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Louis Sullivan :
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Louis Sullivan is from New Jersey and a recent graduate of Fordham University where he majored in English and theology. He was an active member of Fordham’s Campus Ministry as a Eucharistic Minister, lector, and member of the liturgical choir. Louis is a writer for Dark Knight News and publisher of From the Batcave. Louis is also an intern at Busted Halo.
March 5th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

For Lent this year, I’m cutting snacks, soda, and sweets in general out of my diet. What that means for me is not just refraining from eating sugary foods and drinking soda, but also from eating pretty much anything other than just my three meals a day.
But why do this? Well, it basically all comes down to the idea of fasting. Overall, we fast as a way to give back to God and as an act of solidarity with those who may not have access to the luxuries that we have. Additionally, we sacrifice for Lent to try to move away from the things that have turned us away from God in one way or another in our lives, and to try to get back on track.
It is in light of those two concepts that I chose to give up snacks, soda, and sweets for Lent this…

February 27th, 2014

12 Years A Slave… hurt. Emotionally, sometimes even close to physically, it was painful to watch … and that’s putting it mildly. The film pulled no punches when dealing with the harsh realities of America’s slave trade and the evil acted out by those who took part in it. The movie tells the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwitel Ejiofor), a free African-American from Saratoga, New York, who is drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841 by men he thought he could trust. Solomon witnesses firsthand the malice of slave traders as he is passed from master to master as a piece of commerce, experiencing treatment unlike any he had ever received in his life.
Showcasing such horrors as rape, murder, brutal whippings,

February 27th, 2014

We’ve seen some moving tales as part of this year’s Oscar race, from the heartbreaking journey of Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave to the harrowing story of Dr. Ryan Stone’s struggle to survive outer space in Gravity. A standout among them, though, is Philomena, which chronicles a woman’s search for the son she had as a teenager and lost to forced adoption. The story goes as such: Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) had a child as an unwed teenager, and as a result was shamed, cast out from her family, and sent to live in a convent where she was punished for her perceived sin. The nuns there gave her no medication during childbirth, one of them even going so far as to say that “the pain is her penance.” After her son was…

February 25th, 2014

I’ve got a bone to pick with Gravity, or with its marketing scheme at the very least. The film, a tense walk with Sandra Bullock through the worst space trip since 1979, presents itself as a sci-fi survivalist nightmare, think Open Water in orbit…

February 21st, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is nominated for three Oscars — Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects — and anyone who’s seen the film can attest to the fact that it deserves at least the nominations it’s received, particularly the visual effects nod. After all, it’s nothing short of incredible what can be done visually with computer technology these days; a team like those who worked on Desolation of Smaug can create people and places that interact so seamlessly with the live actors and real environments that you’d swear they were really there. These men and women can make a dragon,… and a believable one at that, who walks, talks, and spits bursts of flame without

February 13th, 2014

This year’s Oscar race has certainly been an interesting one, especially on the spiritual front. The nominees have shown incredible depth and range as far as spiritual themes go, and Prisoners is no exception. The film, now available on DVD, showcases the transformative effects on a man of one tragic event, as we watch Hugh Jackman’s character abandon his morals in pursuit of the people who took his daughter.
“We do it to wage war against God,” one of the kidnappers tells Jackman’s character, Keller Dover, when pressed for their motive, “because losing a child turns good men like you into demons.”
By their own definition, then, it would appear that by the end of the film, the kidnappers win —…

January 24th, 2014

Though the Oscar race is going to be tight this year in some categories — will Jennifer Lawrence’s Golden Globes win be echoed? 12 Years A Slave or Gravity for Best Picture? There’s one thing I’m certain we’re going to see. Frozen is going to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Why? Here are three reasons:
I admit that this is more of a reason why Frozen is probably a shoe-in for the Best Original Song category (which I also suspect it’ll win, though it definitely has stronger competition there.) Still, because Frozen… is a musical, it’d be unfair to divorce the film from its music. The original songs in this movie echo Broadway like nothing that has been created for the silver screen in a long

