The Keys of the Kingdom; 1944 (w/ Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, Philip Ahn, Vincent Price, Roddy McDowall, Rose Stradner) – 3.5 stars – This was so good and then afterwards we fount out it was not even based on a true story, after it seemed so believable to be true! Gregory Peck plays a Scottish man who has seen a lot of loss in his life but he clings to God and decides to become a priest. He goes to China as a missionary and try to teach the people there about God. The story was pretty powerful and it was nice to see Asian actors who didn’t have silly accents or made to be dumb or useless like a lot of movies from that time portrayed (which bothers me incredibly). They had normal American English accents and were smart and helpful and treated with respect. The biggest problem that my husband and I had in this film is that they are supposed to be in China but all the words shown throughout it look like they are Japanese Kanji. Not all of the actors are Chinese either but are from various Asian nations. I guess a lot of white folk can’t differentiate. The story alone though was riveting and interesting. It was heartfelt and I enjoyed it a lot. In case you are not a believer of God, this is not preachy or pushy at all and in fact they have an atheist man who is best friends with the priest throughout it and each show respect towards one another. For Mr. Peck’s second film, he was amazing and of course that is why he was nominated as best actor for that year (but lost, sadly).
content: some violence (non-graphic) and death shown and talked about (non-graphic or often looking away), a scene where men seem to want to take advantage of women (nothing is actually said about it but you can tell in this scene), a woman is said to have had a child out of wedlock
Tomorrowland; 2015, (w/ George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy) – 3.25 stars – This was an intense movie that I think is maybe a little much for a children’s film, but certainly adventurous and thought provoking for adults. Casey is a teenage girl who lives with her dad and brother. She comes in contact with a strange pin that allows her to be in a different dimension. She wants to go there and see what is in store for her there. Frank was a child inventor who was given the special pin by a girl who thought he had potential. Now he’s an adult who still invents and creates things and knows much more than he wants to about the world and what goes on in it. He has given up hope, but Casey sees a way! The two of them can work together to find a way. The girl’s acting really thrilled me because how she reacted to things is totally more realistic than how I see other people react to things in films. She made me laugh. The young smaller girl who played Athena was totally impressive and had the best facial expressions. It was good to see another Clooney film, because I haven’t really seen him in many films. He reminds me often of Cary Grant (a “classic” sort of actor). The only not-so-good part of this was when Keegan-Michael Key’s character seriously looks like he has a pillow for a stomach. That was poorly done!
content: some language like “hell” used incorrectly about 5 times and the “d” word used a couple times, the British “b” word, an almost use of swear words two times (where you can understand what they want to say, but don’t), talk about not being on drugs, decapitated robot heads shown (a little too intensely I think that would probably scare children), intense scenes with shooting of laser guns, cops being shot and disintegrated to nothing, robots being beaten and parts of their skin is moved but looks realistic, a (robot) child is run over by a truck
Living on One Dollar; 2013 (documentary) – 3.5 stars – This was too short (not even a full hour), but it was excellent. Two economics college students decide to take their filmography friends with them to Guatemala for summer break and see how they can live off of a dollar each day as the people there do. They start to learn more about life there, the poverty endured, the hardships, and the bonds of family and relationships between people. It was really lovely and definitely educational as well. You can learn more and donate to help those they encountered here.
content: one use of the short “a” word
An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving; 2008 (w/ Tatiana Maslany, Jacqueline Bisset, Helene Joy, Kristopher Turner, Vivien Endicott Douglas) – 3.25 stars – This was based off of a Louisa May Alcott short story. It definitely has a Little Women feel to it. Tilly is an aspiring writer who wants to explore the world. She wants help for her widowed mother Mary who is having a hard time caring for her own family as she is caring so much for other families as a doctor. In comes Isabella, the well-off mother of Mary, grandmother of Tilly. The other children in the family are Prudence who seems to be the kind hard working middle child, and little Solomon who just wants a nice Thanksgiving as a family. Throughout this whole ordeal there is a romance going on too. The story is very sweet and is a nice family film.
content: kissing, death, sick people shown, disrespect given
Jurassic World; 2015 (w/ Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, B.D. Wong, Omar Sy, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer, Lauren Lapkus, Nick Robinson, Brian Tee) – 4.25 stars – Oh yes, this was splendid. I had always enjoyed Jurassic Park but hated the two that came after (the third especially was bad). In this film, there are two brothers who are going to a theme park where their aunt works. They haven’t seen her in many years. She works at Jurassic World where children and families can interact with real dinosaurs. It is in the same place where Jurassic Park was. One of the boys is a teen who just seems interested in the ladies. The other is a smart affectionate kid who loves learning about dinosaurs. Then we meet Owen who has been training raptors and there are those who want to use them for the military. He says they are not ready and shouldn’t be used in such a way. He cares for them and likes to understand the animals. Claire (the kids’ aunt) is all into the science of animals and has been working towards the genetics of them. Things go terribly wrong, as expected (I mean, this is a Jurassic Park film and all). The characters throughout this really make you feel attached in different ways to them (or cause you to be annoyed as well). I love the diversity of characters and cultural range (we need way more of this in films). There are some brief instances of humor and romance as well throughout the film. You can see many similarities or at least hint references to the original film too which I thought was cute and a nice homage.
content: kissing, cleavage, about two sexual innuendos, a lot of dinosaur violence (like people being eaten and bit and people trying to kill them while being attacked by them), there is some blood shown, but not extremely graphic. There are several scary chase scenes or attack scenes that happen. People shown with injuries. A couple of farm animals shown to be food for dinosaurs (one is a total reference to the first film). language (“s” word used a few times, improper use of “hell” said a few times, short and long “b” words said once, “d” word used)