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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

A Perfect Getaway

By
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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Junipero Serra: In 1776, when the American Revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. That year a gray-robed Franciscan founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, now famous for its annually returning swallows. San Juan was the seventh of nine missions established under the direction of this indomitable Spaniard. 
<p>Born on Spain’s island of Mallorca, Serra entered the Franciscan Order, taking the name of St. Francis’ childlike companion, Brother Juniper. Until he was 35, he spent most of his time in the classroom—first as a student of theology and then as a professor. He also became famous for his preaching. Suddenly he gave it all up and followed the yearning that had begun years before when he heard about the missionary work of St. Francis Solanus in South America. Junipero’s desire was to convert native peoples in the New World. </p><p>Arriving by ship at Vera Cruz, Mexico, he and a companion walked the 250 miles to Mexico City. On the way Junipero’s left leg became infected by an insect bite and would remain a cross—sometimes life-threatening—for the rest of his life. For 18 years he worked in central Mexico and in the Baja Peninsula. He became president of the missions there. </p><p>Enter politics: the threat of a Russian invasion south from Alaska. Charles III of Spain ordered an expedition to beat Russia to the territory. So the last two <i>conquistadors</i>—one military, one spiritual—began their quest. José de Galvez persuaded Junipero to set out with him for present-day Monterey, California. The first mission founded after the 900-mile journey north was San Diego (1769). That year a shortage of food almost canceled the expedition. Vowing to stay with the local people, Junipero and another friar began a novena in preparation for St. Joseph’s day, March 19, the scheduled day of departure. On that day, the relief ship arrived. </p><p>Other missions followed: Monterey/Carmel (1770); San Antonio and San Gabriel (1771); San Luís Obispo (1772); San Francisco and San Juan Capistrano (1776); Santa Clara (1777); San Buenaventura (1782). Twelve more were founded after Serra’s death. </p><p>Junipero made the long trip to Mexico City to settle great differences with the military commander. He arrived at the point of death. The outcome was substantially what Junipero sought: the famous “Regulation” protecting the Indians and the missions. It was the basis for the first significant legislation in California, a “Bill of Rights” for Native Americans. </p><p>Because the Native Americans were living a nonhuman life from the Spanish point of view, the friars were made their legal guardians. The Native Americans were kept at the mission after Baptism lest they be corrupted in their former haunts—a move that has brought cries of “injustice” from some moderns. </p><p>Junipero’s missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native peoples. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight till dawn. He baptized over 6,000 people and confirmed 5,000. His travels would have circled the globe. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death. He is buried at Mission San Carlo Borromeo, Carmel, and was beatified in 1988.</p> American Catholic Blog God is great. God is good. And God, in his fatherly love, has a plan for our lives that will work out for our benefit and salvation. All we have to do is trust and obey.

The Spirit of Saint Francis

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Blessed Junipero Serra
This Franciscan friar was instrumental in founding many of California’s mission churches.

Happy Birthday
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Sts. Peter and Paul
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Wedding
Help the bride and groom see their love as a mirror of God’s love.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help
God gave Mary to us as a help in our quest for holiness.




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