A Movie Review of The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

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

The Phantom of the Opera (2004) by Andrew Lloyd Weber (Producer) and Joel Schumacher (Director0

Type: Romance, Thriller

Basic Plot: Christine, a chorus girl, is being obsessively stalked by a mysterious troublemaker that lives under the opera house she works in.


Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The story was better than others in that it did try to be accurate and that it did have some really good scenes. Things were added to the script that had not been there before, some of which I found funny and added to the story. Others, though, were cheap and did not need to be there. The story went at a good pace and the events of the story were not too fast or too slow.

Acting: 3/5 Average: The acting was mediocre at worst and believable at best. Since I have the stage play and numerous mocking memes, I don’t know if I will ever be able to take this movie as seriously as I should, but I will try. The characters were not bad actors, per say. Though there are several tender and emotional scenes, there is almost real emotion and expression. Another thing I noticed was that the characters seemed to do better when they were talking, not singing. I think part of the reason for this is because the actors did not really know how to sing and act at the same time. The French voice actors had at times more emotional appeal than the English ones did. I think that above all this was the true killer of the movie’s mood, as an emotional story in song is what a musical essentially is.

Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: Costumes were beautiful, especially in the song masquerade. Poor and rich shone in this story. My only complaint was that nearly every woman’s outfit and most men’s seemed to be trying to test the bounds of modesty.

Scenery was beautiful. If the creators did anything right, it was in making a beautiful set with some carefully well shot scenes. The beginning was by far my favorite part of the movie, and several special scenes and details are added throughout to add things the stage play couldn’t.

Music: 3½/5 Above Average: Several characters had beautiful voices that brought pleasure to me. The actress in this movie is one of my favorite Christines when it comes to voice (acting is another story). The side characters also had pleasant voices that were entertaining. There was one voice that I did not care for, and that was the Phantom’s. He didn’t necessarily have a bad voice as much as I don’t think his voice fit the role.

Moral: 2½/5 Good and Bad Moral: This story, as with so many others, has both positive and negative aspects to it. It is essentially a story of redeeming love, as Christine’s love prevents the Phantom from doing more harm, but that does not mean it does not have negative undertones. The Phantom was beaten frequently as a child, driving him to murder his abuser and go into hiding until the present day. Elements such as this and his loneliness are used to make him a sympathetic character to the audience. Rather than being repulsed by him, the actress is almost eager to spend her life with him. She does not care that he is a murderous lunatic, or if she does, she does not let it on until he almost kills her fiancé. Then with her love she forgives him and “heals” him. We should always forgive those that wrong us and love him, but I don’t necessarily know if this is the best way to present the moral. It does tend to be more than a little in favor of the Phantom then the stage play was, which showed him a more as a sad, yet in the end still evil character.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: Though this is much better than a majority of Phantom movies (most aren’t even rated within the bounds of decency), I will say that it has several weak points such as poor acting and mediocre singing. The effort and potential are there, but the final product was not outstanding. I would recommend the stage play in quality far above the movie. If one wanted to watch it, I believe girls and women ages twelve to adult would enjoy it most, if one only considers quality.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2½/5 Very Suggestive Content: Some people may feel uncomfortable with the theme of the movie, which is about a masked man stalking a girl he is in love with. Some people especially do not like this version as the girl in this movie looks between seventeen and twenty-one in appearance while the man looks as if he is in his late twenties to his early thirties. A man is briefly seen lifting a woman’s skirt and looking under it. Women wear quite low clothing and clothes that sometimes show shoulders. The outlines of women’s legs are seen through thin skirts. Men go open shirts and shirtless; sometimes with gold over certain private body parts on their chest. Women’s ballet clothing can be quite revealing, showing the stomach and entire thigh. A man moons a woman. There is varying artwork of naked people, showing bottoms, thighs, and bare chest, the first for only men and the last two for both genders. Characters dance sensually grabbing each other and shaking their hips. In an opera, a woman is cheating on her husband with a servant. In the opera, a man aims for a woman’s bottom and accentuates another’s, while a clown attempts to do so and fails. A man says this what “the public loves.” In it, a man suggestively says he wishes he “would gladly take the maid with” him on his business trip. Women are seen being laced in corsets at least twice. A woman begins to unbutton her jacket in a room full of girls and one man; nothing is seen by anybody. A man is in a room with several single women in their night clothes and regular outfits. A man mentions he and his friend were invited to a women’s room; he waves flirtatiously at her. There are kisses between unmarried couples four times, and once between a couple who’s status is not known. A couple is briefly seen making out in a hallway. A man attempts to kiss a woman once. A man takes a necklace from a girl, but the necklace is on an extremely low dress and his hand is basically touching her bare bosom. A man carries a woman to a passed out bed, but they do not do anything together. A man caresses a woman while she is awake and her face once when she is asleep. Men make comments on and give glances to the beauty of women.

