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Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service

Jason Statham and Izabela Vidovic star in a scene from the movie "Homefront."
The 100-minute curse-athon that is "Homefront" (Open Road) combines the violent tropes of a meth drama with tender scenes of domestic life to less than compelling effect.

With a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone adapted from the novel by Chuck Logan, you expect more gunfire than monosyllabic dialogue, plus caricatures of bad guys. Check and check.

Everyone except for 10-year-old Maddy (Izabela Vidovic), the little girl central to the family plotline, has a limited vocabulary spewed at high speed -- and oppressively high volume.

Action star Jason Statham plays Phil Broker, a recently widowed DEA agent who's trying to move on, daughter Maddy in tow, to a quieter life amidst the horses, cypress trees and waterways of rural Louisiana. Phil's last undercover operation in Shreveport, targeting a biker gang, ended badly with the death of their ringleader's son. Grieving dad's now imprisoned, vowing revenge.

Phil's never far from a bubbling meth lab. In his new hometown, where Maddy strains to fit in with the local kids, it's operated by drawling thug Gator Bodine (James Franco).

Gator learns of Phil's background and, with the help of his girlfriend, Sheryl (Winona Ryder), sets up a climactic battle with the bikers during which Maddy is held hostage.

Other potty-mouthed Cajuns under the direction of Gary Fleder include Cassie (Kate Bosworth), Gator's meth-addicted sister, whose mottled family life and parenting skills affect Maddy on the school playground.

The film contains pervasive bloody violence, a brief, semi-graphic scene of non-marital sexual activity, drug use, fleeting profanities and relentless rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<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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