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A Perfect Getaway

John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

The natural splendors of a remote area of Hawaii provide the backdrop for director David Twohy's not-so-splendid thriller "A Perfect Getaway" (Rogue). After a reasonably intriguing central plot twist—though one that fails to jibe entirely with what has gone before—the shifty drama degenerates, becoming overwrought in tone and excessively violent in content.
As they head for the beautiful, but isolated Kalalau Valley on the island of Kauai, hiking honeymooners Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich) learn that the couple wanted in a series of recent, well-publicized murders may have fled to the region. So when Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and Cleo (Marley Shelton), a pair of creepy hitchhikers they had refused to pick up earlier, suspiciously and threateningly resurface, the newlyweds are unnerved.
Pressing on, they cross paths with friendly, talkative Iraq War veteran Nick (Timothy Olyphant), whose company they initially find reassuring. But his trail leads to girlfriend Gina (Kiele Sanchez), and it's not long before his tall tales of combat prowess and her dexterity with a butcher knife—exhibited to gruesome effect on a goat Nick has felled with a bow and arrow—have Cliff and Cydney worrying again.
Zahn's skillful impersonation of twitchy, nerdy Cliff, a Hollywood screenwriter easily overshadowed and intimidated by Nick's real-life exploits, heightens the atmosphere of uncertainty. But objectionable elements include not only the climactic bloodletting, but a prolonged skinny-dipping scene and a murky tide of four-letter words.
The film contains considerable action violence, some of it gory, cohabitation, drug use, rear and partial nudity, a half-dozen uses of profanity, and much rough and crude language. 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. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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John of Monte Corvino: At a time when the Church was heavily embroiled in nationalistic rivalries within Europe, it was also reaching across Asia to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Mongols. John of Monte Corvino went to China about the same time Marco Polo was returning. 
<p>John was a soldier, judge and doctor before he became a friar. Prior to going to Tabriz, Persia (present-day Iran), in 1278, he was well known for his preaching and teaching. In 1291 he left Tabriz as a legate of Pope Nicholas IV to the court of Kublai Khan. An Italian merchant, a Dominican friar and John traveled to western India where the Dominican died. When John and the Italian merchant arrived in China in 1294, Kublai Khan had recently died. </p><p>Nestorian Christians, successors to the dissidents of the fifth-century Council of Ephesus’ teaching on Jesus Christ, had been in China since the seventh century. John converted some of them and also some of the Chinese, including Prince George from Tenduk, northwest of Beijing. Prince George named his son after this holy friar. </p><p>John established his headquarters in Khanbalik (now Beijing), where he built two churches; his was the first resident Catholic mission in the country. By 1304 he had translated the Psalms and the New Testament into the Tatar language. </p><p>Responding to two letters from John, Pope Clement V named John Archbishop of Khanbalik in 1307 and consecrated seven friars as bishops of neighboring dioceses. One of the seven never left Europe. Three others died along the way to China; the remaining three bishops and the friars who accompanied them arrived there in 1308. </p><p>When John died in 1328, he was mourned by Christians and non-Christians. His tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage. In 1368, Christianity was banished from China when the Mongols were expelled and the Ming dynasty began. John’s cause has been introduced in Rome.</p> American Catholic Blog We look ahead to the coming of the Son of Man, standing erect and with heads held high. We live in hope, not in fear. Our experience of God is no longer limited by human weakness or even human sinfulness. God has always been one step ahead of us, with a plan that exceeds our greatest desires.

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