Movies

A Movie Review of Mr. Peabody and Sherman

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman by Rob Minkoff (Director)

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: The plot was not cliché, except at the end, but was definitely action packed and motivated by action. The story was mainly event after event after event, though the events did have some order. The characters did compensate for the slightly week plot in some ways. Mr. Peabody and Sherman were probably the most original characters. Other characters were usually more cliché and/or predictable.

Graphics: 3/5 Average: The graphics were plain. There was no special detail to them, such as lighting or detail, but it was not unpleasant to watch either.

Moral: 1/5 A Mostly Negative Moral: The moral mainly revolved of child independence and a journey from submission to rebellion, glossing it over at the end with a makeup scene, but overall not really teaching children to be obedient. Sherman has always trusted and obeyed his dad, but upon going to school and being made fun of, he starts to slowly become more and more rebellious. He is at first hesitant, but from the peer pressure from Penny, a girl that mocked him at school, he ignores his dad, eventually reaching the point when he rebels against his father with no prompting. He uses excuses such as “All my friends are doing it,” and though things do fall apart and Mr. Peabody has to help his son, there is little emphasis on parental protection as there is on rebellion. A parent may see the makeup, but the child is much more likely to see the rebellious attitude. The only positive moral that could be seen is that there Mr. Peabody and Sherman do care for each other, and Mr. Peabody loves Sherman to the point of doing anything for him. Again though, this moral is inferior to the attitudes of the children against their authority.

Overall: 3/5 Below Average: There is much better out there that can be watched in graphics and story, and the moral is negataive. Because of that, when considering quality, I would say that this movie is not really high up on the recommendation list. One would probably be better off watching the original series or another cartoon or time travel movie.

Moral Content

Official Rating: PG

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Crude Humor and Suggestive Content: A boy points out how King Tut’s “name rhymes with butt.” He laughs when his dad says “booby trap,” and says its because of what his dad said. His dad gives him a disapproving look. Things pop out of statue’s butts. A man’s pants fall down. A man looks at a pair of underwear and holds it up to himself. A woman smacks her bottom and says she tired of sitting on her “abbondanza,” which a boy says “probably” doesn’t “mean chair.” (It means “abundance.”) Some of the dresses on a few women are low. One painting shows a woman with a large, mostly bare bosom. There is another brief abstract painting in the background of a giant creature that does not have clothes, but does not have any details besides the basic limbs and hands and feet. There are a few shirtless characters. A baby’s diaper briefly falls off from the back. A boy and a girl share a long hug once. A newly married couple kisses once. An invention mentioned and demonstrated by a dog is tear away pants. A dog refuses to sniff another dogs butt.

Violence: 2/5 Some Cartoon Violence: A boy is mentioned in speech to have bitten a girl. Later, a dog bites a woman, though the act is not shown. A dog bites someone’s leg for humor purposes. A girl slaps a boy’s sandwich out of his and holds him by the neck. A dog’s head is almost chopped off, but it isn’t. Characters throw fruit at other characters. There are a few sword fights and brief battles. Swords and spears are aimed and thrown at things and characters. A brick is thrown through a window. A character gets tasered twice.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Slight Misuse: “Gosh” is said once. “Jeez” is said once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Some Lightly Disturbing Content: Mr. Peabody and Sherman are repeatedly threatened throughout the movie. There are several crashes, and things get destroyed or catch fire a couple of times. There are a few explosions once. A girl bullies a boy once. A boy asks a girl if he should kill some people though skinning and fire ant torture. He doesn’t. A girl is nearly forced to be stabbed and to take a blood oath, but she isn’t. A statue breathes out fire. People are threatened to be plagued if they do not release a girl, though the person threatening really can’t plague them. There is a picture of a heart being torn out of a women’s body. It is then explained in speech that in Egypt, that a pharaoh’s wife was gutted and mummified when her husband was. A boy thinks his dad has died, but he hasn’t. A boy cries once. There is a potentially disturbing child machine that is described as “creepy.” A boy holds a hand that turns out to be a mummy’s hand. One of the time eras that they end up in is the Trojan War. There are soldiers, fighting, and characters chant “blood!” repeatedly. Bite marks are shown on character’s arms. A character gets zapped by lightning. A boy trips and falls on his face a few times. A character has back pain. Characters faint twice. Water overflows and washes over some characters. Characters get hit in the head or things fall on them, though don’t crush or kill them.

Religious Issues: 2/5 Some Brief Mention: There is mention of certain false gods by name. A character pretends to be a false god once to trick people. A character briefly mentions the Egyptian belief about what happens after death. Characters bow when they see the time machine. A character hypnotizes some other characters. Briefly, a boy and girl fly into a Catholic church that has a priest and a choir. The Minotaur and Achilles are mentioned.

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: Some people are served alcoholic drinks at a kitchen bar. Rock and roll music with drums is played a couple of times. There is once pop music. Some characters dance a few times. A character does yoga once. Sigmund Freud is mentioned once in speech.

Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: Though not one of the most recommended movies morally, mainly for jokes about body parts and mentions of false gods, I believe the minimum appropriate age for this movie would be ten and older, outside of my thoughts about the overall moral.

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Movies

A Movie Review of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Directors)

Type: Cartoon

Basic Plot: Flint Lockwood has always been known as nothing more than a nerdy loser. After years of failure, he finally invents a machine that can make it rain food and hopes to finally make everyone he knows proud of him.

Quality

Plot: 2/5 Below Average: One word comes to my mind whenever I think of this movie’s plot. It is the word cliché. Cliché features are all throughout the plot and characters. The cast includes a misunderstood child, a dead mom, an awkward dad, an evil shoulder devil role model, a guy who thinks he has it all, and a love interest that is understands him and is “different.” Speeches and the story are things that are commonly seen in children’s movies.

