The second film by Little Crew Studios.
I have watched their first film The Runner from Ravenshead several times and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. Thus when I learned that Little Crew Studios had made a second film, I was quite excited. Prompt shipping landed the DVD in the mailbox and we sat down to watch the film the day it arrived.
Let me say: It did not disappoint!
With an all child cast, this film reiterates, via an allegorical story, the importance of staying grounded in "The Book".
Follow one-armed Alec as he joins the Defense Agency in what becomes a wild ride as they battle to save New Haven from the menacing and mysterious Raiders. Suspense and emotions run high in a film featuring biblical truth, knee-slapping one-liners, and the cutest kid to ever sport a mustache. (So I think the character Eddie is just adorable.)
Moving on to the sets and production values--both are excellent, giving a sense of realism while also keeping within the bounds of childish imagination.
Speaking of children, the Steege children are really quite good actors. There is a small amount of dialogue that is a little hard to understand, but that is due primarily to the young age of the speaker(s). Otherwise, the lines are delivered convincingly and in a natural fashion (neither rushed nor laboriously slow). Every single character you see on screen is one of the seven Steege children.
The soundtrack was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.
I look forward to watching this one again (soon!) and hope that Little Crew Studios will be making more films!!
Right off the bat, I had a feeling about this 1947 movie...and I can't say that it was a good one. While an engaging enough story, the main feature of this film was to champion the feminist movement. Warning, I'm going to spoil this one for you.
Set in the late 1800's, when the Suffragettes had taken to the streets demanding equality, this is the story of a young female typist...who falls in love with her boss (and vice-versa [isn't that one of the dangers?]), but refuses to give up her "right to work" as his wife.
Betty Grable makes a beautiful, and sympathetic, feminist who wants both worlds--marriage and a doting husband and the "right" to work like a man. I am not a person who will argue that a woman being able to support herself is wrong, but once married in particular, it is a woman's duty to submit herself to her husband and come home (assuming she had been part of the workforce). [We'll skip the discussion of extenuating circumstances; I'm speaking in generalities here.]
Her boss is against women working...however, he's essentially blackmailed by his very feministic aunt into keeping the young lady...and then he keeps her around because he is attracted to her. By the end of the film, John has changed his tune and knuckled under to the pressure and ceded that even married women have a "right" to work outside the home.
That is how the movie has it's "happy ending". Being of the persuasion that women are, in general, to remain at home (not to be ornament or bumps on a log or slaves or anything of that sort), the film left a bad taste in my mouth. I am sure however that my grandmothers, had they seen it, would have loved it--it's romantic, it's funny, it has singing, and it champions what they wanted for themselves and their daughters. My mother once told me that her aunt, who herself was in the workforce, stated that "America went [wrong] when the women went to work."
So, in all, I would not recommend this film...it's sneaky, though blunt, in it's agenda. I have seen better musicals by a long shot anyway.
This 1974 film has some potential--the story that is.
Due to the vintage, the acting and historical accuracy left something to be desired (as well as the script), but the actual story isn't that bad.
The film follows the true story of the Sager family, but most particularly the eldest son, John, as they head out for Oregon from Missouri. John, at the age of 13 or thereabouts, has potential, but he is lazy, mean, and even disrespectful (at least in the film version. I would be interested in reading the book...)
After a couple of disasters, John is left, the eldest of seven children, to take care of his siblings. He determines to fulfill his papa's dream and go on to Oregon. The way is frought with danger, difficultly, and disease, but still he presses on, with his six younger siblings, one a babe in arms, to his goal.
The story has great potential--particularly when you take into account the fact that Christianity is not entirely absent.
But this is where the real disappointment comes in. The Christianity which could have been clear and present is only marginal and not as orthodox as it could have been (there is some clearly unorthodox theology in one particular scene). The growth that John could have shown is lacking--there is character growth implied, but it's not really shown. Instead of seeing a John that learns to be a man and to love his siblings, we only get sundry glimpses of it, to be covered back over by the harsh, bossy John. It's somewhat confusing actually...
There is an distinct element of 1970's children portraying 1840's children that just doesn't work. This, among other things, makes me wonder how much of the 1970's twist was put on the story and how different the book is.
I would not bother watching this film a second time because it wasn't really that great of a movie, but the story...that I would like to see made again from a distinctly reformed, Christian persepective.
