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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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John Paul II: “Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. <br /><br />Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. <br /><br />Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin. <br /><br />Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong! <br /><br />He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its <em>Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World</em>. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. <br /><br />Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. <br /><br />He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. <br /><br />The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. <br /><br />“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, <em>Redeemer of the Human Race</em>. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.” <br /><br />His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that. <br /><br />One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier. <br /><br />In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. <br /><br />In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities. <br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014. American Catholic Blog Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá

 
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