Friday, February 27, 2015

Movie Review: VeggieTales Noah's Ark

This is a retelling of  the story of Noah's Ark, which most of us have already heard or read. But... this version of it has a pretty cool ark :) has a little train that runs from end to end, a gym, a sauna, etc.   But despite the amenities, there a couple of veggies grumbling about being confined, especially Noah's son, Shem, who is newly married and wants to build a home.

Shem goes so far as to come up with a 'plan B', but in the end the veggies and the animals learn the most important lesson, to trust in God, and his plan.

To be honest, I enjoyed the story more than I thought I would.

This is a very entertaining story for all ages!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service - R

The Kingsman is a British secret service organization. The first part of the movie focuses on recruiting a new agent, and the six young people who are being evaluated for the position.  The two finalists are Eggsy and Roxy. (Taron Egerton and Sophie Cookson).  Taron is a natural as Eggsy.  He is perfect for the role.   

The plot of Kingsman is somewhat non-sensical, but take it for what it is...just entertainment.  Valentine (Samuel Jackson) is trying to control the world, and the Kingsman must stop him.

I am not a fan of Samuel Jackson, but I have to admit I am impressed by his versatility as an actor.  The last few roles I've seen him in were quite diverse, and his role as Valentine in Kingsman is pretty unique and entertaining.

What bothered me is the frequent and gratuitous use of the F it's part of a common vocabulary. I found it disturbing and unnecessary.

In addition to language, content warnings include violence and some gore.

Overall, the action was entertaining and the gadgets are pretty cool.

The R rating is appropriate....adults may find it entertaining, but it's not for kids.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Movie Review: 23 Blast

Now on DVD

This is the story of Travis Freeman.  Travis is a promising high school football player who wakes up with a swollen eye, which turns to blindness.  His initial reaction is anger and   frustration, which seems like the same reaction most people would have, but through the support of his parents, his coach, and friends, he perseveres and resumes playing football.

I did find it inspirational, and a good example of how to face adversity, but (and here's the part where I feel foolish) I thought it unrealistic for someone who is blind to play football.  But then..... did I mention this is a TRUE story?....they showed the real Travis playing football! and I realized that we should not place limits on what others can do.  The way that Travis overcame his affliction turned out to be very motivational to me and others...particularly considering that he graduated from a theological seminary and now has more of an opportunity to inspire others.

23Blast turned out to be a blast! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Movie Review: The Identical

This is a story of twins, one of whom is adopted as a baby.  The story focuses on Ryan Wade, the son of a preacher (Ray Liotta).   Preacher Wade wants Ryan to follow in his footsteps, but Ryan has musical ambitions, and a great Elvis-like voice.  He continues to pursue his dream, and eventually finds his identity, in more ways than one.

The main themes are being true to yourself and forgiveness.  I was also  impressed with how respectful Wade was toward his parents.  

I found the story very entertaining, and attention-grabbing....I was eager to find out how it turned out and my patience was indeed rewarded with a very fitting and appropriate ending :)

I highly  recommend The Identical!

Acting KUDO's to Ray Liotta for a  great performance, and to the make-up crew for aging him and Ashley Judd over the years.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Movie Review: Unbroken - PG13

This is the true story of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini who, along with 2 fellow soldiers, survives a plane crash and 47 days in a raft, only to be captured by the Japanese during World War II. They are held in a prison camp run by a cruel commander they refer to as 'The Bird'.  He is cruel to all, but he singles out Louie for punishment because of his notoriety as an Olympian.   But the Bird can't break Louie.  

Louie was a troubled kid who often got into trouble, and fights.  That led to his joining the track team and, eventually, running in the Olympics.

Louie and the others are held for the duration of the war.   The part that most surprised me is the lesson of forgiveness at the end, when Louie forgives his captors (the Bird won't meet with him).

A truly inspirational story about endurance, perseverance and forgiveness.  To keep in mind that it is a true story makes it even  more touching.

I especially like the filming techniques used in the story, such as the view from within the plane while shooting at enemy planes, and the view from a space below the blindfold when they are blindfolded.  

Although there is violence and brutality, there is only an aappropriate amount to support the story, and there is little 'gore'.  I would recommend this story of America's greatest generation.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Movie Review: The Lumo Project

Available on Netflix

This is a new portrayal  of the Gospel of John.  I reviewed the  NIV version, but it is also available in the King James version and a Spanish version.  Although many of us have heard or read most of the Gospel story, the story of Christ, I feel that seeing it told on screen somehow makes it more relevant, more real, to us.

