Divergent 2014 (w/ Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet) – 3.5 stars – There are 5 factions to identify with. When Beatrice is of age, she takes a test and has found out she is a rare “Divergent” type that is not one of the five factions, but she has three factions she could fit into: Abnegation – the selfless simplistic ones (which was what she was born into originally), Erudite – the educated booky know-it-alls, or Dauntless – the brave crazy ones. She doesn’t want to upset her parents, but at the same time she has always longed to live as the dauntless do. This story is about her time with the choice she has made while finding out there is more than she realized about the factions where something is going down that could destroy society in general. I did read this book series and the first book was the best of the bunch in my opinion. The movie actually was very much like the book, which made me happy. The music was pretty in this too. I’m a sucker for good soundtracks. This movie didn’t have as much talking as it did visual and action portions, so it may be a bit boring to people at times. I guess because I read the book and heard a lot of the thoughts of the main character, they had to make up for it so we don’t hear their head-speech – though believe me, there is much dialogue still in the film. I think the plot holds strongly too. They did a good job of working up the romance in this film, which was what the book did too (without the sexual stuff that most movies try to portray). When I first saw the trailer for this film I thought they cast wrong, but in seeing it the lead two characters did well. At times the main character seemed to lack some emotion and seemed a little monotone, but she sparks up and seems very changed when romance blossoms and despair hits her (my goodness she is great at crying).
content: people put a cut on their hand to get a little blood out, a girl fully covered takes a jacket off (to reveal clothing that still completely covers her) which makes someone say, “Yeah, take it off!”, people get changed all together in one room (you see a woman in her bra – not up close very briefly0 and see some men’s chests and a woman trying to put pants on under her dress (her thighs shown), quite a few fighting matches shown (punching & kicking between both females and males fighting opposite and same genders), young woman shown in sports bra during a brief fighting sequence, a woman shown with blood on her face, a man pushes a girl so that she is hanging from a ledge to her near death, a man throws knives around a woman, shooting one another with small darts, language (small “b” word 2x, long “a” word), cleavage shown, some imagery that might scare people (there are fear tests in the movie where images of people’s fears show up), suicide (not shown, the body being retrieved is shown), women shown wearing tight clothing, kissing, shooting people, a knife shown thrown at someone’s hand, brain control
Mr. Peabody & Sherman 2014 (animated w/ voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Mel Brooks, Stanley Tucci, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, and more) – 2.5 stars – I got to see this in theaters recently for free with my boys through a summer flick showing that goes on. I got my money’s worth and am glad I didn’t have to pay to see it. I used to watch this show as a kid which was really very short in Rocky & Bullwinkle, though it wasn’t that stunning to me when I did see it, so I was surprised that it was considered and made into a film. I figured it would be much different from the actual show. Basically we learn that Mr. Peabody is a very well educated dog unlike the average dogs. He adopts a son named Sherman. They have a time machine and travel back in time. To me, this actually resembled Doctor Who more than the actual show, but maybe my memory is fuzzy about the show. The concept is to accept people and make them your family and about learning about history as a family (and making it fun). However, my main problem is that most of the Trojan War is mythological and not really historical and that was included in this. Also I did not understand all the butt and poop humor in this. It was very strange. My sons loved it though, so that is good, but I didn’t really care for it too much, sadly. I’d have to go back and watch the show and maybe then watch the movie again too. I certainly love the character of Mr. Peabody and Sherman and think they totally captured who they were created as for this film!!
