Worth Watching in February 2011

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By John P. McCarthy


Television & Multimedia

 

Disney Channel launches DISNEY JUNIOR, a multiplatform label devoted to preschoolers. Among its debuting shows are “Disney Poetry Shorts” and “Special Agent Oso,” designed to encourage healthy lifestyles. Check listings or visit http://disney.go.com/junior/pre/index.html

 

CatholicTV offers the new series BUILDING OUR FAITH, in which host Joe Curto use Scripture as a guide to help Catholics deepen their relationship with God. Learn more at CatholicTV.org or CatholicsforChrist.org

 

A live-action homage to the Brothers Grimm fairytale “The Frog King,” Hallmark Channel’s telefilm SMOOCH concerns a prince who is turned into a frog by a witch (February 5).

 

As part of “Great Performances at the Met,” PBS will broadcast a new production of Mussorgsky’s opera BORIS GODUNOV with bass René Pape singing the title role and Valery Gergiev conducting (February 13).

 

LOVE AND FAMILY, a short video produced by the Annenberg Foundation, profiles the work of Bishop Vincenzo Paglia and Rome’s Community of St. Egidio. To watch, go to http://explore.org/videos/player/love-and-family

 

Film

 

OF GODS AND MEN beautifully recounts the true story of French monks at a North African monastery who find themselves threatened by Islamic extremists during the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s (February 25).

 

Michael Joiner, Michael Higgenbottom, and Louis Gossett Jr. star in THE GRACE CARD, a drama about a grieving police officer who learns not to underestimate the power of God’s love (February 25).

 

In the animated family film THE LION OF JUDAH, animals embark on a funny, heartwarming adventure with a pronounced biblical flavor (February 25).

 

Disney’s GNOMEO & JULIET gives Shakespeare’s love story a makeover using garden gnomes. James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, and Maggie Smith lend their voices (February 11).

 

JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER is a musical biography of the popular young singer. Available in 3D, the movie includes performances from Bieber’s recent concert tour (February 11).

 

Glenn Close narrates HOME, a documentary by French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand that considers the effects of climate change from hundreds of aerial vantage points across the world (February 4).

 

DVD

 

Based on the inspirational novel by Karen Kingsbury, the drama LIKE DANDELION DUST won the Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award. The cast includes Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, and Cole Hauser (February 1). 

 

In WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, filmmaker Davis Guggenheim examines the state of public education using the stories of five students from around the country (February 22).

 

(Dates and schedules subject to change.)

 

 

John P. McCarthy