This 1942 film is by far one of my favorites. I first saw it as a little girl (one of the myraids of old black and white films set during WWII that we checked out of base libraries) and loved it then. I was quite pleased therefore to find a copy floating around at a Goodwill store.
The film follows the lives of the Miniver family during the beginnings of WWII. The Minivers are a typical middle-class English family...the eldest son is enrolled in Oxford and is home on vacation when the war is announced--from the pulpit of the village church.
Soon the eldest son, Vin, is in the RAF and Mr. Miniver is part of the home guard. The war comes close to home with bombings, a downed German pilot, and the men of the village being called out in the middle of the night to asisst in the Dunkirk rescue (that is a pretty neat scene).
Underlying the main story is the sub-plot of Vin and Carol's romance and the rivarly between Lady Belding and Mr. Ballard's roses--incidently, Mr. Ballard named his prize rose the "Mrs. Miniver".
The basic worldview of this film seems to be Christian--the faith of the people is shown as being part of their lives. In fact, the opening music (and threaded throughout the movie) is that of one my favorite hymns "O God, Our Help in Ages Past". That is one of the underlying themes of the movie--evidenced by Mr. Ballard's Scripture quotation (out of Psalms, I believe). (He is a gentle, kindly man.)
The Miniver's are a typical middle-class English family, servants and all. They are a close-knit family, from a loving relationship between husband and wife to a friendship amongst siblings. Vin, the eldest, is a student at Oxford when the film opens. Mr. Miniver is the head of his house, the man to whom his wife turns when life gets complicated. They have a few playful moments that lighten some of the mood in the film.
The romance between Vin and Carol wasn't as "fast" as I had remembered (I guess 11-year-olds miss a few things). Vin had spent his childhood observing Carol, granddaughter of Lady Belding, so when the two of the get thrown together, it's not really unsual that he soon has feelings for her. Carol is a little more reserved about the idea, wanting to make sure he's serious before taking any definite steps. There is some kissing between them, but (spoiler) it's interesting to note that Vin asks Carol if it'd be 'okay' before he kisses her the first time.
Which brings up some observations about Vin's character growth (some of which can only be mentioned in the form of spoilers, so if you don't want that, skip this paragraph). Of all the characters, Vin Miniver has the most character growth. Upon his arrival home from school, he's cocky, somewhat self-important (though still a nice kid), and rather opinionated--he is rather ungracious in his declaration of certain ideas. His temper is both stoked and softened (in that order) by the kindly challenge given him to put his ideas into practice by Carol. [If I may mount a soap-box momentarily...this particular instance shows how girls can gently encourage young men to follow their vision rather than just have grand ideas in the relm of the intellect.] Vin apologies later for losing his temper, though not redacting his ideas (which is fine). By the end of the film, Vin has become a man--gentle, strong, and compassionate. We see him put aside his own grief, great as it is, to show love to a similarly grieving person. In his grief, Vin does not go off on some hair-brain sucidal mission (which is probably what one would see in a modern film), instead, we see him with his family, in church, listening to words of comfort and encouragement...and then singing "Onward Christian Soldiers".
The homes of many of us have been destroyed, and the lives of young and old have been taken. There is scarcely a household that hasn't been struck to the heart. And why? Surely you must have asked yourself this question. Why in all conscience should these be the ones to suffer? Children, old people, a young girl at the height of her loveliness. Why these? Are these our soldiers? Are these our fighters? Why should they be sacrificed? I shall tell you why. Because this is not only a war of soldiers in uniform. It is a war of the people, of all the people, and it must be fought not only on the battlefield, but in the cities and in the villages, in the factories and on the farms, in the home, and in the heart of every man, woman, and child who loves freedom! Well, we have buried our dead, but we shall not forget them. Instead they will inspire us with an unbreakable determination to free ourselves and those who come after us from the tyranny and terror that threaten to strike us down. This is the people's war! It is our war! We are the fighters! Fight it then! Fight it with all that is in us, and may God defend the right.
I have included the words of the Vicar's closing speech in the bombed church--for these words are stirring and remind us not only of another battle we as Christians must daily fight, but that this was the reality for the people of the British Isles during WWII. Their civilians were bombed--old men, women, and children were killed. These people had an evil regime breathing down their throats and life was hard...and they held up bravely under it.
May God defend the right!
My reaction to this film: Outstanding
Take Shakespere and put it with great actors, stupendeous music, and fine cinematography, and you have a great film.
