briefly parrots the LGBTQ party line precludes endorsement of the film for youthful viewers.


 Read story...
May 21, 2021  |  By JOHN MULDERIG, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Though it’s adapted from a book that’s over a decade old, “Monster” (R, Netflix), director Anthony Mandler’s screen version of Walter Dean Myers’ 1999 novel for young adults, feels remarkably timely. This tale of a Harlem youth caught up in the criminal justice system gains credibility, moreover, by avoiding pat answers.


 Read story...
March 19, 2021  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, JOHN MULDERIG

NEW YORK. “If you could read my mind, love/What a tale my thoughts could tell.” So mused Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot in a hit song from a half-century ago.

The downside of such a situation bedevils the hero of the dull dystopian science fiction drama “Chaos Walking” (PG-13, Lionsgate). He inhabits a world where men’s thoughts — though not women’s — take audible and sometimes visible form, and thus can only be concealed with great difficulty. While that proves troubling for him and those around him, the effect on the film’s audience is nothing short of torturous.


 Read story...
«« First « Previous |1 2 3 4 5 | Last ››