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Layer Cake


Source: Catholic News Service

Technically proficient but unpleasantly seamy story of a cocaine dealer in London (Daniel Craig) who prides himself on the efficiency of his methods, only to be caught up in the machinations of honcho Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) and Price's high-powered cohort, Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon), and a stolen shipment of Ecstasy pills after which everyone is scrambling. Matthew Vaughn's thriller is too complex for its own good, with its difficult-to-follow plot (to the point of "who cares?"), tricky-to-decipher accents, flashy but empty presentation, and -- though perhaps appropriate for the underworld milieu -- more expletives per minute than any film in recent memory. One brief but graphic sex scene, nudity, brutal violence with attendant gore, pervasive rough and crude language, and drug use. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

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