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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Jennifer's Body

By

Source: Catholic News Service

As scripted by "Juno" writer Diablo Cody, "Jennifer's Body" (Fox) is an unwieldy combination of comedy and horror that presents gore with relish and exploits adolescent sexuality.

The Jennifer of the title (Megan Fox) is a fetching but cynical student at a small-town high school who is both envied and despised by her peers. Despite her exalted social position, Jennifer has remained loyal to her friend-since-the-sandbox, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), constantly encouraging her timid, bespectacled pal to expand her horizons.

After a mysterious encounter with a visiting indie rock band led by scruffy singer Nikolai (Adam Brody), Jennifer is transformed into a cannibalistic demon preying on her male schoolmates. Needy gamely struggles to help, but eventually fears that her gentle boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) may become the next item on the monster's menu.

Director Karyn Kusama's failed attempt to satirize teen female rivalry by inflating it into an occult struggle for life or death registers as nasty rather than clever, with Jennifer's rampages shown in bloody detail.

The girls' weirdly variable relationship veers from exchanging pent-up insults to a passionate, prolonged lip-lock that seems to confirm earlier hints of a sexual connection. Needy and Chip go even further in an explicit underage encounter, complete with condom use, that the script makes clear is not their first.

The film contains frequent savage violence, cannibalism, strong sexual content, including graphic (presumably underage) sexual activity and lesbian kissing, a couple of profanities, irreverence 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.

 Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.




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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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