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"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, June 01, 2012

For Greater Glory opens today!

Take your children and grandchildren to see this movie. All must be taught "religious freedom" always always always hangs from a very thin thread.

For Greater Glory

 What price would you pay for freedom? In the exhilarating action epic FOR GREATER GLORY an impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as the film's adventure unfolds against the long-hidden, true story of the 1920s Cristero War ­the daring people¹s revolt that rocked 20th Century North America.

Academy Award® nominee Andy Garcia headlines an acclaimed cast as General Gorostieta, the retired military man who at first thinks he has nothing personal at stake as he and his wife (Golden Globe nominee Eva Longoria) watch Mexico fall into a violent civil war. Yet the man who hesitates in joining the cause will soon become the resistance's most inspiring and self-sacrificing leader, as he begins to see the cost of religious persecution on his countrymen . . . and transforms a rag-tag band of rebels into a heroic force to be reckoned with.  The General faces impossible odds against a powerful and ruthless government.  Yet is those he meets on the journey ­ youthful idealists, feisty renegades and, most of all, one remarkable teenager named Jose ­ who reveal to him how courage and belief are forged even when justice seems lost.

Director Dean Wright brings a visual power honed from years as a leading Hollywood effects guru ­ on such blockbusters as TITANIC, THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and CHRONICLES OF NARNIA ­ to this real-life tale that has never been told on screen before.  The film is written by Michael Love.  The producer is Pablo Jose Barroso.  Garcia and Longoria lead a stellar multinational cast that includes the legendary Peter O¹Toole, rapidly rising star Oscar Isaac (DRIVE), recording star and actor Ruben Blades (SAFE HOUSE), Bruce Greenwood (STAR TREK, SUPER 8), Nestor Carbonell (THE DARK NIGHT RISES), Bruce McGill (LINCOLN), Santiago Cabrera (³Heroes,² CHE), Oscar®-nominated Catalina Sandino Moreno (MARIA FULL OF GRACE) and Eduardo Verástegui (BELLA).

Shooting on historic locations throughout Mexico, the equally accomplished behind the scenes team includes director of photography Eduardo Martinez Solares (BAD HABITS), Oscar®-nominated editor Richard Francis-Bruce (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, SEVEN, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER¹S STONE), production designer Salvador Parra (VOLVER) and Oscar®-winning composer James Horner (AVATAR, TITANIC, BRAVEHEART).


From Fox News:
 REVIEW: 'For Greater Glory' a sweeping, sentimental adventure

 “For Greater Glory” takes its cues from a bygone era of Technicolor Golden Age epics and delivers a sprawling political drama steeped in old-fashioned Hollywood romanticism.

During the 1920s, Mexico was thrust into civil war when President Plutarco Calles (Rubén Blades) outlawed Catholicism, banned religious activity, confiscated all church property and exiled clergy. Priests and nuns that protested were arrested or publicly executed and hung on display from roadside posts. Rebel factions formed by schoolboys to farmers to artisans rose up and thus started the Cristero War.

Andy Garcia gives an excellent performance as the legendary General Gorostieta, a militaristic mastermind hired to lead the directionless rebels against Calles. In pure movie fashion, one man becomes a symbol, uniting a country in its struggle for civil liberty and religious freedom. But Gorostieta’s story is an interesting one: He’s an atheist who joins the cause out of boredom – and a little prodding from his wife (Eva Longoria) -- but he quickly finds worth and value when he’s introduced to a young boy, José Luis Sanchez.

Newcomer Mauricio Kuri – with the most moving performance in the film -- is young José, a mischievous schoolboy who witnesses the atrocities of Calles’ law first hand and makes a pilgrimage to join the Cristeros and fight alongside General Gorostieta.