Graphics: 3/5 Average: The graphics were plain, having some nice details here and there in the hair, light, and clouds. It leaned more to a cartoon style than a realistic one, as people had completely unrealistic body proportions.

Moral: 2½/5 Good and Bad Morals: The moral had a very “Curious, Curious George” feel, (see Dangerous Ideas above), but I think it had some deeper positive moral aspects as well. The CCG feel came in from the main plot story. The protagonist feels like a failure, no one understands him, he messes up, becomes a success, messes up again, and then fixes everything. This is a common plot theme in children’s movies that seems to show that you can mess things up, but once you fix it, you become a hero by stopping the problem that you caused. It’s like hiring a bunch of bank robbers than stopping them. I understand redemption and changes of heart, but I also think that there is a difference between redemption and avoiding consequences.

Positive moral aspects included understanding, as Flint and his dad slowly learn to understand each other more. There was also the positive moral that we should be careful who we listen too. Flint has two people influencing his life, his dad and the mayor. One says he should do the right thing, even if Flint must sacrifice his fame, and the other tells Flint to do what may be wrong because it will make Flint feel more loved and accepted. Flint chooses the wrong influence and pays (sort of) and fixes the problem. We can see that it is important to follow those that truly care about us and tell us to do what’s right rather than to do listen to people who only say what we want to hear.

Overall: 2½/5 Below Average: Overall, the movie can be concluded with the word cliché. The children’s book is a thousand times better than the movie. The moral is ok, but nothing to jump up and down about.

Moral Content

Official Rating: PG

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Some Inappropriate Content: Flint makes statues of David and ML out of Jell-O, one of them showing the woman shirtless, and the other not really showing any nudity, but possibly doing so indirectly. There are pictures of shirtless men wearing bibs in the background once. There is a close-up of a man clenching his butt. A man several times in the movie wears nothing but a diaper, but he eventually stops that by the end. A man is shown in a bathtub, though no nudity is shown. Two modestly dressed women hang on a famous man. Flint and a girl kiss once, and attempt to kiss a few times.

Violence: 2/5 Brief Light Cartoon Violence: There are several explosions and crashes throughout the movie in cartoon style, as well as people bumping into each other. A banana falls on painting of a woman. A man violently throws snowballs at various people. A monkey decapitates gummy bears and rips out one bear’s heart. A man beats up food that attacks him with punches and kicks. A man gets hit in the eye with both a foot and food, at different times. A man says he will slap a man and then he does. A man tackles people several times throughout the movie. Food attacks people. A man’s mustache is ripped off by a monkey, and the monkey reaches for several people’s mustaches, though he fails to rip them off.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Slight Misuse: “Gosh” is used at least twice, and “geez” is used at least once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1½/5 Light Disturbing Content: A man is eaten whole by a roast chicken, but he doesn’t die and ends up killing the chicken. A boy ends up in “a food coma” from eating too much candy, and mentions that his “tummy hurts.” Flint’s mom is mentioned to have died in the past. A girl swells up after being pricked by peanut brittle. A man gets shocked by electricity. A man asks if snowball fights are “to the death.” A man punches into his hand when he is angry. Characters run and scream from giant food. Mutant ratbirds attack people and carry off a child. The child is told to “play dead.”

Religious Issues: ½/5 Brief Appearance: Men are seen wearing clothing from the Jewish and Muslim cultures.

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: There is a poster with an electric guitar. People are shown drinking wine in a restaurant. The credits contain rock music.

Overall: Overall, the brief naked statue appearances were probably the worst thing in the movie and possibly some of the light violence. If one wanted to watch it, I would recommend eight and older.

Movies

A Movie Review of Emma

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Emma (1996) by Douglas McGrath (Director)

Type: Classic, Historical Fiction

Basic Plot: Emma Woodhouse is a cheerful young woman that has the bad habit of meddling. By determining to match off her friends, all she does is cause complications, anger, and sorrow, not noticing her own romantic chance until it may be too late.

Quality

Plot: 4/5 Well Done: For a movie, this Jane Austen story was pretty well done. It was a story that a person could relate to emotionally and socially, and scattered with wit and sarcasm in the dialogue and events. The exact dialogue was not written, though occasionally accurate, but the characters natures were definitely caught.

Acting: 4½/5 Amazing: Gestures, tones, and facial expressions were all well done. There were no hints of “actor’s voice,” except maybe a little bit in Emma’s father, but a majority of the time it was purely as natural as real life. The characters were beautifully portrayed. Emma was cheerful and a bit spoiled. Harriet was sweet and meek. Mr. Knightly was mature without being old. Several other characters followed this line.

Costumes and Scenery: 3½/5 Above Average: Costumes were period appropriate, realistic, and beautiful. The temperance of looking rich and beautiful while not looking silly and elaborate was made. Costumes were often plain, but they were not plain to the point of being an eyesore or unpleasant.

The scenery was befitting a rich man’s home and lands. In a similar nature to the costumes, it was period appropriate, realistic, and not too elaborate. The lifestyle of the characters was of one that could be expected by a viewer, beautiful but not fantasy-like.

