We have had more than enough reasons of late to question our leaders and institutions. So, perhaps you’re not ready for yet another in your entertainment viewing.
But I still must recommend The Keepers on Netflix.
This seven-part documentary series examines the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, who was abducted and killed in Baltimore in 1969 at age 26.
The circumstances surrounding her death are just one element of the story. The apparent cover-up by the church and police is even bigger and more disturbing.
And the entire investigation of this ‘cold case’ was led by Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, retirees and former students of Sister Cathy at Archbishop Keough High School.
The information they bring to light is shocking and sad — even more so because it took this long.
Sister Cathy Cesnik — and all the students at Archbishop Keough — deserve justice.
Posted in Commentary, documentaries, Entertainment, Religion, Television
Tagged Abbie Schaub, Archbishop Keough High School, Baltimore, Catholic Church, documentary, entertainment, Gemma Hoskins, Netflix, nuns, religion, review, Sister Cathy Cesnik, Television, The Keepers
National Gun Violence Awareness Day
Posted in Celebrities, holidays, Humor, Life, Religion
Tagged #wearorange, celebrities, gun laws, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Paula Poundstone, religion, tweet, Twitter
Did you know Christian Mingle, the dating website for believers, has produced a made-for-TV movie?
It’s playing on UP Network as I write this.
And I cannot look away.
Talk about product placement (which I have been of late) — this one takes the cake.
Posted in Advertising, Entertainment, Humor, Relationships, Religion, Television
Tagged advertising, Christian Mingle, dating, entertainment, Humor, made for TV movie, product placement, Relationships, religion, Television, UP Network, website
The cover of People?
Wow, the Pope must be so excited.
This probably ranks right up there with his election by the college of cardinals in Rome.
I wonder what color smoke came out of the chimneys?
Posted in Celebrities, Humor, Magazines, Religion
Tagged celebrities, chimney, college of cardinals, election, Humor, magazines, People magazine, Pope, Pope Francis, religion, Rome, smoke
Are you excited about Melissa McCarthy’s new action comedy Spy?
I am. The critics are. (It’s received a crazy fresh score — for a comedy, no less — on RottenTomatoes.com.)
I’ll bet you are, too.
But I feel we have to give some credit to Tom Cruise, who has starred in some of the big action films that McCarthy and director Paul Feig are lampooning. You may hate his personal life and his religion, but who cares? His films are epic.
Have you seen the trailer for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation?
Posted in Celebrities, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Religion
Tagged action movie, celebrities, entertainment, Humor, Mission Impossible, Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, movie trailer, religion, Tom Cruise, Youtube
Today the very funny folks at College Humor posed the question —
What if things we did religiously had their own religion?
They developed religions for things like…
- The weekly TV dramas and sitcoms that we can’t miss
- Our morning Starbucks run
- The smartphone permanently attached to our hip
You get the drift.
I could add even more activities like making my bed (a holdover from my childhood), walking the dog and playing Candy Crush before bed.
And while I am definitely a member of the TV viewership religion, I participate in a more radical faction —
(The DVR made me do it.)
Posted in College, Comedy, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Internet, Life, Religion, Television
Tagged Candy Crush, childhood, college, College Humor, comedy, commentary, daily TV viewing, drama, DVR, entertainment, funny, Humor, Internet, life, making my bed, mundane things, radical faction, religion, sitcom, smartphone, Starbucks, takeout, Television, TV religion, walking the dog, workout
If you subscribe to Showtime, I encourage you to watch the documentary Kidnapped for Christ, currently available OnDemand.
The film centers on a Christian boarding school in the Dominican Republic that advertised itself as a rehab center for troubled US teens. The filmmaker, an evangelical school student, was allowed complete access to the teens there and, during production, uncovers disturbing information about the school’s “behavior modification program.” She also learns that some students had been kidnapped from their homes with their parents’ full knowledge and permission.
Her commitment to the project eventually morphs into a determination to help these abused teenagers — one in particular who wants to leave the school where he is essentially being held prisoner.
This story is heartbreaking and, I learned, just one case among thousands around the world.
It is a must-see.
