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Harsh Times


Source: Catholic News Service

Grim and gritty urban drama about a psychologically unstable soldier (Christian Bale) who, returning home to Los Angeles after serving in Iraq, reverts to his former street-thug ways and whose fracturing mental frame precipitates a self-destructive spiral of violence and crime into which he drags his best friend (Freddy Rodriguez), much to the dismay of the latter's lawyer girlfriend (Eva Longoria). Bale's explosive and scarily credible performance notwithstanding, the action is bleak and brutish, compounded by the script's nihilism and morally problematic ending, which undermines whatever writer-director David Ayer may be trying to say about the culture of violence, including its desensitizing effect, especially on those in combat. Pervasive rough and crude language and profanity, intense and graphic violence, some disturbing images, a mercy killing, drug content and a suggested sexual encounter. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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		<p>Clement of Rome was the third successor of St. Peter, reigning as pope during the last decade of the first century. He’s known as one of the Church’s five “Apostolic Fathers,” those who provided a direct link between the Apostles and later generations of Church Fathers. </p>
		<p>His <em>First Epistle to the Corinthians </em>was preserved and widely read in the early Church. This letter from the bishop of Rome to the Church in Corinth concerns a split that alienated a large number of the laity from the clergy. Deploring the unauthorized and unjustifiable division in the Corinthian community, Clement urged charity to heal the rift. <br /></p>
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