Archive for the ‘Chick Flick’ Category

Christopher’s Top Picks of the Decade (1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

January 28, 2010

It took all month but here are

Christopher’s Top 20 Picks (with 3 “Ties and an Honorable Mention) of the Decade

(1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

  1. Lord Of The Rings (1 movie in 3 parts)
  2. The Passion of the Christ
  3. Unbreakable
  4. tie – DISTRICT 9 Pride and Prejudice 
  5. The Exorcism of Emily Rose  
  6.  Signs
  7. To End All Wars
  8. The Village
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe 
  10. Lars and the Real Girl 
  11. Luther 
  12. B000JLTR8QM. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water
  13. Napoleon Dynamite
  14. In The Bedroom
    Note: “The Bedroom” in the title refers to a compartment of a Lobster Trap
  15. Man On Fire
  16. I Am Legend
  17. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
  18. Phone Booth
  19. tie Nanny McPhee Up
  20. tie Danielson a Family Movie (or, Make A Joyful Noise HERE) Food Inc

Honorable Mention

Bella theatrical one sheet

Bella

Fireproof

This film was not the best done, or the most moving. Several films not on this list were better films. (The Spider Man films, Inglorious B——-s, Juno, Iron Man and even  Twilight, were all better films.) Still, a church got together and made a good film with a great message, and I think that should be applauded.

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Twilight Saga: New Moon extras Question Entertainment Christian Movie Review

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Check out all of Question Entertainment’s TWILIGHT Video, Reviews, and Info

 

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

September 4, 2009

Alexis_Bledel_in_The_Sisterhood_of_the_Traveling_Pants_Wallpaper_2_1280

What Is It?

This is a film being advertised as a “must see” for mothers and daughters. It’s the story of 4 friends who have known each other since birth. (There mom’s were in the same aerobic class.) They are all near 16 years old when they have to spend their first summer apart. Before leaving they find an amazing pair of jeans that fits them all perfectly. They come up with rules and decide that the magic pants will be kept with each one for a week, then mailed (unwashed) to the next with a letter about their adventures. After this it becomes 4 separate stories that are shared as they all come home.

How Was It?

First, I am NOT this films target audience.

The girls were likable. The idea of a sisterhood, having friends who will be there no matter what, is very appealing. This may be enough to ride people through the film. One of the down points for me was that the two actresses who I was most excited about seeing (Alexis Bledel of the “Gilmore Girls” and Amber Tamblyn of “Joan of Arcadia”) both turned in excellent performances but had stories that seemed to be throw away plots from their respective TV shows.

Each girls’ story seemed to be an attempt to hit the major concerns of most girls, though the resolutions seemed to be the kind that would have been written by a young teen girl, and totally unsatisfying to anyone looking a little deeper than “awwh, they are all happy now.” I’m not opposed to simple happy endings, but the situations they brought up were so complex, and the solutions were not only too simple, but lacking in depth. (HUGE SPOILER)

Girl

Earth Shattering Problem

Neat Solution

Amber Tamblyn
Tibby

Thinks the little girl she’s with is a pest

finds out she’s dying of leukemia

Alexis Blede
Lena

afraid to love, dresses in baggy clothes

wears clothing that shows her shape, disobeys her grandparents and dates a cute Greek guy.

Blake Lively
Bridget

Wants to deal with her mother’s suicide and dad’s emotional absence by sports and throwing herself at boys

goes to soccer camp, loses her virginity to a college boy

She’s 16!

decides it didn’t help because it was for “the wrong reasons.” (Later agrees to date the boy when she’s 20)

America Ferrera
Carmen

Betrayed by dad who walked out and now just wants her around to have a token spot in the his wedding to his new girlfriend

throws a rock at her dad through a window, yells at him over the phone,

decides it’s all better when she gets a token spot in his wedding.
(Hu?)

Is It Good For Kids?

Though there are many (too many) teenaged girls dealing with all these issues, they are definitely too “adult” for most younger kids.
You can check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.

Is It Good For Teen Boys?

There are far too many attractive girls wearing way to little: trading pants in front of the camera, checking to see that “everyone’s butt looks great in these pants,” soccer camp with girls in sports bras and hot pants jogging, and Lena getting over her baggy clothes thing by stripping to her underwear and swimming off a dock. (She is then joined by the cute Greek guy.)

