Monday, August 29, 2011

Movie Review: Warrior

When I got the invitation to go to a private screening for the movie Warrior I was really excited because of the fact that it is a faith-based movie. I had no idea what it was about, all I knew was that I was going because it was in the genre that I wholeheartedly support. Little did I know how impactful that 90 minute movie would be.

Warrior is kind of a modern day Rocky meets The Prodical Son in the story of a family torn apart by alcoholism and abuse.  Paddy Conlon (played by Nick Nolte), who was once an abusive alcoholic, is now a born-again Christian who is trying to live for the Lord. In the process of taking his road to sobriety day by day, he dreams of the day that his family will be reunited; but unfortunately his two sons, Brendan (played by Joel Edgerton) and Tommy (played by Tom Hardy), want nothing to do with him.

Tommy is filled with a bitterness and hatred toward his father and brother over the loss of his mother and the hardship they faced after fleeing from an abusive home and his brother's perceived abandonment, while Brendan is bitter toward his father for the abuse and feeling like he was never able to live up to his father's expectations as a fighter.

As fate would have it, the three of them meet up in the most unlikely circumstances when they all find themselves at the Sparta cage fighting tournament to compete for a $5 million prize.

While the movie does have some harsh language and very aggressive fighting scenes (as the premise of the competition is mixed martial arts), the story paints a very real picture of the state of the family unit today.

What I really liked about it was that it didn't paint the fairy-tale picture with the happy ending where everybody lives happily ever after.  It showed the realness of the hurt that children suffer at the hands of their parents' selfish decisions and how the road to forgiveness and recovery is not always an easy one.

It also touched on the struggles of marriage and how husbands and wives are supposed to work together through the hard times instead of just opting for divorce when times get tough.

Warrior is definitely a movie that will touch your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat. The message is a strong one of forgiveness, self reflection and unconditional love. While the PG-13 rating should definitely be taken to heart when considering taking young ones, this movie is definitely worth the trip to the movie theater when it comes on out Sept 9.

Please go see it and support faith-based films.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Christians: Will You Stand?

Harry Potter (the series), Twilight (the series), Wizards of Waverly Place, True Blood, Vampire Diaries are just a few names of the dozens of movies and TV shows that are currently dominating the big and small screens.

What do they all have in common? They all, in some shape form or fashion, deal with the occult and go to great lengths to glamorize it all.  Our children are intrigued by magic and smitten with vampires and werewolves, as if these things are to be emulated and revered. But Christian brothers and sisters, I ask you: How do we combat these messages when we see it at every turn?

These images permeate the so-called "children's" channels, like Disney and Nickelodeon, and then channels like The Cartoon Network air what you may as well call soft porn during prime-time. And now to top it all off, they are trying to make Bert and Ernie get married!

People, the minds of our young people are at stake and it's time for Christians to take a stand. The messages of sex, violence, homosexuality and the occult are at an all time high and show no signs of slowing down, so we must arm ourselves with the Word of God in order to effectively combat the enemy. 

Since the Bible says that we should be doers of the Word, and not hearers only Black-Smith Enterprises, Goldline Films and Global pictures have teamed up to begin being the change we want to see by producing movies that are dedicated to help expanding the kingdom, starting with Someone To Watch Over Me.

Due to the fact that independent films, especially those focused on God, don't always receive the support that is required to ensure global success, our methods must be more grass roots in approach.  So, we are asking our community to stand with us as we make strides to embark upon this huge undertaking.

The Indiegogo campaign we have created will allow you, the viewers, to show the powers-that-be that you are ready for change; that you are ready to get back to the place where families can enjoy wholesome entertainment once again. Entertainment that showcases core values that are not laced with hidden agendas that are contrary to God's word.

By donating you are actively becoming a part of this project and will be instrumental in helping us bring it to the big screen. So please check out the video and share it with your friends and family, and if you can please make a donation.

Our voices must be heard and we can't do it alone.  So in closing I will leave you with this question: Will you stand with us? 

Peace, blessing and love to you and thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Movie Review: The Help

I have two words for the movie The Help: Awe and some!

I'm not sure about the book, as I haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet, but this movie had all the characteristics of a timeless classic.

Set in the early 1960's, The Help follows the lives of 3 women who are all facing various life issues in the midst of racial turmoil in southern Mississippi.

The lives of two black maids, Aibileen and Minny, are turned upside down when Skeeter, a white journalist from a southern aristocrat family, decides that she wants to write a story about life in the south from the black perspective in the midst of Civil Rights movement.

Faced with the imminent danger of participating in such a project, Aibileen (played by Viola Davis) and Minny (played by Octavia Spencer) begin to understand the importance of allowing their voices to be heard and ultimately find the courage to join forces with Skeeter (played by Emma Stone). 

Meanwhile, Hilly Holbrook (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), an ornery, pompous socialite, does everything in her power to keep the blacks in "their place" and ruin the lives of anyone who tries to get in her way.

