Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic, and all you other Christians at sea. We interupt this blog with this news flash. As fate would have it, right on the heels of our review of Oz The Great And Powerful, the fine folks at Aleteia have also requested we take a gander at Steve Carell’s latest effort, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Moviegoers haven’t seen this sort of magical mini-trend since 2006 when they were pummeled with the one-two punch of The Illusionist and The Prestige. Of course, this year’s presentation of prestidigitation isn’t quite as angsty as the previous go around, but still, if you like magicians, it’s not a bad time to be a ticket buyer.
But if the recent spate of pseudo-mystic movies hasn’t brought enough magic into your life, then not to worry because apparently there’s another place where you can catch a magician at work… your local church. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, according to world renowned illusionist David Copperfield, there’s one name that towers above the rest when it comes to magic craft, one man who rises above the great, the powerful, and the incredible, one man who is the greatest magician of all time, and that man is… Jesus Christ.
To be fair, the clip from TMZ provides no real context, showing nothing more than Copperfield spouting off a quick answer to some bothersome reporter. From only that brief exchange, there’s no way of telling if he’s being serious or snarky, or perhaps even a little bit of both.…
In less than 24 (or 48 or 72 or more) hours we could know who will chosen as the next pope! Who’s it going to be? Scola? Turkson? Scherer? Dolan? No, he’s American and everybody hates us. What about Ouellet, though, he’s a Canadian and that’s pretty close right? Maybe it’ll be someone nobody has even been paying attention to. Augh!!! Who’s going to be the next pope!?!
That’s better. I’m ready to wait and watch now.
It’s inevitable. After watching hundreds and hundreds of movies, you start to think to yourself, “I could do that. Why don’t I just write my own screenplay?” But after a bit more consideration, I just don’t think it would work. To show you what I mean, let’s take a look at what I would do with an existing script, like say the scene from Independence Day in which Steve (Will Smith) and Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) rush to get married before Steve has to fly off into space with Jeff Goldblum and an iBook to try and disable the alien mothership.
First, here’s how the original script played out…
INT. SMALL GATHERING HALL
Jasmine is kneeling as Dylan tries to zip up the back of her dress.
It’s too tight.
I had to borrow it. I guess that’s good enough.
Jasmine stands, turns to Dylan.
How do I look?
She looks great. But Dylan only gives her the “so-so” hand gesture.
You’re a lot of help.
The door behind her flies open and Steve marches in.
You know me…
I know, you like to make a big entrance.
Steve moves next to Jasmine, takes her hand.
Before we do this, I want you to know I’m sorry.
Sorry for what?
I should have done this a long long time ago.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Do you have the ring?…
I don’t know, is it a good thing when you’re at the teen mass and the flute and drums start up, the first thing that jumps to mind is this…
Actually, I kind of prefer this to some of the hymns I’ve heard recently because this has an actual melody and isn’t played in a key that requires me to castrate myself before I can (try to) sing along with it.
Sorry. I’m in a mood. I’m just not convinced some of the stuff I hear at mass meets the criteria for liturgical music outlined in the Catechism, you know, “the beauty expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly, and the sacred character of the celebration”, that stuff. But maybe I’m just old and crotchety. Either way, at the end of the day I’m certainly not more Catholic than the Church and I’ll (try to) sing along with whatever music she permits. Still, if you’re going to utilize songs that sound like they’re being played on bones, could you at least toss me one every now and then by playing a tune in my register?
There’s plenty of movie & religion talk going on right now, must be because of the Academy Awards. To begin with, my latest review for Aleteia is up. This time around I take a look at Snitch and try my best to explain why, though it will doubtless never be nominated for best picture, I actually kind of liked this movie starring The Rock.
Speaking of the Academy Awards, while you’re over at Aleteia, why not stick around and check out Daniel McInerny’s thoughts on the dirty hands at the Oscars.
But enough of that, right? What about the kind of movies we’re used to seeing around these parts? Well, for that, how about Warm Bodies, the zombie rom-com which Sr. Helena Burns surprisingly enjoyed.
Or there’s John Morehead from TheoFantastique looking for signs of religious fundamentalism in the Planet of the Apes franchise.
And finally, for those who want both bad movies and art together, then head on over to The Trousered Ape where the titular blogger has composed a ballad to Donovan’s Brain.
Happy reading, see you next time.…
“This uproariously bad film marks the less-than-glorious return of producer/director Jerry Warren, shameless purveyor of such cinematic abominations as Teenage Zombies, of which this is a remake of sorts. The crazy-quilt story line defies all rational explanation, but essentially begins with a wayward hot-air balloon crew – including Warren alumnus Robert Clarke and a dog named Melvin – becoming stranded on an island overrun by nubile jungle girls in Frederick’s of Hollywood leopard-skin thongs. What sounds like an ideal vacation is disrupted by a bunch of zombies in Ray-Bans, the monster-making practices of a bleach-blonde mad scientist named Sheila, and the superimposed face of John Carradine (lifted from another film) mumbling “The Power! The Power! The Power!” Also on hand is a gibbering, drooling Steve Brodie as a howling mad pirate, and Cameron Mitchell as an equally deranged sea captain. It’s very likely Warren himself had no idea what his own film was about, so viewers shouldn’t waste valuable time trying to make sense of it.” – rovi’s AllMovie Guide
So what exactly is it that makes Frankenstein Island so excruciatingly painful to watch, even for the most inveterate bad movie aficionado? Is it the direction (or lack thereof) by Jerry Warren, the same auteur who brought the world the likes of Face of the Screaming Werewolf, Attack of the Mayan Mummy, and The Wild World of Batwoman? Is it the unavoidable fact that the movie was released in 1981, but looks like it was filmed sometime in the late sixties on a budget leftover from the fifties?…
Not getting your fill of of flicks and Catholicism around these parts? Not to worry, there’s plenty more showing around the blogosphere right now.
First up is… well, to be honest, it’s more of ME! While I will continue as always to examine the sometimes tenuous connection between faith and bad movies here at the B-Movie Catechism, the kind folks at Aleteia have asked me if I wouldn’t mind offering my take on some of the new releases being unleashed on unwary moviegoers these days. So if for some reason you feel compelled to find out what I think about films with real budgets starring people you’ve actually heard about before, be sure to head over to Aleteia and check out my new column. The inaugural review features this month’s hopeful (but unlikely) successor to all that Twilight moola… Beautiful Creatures.
However, if teen romance isn’t what you’re looking for in a movie this coming weekend, then maybe the adult variety will do. For that, the folks at Catholic Media Review have a few brief words to say about Safe Haven.
It’s early in the year, but chances are neither of those films is likely to win any Oscar nominations when the time rolls around. That’s fine though, since fewer and fewer people are watching the Academy Awards anyway. With this year’s ceremonies less than a week away, Catholic Skywalker offers a few suggestions on how to fix the Oscars and make them more enjoyable to watch.…