Like Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” “For Greater Glory” is a film displaced in time. This historical adventure feels like a fifty-year-old film minus Charlton Heston. Director Dean Wright (a visual effects master on films like “Lord of the Rings” and “Titanic”) keeps things old fashioned but never crosses the line to pastiche. With sun-soaked cinematography, beautiful panoramic vistas, a lush James Horner score and multitudes of idealist characters and pious speeches, “For Greater Glory” feels like a war movie from a much more innocent time. Though Wright deftly uses that old Hollywood glory against us; he alternates between Hallmark card sentimentality and raw contemporary violence. As the war progresses, the film becomes increasingly violent but never loses its classic film visage, which, whether intentional or not, is eerie and memorable.

Though similar in style to “War Horse,” “For Great Glory” is a much more satisfying journey, though could benefit from some additional editing. There’s a clear structure to the film and even the stereotypical characters feel better defined, from the fiendish Calles to Ambassador Dwight Morrow (Bruce Greenwood) to the contentious rebel “El Catorce” (Oscar Isaac).

Screen legend Peter O’Toole makes a brief appearance as the staunch Father Christopher and within those few moments the actor lives up to his reputation of an acting force to be reckoned with. From the iconic timbres of his voice to his statuesque appearance, at 80 years old, O’Toole hasn’t lost his edge one bit.

Meanwhile, Longoria is a lovely respite from the war-torn action scenes while Bruce Greenwood, Nestor Carbonell and Oscar Isaac round out the noteworthy supporting cast.

“For Greater Glory” is very heavy on religion [WTF? It's about people being massacred because of their religious beliefs! Of course it's heavy on religion, you dope! - F.G.], but a well-done war film nonetheless, overflowing with sentimentality and classic Hollywood adventure.


Here's a dumbass review from a McClatchy guy who should know better:






Movie Review | For Greater Glory: 'Historical' look at civil war more like propaganda


 By  Roger Moore
McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE


For Greater Glory is a meandering, malnourished epic of a forgotten Mexican civil war — the one “after” the Mexican Revolution, which made Pancho Villa famous.

The period piece, partly financed by the Knights of Columbus, is about the Cristero War, when Catholic priests and peasants took up arms against the Mexican government’s efforts to repress the Roman Catholic Church.
It is a preachy and violent movie aimed at the faithful — people who won’t grimace or roll their eyes at every character who declares, “God save us from these heathens!”

In 1920s Mexico, the leftist administration of President Plutarco Calles (Ruben Blades) takes Marx’s maxim that “Religion is the opiate of the masses” seriously. Calles introduces “reforms” and edicts ranging from the practical — taking church dogma out of the schools, especially science class — to the more alarming — mass deportations of foreign priests and violence against priests who refuse to leave.

A coalition of church officials and reactionaries, left over from the losing side of the recent civil war, rises up. They call themselves “Cristeros,” and the revolt rages off and on for years. Priests such as Father Vega (Santiago Cabrera) take up arms when priests such as Father Christopher (Peter O’Toole) are executed.
But as the revolt roils the country, the Cristeros see they need a leader. They turn to an agnostic hero of the Mexican Revolution, Gen. Velarde (Andy Garcia). For reasons both righteous and mercenary, he and his wife (Eva Longoria) realize that he can make a difference for the Cristeros.

Director Dean Wright, working from a Michael Love (Gaby: A True Story) script, manages the combat scenes — raids on villages, trains — well enough. But he has no sense of pace and has a hard time keeping the various factions distinct. And if he can’t keep them straight, what hope do we have?

Any movie set in a civil war or revolution is going to take sides, and, as in the Opus Dei-backed There Be Dragons, this one certainly has. But church backers need to make better, less laughably propagandistic movies about recent instances of Catholic martyrdom.

The history itself is dodgy.The horrific excesses of a government determined to reign in a church thoroughly allied with the former ruling classes are documented, but there is nothing about the Cristeros’ mass slaughter of rural teachers who dared to lecture on evolution.

If you’re tackling a subject this complex, you need to be more careful. And if you’re going to try to produce an epic, you need to spend more money.

"Complex"? The white martyrdom of American Catholics is well underway and if we are to avoid mass murder on religious grounds [Oops! We already have that. It's called "abortion".] this movie is the kind of lesson we need to learn. 

 

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