Archive for the ‘Romance’ 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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#33 – Top Money Makers of the Decade – Ratatouille

December 19, 2009

 

We have taken the list of the Top Money Makers of the Decade and we are doing the “Question Entertainment Lightning Round”
I hope you like it. Let us know your thoughts.

See them all at

 http://www.youtube.com/user/1ThessFIVE21and22#p/c/A4E6B15329949FF4

What Is It?

This is the second collaboration between Pixar and writer/director Brian Byrd. Their first outing, The Incredibles, lived up to it’s name. Now Ratatouille… um… does not easily lend itself to pithy comments.

It is the story of a rat (Patton Oswalt)who wants to be a gourmet cook, a boy (Lou Romano) who does not know how to cook, nor does he know that he is the heir to a restaurant dynasty, and finally the evil, short chef (Ian Holm)who wants to simply cash in on his late mentor’s reputation.

How Was It?

This was not the achievement that the Incredibles was, but it is much better than Byrd’s early film, The Iron Giant. The movie is altogether fun to watch with enjoyable characters, whimsical story twists, and great visuals. I especially liked Anton Ego’s (Peter O’Toole) house. To complement his corps like presents, his hall is coffin shaped and you can see the smile of a skull in his old typewriter. I also appreciate the fact that they have someone who they say is a great writer, and instead of just leaving it at that and showing people’s reaction to his writing, we actually hear his entire article. It is at the climax of the film, making it even more daring a move.

Is It Good For Kids?

There is no cussing (other than the line “welcome to hell” referring to work), violence in minimal and slapstick and no one is shown inappropriately. The rats occasionally “Steal” food, but every time the action is condemned in explicit terms with negative consequences following directly. There is also an Aladdin style racism, where they are in a foreign country, all the evil characters and comic relief people have thick accents and the two hero’s have the American TV “No-accent”

You can get a complete break down of what is on the screen at Screenit.com

What About Spiritual Issues?

Stealing is show throughout the film but, as I said, always with a verbal rebuke and eventually with negative consequences. This movie is very careful to explain itself at many points. Similarly, Remy the Rat (Patton Oswalt) talks with Gusteau (Brad Garrett) a dead chef. Gusteau has lots of lines pointing out that he is not a ghost but only imagined by Remy. He even goes so far to state that Gusteau only knows what Remy already knows himself, because Remy is making him up. I appreciated the distinction, because it is one distinction people often do not understand.

Gusteau is not the only brush with death we have. When we meet Linguini for the first time, his mother has just died. When explaining this, he tells the kitchen staff that she “believed in Heaven” so she is all set, as far as an afterlife is concerned. This line caught me off guard. On one hand, it was great to see the concept of heaven and that death is not to be looked at as an ending but a new beginning. Still the idea simply believing in the concept of heaven will ensure you go there is a frighteningly simplistic one. Jesus said, in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Also look at James 2:19.

There is also an odd undercurrent of sexual immorality. Linguini’s mother had been the girlfriend of Gusteau when they were both alive. Linguini and Gusteau did not know it, but Gusteau was Linguini’s father. This concept is tossed around in those terms throughout the film, without moral comment. This is stands out, considering they go out of their way to explain other actions as being wrong.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s a fun and well made film, which is the norm for Pixar. Still, there are pitfalls within the plot. If you are going to enjoy this cinematic dish with your family, you will want to talk about ghosts, Heaven, true salvation, stealing, and “love”.

I would instead look to any other Pixar film free of fishy-automotives or the other CG rodent themed  film “Flushed Away

Flushed Away

Juno

December 9, 2009

What is it?

This seems that someone put “Ghost World”, “Napoleon Dynamite” and an after school special in a blender with just a touch of “The Gilmore Girls” and came out with the kind of delectable diner treat you wish your local 5 star restaurant would serve.

Juno (Ellen Page) is a 16 year old girl living with her dad and step mom. With all the other problems of being a middle of the social ladder teen aged girl, Juno is pregnant. As all public high school educated teens are taught, she first considers abortion. She then decides to give it up for adoption to a couple who are unable to have children of their own.

