Courageous movie review

30 10 2011

Yesterday I saw the movie “Courageous” in the theater.  I have to say I was really impressed.  I enjoyed their previous movies (like “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof”), but I think this one is even better.  To me, it was all well done — the depth of the story, the range of emotions, the acting, and the production values.  I’m no movie critic (nor do I try to have that mentality while watching movies), but I didn’t have any problems with it.

The story is incredible.  There are numerous main characters, and it’s not obvious what they will all go through.  This movie had the full range of emotions, too — sometimes you laugh outloud, sometimes you want to cry, and overall it challenges you to live a better life.  Someone asked me if it was a great story or just a great devotional, and I think it was a great story.  When the end credits started in the theater, quite a few people clapped.  You don’t see that very often.

“Courageous” is rated PG-13, which might concern some people, but the only reason I can think of is gunfire between the police and criminals.  There’s nothing graphic about it, but you still might not want young children to see that.

I recommend seeing it.  If possible, go to a theater to watch it, because that’s the only vote we have in what types of movies are produced.  So many movies these days are full of filth and obscenity, so it’s refreshing to see a clean, wholesome movie (with a great story) do well.  I hope they keep making more.  And if other companies see the success of this type of movie, they will be more likely to make similar movies.


all Catholics should watch The Blues Brothers

17 06 2010

It’s not a surprise that the Vatican newspaper would list “The Passion of the Christ” as a recommended film for Catholics.  Other movies recommended have included “The Ten Commandments”, “Jesus of Nazareth”, “Joan of Arc”, and “It’s a Wonderful Life”.   But it is somewhat surprising that “The Blues Brothers” is also on the list and that it is “recommended viewing for Catholics everywhere”.  Now, don’t get me wrong — it’s an awesome movie, one of my favorites of all-time.  But I’m surprised it would get a recommendation from the “Vatican’s newspaper”, given that it has some crude language in it, along with an R rating.  (To be fair, the movie would be rated PG today, or PG-13 at worst.  And for extra credit, what does that say about how our culture has changed?)

Do you see the light?

The movie does have a great story, and it’s got great music and acting, too.  And they are on “a mission from God”.  It just seems odd that a Vatican newspaper (L’Osservatore Romano) would be recommending it.  Granted, it’s not coming from the Pope himself and it’s not an official Catholic newspaper, but still, this is influencing a lot of people.

The article also states that Mr. T was in the movie.  I sure don’t remember that, but according to IMDb, he was a guy on the street, an uncredited extra.  Now I need to watch it again, to look for him!

perspective from an old movie

17 05 2010

At lunch today I watched a few minutes of a black-and-white movie on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and it was very interesting to consider how our culture has changed.  For one thing, the movie was rated G.  It wasn’t a cartoon or children’s movie.  It was just clean.  How often do you see G-rated movies for adults these days?

In the movie, some parents were scolding their daughter (who was an adult and living on her own) for wearing a skirt that went down only to her knees.  And in another scene, her dress showed part of her slip, and that was intolerable.  By today’s standards, the outfits were conservative and modest.  But it was quite the uproar in the movie, which was set in the 1940s, I think.

Times sure have changed…

And at the end of the previous movie (which was also black-and-white), there was a screen saying the government needs our money, so buy defense bonds and stamps.  I presume it was to support the war effort.  Can you imagine such a plea today?

removing slavery and abortion

8 03 2009

This weekend I saw the movie “Amazing Grace”.  It was well done (except that a not-so-family-friendly word came up twice).  The acting was great (though I’m usually not one to analyze that) — I just thought they made it believable, which I suppose is their goal.

The story, if you don’t know, is about William Wilberforce, who led the campaign against the slave trade in 18th century Britain.  The title is a reference to the hymn “Amazing Grace”, which was written by John Newton, and he plays a role in the movie.

I’m not going to describe the movie in detail, because you can read that elsewhere or watch it for yourself.  I want to mention a conversation that happened after seeing this movie.

As the movie illustrates well, Wilberforce and his followers faced a long, difficult battle against slavery.  There was a lot of opposition, not only from (misguided) moral reasons, but also because of financial reasons.  It seemed an impossible task at first.  Nonetheless, he fought until he swayed public opinion.  Now, in today’s society, what if someone were to fight in such a manner against abortion?  I realize some people do, and it may seem impossible to overturn, but look at the similarities.  Is it possible to have such a revolution here in America?  Indeed it is, although it would certainly be a long and difficult road, but it should be attempted.  Think about it…

my review of the movie Fireproof

5 10 2008

I went to see the movie last night, and I have to say it’s AWESOME!  It’s a great story, it’s clean (family-friendly), and it’s laugh-out-loud funny at times, but the best part is that it makes you want to become a better person and improve your marriage.  So I encourage you to go see it, if at all possible.  It’s definitely worth it.

