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Hotel Transylvania View Comments
by Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP


Hotel Transylvania
When Mavis (voice of Selena Gomez), daughter of the widowed Count Dracula, or “Drack” (voice of Adam Sandler), comes of age at 118, she wants to go beyond the human-free resort for monsters that her father built to protect her. As their friends gather to celebrate Mavis’ birthday, Drack builds a fake village and disguises zombies as humans so Mavis will return home convinced that people are mean.

A hiker named Jonathan (voice of Andy Samberg) stumbles upon the hotel and meets Mavis. Drack tells one of his monster pals that a father must do everything to protect his child, even if it means lying. Of course, this becomes his undoing.

The moral of this 3-D animated comedy, aimed at the entire family for Halloween, is for parents: don’t lie to your kids because it will come back to haunt you! Drack thinks he’s protecting his daughter out of love, but we find out there is a good dose of fear as well. He is afraid of how humans will react when they find out that she is a vampire.

Hotel Transylvania is entertaining for kids under 10, and I heard some adults laughing at the screening I attended. Though all the characters are likable, there’s nothing new in yet another too-long, Hollywood-animated feature predicated on a deceased mother and an anxiety-riddled father.
A-2, PG ■ Rude humor, action that may frighten the very young.

Trouble with the Curve
This small movie is about the relationship between a grumpy, growling, aging baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves, Gus (Clint Eastwood), and his lawyer-daughter Mickey (Amy Adams). When Gus’ friend Pete (John Goodman) alerts Mickey to Gus’ eyesight problems, she joins her dad to scout players in North Carolina, jeopardizing her promotion to partner at her law firm.

Father and daughter spar, but they love each other—and the game—even though Mickey, named for Mickey Mantle, has abandonment issues. When Mickey was 6, her mother died, and Gus sent her to live with relatives for a year and then to boarding school.

One of Gus’ protégés, Johnny (Justin Timberlake), is retired because of injuries and is now a scout for the Boston Red Sox. He arrives at the local ballpark because all the teams are looking at a promising player. Johnny finds himself attracted to Mickey, who turns out to be a pretty good scout herself.

Director Robert Lorenz has been a crew member on several of Eastwood’s films, and first-time writer Randy Brown keeps the story uncomplicated. The plot is predictable because some of the camera shots and closeups signal what’s going to happen. Even so, the film hums along and never tries to be more than it is.
A-3, PG-13 ■ Mild language, some sexual references.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
It’s 1991 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. High school freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman) is shy, quiet, and anxious as school starts—afraid the other kids will know he has spent time in a hospital. When Patrick (Ezra Miller), a senior who’s gay, finds out that Charlie’s best friend committed suicide recently, he recognizes a wounded soul and brings Charlie into a small group of wallflower friends who are different for one reason or another: Sam (Emma Watson), Patrick’s stepsister and companion, and Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman), a vegan Buddhist.

The friends party a lot—from acting in a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to smoking pot. Charlie is captivated by his friends’ love for music, especially when they drive their truck through a tunnel at night to blaring music and Sam stands and reaches for the stars. Music becomes the way Charlie communicates his feelings.

Charlie’s family is attentive to him, but his mom (Kate Walsh) and dad (Dylan McDermott) only realize the source of his mental problems when he has a breakdown at the end of the year. It is a moment of grace for Charlie—a rebirth.

Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the film, based on his novel of the same name. The actors excel and infuse The Perks of Being a Wallflower with so much heart and soul. The film shows how brave teens can be when faced with terrible odds and how important friends are. It does so without excluding parents, as so many of these stories often do.
Not yet rated, PG-13 ■ Mature themes including child sex abuse, domestic violence, drug use, and alcohol.

CATHOLIC CLASSIFICATIONS
A-1 General patronage
A-2 Adults and adolescents
A-3 Adults
L Limited adult audience
O Morally offensive

The USCCB's Office for Film and Broadcasting gives these ratings. See www.usccb.org/movies/index.htm.

Find reviews by Sister Rose and others at www.CatholicMovieReviews.org.

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Junipero Serra: In 1776, when the American Revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. That year a gray-robed Franciscan founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, now famous for its annually returning swallows. San Juan was the seventh of nine missions established under the direction of this indomitable Spaniard. 
<p>Born on Spain’s island of Mallorca, Serra entered the Franciscan Order, taking the name of St. Francis’ childlike companion, Brother Juniper. Until he was 35, he spent most of his time in the classroom—first as a student of theology and then as a professor. He also became famous for his preaching. Suddenly he gave it all up and followed the yearning that had begun years before when he heard about the missionary work of St. Francis Solanus in South America. Junipero’s desire was to convert native peoples in the New World. </p><p>Arriving by ship at Vera Cruz, Mexico, he and a companion walked the 250 miles to Mexico City. On the way Junipero’s left leg became infected by an insect bite and would remain a cross—sometimes life-threatening—for the rest of his life. For 18 years he worked in central Mexico and in the Baja Peninsula. He became president of the missions there. </p><p>Enter politics: the threat of a Russian invasion south from Alaska. Charles III of Spain ordered an expedition to beat Russia to the territory. So the last two <i>conquistadors</i>—one military, one spiritual—began their quest. José de Galvez persuaded Junipero to set out with him for present-day Monterey, California. The first mission founded after the 900-mile journey north was San Diego (1769). That year a shortage of food almost canceled the expedition. Vowing to stay with the local people, Junipero and another friar began a novena in preparation for St. Joseph’s day, March 19, the scheduled day of departure. On that day, the relief ship arrived. </p><p>Other missions followed: Monterey/Carmel (1770); San Antonio and San Gabriel (1771); San Luís Obispo (1772); San Francisco and San Juan Capistrano (1776); Santa Clara (1777); San Buenaventura (1782). Twelve more were founded after Serra’s death. </p><p>Junipero made the long trip to Mexico City to settle great differences with the military commander. He arrived at the point of death. The outcome was substantially what Junipero sought: the famous “Regulation” protecting the Indians and the missions. It was the basis for the first significant legislation in California, a “Bill of Rights” for Native Americans. </p><p>Because the Native Americans were living a nonhuman life from the Spanish point of view, the friars were made their legal guardians. The Native Americans were kept at the mission after Baptism lest they be corrupted in their former haunts—a move that has brought cries of “injustice” from some moderns. </p><p>Junipero’s missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native peoples. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight till dawn. He baptized over 6,000 people and confirmed 5,000. His travels would have circled the globe. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death. He is buried at Mission San Carlo Borromeo, Carmel, and was beatified in 1988.</p> American Catholic Blog God is great. God is good. And God, in his fatherly love, has a plan for our lives that will work out for our benefit and salvation. All we have to do is trust and obey.

Conversations with a Guardian Angel

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Blessed Junipero Serra
This Franciscan friar was instrumental in founding many of California’s mission churches.

Happy Birthday
May this birthday mark the beginning of new and exciting adventures!

Sts. Peter and Paul
Honored both separately and together, these apostles were probably martyred during the reign of the emperor Nero.

Wedding
Help the bride and groom see their love as a mirror of God’s love.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help
God gave Mary to us as a help in our quest for holiness.


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