Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen any good news coming out of Hollywood, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this gem of an article linked over at New Advent.   The Irish actor Pierce Brosnan, known to many as James Bond (and to me as Remington Steele), openly shares his faith with an interviewer, attributing good in his life to God and telling how his prayer life sustains him.  He credits his Catholic upbringing.

In an interesting new interview with RTE.ie to promote his patronage of the new Irish dramatic art academy The Lir, which will debut this fall at Trinity College in Dublin, Brosnan credits the power of prayer with guiding him through life’s ups and downs. 

“(Prayer) helped me with the loss of my wife to cancer and with a child who had fallen on tough times. Now prayer helps me to be a father, to be an actor and to be a man,” Brosnan told the Irish website.

“It always helps to have a bit of prayer in your back pocket. At the end of the day, you have to have something and for me that is God, Jesus, my Catholic upbringing, my faith.”

Pierce’s first wife, Cassandra Harris, died of ovarian cancer 20 years ago. The son they had together, Sean, was in a serious car crash a few years back in California, but luckily he survived and is thriving again.

Brosnan and his mother left his hometown of Navan, Co. Meath in 1964, when he was 12 years old, for greener pastures in London.  His father left the family when he was only two, so times were tough.

“In a way (my life) all leads back to a little boy in Navan, my home town on the banks of the Boyne.

Sometimes, it has been painted in melodramatic tones but it was a fantastic way to be brought up. The Catholicism and the Christian brothers, those are deep-rooted images and the foundation for a person of some acting skill,” he says.

“God has been good to me. My faith has been good to me in the moments of deepest suffering, doubt and fear. It is a constant, the language of prayer … I might not have got my sums right from the Christian Brothers or might not have got the greatest learning of literature from them but I certainly got a strapping amount of faith.”

Brosnan also feels that faith will help the Irish people escape the gloom and doom of recession.

“But there is one thing that the people of Ireland know how to do and that is to survive. You have to keep your faith and stay optimistic,” he feels

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So who won the battle in the most anticipated, scrutinized, studied, criticized and speculated upon Super Bowl in the history of this televised event?  No, I don’t mean the football game, I mean the Focus on the Family ad featuring the mother of Tim Tebow.   (oh, for the record, the Saints beat the Colts, 31-17).

Well, it’s only my opinion but the win clearly belongs to Focus on the Family and the Tebow family, and even more importantly the win also goes to the wider conservative, pro-life movement.  Even more clearly than who the winners are, is that the losers are hands down, unquestionably liberal pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood, NOW and Gloria Allred.  Yeah, cause they lost it.  Literally.  Remember all the articles expressing the Left’s outrage over this commercial that was going to “blur the lines of sports and politics”?   We all remember that.  Then the Super Bowl came and the ad (actually two ads) were run.

Nothing.  Nothing outrageous, nothing controversial, nothing offensive.

After seeing the actual commercial, most of us responded with a quizzical look and perhaps a “is that it?” question.  I myself thought I must have missed the real commercial, as the one I saw was so–uncontroversial.  Anyone not already on a side in this debate was left to wonder how come the liberals were trying so hard to shutdown that commercial.  The people in the room I was in, filled with twenty-something year olds of seemingly all political stripes responded with “is that it?” confusion and comments. A big debate about what the big deal was ensued.   And the liberals looked exactly like what they are:  controlling, irrational, anti-Christian and pro-abortion, and certainly not ‘pro-choice,’  if that choice means choosing Life.  The ungluing of the Liberal Left leading up to the Super Bowl wasn’t a pretty sight to see, unless you are on the pro-life side like I am, in which case, watching the left unravel in the weeks before the Super Bowl culminating in the final ‘sssssss’ as the air went out of their bloated windbags upon seeing the actual commercial was priceless. 

I want to say that the pro-abortion side handed the Tebow side the victory, because they clearly overreacted and overreached.  But you know what?  No, I don’t think that is quite right.  The Left lost it, sure and they certainly did  not seem to be in the same ballgame as the Tebow family.  But they didn’t lose the contest for America’s sympathy.  FotF and the Tebows won itby accurately predicting a meltdown on the left.  Looking back on it now, I can see that the win didn’t happen on Sunday, February 7th.  The win occurred in the strategy meetings at FotF.  Yep, altogether a brilliant plan.  Just let it be leaked that Focus on the Family was buying ad time during the Super Bowl, and that the ad in question might feature Tim Tebow.  Then get that corrected to say it’s really going to be about his mom.  Google searches ensue.  Blogs are written that suggest that Pam Tebow will be talking about her difficult choice to bring her pregnancy with Tim to term when doctors recommended she abort him.  Speculation grows like wildfire until it is a near certainty that Pam Tebow will be talking about her difficult choice to bring her pregnancy with Tim to term when doctors recommended she abort him.   Radical liberals and abortion providers go into meltdown, threatening CBS, the NFL and everyone else they can think of.  America takes note warily.  Why are all these people so up in arms?  If they are “pro-choice,” why can’t Mrs. Tebow talk about her choice?  Isn’t choosing Life an equally valid (at the least!) choice?  No, America learns during Super Bowl XLIV:  it’s not.  Choosing Life is not an option for radical pro-choice groups.