Whatever this character driven, dialog heavy style of movie making is, I believe Juno makes it an official genre and someone with more clout than me will need to name it. (And once it’s named it can be beat into the ground until we all long for the days when we were not sure how to describe films like “Trust” and “Napoleon Dynamite”).

How was it?

With small town feel, quick witty dialogue, and a track team of maroon and gold clad skinny guys that just all run by every once and a while, this film has great texture and superb story telling.

It is rare to find something fun to watch, though still very emotional. I was unaware that Jason Batman was making a comeback. (I have not seen him since “Teen Wolf Too”) but he is excellent as the cool half of the adoptive yuppie couple (with Jennifer Gardner as his better half). There is a lot here that just seems like general silliness, but has big plot and symbolic payoff, later in the film. Each part is played superbly, the light banter never trivializes, and a cast of odd ball characters never seem distant or made up.

Was it good for Kids?

I did not find this film offensive for the sake of being racy, but no one bothers to take the edge off any of subject matter or the word choice. There is a lot of cussing, though it doesn’t “feel” like “that kind of film”. The consummation scene is very tastefully done and never shows any images that are in themselves wrong to look at. Still it is quite clear what is going on and in what state of dress the characters are in. If, by some chance, you missed it, characters explain it repeatedly later on.

If you are considering this film for your kids, please read what Screenit.com has to say about the content.

What about Spiritual Issues.

When Juno tells her parents that she is pregnant and going to give her baby up for adoption, her step mother (Allison Janney) says that the baby, for this family, will be a miracle “from Jesus”. It may be just thrown in to make her seem odd, but by this point in the film, we are so comfortable with the idea of taking these characters seriously, the line seems to just mean what it says.

When going for an abortion, Juno is met by a fellow student (Valerie Tian) who, in broken English, explains that God does not want her to kill the baby. It all seems silly on the way in, but after she realizes that what is inside of her is alive, all the warnings move from quirky banter to a poignant cry for life.

There is also a joke about adoption and Mosses. They use Mosses as an example of a closed adoption though technically it was accidentally open.

Other than that, there is no direct reference to spirituality, but there are many themes that should make Christians and moralist very happy.

The major theme here, seems to be, responsibility and understanding of your roll in your phase of life. When you add up everything they show us –  sex is fun and has a lot of emotional results, but it’s for married adults and makes babies. Abortion and condoms are shown as pathetic solutions that only trivialize the issue and could only truly be endorsed by the “far gone” among the teen population. Juno does act maturely in dealing with the situation, but this is not “Papa Don’t Preach”. Juno even tells her dad (J.K. Simmons) that she has spent the day, “Dealing with things way beyond my maturity level.” So she looks for loving adults to raise her baby. She goes to her parents for advice. The one time she blows off her step mom’s warning she finds that it was a mistake not to listen.

If all this was not amazing enough, we also find that adults who decide that they want to revert back and act like teenagers are likewise in the wrong, and may do even more damage than kids who mess up by trying to take on adult life to early.

I cannot remember the last time I left a movie theater having been told that if you are a kid messing with sex is not good for you and if you are a married adult it is your responsibility to stay with your spouse even when it is hard because you are acting like a spoiled child to run out when the going gets tough. OK, I cannot think of any movie that had all that.

What Is Your Recommendation?

This is a great movie that is hard to recommend. Though all the messages I talked about are there, I question whether the intended audience will pick up on it and clearly see the values it promotes. On top of that there is a lot of crudities and unsavory language to get through to get to the amazing message. Though most of the language comes from teens who are supposed to be shown as immature, will kids and teens be able to make that leap?

My recommendation is to know that this is not the “family” film that some are touting it as, but if you do chose to follow Juno for 9 months in only 92 minutes, you will have plenty to talk about, and a lot of great things to discover starting with a nice example of a family that talks to each other.

Cars

December 5, 2009

What Is It?

Pixar‘s latest attempt to give inanimate objects a voice starts in the world of NASCAR, and moves on to Route 66. With a set up not unlike Michael J. Fox‘s “Doc Hollywood,” race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) has just been in a 3 way tie at the end of the Piston Cup. A second race has been scheduled in California, but on the way, Lightning has an accident. After destroying a road, he is sentenced to stay in a backward town, off Route 66, until he can repair his damage. As the week goes by, while he could be schmoozing big wigs in Cali and getting a better sponsor, instead he is trapped in “hillbilly hell” (his words) wondering if he will even make it in time for the race.