Posted in Children, Commentary, Education, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Religion, Travel
Tagged abuse, behavior modification program, boarding school, cable, children, Christian, commentary, documentary, Dominican Republic, education, entertainment, evangelical, film, Humor, kidnapped, Kidnapped for Christ, Movies, OnDemand, parents, premium cable, production, rehab center, religion, review, schooled, Showtime, teenagers, teens, Travel
Casting directors and agents in New York City often advise wannabe actors to create their own projects.
That way, they can do the kind of work that they want to be doing.
Just ask John Turturro.
He wrote, directed and stars in Fading Gigolo, the story of a guy with money problems who, with the encouragement and salesmanship of a good friend — portrayed by Woody Allen — finds himself the hired lover of a group of lonely middle-aged women.
It’s a great cast: Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Liev Schreiber, and in a star-making turn, Vanessa Paradis (better known as Johnny Depp’s long-time-but-not-so-much-anymore girlfriend).
The movie was very funny at times, and at other times, very serious and soulful. The changes in pacing and tone were unexpected and unexplained. I felt like I was watching two movies that didn’t quite gel, and there were jokes that flew over my goyish head that cracked up the rest of the art house crowd.
That being said, I enjoyed the individual performances and getting glimpses of my Upper West Side businesses and doorways in this very New York City film.
Posted in Celebrities, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Religion
Tagged actors, agents, art house theatre, casting directors, celebrities, commentary, do what you love, entertainment, Fading Gigolo, goy, hired lover, Humor, Jewish, John Turturro, Johnny Depp, Liev Schreiber, middle aged women, money problems, movie director, movie star, movie writer, Movies, New York City, pacing, religion, reviews, salesmanship, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, tone, Upper West Side, Vanessa Paradis, Woody Allen
Like everyone, I was surprised by the news of the Pope’s resignation.
But how did I miss the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God?
It was released in November of last year. But yesterday’s headlines from Rome brought director Alex Gibney’s film back to the forefront. It’s available on HBO OnDemand, so I’ve already watched it.
What a revelation.
Gibney examines pedophilia in the Catholic Church, beginning with the first known clerical sexual abuse at a deaf school in Milwaukee in the late 1950’s, and traces it all the way to the Vatican.
Of particular interest, the documentary documents the role Benedict played in the sex-abuse scandals — both as a bishop in Germany and as Cardinal Ratzinger, where he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles such cases.
Under his leadership, the church shielded priests accused of child molestation and hid their behavior from the authorities, obstructing criminal prosecution.
It’s not an easy film to watch, but the bravery of these deaf students — now grown men — is inspiring.
Their voices have finally been heard.
Posted in Commentary, Education, History, Life, Movies, News, Religion
Tagged Alex Gibney, bischop, Cardinal Ratzinger, Catholic Church, child molestation, commentary, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, deaf school, documentary, education, film, HBO, HBO OnDemand, history, life, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Milwaukee, movie, news, pedophilia, Pope, Pope Benedict, Pope's resignation, religion, Rome, sexual abuse, Vatican
Today was all about art.
And really, shouldn’t every trip to Italy have days like that?
We started back in Milan at the Pinacoteca di Brera, a lovely museum with over 30 rooms of paintings by the classical masters. Of course, I spent most of my time in the one room filled with modern art.
You can take the girl to Italy…
In the afternoon, we trained our way to Padua, or Padova as everyone calls it here. This will be our home base for the next three days, so we walked around to get the lay of the land.
We also attended a viewing of the Scrovegni Chapel.
It contains a fresco cycle by Giotto, completed about 1305, that is considered one of the most important masterpieces of Western art.
Now I have already admitted that I prefer modern art, but this church blew me away. To think that the entire thing — it’s enormous — was completed in three-and-a-half years! Every detail painted; all the trim and faux marble. Dimension was even added with paint to make elements look 3-D.
It was truly incredible.
Then we came outside, and it was raining really hard.
Back to earth.
Posted in Art, Design, Life, Religion, Travel
Tagged art, church, classical masters, design, frescos, Giotto, Italy, life, masterpieces, Milan, modern art, museum, Padova, Padua, paintings, Pinacoteca di Brera, religion, Scrovegni Chapel, Travel, Western art