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Halloween II

Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service

Sheri Moon Zombie and Chase Vanek star in a scene from the movie "Halloween II."
About halfway through "Halloween II" (Dimension), two girls are discussing an upcoming Halloween party with a "Rocky Horror Picture Show" theme, and one remarks, "It's so lame, it's cool again."
Not this movie. It's completely lame, and it's so not cool again to see masked, booted and surprisingly durable cutlery whiz Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) shuffle through his desultory homicidal paces out of his twisted need for a reunion with his grungy sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton). Laurie suffers from bad dreams—much of the violence occurs in those before she wakes up howling—but she's too dimwitted and foulmouthed to be a sympathetic character.
Writer-director Rob Zombie, who took over the old "Halloween" franchise of the 1980s, doesn't give Michael anything original to do besides smash walls with a hatchet and slice up victims, while casting his wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, as Michael's ghostly, cliche-spouting mother Deborah.
No one goes to a horror film to appreciate nuanced acting, but Zombie settles for stale, predictable setups and a conclusion you can see coming long before the film's 101 minutes lurch to a halt.
The film contains strong violent content, including multiple stabbings, a strangling and a fatal stomping, fleeting upper female nudity, pervasive rough and crass language and occasional sexual banter. 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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Jensen is a guest reviewer for the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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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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