How Was It?

CG Giant Pixar, started the full length computer animated fad in 1996 with inventive Toy Story. After that they have put out 2 good films and 2 great films. With that kind of track record, I was very excited to see film number seven. This is the first move Pixar has done since being bought by former partner Disney, and I’m here to say the new parent company has not ruined them yet!

(But we have yet to see Toy Story 3).

This movie makes all the other cheesy CG garbage that we have been getting lately look even cheesier. The performances are fun with a lot of cameos. (I’m not a car guy, so it wasn’t until I checked out IMDB.com that I realized all the car guys in it. Just know if the car has a name that a sound like a celebrity, the voice is that celebrity, including the red number 8 car named Jr.)

I think kids are going to love it, and like “The Incredibles“, it wow’s you with a story instead of needing to blow stuff up or edit a billion times a minute to keep kids attention. There is still action, but it punctuates instead of becoming the visual white noise. The plot is not too obvious and things come out the you may not have been expecting. Still my favorite parts were things like the tires and the blimp over the stadium (Light Year) and the major sponsor being Dinoco (the gas station chain that shows up in the Toy Story films.) There is also a fantastic “in the credits” bit with John Ratzenberger , who has been in all seven Pixar films.

I liked it, though found it odd that one of the main themes was how we are supposed to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of nature, while all the visuals we have of such things are made on a computer.

Is It Good For Kids?

I think kids will be able to follow the story well and enjoy what they see. I think the construction of the film is great for kids. There are also some good morals to learn here. There are a couple of mildly bad words, but then there was also the Lord’s name as a cuss word (maybe twice). The other odd thing was the amount of “body” jokes. One car checks out another’s “rear end” and it is implied repeatedly that when they see the underside of a car they are seeing something equivalent to a person without there pants. It is even shot so that the audience knows where they are looking but can’t see it themselves. There is nothing here to insight lust (because it’s still just cars) but possibly a bad attitude toward those issues.

You can check out screenit.com for a break down of what is on the screen, but they don’t seem to pick up as much of the “naughty parts on a car” that were in the film.

What about Spiritual Issues?

On one hand, there was a lot of good here. The idea that we should respect our elders (Proverbs 16:31) is something kids (and a lot of adults) need to hear today and are often told the opposite. The idea of learning from the past, and that simple things can be wonderful if you stop and look, are great things to have in your head. There is also a short message about slowing down and noticing the splendor of the natural world and wanting to be in a place where society has not just bulldozed it. Finally, it’s great to not just have the standard “racism” message, but the idea that you shouldn’t be elitist about your friends, but be willing to associate with people who you may consider lower than you. ( Romans 12:16 )

On the other hand, Despite what some may infer (like Dr. J.D.) I do not think salvation will be achieved by society returning to the 1950’s.

So, to the extent this is just extolling the virtues of friends and relationships, it’s a good thing. To the extent it’s telling us that the answer to life is friends and the 50’s, it’s an existential lie. Unfortunately, with it’s “I have everything, but life is still meaningless” story line, I think it errs on the side of the later.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It was a good movie, but it does have a couple of words you wouldn’t want your kids using and a message of “Redemption from the meaninglessness of life” without Jesus. I’m not sure it’s worth it. I will just be sticking with the Toy Story Series, The Incredibles, and the occasional Monsters Inc.

Elf

December 4, 2009

 501829elf-posters

What Is It?

This is a take off of every claymation Christmas special from the 60’s – 80’s with heavy emphasis on Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Will Ferrell plays Buddy The Elf. He is a very tall human who, much like Steve Martins “The Jerk”, did not notice that he was different from the hoard of Santa’s 3 foot elf’s who raised him. So taking all the attitude of said Christmas Specials and the three rules of an elf, Buddy travels to New York to meet his Dad (James Caan) even though Dad is a tough business man on the “Naughty List.”

 

How Was It?