The song Music of the Night has suggestive lyrics, but nothing sexual outside of some caressing happens. The lyrics to The Point of No Return are much more suggestive, but nothing sexual accepting caressing happens, as in the above song. The song Don Juan Triumphant has several cloaked references to sex in it. In Prima Donna, two men briefly mention they think that an unmarried couple “slept” together. In one song, a man mentions his disfigurement has kept him from “the joys of the flesh” after a woman asks in song if she will “be prey in his lust for flesh.”

Lyrics to Music of the Night

Lyrics to The Point of No Return

Lyrics to Don Juan Triumphant

Violence: 2½/5 Some Violence: Two men get in a sword fight which results in some blood. A man is hung in the middle of a performance. A man beats a child with a stick and knocks him over with his leg as people throw food at him. A boy chokes a man with a rope. A man passes out from being hit with a stick. A woman slaps a man on the face and another one on the hand. A woman shoves and knocks down other women. A stage curtain is dropped on a woman, who is unharmed. A man’s arm bleeds and leaves blood in the snow.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2½/5 Moderate Swearing: God’s name is taken in vain seven times. Forms of “damn” are misused four times. “Hell” is misused twice. “As God’s my judge” is said once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Some Disturbing Content: The plot is about a man obsessively stalking a woman he is in love with, though the creepy tones are cooler than some stage plays are. I believe there is crying once, and there are a few emotional scenes. A man’s face is deformed, but this is limited to red, marked skin, not being very disturbing for adults, teenagers, and even some children. Men are hug by a grown man and once a child. The dead men’s faces are shown and once the hanging body. A man is nearly drowned and hung. A chandelier falls and several explosions go off in a building. A man angrily smashes mirrors. A man roughly drags a woman to his house. Furniture is seen burning. There is a brief painting of a woman holding a plate with a man’s head on it. A man describes what he thinks the phantom looks like, with no nose and paper skin. A woman pretends to choke a man. A woman faints onto a man. A woman visits a graveyard, and it mentions her father died years ago. A man goes to his wife’s grave. A man takes out a sword and points and pokes people with it. A man swings a gibbet at a man. A man ropes a woman with a lasso “playfully” and growls at her. Characters worry they will be stalked until they die. In an opera, a man says a man “would die of shock” if he knew his wife was cheating on him. A woman sings that a man will kill people. A sword has a skull decoration on it. Characters repeatedly chant that they will find a murderer. A man asks if a man thought “he would harm” a woman. A man says his face forces him to “wallow in blood.”  “Carcass,” “infection,” “mask of death,” “poisons,” and “war” are used for descriptive purposes.  A man tells a woman not to “be a martyr.” Tears are mentioned in song.

Religious Issues: 1/5 Some Mention: A key object is sold in lot 666. A woman is called “Goddess of song.” A woman believes her father’s dead spirit from heaven is teaching her how to sing; he isn’t. A man is called a “phantom” and a “ghost,” though he in truth has no supernatural powers. Ghosts in general are mentioned, mainly in reference to the phantom. In an opera, some characters say a woman is “bound for Hades” for cheating on her husband. A woman that is no doubt a fortune teller caresses a crystal ball. A boy is called “The Devil’s Child” in a freak show for being deformed. Characters once worry that the phantom will curse the opera. A man compares his appearance to a “demon” and a “gargoyle who burns in hell.” Ghouls, priest, and satyrs are briefly mentioned once in a song about costumes. A song mentions goblins and if a girl likes them better than other things. A woman calls a man a “fallen idol.” A girl in a song is once called “the sacrificial lamb.” A man says his home is “as deep as hell.”

Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention: A man is called “a magician.” A lasso is called “magical;” it isn’t.