Moral: 3/5 A Good Moral: The main moral that can be seen in the story of Emma is to not meddle. Emma believes that she knows best concerning who should marry whom. Her matches result in sorrow and anger, and it is eventually revealed that even her inward speculations about who loved whom were completely wrong. God says in 1 Peter 4:15 “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” We are not to be gossips or snoops, as it causes divisions and stress.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: For the time the movie was made, I would say it was done pretty well. It was not too plain, even though it was not extravagant. Though every detail was not exactly like the books, the spirit was caught and maintained, making it an enjoyable movie. Girls and women twelve to thirteen and older would probably like it best.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Some Suggestive Content: Most dresses in the series are low, and once a lady bends over at least twice briefly, revealing much, though not all, cleavage. One dress is raised slightly and light in color, making the shadow of the women’s body briefly seeable during a certain event. Men kiss or lean in to ladies hands. A man and woman kiss a few times on the lips. Friends air kiss a few times. A man and woman hold hands. A man tells a girl that he believes their acquaintance is being pursued by a married man. She is not.

Violence: 1/5 Some Light Violence: Some people shove a lady onto the ground and grab at her in an attempt to steal her purse. They fail. It is mentioned in conversation that a man has cut his finger. A woman scares some dogs when she shoots an arrow near them, and her friend makes a joke about it.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 Some Swearing: God’s name is taken in vain twice. “Damn” is misused twice.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: ½/5 Light Emotional Content: Women cry a few times over relationship complications, though not intensely. A man is obsessed with people getting sick or carrying illnesses and talks about his worries almost every time he speaks. A woman that is appears in the movie gets sick and dies. Some girls visit and tend to a woman that appears sick. There is brief talk of sick people. Death is mentioned in a song. “Death” is used for descriptive purposes,

Religious Issues: ½/5 A man is a vicar.

Magic: ½/5 “Fairyland” is used for descriptive purposes. No magic is done in the movie.

Others: Characters dance and talk of dancing. A woman accuses a man of mistaking her for another lady and that he is under the influence of wine, though he is probably not drunk and the word “drunk” is never used. A woman asks a man if he wants some whisky, which he refuses.

Overall: 2½/5 Almost Child Appropriate: I recommend the movie for children at least twelve or thirteen and older, mainly because of the swearing and suggestive content.

Movies

A Movie Review of The Best Bad Thing

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

The Best Bad Thing by Peter Rowe (Director)

Type: Great Depression, Historical Fiction, Japanese

Basic Plot: In the summer of 1935, Rinko is forced to work on Mrs. Hata’s cucumber farm. She is sure that it will be boring and weird, but she slowly learns to come to like Mrs. Hata and finds a cause to fight and work for.

Quality

Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The story was a good family movie. There was no romance, little action, and little cliché content, but the familiar lesson from the old movies of working together is seen. The plot moves at a good pace. The story moves slower than most plots do in more modern movies, but it was not too slow to be boring. Many parents may like the pace, not being action packed fast or moving like a sloth.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The main actors and actresses and most of the secondary ones were realistic and entertaining. The ones that were not as good were more minor and were still ok. The main actors and actresses kept an accent throughout the movie that sounded realistic, and the Japanese spoken was real. The children were realistic, having facial features and tones that are common to children of that age.

Costumes and Scenery: 3½/5 Above Average: The costumes were plain, common clothes of that era. They were not overdone, but were not eyesores either, making them realistic. The scenery was also realistic. Though the family was poor, there were enough things of the right quality that made it believable. None of the clothes or scenery looked fake or had the “movie gloss” that many movies have today, making it less fancy, but still a pleasure by being reasonably believable.

Music: 3/5 Average: There was some cliché oriental music, as well as silence. None of the music was especially memorable, but it was not an ear sore either.

Moral: 3/5 A Good Moral: The moral of the movie is seen in the title, that even things we think at the time are bad can be blessings for us and others. Rinko is embarrassed and horrified that she will have to work all summer for Mrs. Hata, but eventually finds it a pleasure to work there. Children naturally learn this as they grow older; that what they hate is good for themselves and others. A childish mindset is put aside as we learn what pain others go through, as Rinko’s selfishness starts to disappear as she learns more about Mrs. Hata’s family’s hard life.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: I recommend this movie in quality. I believe children thirteen and younger will like it best, though I believe parents may will enjoy watching it with their children.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: A girl takes a bath, but all that is shown is her leg up to her knee, her face, and her shoulders. A girl’s leg can be once seen a few inches up her nightgown when she gets up from her bed.

Violence: 1/5 Light Violence: Two men push each other in a fight, and a man is held on the ground. A man tries to punch another man, but is stopped from doing so. A girl smacks her brother with a towel a few times times. A boy throws cucumbers at a sign when he is angry. Children bump into each other twice.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Some Emotional Content and Injuries: A boy is shown with some blood on his face from a train accident, and other children get it on their face, clothes, and a handkerchief from helping him. He is later unconscious and seen bandaged on his head and arm. A girl sprains her ankle when she jumps off a train. A girl is told that if she misses her jump, she will die from impact with the train’s wheels. Two people that died in the past are mentioned, one having died of tuberculosis. A woman’s back is once mentioned to hurt. Characters tear up a few times from emotional things.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Once in the background, a movie poster with the words “Devil Dog” can be briefly seen.

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: Men smoke a cigarette and a pipe, about once or twice each. A girl once listens to music on a record with a jazz sound. Girls wear overalls.

Overall: 1/5 All Ages Appropriate: This movie impressed me morally. There was nothing really inappropriate, no gore, and the fight scene was something that most parents could approve of. I definitely recommend it for all ages.

Movies

A Movie Review of McKenna Shoots for the Stars

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

McKenna Shoots for the Stars by Vince Marcello (Director)

Type: Contemporary

Basic Plot: McKenna is an average ten year old girl, but soon finds that she has some academic problems. Wanting to drown herself in gymnastics, but prevented from doing so, she has to come to terms with having to get a tutor.

