Cinemazlowski

In a strange way, Liam Neeson might just be the most Catholic action hero we’ve ever seen in movies. He’s actually Catholic (despite bizarre rumors after “Taken 2” that he was going to embrace Islam, he never has) and spoken highly about it plenty of times including in a hilarious appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s talk show.

But what I’m referring to is the moral gravitas he brings to his action films. In the “Taken” trilogy,  he was a secret agent who would stop at literally...

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March 06, 2015
'Unfinished Business' stoops low for shock comedy
By Carl Kozlowski

From the moment I first saw it as a 16 year old back in 1987, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” was one of my all-time favorite movies. I've probably seen it at least 50 times since then, with at least half of those occurring during the annual Thanksgiving week screenings that pop up on TV in order to remind us all of the funny yet bittersweet story of two traveling salesmen desperately trying to make it home for the holiday.

Not many movies have been able to pull that magic off since,...

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March 04, 2015
Don't miss the story behind the baby 'drop box'
By Carl Kozlowski

For most film school students, a successful project means creating a compelling movie that is skillful enough to draw a good grade and maybe even an agent. But for Brian Ivie, making the student short that evolved into the full-length documentary “The Drop Box” changed his life on a far deeper level.

Ivie’s immersion into the world of his subject, South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak, inspired him to become a Christian himself. Seeing Jong-rak’s selfless devotion to his nation’s...

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February 27, 2015
'Focus' gets it right
By Carl Kozlowski

There are few greater pleasures in cinema than enjoying a well-crafted con-man thriller that respects your intelligence, features stars with sizzling charisma and chemistry, and dialogue that's witty at every turn. Very few have pulled it off since the heyday of Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant's team-ups in films like “To Catch A Thief” and “North By Northwest,” but the new Will Smith movie “Focus” - out today – is one of the rare ones to get it right.

Since this is a...

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February 26, 2015
Costner inspires in 'McFarland, USA'
By Carl Kozlowski

There are few present-day actors who are as beloved and as worthy of all-time icon status as Kevin Costner. And there are even fewer great sports movies these days that can inspire greatness and teach life lessons along the lines of “Rocky” and “Breaking Away.”

But thanks to the new movie “MacFarland USA ,” which opened strongly last weekend and stars Costner in the true story of a white coach who overcame culture clashes to inspire a champion team of poor Latino...

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February 13, 2015
Movie Review: "Kingsman: The Secret Service"
By Carl Kozlowski

Due to the extreme hype, moviegoers might think that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the only new film coming out this weekend. But there is an alternative to that twisted, overrated sex-driven flick, which any Catholic with common sense should know to avoid in the first place.
 
“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” a teenage James Bond-style escapade on steroids, is a British production that puts American action movies to shame. Packed with great gadgets, hilarious (but at times gruesome)...

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February 06, 2015
Double Review: 'Jupiter Ascending' and 'Project Almanac'
By Carl Kozlowski

Jupiter Ascending

Ever since unleashing the groundbreaking first “Matrix” movie on the world in 1999, Lana and Andy Wachowski have been two of the luckiest filmmakers alive. After all, since that smash hit, they have managed to crank out some of the biggest misfires of the past decade — two bad “Matrix” sequels, a live-action version of “Speed Racer” and the confusing 2012 anomaly “Cloud Atlas” — while still managing to draw an enormous budget for their latest travesty,...

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January 30, 2015
Movie Review: "Black Or White"
By Carl Kozlowski

Amid an era in which racial tensions are boiling over more than they have in decades, America is looking for positive solutions to calm the storms. The movie “Selma” has come into sharp cultural focus as a result, due to its stirring depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
 
Yet while that film does manage to bring those past dramatic incidents to vibrant life, there is still a need for filmmakers to address what’s...

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January 24, 2015
Movie Review: 'Mortdecai'
By Carl Kozlowski

Johnny Depp has had a rough time in the last couple of years, with a string of bombs including “The Lone Ranger” and “Transcendence.” Now, he’s returned as yet another in his endless string of oddball characters in “Mortdecai,” an art-heist farce that I’ll admit most critics have derided but which I - and the audience of regular folks that I saw it with - laughed heartily at.

It stars Depp as Charlie Mortdecai, a wealthy yet financially imperiled and shady art dealer who...

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January 16, 2015
Movie Review: "American Sniper"
By Carl Kozlowski

In the more than 20 years since Clint Eastwood won Best Picture and Best Director for “Unforgiven,” he has been making numerous films that have shared that Western’s theme of the tragic consequences of violence. He has openly acknowledged that movies like “Gran Torino” and “Million Dollar Baby” were responses to the cinematic havoc he reaped a fortune from in spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry-style movies from the ‘60s through the ‘80s.

That seismic shift in his cinematic...

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