Personally, I want to thank Focus on the Family, Pam Tebow, Tim Tebow and all those bloggers out there who let it ‘slip’ that Pam Tebow might talk about abortion during an ad to be run during the Super Bowl.


(I am not the only one who thinks this)

(to see the full Tebow story, go here to Focus on the Family.  Click to view the ad.)

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Today’s Random Macgyver Post is via kalleanka71  on YouTube, combining two of my most favorite-est shows:


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Meet the Robinsons

You should meet the Robinsons!

Those who know me know that I pretty much think Disney is evil (I have thought it for decades) and recently I’ve gotten some agreement with my opinion.  I did, however, sit down to watch a movie tonight with my son, by whose strong recommendation we were watching Meet the Robinsons, an animated Disney film from a couple years back.  I watched it and…and  I was pleasantly surprised at the pro-family message of the movie!  Yep, pro-family AND pro-adoption.

One of the two main protagonists is an orphan who was raised in an orphanage.  Wait!  don’t jump to that conclusion!  Turns out that the young fella has been treated lovingly and well in the orphanage, and for an added bonus, the orphanage matron is a black woman.  Double positive message!  Although the youngster, whose name is Lewis, is relatively happy, he can’t seem to get adopted because he’s a whacky science whiz.  This leads him to wonder about his birth mom, and he wants very much to see her, even going so far as to invent a device to recapture his infant memories.

Later, Lewis will have an opportunity to meet his mom, through the machinations of a youngster who turns out to be Lewis’ son (did I mention that the movie is about time travel?  no?  er…sorry.  The movie is about time travel!).  I won’t spoil it for you but I will just say that Lewis’ birth mother is portrayed sympathetically and the scene where he sees her is very touching and again, pro-family. 

The Robinson family of the title is a delightful mix of oddball characters who love and support each other, and Lewis quickly falls in love with them.  Lewis finds himself wanting to stay in the future with the Robinsons.  The quirky characters are respectful of each other, encouraging mistakes as “learning opportunities” and nurturing each other’s unique gifts and contributions.  The youngsters are not smart alecky.  Even the ‘bad guy’ has an opportunity to repent.

I guess if you start with good material it helps.  Disney based the movie on the whimsical children’s book, A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce.

Meet the Robinsons did terribly at the box office.  I may not be a Disney fan, but I still pay attention to kids movies coming out, and I don’t even remember it being released.     I don’t know why it did so poorly;  it’s a good film.  I really enjoyed it, I LOVED the family message and the positive values (it’s nice to see that Disney can make a movie with a mom AND a dad).

Oh, and the soundtrack is another Danny Elfman winner.  I’m recommending this one.

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National Catholic Reporter mentions two developments in Hollywood for us Catholics.

First, Fr. Eric Andrews is the new head of Paulist Productions, which works with big production companies to make mainstream movies that are ‘good and good for you.’  NCR highlights Fr. Andrews “unique background”:

Eric started out his career not in a seminary, but at a first-rate production company: Jim Henson Productions out of New York. There, he worked on a number of TV shows and films — but he soon felt the call and joined up with the Paulists.After nine years as chaplain on the University of Tennessee campus at Knoxville, Fr. Eric is now in Hollywood — looking to increase outreach by increasing production.

Second, NCR mentions the outreach happening at Family Theater Productions

Today, Family Theater still produces shorts, films and documentaries — but under the direction of Holy Cross Fr. Willy Raymond has geared up its outreach program to Hollywood Catholics, and those interested in becoming Catholics. The theater now sponsors a monthly gathering called “Hollywood Prays,” a prayer group that includes music, singing, pasta, and — of course — some pretty decent red wine. It draws a growing crowd of younger actors, writers, etc. — artists who are new to Hollywood and looking for a place to be themselves.

