In "The Croods," the prehistoric caveman Grug (voice of Nicolas Cage) is the head of the Crood family. These beings believe they are the only creatures of their kind in existence. They live somewhere on the earth in a dark cave and only go out during the day if necessary. Grug tells the younger members of the family -- Eep (voice of Emma Stone), Thunk (voice of Clark Duke) and Sandy (Randy Thom) -- the same bedtime story every night: Obey the rules of the cave that are marked on the walls and they will survive.
Art & Media
Review: It was six years in the making, but "In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan" is a great story of Francis' peacemaking during the Crusades.
In 2011, Italian director Nanni Moretti made a movie, "Habemus Papam" ("We Have a Pope"), about a cardinal elected a most reluctant pope starring Michel Piccoli as the pope. The movie was on my Netflix list, and when the conclave began, I bumped it up to No. 1. It was mailed right out to me.
American magazine looks back at the Vietnam War. Issue includes review of landmark book, Nick Turse's "Kill Anything that Moves."
Review: "Oz the Great and Powerful" lacks music and ruby slippers but is full of teachable moments for young viewers.
In "Beyond the Hills," a young woman, Alina (Cristina Flutur), returns home to Romania after living and working in Germany for several years. She visits her childhood friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), who is a novice in a Greek Orthodox monastery in a remote area. Both women were raised in a state orphanage and seem to have had an intimate relationship in their teen years that Alina now wants to rekindle. Voichita, however, wants to be kind but is focused on dedicating her life to God and others.
2012 was an excellent year for cinema. However, three films about aging that I liked were not even nominated, such as Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet," Jake Schreier's "Robot & Frank" or John Madden's "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Instead, Michael Haneke's accomplished and artistic yet bleak French-language film "Amour," about an aging couple in Paris, received four nominations. Please note that Dame Maggie Smith appears in both "Quartet" and "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which makes home viewing a must.
Parrots may squawk in the Vatican Gardens during a conclave, but the cardinals are not allowed to tweet.
For most of the 117 red-vested princes of the church who are eligible to vote for a new pope, Twitter isn't an issue at all. But the College of Cardinals does include at least nine active tweeters. From the moment they enter the Sistine Chapel to cast their ballots, they will be forbidden access to their accounts along with all other forms of communication with the outside world.
Sr. Rose: Ten days at Sundance not only saw wonderful films, but wonderful people and experiences -- even a camel.
Young people's essential needs, including decent work and an education, demand a serious, effective response from both the church and the wider community, Pope Benedict XVI said.
Problems facing young people "cannot be met with responses that are evasive or banal," he said, especially if humanity is going to have a hopeful, generous future.
The pope made his remarks Thursday during an audience with members and advisers of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The council was hosting a plenary meeting at the Vatican Feb. 6-9 on "Emerging Youth Cultures."