welcome to lobos reviews

title image

Movie Review: Constantine's Sword

Alternate Title: Onward Christian Soldiers

Story: This encompassing film covers a lot of ground. There are probably enough juicy topics for five other films. Oscar nominated director Oren Jacoby adapts the 800 page book by former priest, now author, John Carroll and presents in 90 minutes enough historical and personal data to make your head spin. Carroll's book entitled An American Requiem: God, My Father and the War That Came Between Us won a 1996 National Book Award.

The war in the book's title refers to the Vietnam War, the religion, to the Catholic Church. Carroll, as both narrator and guide, meanders through his personal history which includes his upbringing in a strict, religious, military family. His father was a General in the Air Force and was a major player in the Vietnam War. We watch his separation from the Church and from his father while remaining a devout Catholic.

Carroll follows the route of wars being fought in the name of God. We join his as his quest takes us to Europe where he dissects Constantine's embrace of Christianity and his introduction of the Crucifix as the symbol of Christianity. From Constantine, through the Crusades, the Inquisition and the rise of Hitler he covers a lot of ground. The ground, of course, includes anti-Semitism and the Church's involvement in that crime.

Contemporary issues deal with the Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs and its forced indoctrination of Christianity on the cadets. We get to see the now disgraced Ted Haggard as he counter sues a Jewish Cadet who sued the Air Force over its religious proselytizing. Haggard counter sues for the right to proselytize.

As I said at the beginning of this review. There's a lot of ground covered in this film. All interesting - all enraging.

For more TV coverage and Mikey Weinstein's organization dedicated to Religious freedom in the Military go to: http://militaryreligiousfreedom.org/

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSQWHqBLrSo

Acting: It is a documentary. Not applicable although Ted Haggard does play as ass hole very well.

Predilection: The topic is interesting to me.

Food: On the meat and potato dinner plates of the cadets at the Air Force Academy is a flyer for Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ.

Sex Spectrum: NO sex - just torture.

Soundtrack: I do not remember much of a soundtrack except for the very moving Aaron Neville's 'With God on Our Side' through the credits.

Visual Art: Some hokey use of Bosch' paintings.

Theater Audience: About 20 other viewers at the Quad.

Sappy Factor: There is nothing sappy about persecution, torture and insane wars.

Squirm Scale: The topic is squirmy and scary.

Drift Factor: Too much information to allow myself to drift at all.

Oscar Worthy: No

Soap Box: Not enough room to say all of things that enrage me on this topic.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 90 jam packed minutes