Others: The title song has a rock beat in the background. Characters smoke and drink, one frequent extra particularly seeming to like drinking. Characters dance at a ball and perform ballet. In an opera a girl plays the part of a boy having an affair with a woman. There is a once briefly seen bearded lady, which is really a man in a dress. A woman once dresses in man’s clothes. A man is covered in tattoos. Wine is mentioned in a song once. A man has shoulder length hair.

Overall: I do not recommend Phantom of the Opera because of its sexual content. Almost every outfit is extremely immodest and the song lyrics are quite suggestive. At least onstage, the clothing was partially controlled and their was not near as much nudity in statues and people.



A Movie Review of Love Comes Softly

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

Love Comes Softly by Michael Landon Jr. (Director)

Type: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Western

Basic Plot: After Marty’s husband dies, she forces herself into a temporary marriage of convenience with Clark Davis, a man she has just met. As she discovers the healing that God and love have for her, she wonders if she really wants this marriage to remain only temporary.


Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: Love Comes Softly mixes tragedy and comedy with a puff of Christianity. Though the theme is sad and the characters hurting, humorous events and circumstances lighten the sad themes. Throughout, God is given respect and honor through prayer and hymns. The only complaint is that some of the writing did sound a little forced and awkward, but this was only occasionally. Most of it was natural and even at times touching.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: Unlike the wooden and even painful acting of most Christian movies, this movie has real acting and professional actors and actresses. I believe using real actors and actresses really helped make the movie flow well, as that is what most of the movie hangs on. Scenes of drama and crying touch the heart, causing the viewers to feel the characters pain.

Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: Costumes are modest, elegant, and accurate. Perhaps because the movie is not too new, the outfits do not have the brushed over magical look that many movies and TV series tend to have. Though I often like the done up look, since the movie was done on the prairie, I feel like the roughness adds to the realism.

Scenes were well decorated and shot. Whether it was indoors or outdoors, it was both realistic and old fashioned in a cozy way. Scenes were also well shot, with little to no awkward scenes or camera shaking.

Moral: 3/5 A Good Moral: The moral of overcoming pain with God, love, and a caring for others is there as long as a brief discussion on why God allows bad things to happen. The first one is well delivered, subtle and sweet. Marty learns to again become happy and cheerful as she is loved and as she helps a girl come to terms of her own. The second moral tries to explain the commonly asked question “Why does God let bad things happen?” It explains that it isn’t about God letting bad things happen more so than God comforting us and being with us when bad things happen. This is a good focus shift, though like many movies, does not directly answer the question, therefore Christians are probably more likely to accept than non-Christians, though non-Christians and hurting Christians may accept it if God leads them to it.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: I would have to say that this is one of the best Christian movies I have ever seen. With a good story, real acting, and beautiful costumes, I would have to recommend this, in quality, to Christians and pioneer enthusiast alike. I especially liked the Christian themes, as they were not neglected, but at the same time not pushed down in a preachy manner.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Suggestive Content: A man walks in on a woman taking a bath, though the viewers don’t see anything and the man is embarrassed. A girl asks a woman where a baby came from, and the woman says that a man loved a woman “so much that it spilled over and made a baby.” The girl says a large family that “must have a lot of love spillin’ over.” There are two kisses and a near kiss between married people, as well one or two incidences each of modest tickling and holding. A woman makes an indirect reference to chicken’s “rears” by calling it “you know,” and a girl says the word. At the beginning and end of the movie, a woman wears a “v” neck shirt that some might consider low, and once or twice clothing can be moved in a way as to be a bit revealing. From the back a woman’s undershirt can be seen after it gets wet.

Violence: 1½/5 Light Violence and Injuries: After falling off a horse, a man hits his head on a rock. A man accidentally sits on a burner and then bumps his head on a table. A woman burns her hand. A girl is in a fistfight with a boy, and later pushes him. A woman playfully pushes a man over. A boy says a girl “poked [him] in the nose.” There is an example that the talks about getting hurt. A woman talks about the things in books that include violence being “the best shot” and “slaying dragons.” A man shoots at a turkey, but the turkey is not seen until it’s on the table and cooked.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Light Misuse: A woman calls the west “godforsaken,” though Marty says that that isn’t true.