content: cleavage, talk about killing people with pride and putting blood all on the streets, talk about sacrificing a child bride, disobedient children (good comes out of this issue), talk of revolutions and fighting, a dog’s butt hole is shown for another dog to sniff it, a few instances of things dropping or going into the back holes of items to look like poop dropping, name calling, bullying, people get bit by others
Love Me Tender 1956 (w/ Elvis Presley, Debra Paget, Richard Egat, William Campbell) – 3 stars – This was a pretty good flick, though I doubt I’d watch it again or I’d rate it higher. Basically the civil war has ended and boys are returning to their homes and to their mothers. Vance comes home from war expecting to marry his sweetheart, only to find out she has already become recently married to his kid brother Clint. This leads to standing up for the right things, jealousy, and hearts that are confused. It is basically a western mixed with a love triangle. My family watched so many old westerns around me growing up, that I am surprised I never remembered seeing this one (and my mom is an Elvis fan). It was a good story but pretty brief. This was Elvis’ first movie and he sings “Love Me Tender” in it, which so happens to be my parents’ song. Go figure. It was sad though. You will not know whether to feel sorry for Clint or Vance or even Cathy (the love interest) more.
content: A lot of shooting (no gore), kissing, murder, punching and fighting, deceit
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014 (w/ Andrew Garfield,, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Paul Giamatt, Dane DeHaan) – 3.25 stars – This sequel focuses on a few various situations. Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy are graduating high school. Peter often worries that he is putting her in harm’s way and has tried to keep his distance. They both love each other and do their best to care for others before their own relationship. Their love is actually very beautiful and the chemistry between the two leads are lovely, honestly. A worker for Oscorp named Max is pretty lonely and no one seems to care for him. The story includes him. Also Harry Osbourne comes home to visit his dying father to find out he has a genetic disease. The story is also about him. The focus on Peter’s life also is in desperation of finding out secrets about his father before he died. The plot actually pulled together quite well that this two and a half hour movie seemed to grab my attention the whole time. If you know a bit about the original comic books, you know the story of Gwen Stacy. There was a bit of that comic book Spider-man talk in the beginning of the film especially that made me laugh because it was pretty close to how the comics were (I have read a bunch of them but not all of them at all….my brothers didn’t like me touching their comic books too much). There was a lot of fighting in this movie and I thought most of the graphics were great (though not all). I liked that there were no sexual scenes and undressing of any sort (and sweet kisses often were exchanged but not in a let’s get into bed sort of way). I think that for the most part this is a great family film if you have older teens (just because of all the violence).
content: spiders shown being killed, a man threatens another with a gun, a woman is punched and shot, two men have a brutal fight, a man dies when falling out of a plane, people being killed shown, cars shown being run into quite a bit by a truck, guns being fired out in the open, a man is “pantsed” where his his boxers are showing, kissing (several times), a man gets bit by animals, a man is electrocuted, some scary imagery, many people are put at risk of harm, a man’s chest shown several times, alcohol shown being consumed (no drunkenness), torture/experimentation of/on a man, , deceit, many fight scenes, much shooting throughout the film, language: (“d” word)
The Radicals 1990 (w/ Norbert Weisser, Leigh Lombardi, Daniel Perrett, Mark Lenard) – 3 stars – This is mainly the story of Michael Sattler, a man who was a Catholic monk who in reading the Bible left the church in order to follow Christ’s teachings. In doing so, he became an Anabaptist pioneer – one who believed against baby baptism that was the law in the 1500s when he lived, who believed against following any kingdom other than Christ’s, and who believed in non-resistance and non-violence. He was highly persecuted and suffered for the sake of Christ. I am an Anabaptist and wanted to see this movie very much. I remember seeing small clips from it when I was in 7th grade and I remember it had an impact on me though I didn’t feel all that I do now. I thought this movie was filmed in a low quality, but the message was clear and concise and well done.
content: man shown being chased and he is bloody, killings of a priest with a cross thrown at him (no blood shown), arson, women talking about breast feeding (shoulders shown – no breasts shown), man shown being burned alive (his legs shown), kissing, fighting shown between people (the actual punctures and such were not shown but blood was shown on people), a woman shown impaled on top of a sharp topped cross (blood showing), a man shown being tortured (they don’t really show it but they show the marks of it which are pretty nasty looking and explain how he was tortured), language: (long “b” word x3, calling someone a “whore,” Calling on the name of Mary for help instead of God)
Divorce American Style 1967 (w/ Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds) – 2.5 stars – What a depressing opening to a film to start out with. The entire first five minutes are of arguing couples. The sad part is that they sound very realistic. The whole movie focuses on a married couple who were high school sweethearts. They find little things about one another that they cannot stand. They pretty much torment one another and assume that the other is not in love with them anymore, so they work towards a divorce while the whole time you know they really do love one another but don’t know how to treat each other properly. This movie just made me sad and filled with hair pulling thoughts about the couple throughout this movie.
