Movies

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.

Quality

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.

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Books

Which One Has the Truth?

Three cups spin in front of you, but only one truly has the penny that you gave to the magician. Which one is it?

In the beginning you were sure you knew, but now you are not so sure. You pick the one in the middle, perhaps by random guess, because it felt or ride, or from the influence of friends and family.

The magician lifts the little red cup and shows that-

You were wrong.

So you lost a little face, but no big deal, right? It was just a game. There is something very similar though that is a much bigger deal and much more important.

In the spinning world’s hands are many religions, all claiming to hold the penny called truth. In the beginning, we all knew what was true. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Long ago, God created the world directly, a perfect world that had only one cup with one religion. It wasn’t hard to know what we should believe.

The arguments started after sin entered the world. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) After the entrance of sin a debate began. All of us are sinners. Me, you, our friends, our enemies. The most virtuous man was a terrible sinner when compared to God. Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Martin Luther, Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Teresa, and the pope all qualify as filthy, unrighteous sinners. Naturally humans seek for a relief from the guilt we commit when we sin; therefore he always looks to a religion to ease his guilt and pain. Even if a person is an atheist or agnostic, that person will still look to himself, nature, evolution, or mankind as a whole to find a philosophy that will ease the guilt of doing wrong.

What do we have? We have many religions, all following two faulty principles. One, is that we must worship something other than the Creator God of the Bible. Two, is that works are the either fully or partially the way to appease this god or to relieve guilt

As the above verse shows, we ere greatly when we worship nature, fellow humans, or ourselves. No matter what the intent or method, it is wrong. It is idolatry. Exodus 10: 1-3 “And God spake all these words, saying, I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

God created us, yet we turned our backs on him so that we could do as we pleased, which was almost always wrong. Isaiah 53: 6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” We have gone our own way, not the way of God.

The other belief is shown to be a problem as the Bible says that Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Faith is trust; God wants us to trust the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ fully. God says even partial trust in yourself for salvation will result in death in hell. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The question this track asks is, “Which one holds the truth?” The Bible says in John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” No man. All religions except one must be empty of the penny called truth. The only one with it is true Christianity.

This true Christianity entails a personal faith in Jesus Christ. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house.” If you will personally believe in the truth right now, Jesus Christ will forgive all of the bad things you have ever done against God and save you from God’s righteous punishment, eternal separation and hell. Luke 16:23 “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” This is a very serious choice. One day God will judge everything you have ever done. If you don’t trust that Jesus Christ is God and that he died for your sins, and rose from the dead, you will go to hell. It is a very serious choice.  Hebrews 8:7 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Once you do accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, though, you will be forgiven of all of your sins, your guilt will be eased, and God will take you with Him to heaven when you die. You must make a conscious personal decision, though.

Pick the right cup, the one with the truth. Your eternal salvation depends on it.

Books

A Book Review of 1001 Things Your Teens Should Know Before They Leave Home

1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home by Harry H. Harrison Jr.

Type: Self-Help

Basic Idea: Lists of different principles, advice, and sometimes basic common sense that teenagers should know, helping them get along in the adult world.

Quality

Reliability of Information: 3½/5 Very Likely Reliable: Though I don’t know much about Mr. Harrison, I do know that the principles in his book are both biblical and make logical sense. They are basic guidelines that every teenager does need to know to function in the adult world, whether it is that stalking your ex-boyfriend is unhealthy or that complaining and gossiping at work are foolish.

Application: 5/5 Excellent Advice: Morally, this book is strongly recommended for every teenager. Whether its life principles or necessary life skills, this book has plenty of information that almost every teenager can use, all from a Christian perspective. Unlike most Christian self-help books though, there are no Bible verses or devotional messages, making it a good read even for people that aren’t Christians.

Readability: 4/5 Easy to Read: The reading is easy, but on a teenage level. With plainly stated information, the book still is able to keep up the humor and not get too harsh or overbearing in its presentation, making it perfect for teenagers.

