Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Reviews of movies, books, theater, and television
by Father Tom Caswell, for the Inland Register
Prayer an impressive part of storytelling on ‘Midwife’; ‘Barefoot to Avalon’ neither easy nor entertaining, yet deeply moving
‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ is a treat even for the mathematically challenged; experience professional stage production films at The Bing
Spokane author’s ‘Rosary Handbook’ is ‘thorough and interesting,’ while Pope Francis’s book for children will appeal to adults, too
‘Eye in the Sky’ is an edge-of-your-seat morality tale; Father Martin’s newest reflects on the words of Good Friday
Pope Francis’s new book is ‘excellent for spiritual reading and prayer’; violence makes powerful ‘Revenant’ nearly unbearable
Story of ‘Lusitania’ sinking is ‘sad but an enjoyable read’; biography offers insight into Benedictine Sister
A look at John Grisham’s latest; plus, our correspondent’s Top 10 Movies of 2015
‘Brooklyn’ is a ‘beautiful’ tale of Irish immigration; Blessed Mother Teresa’s story told in ‘The Letters’
‘Spotlight’ revisits Boston Globe’s exposé of abuse crisis
Books on Pope Francis; on film, ‘Intern’ is worth seeing, but ‘The Third Man’? Now, that’s a movie
A look at Harper Lee’s long-rumored (and long-awaited) ‘Mockingbird’ sequel
Retired bishop pens a novel; new biography of Catholic filmmaker Hitchcock
Biography profiles Seattle archbishop; James Runcie dishes up more mysteries ‘in the English style’ in another ‘Grantchester’ volume
‘The Road to Character’ is ‘outstanding call to virtue,’ while Taylor’s latest focuses on message to be found in darkness
Kenneth Brannaugh directs ‘Cinderella’ as Russell Crowe directs ‘The Water Diviner’
‘Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,’ ‘Woman in Gold’ – sometimes a movie is best enjoyed, not analyzed
Curl up with a good mystery and gain some insights into priesthood
‘What’s in a Phrase?’ offers ‘excellent’ resources for prayer; ‘Whiplash’ is tough to watch, but ‘extraordinary’
Time to catch up: our reporter’s 10 best films of 2014
‘Denying the Deniers’ testifies to horrors of the Holocaust; great performances bring Stephen Hawking’s story to screens
Be sure to keep your tissues handy during ‘St. Vincent’
Downey and Duvall shine in ‘The Judge’; Martin Sheen explores faith, fatherhood, and celebrity in ‘Along the Way’
New Woody Allen film revisits old territory with ‘Magic in the Moonlight,’ while ‘Hundred-Foot Journey’ is ‘pure entertainment’
‘Calvary’ tells the tale of a good and heroic priest
‘Ida’ is ‘haunting,’ ‘Fault’ is ‘hopeful and life-affirming’
Author has thoughts for pennies; Father Rolheiser’s latest is welcome addition
‘St. Peter’s B-List’ is poetry for saints and saints in the making; ‘The Railway Man’ is good, but not great
Father Martin’s latest book is ‘a home run’; Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ ‘is an enjoyable roller coaster of a film’
New book for preachers is both Catholic and catholic
Alice McDermott measures up to title ‘Catholic writer’
The 15 best movies of 2013
‘Philomena’ is ‘stark yet life-affirming,’ while Grisham’s latest novel is a story that ‘needs to be told’
‘12 Years a Slave’ gives realistic, harrowing depiction of pre-Civil War South
‘Gravity’ offers ‘hopeful meditation on life and death,’ while Jess Walter’s latest will ‘take you to places you’ve never been with people you may never have known’
Pasco choirs ‘made the evening’ at Nazareth Guild dinner; new book from ‘Schindler’s Thomas Keneally
To-see list: ‘The Butler’; ‘Blue Jasmine,’ Woody Allen’s latest, is ‘memorable’