December 27th, 2013

“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”… (Mark 10:15)
It is often said that children are closest to God; that through their wonder at the world, care for others and genuine joy, we are reminded of the way God wants us to view His creation and treat each other. For many of us, the movies and television we watched when we were little can be a powerful gateway back to our own childhood — things like Sesame Street and The Muppets in particular have the power to bring us back to the way we saw the world back then. Muppets of all kinds are more than pervasive in my home— from summer trips to Sesame Place with my 7-year-old little sister (and my 14-year-old little

December 26th, 2013

As the year draws to a close let’s take a look back over the events of 2013 and remember the things that we have lost over the past 12 months (some for the better). Whether they left us cheering or jeering, here are 13 “endings” from 2013. What would you add to the list?
Breaking Bad — After five seasons watching the exploits (and tragic downward spiral) of chemistry teacher turned meth dealer Walter White, fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad finally got to see how the story ends. Though we had to bid Walter White and Jesse Pinkman goodbye when the final episode aired September 29, there is some good news for Breaking Bad addicts: AMC is moving forward with a spin-off series, Better Call Saul, based on lawyer Saul Goodman…

December 10th, 2013

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom chronicles the life of political leader and revolutionary Nelson Mandela, particularly his struggle to put an end to apartheid in South Africa and reunite the nation peacefully. The film wowed at every turn, exquisitely showcasing the triumphs and hardships of Mandela’s life, and successfully imparting the wisdom and dedication he held in regard to the cause he fought and sacrificed so much for. Long Walk to Freedom treads important ground on the issues of race and power relations, much like another film of this year (and a potential opponent for Best Picture) 12 Years A Slave.… What gripped me most about the movie is Mandela’s mantra in regard to power and community. Several

November 27th, 2013
How can we celebrate the season we’re in -- and avoid the rush to Christmas?

It finally happened to me. This year, for the first time ever — and hopefully the last — I was ready for Christmas before it was even Halloween. Now it could have been that I started in on Halloween a little earlier than usual (I was lucky enough to get to Six Flags Fright Fest the weekend that it kicked off back in September) or it could have been the weather (it was starting to get a bit chilly already toward the end of October), but as likely as both of those possibilities may seem, I think the true culprit here is good ol’ marketing. At the end of September, Christmas lights, decorations, and all sorts of other holiday wares have crowded the shelves, urging us to skip over the fall altogether and jump straight…

November 15th, 2013

One of Jesus’ most famous teachings comes to us from Matthew’s Gospel, when Peter questions Jesus about the limits of forgiveness. “Peter … said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to 70 times seven.’” (Matthew 18:21-22)
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but one of the better representations of this tenet in recent film opened in theaters last weekend: Thor: The Dark World.
That’s right — Thor… is my standout example of forgiveness.
Confused? I wouldn’t blame you if you were; the connection caught me off guard at first too. After all, when one thinks of Thor, compassion

November 14th, 2013

I’m going to go out on a ledge here and just say this: Kanye West isn’t all that bad. He’s been getting a lot of press lately surrounding his “Yeezus” tour, particularly for bringing “Jesus” on stage at the kickoff concert of the tour for his grand finale. The act was bold, certainly, and may have offended some who viewed the appearance only on its surface, but a second look reveals that Kanye may have actually had a point. In a recent interview with San Francisco’s Wild 94.9′s the JV Show, West explained his intentions in making a heavenly encounter part of his show, saying he wanted to point out that, “you can have a relationship with Jesus. That you can talk to Jesus.” West also…

October 7th, 2013

In Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Jon Martello, a New Jersey man dedicated to, as he puts it, “my body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my guys, my girls, my porn.” Jon is a ladies’ man, but his greatest addiction is not sex, it’s porn. Even when he sleeps with a woman, he is seen sneaking out of bed to go masturbate afterwards — that is, until he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) and, later, Esther (Julianne Moore), two women who challenge his view of what relationships and sex really mean.
Don Jon… tackles a great many issues — pornography, addiction, relationships, and society’s view on women to name a few — but the moments that hit home with me the most were the ones that focused

