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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Hot Tub Time Machine

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

"Hot Tub Time Machine" (MGM) is a tasteless comedy that sees a trio of current-day losers transported back to their supposed glory days of youthful drug- and sex-fueled hedonism a quarter-century ago.

Former best friends Adam (John Cusack), Lou (Rob Corddry) and Nick (Craig Robinson) have drifted apart over the years as they've gradually become dissatisfied middle-age failures. After the three are reunited by an incident that almost costs Nick his life, they embark on a road trip to the ski resort that was the long-ago setting for some of their most memorable high jinks.

If only to get him out of the basement where he spends most of his time obsessively playing video games, they also bring Adam's geeky 24-year-old nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) along for the ride.

Though their once-thriving hangout has declined into a seedy dump, the pals continue to pursue their version of fun, attempting at one point to acquire the services of a prostitute willing to take on all four of them, and eventually ending up in a slope-side hot tub whose magical malfunctioning suddenly lands them back in 1986.

For the remainder of what passes for a plot, the buddies, when not consuming a pharmacopoeia of illegal substances or having casual sexual encounters with strangers, dither between the desire to preserve the past in order to ensure the future—including Jacob's very existence—and the temptation to improve their destinies by making better choices.

As directed by Steve Pink, the tedious proceedings—which feature, at various times, sight gags involving dog poop, a catheter and a severed arm—are at once artistically ramshackle and morally repugnant.

The film contains graphic nonmarital sexual activity, upper female and rear nudity, repeated drug use, about 10 instances of profanity, much sexual and some scatological humor and ceaseless 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.

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


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Josephine Bakhita: For many years, Josephine Bakhita was a slave but her spirit was always free and eventually that spirit prevailed. 
<p>Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means <i>fortunate</i>. She was re-sold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. </p><p>Two years later he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice's Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. </p><p>When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine's behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885. </p><p>Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later. In 1902, she was transferred to the city of Schio (northeast of Verona), where she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery and welcoming visitors at the door. She soon became well loved by the children attending the sisters' school and the local citizens. She once said, "Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!" </p><p>The first steps toward her beatification began in 1959. She was beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.</p> American Catholic Blog St. Paul talks about the Christian life as a race, and encourages us to run so as to win. So it’s not just OK, it’s commanded to be competitive, to strive to excel. But true greatness consists in sharing in the sacrificial love of Christ, who comes to serve rather than to be served. That means that this race St. Paul is talking about is a race to the bottom.

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