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Movie Reviews

Older children, teens and adults: Morally Acceptable: Excellent Crafstmanship

The time has long passed since Invictus premiered on the silver screen. The Oscars and Golden Globes are over, and the movie is making the rounds as a rental. And while I can’t tell you if the movie was an amazing experience on the big screen – I didn’t see it in theaters – I can tell you that this is the sort of movie you will want to own and watch again and again.

On the surface, Invictus is another...

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A while ago, I got lost. I’ll admit it. I stopped keeping track of which Shrek was in theaters. Somewhere in all the previews for no less than four Shrek movies, I wondered why they kept beating a dead horse. After all, the first one was great. The second one wasn’t as good. And they still had the nerve to produce a fourth!

The movie opens with the saga’s usual animated sarcasm and humor. The irony in the portrayal of Shrek’s “domestic bliss” will probably strike home with many...

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April 30, 2010
Clash of the Titans a titanic crash
By CNA Staff

Mature teens and adults/morally ambiguous/Poor craftsmanship

Normally, when a remake of a movie hits theaters, loyal fans of the original queue to see if the new version meets their standards or lives up to the glory of their memories. “Clash of the Titans” didn’t quite garner the same reaction.

Having never seen the original, this reviewer is forced to rely on the print sources which claim that the Desmond Davis' 1981 “Clash of the Titans” left much to be desired. The new...

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April 23, 2010
Green Zone
By CNA Staff

Matt Damon returns to the silver screen in a movie that calls the American conscience into question. The star of The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, etc., plays a Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Army whose job is to search for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in post-invasion Baghdad. 

Though a growing number of books have attempted to address life in the Middle East, both before and after September 11, few movies have taken on that task. “Green Zone” is one of...

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From the producers of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda comes the best adventure yet. “How to Train your Dragon,” based on the book by Cressida Cowell, takes a unique story and makes a unique movie. Unlike other animated films such as Shrek, which are filled with inoffensive humor that nevertheless only adults will understand, “How to Train your Dragon” is much more direct, sincere, and far less subtle. While the usual lessons about teamwork, never giving up on your dreams, and the value of...

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Older Children and Adults: Morally Acceptable: Good Craftsmanship

Based on the popular children’s book by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief tags along behind the successful Harry Potter films, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Lord of the Rings, and even movies like Troy or 300, which attempt to modernize the ancient and capitalize on a pre-existing idea.

As far as stories go, the Lightning Thief scores high on the originality meter. The tale proposes that the Greek gods of Olympus never...

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Despite its good showing at the box office, Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” has failed to impress the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, which echoed the disappointment of some reviewers who found the sleuth to be too "modernized." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's protagonist is difficult to recognize "between one fistfight and another," the paper said.

The character Sherlock Holmes has captured the imaginations of adults and children since his creation in 1886 by Arthur Conan Doyle. In...

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January 06, 2010
Avatar
By CNA Staff

One of the most impressive epic adventures ever brought to film, "Avatar" is the fulfillment of a personal dream of James Cameron, director of Titanic. Cameron wrote the script for his new movie 14 years ago but the amazing technology “Avatar” debuts and establishes as a new standard for the movie industry only became available in 2005.

The new graphics technology pioneered by the movie, especially when viewed in 3D, serves as a vehicle to tell the moving story. The movie unfolds on the...

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November 09, 2009
North Country
By Hilary Rowe

I was eager to see director Niki Caro's new film because her previous feature, Whale Rider (2003), struck me as a quiet yet profound work. The harsh setting of North Country is a far cry from the intimate Maori village of the earlier film, but Caro brings her powerfully human style of filmmaking to this story, which is simultaneously tragic and encouraging.

Josie Aimes, a young mother of two, decides to leave her abusive husband, eventually supporting her family working at a local mine. The...

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August 24, 2009
Ushpizin
By Hilary Rowe

Released in the United States the fall of 2005, this simple and charming comedy-drama is now available on DVD.  An unassuming and unexpected film from Israeli director Giddi Dar, Ushpizin follows the story of a pious rabbi and his wife on the Succoth holiday in Jerusalem.  This movie should draw the attention of Christians and Jews alike for its humble but convincing portrayal of a couple's faith in God.  

The rabbi, Moshe, has recently undergone a major conversion from a life of crime, and...

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