September 18th, 2013

This has been a big week for video game fans. Crowds flocked to retailers Monday night, eagerly awaiting the midnight launch of Grand Theft Auto V, the latest in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series. The game, which cost a record-breaking $265 million to develop, has already more than made up its budget in pre-order sales alone. But while for some the promise of this new game has been like the thrilling countdown as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, for me it feels more like a time bomb waiting to burst. That’s because, as a video game junkie myself, I dread the storm that is inevitably coming in the wake of GTA V — the onslaught of the question, “Do violent video games inspire real-life violence?”…

September 6th, 2013

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, the duo behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, have done it again with The World’s End. Clever and biting, the film offers up a less bland version of the “man-child stuck in the past” edge that we’ve already seen in this summer’s The Hangover Part III and Grown-Ups 2 with an excellent sci-fi twist that’s straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The World’s End… starts out as a movie about a man desperate to re-live his youth by means of a 12-bar pub crawl. It morphs into a tale of robots who aren’t robots and humanity facing off against a galactic threat, but at its heart the film is always a story about humanity’s flaws and imperfections, embodied particularly in Simon

August 20th, 2013

This summer’s latest blockbuster, Elysium, shows its audience two separate worlds — the space station Elysium, paradise of the rich, where the sun perpetually shines on Beverly Hills-style mansions and any injury or disease can be cured with the touch of a button, and the ravaged and polluted Earth, home to the poor, where millions live in squalor hoping for even a chance to get to Elysium, legally or otherwise. Among them is Max (Matt Damon), an orphan raised by nuns who dreamed from the time he was a child of working hard enough to buy his place in Elysium. When a workplace accident threatens his life, however, getting to Elysium shifts from dream to necessity for Max.
At the heart of Elysium… is an important

August 6th, 2013

In Marvel’s The Wolverine, we see Logan (or Wolverine, depending on how you like to refer to him) struggling with the issue that plagues many superheroes in their second solo movie outing: Are superpowers worth the sacrifice that comes along with having them? It’s been done over and over again, from Spider Man 2 to The Dark Knight, yet in The Wolverine… it feels somehow fresh, deeper at times. Perhaps this is because in grappling with the issue of whether or not to keep his power, Logan also faces the ethical dilemma of whether or not to allow himself to be immortal.
In the movie, a rich Japanese businessman named Yashida, whom Logan rescued from the bombing of Nagasaki decades earlier, calls for him on his deathbed,

July 19th, 2013
Technology at its best and worst in Pacific Rim and the world today

In Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim,… we see the world attacked by alien creatures called the kaiju (Japanese for “giant monsters”), which arrive through an interdimensional portal in the Pacific Ocean. In response to the kaiju assault, humanity responds by banding together internationally and inventing the jaegers, giant robots named after the German word for “hunter.” As protagonist Raleigh Becket admits in the movie, “to fight monsters, we created monsters.”
Why this classification, though? What is it that makes the jaegers just as monstrous as the creatures they were built to destroy? It appears that their danger lies in the way they appear to represent technology out of control. In the

July 11th, 2013

“There come a time, when good man must wear mask.” These words, uttered by Native American guide, friend, and partner Tonto as the introduction to The Lone Ranger, cut straight to the core of the film. In The Lone Ranger,… Texas Ranger John Reid responds to the death of his brother by trying to bring the men who killed him to justice. Tonto, however, in favor of protecting not only Reid, but the people he cares about, suggests that in order to do this, he put on a mask, and adopt a new identity — that of the Lone Ranger.
However, by the end of the film, these are not the only reasons that John acts as the Lone Ranger. John is given the choice between accepting a life of fame and prosperity if he removes his mask and renounces

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