While I honestly think one would have a better grasp of what is going on had they read the play previous to watching the film (which I have done, only it was several years ago), the film is fairly easy to follow.
The story mainly follows England's King Henry the Fifth as he goes forth to conquor France. Along the way, we meet and follow some commoners who were friends of the king when he was still a prince. (Christain Bale plays a lad amongst these--and a fine one.)
Harry meets danger from within and without with justice, mercy, and a trust in God that is quite wonderful to see protrayed on the screen. He metes out justice when it is called for--even though it be an old friend whom he must see to death. He is merciful to his enemies. In triumph and in sorrow, he praises God and trusts Him for the outcome of the battle.
The main battle scene is very well choreographed and shot--it's almost like being there yourself. The seriousness and confusion, as well as the horror of war are very well protrayed.
There are moments of humor as well...probably the funniest being France's princess attempting to learn some English. That scene was amusing and light-hearted. As is the scene where Henry goes about his wooing of said princess.
One of the aspects of the film that was the most appealing to me was the humbleness of the king and his love for his people. He understood that he, like them, was just a man and in that they did not differ. And yet, he was king, and therefore was responsible for them and he loved them. He was responsible for upholding justice--and he did; but tempered with mercy when mercy was permissible. In other words, this portrayal of Henry shows him a man; a godly man--a man to be emulated.
If you don't own this one--add it to your collection.
Note: some of the violence is fairly gruesome, but it isn't dwelt upon heavily. You might not want to show this film to young children.
This series is great; a self-conciously Christian look at D-Day.
There are seven episodes: 1) The Theological Signficance of the Second World War; 2) The Strategic Overview [basically of the whole Western theater]; 3) The Theology of Leadership on D-Day [kind of a brief overview of each national, as well as military, leader]; 4) Deception, Intellegencee, and Spying for D-Day; 5) The Decision to Go; 6) The Men of D-Day and the Meaning of Manhood; and 7) The Aftermath.
Hosted by Douglas W. Phillips and William Potter (military historian extraordinaire), the series is shot in Rome, Normandy, London, and St. Andrews. There is some reenactment footage as well as an interesting use of clips from previously made films such as The Longest Day (1962) and Band of Brothers (2001). The use of actual footage is very widespread and I personally, like that aspect.
Naturally, some of the most special moments are those where the viewer sees and hears the veterans telling parts of their stories.
I highly recommend this and I look forward to watching it again!
The Search is a 1948 movie set at the close of WWII. It is about a little Polish boy who has been in a concentration camp for most of his life. He remembers very little. His mother has survived the war and she is looking for him. Meanwhile, he escapes from the UN people who are trying to locate kid's parents and vice versa. An American soldier (Steve) finds him...to say more would give the story away.
The music is really quite good, particulalry since this isn't a dialouge heavy film. One of the interesting features to the movie is that there is a female narrator (rather unusual I find, particularly for that era). The cinematography was really good (I thought).
I found The Search a very interesting, and thought provoking film. I had never considered before the number of orphaned, frightened, broken children there must have been after the war. Or the heartbreak of the parents who lost children and never did find them among the masses of ragged little ones coming out of concentration camps.
Another interesting feature of the movie is that it was filmed (at least partly) in Germany and therefore the viewer gets to see some of the distruction left by the bombing...it's pretty sobering.
I definitely would watch this one again.
I watched this film last evening with my Grandma...it was something my uncle had sent her. I decided I might as well write a review of it here.
The Help is set in the early 1960's and is basically a story of racism in Jackson, Mississippi.
The story follows Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a recently graduated journalist, as she undertakes to expose the racism rampart in her home town. She herself, like many rich kids from around, had in essence been raised by the family's black maid-Constantine and loved her very, very dearly.
The two maids who initially (and illegally) help her with her research are Aibileen Clark and Minnie Jackson--two very different women who are best friends. (Aibileen actually acts as something of a narrator.)
One of the most influential women in town is young Mrs. Hilly Holbrook...she despises black people as inferior and different than white people. She is in essence the villian of the story.
While an interesting enough story line, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it; due in large part to the language. The used of profane and blasphemous language is rather profuse. (The majority of it could have not been there and you wouldn't have lost any dialouge.)