Disturbing Content: 2/5 Emotional and Light Scary Content: A man dies and is wrapped in a cloth. Part of his face, which isn’t at all scary, is seen once. A woman sits in her covered wagon alone, rocking and whispering, “We’re fine.” Over five people are mentioned to have died in the past, one being hinted to have died of a sickness. Characters cry over people that have died. A chopping block has blood, feathers, and a chicken beak on it. A woman gives birth, though the viewers don’t see anything. Viewers can hear her yelling in pain. A barn catches on fire, and a man has burns, though they only very briefly and indistinctly seen. A woman says to wash it to prevent infection. A girl shoots into the sky so that her father won’t get lost. A woman says she won’t leave unless a girl were to “trying to kill” her.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Brief Mention: The traveling pastor of the town is called Reverend.

Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention: There is once a verbal mention that dragons can be in books.

Others: None

Overall: 2½/5 Almost Child Appropriate: Besides the bath seen, I would say this movie is recommendable. As a whole, the movie has a good Christian feeling in a story that isn’t necessarily about salvation, but about relationships and healing. This is a good movie to watch or to recommend to friends that aren’t Christian but that enjoy movies similar to Anne of Green Gables or Little House of the Prairie.


A Movie Review of Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind by Victor Fleming (Director) and David O. Selznik (Producer)

Type: Historical Fiction, Romance, War

Basic Plot: Scarlett O’ Hara, a spoiled girl, lives through and is transformed by the horrors and brutalities of the Civil War.


Plot: 5/5 Excellent: Gone with the Wind is a perfect war drama. It has action, romance, horror, and history all mixed together to make a perfect story, with a few dashes of humor. Though in many ways a romance, Gone with the Wind deals with more than the chemistry of two characters; it deals with the hearts and the souls of the South during its most conflicting and traumatic time.

Acting: 5/5 Excellent: Acting is real and sensational. Major and minor characters create a fascinating world far different from our own, with realistic portrayals of emotion. All of the characters line up with the book and are easy to be imagined as the novel characters. Being a long movie, actors and actresses are also able to portray personality changes without differing too much as the movie progresses, mainly the main character Scarlett.

Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: The movie portrays a paradise and a pit of hoopskirts and rags. From the affluent landowners to the slaves, everyone is well and realistically dressed. One thing I especially liked was that the outfits changed as according to the era. This attention to detail will be appreciated by those who study the social and cultural details of history.

As for the scenery, it is outstanding for a movie written in the nineteen thirties. The makers must have had a hefty budget, with the elaborate mansions, dramatic explosions, and beautiful farmlands.

Moral: 2/5 A Not Too Clear Moral: I’ve read the novel once and seen the movie twice, and have long concluded that the moral of the story is that selfish behavior, even for a good cause, will end in disappointment and disaster. Scarlett starts out as a spoiled girl and through tragedy grows into a self-centered woman, caring for little outside of fun and money. Believing this will bring through joy, Scarlett lives however she wants, not regarding her husbands, friends, or relatives. She eventually realizes that friends and family make you happy, not material wealth, but by this time it is too late. She has nothing left accept her cold, hard cash, all of the warm love she was once offered being gone.

Though this moral is good and applicable, it must be found with careful consideration. One could watch the movie and be so swept in the story that they miss the moral, especially if they are young. Many though, I believe, will also see the moral and realize the ere of Scarlett’s ways.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: Gone with the Wind is a movie masterpiece, especially for the time period it was made. I would recommend the movie to teenagers and adults, though women may enjoy it more than most men.

Moral Content

Official Rating: G

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 3/5 Suggestive Sexual Content: Women are seen in dresses showing cleavage and shoulders. A woman pulls her dress lower, and she is reprimanded by someone for wearing a low dress in the morning. Women are seen in their corsets and drawers, sometimes by their husbands. A woman takes off her nightgown so it can be used to cover something, though none of the nudity is shown. There are eight kisses between married and unmarried couples, two of these being adulterous. Characters kiss others on the cheek and forehead. A woman once expects a man to kiss her, and he doesn’t. A man says a woman “needs to be kissed, and by someone who knows how.” A woman is in loved with a married man throughout the book and tries to convince him to run away with her once or twice; he always refuses. It is mentioned that a child was born outside of wedlock, and later the man is reprimanded for not marrying the girl before being with her. A woman’s reputation is mentioned to have been ruined because she was with a man alone, and she didn’t marry him. Some men take baths behind towels, though no nudity is shown outside the chest. A woman offers to be a man’s mistress for money, though he refuses and nothing to explicit is said outside of that the man isn’t “a marrying man.” A woman tells her husband that she won’t sleep with him and says that she knows a friend that lives that way. It is hinted that a man might have forced himself on his wife (in the novel he sort of does), though the next day it is revealed that she didn’t mind it. Some characters are briefly seen doing the can-can, showing petticoats and legs. A woman says that a man looks “at [her] as if [he] knew what I looked like without my shimmy,” and a friend reprimands her. A man asks his wife who the father of her child is; it’s his. A man mentions “pantalets” (a type of Victorian underclothing) in speech and is reproved. A man carries a woman because she is sick.