I spent way to much time having to look at the walls until my wife told me they were clothed again.

Really I don’t think it’s good for teen girls to have this as an example either….

 

How about Spiritual Issues?

There is a lot of talk about faith, but there seems to be no reason for their faith. It is never clear what their faith is in. Then the dad that is living with his girlfriend has become a Christian (praying “in Jesus’ name”) to fit in with the family he now lives with.

I am also just bugged by Bridget’s experience. First there is nothing to deal with the fact that it’s statutory! Second, the Bible says that it will make you one with the other person. Even if it’s used wrong, it still creates an emotional bond, especially in an emotionally needy 16 year old girl her first time… The glib way this is handled robs it of all its power and sends a very wrong message… Its just something you can do, but don’t do it to escape other things.

What Is Your Recommendation?

I would say, if you are going to give some of your summer to the sisterhood, make sure you do go with your daughter, and talk about the huge issues they bring up and the simplistic Brady-esk solutions that answer them.

Though if you would like a fun film for “Girls Night” that deals with social pleasures or teen life, and even sex, but with better answers and a seemingly correct view, check out Jennifer Garner in “13 going on 30” on DVD.

13 Going On 30

One Night With The King

June 16, 2009

What Is It?

Based on the Tommy Tenney , Mark Andrew Olsen novel Hadassah, “One Night With The King”, it is an expansion of the Biblical story of  Esther. The plot is the one you know, with the addition of a political plan to stop Greece and gain vengeance for the Kings murdered father.

How Was It?

It starts off shaky, gets good then drags on it’s way to a satisfying ending. This is an accomplishment considering the screen writer (Stephan Blinn) and the director (Michael O. Sajbel) are separately responsible for some of the absolute worst Christian films ever. The feel of the movie seems a bit like someone jumped a camel from “the Ten Commandments” grabbed “Belle” away from “…the Beast” and dropped her in Middle Earth, where she was to reenact Bible stories, accompanied by a king who shares a make up artist with Captian Jack Sparrow.

LOTR fans will recognize John Rhys-Davies or Gimli, narrating as Mordecai . Furthermore, you will also spot obvious knods to Gandalf’s helpful moth, the flame lit fortress in Mordor, the forging of the Orc’s swords, Saruman’s speeches to the armies, Aragon’s dramatic entrance through the giant doors of Helms Deep, the black riders and even theOne Ring, itself, revealing it’s message by fire.

Though there is lots that we have all seen before, they are emulating some of the best film has to offer and do it with decent actors, solid photography and a very large budget. Little touches like having Haman’s symbol look surprisingly like a swastika, and the evil advisors fearing the Greeks because the will bring democracy (more the American version than the Greek) border between cute and silly but don’t detract from the story. There are a couple holes left unresolved like a “Three’s Company” style misunderstanding and Esther’s questions about Queen Vashti that are never answered. Despite these down falls, it is a very watchable movie.

Is It Good For Kids?

There are some parts that are a bit scary and dark and Queen Vashti shows some cleavage at one point. Other than that, there is some bloodless action to keep the boys interested and some “princess movie” elements for the girls.

You can check Screenit.com for a complete breakdown of the elements presented.

What About Spiritual Issues?

For the most part all the Bible story is here. It’s just “more flushed out.” They incorporate elements from other parts of the Bible as well as retelling of some of the actual stories themselves. There is even the utterance of a Messianic Prophecy.

The only change I found distracting was the kings selection process for a new queen. First the other girls were all so dreadfully silly, that there was no real competition. Second he avoided having his “one night” with any other girl and then asked Esther to be his queen before their evening really started. I found this nod to the American romantic sensibilities more out of place and silly than the democracy comments.

Despite there additions and rewrites, there is nothing that changes the ultimate message of the book and it certainly lines up with the message of the Bible.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s a movie you may enjoy. It’s well worth watching, especially if you have friends who are interested in the film.

I always find it fun (especially with kids) to read the Bible story first, talk about what happened, and then watch the movie and compare them.

“One Night with the King” offers plenty to entertain as well as inspire thought.

Still, for my money, I much prefer the 1999 TV movie Esther (now on DVD) that, though not quite as grand, captures the beauty of the story much better while keeping a stricter focus on the original text and giving us a smoother story

One Night With the King DVD

Hadassah

The Bible – Esther

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by MITCH ALBOM

June 9, 2009

What Is It?

