This mesmerizing film immerses you in the agony of Maria whose husband beats and humiliates her as she deliberates over an abortion. The ending is a sudden crescendo of the freeing power of hope!
Watch it here.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
This is a story about Glen Campbell. Filmed as a documentary, it details his struggle with alzheimer's disease, and highlights moments from his career.
I was particularly struck by the lengths his family has gone to to support him, both in his struggle with the disease, and the production of his final album and farewell road tour. It shows what a family should be. Although it is sad to watch the struggle, it is also uplifting to see how determined they are to overcome it. Both Glen and his family stay amazingly upbeat. I also enjoyed the many clips they show from his performances. It does get harder, as we see Glen increasingly affected by the disease.
One of his performances included 3 of his children, so I don't think he's going to be the last Campbell to be successful in the music industry :)
A very heartwarming and inspirational story that I heartily recommend.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a successful Chicago attorney. When his mother dies, He goes home to a small town in Indiana, and the family he has become estranged from. While he is still there, his father, Judge Joseph Parker, is accused of murder. Henry stays to defend him. Aside from the trial itself, the story focuses on their relationships. Downey and Duvall give Oscar worthy performances, and Vincent D'Onofrio is also very good as Hank's brother. The story highlights both the strength and fragility of family relationships, and the need for forgiveness.
I do recommend The Judge, but for adults, not children.
Content warnings include language, and a couple of crude moments (no nudity or sex scenes).
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The best aspect of VIP is the tempo/rhythm/beat of the tracks. The whole CD is very contemporary, and it will especially appeal to young people. Even though I am only 'young at heart', it appeals to me :)
The thing I like best about VIP is that the songs are so relative...they almost felt like they were written to me, or about me, because I could relate so personally to them. I do wish there were more than 8 tracks. Although they convey our weaknesses and failings, they highlight God's saving grace. It is also motivational.
My favorite track is Indestructible....it encompasses so much....how we can lose our way and God finds us, how we are so weak and yet shielded by Him, we are invincible,how he is our strength, and He watches over us.
I highly recommend VIP...it is uplifting, entertaining and will help bring you closer to the Lord.
Monday, October 13, 2014
My first holiday music review of the season :)
An enjoyable blend of familiar and unfamiliar Christmas hymns. Out of 19 tracks, I was familiar with about half of them.. A few were in Latin, most in English.
I have heard and reviewed several boy choir CD's, and one mistake I have found with a couple of them, and this one, is that they use a key that is too high, perhaps an effort to emphasize the boys' ability to reach high pitches. This is not necessary, because the best songs were those which most effectively used harmonizing. The best harmonizing is in Ding Dong Merrily on High.
Indeed, it is clear that most of the boys have crystal-like voices which captivate the listener.
To be honest, the audio quality could have been better....most of the songs sounded like the microphone was placed way too far from the choir.
By far, the two best tracks on the CD are Hark, the Herald Angels Sing and Angels We Have Heard on High. The Little Road to Bethlehem was also especially well-done and beautiful.
I recommend Christmas in Harvard Square...not only is it relaxing and enjoyable, it will help get you in the Christmas spirit :)
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Denzel Washington is Robert McCall. McCall has both a mysterious past, and a set of special skills. He is 'retired' from his former life with no intention of returning to it. But then he meets Teri, a young girl who has fallen under the control of the Russian mob. McCall can't stand idly by, and decides to help her.
The story is very well-told and engaging, with an appropriate level of tension throughout. Denzel is particularly good as McCall. IMHO, the ending implies there might be a sequel, and I sure hope there is :)
Content warnings include violence, and language.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Terri is a wife and mother of two, living in Atlanta when Colin, a charming but dangerous escaped convict, shows up at her door claiming car trouble. Terri offers her phone to help him but soon learns that no good deed goes unpunished as he invades her home and terrorizes her family.
The story is very well done. Many movies today include gratuitous violence and/or unnecessary gore. There is indeed some violence, but only what is needed to tell the story. That is one content warning, and the other would be some language.
Both Taraji Henson (Terri) and Idris Elba (Colin) are Very Good in their roles. The suspense had me on the edge of my seat.
A Very Good movie.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is an ex-CIA agent lured out of retirement for one last mission, to protect an important witness. This mission puts him at odds with his former friend and protégé, David Mason. There are a couple of good twists, so that you don't know who can be trusted. You will be on the edge of your seat.
The story is very well-written and engaging, and the acting overall is credible and entertaining. Brosnan is especially good as Devereaux.
Content warnings include violence, some language and 2 brief bed scenes.
A very entertaining movie for adults. Not recommended for children.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Set in the future, the government has created a seemingly ideal society. They have done this by eradicating a lot of memories,and also parts of our history, that they deem harmful. Everyone is seen in black & white, to avoid any differences between people. When students finish school, the government assigns them a profession to pursue. Jonas is designated as the 'Receiver', meaning he will be the only one with access to memories, which will be shared with him by the 'Giver' (Jeff Bridges). Every part of society is overseen by the government, specifically the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep). The more Jonas learns, the more he realizes what society is missing.
A well-written story, and Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep were particularly good in their roles. I believe the story also makes a good point of the dangers of government having too much control over people's lives.
I highly recommend The Giver, especially for adults and young adults. There was no objectionable content, I'm just not sure if younger children would understand the nature of the story.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Jim Caviezel plays Bob Ladouceur, the coach of the Spartans. Bob tries to teach the team more than just football, but principles, many faith-based, that will help them in life.
Much of the story is about their 151 game winning streak. It was surprising to see the impact that the streak had on the team and the whole town. There's even a team member who is after a personal record. It is especially rewarding to see a couple of team members take what Bob has taught them to heart.
Laura Dern, who plays Bob's wife Bev, does a good job of balancing her support for the team with her concern for Bob. Michael Chiklis is good as Terry Eidson, Bob's assistant coach who is really supportive of Bob. But Caviezel steals the show with his heartfelt portrayal of Coach Ladouceur.
WTGST is a very good story, much of which has to do with choices, and deciding what is most important.
An excellent movie for the whole family. My brother and my nephews really liked it too. :)