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Movie Suggestion Post #76

[Movie Ratings are on a scale of 1-5.  Anything rated over 3 stars and is in bold, is usually a pretty good rating (5 star ratings are very rare with me)! –  Content is listed for those who are careful about what they or their children view (or what to be aware of). I usually rate based on content, plot, photography/direction, and acting.]

Les Miserables 2012 (w/ Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen) – 3.75 stars – If you are not aware, this story is about survival during the reign of a new king through French Revolution times.  We learn about a man who stole bread and served in prison.  When he gets out he realizes the world outside of prison is just as cruel as life within it.  A man of God reaches out to him.  He is given grace and shown kindness in such amazing ways.  What I love about this man of God is that he did exactly what Jesus taught, and that carried into the man who wanted to live likewise (Jean Valjean).  That scene (which is one of the firsts) makes me cry.  It shows the fight of the soul!  Incredible.  I’ve seen all versions of this film now (there are a few, but the original black and white one I grew up on as a child), but never read the book.  I have heard the soundtrack a few times since I was a child, but never got the chance to see it on Broadway (even though I did have opportunities, living close to NYC even).  This movie is about reaching out to the “Least of these” and to the orphan.  What is seen here is horrific, rather than alluring (the sexual bits).  Although there is immodesty that I don’t like, the scenes made me cry.  One other plus is there are no effects (that I noticed) or anything but raw singing in this, which I like.  Intense acting throughout this. Brilliantly played!!! I heard a lot of negative reviews about Russell Crowe’s singing, but I found it to be lovely and done well considering his character too!  Amanda Seyfried always tends to bug me, and her singing voice has so much high pitched vibrato in it that it just sounds so bad when sung with other people (Rob likened her singing to Tiny Tim‘s). The best singer in the whole movie, in my personal opinion, was the one friend, named Enjolras played by Aaron Tveit. content: mistreatment of prisoners, stealing, sexual harassment (a man taps a woman’s bum, another puts snow down her bosom, another woman gets her breast tapped with a close-up of her cleavage…very unnecessary , calling a woman a “slut” and “whore”, language (the b word, ba word, the “Master of the House” song says Jesus’ name blasphemously – which was terrible, s word used in the song as well), immodesty (cleavage, women grope themselves), women thrown into desperation of prostitution (a man is seen lifting her skirts to her knees and her dress sleeves are brought down across her shoulders and the man is laying on top of her, and then he walks away after throwing money at her – nothing shown that sex is happening, but just payment that it did happen), drinking & drunkenness, man’s bum cheeks are hanging out and smacked by another guy, a man slaps a young woman, shooting, violence in the streets (revolts), kissing, stabbing, suicide shown

Les-Miserables_1
Lincoln
2012 (w/ Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook) – 3 stars – This movie follows mainly Lincoln’s second term and the Emancipation Proclamation being secured and the struggles that Lincoln went through to get it done.  The story was well acted out, though at times it was slow.  My major, major issue with the film is that there was far too much bad language in it that was very unnecessary.  It pretty much ruined the film for me.  I am fond of the Emancipation Proclamation (the abolitionist in me, and the stance to defend the widow and orphan as well spoken within it).  It is truly discouraging to know that slavery, though illegal now, is much more at large today than during the Civil War period.  This movie had loads of famous people in it.  content: war violence (stabbing, punching, fighting, smothering), racist terms used regularly, smoking, language (God’s & Jesus’ name used blasphemously 11x, s word 4x, d word 4x, b word 2x, f word, misuse of the word hell 3x), woman in a corset being taken off with a nightgown underneath (shoulder gets exposed as well as a slight cleavage), gruesome imagery, father slaps his son, tobacco use , a man and woman in bed together (not married, nothing immodest or sexual shown)

The Music Man 2003 (w/ Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Molly Shannon) – 2 stars – A man who tends to fraud people and take their money after leading them on and travels to the next town to continue in his fraud stops at Rivercity, Iowa.  He is out to swindle parents into making a boys’ band.  I love the original 1962 version.  Matthew Broderick is so stiff in this movie. I think of Robert Preston being so enthusiastic and compelling with how he acted in the original, but Broderick is just scared looking and doesn’t seem too confident in how he moves and sings.  It was a terrible performance.  Kristin Chenoweth on the other hand is really amazing in voice and how she acts.  She really did a great job in reviving Shirley Jones’ role!  I say if anything, just stick to the original. content: kissing, woman’s bloomers shown (the pants type), deception, smoking

