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Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

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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<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

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