The follow up book to his best selling “Tuesdays with Morrie.” In this book we follow the last half hour of Eddies life. He is a matince man an amusement park. Then when he is killed in a random ride accident, we go with him to heaven. We find out that in heaven you meet five people (thus the title…) . Still they are not the people you would think of at first, maybe Peter, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and C.S. Lewis. It turns out that you meet five people who affected you life (or you affected theirs.) And from each one you learn something about your life. They are each in there own personal heaven and you work your way through to your own.

How Was It?

It was very simplistic and fun in it’s style. Eddie died on his birthday. So between sit downs with the next heavenly host, you get flash backs of eddies birth day through the years. It turns out that they are all very significant and thus look very orchestrate.

Then the people he meets. The first is a Blue Skinned man from the freak show followed by an army general. This sets you up for knowing you can go anywhere with this. Not only do you hear about Eddies life, each time you get a character sketch of the hosts life. This is interesting and further points out the interconnectedness that is at the heart of the book.

Is It Good For Kids?

It would be a fairy easy read for even younger kids. The concept are heady. Still there are a lot of dark situations at time. The end of the book even has a moment of down right gruesome. There is also a fair mount of the Lords name in vain.

How about Spiritual Issues?

You can’t get around spiritual issues in a trip to heaven. This is a fictional account, but it is the type of book that, for some reason, people like to hang on to as fact. Hoping that if they believe it enough then maybe they can will it into there existence.

(Though they can’t even will anything good onto TV, I don’t know how they will create a heaven.)

First of all there is no mention at all of Eddie having a relationship with God, but here he is in heaven. There is also no mention of Jesus. John 14:6 Here, sins are sins of disconcerting from other people (witch can be true) and are resolved by asking forgiveness in heaven.

Then we find that people pick there heaven, from something that they liked a lot on earth. This to me seems like a bum deal. This is HEAVEN and the best you could do is something that was good on earth! I’m disappointed with movies like that… forget the ultimate reward.

We are told in the Bible “However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9

I can see what’s here, and I can hear what’s here. I have a prity wild imagination, so my mind can conceive a lot. (It’s also been bolstered by the imaginations of Tolken, Lewis, M. Knight, and many others.) Further more Jesus said, about 2000+ years ago, “I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 So this book would have you believe that the place Jesus was working on for 2000+ years is just a nock-off of this place that he bumped out in under a week!

All this considered, the tragedy of the book is the information Eddie gets in heaven. He finds out what his life was about and how he should live it. This seem “to little to late.” Sure some people may find this inspiring them to be nicer to others (which is always good) but it also seems to be calling for a rash of laziness. You will find out what the point is later so don’t worry about it now. That just seems like you are paving your path with good intentions.

This is a picture of cruel universe where you are expected to live almost a hundred years with out knowing what you are supposed to be doing. Then you get to heaven and find out “you should have been looking at it this way.”

Then, here is the kicker, after you are dead and find out that you were supposed to be doing… that it’s all about relationships with each other; you are put in your own “personal” place where you sit around enjoying you little bit of earth on heaven and wait for other people to kick off so you can pull the same cruel cosmic joke on them.

We are supposed to believe that this life that is to be lead by investing in others, has been set up by a God that remains distant and then puts you in a pretty little cell for all eternity.

What Is Your Recommendation?

I have three (pick the one that is best for you.)

If you know God – You still may want to read it because I think it will influence the society that we live in, you will better understand where people are coming from and the hopelessness that they are being offered as paradise.

If you don’t know God – Read the book of John instead… see God made flesh, invading our reality now, and offering not only meaning to life, but connectedness in relationships, starting with a real relationship with God.

Finally, if you are MITCH ALBOM – How about a re-write with a twist ending. After the fifth person, Eddie realizes that he should have known this a lot earlier. He finds that he doesn’t have the contentedness to people or to God. So where is he…Not Heaven !

Sort of like Alice Coopers song “It’s Much Too Late”

 

Now it’s much too late

My time has passed away

All my plans and dreams have all ended

Now it’s much too late

To try and plead my case

And I don’t know the God I’ve offended

It’s too late

Dragontown

The Movie “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” was exactly the same.

The Secret Life of Bees Q&E Review Show

May 13, 2009