Lady on a Train 1945 (w/ Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, David Bruce) – 3.25 stars – While on her way to NY from CA, Nicki takes a train ride and spots something  disturbing: a murder!  It seems as though no one really cares.  She reads a lot of murder mysteries and goes to an author of those books to help her solve the mystery when police seem uninterested in helping her out! This was a really great “Who-done-it” tale. I loved it.  Certainly a funny one too.  There is a slight romantic portion as well, but I don’t even recall seeing kissing in it, which was pretty cool, as well.  Of course Deanna Durbin had to sing a little in it too.  content:murder seen in a shadow, immodesty (night club ladies in little outfits), shooting, punching/hitting

ladyonatrain

Flicka 2 2010 (w/ Tammin Sursok, Clint Black, Patrick Warburton, Emily Tennant) – 2.5 stars – When things go wrong with her grandmother’s health, Carrie, who is fond of skateboarding in the city, ends up in the country in an area where there seems to be no pavement for her.  She adjusts to life in the country, getting to know her dad who seemed to never want her, and learns to love a horse named Flicka and has a love interest who seems to be all the girls’ interest.  This one was cute but I don’t understand why all the old Flicka movies have a guy in them and how the new ones are female characters instead.  I never read the book though.  I like horses and like horse movies. This one is really cheesy and overly dramatic. I mean, there is even a scene where a girl is more concerned for a horse than a possibly injured girl!  Way to teach us who is more important in life :: rolls eyes ::  content: kissing, being daring

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn pt. II 2012 (w/ Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner) – 2.25 stars – Bella is now officially a vampire and she is learning about being a new “person” while dealing with her family and the vampire family as well. This is the last part of the Twilight Saga.  Yes, I read all the books which are way better than the movies (except New Moon which I think both were on par).  This movie was so cheesy!! I mean, I laughed at some of the serious scenes that were horribly done.  The baby/child throughout it just looks so fake and is too CG.  I will say the ending was far more intense and had seriously pulled my heart for a loop there.  haha. If you have seen it, you know which scene I mean. However, that was the only good part of the whole movie >.<.  content: imprinting on a baby (an adult “falls in love” with intent to one day marry a baby once she is of age – it is really awkward), woman’s back exposed as her husband rips the back of her dress, marital sex scene (close-ups of feet, lips, etc without any bodies seen), kissing, a woman’s hair covers her breasts, a man starts to take off his clothes, men’s chests seen, killing of children, cleavage, graphic killings of vampires (very disturbing images), immodesty

United 2011 (w/ David Tennant, Jack O’Connell, Sam Clafin, Dean Andrews) – 2.25 stars – This movie was based on a true story about Manchester United’s Football (Soccer) team from 1958 when there was a plane crash leaving only 4 survivors from the team. I will say that the beginning of this movie was pretty slow moving, but they tried to build up the story of the team and their closeness.  The intensity was strong as it went along though. It is a very sad movie. after the climax it got too slow. It was good, but I yawned maybe 15x (it is an hour and a half long but felt longer to me)! content: smoking, men seen in underwear in a locker room, the word “bloody” mentioned as a swear, f word, s word, blood shown

Not My Life 2012 (documentary) – 5 stars– You can purchase this movie here only, I believe. I’ve seen a lot of human trafficking documentaries and movies, but I think this was the best I have seen since it covered various forms of slavery and I loved that they interviewed many organizations I’ve followed for the past few years and people who run these organizations who have amazing books.  To be able to see actual footage of slavery rather than just hearing about it, makes it much more devastating.  I cried even though I know of what goes on in many countries specifically.  This was intense.  It is totally worth watching, but I must inform you that it is not easy to see and listen to, and if it is easy, then there is definitely something wrong in one’s heart to not be sickened by what goes on all around us.  They even interviewed traffickers rather than only victims and workers of those trying to free slaves.  content: injuries of children, boys in underwear, much slave labor is shown, traffickers talk about beating people, women are on the streets putting on skirts (thongs seen), bare bums of children, undercover videos of young girls taking off their shirts with the bras on (so devastating, I almost puked), talk about torture and genital mutilation and forced sex, talk about murder
notmylife
screenshots from me other than the Les Miserables one.

