Toy Story 3

Monday, June 21, AD 2010

I’ve become a very big fan of Pixar’s works, especially their recent works of Wall-E and Up. I don’t know what Pixar’s philosophical leanings are, but I think there’s a lot in their movies for Catholics of all ages to chew on. Indeed, Pixar provides some of the few films that are excellent visually and in plot, a rarity in Hollywood these days.

If you haven’t seen Toy Story 3, I recommend you (and your family) go do so. While I don’t think viewing the previous ones is an absolute necessity, much of the emotional punch of the film is added by the backstory and so I would do so.

If you have, come on below for all the spoilers and discussion of the movie.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Toy Story 3

Now Showing: The Tudors

Wednesday, March 3, AD 2010

The following is a column posted by Brad Miner of The Catholic Thing on Monday, March 1, 2010 A.D.:

John Timothy McNicholas, Cincinnati’s archbishop from 1925 until 1950, went to a New York convention in 1933 and heard the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Amleto Cicognani (future Vatican Secretary of State), rail against Hollywood’s “massacre” of American moral innocence and call for the “purification of cinema.” McNicholas took the message to heart and founded the Catholic Legion of Decency (CLOD). As TIME magazine reported in 1934, the organization’s mission was simple: the faithful should stay “away from all motion pictures except those which do not offend decency and Christian morality.” So popular did the Legion’s campaign become that Jews and Protestants joined the crusade, and the organization was quickly rechristened the National Legion of Decency.

The Legion’s descriptions of films were exclusively condemnatory; calling only for protests about and boycotts of films deemed impure. And some of the films CLOD listed have been subsequently delisted by its successor, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office for Film and Broadcasting. For instance, “Finishing School,” a Thirties production starring Billie Burke, Ginger Rogers, and the too-often ignored Frances Dee, was condemned by CLOD as portraying an “attempted seduction and an accomplished seduction. . . . Protest. . . . Protest. . .” Today, the USCCB rating of the film is A-III, in essence: It’s a quality movie. Go ahead and watch it – you’re grown-ups.

Archbishop McNicholas

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Now Showing: The Tudors

  • Note how that classic film depicted Henry’s adultery. Wolsey: “He’s been to play in the muck again. He’s been with Mistress Anne Boelyn.” Those lines convey the reality of the situation so much better than any nude scene could. The current porn fixation of contemporary films is not only a moral evil, but it is a degradation of the art.

  • There is a place for nudity, not for sex.

    And the sex scenes in The Tudors as well as most of the nude scenes (if not all), are gratuitous to say the least.

    Though I enjoy viewing The Tudors, I stopped after a while. It certainly could have done very well without the sex and nudity and played on the History Channel instead of the porn site that is Showtime.

  • An honest question: If the sex depicted doesn’t glorify the immoral, why can’t the depiction be moral?

  • RR,

    Excellent point.

    But if the sex were allowed, does it have to show full frontal nudity for BOTH sexes?

    Plus the act of watching simulated sex is an occurrence of sin.

    Offense Against Chastity:

    CCC 2354 – Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

    The Sixth Commandment: You Shall Not Commit Adultery. (Ex 20:14; Deut 5:18.)

  • Tito you are right. Here are other relevant sections of the Catechism.

    2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

    2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

    2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

    2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

    2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

5 Responses to Fr. Robert Barron reviews Michael Moores Capitalism: A Love Story

  • He says the same thing I’ve been saying for some time. Moore is good at identifying the problems – it’s just his Socialist (thus materialist) solutions where he departs Church teaching.

  • The idea that everyone should keep just enough to cover essentials and give the rest away is intriguing, and probably aspirationally correct, but using government to do this will not work. Pretty much everyone will stop working soon after covering the essentials. Very little will be produced that can be given away. This fact can be illustrated by tax rates. At a 0% tax rate the government gets essentially the same revenue generated by a 100% tax rate. It is why the Soviet Union economic motto was “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

  • Our modern world had become intentionally complex leading to much confusion about what is meant by words. Capitalism and socialsim/communism are such words and we’ve had another thread on here addressing that.