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: The plot had several things in it that taught the moral, though the story was not extremely interesting for everybody. Since the movie is about a yen year old girl, girls in that age group will probably be the ones that enjoy it most. The plot was predictable in some ways, but it was not full blown laziness. In a lot of ways, it could be seen as a chick flick for preteens, minus the romance.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The acting was good, as well as the script. Body movements, tones, and facial expressions were realistic and believable. Sometimes the script was a little predictable or the voice acting had small traces of fakeness, but overall it was believable and realistic.

Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: The scenery and costumes were both done beautifully. Homes looked like real middle to upper class homes, and schools and businesses were also detailed. Costumes and regular clothing were detailed just enough to be neither overdone nor too plain. Though not pure eye candy, the movie was pleasant to watch.

Moral: 4/5 A Very Good Moral: The main moral of the movie was humility, though it was shown in many different ways. One way was in excepting help, as McKenna must learn to accept that she needs tutoring. Another was in not always putting yourself first, as McKenna learns that she needs to set aside time for others needs and wants. Lastly, McKenna learns the importance of apologizing and admitting she was wrong. All three of these are good examples of humility. When McKenna acts in pride early on in the movie, it immediately results in consequences. This movie not only shows humility is good, but that pride is bad.

Another moral aspect I liked was how the adults were portrayed. The adults were shown as intelligent and helpful. McKenna was occasionally overly dramatic and mouthy, though a lot less so than most movies show children.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: Though the plot is a little cliché, overall, I recommend this movie for preteen girls when it comes to quality. It many ways it is better than the average movie for children.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Immodest Costumes: The girls wear tight and high gymnastics outfits that reveal the thigh and sometimes even a little more. Some of the outfits are low or short, though only by a few inches, and little cleavage is revealed.

Violence: ½/5 Injuries: A girl breaks her ankle after falling off of a balance beam. Several girls fall during gymnastics routines. It is mentioned that a girl broke her wrist.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 Light Misuse:“Geez” is said twice. God’s name is taken in vain at least once, though it may have been said twice.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Slightly Emotional Content: Two girls cry once each, though one more so tears up than cries. A girl mentions that she threw up from stress and that she wishes she would get an injury. Some girls talk about feeling sore from using a wheel chair.

Religious Issues: 0/5 None

Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention A girl reads a story that has a “magic looking glass” in it.

Others: Pop music, country pop, and light rock are played throughout the movie. It includes drums. It sometimes has a rebellious spirit. Girls dance for fun and for rhythmic gymnastics, and a girl mentions that she used to dance. A boy plays the drums against a desk. A man air plays a guitar as his family sings, and later they sing a heavy rock song in the credits. Earlier, they also talk mention his “grunge college rock band.” A rock band can be seen playing light rock in the background of a café. “DJ” is mentioned in a song. Girls wear pants.

Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: The biggest issues would probably be the clothing and the worldly music. I wouldn’t really recommend it to boys because of this, and for many families it may not work out at all. If someone did watch, I would say that it would be ok for all ages.

Movies

A Movie Review of The Shunning

The Shunning by Michael Landon Jr. (Director)

Type: Amish, Drama

Basic Plot: Katie Lapp is an Amish girl about to marry the bishop, but secrets that her family has been hiding from her change her entire perspective on life.

Quality

Plot: 4/5 Well Done: The plot had a different timeline and events than the book, so much so in some ways that I wonder how the next movie will match the book. Some events are the same and the general feel of the movie is the same, but other events and their order and way are completely different. I would like to say it has the spirit and frame of the story but a slightly different telling of it. The only poor scene was the discovery of the dress, in my opinion, as it seemed like Katie just randomly wandered in the attic and found her dress in an almost purposeful manner. Other than that, scenes were pretty natural. I liked that most of the reveal was left near the end of the movie, while the book reveals quite a lot near the beginning and middle. It also ended well, making a sequel very possible without feeling like there was serious unresolved plot content.

Acting: 3/5 Above Average: The acting was about believable and realistic, especially some of the middle aged women. The characters spoke with an accent, which some may find annoying, but others may find perfectly fine. The main characters were able to keep a strong accent, though sometimes in emotional scenes it would waver or tend to disappear. The only actress who kept a pure accent despite emotional scenes (in my opinion) was Katie’s mother.

Costumes and Scenery: 3 /5 Above Average: Since I have had times in my life where I lived near the Amish, I know how they dress. Some of the costumes wear inaccurate in shape, and some even included buttons, something that Amish are not allowed to wear. The head coverings were definitely accurate though. I feel like some of the boys hair made them look like boy band members in Amish clothes, though, and Katie was sometimes noticeably wearing light makeup. The only huge disappointment was that neither Katie nor her mother had red or auburn hair or even a strawberry blond. Later I saw an extra that did have the flaming red hair Katie was supposed to have, while the books said no one else in the town had a red headed child.

Scenery was simple for Amish scenes and not overdone in the English ones. It was believable in the right ways, looking like homes that one could or does live in, or stores one has gone to.

Moral: 2 /5 More Toned Down Moral: The moral was more toned down in the movies, probably because the author could not explain character’s internal battles as much. Though the movie was more trying to tell a story than a moral, I believe the moral that can easily be seen is that lying has terrible consequences. Katie’s mother hides a secret from her daughter for years and even tries to prevent certain things Katie wants because of her insecurities. As a result, Katie leaves the Amish and is shunned.