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15 thoughts on “Movie Suggestion Post #76

  1. Oh man, the only movie I have seen out of this is Les Mis. I liked it, but, I don’t have anything else to compare it to. I do want to read the book. Kyle really wants to see Lincoln though!

  2. I love the original Music Man, but never bothered watching the remake. Why has Matthew Broderick not made an interesting movie since Ferris Bueller?

    1. Hahahaha. Rob said while I was watching it, “All I can see him as is Ferris Bueller!” We liked War Games though (oh, that was before Ferris . . .hmm) as well as Tale of Despereaux (he was a voice though only). Okay, you’re so right. I’ve seen a bunch of his other films and he hasn’t really done anything that has stood out! Sad. Maybe he just prefers being a dad, which hopefully he’s a great one. I mean he has about 3 kids or something.

  3. Hey dear! Did Les Mis get points off for content, then?

    As you know, it is one of my all-time favorite movies, but it should also be known that I grew up on the musical and have seen it multiple times on Broadway (I think maybe 5 or 6 — btw, you didn’t come with our school to go see it? Didn’t we see it freshman year?) and I have read the book two and a half times (once the full version, once the abridged version, and I am currently re-reading it). It is one of my FAVORITE stories.

    I agree that the singing wasn’t top notch (and agree about Amanda Seyfried’s voice!) but I loved that it wasn’t lip-syncing and it was more about the acting. But here’s what I LOVED LOVED LOVED about the movie:

    1) It is the clearest depiction of the Gospel that I have seen on screen. And what I mean by this: as you said, the priest shows a clear depiction of grace the way that Jesus shows us grace, and Valjean accepted that grace (in an amazing conversion song/scene). But he was still a sinner and it was a very long process for him — but you could see him wrestling with his faith throughout the movie, and in the end, he entered into heaven (“it is the music of a people who will not by slaves again!!!” Isn’t that a BEAUTIFUL song for HEAVEN? I am getting chills and tearing up just thinking about it). At the same time, we see how sometimes people are shown and offered grace and do not accept it, as in the case of Javert. In fact, grace went against everything he understood about the world and he couldn’t stand it. He didn’t know how to accept it; his heart was hardened. It was devastating. But also a very clear depiction of the Gospel interacting in people’s lives (the musical is very true to the book; Victor Hugo really “got” what Jesus was all about).

    2) As I’ve said, I’ve seen the musical SO MANY times and I know the music backwards and forwards, but I HAVE NEVER ONCE CRIED and I have NEVER ONCE understood how clearly the Gospel and God’s love was shown in the music. It took the movie to move me into tears because of both how intimately we could enter into the story, as well as how vast the impact of the revolution and the ending. It took “being in the space” with Valjean during his conversion to really understand the words he was singing and their impact, instead of sitting twenty rows back with an orchestra in our way. But is also took me seeing everyone singing at the end in the streets of France to understand the the last song is about heaven. In short, the MOVIE helped me experience and understand the STORY of Les Mis on a deeper level.

    Those are my thoughts. Now I must attend a little girl who just woke up from her nap. 🙂

    (I have to read the rest of your reviews so I might leave another comment.)

    1. I think only the “Smartest” in the grade were able to go see Les Miserables on Broadway, but I do recall something about it being announced to see it. I have a feeling if it were open to me to see it that year, I would have gone in a flash because I had always wanted to and was always sad when people would gloat about all that they have seen on Broadway (sad because I wanted to see them but could never afford to). The only thing I’ve ever seen on Broadway was Riverdance with Rob’s family when we started dating. I honestly always knew that you were obsessed with this story and musical which is why I sent you the trailer as soon as I saw it.

      I did take the rating off for two reasons: content and length of the film (I honestly started to get a slight bored, and I don’t know if that happens because of my ADD or what, but some movies I don’t get bored with and if I do. . .then there is a problem). This is actually a very high rating for me though!!!! I rarely give things ratings over even 3.25 stars.