    What Moore fails to do is be honest. He is a Marxist and his attack on ‘capitalism’ isn’t designed to point out the perceived excess in capitalism but seeks to promote the virtues of socialism. Fr. Barron already killed that argument.

    Furthermore, the excess in capitalism is not inherent in the system of a natural free market; rather it is in the disordered appetites of fallen humanity. The solution is not a better capitalism, but a more virtuous human. That cannot be accomplished by any materialist system. It requires a massive cultural shift away from the vices of modernism and an upward view of life.

  • That Priest is a great teacher.

  • Moore against capitalism? Not according to the IRS and Fleet Financial, a high-end brokerage firm out of Boston.
    Check out the PF990 forms for his one-man operated non-profit: Center for Alternative Media and Culture. The year he made Stupid White Men, and claimed not to won any stocks, he told the IRS his foundation owned $280,000 in corporate stock and $100,00 in corporate bonds.
    His foundation has owned Pfizer, Merck, Genzyme, Elan PLC, Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific, Pharmacial Corporation, and Tenet Healthcare. . Not what you’d
    expect from a man who made Sicko. Hates big oil and Haliburton – then why did he own stocks in them?
    The above and more is from Peter Schweizer’s Do As I Say (Not as I do). Check our enviornmentalists Ted Kenneday and Nancy Pelosi. What hypocrites!
    Bottom line, the guy is a multi-millionaire who has treated the Catholic Church contemptimbly over issues such as marriage, contraception/abortion, homosexuality and now tries to get “approval” from the Church when it suits him.
    Rerum Novarum specifically condems socialism and is adamant about the principle of subsidiarity. Centisimus Annus confirms it. I’m not sure where Fr. Barron get the idea that big government interference is warranted to correct injustice. Lest we forget – big government in the form of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is part of the problem.
    The Acton Institure and the Distributist League disagree with each other but the traditional New Deal as nostalgia school of economics that Fr. Barron subscribes is one thing both groups disagree with!
    Anyone familiar with the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics? It went two two Americans who documented that government spending during the Depression actually prolonged it by five years.

Movie Review: District 9

Wednesday, September 2, AD 2009

MrsDarwin and I grabbed a rare chance to take an evening out last night and went to see District 9, a science fiction movie that came out a couple weeks ago. Contrary to stereotype, it was actually MrsDarwin who had latched onto this as the movie to see, and I’m glad she did as it was one of the more enjoyable SciFi flicks that I’ve seen in a while. (Movie Trailer here.)

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Movie Review: District 9

  • I was also impressed with the movie.

    Your abortion citation is dead-on and the direction that our nation is heading if we let it continue this way.

    The aliens were well done and it was clear that most were worker-aliens while Chris Johnson was a leader-alien, or some sort of mid-level manager.

    I would say it’s worth a second viewing, that’s how good it is.

    I liked the part where he speaks “louder” when communicating! Hilarious!

    I think it’s the sleeper hit of the Summer and the best Sci-Fi film of the year.

    I want to add that the movie is also open for a prequel, or several prequels, which I’m actually wanting to see more than a sequel, but either way, I’m watching it if they make it!

  • And why was it so good?

    Because of Peter Jackson – a Kiwi. That’s why 🙂

  • That is a great Kiwi. He did good with the Lord of the Ring trilogies.

    I look forward to more of his films along District 9 and Lord of the Rings.

Prince of Foxes

Thursday, March 12, AD 2009

It is rare that a swashbuckling movie can also be a suitable Lenten meditation, but Prince of Foxes (1949) accomplishes this difficult feat.  A magnificent portrayal of Renaissance Italy at the time of Cesare Borgia, the film is also a compelling indictment of treachery, deceit and the lust for power.  The realpolitik of Machiavelli is matched against the True Faith of Christ, and found wanting.

Continue reading...