While I'm sure there was a PC bias in the film (aka. white people are bad/black people are good), I didn't notice it overly much--there were good, kind, thoughtful white people (and some that might have been kinder if they weren't so cowed by Hilly) and there were plain out nasty white people. There were good, kind, mostly forgiving black people and there were black people who displayed a vindictive spirit--and in one case, a thief. (Of course, on that one, you actually kind of feel sorry for her, but it still doesn't not excuse her theft.)
Often humoreous, often sad, sometimes down right shocking (might I even say disgusting? Minnie's "pie" is just that...) the story does keep one engaged and rooting for the end of the racist tendencys of the culture of the time. By the close of the film, one begins to see how Skeeter's and the maids' task is being rewarded--though there is still a long way to go. There are at least five or six different story threads woven together and each of them is some how related to another.
Also, for the ones in search of films with modest-clothing...there is some tight and low in this movie. (And some kissing--both pre- and post-marital.)
The overall worldview: While God is mentioned and apparently believed in by Aibileen, He appears to be rather irrelevent to the facts of life.
I had heard some good things about this film so I was interested in seeing it, superhero movie and all. I'd never seen a superhero flick before nor have I ever had much interest in them. I can't say that Captain America necessarily made me eager to see more. My reaction when it was over was, "Well, that was alright...but I wouldn't bother watching it again."
The story follows Steve Rogers, a humble, brave, but weak and sickly young man who wants nothing more than to be able to serve his country in the Army during WW2.
He finally gets in under some rather odd circumstances and after being proven weak, yet smart during training, he willing under goes a medical/scientific procedure/experiement that transfroms him from this:
Meanwhile, Scmitt (the antgonist), the man in charge of Hitler's "Hydra" project, has discovered and put to use some stone which has some sort of electrical (and/or magical) powers that allowed him to create an atom busting firearm. (People get disintergrated with this thing.) With his acquisition of this power and his super-strength (he got the same treatment as Steve before the muscle-pumping serum was perfected), he turns himself to conquor the world. He is evil straight through.
Steve, after hauling in a Nazi spy, becomes the hero of the hour and lands a job selling war bonds as Captain America (where he gets that fanciful suit of his). After a particular incident he realizes this is not what he wants and that he could be doing something "better" and "more important" for his country. Thusly, he basically goes AWOL and storms the Hydra headquarters alone.
From there things are one fast paced ride to what I considered something of a unsatisfying ending.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
First the good: Steve is a humble guy for the most part, even when he goes from little shrimp who can't get a punch in during a fist fight, to a guy who can do practically anything. He is very loyal to his friends and quite patriotic (a touch I personally found appealing). He is a moral character, though apparently with no foundation for his morality. There is no "God" in this movie, not in the sense of the One Triune God.
Which leads me to the bad. Remember that rock I mentioned? It has something in it--some sort of power. Whether it was supposed to be some sort of radioactive or electrical force within it or some "magic" stone that the "gods" (these would be the Germanic gods) left behind on earth (like Scmitt thinks), I'm not exactly sure. However it appears to me that, like the stuff that turned Steve from a shrimp to a blowed-out of proportion muscle man, when used for evil it is really evil and when used for good, it makes things better. (I was watching this movie and thinking: "Boy, some of this stuff is reminiscent to Star Wars!") This particular aspect of the film I certainly didn't like--this power source is just downright weird and other-worldly in a non-biblical fashion. The filmmakers could have had the same outcome with a simply "scientific" something or other, but they decided to mix in the Norse mysticism for some reason.
The ugly...well, I'll throw the historical inaccuracies here. I understand that this is a superhero movie so it's most definitely not "real", but some of the stuff (Hydra developments) looked way too modern for the setting. (For instance, Scmitt's getaway plane looks like a Stealth fighter!) The Hydra soldiers look oddly enough something like more streamlined (and black) Star Wars stormtroopers. However, the worst is Scmitt after he literally (spoiler!) removes his own face. He looks like a devil (purposely I'm sure, but all the same, I don't enjoy looking at such evil-looking heads).
There is a certain amount of langauge in this film (mostly in the form of the H- and D- words; which as I have recently discovered where not as uncommon for the WW2 generation as I once thought--not that that excuses the use). There is some amount of shirtlessness amongst the men (if that is bothersome), but it is all in-context of military inspection and medical procedure. The chorus girls in the war bond shows have enough leg sticking out--but once again, that is in-context of the setting (and yes, the dresses would have been that kind of short!) Very minimal kissing.
