[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.]
The Impossible 2012 (w/ Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast) – 3.5 stars – This is based on a family who survived the tsunami in 2004 in Southeast Asia that killed 300,000 people. It starts off slowly and focusing on the arrival in “Paradise” at a resort. And then disaster strikes. Everything changes in seconds. The main character is a white woman and she has a husband and three sons. I have a husband and 2 sons and pretty much cried right away thinking of myself in the situation as a mother watching her son drifting away from her in a tsunami. It was such an intense thing to see how things could definitely happen in that situation. One thing that I think would be different, is the amount of bodies you’d see drifting (I didn’t see any other than a dog and one body). One bothersome thing is a little boy pretty much disappears (so my thoughts go straight to trafficking). Also if my husband left my two young boys (7 & 5 yr olds in the film, mine are close to those ages) to look out for each other in a disaster I’d be so upset. You don’t leave your kids with strangers. The scene between Geraldine Chaplin and the little boys looking at the stars is really cute. It is an amazing story. I choked up and cried a lot. I would love to know more stories of people who actually lived in that area though and who went through it, because I think that would have been a million times tougher. Either way, it is beautiful. The boy who played Lucas in this was amazing. I just wish they didn’t have to include the one thing that is a body part in this. I understand how it would be real, but you can show the story without a body part like that. You can tell when those scenes are coming though, so I think it is easy to skip. One thing odd to me is that they chose a Scottish & Australian to play Italians. Why not cast Italians? The people who played them did a great job though. I watched the special features of how they created the film, and I really think they did an amazing job. You can read a little bit about the family’s real story here. content: You see a woman putting on a dress from behind and as the light hits, you can’t see parts of her figure but you can tell she is naked, immodesty, people in bathing suits, a woman’s breast is seen quickly 2x when her son noticed her shirt came undone & when doctors cut it off her, there are wounds that are intense shown on people that are a little gruesome (like a person’s calf on a leg hanging off them a bit), God’s name used blasphemously, “hell” used incorrectly, kissing, drinking
Restless 2011 (w/ Henry Hooper, Mia Wasikowska, Ryo Kase, Schuyler Fisk) – 3 stars – A guy named Enoch goes to many funerals to deal with his pain. While going to a memorial service, he meets a girl named Annabelle who ends up being a cancer patient. They form a friendship together. He also talks to his friend who is a ghost and was a Japanese kamikaze pilot in WWII. Annabelle has a very responsible & a bit of a control freak sister who acts like a protective mother. Although the movie was a little bit strange at times, it was creative. The relationship between the main characters is very sweet and friendly and eventually blossoms into a romance. the costumes are pretty awesome throughout it too (I have a feeling people would be inspired to want to dress as the characters do)! It was a sad but also happy movie. Sometimes the dialogue was slow, but really it was a good film. content: kissing, smoking, the s word 3x, God’s name used blasphemously 1x, hell used incorrectly 2x, a girl undresses (but we can’t see a thing other than her shoulder blades, barely even that, but you know what she is doing), a couple is found under blankets (completely covered, but pre-marital sex is implied), talk about death/suicide
Love Begins 2011 (w/Wes Brown, Julie Mond, Abigail Movity, Nancy McKeon ) – 3 stars – No I have never read any of the Janette Oke “Love Comes Softly” books, but I’ve seen all the films. This is about two sisters named Ellen & Cassie who do what they can to make their own way in life since their parents are dead. A brawl between men takes place in a nice cafe. A man named Clark does work to make up for his crimes and in the process meets the sisters, the older being a bit hard and distant with him. This is of course a love story. It is not one of the best of the series, but it was sweet. Honestly, I thought the acting was a little poorly done on the emotional side of things in this. I was a bit disappointed in it! It didn’t seem to hold up as well as the other stories. content: punching/fighting, I THINK I heard the d word but it might have been “dang”, kissing.
Nefarious 2011 (documentary) – 3.75 stars – I’ve been wanting to see this since it was first advertised, which has been maybe three years of waiting. It is a human trafficking documentary which tries to show the realistic inside of sex trafficking. There is a lot of undercover footage, so therefore there is a lot of immodesty of victims of sex trafficking (not going to put a content listing like I usually do. . .just know there are loads of bras and lingerie and images of young women/girls wearing them throughout it), as well as reenactments where they show little clothing on the girls, so if you are to see it, use discretion (I saw this with a compassionate heart of sadness at an atrocious crime – I would not allow my husband to even see this even if it does show the nasty ugly side of it all). There were interviews with former victims. A guy who owned a brothel in Amsterdam’s Red Light District said that ordering a girl is like ordering a pizza. Very sad. “legalized prostitution is a welcome mat for organized crime,” was a powerful statement said in it. They travel around the world to show us what is going on regarding slavery in the sex trafficking realm. Although I have seen a bunch of documentaries on this issue, there was a lot more shown in this one than others I’ve seen. It was pretty intense. “Women in prostitution have a mortality rate 40 times higher than the national average.” -Prostitution Research and Education. To buy this documentary, click here. I am an incurable fanatic in the fight against human trafficking as I seek out justice.
