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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

If the 2008 3D film “Journey to the Center of the Earth” could be called a sequel to the story first published by the French novelist Jules Verne in 1864, then “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” is not only a sequel to the film but to Verne’s 1874 novel “The Mysterious Island” as well. The new movie is also in 3D.
 
Sean (Josh Hutcherson) is about 17 now and lives unhappily with his mother Liz (Kristen Davis) and stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson) in Dayton, OH.  He sneaks out one night to break into a satellite installation to retrieve an incomplete message he believes is from his wandering grandfather, Alexander (Michael Caine). The cops bring him home and now his parents are not happy. To create a stronger bond, Hank suggests that he and Sean track down the origin of the message. They are able to decipher part of the message, enough to lead them to the Pacific Island of Palau.
 
Once there they hire Gabato (Luis Guzman) to take them to the coordinates of the island in his suspiciously unsafe helicopter.  His daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), insists on going along. Sean develops an immediate crush on the young lady.
 
They fly into a storm cloud, as described by Vernes’ novel, and land on the mysterious island of Atlantis. Enter Grandpa Alexander, a dedicated Vernian, who shows them the natural beauty of the island, a sight they never expected. They also encounter miniature elephants, gigantic lizards and aggressive tropical birds that pursue them when the island starts to sink.
 
“Journey 2” is a thoroughly enjoyable family film – and I do not make this observation lightly. So many “family films” are so sanitized that they can bore one to tears. But “Journey 2” is about great literature (please note all the literary references and authors that will be familiar to most kids ten and above), adventure, imagination, growing up, and family relationships that include forgiveness and reconciliation. “Journey 2” is also funny, adding humor in dialogue, action, and teen facial reactions to predictable adult preaching. When Hank tries to teach Sean the three most important ways to attract a girl he demonstrates the third point: pec popping that employs the pectoralis major muscle as a launch platform.  Honest, it’s extremely funny and absolves Dwayne Johnson for accepting the quasi career-killing role as a tooth fairy back in 2010.

It’s easy to notice the 3D effects at the beginning of the film but after a while you don’t even notice even when the island background is obviously animated to an extraordinary degree. The action is somewhat predictable yet at the same time the film provides enough peril to be scared and enough science and special effects to wonder just how they did that. Kudos once again to Walden Media (as well as New Line Cinema and Contrafilm) for providing audiences once again with a way to link literacy, learning, family and fun.


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Katharine Drexel: If your father is an international banker and you ride in a private railroad car, you are not likely to be drawn into a life of voluntary poverty. But if your mother opens your home to the poor three days each week and your father spends half an hour each evening in prayer, it is not impossible that you will devote your life to the poor and give away millions of dollars. Katharine Drexel did that. 
<p>She was born in Philadelphia in 1858. She had an excellent education and traveled widely. As a rich girl, she had a grand debut into society. But when she nursed her stepmother through a three-year terminal illness, she saw that all the Drexel money could not buy safety from pain or death, and her life took a profound turn. </p><p>She had always been interested in the plight of the Indians, having been appalled by what she read in Helen Hunt Jackson’s <i>A Century of Dishonor</i>. While on a European tour, she met Pope Leo XIII and asked him to send more missionaries to Wyoming for her friend Bishop James O’Connor. The pope replied, “Why don’t you become a missionary?” His answer shocked her into considering new possibilities. </p><p>Back home, Katharine visited the Dakotas, met the Sioux leader Red Cloud and began her systematic aid to Indian missions. </p><p>She could easily have married. But after much discussion with Bishop O’Connor, she wrote in 1889, “The feast of St. Joseph brought me the grace to give the remainder of my life to the Indians and the Colored.” Newspaper headlines screamed “Gives Up Seven Million!” </p><p>After three and a half years of training, she and her first band of nuns (Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored) opened a boarding school in Santa Fe. A string of foundations followed. By 1942 she had a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states, plus 40 mission centers and 23 rural schools. Segregationists harassed her work, even burning a school in Pennsylvania. In all, she established 50 missions for Indians in 16 states. </p><p>Two saints met when Katharine was advised by Mother Cabrini about the “politics” of getting her Order’s Rule approved in Rome. Her crowning achievement was the founding of Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic university in the United States for African Americans. </p><p>At 77, she suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire. Apparently her life was over. But now came almost 20 years of quiet, intense prayer from a small room overlooking the sanctuary. Small notebooks and slips of paper record her various prayers, ceaseless aspirations and meditation. She died at 96 and was canonized in 2000.</p> American Catholic Blog Our task during these forty days is to examine our lives in light of God’s Word and see where we’ve allowed darkness to creep in, where we’ve taken the bait of the diabolical fisher of men. It’s time to use the sword of the Spirit to cut through his web of deception, to free ourselves from the net that holds us as prey.


 
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