content: a man admits to finding pleasure in looking at immodest women in a magazine while in the bathroom (at one point he grabs a Time magazine that apparently has some of what he wants in it), smoking, drinking and drunkenness, fighting, people throwing objects at one another, a man gets involved with a woman he is not married to but doesn’t want to be with her physically and triest to leave after his friend gets him involved with her, a husband and wife separate and see other people, go-go dancing at a bar, kissing, male and female immodesty, language: the “d” word
The Partridge Family 1970-1973 (TV seasons 1-4) – 3.5 stars – If you know of classic great musicals from the late 1950’s & early 1960’s mainly, then you know Shirley Jones made it big in the business. She stars in this show as a singing single mother (her husband is said to have been dead) who has five children that are all musically gifted as well. The whole show focuses on the family and how they juggle show business and normalcy. It is based on the real life of the Cowsill family (they were the ones who wrote the famous song “Hair” which eventually the song was a part of the musical). Keith Partridge played by the handsome and biggest teen idol to ever live (and he has zits throughout the seasons which is nice): David Cassidy (I have read his autobiography) co-stars in this show as well (who is the step-son of Shirley Jones in reality). Since he was so extremely popular with teens, they tried to make him the dumb one in the family. His sister Laurie Partridge played by beautiful Susan Dey is the feminist protester. Danny Partridge played by Danny Bonaduce is the money minded little boy who is out to torment the manager of their band. The two youngest barely ever get lines in this show and are there to be cute and act as if they are twins (they replaced the youngest boy after the first season). The songs in this show are really wonderful. I sang along to many as I re-watched the seasons (I have a bunch of vinyl records for the show). I don’t recommend this show for kids though. If they are teenagers or adults, then yes. This is one of my favorite TV shows of all time.
content: talk of sex, kissing, immodesty (bikinis shown in a couple episodes and a couple immodest outfits – though hardly ever shown), guys shown in short bathing suit shorts and without shirts on, teasing people, deceit, stealing shown (of course life lessons are revealed)
The Beaver 2011 (w/ Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence) – 3 stars – A highly depressed man named Walter finds a beaver puppet in a garbage. He starts to put on a persona while using the puppet to talk for him as a way to cope with his depression. This leads to some good things to occur in his life, but also some sad times for Walter’s family. This was a very interesting storyline that I enjoyed a lot. I think Mel Gibson was brilliant in this. I wonder if he laughed a lot while talking with the puppet though. I think this film portrays depression in a very realistic way and how one who is depressed sometimes cuts themselves off from those around them which drives them nutty while they truly do love and care for the person with depression.
content: a man tries to hang himself unsuccessfully, a kid talks about buying weed, a teen bangs his head against a wall, a husband and wife are shown making out a few times, a husband and wife are shown in bed having sex (their faces are the only things shown), a husband and wife are shown making out in a shower (you see the man’s back and the woman’s shoulders), a woman is shown alone in bed fully clothed from the upper body up and oral sex is implied happening by her husband, drunkenness shown, fighting between a father and son shown, pills shown, a fight scene with a puppet that has some blood as a result, language: (“f” word used 1x, “s” word used probably ten times, God’s name used blasphemously, “b” word, “hell” used incorrectly)
21 Jump Street 2012 (w/ Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Brie Larson, Ice Cube, special guests Johnny Depp & Peter Deluise) – 1 star – This movie was terrible. It was nothing like the original TV show either other than the fact that there are cops working undercover in a high school to bust up drugs. For this film, we have two guys who actually went to high school together and end up becoming best friends in the police academy. They are pretty much nobodies on the force and are doing undercover work now. The pressure is on since it has been taking them a while to catch the person who has been handing kids drugs to begin with in which they distribute to sell. My problem with this movie is that it is filled with content that I guess I once was into as a teen myself and shouldn’t have. I don’t know why this is so funny. Is pushing a middle aged woman down really funny? Is butt-heading a man to steal his car as a cop really funny? Also is this the way cops should be acting by swearing at people? I don’t know how those things are funny. Is this what we are exposing people to as a part of normal society to be accepted? It actually really saddened my heart while watching this. I don’t recommend this movie to anyone and regret seeing it, big time.