Overall: 4½/5 Amazing: This is a must read for any teenager, Christian or not. Though like every book outside of the Bible, the reader might not agree with everything or find it perfect, it is a good book for preparing the teenager for the real world.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 3/5 Frequent Positive Sexual Content: The author says that couples need to talk about sex, and advises against dating people who are “having sex with the Western world.” It mentions that “sex produces babies.” It is mentioned that the “most men do not know how to properly use a condom.” The author says to not make “sexual jokes at work,” as it can result in a lawsuit. It mentions that having sex does not mean that they are necessarily loved by that person. It says “if they sleep around it will get around.” It advises against sleeping with employees, “posting compromising pictures of anyone,” and having sex when one has an STD. It is mentioned that provocative dress will get attention. It talks about how to find out if your neighbors are sex offenders. It jokes that people that talk rich “are now considered very sexy.” It advises not to have a bedroom without God in it and says that sex is sacred. The word “tush” is humorously used for descriptive purposes.

Violence: ½ /5 Slight mention: It mentions that one should not get in bar fights, and that in general, one should “walk away from a fight.”

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1/5 Brief Misuse: The Lord’s name is taken in cain once. The author says teenagers need to learn to speak without using certain phrases, one taking the God’s name in vain. It advises several times against swearing.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: ½/5 Slight Description: It mentions that tanning can result in skin cancer, which results in scarring. It mentions that a person can get shingles from stress, as well briefly defines what it is. It mentions what diseases green tea can prevent. It mentions that bad air can kill a person. It says that Home Depot will teach a person “[h]ow to install a ceiling fan without doing bodily damage.” “Kiss of death” and “wars” are used for descriptive purposes.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Slight Mention: It says that if you use tarot cards, do not to tell anyone. “Haunt” is used for descriptive purposes once.

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: The song “Let’s Get Drunk” is mentioned, though not positively. Alcohol and beer and drinking, cigarettes, dancing, divorce, drugs, drunk driving, gambling, nightclubs, nose ring, partying, tattoos, speed (a drug), smoking, and getting high and/or drunk are all mentioned, but always negatively. Abortion is mentioned once and is strongly unrecommended. Some facts about birth control- such as negative and positive consequences as well as its difficulty of use- are mentioned. It advises not talking like a rapper. Marxism is negatively mentioned once. Bar tending is mentioned once. Rock stars are mentioned once. Being a chiropractor is listed as a recommended and high paying career.

Overall: 3/5 Teenager Appropriate: The mentions of condoms, birth control, and abortion cause me to advise Christian parents to wait until their children are about thirteen to fourteen years old until they let their child read it, which is fitting considering the books age range.

Books

A Book Review of Manifest Destiny: The Path to Wisdom

Manifest Destiny: The Path to Wisdom by Dr. Jamere A. Brown Spencer

Type: Christian, Nonfiction, Self-Help

Basic Idea: Manifest Destiny discusses many things that Dr. Spencer believes that the church and Christians are missing out on and why.

Quality

Reliability of Information: 3½/5 Accuracy with Some Misuse: Dr. Spencer clearly has a lot of knowledge of the Bible as well as a genuine heart to please God, a good combination for Christian self-help books. He has a deep knowledge of Bible languages, history, experience, and Bible. The information needed for extensive knowledge and application of the Bible can be seen throughout his writing. The only problem with the reliability is that some of the Bible verses are taken out of context. This is a common error that I believe every Christian will probably do if they write a book, as none of have it all together, but it is still good to know it when we see it. Some of it is minor, such as men being superior to angels (Hebrews 2:7), and a few are slightly more serious, such as the belief that a certain verse means that Satan caused darkness. Nothing in the book though is heretical or cultish in any way.

Application: 3/5 Some Good and Some Inaccurate: This book was a good sixty-forty split in good and bad application. Dr. Spencer uses very good principles in his book, such as a willingness to grow, heart over head knowledge, and having faith in God. Unfortunately, like all books, there are some errors in application, such as that the Bible and the words that God puts in your heart are at the same level. In some ways this is true, and the principle behind it is true, but the literal application could be easily used in an unbiblical way.