The Tender Trap 1955 (w/ Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, David Wayne, Celeste Holm) – 2.25 stars – A playboy bachelor acting agent wants to get married and have children, but with all the many women in his life, it just seems like life is mundane and women are pretty much a toy to him (pretty sad to watch honestly). A woman who goes through an acting agency finds Charlie (Frank Sinatra) and she has pretty much her whole life planned out and he seems interested in her. She won’t deal with the fact that he has women on the side though (good for her). Basically the idea of this movie is that love is the tender trap. This movie is very time-traveled. . .I mean “a woman isn’t a woman until she is married & has kids” is something Debbie Reynolds’ character says. I love her outfits in this so much. I will say that there were only a couple songs in this movie and it wasn’t that great. I was a bit disappointed! content: passionate kissing, guy’s chest showing, smoking, drinking, a man who is married dates another woman
The Smurfs 2011 (Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, & voices of: Alan Cumming, Paul Reubens, Jeff Foxworthy, Katy Perry) – 1.25 stars – The Smurfs go through a vortex while escaping Gargamel, a wizard who is obsessed with them and always trying to cause problems. They end up in our world (NYC specifically). They want to go back to their own world and find a married couple expecting a child who try to help them. This was a waste of film! Yes, I remember how huge smurfs were in the 80s (my oldest brother had a toy collection of smurfs even). I wasn’t really allowed to watch it, but I did see it here and there (I liked the Snorks better). This was so cheesy and dumb, I mean, it was really bad! I watched this with my husband (my boys did not see it, and I am glad). I know we aren’t kids anymore, but I LOVE kid movies and this one. . .skip it! You are better off just watching the old cartoons! content: wine present (not consumed), mention of finding out the sex of a cat, language: God’s name in vain, d word, violence, use of “smurf” instead of profanities, use of magic, immodesty (and cleavage and bum close-ups), animal cruelty, kissing
One Hit From Home 2010 (w/ David Aaron Stone, ChrisAnn Brunsmamn, Johnny Meier) – 2.25 stars – This is a Christian film about how we each have something that happens in our life that has a purpose involved no matter how hard it might be. The lead role in this also directed it (and I suppose wrote it too). A pro baseball player gets an injury and feels his whole life slip away as his career is all he had. His parents died which has been hard on him too. He has to coach some college kids and sees that one of them is just like him. He reflects on his life and tries to see where he started and how things turned out. How can his life even get fixed? The annoying part of this film is that it was corny and the overdubs have too much echo and are way too loud. Pretty bad. The plot wasn’t that bad, just how they pieced it together was a little odd. Also the times where the pastor gives him words of encouragment seems too rehearsed and not very natural at all. :: sigh :: content: drinking (not seen drinking, just holding it)/drunkenness, man seen in his boxers/underwear & chest showing, punching, implied sex (as a woman is seen in the morning in a man’s house in what seems to be one of his shirts – modest though, as they don’t show lower than her waist), hugging
Desk Set 1957 (w/ Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Gig Young, Joan Blondell) – 3.25 stars – A man named Mr. Sumner has a new computer product to help a research dept become somewhat assimilated with it. Of course a woman named Bunny Watson who is a bit of a living computer herself isn’t too keen on the idea. She doesn’t want to be replaced by the product. Bunny has a “boyfriend” who doesn’t really seem to show enough interest at all with her, and of course, now that she has met Mr. Sumner, she couldn’t imagine herself with him when she has been waiting 7 years for a proposal from her interest. Tracy/Hepburn were married in real life, so to see their interaction in another film together is always cute though there was little romanticisms even in this. You can see a glimpse of what their lives must have really been like with one another. I have to say that some of this movie was boring but much of it was pretty funny. Although I’ve never been too crazy of Katherine Hepburn, she really was a grand actress and played her role perfectly. content: drinking with drunkenness, talk about little dresses/underwear, people seen in robes (very modest), mention of sex, kissing, the d word