Violence: 3/5 A Fair Amount of Violence: A man mentions in speech that he broke his leg while riding a horse. A man and a child die from horse accidents. Characters mention wanting to duel. Two men aggressively attack a woman. A man kicks a door open. Characters are slapped four times. A woman lunges at a man and falls down a flight of stairs. A woman beats on a man. Characters threaten to whip their inferiors or worry that it will happen. One of these includes a man threatening his wife. Men are whipped. Men punch and shove each other, one or two to unconsciousness. Characters are shot and bleed. One of these instances is a woman killing a man in self defense. A man pushes a woman into a chair. A drunk man attempts to crush a woman’s skull, but doesn’t. He talks about ripping her apart, but says he won’t. Characters throw dirt, glass, porcelain, and water, sometimes at people, though not always hitting them. Characters whip animals. It is mentioned that a man shot his horse. Violence is sometimes joked about in speech, such as “make sure you shoot the Yankees and not the nag” (a horse).

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 Some Misuse: “Damn” is misused once. The word “hell” is used correctly once. “Gee” is misused once. People are called “darkie” and “poor white trash” several times each. “Wench” is used at least once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3/5A Lot of Fairly Dramatic and Emotional Scenes: Since the movie is set in war time, there is a lot of war drama and death. Dying men lie in hospital beds and streets, groaning and covered in blood and bandages. They loudly complain that they are in pain. A man’s leg is removed off screen and his screams can be heard. Buildings explode. A man and a girl die from horse accidents. A man goes into a deep depression after this. This results in a miscarriage. An animal dies from overwork and being whipped. It is mentioned that men die from various diseases. A man believes his dead wife is alive and talks about her as if she was. A woman sees her dead mother. A woman once has hospital blood on her apron. A man gets a head wound. A man stalks a chicken with an ax, though humorously. Characters cry for various reasons, such as war trauma and nightmares, and one part of the movie shows families crying over relatives that had died in the war. Characters talk about being afraid of dieing. “Death” is used for descriptive purposes. Characters talk about war and wanting war to start. Fainting is briefly mentioned about twice in speech. A woman tells a man that “[she’ll] kill [him],” but she doesn’t. A boy says he will “kill the Yankees” for killing his brother, though he is reprimanded. A character is accused of murder.

Religious Issues: 2/5 Brief Mention: Characters recite Catholic prayers once. Infant baptism is mentioned. A woman says she is afraid she will go to hell for living a certain way, and her companion says that for all they know “there isn’t any hell.”

Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention: “Dragon” and “fairyland” are used for descriptive purposes.

Others: Various alcoholic drinks are drunk and mentioned in speech. A man reprimands his daughter for drinking, and a husband mentions his wife’s drinking habits too her. A man is drunk once, and a woman says she hopes she gets drunk. A person is called a “drunken fool.” Characters gamble, once playing poker. A girl fetches a man from a saloon, though she doesn’t go inside. Characters smoke. A man marries his cousin, and another pair of cousins plans to marry, though they never do. Characters dance. Divorce is mentioned in speech, though no one gets any.

Overall: 4/5 Adult Appropriate: Several things in this movie could be seen as objectionable, such as the amount of war violence and the suggested rape scene. I will say for a war movie, it is fairly clean, but there are a lot of Christians I would not recommend this movie to. For those who would, I would recommend sixteen years old and older as a minimum and twenty-one as a maximum.

IMPORTANT: Whatever feelings that may have been expressed about the movie, I personally do not highly recommend the book, as it is much more descriptive in its sexual and content and has a lot more language.