      I completely agree with you on the gospel. I was saying that to Rob last night (he watched it from Russell Crowe’s solo to the end). I agree that it was a great conversion story and the fact that he didn’t even want a man with his name to suffer and was willing to take on the punishment. I actually was really sad that someone, who sadly is no longer my close friend, wrote how she doesn’t understand how a Christian would see a filthy movie that has blasphemy in it and sexual content and because I know the story so well, I was really upset that she was so filled with hatred when it clearly shows and proclaims Christ even in the songs…and that she wouldn’t even try to give it a chance. . .but that’s another story I’d have to tell you about . . .I lost that friend (but not over this movie). I wept when I saw the trailer for this film alone which I have never done ever!! I wept!!! My heart was broken for the broken in thought of the trafficking victims and how despite the “filth” of a prostitute, mercy and grace was shown and so much love without anything sexual involved. Truly gorgeous.

      A guy who did the lead Jean Valjean role for Broadway for years. . .I wish I had told you that he sang at my church once because he is friends with a guy who used to attend. It was only about a year and a half ago that he sang there too. SO GOOD. I cried a lot with two scenes: Jean Valjean’s acceptance of grace for him and willingness to change and everything regarding Fantane’s (sp) scenes.

      I will say I don’t like the very very end part. Not everyone goes to heaven who appears to be “good”. . .and so that part actually bothers me. I do believe that Jean Valjean would have gone to Heaven though.

      1. I understand what you’re saying about the ending, but I just decided to suspend my disbelief and pretend that everyone singing were Christian and in heaven. 🙂 It makes the ending so beautiful.

        The musical is about 3 hours long, so I think they shortened it for the movie. 🙂 I’m used to the 3 hour thing, and also the book takes nearly a lifetime to read, so for Les Mis, it was short!

        Did you know that the priest in the movie was the original Jean Valjean? Colm Wilkinson I think his name is. You should look up the conversion song on youtube – the 10th anniversary cast – he KILLS it. AMAZING. Tears coming to my eyes again. Soo good.

        I’m glad that you enjoyed it and were able to see the good parts despite the content. Some people though — I mean, you can’t blame anyone if they decide not to see a movie because of content, because maybe the content is too much for them personally. But on the flip side, they shouldn’t judge others. It’s like that Bible passage when Paul talks about meat/not eating meat.

      2. Rachel, Good point about the book being over 1000 pages as it is, so I shouldn’t have felt it was too long. That’s so cool that the original Jean Valjean Broadway actor played the priest! Excellent! I do agree with you on the film. It is good to be cautious of what we as Christians are feeding into our souls that we watch, but this person actually said that they didn’t consider people who watch this movie to even be considered a Christian. They constantly would tell me who was and who wasn’t a Christian as if they knew the hearts of the individuals and it started to really feel like a heavy blow to my heart. . .So my heart aches for them, as in judging others in such a way, they are putting a lot of judgement on themselves. 😦 +Victoria/Vicki+

  4. I’m so glad you wrote a review on Les Mis! I actually have not seen it yet & wasn’t sure if I wanted to b/c I am not the biggest Anne Hathaway or Amanda Siegfried fan. I did see it on Broadway & absolutely loved it though! I loved what you said about the storyline & Jean Valjean. My hubs even used this illustration in a message :-).

    I’d be really interested in watching Not My Life. I’m kind of a Doc nerd & this sounds like one that everyone should see.

    1. I love documentaries too (though mainly ones about human trafficking, but I’ve reviewed a bunch of various ones on here in the past). Let me know what you think of Les Miserables and Not My Life if you end up seeing them!

  5. I thought Lincoln was misnamed. The movie should’ve been called Emancipation Proclamation, IMHO. Day-Lewis was incredible, but otherwise the movie was okay — not great, but pretty good. You know what I mean?

    I only watched (most of) the first Twilight movie and it was hysterical. I never saw another one. I just can’t take it.

    1. The first Twilight film was terrible! haha. I laughed. I loved New Moon though. The soundtrack with it is so perfect too (and with the scenes). I actually saw it twice in theatres. . .though I didn’t see any of the other of the Twilight movies in theaters at all.

      Rob thought the same thing about Lincoln’s title being wrong!! Daniel Day-Lewis did truly do a wonderful job (which obviously is why he won an award for it).

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