‘Soul Surfer’: An uplifting story of faith and perseverance
Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) is a happy, ordinary 13-year-old living in
When not at the beach,
Sara's message? Trust in the Lord and his purposes, as revealed in Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord."
No one could have predicted God's plan for
The depiction of the attack and its aftermath, while not overly explicit, is nonetheless disturbing.
Surprisingly, while her family and friends fall to pieces,
"You can do all things through him who gives you strength," Sara reminds
And it does. Soon
Directed by Sean McNamara ("Raise Your Voice"), "Soul Surfer" is that
The cinematography is stunning. The
Despite the intensely emotional (but nongraphic) shark onslaught and its aftermath, "Soul Surfer" can be enjoyed by parents and mature young people alike. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II --- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG --- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Spring is on its way, but the Easter Bunny's "hare" apparent (voice of Russell Brand) has gone AWOL in director Tim Hill's comedy of errors which --- though it seamlessly blends live action and computer animation --- is somewhat less than appropriate for its target audience. Junior, it seems, would rather be a rock star than succeed his father (voice of Hugh Laurie) as the world's most famous supplier of candy and goody baskets. So he hops away to
This mash-up of a horror homage --- which borrows liberally from older films in the genre such as "Poltergeist" and "The Amityville Horror" --- has a young boy (Ty Simpkins) trapped in a hellish netherworld known as The Further, with his feckless father (Patrick Wilson) and a medium (Lin Shaye) out to rescue him. Director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell break no new ground, relying instead on garish zombies popping out of windows, closets and walls, a fog machine, and a cackling old lady or two. Still, the use of 1960s pop phenom Tiny Tim's falsetto warbling of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" does lend the proceedings a sort of geeky charm. Along the way, a Catholic priest (John Henry Binder) makes a brief appearance, but to no discernable purpose. Fleeting crude and profane language and intense, but nonviolent, scenes involving children. (A-III, PG-13)
Taut direction by Duncan Jones and game performances all around help disguise the logical conundrums underlying this sci-fi thriller. As part of a cutting-edge antiterrorism operation, a heroic Afghan War veteran (Jake Gyllenhaal) is enabled to inhabit the body of a stranger during the last minutes of the other man's life when he and his girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan) were passengers on a doomed
Prayer of the MonthPapal intentions for November: That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.
Papal intentions for December: That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.