Readability: 4½/5 Amazing: With colorful analogies, true stories, and sympathetic life illustrations, this book is both interesting and easy to understand. His intentions are clear and simple, and he explains them with good analogies. A child could easily understand what he is trying to say.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: I will say that Manifest Destiny: The Path to Wisdom definitely has spiritual principles and truths that one can learn from it. It is meatier than the average Wal-Mart inspirational self-help book that is little more than a spoonful of frosting, though there are some feel good places in it. There is conviction to change, be a better Christian for God, and to have faith. Though I believe some of the application is wrong, I believe if a Christian goes to this book with much prayer, as well as uses their Bible and even maybe the knowledge of others, they can learn much from this book while still not believing the inaccuracies. I believe that the best people to read this are Christians that are secure in their faith and what they believe, but they are willing to learn more and add on to their faith. I wouldn’t recommend have a young Christian or someone who is still trying to ground certain things in the faith.

Moral Review

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: It is mentioned that a man said he would use magic to go into a girl’s bedroom at night, but it sounds like this did not happen. There is a brief mention of prostitutes. It mentioned the biblical account of failed demon removal and how the men were naked.

Violence: 2/5 Brief Mention: The author is beaten up at least twice and is threatened with harm and death multiple times, though it rarely comes to anything. He also talks about being careful to avoid a “beat down” from the neighborhood gangs. It is mentioned that American settlers pillaged the Native Americans. The author dreams about wrestling with a gorilla and kicks his wife in his sleep. A pitbull tries to attack a family, but stops. Ninjas are mentioned to work in “assassination and sabotage.” Nuclear weapons are briefly mentioned. The persecution of Christians is mentioned.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3/5 Some Disturbing Content: The author describes his encounter with a demon, partially describing the way it looked. The author mentions that many of his high school friends were murdered, in prison, or on drugs. It mentions that men have died in pursuit of their dreams, specifically Ferdinand Magellan. The biblical event of failed demon removal is mentioned, as well as that they were naked, bleeding, and screaming. The author dreams about a tsunami and a tornado. In a dream, a man points a gun at the author, but does not fire. People cry from fear and emotions. It mentions that the author bled when beaten up.

Religious Issues: 2/5 Some Religious Issues and Brief Mention The author strongly believes in and defends the gap theory, though it is never called so by name. It is said that darkness before creation could have been “millions of years” and that “no one really knows.” All forms of worship are looked at as equal. The author tells the myth of how the Native Americans believed America came about. There is mention of the zodiac, but it is explained in a Christian context, the pagan one being barely mentioned. Modern men are said to have heard God talking to them. A man is mentioned to believe in the post-tribulation. There is brief mention that women are pastors and that believing they may not teach is an error. There is mention of women being godmothers. There is negative mention of the pope and the Catholic religion, but there is also positive talk about the life of St. Benedict, who is regarded as a genuine Christian. There is mention of monks and monasteries. The author talks about good and bad meditation. The New Age is briefly mentioned. The Indian caste system and its branches are described. Pac-Man ghosts are mentioned.

Magic: 3/5 Brief Mention of Real Witchcraft: The author mentions that he knew people that claimed to be sorcerers or a druid, as well as that one could partially control the weather. There is one brief mention of a Muslim man. The witchcraft association with owls is mentioned. There are biblical references to “enchanters, magicians, and diviners.” The radio show Sid Roth, It’s Supernatural is mentioned and encouraged to be at least partially considered as reliable Christian miracles. “Magic” is used fro descriptive purposes.

Others: There are at least two references of worship dancing, and one to traditional dancing. The author once tells a story that involves him wearing a chain necklace. There is mention of drugs, drug death, and drug dealers. It mentions that a teacher drank alcohol at school. Wine is mentioned once. There are references to pop culture things such as The Incredible Hulk, Soul Train, and the Easter Bunny. “Ballet” is used for descriptive purposes.

Overall: 3½/5 Almost Teenager Appropriate: The encounter with a devil, real life magic, and some liberal religious content makes me recommend it mostly to adults. Some teenagers may be able to read it, but most I wouldn’t recommend it to.

 

Note to the Author: I would like to thank Dr. Spencer for lending me his book Manifest Destiny: The Path Towards Wisdom. Despite disagreements the two of us may have on certain things, it was still a pleasure to read his book, and I did learn many new things reading it. He is the first person to ever send me a book to review, and I thank him very much for it. – Sincerely, the author of Christian Entertainment Reviews Blog.

Books

I’m Back After a Short Break!

