CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
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.


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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.


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November 5, 2021  |  By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON. Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis to head the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota.

He has been an auxiliary bishop for the Minnesota archdiocese since 2013. A native of Denver, he was ordained a priest for St. Paul and Minneapolis in in 1997.


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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).


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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.


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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.


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August 20, 2021  |  By CAROL GLATZ, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY. It was quite fitting for a Catholic actor and a Christian director of a new streaming series on the life of Jesus to meet Pope Francis on the feast of St. Clare of Assisi, patron saint of televisions and screens.


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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.


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June 18, 2021  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. Pedigree is important where horses are concerned, and the equine-themed animated adventure “Spirit Untamed” (PG, Universal) comes with a multimedia lineage.

It descends both from the 2002 film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” and the ongoing Netflix series “Spirit Riding Free,” which first aired in 2017.


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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.


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May 7, 2021  |  By KURT JENSEN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK. “The Father” (Sony Classics) has nothing new to say about the challenges of dementia.

Yet, in adapting his play with co-screenwriter Christopher Hampton, director Florian Zeller does succeed in presenting the difficulties resulting from that illness in an innovative way. His drama portrays the mental confusion of a man in his 80s by keeping the viewer off-balance as well.


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May 7, 2021  |  By RICHARD DOERFLINGER, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Most people have heard of the slippery slope. After making what seems a limited exception to a moral principle, we may find over time that it logically becomes far broader than we had in mind.


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April 16, 2021  |  By SISTER HOSEA RUPPRECHT, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON. A musical romance with an evangelical Christian twist, “A Week Away” (Netflix) could be described as “High School Musical” meets summer camp. Written by Kali Bailey and Alan Powell, the streaming service’s first faith-based film is directed by Roman White


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April 2, 2021  |  By MARK PATTISON, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON. The new biblical epic “Resurrection” is the kind of movie where “families can get together” to watch it, said one of its producers, Roma Downey, still best known for her on-camera role in the television series “Touched by an Angel.”

Families will indeed have that chance, as “Resurrection” (PG-13, MGM) debuts in streaming form March 27 on the Discovery+ subscription service.


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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.


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