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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Skyline

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service


Fighter jets attack an alien ship in the science-fiction thriller "Skyline."
There's a single fascinating moment in "Skyline" (Universal), an otherwise forgettable (but with sequels to come!) apocalyptic yarn about aliens who invade Los Angeles with the munchies for humans.

A giant insectlike spaceship sucks thousands of computer-generated sticklike people into the sky like a giant vacuum. This being a low-budget production, it's a brief special effect. But it's one of those rare New Testament moments in a horror film.

Fundamentalist Christians, especially, as well as Catholics, will instantly recognize it as looking like the rapture described in Chapter 4, Verses 14-17 of the First Letter to the Thessalonians, in which the dead in Christ will rise.

Too bad the rest of it is so dull. With their appetite not sated by the initial smorgasbord, the slimy aliens, also insectlike, break out to see what they can find on the a la carte menu, trapping a handful of frightened people, among them Jarrod (Eric Balfour), Elaine (Scottie Thompson), Candice (Brittany Daniel) and Terry (Donald Faison) in a high-rise apartment building.

They're hankering after human brains, although directing brothers Colin and Greg Strause and screenwriters Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell don't bother to explain why. No one even seems to know from whence the aliens came, and not even nuclear weapons can stop them.

The film contains fleeting crass language, a single profanity, a single implied instance of premarital sex, and darkly lit aliens eating glowing human brains. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III—adults. 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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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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