What I loved about this movie is that it had a very strong message that was well presented through a great storyline.  The characters were believable and moving, the scenes played out magnificently, and the movie possessed all of the key elements: drama, humor and substance.

The Help is a great movie for the entire family to see.  Not only is there tremendous entertainment value, but there are also a lot of serious discussion points that parents and children alike can explore together.

All in all, this movie gets another enthusiastic 10 spirit-fingers! Go see it and enjoy.

If you'd like to see more positive movies in theaters please check out Someone To Watch Over Me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes- Spoiler Alert

Honestly, the Rise of the Planet of the Apes was not my first choice when I planned my recent trip to the movies but you know what they say...everything happens for a reason.  Needless to say, the 105 minutes I spent in the overly air-conditioned movie theater was well worth the ticket price.

This modern day reprise of the 1968 classic Planet of the Apes was an awesome display of cinematic ingenuity. With a starring lineup that includes John Lithgow, James Franco, Freida Pinto and an ape with more swagger than I've seen in most humans, this movie is sure to join the ranks of the likes of Avatar.

Will Rodman (played by Franco) is a scientist who is working on a genetic experiment, which is being tested on apes, that he believes will be the cure for Alzheimer's and all he needs is for the powers-to-be to give the green light for funding.  He is right on the brink of a success until all hell breaks loose and one of the apes runs amuck during a crucial presentation for the board of directors.

From that point on, Rodman's research is shut down and his boss demands that all of the lab apes be put down. Unwilling to give the only hope he has of finding a cure for the illness that plagues his father (played by Lithgow), he secretly takes one of the infant test apes home with him and continues his research on his own.

As the young ape, which he names Ceasar, progresses Rodman finds that his intelligence exceeds his wildest expectations. As Ceasar grows, he becomes not only more intelligent but more human in nature, and as he becomes more human in nature he begins to see just how different he is from other humans when he really starts to interact with the world around him.

Then the plot thickens after Ceasar tries to protect the people he has come to know as his family and is then caged like an animal, and then the city of San Fransico quickly learns the consequences of mistreating and pissing off a genetically enhanced primate.

Enter the guns, spears, explosions and such.

Long story short, I loved this movie! The acting and emotion of apes was phenomenal! The humans did a good job too, but the shear execution of how the animals were portrayed made this viewing experience a real treat.

I also liked the fact that there wasn't a lot of unnecessary violence and profanity. So Rise of the Planet of the Apes gets an enthusiastic 10 spirit-fingers. Go see it and take the family.

Don't forget to look out for my daughter's new book "The Lonely Kid" which hits stores August 31st!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Step Your Game Up! Rules of Engagement for the "Boys"

If I hear a grown man yell "Hey, baby!" at me one more time I am going to have a BF, for real.

Aside from the fact that I am a happily married woman, it's 2011 and that line is tired, lame, disrespectful and as a grown man if it's the only thing you can think to say, then you deserve to be single.

Heaven forbid some of these guys should venture to pull up their pants, brush their hair and approach a "woman" with a simple phrase like "Hello, how are you doing today?" or "Excuse me, Ms..."

In the 21st century where information is literally at your finger tips, there is no excuse for this type of ignorant behavior to still be in existence...I mean be for real. 

Due to the fact that this has happened far too many times in the past few months for my liking, I have decided to offer up some advice for those of the male persuasion, the boys not men, who basically just don't have a clue.

1. DO NOT yell, "Hey, baby!" or any other disrespectful cat-call to any woman at any time...ever and expect a serious, non-confrontational reaction or stupid look. Don't get angry at her because if you were dumb enough to put yourself out there like that, you deserve it. 

Instead of bombarding females with tired lines that only make you look immature, try approaching a "lady" (keyword here being lady) like you have some home-training and open up the dialog with some good conversation. You may be surprised at how far being charming and interesting can get you.

2. RESPECT THE RING! If a woman tells you that she is married...keep it moving! It is so annoying to have some random dude approach you and ask if you're married and then proceed to say, "So?", "Happily?", or even worse, "So am I," after you say yes!

First of all, if I took the time to tell you I was married and didn't offer up any additional conversation that means respect my situation and either move on to some appropriate conversation or get out of my face.

Second, what kind of dog does it make you look like to be trying to push up on a married woman despite the fact that she just told you she was married?

3. PULL YOUR PANTS UP! No grown woman wants to be bothered with no wannabe thug who clearly doesn't understand the concept of a belt or accurate waist measurements.  Wearing your pants sagging to your knees really makes us wonder if it's really us you're trying to impress or if you're secretly batting for the other team. #justsaying

If you're over the age of 25, you're grown so act like it. It's time to put your big boy clothes on and get a clue. For real.

Though that's just the tip of the ice berg, those are some key first impression issues you can work on that may help you make a huge difference in your female response rating.  Try it and see.

And ladies, stop letting these guys approach you any old kind of way! If you demand respect then they have no choice but to eventually get the picture.

We know that there are a lot of men out there who do know how to treat a lady, so if this doesn't apply to you then please share it with someone you know that could benefit from it.

Until next time...holla!