Overall: 3 /5 Above Average: I think this is a good movie of the book, but I think it could have been better in some of the costumes and more accurate. The movie was good in its own way, though I wonder how the sequel will work with some of the information missing. I believe Christian families, though especially girls, will like it.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1/5 Suggestive: Some of the shirts the characters wear may be considered a little low, though little to no defined cleavage or curvature is shown. A girl gets pregnant outside of marriage. A boy kisses a girl on the cheeks, and a boy and girl kiss on the lips, all unmarried, though not passionately.

Violence: 1/5 One Incidence: A woman cuts her finger.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 Some Misuse: God’s name is taken in vain three times (though that does depend on perspective, such as “Thank God!” in a more flippant sense than a Christian.)

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Emotional and Slightly Intense Content: There is mention that a horse may soon “give up the ghost.” Descriptions like “will get you shot” and “old graves” are used. A woman is dying of a disease. It is mentioned that she passed out and had surgery. A man is mentioned to have died in a boating accident. A woman gives birth to a child who dies immediately from heart problems, and there is mention of them never having children again and that past children had died. In a rage, a man destroys a guitar. Characters cry or on the brink of crying for various regions, though emotional or sad nothing overly dramatic is done. Blood is briefly seen after a woman cuts her finger, and it is later seen bandaged.

Religious Issues: 1/5 Brief Suggestion: Katie goes to an Amish confession, though doctrinally wrong it is not like the Catholics or creepy and cultish feeling, and characters wear head coverings. A girl talks to a man that is presumed dead, hinting it was a dream, ghost, vision, or even her talking to herself.

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: A woman mentions that her mother drank and did drugs. Women wear pants. A boy pretends to play an air electric guitar. There is some music with a beat and light rock/punk music played a few times for background music or listened to by Katie in secret.

Overall: 1/5 All Ages Appropriate: Besides some of the drama regarding pre-marital birth, I think this movie is recommendable for just about anybody.

Movies

A Movie Review of Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Pete’s Dragon by James Whitaker (Producer) and David Lowry (Director)

Type: Fantasy

Basic Plot: Pete, an orphan, has been cared for by a dragon for six years. One day a little girl notices him, changing Pete’s and his dragon’s life forever.

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: I felt like this was a mixture of Tarzan and Calvin and Hobbes. The story was a bit predictable, even though it wasn’t cliché. It moved at a good pace, though most of the movie was made up of slow, sentimental moments. If there had been fewer emotional moments, you probably would have been able to feel with the characters more.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The acting was believable. The actors were able to make you feel with the moment with their realistically calm and gentle tones and motions, but the continual sentimental-ness of the movie kind of made you take it all for granted.

Scenery and Music: 3½/5 Above Average: The scenes and costumes weren’t terrible or outstanding. They didn’t look fake or cheap in any way and at the same time weren’t overdone to the point of unrealism. The dragon was made with realistic fur. It looked like a part of nature almost. The only unreal thing was probably the eyes, as the eyes were expressive in a human like manner. Music was about average. It wasn’t played often or extremely memorable, but it also wasn’t played poorly or obnoxiously.

Moral: 2/5 No Clear Moral: After I finished watching this movie, I wondered what the purpose of it was. There wasn’t really any message in it. There were light traces of Your Parents Are Dumb and Your Neighbor’s Evil, as most of the adults never knew what to do when they had a problem, unlike the children.

Overall: 3/5 Average: In quality, when considering the story, it wasn’t terrible; it just didn’t seem to have a point. It felt a bit like a waste of time because of this. As for acting and details concerning the dragon animation, both were well done. In quality I think children five to twelve would like it best.

Moral Content

Official Rating: PG

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1/5 Immodesty and Slight Suggestiveness: A man and woman are living together and have a child before they are married. Pete’s thighs, back, and chest can be seen throughout the movie.

Violence: 1/5 Light Violence: A boy’s parents die in a car crash that is heard. The baggage flying through the air as it falls can be seen as well as the crushed car. A man tells a story about a dragon fight. Some men go in the forest to hunt a dragon. Some men shoot a dragon with darts and tie it with rope. A dragon knocks people over with its tail. A dragon breathes fire on a bridge and later falls through it with some people. A man slams his face against a window on accident. A girl falls from a tree and gets a scrape. It is not shown. A boy falls from a tree and gets knocked out from a head crash. A woman pushes a waitress. A dragon pushes over a construction vehicle. People reassure a little boy that they won’t hurt him.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Some Lightly Scary Content: There are a few crying sounds after a boy’s parents die. A dragon roars a bit scarily a few times. People and animals are afraid of the dragon. A boy asks if the dragon will eat him. Wolves howl and chase a boy through a dark forest. A bear roars at a boy, loudly but really scarily. A woman talks about her mom when she died, and characters talk about the death of Pete’s parents. Guns are aimed at a dragon. A dragon and a boy pass out at separate times.

Religious Issues: 0/5 None

Magic: 2/5 Fairy Tale Magic: The movie revolves around a boy who was raised by a dragon and whether it’s real or not. Dragons are shown in drawings and woodwork and a song is sung about them. A man talks about a magic feeling and deciding to trust it.

Others: A boy has shoulder length hair. The credit song is has an electric/classical style.

Overall: Personally, I’m a fan of dragons the way I’m a fan of witches, there is no such thing as a good dragon. I also didn’t like that two unmarried people were living together with their ten to eleven year old daughter and the fact that Pete’s was so underdressed. I don’t strongly recommend it for those reasons, but if someone had no problem watching it, I would recommend seven to eight and older as the dragon’s roaring may scare younger children.