content:: lots and lots of talks about “dicks” and commanding others to do things to one’s penis and gyrating/dry-humping people several times, one 3 second scene of a naked girl (you see the side of her body but not her breasts) with a guy having sex with her from behind with a girl having sex to him or something (all shown from the side without seeing breasts but you see their nakedness and that there is sex happening), drugs shown (one man is smoking marijuana, cocaine shown, a new made up drug shown several times), people high on drugs and visualizing strange things, punching (a lot), head butting, a lot of shooting throughout the movie (sometimes hitting people with the bullets without blood shown until one very graphic bloody scene at the end of the film which surprised me a lot), throw up shown coming out of someone’s mouth, immodesty (quick half second showing of women in underwear, cleavage), drawings of genitals on photos, sexual innuendos made throughout the film, pushing women, a fake penis is shown to resemble a real one (in a gruesome way), an inappropriate costume shown with a giant penis attached, an adult is kissing a teenager (she might be “18” but it is unclear), a brief 2 second showing of a man holding up a woman as if having sex with her (as they are clothed with his pants down) car stealing, alcohol shown, an explosion with chickens shown in the area (so you know they are killed), an explosion that shows a charred body language: (extreme use of the “f” word and “s” word throughout the movie, misuse of the word “hell” and “d” word, long “a” word, small “b” word, God’s name used blasphemously)
Pete’s Dragon 1977 (w/ Sean Marshall, Helen Reddy, Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons, Shelly Winters, Jim Dale) – 4.5 stars – Yes, it gets a high rating because it has always been one of my favorites! This movie is beautiful in so many ways. You have Pete, an orphan who was bought (to be used as a slave) by a poor mountain family (this is set in the early 1900s). He has an imaginary dragon named Elliott (well, invisible, but people think he is imaginary). Elliott makes a lot of trouble for Pete as they enter the town of Passamaquoddy. Pete meets a nice woman named Nora who is going to take care of him for a while as she waits for her fiance’ to arrive from his ship (she runs the lighthouse with her drunken father). More people come to town. Everyone seems to be out to get either Pete, or the dragon. Elliott is Pete’s protector, even if he does screw up sometimes. He is trying to help children around the world who are in need. I seriously look at this movie as reaching out to help those who are oppressed, orphaned, and enslaved and giving them shelter. The songs throughout this movie are very fun, catchy, and beautiful (and I know the words to every single one of them). I love the costumes in this, by the way.. There is talk of this movie being remade. I hope they don’t touch it! I is wonderful just as it is! My only issue with this film is the amount of drunkenness and many violent mentions (though they are threats only).
content:: people sing about harming a child in various ways (like boiling him, mashing him, drowning him, tying him to railroad tracks, etc), young men shown hitting one another “playfully” with mallets, men shown drinking in a bar, smoking shown, drunkenness shown, a woman’s petticoat gets ripped from under her skirt which embarrasses the woman, a woman gets grabbed by the waist from men who are in a bar, long bloomers shown on a woman, deceit, a boy shown without a shirt on, a man dressed as a woman, people fighting, people try to get a creature drunk, a teacher hits a student’s hands nine times (not actually shown), name calling, talk about harming a creature, butts shown wiggling cleaning a lighthouse (fully clothed of course), a man shown with a mouth clamp on his face and is told he could get very hurt, talk about two single boys and a married man getting their hands on a woman to hold her (his wife threatens her husband will be holding his head if he does), threats, kissing