Whedon and Shakespeare a marvelous team-up; superlative storytelling from regional authors
Summer media picks: British television, a handful of books
Lavish art direction might miss the point in Baz Luhrmann’s film of ‘Gatsby’
Jackie Robinson, Spokane’s MAC, and Scientology share the media spotlight this month
This year’s spring reading bookshelf is deep and rich
Dustin Hoffman directs seasoned British cast in ‘Quartet’; opera on DVD, and a new novel from Ian McEwan
Director redeems himself with 'Silver Linings Playbook'; plus, our correspondent’s picks for the 15 best films of 2012
In books, a complex portrait of Dietrich Bonhoeffer; spectacle abounds in ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Anna Karenina’
Don’t miss ‘Lincoln’; ‘Skyfall’ is the best Bond yet
Winning performances from Affleck, Gere; Maryknoll missionaries, others reflect on liturgical year
A mystery wrapped in history: ‘Foyle’s War’ on PBS; new book on clergy and congregations facing death and dying
Impressive books from Ron Hansen and James Lee Burke, but give a pass to Woody Allen’s latest
Jess Walter crafts another winning novel; ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is ‘well worth the ride’
‘For Greater Glory’ a story told with passion; new Steve Jobs biography is ‘masterful’
Walla Walla parishioner publishes ‘Stepping Stones,’ ‘a thoughtful and prayerful book’
‘Fishing in the Yemen’ is, yes, a fish-out-of-water story; new book offers insights into Henri Nouwen
‘Fear Index’ examines ethical questions; Iranian ‘A Separation,’ one of 2011’s best, features ‘superb acting’
Coming to theaters: a ‘human interest, pro-life film,’ and from the bookshelf, a new view of Confession
The top 15 movies of 2011, plus a new novel from James Lee Burke
‘Soulful Spirituality’ demonstrates prayer from variety of traditions; Scorcese scores a hit with ‘Hugo’
From clever to profound to simple fun: ‘Moneyball,’ ‘The Descendents,’ ‘Tower Heist’
‘Norman’ is ‘a small film that packs a wallop’; ‘The Way’ is ‘a gift from the Sheen family to all of us’
‘The Cardinals’ offers history’s perspetive on Church life; ‘The Guard’ a fish-out-of-water thriller
Farewell to Harry Potter; Spokane Shakespeare production featured stand-out performances
Top marks for ‘Super 8,’ ‘The Tree of Life’; ‘Garden of Beasts,’ not so much
Surprising performances: from Owen Wilson in Woody Allen’s latest, and Will Farrell in new serious comedy
Terrific films from Netherlands, Denmark; new book asks (and answers), ‘Why Stay Catholic?’
Diocese’s archivist tells the story of ‘China’s Saints’; ‘Win Win’ is ‘well worth seeing’
Shades of ‘Groundhog Day’ in ‘Source Code’; ‘Lincoln Lawyer’ ruled an ‘enjoyable confection’
‘Unknown’ ‘sort of’ makes sense; ‘Adjustment Bureau,’ and conversations about God and religion
‘Rabbit Hole’ makes successful transition from stage to film; Jesuit’s vocation memoir reissued
Ten best movies; stories of ministry, public and private
Wayne-less ‘True Grit’ still ‘a movie you will want to see’
High praise for ‘The King’s Speech,’ ‘127 Hours,’ cast of ‘The Fighter’; ‘The Tourist,’ not so much
A look at Herman Hesse; prayer from Notre Dame; ‘Morning Glory’ is ‘enjoyable and relaxing’
Sister Madonna Buder’s book ‘renews the spirit and inspires the dream’; Disney’s ‘Secretariat’ is ‘well worth seeing’
Even at two-plus hours, Eastwood’s ‘Hereafter’ flies by
Story of Facebook hits the big screen; a look at a 1948 Faulkner novel; and essayists reflect on aspects of Catholicism
‘Restrepo’ gives stark picture of life in Middle East combat outpost; Jesuit’s liturgy book performs ‘a great service’
Two fine films fill the screen; Christopher Buckley reflects the death of his parents
