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Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service

The film subgenre known as "painful to watch" has a fresh champion in "Transylmania" (Full Circle), a witless, grotesque, misogynistic, badly performed horror spoof with all the charm of Dracula's coffin.

Directors David and Scott Hillenbrand and screenwriters Patrick Casey and Worm Miller work out a sad premise involving a group of sex-obsessed, pot-smoking college students (Patrick Cavanaugh, James DeBello, Tony Denman, Paul H. Kim, Jennifer Lyons and Oren Skoog) spending a semester at a Romanian castle infested with vampires.

There, bloodsucker Radu (also Skoog) seeks the return of a music box while deranged Dean Floca (David Steinberg—not the famous comedian) chops up one of the visiting coeds to provide a perfect body for his humpbacked daughter Draguta (Irena H. Hoffman).

Nothing about "Transylmania" even rises to the level of potentially amusing rubbish. Instead, it's adrift in its own fetid mire of amoral behavior and stereotyped characters from the opening minute.

The film contains pervasive drug use, images of mutilation, upper female nudity, sexual banter, implied sexual situations and constant profane, 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.

Kurt 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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