Movies

Movie Review of The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall by Nick Morris and Laurence Connor (Directors) Cammeron Mackintosh, Dione Orrom, and Brett Sullivan (Producers)

Type: Musical, Romance, Thriller

Basic Plot: A girl named Christine is the romantic obsession of a man that lives underneath an opera. As he stalks her, she falls in love with her childhood friend, Raoul, and the “Phantom of the Opera” decides he has to take more and more drastic measures to keep Christine.

Quality

Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The story follows the book more accurately than most movies, but is still very different in some ways. Some characters are also removed or given less importance. The spirit of the book was captured in some ways, and the roles of the characters were still the same. Some of the story was just inaccurate.

Acting: 4½/5 Amazing: This is probably one of the better acted versions of Phantom of the Opera I have seen. Christine (Sierra Bogess) didn’t stare off into nowhere land like several other ladies that have played her in the past. The main characters were all expressive in the body and voice, and secondary and minor characters were believable.

Costumes and Scenery: 4½/5 Excellent: The costumes were outstanding, having a lot of variety and being a good quality. The song Masquerade probably had the most amazing costumes.

The scenery was simple, but good for most scenes. There was usually not a need to be elaborate. The only odd thing was that sometimes there was a pre-recorded scene in the background to make backgrounds or pictures for certain situations. This was sometimes natural and understandable, but it could also be seen as cheesy or lazy.

Music: 4/5 The characters had stronger and more operatic voices than some versions, but this also made certain characters sound like they were yelling at each other at times. The Phantom probably had this problem the most. Other than that though, the singing was beautiful and clear.

Moral: 2/5 A Mostly Unclear Moral: The moral seems to be what love for someone else can do, as Christine’s eventual pity and love for the Phantom cause him to let her go. Though the moral is a bit cliché seeming, it is true that love can change others, which is why God says in the Bible to love our enemies and those that treat us unwell, as well as unsaved spouses.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: I recommend this musical in quality, and I believe girls and women from thirteen to adults would enjoy it in quality best.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 3½/5 Quite Suggestive: There are statues on stage that include women’s bare chest, some covered by grabbing hands, and a far off statue that shows a naked man, though with the latter it is hard to see detail. There are chairs with what appears to be shirtless women on them. Ballet dancing is done that shows women’s legs in tights, sometimes up past the knee. Dresses on women are low in the front and back and show off their arms and shoulders. There is one brief shot of a woman’s underwear over tights shown as she changes her skirt. A woman changes behind a screen onstage, and her shoulders are seen. A man is seen once shirtless. A woman cheats on her husband in an opera. In an opera, a man attempts to kiss a woman’s hand, but fails to. A man hugs and holds a woman he is not married to. Non-married characters kiss, hug, and hold each other, and some of the kisses may be seen as a bit passionate. During an opera, a man grabs at a woman’s skirts and caresses and embraces are among the characters. Someone is called a “dark seducer.” A man makes a suggestive comment once. Two men believe a man and woman have slept together, though they haven’t. The Music of the Night is a slightly suggestive song, though nothing sexual or inappropriate happens. Past the Point of No Return was beyond suggestive and was inappropriate in some of its lyrics, and the characters caress each other throughout the song. Don Juan Triumphant had some immodest references as well. A woman wonders if a man will assault her, but he doesn’t really answer if he will or not besides saying his ugliness has “denied” him such things.

Lyrics to The Music of the Night, Past the Point of No Return, and Don Juan Triumphant can be found here:

The Music of the Night: http://www.metrolyrics.com/music-of-the-night-lyrics-phantom-of-the-opera.html

Past the Point of No Return: http://www.metrolyrics.com/past-the-point-of-no-return-lyrics-phantom-of-the-opera.html

Don Juan Triumphant: http://www.metrolyrics.com/don-juan-lyrics-phantom-of-the-opera.html

Violence: 2/5 Some Violence: A man smacks a whip at the ground in a ballet dance. A man is choked to death and hung over a bridge. A man grabs a woman’s neck in a choking way, though does not choke her. A woman smacks a man with sheet music. A man shoots at another man, and one man shoots when he is frightened.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 Light Swearing and Taking God’s Name in Vain: Forms of “damn” are misused four times. “Hell” is misused twice. God’s name is taken in vain seven times, and possibly once in Italian. A character says when angry, “If you can call this sh- ‘gibberish’ art.”

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3/5 Some Emotional and Possibly Disturbing Content: The plot revolves around a man stalking a woman and trying to manipulate her into loving him. The creepiest part of this is probably the fact that he is telling her that he was either sent by her father from heaven or is her father so that she won’t leave him. A man’s face is disfigured and may disturb some people, though the disfigurement is not so much as a realistic horror movie makeup as a very fancy Halloween costume makeup. A man threatens to hang another man if a girl woman does not agree to marry him. A woman sings about missing her dead father. Dummies hang on ropes to represent dead men that have been hung. A woman holds a man’s decapitated head, which is covered in blood. A man pretends to choke himself and jestingly describes what he believes the phantom looks, as well as how the phantom could hurt some girls. Statues have faces grimacing in a potentially scary or disturbing manner. A man is told that if he shoots, he should, “shoot to kill.” A man sells skulls and a poster with flames in the background at an auction. Costumes include skulls and skeletons. Women verbally warn, worry, and ask about a man’s murderous ways. Death is mentioned in speech. Characters scream in fear. A bunch of scenery collapses while a woman is screaming and frightens people. A man talks about his mother’s lack of love for him.

Religious Issues: 1/5 Suggestive: A chandelier is sold in an auction in lot 666. A woman wears a costume that may be a demon costume but it may be just a dark creature or fairy of some kind. People are called “demon” as an insult. In an opera, some characters say a lady is “bound for Hades” for loving a man besides her husband. A man calls himself “the angel of hell” “angel of darkness” or the “angel of death” at least once each, either by himself or others. A woman calls a man her “fallen idol” when she is angry at him. In a song, a girl is referred to as “the sacrificial lamb.”

