Saturday, November 17, 2018

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

Two great minds in a turbulent age

THE DEBATERS by Barth Hoogstraten (Lulu Publishing, rev. June 2015, supplied by Amazon); $29.52. Reviewed by DANIEL J. STOLLENWERK. The late 15th century was a turbulent time in Europe. An...

The untold story of married Catholic priests

In Keeping the Vow, author Fr D. Paul Sullins, a sociologist and a former Episcopal priest, presents his research on a tiny but fascinating subcategory of American Catholic priests — married Catholic priests who...

Cult, family clash in science fiction thriller

The use of parallel universes, sometimes known as alternative reality, is a common feature in science fiction and its movie spinoffs. A couple of good recent examples were Another Earth and Source Code, both released in 2011. The latest, Midnight Special...

Another treat from a well-loved author

GOULASH, GARAGE SALES AND GOD by Bernadette McCarver Snyder (Liguori Publications, 2013, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $19.99. Reviewed by ANNA-MARIE BARRETT Goulash, Garage Sales and God is yet another...

Italian films reflect social crisis

by NEVIL GIBSON The former glories of Italian cinema were on grand display in La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) earlier this year. Other glimpses are among the 18 features in this...

Codebreakers raise topical issues

by NEVIL GIBSON Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the gathering of military intelligence has moved from being the difference in victory or defeat to one...

Alpine setting lifts backstage drama

by NEVIL GIBSON Quality screenplays written with particular actors in mind are relatively rare. Yet that appears to be the case with Clouds of Sils Maria (Pinnacle Films), which is...

Lovely guide to early NZ churches

HISTORIC CHURCHES — A Guide to Over 60 Early New Zealand Churches by Linda Burgess, photography by Robert Burgess (Penguin Random House New Zealand, to be published September 1);...

Songs that are measured, honest and true

“This collection of songs came out of a hard time, including loss and relocation,” singersongwriter Grant-Lee Phillips told music site Noisetrade, talking about his latest album The Narrows. That “hard time” has produced a...

Broadway drama sizzles on screen

by NEVIL GIBSON The “golden years” of age seem no barrier to quality filmmaking. The number of directors working well past most people’s retirement is steadily growing. Just in the...

Hostage standoff unfolds in 6 Days

It is taken for granted that virtually all major news events will be seen instantly around the world through 24-hour live coverage. Natural disasters such as the devastating hurricanes in...

Bill Murray dishes up seasonal cheer

by NEVIL GIBSON The absence of feel good films for Christmas has been previously noted in this column. It seems Hollywood now has to treat anything to do with religion...

Human-ape saga reaches climax

When French science fiction writer Pierre Boule’s Planet of the Apes was first filmed in 1968, it tapped into a widespread concern that civilisation was endangered by racial and...

Lucy plays loose with the truth

by JOHN MULDERIG NEW YORK (CNS) — No one can accuse French writer-director Luc Besson of having made a dull film in Lucy (Universal). But giddy sci-fi notions pepper his bizarre action...

When collecting ‘stuff’ gets out of control

by MICHAEL MORRISSEY Outside, the house looks normal. Inside is the greatest garage sale in history — toys, teddy bears, tennis racquets, books, clothes, ornaments, jugs, newspapers, crockery, knick knacks, cheap jewellery,...

Tweeting with God – unpacking tradition in a modern way

TWEETING WITH GOD by Fr Michel Remery. (Freedom Publishing Books, Melbourne, 2017). 432pp $39.00AUD (Manual $19.95AUD 56pp) Reviewed by Sr SIAN OWEN, RSJ Most people have at least a limited...

Old-fashioned heroes triumph

by NEVIL GIBSON As winter approaches, the movie year moves into blockbuster season to coincide with the Northern Hemisphere summer. Blockbusters are large budget films loaded with special effects and are aimed...

Late priest has written well about 20 great mystics

AN INNER MUSIC — Living a life in God by Craig Larkin, SM (Fitzbeck Publishing, 2016; available from good bookshops, or the Society of Mary); $35. Reviewed by LYNDSAY FREER.  In this most...

Protecting children from pornography

EVERY PARENT’S BATTLE: A Family Guide to Resisting Pornography by Dan S. Spencer III. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing (Huntington, Indiana, 2017). 175 pp., $14.95. Reviewed by DANIEL MULHALL. Once...

Allen lightens winter gloom

by NEVIL GIBSON The mid-winter international film festival is certainly the year’s highlight for serious filmgoers, but the fare can often be heavy going. So a new Woody Allen film comes...

Annual box office reviews: Quirky humour, wars, spies excel in 2015

by NEVIL GIBSON The annual box office reviews show young adult fantasy and comic-book heroes are still the most popular fare at the cinema. Fast-paced action and real-life dramas are...

Burton burnishes macabre vision

Few directors have built up as consistent a body of work as Tim Burton. In a career that spans nearly 30 years, he has created 16 features that celebrate the macabre, with one or two exceptions.  But...

Bishops publish new policy booklet on Christian funerals

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference has published a new booklet on liturgical policy for Christian funerals and guidelines for tangihana. The 36-page booklet is entitled For Those Who Believe:...

Memory loss creates memorable role

by NEVIL GIBSON Eight films have been nominated for the best film in the 2015 Academy Awards. Only two, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood, were released for New Zealand audiences...

Irish priest tests life to the limit

by NEVIL GIBSON Like the New Zealand film industry, Ireland’s filmmakers operate in parallel to large budget international productions, with niche offerings that usually display the darker side of society. Although Jim...

Beatty wants to be a billionaire

It’s hard to believe Warren Beatty has been one of Hollywood’s fixtures for nearly six decades since he first appeared opposite Natalie Wood in Splendour in the Grass (1961). Just...

Money, sport mix in creepy thriller

by NEVIL GIBSON The Du Pont name in American business goes back to the earliest days of the republic, and the estate belonging to one of its richest heirs is...

What to do with fading resolutions

“Raise your glass and we’ll have a cheer / My dear acquaintance, a happy new year,” sings Peggy Lee on her Winter Wonderland collection. In writing this piece I was surprised to discover so...

Worship: A wonderful testament to our nation’s faith

WORSHIP — A History of New Zealand Church Design by Bill McKay (photography by Jane Ussher) (Penguin, Random House, 2015); $85. Reviewed by TERESA WACKROW. In September this year...

Solid version of the Hardy classic

by JOSEPH MCALEER NEW YORK (CNS) — Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel about romantic entanglements in the English countryside returns to the big screen in Far from the Madding Crowd (Fox). In...

Featured News

Many cultures celebrated by parish

Every fifth Sunday of the month, Our Lady of Assumption parish in Onehunga, Auckland celebrates diversity by having a multicultural Mass.  Parish priest Fr Andrew Atonio, MF (Missionaries of Faith) started this tradition around...