There is just one more thing I'd like to touch on...the romance between Steve and Peggy Carter. Peggy plays a big role in prepping Steve for becoming Captain America. She is a British agent of some sort (I never quite caught who exactly she worked for) joined with the American's in their super-man project. They have a rather subtle and even awkward romance. They share but one kiss throughout the film (slightly surprising since it's clear pretty early on that these two are attracted to each other) and that is very close to the end. All in all, I find their romance rather nice because it isn't one that is, well, "Hollywood". It's not fast and free, but slow and guarded.
I think that Peggy has (historically speaking, as well as biblically) too much of an out-front role. I cannot argue against any and all female agents (particularly in a time of war), because they most certainly can (and do!) play a supporting role to men, but Peggy occasionally passes that (like when she goes into combat with the men).
I would not necessarily recommend the film but I wouldn't scream "NO!!! Don't watch that!!!" either (there are films that I would do that with) Like I said earlier, it was "alright", but it does have some problems (honestly, most films do).
Wow.... I would most definitely not recommend watching this very powerful film right before bed. You won't sleep because "Vive Cristo Rey!!" will be ringing in your head.
For Greater Glory tells the story of the Mexican Cristeros War (1926-1929). I never even knew this particular conflict had happened until I first watched the trailer for this film late last year. This war was essentially the Mexican Catholics fighting to keep their religious freedom (and thereby other freedoms) against a tryannical and godless Federal government.
The film follows several different characters and groups of people, their stories all interconnected and weaving together to form a greater tapestry. There are really two main characters: Jose and General Enrique Gorostieta.
Jose, who starts the film out playing a practical joke on the local padre, becomes, even at his young age, an inspiration not only to General Gorostieta, but to many others who know him. One remarks (and this is proven to the full): "He is braver than most men." Jose's mantra is indeed, "Vive Cristo Rey!!"
Strangely enough for a man leading a fight for religious freedom is a man who is not religious (in the sense of being Christian)--a man whom even his wife calls an atheist--General Enrique Gorostieta. For all that, he knows the "talk" well (partly due to his wife's dedication) and he does not discourage the faith of his men. He rather encourages them in it, as evidenced by this line (it has to be one of my favorite lines of the movie): "You have to remember that men will fire bullets, but God will decide where they land! Vive Cristo Rey!"
General Gorostieta struggles with the notion of faith, God, and though it is not mentioned in such a way, providence. Speaking of which, the theology of this film, both spoken and implied, is fairly orthodox. There were of course, "Catholisms", but there really weren't any "bad theology!" red flags that lept out at me.
Among the other characters are the priest-general Father Vega, General Victoriano 'El Catorce' Ramirez, the men and women of the League for Religious Freedom (I believe that's right), Jose's family, and even an American ambassador.
This was the the first time I ever knowingly sat down to watch an R rated film. Before purchasing this movie, I was reading someplace about it and the gentleman remarked that he thought it had gotten an R rating because of it's protrayal of faith, freedom, and the willingness to die for it than for the actual violence.
In my opinion, the horror and violence of the time was dealt with very well--it was disturbing, but not overly gory or graphic. In fact, I think the fact that is was not overly graphic made it more potent. One gets the sense of horror, terror, and heartbreak without having to actually stare at it.
There were no really inappropriate scenes--the closest one might get is the brief shot of the ladies in their underclothing (more than what most women wear to the beach these days), putting strips of cloth with bullets in them around their middles.
There was really no language to speak of either...there is only one instance that I can remember--and of all people it was Father Vega!
This is a film that calls up many emotions--it is filled with courage, loyality, betrayal, love, hate, forgiveness, cruelty, heartbreak, pride, faith, self-sacrifice, and overarching all, a love of God and a willingness to fight and die for His name and the freedom to worship him without fear.
There is but one more thing that I want to say (and hopefully it is not really a spoiler--so beware, just in case): The ending of the film is not what we would call a "happy" ending. It is hopeful however, which is about the only reason one can finish film without feeling cheated. In retrospect, if it had had a happy ending, it would not have been so powerful. (It was, as far as I can tell, sticking pretty close to the actual history--so perhaps that is why.)
P.S. I most certianly do not recommend this for small children's viewing....
A Reformed Presbyterian girl who enjoys a good movie or a good book any ol' time.
Note: All images picked up online. No copyright infringment intended.