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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Killers

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS)—"Killers" (Lionsgate) is very much the definition of mindless fun, if you enjoy virtually any of Ashton Kutcher's antics.

Director Robert Luketic and screenwriters Bob DeRosa and Ted Griffin play explosions, gunfire and car crashes by rote in this lightweight combination of marital comedy and espionage thriller, which is alternately derived, borrowed and outright filched from "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and many others of the genre.

If you're not familiar with that film, you'll neither notice nor mind, something the filmmakers evidently are counting on. However, the comic bickering between Kutcher and co-star Katherine Heigl, which is supposed to be the bright shining center, is mostly stale and insipid. No wisecracking classic, this.

Kutcher plays Spencer Aimes, a glamorous killer-for-hire used by American intelligence agencies. He meets Jen Kornfeldt (Heigl), a prim computer analyst with overprotective parents (Tom Selleck and Catherine O'Hara), while they're all in Nice, France, and he's on a job.

He and Jen quickly fall in love, he sees a chance to get out of the assassin trade, and three years later and now married, he runs a contracting firm in suburban Atlanta, with her parents living nearby. They try to live a quiet, upscale domestic life surrounded by a panoply of comic hobgoblin neighbors.

Here comes the twist: Spencer now has a $20 million bounty on his head, and the neighbors are all embedded assassins, impressively deft with weaponry and speeding pickup trucks. Shoot-'em-up high jinks, occasionally comedic, ensue.

The film contains fleeting crass language, mild sexual banter, and all violence is played for comic effect, making this acceptable for older adolescents. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

******
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.




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Catherine of Siena: The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time. 
<p>She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation. </p><p>She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374. </p><p>Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope </p><p>In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children" and was canonized in 1461. </p><p>Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970. Her spiritual testament is found in <i>The Dialogue</i>.</p> American Catholic Blog The gates of hell cannot withstand the power of heaven. Gates of sin melt in the presence of saving grace; gates of death fall in the presence of eternal life; gates of falsehood collapse in the presence of living truth; gates of violence are flattened in the presence of divine love. These are the tools with which Christ has equipped his Church.

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