 

It was funny. Will Ferrell manages to seem natural in this over the top character. My favorite part though is the introduction to elves and the north pole stammeringly narrated by Bob Newhart as Papa Elf. The other great thing is the sheer nuttiness of all the other characters. Well acted side characters all have there own quirks that help Buddy move seamlessly through New York. I think you will find this movie to be a series of very funny vinyets with just enough story and garland to string them together.

 

Is It Good For Kids?

 

Kids of the age for the original claymation will find a lot of fun and familier gags. Older kids will understand more of the juxtaposition of “Real Life” and “Elf Life”. There are a couple of jokes involving Buddy not understanding “adult” things, such as sending sexy women’s sleepwear to his father because the sign said it was perfect for “Someone Special” or following music to the woman’s locker room where a young lady is singing in the shower. It is very clear Buddy just wanted to sing along as in all his other whimsical misunderstandings. Buddy also uses God as a cuss word when he gets excited.

 

You can check Screenit.com for a break down of the elements on the screen.

 

What About Spiritual Issues?

 

First off this is all about Christmas and has not one reference to Christ. Luckily we do not get a “this is the meaning of Christmas” line to tell us it’s not Him, but just family or life or presents.

 

The odd thing here is the talk about Belief and Christmas Spirit. There is an easily made connection between Santa in this movie and God. (Spoiler) The end of the movie involves Santa (Edward Asner)crashed down in Central Park. In a Tinkerbell style conundrum, he can not fly because there is no more Christmas Spirit. Most likely the lack of Christmas spirit comes from a lack in belief in Santa, but it may just be a lack of belief in the concepts of love and magical generosity that Santa represents. He can not show himself because that would take away the correct type of Faith. A boy steals his gift list and reads it on TV. People are shocked at the accuracy where he even knows personal desires not just the one’s that kids wrote in their letters.

 

Spiritually we are left with some interesting questions.

Should Santa have attributes of God?

Faith is the evidence of things unseen, But is that faith based on wishful thinking?

Does prof destroy faith?

 

What Is Your Recommendation?

This is a funny light hearted movie. This does not destroy of de-mythologize fairytale but shows that they help us to live fuller more beautiful lives in the “real world”. In that light it is almost the kids version of “Lady in the Water”. Still the absence of God except as a cuss word and the notion of faith in Santa should give you something to think about when deciding if this film is right for you and your family and something to talk about if you do invite Buddy the Elf into your Christmas.

 

PS

If you do watch it. Keep your eyes open for a great re-do of the original big-foot “sighting” .

Elf

Dumped On Christmas – Christmas Music Play List

December 4, 2009

Christmas,

The Celebration of the Birth of the Savior of the World,

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,

When the land is filled with music,

Music about… FAILED RELATIONSHIPS?

Here are my favorite songs about that Special Someone destroying your Christmas

(Why are there so many of these?)

1. Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas

It’s Christmas Time

2. Relient K – I Hate Christmas Parties

Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer

3. U2 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Christmas

4. Hawk Nelson –  Last Christmas

Happy Christmas, Vol. 4

5. Deitiphobia  –  She Won’t Be Home

6. Huntingtons  –  Merry Christmas, I Don’t Wanna Fight

Christmas in Heaven – Flying Tart

7. – Jason Gleason of Further Seems Forever – Sleigh Bells And Wine

8. Skyline Drive – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Happy Christmas Volume 3

9. Irwin Icon and Russ Long  –  Tiffany’s Christmas Tree

OK, he doesn’t get “Dumped” but she has him arrested, and I think that has to count for something…

Christmas in Heaven – Flying Tart

10.Elvis Presley – Santa Bring My Baby Back

It’s Christmas Time

What are your Favorites?

 

 

(if you prefer, I do have some posts with the more Up Lifting brand of  Christmas Music )

Twilight Saga: New Moon extras Question Entertainment Christian Movie Review

November 30, 2009

 

Twilight Saga: New Moon Q&E Review Show

November 26, 2009

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

 

henry poole is here Question Entertainment Christian review and analysis

August 14, 2009

ABIGAIL ROONEYs jewelry from http://www.liasophia.com/abigailrooney

On DVD

Henry Poole Is Here

Twilight – Book vs Movie + New Moon Question Entertainment Extra

August 7, 2009

twilightandnewmoonpp1