A Movie Review of Persuasion (2007)

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

Persuasion (2007) by Adrian Shergold (Director)

Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The story had a gloomy, romantic feel. It moved at a good pace and focused more on the romance and dreaminess of the story than the practical elements. Scenes focused more on marriage and courting than on philosophy and prose. The only major plot difference was the same plot difference in the 1995 film, that a certain character does not marry another for different reasons than the ones stated in the book. This was not major, but a bit disappointing.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The acting was believable and emotions well played. The acting was done similar to the rest of the film, romantic but believable. Characters portrayed anger, sorrow, and bitterness may have not been presented in the most realistic way when looking at it practically, but when looking at it romantically, there is little to no objections that can be found.

Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: The costumes and hair were beautiful. They were not extravagant to the point of unbelief, but they were pleasant enough to enjoy looking at. They were also more modest than most dresses of the era tend to be. They were still lower than would probably be completely appropriate, but they were not obscenely so as many Jane Austen movies are.

The scenery was beautiful and believable for the era like the costumes were. The homes were not overdone, but not near as mediocre as the 1995 one.

Moral: 2/5 A Hard to Read Moral: The moral of this movie was a lot less expounded on, if at all, then the 1995 version. The temperance between being easily persuaded and being headstrong is not discussed, though the events that cause this conclusion do happen. There is some discussion on being loyal to the ones we love, but this was done more for romantic purposes than a moral. The most moral was shown in Anne’s distaste for rich, high bred society in favor of kind, intelligent society- if poorer. It is discussed and shown in action a few times, but I believe the emphasis was still much less on the moral than on other aspects of the show, making it less noticeable.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: I found that the 1995 movie disappointed me in many ways, thought the 2007 one does lack some of the things the other movie had. The movie from 1995 had more substance and logical discussions that followed the original novel, as well as was more accurate. The moral was clear and some very interesting logical discussions occurred. The 2007 movie was definitely much more beautiful than the 1995, as well as had a much, much better build up of romantic chemistry and tension, but the 2007 movie lacks at least half of the discussion and philosophy of the first, making this movie less substantial than the 1995 one. Therefore, if we consider only the Quality Content rating (not the Moral Content rating) I would recommend watching that a person looking for a visual of the romantic buildup and beauty watch the 2007 movie, and a person looking for a visual of the philosophy and moral to watch the 1995 one. I believe girls and women twelve to adult would like this movie best.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Suggestive Content: A naked statue of what I believe was a man can be seen once, though the bare legs are completely shown, none of the private area is. There is brief artwork that shows shirtless men and a woman’s bare shoulder. Many dresses are partially low, and one woman is seen in her under dress, though in comparison to many movies set in this era, most of the dresses were more modest than usual. It is mentioned in speech that a man plans to have a woman made his mistress after he is already married. Men kiss women’s hands. There is one friendship kiss on the cheek between girls.

Violence: ½/5 Light Violence: Men talk about guns and hunting one or two times each, and shoot gunshots into the air at least twice.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 Some Misuse: God’s name is taken in vain at least three times.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Some Emotional and Disturbing Content: A girl jumps from a ledge, causing her to be in a coma for many days. She eventually comes out of it, and little of the event besides her fall is shown. Some blood stains her hat. A boy falls out of a tree and his shoulder is dislocated. Viewers can hear the crack as the shoulder is put back into place. There is discussion of people that have died before the movie began, and a man is in a slight depression from the death of his fiancée. Characters cry a few times from relationship drama. A woman is a hypochondriac and claims to be always ill, though she probably isn’t.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Brief Mention: A mentioned man is mentioned at least once in conversation to be a curate. A woman is mentioned to be a godmother.

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: Characters dance twice.

Overall: 2/5 Children Appropriate: As a whole, this movie is a bit cleaner than the 1995 one. I would recommend the movie morally to children ten and older.


A Movie Review of The Lego Batman Movie

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

The Lego Batman Movie by Chris McKay (Director)

Type: Cartoon, Superhero

Basic Plot: Hurt from the pain of losing his parents, Batman refuses to be close to anyone, whether it’s his butler, his accidentally adopted son, or his wannabe worst enemy. Eventually, though he forced to either change his behavior or destroy everyone he knows with it.


