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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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Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions: Lawrence (Lorenzo) was born in Manila of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother, both Christians. Thus he learned Chinese and Tagalog from them and Spanish from the Dominicans whom he served as altar boy and sacristan. He became a professional calligrapher, transcribing documents in beautiful penmanship. He was a full member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary under Dominican auspices. He married and had two sons and a daughter. 
<p>His life took an abrupt turn when he was accused of murder. Nothing further is known except the statement of two Dominicans that "he was sought by the authorities on account of a homicide to which he was present or which was attributed to him." </p><p>At that time three Dominican priests, Antonio Gonzalez, Guillermo Courtet and Miguel de Aozaraza, were about to sail to Japan in spite of a violent persecution there. With them was a Japanese priest, Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, and a layman named Lazaro, a leper. Lorenzo, having taken asylum with them, was allowed to accompany them. But only when they were at sea did he learn that they were going to Japan. </p><p>They landed at Okinawa. Lorenzo could have gone on to Formosa, but, he reported, "I decided to stay with the Fathers, because the Spaniards would hang me there." In Japan they were soon found out, arrested and taken to Nagasaki. The site of wholesale bloodshed when the atomic bomb was dropped had known tragedy before. The 50,000 Catholics who once lived there were dispersed or killed by persecution. </p><p>They were subjected to an unspeakable kind of torture: After huge quantities of water were forced down their throats, they were made to lie down. Long boards were placed on their stomachs and guards then stepped on the ends of the boards, forcing the water to spurt violently from mouth, nose and ears. </p><p>The superior, Antonio, died after some days. Both the Japanese priest and Lazaro broke under torture, which included the insertion of bamboo needles under their fingernails. But both were brought back to courage by their companions. </p><p>In Lorenzo's moment of crisis, he asked the interpreter, "I would like to know if, by apostatizing, they will spare my life." The interpreter was noncommittal, but Lorenzo, in the ensuing hours, felt his faith grow strong. He became bold, even audacious, with his interrogators. </p><p>The five were put to death by being hanged upside down in pits. Boards fitted with semicircular holes were fitted around their waists and stones put on top to increase the pressure. They were tightly bound, to slow circulation and prevent a speedy death. They were allowed to hang for three days. By that time Lorenzo and Lazaro were dead. The three Dominican priests, still alive, were beheaded. </p><p>In 1987, Blessed John Paul II canonized these six and 10 others, Asians and Europeans, men and women, who spread the faith in the Philippines, Formosa and Japan. Lorenzo Ruiz is the first canonized Filipino martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog We don’t have to scrub off our sin so God can love us. Instead, when we allow God’s healing love to touch us, we want to leave sin behind. Growth starts in love, not in guilt.

 
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