I guess my break didn’t last quite as long as I thought… He. I really love doing this and writing reviews. I think I’ll be changing how much I blog (it’s just me, God, and my laptop). I think I’ll be focusing mainly on books, graphic novels, and manga, though occasionally apps, non-fiction books, and movies might show up. I thank you all for following me! It’s great to have you, and I hope to do this for a while still. Again, recommendations are welcome.

Books

A Book Review of The Centurion’s Wife

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

The Centurion’s Wife by Davis Bunn (Thomas Locke) and Jannette Oke

Type: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Romance

Basic Plot: Leah is filled with a bitterness against all men, so when she is commanded to marry the Roman centurion Alban, she is filled with despair. Alban, though, is kind and intelligent, hoping to one day heal Leah. Both of them find themselves unexpectedly changed when they are ordered to investigate Jesus’ disappearance and his disciples’ ways.

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: The story was a bit cliché and predictable. A lot of the characters acted in a predictable manner. I will say that there was a plot twist at the very end that I did like, as well as believable character traits, there was just also a lot of the “mysterious Christian” feel to the Bible characters.

Writing Style and Setup: 3½/5 Above Average: The descriptions were beautiful and detailed. Whether it was people, actions, or places, the descriptions were vivid. My only complaint was the dialogue, as there was some dialogue that was just over done in formality or fake feeling. This was constant, but it did occur occasionally. The thing I best enjoyed about the book was, though, was probably the historical accuracy. Customs, government, and religion are all talked about in detail, mainly from a Jewish perspective.

The pace of the book was a little slow. It took 378 pages to get through a story that talks a lot about things most Christians would probably already know about, but some people might like the novelization of Bible characters.

Moral: 2½/5 A Good, but Not Clear Moral: The moral of the book isn’t spelled out or too distinct, but one can see it. Leah is in torments about the idea of marrying, as she has always witnessed abusive and unloving marriages in her family. Alban, her betrothed, is meanwhile working hard to become a great, well known person. Both of them learn to trust in Jesus, putting aside their fears and replacing it with Christ’s love and security. This is a good moral, though I don’t know if non-Christians who read this would be willing to be swayed by it.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: I will say this is a tolerable book, being better than the average inspirational romance. (I will say that my expectations for inspirational romance, though, are quite low.) The descriptions are beautiful and the historical facts are thorough. The plot and dialogue are still both weak and watery, making it a bit of a trial to read. If someone wanted to read this, I would say that girls and women fourteen years old and older would like it best.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Brief Mild Suggestive Content: A man and woman hold hands once. It is mentioned a few other times that the man wants to touch her, though never sexually. It is mention at least three times that characters do not make passes at a certain woman, though they are known for regularly doing so. Once it hints that “impertinent comments” have been made at least once before. It is mention that Jewish people believe that mixed gender bathing is wrong. Characters use single gender bathhouses for baths and massages, though it never talks about them being naked, once mentioning the men wearing towels. A man asks another if “he would be willing to sell” his niece; the first man refuses. It is once briefly mentioned that a woman’s mother committed adultery. A brothel is briefly used in a question once. “Sent to the bed of” is once used to refer to marriage. Girls are once mention to give men suggestive glances. It mentions that Herod married his brother’s wife. A man calls a woman “my dear” and refers to another Pilate’s wife as “lovely,” though whether he means it in an impure way or not is up debatable.

Violence: 2/5 Brief, Mild Violence: Violence is used in descriptions. A man fights some men in battle twice. The first has little actually described fighting, but the second is more graphic, including the beheading of a man. Soldiers use landslides in battle. A man taps and pokes a woman with a cane, as well as whips empty air, but does not beat her with it. There is mention of violent robberies once. Men pound tables at least twice. It is once mentioned that “lambs” were “were being brought for the slaughter.”

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Brief Mention: “By Jupiter” is used once. It is implied twice that a character used foul language.