I thought about writing a review of the story, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.  Plus, there’s plenty of reviews online by people more qualified than me, if you’re wanting more details on it.  I will say I consider it one of the best movies of the year.  (I may not see a lot of movies, but I did see Iron Man and Batman: The Dark Knight.  In some ways, this movie surpasses them.)  It’s fine to see (clean) movies for entertainment, but when a movie is both entertaining and it makes you want to live a better life, that makes it awesome.

Also, I thought it was very well-done.  I’m not one to critique acting, but because it was low-budget I had hoped it wouldn’t look like they were acting, and I didn’t have any problems with it.  I thought the acting was realistic.  There was nothing in it that distracted me from the story.

Note that this movie may make you cry.  I normally despise the movies that intentionally tug at your heart-strings (so to speak), but this wasn’t one of those movies.  At times it is kinda sad, but it’s sad because you can somewhat relate to what they’re going through.  (Even if you have a good marriage, there’s still tough times and misunderstandings, and we can all do better.)  I think everyone will be able to relate to what the characters are going through, to some degree, even if you haven’t been close to divorce.

BTW, if you’re a man reading this and you’re thinking, “It’s not gonna make me cry”, then you’ve already got the wrong attitude toward it.  Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with your feelings.  If you’re always hardening your heart so you’ll be “tough” and “manly” and never cry at all, that will hurt your marriage and your walk with God.  (It’s still difficult to say such things, because I’m someone who once went a couple of years without ever crying, but God is showing me how we sometimes need to be broken, that it’s healthy for us.)  I could go on about this topic, but I’ll save that for another post…

One of my friends had this to say about the movie:

If you love your marriage, you should go see Fireproof this weekend, and if you hate your marriage, you should for sure go see Fireproof. ~ Jeff Watson

So I recommend this movie to everyone.  If you can, go see it in the theater, to support this type of movie.  Remember, we vote for what we want from Hollywood with our money.  If movies like this do well, more will be made.  Plus, beyond voting and making a statement, this movie will motivate you to become a better person.

the new Knight Rider movie / TV show

20 02 2008

I watched the pilot for the new Knight Rider show, because I enjoyed watching the original Knight Rider when I was a kid.  I wasn’t sold on this new version.  The new version of KITT was cool, but the script for the whole “movie” (as they called it) had some major issues in my opinion.  That’s what I’m going to focus on here, so there are spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet but still plan to.

When KITT was being hacked, he was aware of this, yet could do nothing about it.  That is stupid.  If he were to not recognize it was a hack, like if he thought it might be legitimate, then that’s understandable.  But he said he was being hacked, and there was even a countdown to when they would be through.  (And how he knew that, despite their “surprising efficiency”, is also strange.)  Since he knew someone was hacking his system, it wouldn’t be that difficult to kick them off the system.

When all the main characters were at the motel and the good guys were trying to escape, what were they thinking?  They took their time leaving, taking plenty of time to talk about the past.  And when they finally reached KITT, instead of getting inside where it was bulletproof and they could escape, they stood outside the car, arguing over things, until the bad guys got there and captured them.  Were all the people there really that forgetful of what was going on and how much danger they were in?

One of my biggest gripes was with the beginning, when they were trying to define the characters.  They made the FBI agent look like a lesbian, and it had no place in the entire story.  Were they trying to get “shock value”?  To me, it was disgusting and added nothing whatsoever to the story.

They also made the new driver of KITT to be immature and not very well-rounded.  Perhaps that gives them more leeway with dumb character decisions (like they’ve already done), but it’s not staying accurate with the original series.

I’m not going to make it a point to see the other episodes.  I wanted to see this one because the original was enjoyable, but it doesn’t seem like they will maintain that level of quality.  Some friends joked about how easy it would be to find someone better at it than David Hasselhoff, but they didn’t.  When they remake old TV shows (whether into a new series or a movie), they should aim to do them better than the originals.

a great Christmas movie

16 12 2007

Because I have new regular readers since last December when I reviewed The Nativity Story, I’d like to again point to that review.  It is an excellent movie, illustrating the story of Jesus’ birth as detailed in Luke 1 and 2.  And this movie could be a good evangelistic method, too, because some of your family and friends might be more likely to watch this than to agree to listen to a Bible reading over the same material.  Plus the movie is just so moving.  For those of us who have heard the Christmas story many times, we tend to look at it with more of a “fairy tale” mentality, where everything worked out easily.  But in reality, the road that Mary and Joseph trod was not easy.  They had a number of tough decisions to make and they made sacrifices to be in God’s will.  And they had to walk in faith, which is not easy sometimes.

Among the various Christmas movies out there, this is my favorite one.  If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to rent or borrow it.