What? No one has mentioned A Man for All Seasons??? This is one of my all-time favorite movies about St. Thomas Moore. The performances are some of the best and the final courtroom drama … chills. I want to be that man.
It is too bad you are squeamish because I can recommend some really good stuff. I know everybody thinks I am crazy for this, but Kill Bill vols I and II are an excellent pro-life story about false, worldly love, true love and redemption.
I mean, what could be better than watching Uma slicing body parts of some 80 or more bad guys in order to avenge the death of her unborn child? … Chills.
A bit higher on the gore scale would be Event Horizon which unfortunately has not been given a respectable treatment in DVD. This Gothic sci-fi horror nightmare evokes the selfless death of Christ in a way no other movie has (if he descended to the dead, then perhaps the suffering did not exactly end on the Cross – think about it).
Not to mention the tie between Catholic theology concerning the “existence” of evil (ie, it is a lack of, or a hole created in good) and the natural phenomena of a black hole (yes, I understand that all created nature is inherently good, but a created black hole is an excellent metaphor for evil). This movie is rated R for gratuitous gore, buckets and buckets of blood, and some naughty bits visible on a chick but it is not titillating because her eyes are gouged out.
There is also a mini-series that ran on cable in Japan called in English “Now and Then, Here and There.” This may be hard to find but it is one of the best anime features ever made. Yes, it is violent, but death is sweet release for these characters. The story involves a young Japanese boy being whisked away to an alternate universe where children are forced to serve in the army of a maniac who is all shades of 20th century dictators but especially Kim Jong Il.
The best thing about it is that it shows what a world overrun by the culture of death would really be like: underpopulated, depleted, savage, deceitful, militaristic, misogynist, and base – and how important it is to hope against all odds. The young boy who is the story’s protagonist is able to do what he does because he never lets any exterior forces like pain, fear, and the ridicule of his peers move him to sin against hope. This is an excellent example for teens to see.
The other strong point of the story is that all of the characters are given proper treatment. There are no two-dimensional characters here. Even the main villain emotes a strange sense of pity at the end. It does have some parts that would be abnormally difficult to watch, however. Also, I have never watched it in English (though the DVDs sold in the States have English as a selectable language) so I can only say the Japanese voice acting is excellent. It is available from U.S. Manga Corps.
Also, if you get the extended version of Lord of the Rings, it is more like getting six good Catholic movies.
Did you know Shakespeare was Catholic? There I just doubled your movie library! My all time fav is Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing (some brief naughty bits at the very beginning obviously not in the original Shakespeare version). Second would be Hamlet.
I actually did not like Brother Son, Sister Moon because of the overhanded treatment of Rome at the end of the film. The bishops were a bit too conniving and no mention was made of the pope’s dream foretelling St. Francis’ coming – which he was looking forward to despite the movie’s depiction.
I would recommend Signs by Shylaman but since seeing his Village, I have been unable to watch any of his other movies.
This is a personal problem – I cannot bear open anti-Catholicism or simpletons. Actors and directors who expose this part of their nature instantly ruin their movies for me.
For example, I probably will never watch Spiderman II again (I own the DVD) because Alfred Molina is going to play the evil Opus Dei bishop in the upcoming DaVinci Code movie. Shame!