New books detail Catholic life, from prayer to priesthood and family dynamics
Summer: time for a popcorn movie and a new collection from Sherman Alexie
Pullman author’s memoir of life in Occupied France a highly recommended read
Start assembling your summer reading list now
Recent ‘New Yorker’ offers plenty of food for thought, as do ‘Help my Unbelief’ and ‘City Island’
‘Let the Great World Spin’ a ‘total delight,’ plus words from Sister Joan Chittister and a vocation story
On film: ‘The Ghost Writer,’ ‘That Evening Sun’; Alaska pastor reflects on abuse crisis
The 15 best films of 2009, plus books new and newer
‘Quest’ is ‘very helpful for prayer’; Clooney shines as corporate hit-man in ‘Up in the Air’
See ‘Avatar’ for the effects, not the acting; 2008 presidential campaign revisited in ‘Game Change’
‘Invictus’ a tale of reconciliation; ‘Orson Welles’ an exploration of youth; economy forms backdrop of ‘Lives of the Poets’
Top-notch storytelling, acting in ‘The Blind Side,’ ‘Everybody’s Fine’
Coen Brothers’ latest film contains echoes of Job
‘Strikingly beautiful’ biopic of John Keats; new mystery from James Lee Burke
Jesuit with Spokane ties tells stories of Africa’s children; ‘The Informant!’ a ‘dark comedy’
‘Hopeful and life-changing’ book from Barbara Taylor Brown; ‘Julie and Julia’ enjoyable, not great
‘Hurt Locker’ best Iraq War movie so far; ‘(500) Days of Summer’ is ‘well worth seeing’
Montana priest publishes memoirs; Johnny Depp gives ‘understated’ portrayal of Dillinger in ‘Public Enemies’
‘Sister’s Keeper’ a ‘no-holds-barred cancer weepie’; Huston’s ‘Wise Blood’ a fine DVD
‘Up’ a ‘wonderful family film ... you don’t want to miss’
Despite errors and exaggerations, ‘Angels & Demons’ a ‘good thriller,’ but don’t take it seriously
New biography examines Flannery O’Connor; at the cineplex, ‘The Soloist,’ ‘State of Play’
Novel, ‘National Geographic’ provide insights into Russian history, religious culture
Drama treasures from TV’s Golden Age released; Grisham’s latest novel an enjoyable read
Contemporary Catholicism, Blessed Pope John XXIII grace this week’s bookshelf
New books; plus, the 10 best films of 2008
New work released by David Guterson, Clint Eastwood
‘Australia’ an epic disappointment; ‘Doubt’ delivers complex ideas, powerful performances
A memoir of faith, a film about the Holocaust, and Christmas music from Spokane Valley
Illustrated books celebrate the gift that is a child; ‘Changeling’ features powerful performances
A return to the Western with ‘Appaloosa’; books examine Catholicism in World War II Germany, and the question of human suffering
Catch ‘Brideshead Revisited’ on DVD (but keep the book handy); a new mystery from James Lee Burke
In non-fiction: a year of seminary formation reveals joy, hope, tragedy; French film is ‘best in months’
With twists and turns, ‘Frozen River’ ultimately about family; one final book from NCR columnist
End-of-summer entertainments to be found in books, on film; Ellsberg edits Dorothy Day
Holiness and history mix on summer’s bookshelf
Books in depth and in passing, with a dash of Public Television for good measure
Independent film brightens summer movie viewing; forgiveness in the face of Amish schoolhouse killings
Theology and travel combine in Spokane priest’s pilgrimage memoir
At the movies: ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’; fiction and leadership share the bookshelf
‘Pray All Ways’ available in new edition; ‘Lunch with the Saints’ cards a happy addition to brown-bag meals
The 10 best films of 2007; on the bookshelf, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’
New books detail life and history in Eastern Washington