The only aspect I am ambivalent about  is that, although the story is taking place on screen, the whole story is told by a narrator.  I would have preferred to hear the story through the dialogue.  However, I do realize this would have made the story longer.  It is 2 hours 40 minutes, and the narration allows them to tell more of the Gospel story in this time frame.  

The narration also provides some additional description and explanation of the events on the screen.

An authentic and moving portrayal of the Gospel.  I highly recommend it, as it will deepen your understanding of the Gospel.  A great way to begin the Christmas season!

Movie Review: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I - PG13

As was hinted at the end of part II, Katniss Everdeen is asked to be the 'Mockingjay', the face of the revolution against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol.  She agrees, with the condition that the victors of the Hunger Games will not be prosecuted.  Katniss makes a couple of messages encoraging and motivating the revolution.    I especially like the haunting tune they come up with to motivate the revolution; it is pretty cool.  Even though Gale is helping her, Katniss is especially concerned about Peeta, who is being held by the Capitol.   

Peeta is shown in several messages that are released by the Capitol, and one of the questions that is present throughout the story is  where does  Peeta stand? he still Peeta or has he been brainwashed?    

I actually enjoyed Mockingjay more than the first two, because there was more emphasis on the story, than the action or fighting, although there is enough of those to support the story.

A well-written and well-acted story that you'll enjoy.  
I am looking forward to Mockingjay part II.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Music Review: The Rosary Mysteries, Meditations and Music

I pray the Rosary daily, and I've heard the Sisters' beautiful music before, so I jumped at the opportunity to review this CD.  And it exceeded my expectations.

After introducing each mystery, a sister reads the relevant bible passage.  What distinguishes this Rosary recording from others, is that she cites the book and verse of the passage in case you wish to make note of it, or read further in the passage.   

I especially like the echo-like sound affect that is used while reading the bible enhances it and makes it sound more powerful and  biblical..

When you finish the rosary, you can enjoy a few beautiful hymns by the sisters....two in English, one in Latin.  

The Rosary + the Sisters' beautiful singing = an awesome CD.

This is one of those recordings that I would classify as a spiritual will bring you closer to the Lord, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Movie Review:Susie's Hope

This true story is mostly about Donna Lawrence and her husband Roy.  Donna is attacked by a pit bull dog.  The attack has long-lasting effects on her.  A short time after that, Donna and her friend are walking and come upon a dog that was badly beaten and burned; ironically, it is a pit bull puppy.  

Donna can't leave the puppy.  She names her Susie and, against all odds, she raises the money to pay for Susie's medical care and recovery.  Her friend Ramona is supportive,  and her husband is at first reluctant...then very supportive.  Together, Donna and Susie both recover and heal from their injuries.

Together, Donna and her husband seek justice for Susie both by seeing her attacker punished, and working to get 'Susie's Law' passed, which increased the penalty for animal cruelty or my very own state of North Carolina :).  

Special acting KUDO's to Burgess Jenkins, who played Roy Lawrence; I felt his acting was the most realistic and credible.  His responses to various events in the story were very natural, instinctive and genuine.

I  admit I love animals and I'm a sucker for an animal story, but this is a really  heartwarming story that I proudly recommend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Movie Review: The Vatican Museums In Cinemas

“The Vatican Museums 3D” will be in theaters everywhere beginning December 10 in partnership with Fathom Events, and will be shown in 2D and RealD 3D. Additional shows will be in select theaters December 11 and 14.

The introduction begins with the paradox of art being a means of escaping the world, while at the same time, highlighting the beauty of the world.

For me, I am best able to appreciate art by hearing  the story behind the art.  A few  of my favorites: 

  • When The priest Laocoon opposed Minerva, she sent a giant serpent to strangle his two sons, and then him.  This statue was the beginning of the Vatican Museums in 1504.   
  • Da Vinci's 'Saint Jerome', while still unfinished, was used as a she maker's bench and was rediscovered two centuries later.
  • Did you  know that Michaelangelo inscribed his signature on the Pieta, on the ribbon of the Blessed Mother's dress? I didn't...

There were several references to these works of art bringing us closer to God, and I do believe that is true.   Whether you are seeking that, or if you are just someone who appreciates beautiful art, I strongly recommend that you see this movie. It will bring you closer to the art than you could get even by being there.  The photography  is outstanding, and brings the art to life.

For Theaters and Showtimes: