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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

By
Joseph McAleer
Source: Catholic News Service

The same studio which brought us the best film of 2010, "The King's Speech," now presents what will likely prove one of the worst of 2011: "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil" (Weinstein).

Though objectionable elements are few, and mostly consist of childish potty jokes, viewers expecting Pixar—or DreamWorks-style enchantment—from this 3-D animated sequel to 2006's "Hoodwinked!" are in for a big disappointment: The script is unoriginal, the production substandard, and the voices are as tired as the frequently clumsy action sequences.

Once again, things have gone awry in the fairy-tale world. Hansel and Gretel (voices of Bill Hader and Amy Poehler) have been kidnapped, and the prime suspect is Verushka the Witch (voice of Joan Cusack). This is clearly a job for the super-spies of the Happily Ever After Agency, led by the long-legged frog Nicky Flippers (voice of David Ogden Stiers).

A rescue mission is mounted, headed by Granny Puckett (voice of Glenn Close) and the Big Bad Wolf (voice of Patrick Warburton). Wolf is missing his partner, Red Riding Hood (voice of Hayden Panettiere), who is away receiving kung-fu training from the "Sisters of the Hood"—not nuns with martial arts skills, happily, but a group of enlightened high-kicking ladies who also bake.

Without Red, the mission is a failure, and Granny is captured. Verushka chains her to the stove, and demands that she whip up the world's biggest weapon—a chocolate truffle (of all things) that renders the eater invincible. Granny, you see, is herself a Sister of the Hood and knows the recipe.

Red must be recalled to save the day. "Will the villains get their just desserts?" she asks. Does anyone care?

Directed by newcomer Mike Disa, "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil" is a pastiche, freely stealing scenes and dialogue from films as varied as "Kung Fu Panda" and "Spider-Man" at one end of the spectrum and "Silence of the Lambs" at the other.

For no apparent reason, the script—co-written by Disa with Cory Edwards, Tony Leech and Todd Edwards—also displays an animus toward the Food Network and its celebrity chefs, with Verushka proclaiming, "Rachael Ray is the devil!"

Theologians take note. Or not.

The film contains mildly rude bathroom humor and some very loud action sequences. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

*****
Joseph McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.



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Anthony Zaccaria: At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18 and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22 and, while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men and one for women, plus an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy, religious and lay people. 
<p>Greatly inspired by St. Paul (his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint), Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions and was not ashamed of doing public penance. </p><p>He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. </p><p>His holiness moved many to reform their lives but, as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated. </p><p>While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. He died at Cremona at the age of 36.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, help me make my life more about you and less about me. May others see you in me—your image and likeness. Teach me ways to increase my time with you, my service to others, and my love for my family, for strangers, and for the poor. You are the light in the darkness. With each new day, may we be light to one another.

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