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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Gamer

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Gerard Butler stars in a scene from the movie "Gamer."
The concept of simulation gaming is taken to brutal and perverse extremes in the futuristic gladiator tale "Gamer" (Lionsgate/Lakeshore).
 
Co-writers and directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's dystopian mishmash sees wrongly convicted death-row inmate Kable (Gerard Butler) bioengineered for remote control and fighting for his life under the online direction of rich teen Simon (Logan Lerman) in an all-too-real combat game that pits him against other condemned prisoners for the amusement of a worldwide audience.
 
Kable hopes to win the 30 victories that, under the rules, will result in his being freed. But Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), the evil genius who developed the competition, has other ideas.
 
In between the flying bodies and spurting blood, viewers are given a sample of Castle's other popular amusement in which people who have been similarly altered—including Kable's beloved wife Angie (Amber Valletta)—act out players' sexual fantasies. The resulting flashes of nudity and female-to-female interaction only add to the already obvious message: game over.
 
The film contains constant action violence, much of it gory, mutilation, brief graphic aberrant sexual activity, upper female and rear nudity, a few uses of profanity, and much rough and crude language. 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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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Gregory VII: The 10th century and the first half of the 11th were dark days for the Church, partly because the papacy was the pawn of various Roman families. In 1049, things began to change when Pope Leo IX, a reformer, was elected. He brought a young monk named Hildebrand to Rome as his counselor and special representative on important missions. He was to become Gregory VII. 
<p>Three evils plagued the Church then: simony (the buying and selling of sacred offices and things), the unlawful marriage of the clergy and lay investiture (kings and nobles controlling the appointment of Church officials). To all of these Hildebrand directed his reformer’s attention, first as counselor to the popes and later (1073-1085) as pope himself. </p><p>Gregory’s papal letters stress the role of bishop of Rome as the vicar of Christ and the visible center of unity in the Church. He is well known for his long dispute with Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV over who should control the selection of bishops and abbots. </p><p>Gregory fiercely resisted any attack on the liberty of the Church. For this he suffered and finally died in exile. He said, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.” Thirty years later the Church finally won its struggle against lay investiture.</p> American Catholic Blog In Christ, true God and true man, our humanity was taken to God. Christ opened the path to us. If we entrust our life to him, if we let ourselves be guided by him, we are certain to be in safe hands, in the hands of our Savior.

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