Moana; 2016 (animated w/ voices of ) – 4.75 stars – I have not wanted to play Disney songs around the house since I was kid until NOW. I play the soundtrack a lot and sing along with it (and so does my husband too). Speaking of which, we both cried while watching this movie (but mine were constant streams of tears). I really loved this story, the culture, the songs, and so much more! Moana is different than most of the Disney animated films in terms of:
1. She doesn’t really consider herself a princess even though she is a chief’s daughter.
2. There is no romantic tale in this.
3. There are redemption stories for those who have done wrong in the past
4. SHE HAS CALLOUSES! I know it is really weird but I love being barefoot and have callouses that I am proud of. To see her run in one scene where they show her callouses made me so happy!
5. When have we ever seen a Disney movie where tattoos have been on grannies? Seriously that made me smile.
6. The animal pals did not talk or serve much purpose for the most part. . they are simply animals.
content: there is an “almost” swear but another character gets upset that the person was about to swear, there may be some scary things such as a character that is thought to be a demon of sorts, there is a little belly skin shown on a woman (no belly button), most of the men in this movie are not wearing shirts, there are characters who try to attack other characters with weapons in various scenes, a girl does go against her father’s desires for her at one point but she does it with her mother and grandmother’s permission and ultimately her father sees that he was wrong
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; 2016 (w/ Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed) – 4.25 stars – My husband will tell you that he thinks this is the best Star Wars movie ever. I don’t agree, but it was very good. It begins with the story of a young girl who was raised in a secluded area as her parents were in hiding. It jumps to her being in about her late 20’s, but we don’t really know much about her life in between. She obviously has a lot of wounds from her childhood. She is rescued from a prisoner ship and ends up mixed up in the rebel alliance. I don’t know how much to really type here without giving things away. Although I feel we don’t really get a deep understanding of backstories for each of the main characters, I find that the plot is heavy enough with what is going on around them (w/ much chaos and fear). This is a prequel to the original trilogy, in case you didn’t know (I feel it is okay to tell you that much). What I loved about this movie was that it shows what would realistically happen in a war-torn universe, even to those that you may have felt bonded to. The best character, in my opinion, is Chirrut Imwe, who is a blind martial artist warrior monk who believes highly in the force. I recognized him as an actor from the movie Hero that I had loved when it came out (watch a clip from that here). I believe that this was filmed very well and it surprised me a lot as well.
content: “star wars” really happen in this (shooting, things blowing up, people dying, and fight scenes). There is violence, but nothing graphic and gory that I can recall (and I am sensitive to that stuff). There is mention of torture and we see results of it at one point. I believe I heard ONE swear word the whole movie, and it was either “hell” misused or it was the “d” word.
Concussion; 2015 (w/ Will Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Bladwin) – 4 stars – I think I have told several people about this movie since seeing it. Although this is not a Christian film, there are a lot of faith issues mentioned in the film that really made me tear up. It is based on a true story and events. Football players have been killing themselves like crazy because of an issue in their brain that 28% can contract from all the damage they received while playing the sport since childhood. They do some weird things to themselves even. This movie is about a coroner who first identified the problem and the struggles he endured because of it. It is a beautiful and good story!
content: you see behavioral issues from football players that are not graphic, but odd and sometimes fatal. There area a few times that bad words are stated (Alec Baldwin says God’s name blasphemously a couple times, one use of the “f” word, a couple uses of the “s” word, small “a” word is used, and “hell” used incorrectly). The main character is a coroner, so there are dead bodies shown (never nude). There is also kissing in this and an implication that sex happened.
Food Chains; 2014 (documentary) – 3.5 stars – As part of my resources work for Justice Network, I watch documentaries and movies about human trafficking on a regular basis. This documentary was really excellent! It follows the supply chain of the US agricultural work. It highlights the Immokalee, FL workers who work grueling hours in unsafe environments with little pay. The supermarkets and consumers have the power to bring change of fair wages to the workers who have little food to provide for their own families. Labor trafficking is happening right here in the US, right now. We can bring an end to it. Check out the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Fair Food Program for more information.
content: some bad language used throughout, talk about sexual exploitation, and talk about exploited labor workers (describing some of the horrific conditions)
The Witness; 2015 (documentary) – 3.75 stars – Kitty Genovese was murdered in the NYC streets in 1964. There was reported dozens of people who were witnesses to her murder. This documentary follows her brother Bill who never quite recovered from her murder, as he was quite close to her in his childhood (he was 16 when she died). He seeks out healing for himself and answers to solve the issue of her death. He starts to meet with the witnesses on the Police reports, learns things that the media never talked about (on purpose), goes to the apartments to see what they may or may not have saw, and so many other interesting things. I really enjoyed seeing this and learning about what really may have happened and who Kitty was during that time too.
content: bad language (all sorts of words), talk about murder throughout, images of crime scenes, talk about war, and talk about sex