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 Post subject: Bishop Barron out, Father Dennis in.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:45 am 
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buck private
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As an intro to Fr. Dennis here's his review of 'Hard to be a God.':
Quote:
http://frdennismoviereviews.blogspot.co ... -2013.html

,,,

The story here takes place on a planet called Arkenar [en.wikip] [ru.wikip]* (its principal kingdom), which is inhabited by human-like beings BUT when first discovered by Earth appeared to be 800 years behind the Earth in its cultural development, that is, in the early stages of the Renaissance. So Earth sent a team of 30 scientists to the planet to _observe_ what was expected to be the flowering of an Earth-like Renaissance on this cousin planet. Yet to these scientists' surprise / increasing horror, the budding Renaissance appeared to be snuffed-out by a harsh "Reaction" against it. The film's initial voice-over notes that first Arkenar's University was closed down and then most of its "knowledgable ones" (the writers, poets, talented artisans) were either arrested / killed or driven into exile in smaller outlying kingdoms/principalities. As a result Arkenar was FROZEN in the Middle Ages.

What to do? The Earthling scientists sent to the planet had been instructed to follow a "directive" similar to that of American Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek creation: NON INTERFERENCE in the development of alien worlds. So the Earthling scientists, who as humans in a world inhabited by human-like creatures, took identities in the Arkenarian world, were required by their orders / code of conduct from Earth to simply _observe_ what was going on. Okay, they could apparently seek to "protect" individuals who they deem to be potentially important to the planet's development, but even this was to be done in a discrete sort of way (above all, using the technology of the people at hand).

Well, for one of the scientists, Don Romata (played by Leonid Yarmolnik [IMDb] [KN.ru]*[KT.ru]*) this proves to be increasingly hard to bear. And eventually after spending much of the film searching for / surreptitiously protecting a potential "person of import" named Budakh (played by Evgeniy Gerchakov [IMDb] [KN.ru]*[KT.ru]*) from the tyrannical Arkenar Kingdom's Prime Minister, Don Reba (played by Aleksandr Chutko [IMDb] [KN.ru]*[KT.ru]*), Don Romata reaches a breaking point ...

Now the key word in the last sentence of the plot description is "eventually." The pacing of this film will probably upset many luke-warm movie-goers. For the film's pacing is _intentionally_ if perhaps infuriatingly slow. Why make a movie that is PONDEROUSLY SLOW MOVING? Well... (Continued)


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 Post subject: Re: Bishop Barron out, Father Dennis in.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:45 pm 
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Bishop Barron doesn't post? He's too much of a big shot now? :(

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 Post subject: Re: Bishop Barron out, Father Dennis in.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:03 pm 
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buck private
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No, Bishop Barron still posts, but most are very Catholic.

Father Dennis in his own words:
Quote:
Friday, August 19, 2016
Ben Hur 3D [2016]

MPAA (PG-13) CNS/USCCB (A-III) ChicagoTribune (2 Stars) RogerEbert.com (3 Stars) AVClub (B-) Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)
http://frdennismoviereviews.blogspot.co ... -2016.html
IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review
RogerEbert.com (G. Kenny) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review


Ben Hur 3D [2016] (directed by Timur Bekmambetov , screenplay by Keith R. Clarke and John Ridley based on the novel [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] by Lew Wallace [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb]) is a film that like many / most of my generation, I went to skeptically. Having seen it now, like most others, I'm more-or-less certain that the current film will never attain the Epic / Awesome Stature of the celebrated 1959 version that starred the "Larger-than-Life" CHARLTON HESTON ... However, having said this, I _must add_ that do think that this is NOT a bad film and to the extent that it serves to "update the presentation" and (re)introduce Ben Hur to a new generation, I DO THINK THAT (3D and ALL...) THE CURRENT FILM DOES A PRETTY GOOD (to VERY GOOD) JOB.