A plethora of media choices in the midst of winter
‘Great Debaters’ is ‘food for the soul,’ ‘Juno’ is ‘one of the best films’
Blessed Mother Teresa's ‘dark night,’ ‘Golden Compass’
‘Bella’ is unique among autumn’s movie offerings
‘White Cascade’ tells of the courage of ordinary people; movie choices offer youthful idealism, personal heroism
New books from James Lee Burke, Nancy Horan; ‘Frontline’ documentary offers themes of life, death, sacrament
Jesuit’s new book recounts ‘Judas’ theater experience; at the cineplex, ‘3:10 to Yuma’
Four movies to consider as the summer blockbuster season winds down
Movie guide a great resource for parents, film buffs alike
‘A Mighty Heart’: ‘great acting ... impressive storytelling’
Independent film offers fine performances, insights
A novel idea: faith provides theme for mystery writers
'My Life with the Saints,' 'Home of the Brave'
New book provides discussion starters for movie fans
Life and death: ‘The Lives of Others,’ ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’
Movies from A to Z: 'Amazing Grace,' 'Breach,' 'Zodiac'
Books tell tales of African-American priest, life in St. Paul, Occupied Berlin
At the multiplex: the 10 best (and nearly best 5) of 2006
‘The Good Shepherd,’ ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ and a new novel from Alice McDermott
Just in time for Christmas: 'The Nativity Story'
At the movies: Bond’s back; Eastwood’s ‘passionate’ war film; Mirren triumphs
'Flicka' remake 'a wonderful family film'
Scorsese fills ‘The Departed’ with Catholic imagery; at the bookstores, ‘The Kite Runner,’ ‘The Theocons’
‘Hollywoodland,’ ‘The Illusionist,’ and a few short takes
Books chronicle family relationships, Molokai’s captives
‘Lady in the Water,’ ‘Scoop,’ and an ‘ideal’ volume on Church history
'Betrayed' American nuns; at the movies, 'Pirates,' 'Prada'
A delightful ‘Prairie Home Companion,’ and a ‘memoir of faith’ from Barbara Brown Taylor
‘Da Vinci Code,’ Opus Dei, and choice summer reading
Spokane on the big screen; ‘Blink’ examines the science of snap decisions
Spring sees new books and Spike Lee’s ‘most commercial Hollywood movie’
‘World's Fastest Indian,’ ‘A Church in Search of Itself’
Jones’s ‘Three Burials’ is ‘a deeply religious movie’
Media Watch revisits the best movies of 2005
‘Munich’ is dark and difficult, ‘Narnia’ a ‘very good family film,’ and ‘Glory Road’ a ‘feel-good movie that makes a difference’
‘The Ninth Day,’ ‘The Family Stone,’ ‘Syriana’
Jane Austen, Johnny Cash, Truman Capote, and books old and new
'Good Night and Good Luck,' 'Jarhead,' 'Shopgirl'
'Elizabethtown,' 'North Country,' 'The Rosary'
This week: movies, books, and a Catholic children’s magazine
‘Constant Gardener’ in theaters; ‘Fumbling’ at bookstores
‘Broken Flowers’ is ‘one of the best movies of the year’
‘March of the Penguins’ processes against Hollywood’s slide
Ian McEwan's 'Saturday'; Stephen Spielberg's 'War of the Worlds'
Dramatic, uplifting boxing tale stands out among summer's comic book movies
An American Protestant novel filled with Catholic themes; ‘Crash’ takes on ‘key questions of life and death’
'The Coming Catholic Church,' 'Millions'
'Dear Frankie,' 'The Upside of Anger'
'Ice Princess' at the multiplex; a Hitchcock classic enlivened by Robert Benchley
'Because of Winn-Dixie'; a roundup of 2004's best films
Three films offer thought-provoking reflections on profound themes
Scorcese directs DiCaprio in 'The Aviator'; Bill Murray in Wes Anderson's 'Steve Zissou'
'Spanglish' 'Phantom of the Opera' among movie offerings
'National Treasure' less than stellar, thoroughly enjoyable
Great viewing at the movies: 'The Incredibles,' 'Ray'
'The Motorcycle Diaries,' 'I (Heart) Huckabees'