Plot: 4/5 Well Done: This movie scores high brownie points for many reasons. First, the overall story was really good. Though the movie has a lot of action and is fast paced, there are plenty of quiet times of reflection and thinking, as well as a real story with emotional impact. Little, if any, action is mindless and just exists for its own sake. I appreciated that, as a lot of movies are little more than just mindless action. There were two or three light cop-out feeling scenes, but it was about 90% creativity. The second thing I loved about this movie was the amount of references to other movies. If you have ever watched a superhero movie or even just a batman movie, you’ll appreciate the enormous amount of references in jokes, graphics, and dialogue. The final thing that made this movie so good was that it was hilarious. The humor was creative and intelligent, only containing a few instances of light potty humor out of the dozens of funny scenes. There’s humor of all kinds in the movie, reaching adults and children.

Graphics: 4½/5 Amazing: The movie has beautiful graphics. Lego action is well done and smooth, but the movie also has beautiful, near real sky and sea imagery that is complemented by lovely light and steam details. The movie definitely looks Lego, but it does not have a cheap Lego feeling. This is high class Lego entertainment.

Moral: 4/5 Applicable Good Moral: Outside of Wreck-It Ralph I haven’t seen a children’s cartoon movie with such a good moral. There are two morals, both clearly expressed and applicable to everyone’s life. The main moral is that you should change yourself for the better. Batman learns that he must change his attitude and behavior if he truly wants to help others and himself. At first he refuses to, but by the end he has decided that he is willing to act differently both internally and externally. The other moral was to not let pain keep you from having new relationships. Because Batman is afraid of losing anyone he loves, he decides he won’t ever love anybody. He eventually learns that “just because you lose people doesn’t mean you stop letting them in.” Both morals are extremely clear and good for both kiddies and adults.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: This movie was so good, that it’s the kind of movie I would own and watch as an adult, even if I didn’t have any kids. It’s funny, clever, and moving. I recommend it to superhero fans (especially of Batman), children and their family, Lego lovers, and anyone looking for a good, mostly clean comedy to watch once. I believe that people ten to adult of either gender would enjoy it.

Moral Content

Official Rating: PG

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1/5 Brief Suggestive Content: A woman tries to kiss a man several times, but she ends up kissing penguins instead. A man is seen in his underwear at least four times, once for a while, though most only for a few seconds. Because a boy thinks his pants are too tight, he rips them off and wears only green underwear on the outside. A man is seen shirtless at least twice and once wears a bathrobe that shows part of his chest and legs. One villain that is occasionally briefly seen wears his underwear outside his clothes. A part of a password is “Buttler.” A man rubs his butts on various vehicles and says that one will “have to [be] rename[ed]… the Butt-mobile. There are a three mentions of “butt” in phrases such as “kick your butts,” “I only have one butt,” and “kick butt.” A song played in the background says that Batman has “buns of steel.” A man mentions how he could have spent a life with “lady active wear models,” but he isn’t. A man says that underneath the city, it “smells like dirty underwear.” A man calls himself a playboy (which technically just means a man who is frivolous with his money), and it is meant in that sense. A woman blows a kiss at the screen.

Violence: 2/5 Lots of Cartoon Violence: Characters punch, kick, beat with clubs, run over, throw things, and whip at each other and things, usually for the cause of justice. Characters shoot guns, vehicle weapons, and missiles. A man pretends kicks and punches the air, and another man makes fake shooting sounds with fake guns. A man threatens to blow up the city’s foundation and succeeds. A ball of fire hits and kills a giant eye. A man trips a person. A boy hits the windshield of a car. A man hits a Lego brick and is dropped on the ground. It is mentioned that a man “loves punching.” A man is described as “karate chopping.” Various marital arts are mentioned. It mentions that King Kong “likes violent walks.” A man thought a hug was an attack attempt. One of the lines in a song that Batman wrote is that he can “choke a bear.” A man says they should start looting. A man says to another that he’s “not here to throw [him] down,” and the other man says the first would be “crush[ed].” A boy says that to be like Batman he has to destroy as much property as possible.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1½/5 Slight Misuse and One Joke: A boy named Richard says that the kids at his orphanage call him “Dick,” and his listener says, “Well, kids can be cruel.” “Gosh” is said at least fifteen times. A man calls a prison a “heckhole.”