Magic: 1/5 Suggestive: “Haunt” is used to describe the way a man acts, and “haunted” is used for descriptive purposes. Goblins and ghouls are briefly mentioned. A man is referred to as a “phantom,” “spectre,” and “ghost.” There is a brief mention of conjurors. Pandora, a character in a mythological tale, is briefly mentioned. A man calls himself a “gargoyle who burns in hell” for self insult. A man is believed to have a “magical lasso” (though there is a lasso, nothing is shown that it is magical.) Characters worry the phantom will curse the opera house. A man is able to make flames appear in random places. A piano plays on its own. Characters wear costumes with skeletons and skulls in them, as well as costumes that may appear to be fairy costumes or slightly magical. No magic is done in the musical as far as it’s known, as many versions and the original show that the supposedly magical things that are done through

Others: Guitars and drums are played in the song Phantom of the Opera. Characters dance, usually in ballet style, and dancing is mentioned in speech. A man smokes at least once. Wine is mentioned at least once in speech. One of the costumes in a character wears to a masquerade ball is half a man’s outfit and half a woman’s. A girl plays the part of a boy in an opera that is being performed, and she and another woman pretend to kiss behind a fan.

Overall: 3½/5 Almost Teenager Appropriate: Because of suggestive sexual content, I wouldn’t really recommend this movie. If one did want to watch it, I would recommend they be at least sixteen.

Movies

A Movie Review of Northanger Abbey

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Northanger Abbey by PBS and Jon Jones (Director)

Type: Classic, Historical

Basic Plot: Catherine reads gothic romance novels to pass time and wishes they would come true, but her excess of reading gothic romance tends to cause her to believe things are dark and dangerous when she visits a friend’s house.

Quality

Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The story was interesting and the characters were believable and pleasant. All scenes that would be necessary were added and completely new content was rarely added, though it did often expand on content in the book. The ending was a little different than the book, but still good.

The thing I did enjoy most that was that even though the movie didn’t cover everything, it didn’t feel rushed. Pride and Prejudice the movie always seemed very rushed to me, but this movie moved smoothly, even with less content. I do think a mini-series would be better though.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The actors and actresses did act well. All of the characters were accurate. Catherine was a young, imaginative girl. Henry Tilney was older and sophisticated, yet cheerful and fun. Isabella and her brother were nasty people, one subtly and the other outright. Overall the characters were portrayed well.

Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: The costumes were accurate and beautiful. The accuracy could be scene in even minor characters costumes, as a little boy is wearing one of the old dress style clothes worn long ago. The outfits are also beautiful, having a variety of style and colors for what the time period allowed.

There was a variety of scenes that were realistic. They were not elaborate and overdone, causing them to not be as fancy as some newer historical movies, but this was also good because it was not unbelievably perfect and beautiful.

Music: 3½/5 Above Average: Music was played that fit the scenes. It was more exciting than some Jane Austen movies, no doubt because the story is not a serious social novel but a parody.

Moral: 2½/5 A Mostly Good Moral: The moral is harder to read in the movie, but still there. The moral about friend choices is toned down a lot more because the movie could not include as much content as the book, though the moral is slightly mentioned. The moral about not getting too carried away with fantasy is seen and mentioned clearly. The only moral that was different was the pushing at the end of the movie that it was ok to disobey your parents, as Henry marries Catherine against his father’s will and the narrator suggest that “reward(ing of) filial disobedience” may have been an intended moral, which God says in Epehsians 6 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Though God does say other things about how parents should their children, I was disappointed that the rebellion against authority theme was added to this.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: The movie is definitely admirable for accuracy in costumes and characters and its interesting story. I believe women and girls older than twelve would be most interested in it according to qualiy.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 3½/5 Inappropriate Speech and Suggestive Content: Men make suggestive comments about women and stare at them. A woman makes a suggestive comment about clothing. Characters flirt with each other, sometimes in a suggestive manner. Two women talk about a book, and the one reveals it has sensual content. A woman later whispers about the wrongdoings a man has supposedly committed. It is greatly suggested that a man and woman have sex as a woman is shown lying in bed with possibly only blankets wrapped tightly around her as she talks with a man outside of the bed. Woman’s dresses are low in the back and front, and one scene shows two women in their underclothes. “Seductions” are briefly mentioned in conversation when comparing novels to real life. A girl dreams about a man keeping a woman chained to a bed. A man and woman kiss in what could be considered a passionate manner. A girl reads aloud from a book a scene about a woman undressing to bathe as a man watches and lusts after her. The scene also mentions a bird sexually touching a woman, and the word “wanton” is used to describe it.

Violence: 1/5 Brief Light Violence: A girl fantasizes about two sword fight; in one a man is suggested to die by sword and a man is shot off his horse. A girl mentions how novels have murders.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2½/5 Moderate Swearing: Forms of “damn” are misused six times. God’s name is taken in vain five times. “Lord” is misused twice. “Bloody” and “hell” are misused once each. “Prig” is said twice.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: ½/5 Mentioned and Imagined Intense and Disturbing Content Content: Some fantasies a girl has contain violence or things that may be viewed as intense or disturbing, such as a woman being chained to a bed or man locked in prison. A woman is mentioned to have died from a sickness. A girl suspects that the woman was murdered. In a fantasy, different women faint twice. A man’s leg is bandaged, and he uses crutches, both because of gout. A girl believes someone’s skeleton is behind a veil. A man jokes with a girl about skeletons and scary things being in his house. Death and blood are mentioned in the movie.

