Worth Watching

Entertainment choices for August 2010

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Fr. Robert Reed; image from catholictv.com

By John P. McCarthy


Television & Internet

 

Throughout August, Father Robert Reed will appear on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website usccb.org introducing video reflections on the daily mass readings delivered by priests, religious, and lay people. Fr. Reed, President of the CatholicTV Network, will comment on the Mass readings himself every Friday.

 

As a follow-up to his Emmy-winning documentary “When the Levees Break,” Spike Lee revisits New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina in IF GOD IS WILLING AND THE CREEK DON’T RISE (HBO; August 23).

 

MELISSA & JOEY, a new ABC Family sitcom, stars Melissa Joan Hart as a local politician and Joey Lawrence as the “manny” helping her care for her niece and nephew (August  17).

 

Food Network launches THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE in which seven teams comprised of the country's best mobile chefs sauté their way across America in the hopes of winning a grand prize. Tyler Florence hosts (August 15).

 

The Hallmark Channel movie THE WISH LIST centers on a woman (Jennifer Esposito) who delineates all the qualities her future husband must have, only to fall in love with a man (David Sutcliffe) who possesses none of them (August 28).

 

RUBICON, a drama series premiering on AMC, is a conspiracy thriller set in a government intelligence agency and stars James Badge Dale, Dallas Roberts, and Miranda Richardson (August 1).

 

In the Disney Channel original movie DEN BROTHER, a hockey star (Hutch Dano) must swallow his pride and become the substitute leader of his little sister’s Bumble Bee troop (August 13).

 

Anyone wanting to learn about ways to encourage broadcasters and entertainment companies to make more family TV movies and programs should visit VOTEWITHYOURREMOTE.COM, sponsored by the Parents Television Council.

 

Film

 

In NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS, Emma Thompson portrays the British governess who employs magic to help a mother (Maggie Gyllenhaal) run the family farm while her husband is away at war (August 20).

 

Julia Roberts stars in an adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir EAT PRAY LOVE about a bored New Yorker who goes to Italy, India, and Bali in search of religious enlightenment (August 13).

 

The Christian film WHAT IF… tells of a high-powered businessman who is allowed to see what his life would look like had he followed his true calling and become a pastor. Kevin Sorbo, John Ratzenberger, and Kristy Swanson star (August 20).

 

THE WILDEST DREAM, screened in IMAX and conventional theaters, documents the 1924 disappearance of British mountaineer George Mallory on Mount Everest. The American climber who discovered Mallory’s body in 2007 retraces his fateful expedition (August 6).

 

THE TILLMAN STORY looks at the death of NFL player Pat Tillman, who quit professional football to join the Army Rangers in 2002 and died in a friendly-fire accident in Afghanistan. Narrated by Josh Brolin, the movie examines the case from the family’s perspective (August 20).

 

MUNDO ALAS is an inspirational musical directed by Argentina’s renowned folk artist León Gieco, who accompanies a group of young singers, dancers, and painters on a tour through several Argentinean provinces (August 6).

 

Revolving around two brothers who lose the plot of land they’ve been farming, PEEPLI LIVE is a hilarious and heartfelt portrait of India today, offering numerous insights into the nation’s rural society, media, and politics (August 13).

 

Fatih Akin’s multicultural comedy SOUL KITCHEN is set in a Greek restaurant in Hamburg, Germany, and showcases an ensemble of eccentric characters, including two Greek-German brothers trying to rescue their eatery from closure (August 20).

 

DVD

 

Written by youth pastor Jim Britts, TO SAVE A LIFE tells the poignant story of a popular teenager changed by a gun tragedy at his high school (August 3).  

 

LETTERS TO GOD is a family drama about an extraordinary eight-year-old boy whose strong faith and remarkable courage help him face his daily battle against cancer (August 10).

 

The unexpectedly joyful documentary FOUR SEASONS LODGE introduces viewers to a group of Holocaust survivors who gather each summer at an idyllic hideaway in the Catskills to celebrate life and savor long-standing friendships (August 17).

 

In HBO’s Emmy-award nominated film TEMPLE GRANDIN, Claire Danes plays the titular woman who enjoyed success as scientist, author, and activist despite suffering from autism (August 17).

 

Documentarian Catherine Corona sets out to determine whether the world’s major religions are in mortal conflict in THE GREAT MYSTERY, a film four years in the making and available at thegreatmysterymovie.com 

 

(Dates and schedules subject to change.)

Image from catholictv.com.

 

John P. McCarthy