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Emotional and Lightly Intense Content: A man looks at and talks to a picture of his dead parents and feels sad. Throughout the movie, he has to overcome the fear “of being part of a family.” A cat is hit by lava and is all burnt up and black. Several characters almost die, but are saved just in time. A giant eyeball is hit by a fireball and dies in flames. A character asks another if he wants the “streets red with [a man’s]… blood;” He refuses. Some characters crowd a man and say they should “eat him;” they don’t. There are skeletons that attack people, and people’s skeletons are sometimes shown. There are burning things, car crashes, crashing vehicles through walls, destroyed buildings, explosions, falls from high places, and pointing weapons. Some characters using stun guns say, “Non-lethal, yeah!” A boy’s cape is briefly seen to have a fire on it. Batman costumes include the names, “Silent but Deadly,” “Death Merchant,” and “Night Terror.” A computer says that a weapon is guarded by “the Ring of Napalm, an “Acid Mote,” and “the Jaws of Death.” These are only shown on the computer screen. It also shows skulls and crossbones. A man says that death is the answer if he and Batman are enemies, but he chooses not to die, in the end. Characters tear up and one tear is shed. “Diseased” is used for descriptive purposes. Some young children may find the clown decorations and certain enemy faces scary. A man says that attacks will be so painful that words will appear out of thin air, and they do.

Religious Issues: 1/5 Brief Mention: Two of the dozens of side enemies that appear are named “Gentleman Ghost” and “Zodiac Master,” both appropriately costumed. Some characters are briefly seen doing yoga. Medusa is a brief minor character. There is a briefly appearing laundry mat called “Phantom’s Own” that has a picture of a ghost on the truck. There is a prison called “The Phantom Zone,” but it doesn’t have anything ghostly about it. There is a briefly seen St. Batnick costume. Gandhi is briefly mentioned once.

Magic: 1½/5 Brief Side Magic: Several minor named characters are from the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series. A man uses magic to create a storm, freeze a man, and turn people into various animals, and he says magical words to do so. A vampire can be briefly seen. “Muggles” are briefly mentioned once. (They are something from the Harry Potter series.) A boy briefly mentions once that he can do street magic. One Batman costume that can be briefly seen once or twice is the “Wizbat” which looks like a wizard Batman. The wicked witch of the west and flying monkeys from the movie The Wizard of Oz is briefly mentioned. “Dark lords” and “witches” can be briefly seen in a list of things. “Magic” is used for descriptive purposes.

Others: There is heavy metal, jazz, pop, rap, and rock music from various eras, a lot of them containing drums. Characters beatbox at least twice. A man once asks where “funky beats” are coming from. At the beginning of the movie, there is a Michael Jackson quote from the song “Man in the Mirror,” though the song isn’t mentioned by name. Prince music is briefly mentioned once in conversation. A man says he is a “heavy metal, rapping machine.” A dog is DJ. Batman tells Robin that he and Bruce Wayne share custody over him, and the boy responds with “And now I have two dads!” singing “It’s raining dads!” and once calling Batman “Dad 2.” Some may view this as lightly hinting at the homosexual marriage agenda. Some may look at the Jokers obsession with getting batman in a serious, hate “relationship” as homosexual, but many may also look at it as merely a parody of serious relationship rather than a serious agenda to push it. When the Joker finds out that Batman lives in Bruce Wayne’s house, he asks if their roommates, and he gets the responds, “Uh… yeah!” A man is once briefly disguised as a female. A boy is seen briefly in a ballet skirt when he is told to do a [pleae?] Characters dance three times, including the credits. Characters play the electric guitar. Superhero costumes are compared to Halloween costumes at least twice. There are a lot of superhero pop references, even showing a scene from the 1966 Batman TV show. There are also several pop cultural references to various villains like Gremlins and Doctor Who robots and characters from Men in Black. There are several real movies mentioned, and some characters watch a scene from the movie Jerry McGuire. A man is called “the Martian Dance Hunter.” A character uses gambling and roulette for descriptive purposes. Ballerinas are briefly mentioned.

Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: The only thing I was really disappointed about was the “dick” joke. Some may not like the slight possible homosexual hints. Other than these two things, I think this movie is pretty morally recommendable to parents who don’t mind pop cultural references and some worldly music. If one watched it, I would recommend it to mature children between ten to twelve and older.


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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.