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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 Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, please fill my heart and soul with the confidence that you will always provide what I need, when I need it, and let me be obedient to you.

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