Readers of my blog will note that I generally _support_ "updated presentations" even quite _imaginative_ ones -- True Grit [2010], The Three Musketeers [2011], Anna Karenina [2012], The Great Gatsby [2013] -- so long as the update was NOT just "an update for the sake of updating," but offered something something truly compelling/new of past cinematic versions:

True Grit [2010] for example sought to "return to the original novel" (where as its celebrated 1969 cinematic version had been overwhelmed by the "Larger-than-Life" presence of JOHN WAYNE).

The Three Musketeers [2011] was _really imaginative_ BUT invited Viewers to experience the story with "(re)newed eyes" as the ORIGINAL story was NOT MEANT to be "a dry/dusty Classic" but rather a YOUNG ADULT ADVENTURE STORY ... Thus "3D / Airships and all," I do believe that 2011 film _recaptured_ a lot of the _wonder_ of the original story (before it _became_ "a required read" for "advanced French Language classes ...").

Anna Karenina [2012] was IMHO simply a beautiful film that often felt like both a movie and a stage play (IMHO intentionally ... as the the film-makers sought to express the point that Anna Karenina (the story's tragic heroine who was destroyed by gossip) did seem to live a life in which she found herself "on stage" (being gossiped about) whether she liked it or not).

Finally, the failings of the unnecessary 3D notwithstanding, LEONARDO DICAPRIO simply _nailed_ the role of the tragic hero Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby [2013] in a way that previously "Larger than Life" ROBERT REDFORD simply could not (Jay Gatsby was _not_ Redford's role to play ... while DiCaprio, IMHO was almost born to play it. IMHO, Redford was instead "born to play" roles like his in The Natural [1984]).

Now, I have reviewed over the years some _terrible_ updates / remakes of "classic" stories -- from The Legend of Hercules [2011], to Young Messiah [2016], to the second (but not the most recent third) film of the Star Trek "reboot" series -- I thought Star Trek into Darkness [2013] was simply awful (frenetic / "action filled" for "action's" sake) while do think that the more recent Star Trek Beyond [2016] was finally (re)gaining its footing. Still I do enjoy being surprised by something "new" that invites _new_ insight.

To the current film then ...

I do think that the general lack of "Larger than Life" stars in the new (2016) version of Ben Hur is A PLUS (yes, "Larger than Life" MORGAN FREEMAN does play a narrative / and still SECONDARY ROLE in the current film). Thus viewers of the current film are allowed experience the story of Judah Ben-Hur (played by still relatively unknown / "up-and-coming" Jack Huston) rather than CHARLTON HESTON simply playing (and arguably OVERWHELMING) the role of Ben Hur.

As a result, the story of Ben Hur becomes almost "Job-like." At the beginning of the story, he's presented as "a Jewish prince" from a well-to-do / well-connected family (living admittedly in "Roman-occupied Rome at the time of Jesus"), who finds himself _losing everything_ as a result of "circumstances outside his control." He suffers enormously, and and comes to harbor an enormous amount of anger. Jesus, or at least his message (as Jesus is actually portrayed as only a peripheral figure in the tale) _helps_ him (and CAN HELP US) to _let go of that anger_.

As such, I have to say I loved this _simpler version_ -- 3D notwithstanding though the 3D, notwithstanding the chariot race that might have been too fast to film using this technology, was actually about as good / clear as I've seen it -- BETTER than the CHARLTON HESTON one.

In any case, the current version COULD encourage young people today (teenagers to 20-somethings) to pick up the original novel [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] or perhaps at least look-up the 1959-Charlton Heston version.

As such, a surprisingly _good job_ here. Good job! ;-)
Fr Dennis has an interesting tale he tells somewhere in his reviews about his background and his order.

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Even so, never go to a gunfight without a gun and, if you intend to win, never go to a religious war without religion. You'll lose.
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 Post subject: Re: Bishop Barron out, Father Dennis in.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:37 am 
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buck private
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Tried to post this earlier as a contrast between Father Danial's Review and Bishop Barron's.

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Even so, never go to a gunfight without a gun and, if you intend to win, never go to a religious war without religion. You'll lose.
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