Mormons promote our movie reviews

In the category of shameless self promotion, we were pleased to see that the Mormon-owned daily newspaper the Deseret News in Salt Lake City last week gave a plug to our movie reviews as a “unique voice in a noisy lobby” and published some sample capsule reviews. The article plugging us began:

The Roman Catholic Church has been reviewing movies in the United States since 1936.

Almost three-quarters of a century later, the Catholics’ perspective on film still stands apart — even in a media landscape well-populated with Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert and a staggering variety of opinions.

We were then doubly pleased yesterday that the media blog of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had an entry titled Latter-day Saints Promote Catholic News Service Movie Reviews, noting that, though Catholics and Mormons differ significantly in their theologies, they hold much in common in the area of family values.

Our review of the new "Wall Street" movie said Michael Douglas' performance was "magnetic" but said the film's central romantic relationship "puts the sexual cart before the marital horse."

Our movie reviews have a long and rich history, beginning with the Legion of Decency, then the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures, and more recently the USCCB Office for Film and Broadcasting. Earlier this year, with the reorganization of the USCCB Communications Department, we inherited the office’s functions, meaning that office director John Mulderig is now part of CNS, though he remains in New York City. (It made sense for film and broadcasting to become a CNS function since for years we’ve been the primary distributor of the office’s materials to the Catholic press.)

As the Deseret News noted, the media landscape is crowded with film reviewers, especially since the birth of the Internet. Yet we feel we offer a unique combination that looks at movies based on both artistic considerations and as a guide to parents wondering whether a film is appropriate for toddlers or pre-teens or only for adolescents in a way that goes beyond the traditional ratings of G, PG, PG-13 etc.

We’re glad that the Deseret News agrees.

One Response

  1. I sometimes use movies as a teaching tool to illustrate some point by Plato or another philosopher to my college students. Moving images move minds and morals for better or worse. It is good to see accord between these two faiths; I wish CNN or Fox would follow-suit.

    Tom Peterson in Atlanta is Founder of “Catholics Come Home.org.” He uses media to bring people to Christ. The production value of his ads is high–unlike some well intentioned mega church productions that devolve into a bumper sticker on a Camaro.

    Production value, subtlety, virtue (e.g., wisdom, prudence, beauty), irony, and humble clarity are qualities I look for in films.

    I am glad the Mormans and Catholics raise the bar in their reviews.

    Joel, Atlanta, Ga.

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