'Friday Night Lights' rises above sports movie clichés
From a stranger on a train to 'Vanity Fair'
At the movies: 'Garden State,' 'The Village'
'Bourne Supremacy' provides lively international thriller
High praise for 'The Terminal,' 'Spider-Man 2'
‘Stepford’ a ‘$90 million trifle,’ but new, darker Potter ‘stands out’
New novel from Kent Haruf; 'Perfect Storm' director delivers 'Troy'
Two popular movies reviewed: 'Man on Fire,' 'Mean Girls'
Tales of family at the movies, on the bookshelves
New book analyzes abuse crisis; in theaters, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’
Extreme violence distances audience of ‘The Passion of the Christ’
From the book shelf: nonfiction from Peter Steinfels, Philip Yancey
Part Three of 'Lord of the Rings'; 2003's Top 10 movie list
Comedy and tragedy at the movies: 'Something's Gotta Give,' 'House of Sand and Fog'
Movies: Ron Howard's 'The Missing,' Edward Zwick's 'The Last Samurai'
Movies: 'Love Actually,' 'Master and Commander'
'Joan of Arcadia' on CBS; Eastwood's 'Mystic River'
Movies: 'Lost in Translation,' 'Luther'
From comic books to Nicholas Cage: 'American Splendor,' 'Matchstick Men'
At the movies: ‘Open Range,’ ‘The Magdalene Sisters’
Theaters feature movies for people who have given up on movies: 'Finding Nemo,' 'Seabiscuit'
Summer reading: ‘Images of Jesus,’ ‘Office of Innocence’
Summer’s new books, fiction and biography, explore personal, global impact of Church
Movie time: ‘Matrix Reloaded,’ ‘Diary of a City Priest’
Summer movie season breaks open early with ‘X-2,’ ‘Bend It Like Beckham’
New movies include family fare, Adam Sandler
Spring brings flowering of books for young and old: "Seven Lonely Places-Seven Warm Places: The Vices and Virtues for Children," "Letter to a Priest"; plus, 'Romeo and Juliet' on stage in Seattle
Our critic lists the 10 best movies of 2002
Two films have multiple Oscar nods: 'Chicago,' 'Adaptation'
‘The Courage to be Catholic,’ ‘About Schmidt’
New Spielberg at the movies ('Catch Me If You Can'); children’s words gathered in touching book ('Well Said: Children’s Words of Wisdom')
Book recounts World War I’s informal Christmas Eve truce of 1914; ‘Harry Potter’ back in theaters
Novel: ‘In the River Sweet’; Film: ‘Frida’
'The New Rabbi': Synagogue’s search resounds with many faith communities; at the movies: 'Monsoon Wedding'
In bookstores: ‘The Emperor of Ocean Park’; at the movies: ‘Barbershop’
Movie time: ‘The Good Girl,’ ‘The Four Feathers’
'The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed': Holy Names Sisters’ effort to ‘reclaim’ St. Ignatius’s spiritual exercises is a ‘tremendous gift’; on video: 'Last Orders'
New book by Joyce Rupp celebrates God’s gift of creation; At the movies: ‘Signs’ not for the faint of heart
A little ‘Godfather,’ a little Edward Hopper combine to produce visually stunning ‘Road to Perdition’; and, 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'
News coverage of abuse scandal varies widely by region; at the movies: 'The Bourne Identity'
Ramifications of misconduct examined in film ('Unfaithful'), novel ('Atonement')
Two movies: ‘Hollywood Ending,’ ‘Italian for Beginners’
'The Rookie’ is a genuinely enjoyable family film; ‘Changing Lanes’ asks ‘the ultimate human questions’
Movie reviews: ‘Ice Age,’ ‘We Were Soldiers’
French director’s influence apparent in two new releases: 'Gosford Park,' 'Black Hawk Down'
Movie reviews: ‘Amelie,’ ‘In the Bedroom’
A peek into ‘A Beautiful Mind’; 2001’s 10 best films
Sci-fi and fantasy stand out at the box office: 'Vanilla Sky,' 'Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'
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