McFarland, USA; 2015 (w/ Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor, Carlos Pratts, Ramiro Rodriguez, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Sergio Avelar, Michael Aguero, Diana Maria Riva) – 3.5 stars – I love movies like this one. A family moves to California where a teacher takes up coaching a cross country team. All the kids work hard for their families because they are pickers with Mexican roots. They have struggles but running can give them a chance to get through those hardships. This is based off of a true story and it is really great! It shows about racial prejudices that Mexican American kids might face now, even though the movie is set in the 1980s.
content: one use of the “d” word, some slight immodesty (low cut v necks), some blood shown after a situation of violence that is not on screen, a character contemplates suicide at one point, talk about a teen girl being pregnant, some racial slurs and calling a girl a “slut/whore,” a man briefly touches a woman’s clothed bum, gentle kisses between a married couple
Inside Out; 2015 (animated w/ voices of Amy Poehler, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Kaitlyn Dias) – 3.5 stars – I watched this without really knowing what it was going to be about, but figured it was a kid movie that I saw a lot of people I trust talk highly about. I cried at a couple points of this movie because it actually was comforting in a way. Riley is a girl who is born and inside her head she has various emotions that are in charge of trying to keep her happy and work out helping her deal with things properly. Joy tends to be a bit of a control freak when it comes to Riley. She’s in charge of making sure everyone does what she says, which causes Joy to try to keep Sadness away from her. Joy wants only happy memories for Riley. Once her family moves to a new place Riley has a whole new set of issues that her emotions can’t seem to work out. It really is well done. I loved the plot and think it was wonderful.
content: name calling, a runaway scene, possible scary imagery for a young child, some defiance against parents
Finding Vivian Maier; 2013 (documentary) – 3.5 stars – I love photography in general, especially ones that show reality and are in black and white. While Vivian Maier was alive, she was just a nanny to many children, thought now necessarily always a nice nanny. She took many of them on adventures. She’d always have a camera around her neck and would photograph life as she saw it in the streets and as she traveled the world. This story is about a young man who won boxes of film that were either developed or undeveloped all taken by a woman who had died. He figured after seeing her beautiful art that he needed to find out more about this lady! This documentary is really interesting! I totally loved it.
content: talk about child abuse/predators at one point, there was some bad language but I didn’t really keep track like I tend to do, so just be on the lookout. I don’t really remember it being a lot though at all (nor the really strong ones).
The Blob; 1958 (w/ Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe) – 3.25 stars – I was always told this was a terrible B-flick. It is a B-flick, but a REALLY good one! I am well aware of the great acting skills of Steve McQueen and have seen a handful or more of his movies, but I had never seen this one. Steve and his girlfriend are hanging out together gazing into one another’s eyes when they see a meteorite flying above them. They decide to try to find it, but instead they find a man with something on his hand that seems to be growing, so they try to help him out. Steve keeps trying to do the right thing, but being a teen of the 50’s, the cops just think the he is trying to pull a prank with his friends. It was good! The ending was typical of how to defeat aliens though, so that part was unsurprising. It did have a pretty good ending regardless.
content: kissing, people do die, there are guns and shooting in this but not towards people, possibly scary for young kids
David Copperfield; 1935 (w/ Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, Lionel Barrymore, W.C. Fields, Jessie Ralph, Edna May Oliver, Elizabeth Allan, Madge Evans, Maureen O’Sullivan) – 4 stars – I’ll be sure to let you know that I have never read the book and can assure you that I can tell there were details that were probably skimmed in this movie adaptation for certain. The story is so sorrowful but does end well. David is born after his father dies. His mother is kind and loving, his great-aunt is estranged, and he is close to his nurse. As he grows there are things that pile up in his life that are very difficult, though he approaches each portion with a tender positive attitude even though he is suffering. He makes friends easily and is a hard working boy/man (half of the movie has him as a boy). I was really touched while watching this and am sad it took me so long to see it! Everyone had such grand acting skills too.
content: child abuse, deaths, deceit