Disturbing, Intense, and Emotional Content: 2/5 Some Disturbing and Emotional Content: Death is used in descriptions. A woman is spared from a beating; she later says that women are sometimes beaten by their sadistic master “until their ribs show.” A woman is mentioned to have dreamed of being beaten by a cane and screaming. It is mentioned that a woman accidentally spills boiling water on herself, and is unable to walk for several days. There are mentions of the different Roman punishments, including beatings, crucifixion, flaying, flogging, and scourging. Sometimes characters are threatened with or worry about these things, though they never come to pass, and it mentions that Jesus went through some of these. Characters sometimes worry about being killed, or such worry is mentioned, as well as that others want to kill them. It is mentioned that John the Baptist’s head was served on a platter and that Herod has soldiers murder infants. A woman has headaches and nightmares, though they are not described. A woman has a nightmare about a beast-like groom lunging for her. A woman faints from sickness and is unconscious and nearly dies for several days, though little detail of this is given. It is mentioned that a boy was once also sick and near death. It mentions that a woman once broke her hip. It is mentioned that only one man was wounded after a battle. It mentions animal’s fear and cries when they are being brought as a sacrifice. Characters cry a few times from emotional circumstances. Characters are mentioned to have screamed from nightmares or in them. Certain characters constantly worry about revolution, and others are hired to investigate if their will be one. It is mentioned that characters in the past died, one because her husband abandoned her for another woman. A blade is pressed against man’s neck, though not to kill him. It is mentioned once that floods “carried away whole villages.” Twice, characters are mentioned to want or have wanted death, though once suicide is only contemplatead briefly. Characters are mentioned to have “calluses,” “scars,” deformities from broken bones, and injuries after crucifixion. A man once fakes a limp. A man once mentions hating “the sight of blood.”

Religious Issues: 1½/5 Brief Mention: False gods such as Diana, Mercury, and Epona, as well as occasionally what they stand for, are mentioned by name, and there are references occasionally to “the gods” in general. It is mentioned that they are given offerings and that they have temples and alcoves devoted to them. It is also mentioned that people from Gaul sometimes fervently worship “wood sprites and fairies” as well as nature. Once a character makes “the sign against the evil eye.” It is mentioned that a woman was once demon possessed, but that she was healed by Jesus. It is asked if Jesus was a wraith after he arose from the dead. “Demon,” “ghost,” “haunted,” “haunts,” “idol to be worshiped,” and “worships” are used for descriptive purposes. Incense is used, but almost always for non-religious purposes; otherwise it is used correctly for the worship of God. Certain characters refuse to accept Jesus as Savior, and it is mentioned he was accused as a blasphemer.

Magic: 0/5 None

Other: Characters drink and are served ale and wine. A character asks if a man was drunk, but he wasn’t. There are mentions of taverns, and at least twice a man enters one, though not for any worldly reason. It is mentioned that a man divorced his wife, and divorce is mentioned at other times. Men have shoulder length hair at least twice. Gambling is mentioned at least twice. Dancing is mentioned, sometimes for worldly purposes and at other times for Jewish celebrations, though never described sensually or otherwise.

Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: I would say the book is overall clean. The worst thing was probably the scene of violence when a man was defending himself and some mentions of false gods, but other than that I would say it has nothing that anyone would probably object to morally.

Books

A Crucial Message: I’m Taking a Break

A Message from the Author of CER

Hello, this is the author of Christian Entertainment Reviews. I’m afraid that after two years of blogging (which has been fun) I am taking a break for a little while. I’ll still leave up all of my posts for anyone to read at any time, but I’m not going to be updating for at least a month or two. I might come back, but I’m going to take a break for now. I hope you enjoyed the blog and continue to do so, and there is the possibility that I will return.

Thank you for liking and following me.

– The author of Christian Entertainment Reviews Blog

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.

Graphic Novels

A Graphic Novel Review of Dogman

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

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Type: Graphic Novel, Superhero

Basic Plot: After a bombing incident, a super policeman with the head of a dog and the body of a man is created. The new “Dogman” must save the city from several different evil schemers, despite the protestations from the author’s teachers.

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: The stories ranged from cute and humorous to simple and predictable. The later stories were better than the earlier ones, as they had a bit more creativity to them, but unfortunately about half of the humor was disgustingly juvenile potty humor.

The characters are probably the best part of the book. Dog-man, the chief, and Petey the cat are all slightly cliché characters, but are all fun for children of the age group the book is aimed at.

