Alumni of a study abroad program at Brock University in Ontario, Canada are criticizing a professor's attempt to sever the program’s ties with the school because of its connections with the Christian Life Movement.
U.S. Army chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun’s cause for beatification is headed to Rome, an event the Diocese of Wichita celebrated with a July 1 Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The vicar general of the Legion of Christ has confirmed that the order’s leaders are likely to step down at their next General Chapter meeting, which could be held as early as 2013.
The Scandinavian island nation of Iceland will celebrate its national patron, St. Thorlak Thorhallsson, on Dec. 23.
Father Emil Kapaun, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, is among the 24 men, women, or groups nominated for the Eight Wonders of Kansas People, a campaign by the Kansas Sampler Foundation to promote and educate about the Sunflower State.
An order of cloistered Benedictine nuns in France has signed a deal with Universal Music to produce an album of Gregorian chant. The abbess said that after time in prayer the nuns decided the effort could touch people’s lives.
Critics have hailed “The Last Airbender” as a disaster and as an end of the career of director M. Night. Shyamalan. And while the movie does boast of terrible acting and very poor scripting especially when it comes to dialogue, it also features a tranquility and an originality that puts this film in the realm of something worth seeing.
Few Catholics today truly understand the significance of the role that Pope John Paul II played in the fall of the Soviet Communist regime. Even Catholics who grew up with his Pontificate did not understand the value of his actions until later on. Newt and Callista Gingrich’s new documentary offers the contemporary Catholic a chance to see much of that first-hand.
Older children, teens and adults: Morally Acceptable: Excellent Crafstmanship
"If you find a word that is not in line with the Church, burn it!" were the instructions Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand gave to his wife before he died in 1977. The man whose legacy of thought was revived in a three-day conference in Rome last week was described in intimate detail by the person who knew him best: his wife Alice.
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!
Mature teens and adults/morally ambiguous/Poor craftsmanship
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.
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 seeing things through new eyes are present, they aren’t what make this film one of the best animated films of this generation. In essence, when it comes to training your dragon, what you see is what you get. And what you get is a delightfully simple, straightforward, and heartwarming childrens movie. The basic premise revolves around a young Viking named Hiccup who lives on an island in the North Atlantic. “We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunsets,” he says. “The only problems are the pests.” Dragons of varying shapes and sizes raid the island, steal the sheep and torch the houses. Though the Vikings have lived there for 300 years, all of the houses are new. And though every male Viking lives to kill dragons, poor Hiccup can barely lift a hammer in the blacksmith shop. To make matters worse, Hiccup’s father is the leader of the village, a man who can kill dragons with his bare hands. Hiccup longs to prove himself, so he uses his un-Vikinglike intellect to create new ways of fighting dragons. No one is more astonished than Hiccup when he actually takes down a Night Fury, the most elusive of all dragons. However, no one is more surprised than Hiccup when he discovers that everything they know about dragons is wrong. When the smoke fades, the fire breathing, sheep-snatching dragons are actually rather cute in their scaliness. They enjoy being scratched behind the ears and are afraid of dead eels.What follows is a charming adventure, not only in animation, but in story and plot development. Adding to the realism of the movie is the comically awkward relationship between the Viking father and his adolescent son who is nothing like him, the rather brutish courtship between Hiccup and Astrid, the girl he has a crush on who is devoted to fighting dragons, and the conclusion in which Hiccup faces the hard consequences of having lived up to his Viking heritage, engaged in battle, and emerged victorious at the cost of dismemberment. While the relationship aspect of the movie is more concrete and realistic than, say, the friendship between Shrek and Donkey, the outcome of the final battle actually carries more weight than the happily glowing almost-epilogue at the end of the film. And that realism is perhaps the most heartening aspect of the movie. “How to Train Your Dragon” isn’t critiquing society by creating a fairy kingdom with Starbucks on every corner, it’s not promoting a neo-hippie agenda on an alien planet, its not suggesting that we are burying ourselves in useless piles of junk. Instead, “How to Train your Dragon” is a good movie, as real as a completely fictional premise can get, and its rather innovative and charming in the process.While some (older children) might say that the film is meant for children ages 6-10, other reviewers have noted that scenes of animated violence and battles between Vikings and dragons may scare young children. The three year old sitting behind me seemed relatively unperturbed by the events on screen and spent most of the film trying to crawl into my row and say “hi” to me. However, for adults, the movie is just as appealing, cute, and heartwarming. “How to Train Your Dragon” has already been called “the best animated film of 2010” among a host of other lavish praises. Do yourself a favor and see this movie, enjoy the animation (though spending the extra money for 3D isn’t as necessary as in films like Avatar), enjoy the dialogue, and most of all, enjoy the cute dragon who steals the scene without ever saying a word. It’s the best $8 or $10 you’ll spend all year.
