Winnie Mandela 2011 (w/ Jennifer Hudson, Terrence Howard) – 3.25 stars – No one seems to really know the story of Winnie Mandela, who was Nelson Mandela’s wife. This tells about how Winnie Mandela lived her life in South Africa before and after meeting her famous lawyer husband who became the president of S. Africa. This movie was very interesting and had beautiful direction and costumes throughout it. It was very sad at many points, happy in others, and always packed with wanting to understand more (which I still want to learn more about certain decisions made by Winnie Mandela). You will learn about what went on in South Africa for a long time as well, which was very sad! I am sure there are things in this that are ill portrayed and some that are well portrayed.
content: much racism, open fire happens with children around, there is torture to some, “necklacing” violence shown, murders and street violence/chaos (police brutality and more), kissing, people shown in bed together (they are married – the woman is in a long covering nightgown), a child is murdered by a gang, drinking, language: (“f” word, “s” word, long “b” word)
Heaven is For Real 2014 (w/ Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Thomas Hayden Church) – 2.25 stars – I know Christians that are reading this post are probably in shock over the low rating since I am a Christian and should like this movie. The problem is probably in the fact that I read the book first. There are so many details about the crazy hospital trips made and the way the little boy looked when he was withering away that they barely even touch on in this movie, which I think is extremely important to connect to. The story is about a little boy who has had a vision of meeting Jesus and spent time in heaven. He reveals bits and pieces to his parents who have had various faith struggles. The father especially seems to be craving answers from his son. The problem isn’t necessarily the story at all, it is the fact that the movie’s version of the story was a bit dry and boring at times. The colors were beautiful though. They picked up on a lot of details in the book that were important in regards to the heavenly times. Do I doubt the stories? Not completely. Do I believe them all? not so sure. I already know heaven is for real without hearing about it from a child and am sad that people can’t grasp it in a childlike faith more often.
content: a bone is broken and you hear the sound as it breaks, people throw up, immodest outfits, a woman whispers something sexual in her husband’s ear to make him decide on something (we don’t know what she said), a child hits a couple bullies, in anger and frustration a woman throws a glass
I Remember Mama 1948 (w/ Irene Dunne, Barbara Bel Geddes) – 3.75 stars – This is a beautiful story about a young woman who writes about the struggles her Norwegian immigrant family has had in their time in Norway up through their time moving to the United States. It was certainly a beautiful story and how a family was able to work hard through difficult times. The mother, who showed much love to people made a huge impact on her. There were so many stories shared about this family that were touching and heart warming, though sometimes so difficult, that I was glued to longing to learn more and more as I watched. It is a great family film. Apparently this story was based off of a play. I am not sure if it was a real story or not, but it could have been! It was first a book called “‘Mama’s Bank Account” though, which I have not read. Ellen Corby’s (the grandma from The Waltons) character as an aunt in this was really great too. I laughed at her scenes in a great way. Irene Dunne was nominated for an Oscar in this film though she did not win. She did a swell job though.
Kuch Naa Kaho 2003 (w/ Aishwarya Rai , Abhishek Bachchan) – 3 stars – This is a Bollywood movie that was pretty wonderful. Raj is enjoying being a bachelor. His uncle and mother want to marry him off so badly. When he makes a journey to India from the US to go to an engagement and wedding of his cousin who is more like a sister to him. Along the way he lies to women to get out of relationships with them that people are trying to set up. There is one woman named Namrata who has slowly been charming him in, though she doesn’t really mean to, but she too is falling for him. She has a bit of a past that she is not hiding, but that is keeping her from fully accepting giving her heart away or taking the heart of another. This is really a beautiful love story. The music throughout it and dance sequences were so nice too and I loved the costumes and sets they used. Beautiful. I have a weakness for Bollywood films.
content:: immodesty, threats, deceit, a married person has fallen in love with someone they are not married to (though this movie doesn’t glorify affairs or anything)
30 For 30: The Two Escobars 2010 (documentary) – 4 stars – This was an amazing documentary about Pablo Escobar – a drug lord kingpin of Colombia, and Andres Escobar – a famous Colombian soccer star from the late 1980’s-1994. This story ties in how the two had connections through soccer and their country. It was one of the most interesting documentaries I have seen and was so very well done. It was very sad too and great learning the history of that time period (because I was aware of some of it, but this was intense).
content: bloody bodies shown dead (a bit gruesome), talk about God, talk about drugs (some shown), there may be a couple swear words in this (but I think some may be censored if there are), murder talked about
Standing Up 2013 (w/ Chandler Canterbury, Annalise Basso, Val Kilmer) – 3 stars – This is one of those coming of age stories that I truly enjoyed. It is about a pre-teen or early teen boy who goes in and out of foster families. He goes to a camp where he is tormented by older kids and mocked. He comes across another person who is treated in the same way, a young girl his age. The two of them run away from the camp to make their summer more memorable. The girl’s mother tries to find her daughter. The kids find who they are and overcome obstacles with one another’s help. It was a great friendship story. I think this also is very realistic to what children in the early 80’s (which is the time that they try to capture here) would be like or would go through with how bullying was back then from horror stories I have heard from others even who I know who survived bullying in that time.
content: bullying, pranks, kids steal other kids clothes and strip them of clothes (we never see them naked but you know they are), a girl talks about stealing a pair of underwear (and tries to show the top part of it to a boy by pulling them over her one hip), immodesty (bikinis shown), a boy tries to put his hand on another’s bum as he dances with her and makes her uncomfortable as she feels very harassed, punching/fighting, kids scared of a man who looks like he is going to harm them, language: small “a” word and “hell” used incorrectly 2x, cigarette smoking (someone looking intoxicated), kissing (and a boy and girl were on top of one another by accident at one point), a boy and girl are shown in bed together (nothing sexual at all, they are just sharing the bed to go to sleep, though they are attracted to one another)
Houdini 1953 (w/ Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh) – 3.5 stars – Although I am not sure about the life of Houdini extensively, I do think this was a grand telling of him, minus the fact that I didn’t care for the ending of this film which seemed off from what I have heard of his life. I think they changed a few situations around. However, the costumes, colors, and plot all held on quite well throughout this film and I was quite entertained. We learn about how supposedly Harry Houdini met his wife who was at his side up through his death. It is about their relationship and his love for his mom and escape acts. They tried to recreate many of his famous acts and did a splendid job!
content: some immodest costumes, kissing, man’s bare chest shown, a man attempts to saw his wife in half without explaining his “trick” to her