Religious Issues: 1/5 Slight Mention: There is mention of christening and one child is shown being christened. A book called The Monk (a monk being the center of the book) is mentioned. A man is called a “friar” in a book. A man is mentioned to be a clergyman. A family lives in an abbey that is no longer used as an abbey. A girl wonders if a home is haunted, and a man jokes that it is. A man says a good book is preferable to “a hundred boring sermons” (though the character that says this is a clergyman).

Magic: 1/5 Brief Mention: Magical items are mentioned, and the opera, The Magic Flute, is watched. Vampires and ghosts are mentioned. A man says his father is like a vampire for “draining the life out of” his mother. No magic is done in the movie.

Others: Characters dance.

Overall: The sexual speech and suggestiveness causes me to not recommend this movie. I was quite shocked at the graphicness of the books and fantasies that Catherine had, especially for a Jane Austen movie.

Movies

A Movie Review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Kathleen Kennedy (Producer) Chris Weitz (Director)

Type: Action, Science Fiction, War

Basic Plot: Jyn is a young woman that is brought in by the Rebel Alliance to help plan the destruction of the Death Star.

Quality

Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: This movie was better than the average movie made nowadays because it was not all action, but had a clear plot. To some Star Wars fans, they may not enjoy it as much, as it may feel like unnecessary plot material added to the story line of Star Wars, but other Star Wars fans and those who don’t know Star Wars as well may like it more because the story by itself is interesting. A person who knew very little to nothing about Star Wars may not enjoy it as much, as there are many characters that show up in this movie as well as A New Hope. It was predictable in almost all areas, and even the surprises could have easily been foreseen, but the movie was still good for other reasons.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The acting was realistic. People died realistically whether it was a meaningful dramatic death or one of the dozens of stormtroopers toppling over. The characters tones and voices were good as well.

Costumes and Scenery: 5/5 Excellent Quality: Costumes and character designs were all out. New characters looked realistic and had believable costumes. Even characters that show up in the old movies, such as Princess Leia, had the faces of the original actors put on to other actors faces by computer to make sure the characters looked exactly the same.

The scenes were mostly realistic, and it was less animated looking than a lot of other movies that are made these days. Some scenes were complete cities built by hand, which were definitely well done.

Music: 4/5 Well Done: The music was good. Some of it was traditional Star Wars music, but there were new songs with a variety of instruments and styles. The only music that may seem badly placed by some was the victory music as people on the enemy teams died, but other than that it was appropriately placed.

Moral: 2/5 An Unclear Moral: The movie was more of an action and event movie than a movie meant to install any main moral. Some of the people who made it said they wanted to express unity in the movie, as every major race is present. Unity can be good if the people are in agreement over a good thing, but if the unity is of a group of people that are vastly different not in race but in culture and doctrine, there is the potential of major problems. Races and genders are united in Jesus Christ, but certain things can never be united. Other than this, the movie did not really have a main moral. It was also said that a minor moral intended was the belief that God can be seen in all people, but this is not pushed very much. I do believe this is very inaccurate, as God is only in the saved, and even then those people are not God. The only thing that may be close to this is that, one, the saved have the Holy Spirit of God inside of them, and two, godly character traits can reflect the greatness of God. Nothing in the Bible says that a little bit of God is in all people, though.

Overall: I recommend this movie mainly to men and boys ten and older concerning quality.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: A hologram briefly shows a dancing girl in a slightly revealing outfit. It briefly shows a man and woman hold hands and hug. Through a lot of steam a person may be able to tell that a man is shirtless. When a woman kicks a man, it looks as if the man was kicked in the groin.

Violence: 4/5 Very Violent: Though this movie is not gory, it is violent. There are plenty of explosions, shooting with guns and bows and arrows, kick each other, and hitting people with objects. A man smacks another man in the face. A man forces chokes another man, though not to the point of death. People mention having once had occupations that had to do with death and violence such as “assassins.”

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3½/5 Frightening, Emotional, and Very Intense Content: There is a lot of fighting and violence. Guns are aimed at people, though not always shot. A woman says she hopes her father has died, though it is not said out of malice. One of the scenes may remind some people of Middle Eastern warfare, as many of the people fighting are wearing clothing that is similar to eastern clothing. The place they are fighting also looks like a city under attack in the Middle East, with tanks, explosions, and parts of buildings collapsing. An entire city is destroyed, and it is partially shown. Another scene is also a war scene, though it does not have a Middle Eastern feel. A man is put in a cage with a tentacle alien that wraps around his body. A child cries in a war scene. A door is smashed off. Ships are crashed into each other. Several people and a robot die. Death can be by explosion, lightsaber, the force, shooting people, or attacking them with airships. One person holds another person as the latter dies. Despite the amount of violence and death, the only gore shown is in the form of blood, almost always on the head and usually not covering more than two inches. The biggest amount of blood covered the top part of a man’s head and went to his eye. Other than blood, the only injury on people is scuffs on stormtrooper uniforms.

Religious Issues: 2/5 Suggestive: The force is present, but not overpowering or strongly pushed in this movie, as in comparison to other ones. A girl is told to trust the force when she is a child. A man is a monk to the force and says once or twice that the force tells him things. He also says a prayer over and over again that consists of, “The force is with me. I am one with the force.” Another man later says this.

Magic: ½/5 Slight Mention: “Phantom” is used to describe a man’s face once.

Others: None

Overall: 3/5 Teenage Appropriate: Other than the religious issues (which for a Star Wars movie were toned down) the movie is completely recommendable. The violence and intense content causes me to recommend that a person be at least thirteen.