Older Children and Adults: Morally Acceptable: Good Craftsmanship
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.
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.
Wichita priest and U.S. Army chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun heroically saved wounded sounders from the battlefield of the Korean War and ministered to his fellow prisoners in a prison camp. His life, death and possible beatification are the focus of an eight article series and a DVD being produced by the Wichita Eagle.
Dr. Anne Hendershott, a former faculty member at the University of San Diego has recently released her new book, Status Envy: the Politics of Higher Education, in which she explains that Catholic higher education is distancing itself from Catholic teaching in order to keep up with its secular counterparts.
In an article entitled, “The Secret of Twilight,” the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reviewed the first of the Twilight movies. The film tells the story of a lonely teen who doesn’t fit in and a young vegetarian vampire who has decided to abstain from human blood. Reporter Silvia Guidi begins by questioning the reason for the success of the movie, which “fascinates millions of people (not only teens, as there is also a Twilight fan club of moms).” “Bella—together with the fans of the series—has been conquered by the fascination with difficult love, which is worth the risk,” she writes of the main character. Twilight is a “maximalist” story capable of conquering readers and viewers by giving voice to the deepest expressions that are censored by contemporary culture, expectations of the human heart, Guida says. Reflecting on Edward Cullen, the vampire played by Robert Pattin, and Bella Swan, the teen who falls in love with him, Guida writes,“eternity is not only about living forever, but above all about living more, with an intensity that is unknown to ‘normal’ people.” Edward, she goes on, “has the reactions and feelings of a teenager but the maturity of someone who has lived 108 years. He doesn’t choose to be good, but he changes because of the example he sees in his adoptive father, the ‘vegetarian’ vampire Carlyle, and because of the encounter with his ideal prisoner” in the movie. In the background “are the separated parents of Bella, symbols of those who reject the ‘forever.’ To them…eternal love is only such as long as it lasts. Her father, Charlie, loves her but literally does not know what to say to her. Living with him means routine beer drinking, entire nights in front of the television watching sit-coms neither one of them like, eating in the car once a week, affection that is solid but unable to be transformed into real accompaniment in her life.” Bella, Guida continues, “loves her father but does not expect much from him. She experiences the kind of discouragement that imprisons kids when they ask an adult a very important question and get a generic or completely unrelated answer.” She also “sees in Edward’s loneliness her own unease: both are isolated, him because of his hidden ‘monster’ nature, her because she fakes interest in things she doesn’t care about: the cult of shopping, expectations for the prom, desperation over wanting to be in latest edition of the school magazine, chatting with her friends.” Both of them, when they are together, “are condemned to receiving special attention: Bella knows she is risking her life; Edward, in order to accept loving her, must consent to hiding his bad side. This is the exact opposite of the 'Just Do It' mentality of young people.” Rather, the characters exhibit an attitude that says if they can try, “the world is there, they only need to take it.” Reality “does not follow this law, as every fable teaches us,” Guida writes. “Cinderella knows she must leave the dance at midnight, unless she wants to see everything disappear and the carriage become a pumpkin, even seeing the enchantment of love end.” “The question is not so much why is Twilight so successful, but rather, how can a kid watch it with indifference?” Guida wonders.