Movie Ratings are on a scale of 1-5.  Anything rated over 3 stars and is in bold, is totally worth seeing! – I rate pretty harshly.

Mao’s Last Dancer 2010 (w/ Chi Cao, Bruce Greenwood, Amanda Schull, Kyle MacLachlan) – 4.25 stars – Based on true events about Li Cunxin, a young boy who is recruited to become a ballet dancer in communist China. In time he is able to go to the United States where culture is so different to him to dance in Houston, TX.  What a really beautiful story. I want to read the autobiography book now. This story pushed the love I always had for ballet to start up again from scratch (so I am doing so). content: a couple suggestive dance costumes, male dancers needing to grab inner thighs of female dancers, kissing scene, talk about virginity/sex (absolutely no nudity), male dancer in a loincloth type of dance costume, men without shirts on, one dance that was a little sexual at the end, I caught maybe only one word of language (in a type of Chinese tongue).

Lullaby of Broadway 1951 (w/ Doris Day, Gladys George, S.Z. Sakall, Gene Nelson) – 2.75 stars – A woman who loves to perform comes home from London to visit her mom, but meets some interesting people as her mom hides out so that her daughter doesn’t see she’s an alcoholic who plays at lounges (but was formerly on Broadway in her youth). There is a love story involved as well, but a lot of miscommunication involved. I always wanted to see this movie and am glad I finally did. Doris Day is my favorite actress ever. There were some good music and dance numbers in this. Not my favorite of Doris Day at all. content: kissing, smoking, drinking (nothing else that I noticed unless I missed something).

That’s What I Am 2011 (w/ Ed Harris, Chase Ellison, Mia Rose Frampton, Alexandar Walters) – 3 stars – This is about a boy who ends up being associated with kids who get bullied. He doesn’t want to be put down for being around them, but he also wants to be caring of them. This is about looking past what you believe about a person and seeing the real heart of the person and the talent they might have outside of their appearances. It was good. content: bullying, some language from kids, kissing, someone accused of homosexuality

Beastly 2011 (w/ Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris, Mary-Kate Olsen) – 3 stars – This was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but in a different way (and more modern. . not like the 90s T.V. show either that I remember my brother loving). A guy who is full of himself ends up cursed and has to find someone who will love him based on who he is, and not on how he looks.  There is a girl out there who really seems to be caring of those around her. Perhaps she will love him. I thought it was a cute story, though sometimes a little corny, and it was a little predictable. content: shirtless guy seen often, underage party, kissing, opening sequence has really sexual ads of semi-nude to nude but covered body parts with hands (really they didn’t need to include those), cleavage, fight scene, someone overdosed on drugs (but it is not seen at all), some language, someone points a gun at someone else

Dancing Across Borders
(documentary) – 2.5 stars – This is about a guy who had only a few years of ballet training when he was picked out of a group of kids in Cambodia to have an opportunity to make a living to provide for his family. They show a bunch of his training videos and let him go home for some of the video as he looks back on his time as a dancing boy in his homeland. It was nice to see all the dancing and what type of training was done for him. Intense long hours that created a professional. content: people dancing in ballet outfits, shirtless man

The Polar Bear King
1991 (w/ Maria Bonnevie, Tobias Hoesl) – 2.25 stars – A king goes under a spell and becomes a Polar Bear. A Princess in a northern land has a kind heart and shows love to the king, but her father does not like being without his precious daughter. The witch who put a spell on him is not happy that he found a wife. This movie was a little corny with the bad overdubbed tracks. The storyline focuses a lot on the heart of the princess/queen and her endurance to break the spell the witch cast on the King. The costumes are pretty cool. The muppet polar bear looked good. I don’t think the story held together well enough. content: 1 profanity, nursing mom (nothing shown), woman walking in a heavy wet nightgown in which she is cold wearing it, man & woman in bed together

Devil’s Playground
2002 (documentary) – 3.25 stars – screencap is in b&w but there is mainly color in this, just to let you know. This is all about when Amish kids turn 16 and go through “Rumspringa” which means to “fall away”, in which they get to party and live in the world doing whatever they want to until they are ready to decide to join the Amish church. This documentary shows what a lot of the kids do and go through in that time (which is sometimes really extreme!!), mainly following one boy named Faron from Indiana (which seems so different from the PA & NY Amish I’ve seen since I was young). The screen capture is of an Amish couple who decided to not join the Amish church (talks about it more in a deleted scene), leaving the community all together. This left me feeling so down in the dumps after I saw it though. I just really felt sorry for these kids, because they aren’t even taught about the physical and mental dangers of some of the things they get into. I felt like I was watching a bunch of rebellious college kids (but younger. . and that is scary to me because I stayed away completely from the lifestyle they indulged in, I was raised in a Christian environment too and never wanted to have a lack of control over my choices and body/mental health). content: kids in bed together, bikinis & underwear worn, kids smoking & drinking & doing drugs, bad language throughout it, kissing, boy looking through porn magazine, girl talking about being a lesbian

Featured Band &Album:

I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business – Gold Rush Album 2011

My husband and I used to listen to the 2004 self-titled album. Yesterday I found out about this latest album. This guy (Ace Enders, formerly of The Early November) is a one-man show. Seriously, watch him in this video to see what I mean (sadly you can’t hear the drums though which are in the recording). He records pieces of each of what he writes so he can play them all together live. you can listen to a few of the songs on the album here. I enjoy the songs on the new album probably better than I liked the first album. Yey NJ!

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. I rented Beastly prepared to be let down, but it wasn't terrible. I'm pretty much in agreement with you on that one.I really would like to see Devil's Playground.

  2. I remember you sent me a mp3 from that guy yeeeeears ago. I still remember how it sounds ^_^

  3. Thank you for the feature! I always enjoy your modest inspirations each week. I just put your first movie on my Netflix. Mao's Last Dancer looks very interesting. I saw Devl's Playground a couple of years ago and it made me sad too. Maybe it's a good thing that the young people are given a chance to choose, but with such limited knowledge of the outside world it's so easy for them to get into some really bad things. Also like you these Amish people were different from the people that I am used to seeing in the Tennessee/ Kentucky area.

  4. Aww, Mao's Last Dancer! Wanted to watch that movie so desperately in the cinema, but it was running just a week here. So it'll be the DVD then. Oh and Dancing Across Borders sounds interesting, guess I'll check the movie out. Thanks for this post!

  5. yes, it is on DVD now. I watched it as soon as it was released!


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About Victoria / Justice Pirate

Victoria. Anabaptist, Wife of Rob, Mom of two boys, minimalist, quilt maker, Resources Adviser/Social Media Manager for anti-human trafficking awareness organization Justice Network (


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