Graphics: 2/5 OK: The graphics were probably the most disappointing of the series. Some may argue that they were intentionally made poor as the boys in the series writing the book are grade school children. This is a fair argument, and one nice feature that can be seen is the changing quality of the comics as the age of the author’s changes. This could also be looked at as a downer though, as this makes the graphics occasionally a bit unpleasant.

Moral: 1½/5 A Hard to Read Moral: There isn’t any real moral that is easy to see. There is the moral, possibly that good always triumphs over evil, as Dogman consistently defeats his enemies and sends them to prison. Unfortunately there are a few negative tones, as the two boys in the book that are writing the Dogman story tend to be rebellious to school rules. They disregard their teacher’s wants and are a little disrespectful in the way they treat their teachers. There is nothing wrong with being creative and having fun, but the attitude of disregard for what authority wants cannot be good.

Overall: 2½/5 Below Average: Because of a lack of moral and the quality of the art, below average is about where I would rank it. It would make a good book to read just for pure relaxation and shallow entertainment. I believe boys from age’s six to ten would like it best.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Some Inappropriate Content: There is a sketch drawing of someone’s butt. A cat pulls down multiple people’s pants and skirts, though their underwear is still on. A man once sits in his office in his underwear. A man is shown “scoot[ing his] butt on the carpet with joy” and says you will too. Characters watch a video of Dogman pooping, though only Dogman’s upper body is seen. There is a brief appearance of some shirtless men at the beach. Captain Underpants is mentioned.

There are several accounts of crude and potty humor, such as one appearance of poop, two of pee, and one of bird droppings, including a man holding poop and giving a high five while holding, spreading it throughout the air. When the whole world is turned “stupid,” a newsman says “Our top story: Me go boom boom in my panties.”

Violence: 2/5 Some Light Violenc: There are explosions of buildings, a car, and a robot, and a dog and man set off a bomb. A cat tries to crush dogs with a falling, spiked ceiling, but fails. A dog throws a bone at someone’s head five times. A man is briefly seen hitting himself with hammer. A character slaps himself in exasperation. Dogman happily jumps on a man several times, and once the man happily jumps on him. A cat gets whacked in the butt and head by various playground equipment, like “The Swing Set Smacker,” “The Seesaw Smoosher,” and “Spring Break.” A man trips over a dog. Sentiment hotdogs get eaten, and a living balloon pops. Characters fly through the roof twice. There is a store that sells bombs. “Kung fu,” “kickin’,” and “can’t punch” are used to describe the features of a man and his dog. A schools motto is “We put the ‘ow’ in knowledge.” “War” is used for descriptive purposes. One face in the “How to Draw” section is a character’s “Ouch!” face.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Slight Misuse: “Gee” and “geez” are each misused once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Slight Disturbing Content: When a man and his dog are near death and covered in bandages, their heads are switched, creating Dogman, though this is not shown. The stitches are seen on Dogman throughout the book. Dogman once tries to bite a cat, but fails. Characters cry a couple of times. Some living hotdogs light fires that they once call “raging infernos of death” and threaten to destroy the town, but the fires are tiny and their threats completely disregarded. A character burns his hands a little when he tries to catch something on fire. Some kids are shown in three panels running from various bad guys, one trying to “zap” them.

Religious Issues: ½/5 A man thinks that an invisible character is a ghost, and one claims that some stores are haunted, though this is not true.

Magic: 1/5 Some Possible Magic: A character uses invisible spray and living spray, the latter to make things come to life. Whether this is magic or not is debatable.

Others: Off panel, a character gives another one a cigar. A cat is once shown with tattoos on its arms. One chapter is called “The Franks Awaken,” probably based off “The Force Awakens” from Star Wars, though there is no other connection. A note to some children’s parents says that they should use medical drugs to get their children to behave, though it is likely that this doesn’t happen. One character says once “Get ready to roomba! (rumba)” A “stupid” person calls a male cat a “lady.”

Overall: 1½/5 Almost All Ages Appropriate:  The nudity and potty humor are probably the most controversial things. Morally, it’s a bit difficult to pin. If one is against humor that is on the crude side, I would say to completely skip this book. If a person doesn’t mind jokes about such things, I would recommend the book for children six and older.

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.