….Artists like Catholic convert/actor Matthew Marsden whom I wrote about before.   Family Theater Productions is the same company that is bringing us Rosary Stars which I mentioned here.

Hat tip to  Inside Catholic.

Full article at Changes afoot in Catholic Hollywood | National Catholic Reporter.

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Via Mark Shea’s Catholic and Enjoying It! blog comes this enlightening overview of ‘the immeasurable wealth’ of the Vatican. 

I’ve been re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring and the immeasurable wealth of Bilbo is mentioned as one of the fixed myths of the folk of Hobbiton. At one point, sundry residents of the town flood into Bag End, nosing about for treasure, convinced that there’s no end to it.

Something similar obtains in the world of ignorant popular anti-Catholicism in the English-speaking world concerning the limitless wealth of the Vatican (and, by the way, that world of ignorant anti-Catholicism extends to not a few Catholics in the US). The notion is that the Vatican is a sumptuous treasure house worth enough instantly end world poverty if those greedy prelate would just sell off their wealth (you know, the way the nationalization of the Russian Churches, instantly ended the state-created famines of the Stalin era).

Here’s the actual story from the intrepid John Allen:

In the public’s imagination, the Vatican is awash in priceless art, hidden Nazi gold, plundered treasures from around the world, and vast assets tucked away from prying eyes in the Vatican Bank. Reality is far more prosaic. To put it bluntly, the Vatican is not rich. It has an annual operating budget of $260 million, which would not place it on any Top 500 list of major social institutions. To draw a comparison in the non-profit sector, Harvard University has an annual operating budget of a little over $1.3 billion, which means it could run the equivalent of five Vaticans every year and still have pocket change left over. The Holy See’s budget would qualify it as a mid-sized American Catholic college. It’s bigger than Loyola-Marymount in Los Angeles (annual budget of $150 million) or Saint Louis University ($174 million), but substantially less than the University of Notre Dame ($500 million).

The total patrimony of the Holy See, meaning its property holdings (including some 30 buildings and 1,700 apartments in Rome), its investments, its stock portfolios and capital funds, and whatever it has storied up in a piggy bank for a rainy day, comes to roughly $770 million. This is substantial, but once again one has to apply a sense of scale. What the Holy See calls “patrimony” is roughly what American universities mean by an “endowment” – in other words, funds and other assets designed to support the institution if operating funds fall short. The University of Notre Dame has an endowment of $3.5 billion, meaning a total 4.5 times as great as the Vatican’s.

But what of the some 18,000 artistic treasures in the Holy See, such as the Pietà, that don’t show up on these ledgers? From the Holy See’s point of view, these artworks are part of the artistic heritage of the world, and may never be sold or borrowed against. Michelangeo’s famous Pieta statue, the Sistine Chapel, or Raphael’s famous frescoes in the Apostolic Palace are thus listed at a value of 1 Euro each. In fact, those treasures amount to a net drain on the Holy See’s budget, because millions of Euros have to be allocated every year for maintenance and restoration.

It was that notorious enemy of the poor, Dorothy Day**, who opposed stupid schemes to take art out of the Churches because she was perfectly aware of the fact that it was actually a scheme to make even more art the private property of a few rich people. At present, the “treasures of the Vatican” are the property of every beggar in Rome who wishes for something to alleviate the pain of his life and lift his thoughts to God. Under the Judas Iscariot Plan for Wealth Redistribution (Motto: Why were these things not sold and the proceeds given to the poor?”) the “treasures of the Vatican” become treasures in some guy’s villa or in some pricey museum where cultured despisers can go to sneer at the stuff people used to believe.

**Luce’s note:  I believe that Mark is being sardonic here.  If you do not know who Dorothy Day was, she was a lifelong champion for the poor.

Bilbo‘s Immeasurable Wealth.

update:  see related post  Rome: The Beauty That Saves.

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MacGyver-worthy cleaning tips from LifeHacker.

Examples include this entry, coming in at number 5:

5. Use Kool-Aid lemonade to clean a dishwasher

Cleaning a dishwasher seems weird and unnecessary from a glance—doesn’t the thing fill itself with soapy water all the time? Over time, though, iron will stain the surfaces and lime deposits build up on the surfaces of your dishwasher, leaving it a place you don’t want to stash the plates you eat from. Real Simple finds a solution in unsweetened, lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid packets. Load a packet into your dishwasher’s detergent cup, run it empty through a normal cycle, and the citric acid in everyone’s favorite bug juice de-gunks the surfaces it would be a pain to reach. (Original post)


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