Movie Monday: A Bramble House Christmas

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Willa and her son, Scout, have faced a difficult past two years. When the nurse’s aide receives a large monetary inheritance and a chance to stay at the Bramble House for Christmas, her life changes.

Finn and his sister Molly hadn’t seen their dad in years. When they receive news that he has passed away and left money to a nurse’s aide, they decide to find out Willa’s motive. With only a matter of days to file the injunction, what will Finn discover about Willa?

When Finn meets Willa, his heart softens. Could this kind single mother really have swindled his father and conned him into leaving her his estate?

When Willa discovers Finn’s true motive for staying at Bramble House, will she forgive him? And what of the friendship her son has forged with Finn?

A Bramble House Christmas is one of those movies that engages you from the beginning. The characters drew me into their story, and I enjoyed it from the second it started to the second it ended. Major themes such as love, hope, forgiveness, and humility all play roles in this Hallmark movie. There are moments of romance, drama, and humor woven throughout.

I give A Bramble House Christmas a hearty five stars out of five. There is nothing objectionable, and I would highly recommend this movie for tweens and up.

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Movie Monday: Switched for Christmas

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My favorite type of movie is one that has humor, romance, and a little bit of drama. Switched for Christmas fits the bill on all three counts.

Kate and Chris are identical twins with vastly different lives. Both are jealous of the other, so when one brings up the suggestion to switch places, it gets the ball rolling for a hilarious time of mischief.

Does the other twin have a better life? Kate and Chris are about to find out. Kate is a high-powered real estate developer in Denver, living in a fancy condo with stylish clothes. Chris is an art teacher and single mom living in suburban Littleton. Will they each be able to be the “other one” during the Christmas season with two big projects at stake?

Switched at Christmas is pretty close to the perfect holiday movie. Candace Cameron Bure does a great job playing both sisters. Her daughter, Natasha, is also in the movie as Chris’s daughter.

There were a couple of great themes throughout the movie including loving and appreciating your family, and not taking what you have for granted.

My only suggestion would  have been to “play up” on the lessons the children learned about not taking their mom for granted. It would have been great to see their disrespect at the beginning of the movie addressed more fully. However, if you’re watching this with your tweens and teens, this could be a great discussion starter.

So grab the entire family and enjoy this fun movie that will have you laughing and rooting for each sister. It’s appropriate for all ages, and there is nothing objectionable in it.

I give Switched for Christmas a full five stars out of five. 🙂

Movie Monday – When Calls the Heart: My Heart is Yours

Movie Monday

For several seasons, avid fans of When Calls the Heart have anticipated the marriage between Elizabeth and Jack. Will it happen in this episode?

An order from Headquarters for Jack to assist in delivering a prisoner arrives. Bill decides to help out his friend by taking on the duty. Can he survive the awaiting ambush?

When an accident occurs at the church, will the wedding still continue? And what if Bill doesn’t arrive in time with the rings?

My Heart is Yours features all of the characters that fans have come to love: Elizabeth and Jack; Rosemary and Lee (my personal favorites); Abigail, Frank, Florence, Carson, Bill, Cody, Opal, and Clara, to name a few. Themes of love, courage, devotion, and helping each other in times of crisis abound.

Later in the movie, when  a seemingly “unimportant” mystery occurs, will Bill solve it? Or will he deem it as not worthy of his time? When Philip struggles with seeing the chalkboard in school, the doctor prescribes glasses, but will that cure the real problem?

Rosemary feels her marriage to Lee has hit a rough spot. This part of the movie is perhaps my favorite. It details that there is something special about loving the one God has chosen for you, whether your marriage is in the newlywed phase, a couple of years past that, or decades of long-lasting love spent together with ups and downs.  Marital bliss and satisfaction is not limited to those first “exciting” days and months directly after the wedding vows are spoken. Can Rosemary and Lee solve the rift between them?

My Heart is Yours is another great installment in the When Calls the Heart series. Some episodes are better than others, but all are family oriented, lack the usual distasteful Hollywood fare, and are appropriate for all ages. I give My Heart is Yours a hearty four stars.

Have you seen this movie? What did you think of it?

 

 

Movie Monday: Where Love Found Me

Movie Monday

If you only watch a few movies this year, this should be one of them!

A touching story inspired by true events, “Where Love Found Me” takes the viewer into the realities of children living on the streets. When documentary director, Hudson, sets out to make a movie about street children in China, his plans take a different route when he discovers the lives these children live and the dismal futures they face. The truth tugs at his heart, and he seeks to make a change. But will the process threaten his life and the lives of those he seeks to protect?

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Faith, drama, and humor highlight this movie that will bring tears to your eyes, as well as prod you to make a difference in the world for the millions of children worldwide who dream of a forever home through adoption. This is definitely a family movie, and you will find yourself rooting for Hudson, Rubelyn, and the other street children. However, due to the nature of the film, this movie is for teens and up.

The parallel between a man who gives his life for the children and our Savior Jesus Christ is profound in this movie, and reminds us that we are here but for a short time. In that short time, what can we do to make an eternal difference in the lives of others?

My recommendation? Don’t just rent or stream this movie. It’s one to buy for the keeper shelf! I give it a hearty five starts out of five.

More information can be found at the “Where Love Found Me” website.

The trailer for this movie can be found on the website and also at

 

 

Movie Monday: Finding Father Christmas

Movie Monday

Based on the book by popular author, Robin Jones Gunn, Finding Father Christmas takes us into the life of Miranda, a real estate agent who struggles each year with the Christmas season because her mom died suddenly during that time 20 years ago.

Miranda never knew who her dad was, but when some of her mother’s belongings are discovered at the theater where she performed, Miranda finds some clues. One of the clues, a photograph, takes her to a small Vermont town. Could the photo hold the key to who her father is?

Staying at an inn and seeking the help of the handsome son of the inn’s owners, Miranda embarks on a search for not only her father, but also a search for a the kind of Christmas she’s always dreamed of. Can those longings she’s held in her heart since she was a little girl and lost her mom be realized? Will Miranda disrupt the lives of an unsuspecting family with her discovery?

Finding Father Christmas is a heartfelt story of hope and love. It’s a story of realizing that people who are giving and kindhearted truly do exist in a world, where we so often hear otherwise. It’s the perfect movie for the snowy winter days preceding Christmas.

[Possible spoiler alert] There is no objectionable material in Finding Father Christmas, and I recommend it for tweens and above. However, as a Christian reviewer and a mom myself, I do need to bring up the fact that there is the question of Miranda’s mother’s and father’s relationship and how it intersects with the relationships of others and the fact that they were not married. These are not details that are dwelt upon in the movie, but they are excellent discussion topics for families.

Erin Krakow (When Calls the Heart) and Niall Matter both give commanding performances. All in all, I recommend Hallmark’s Finding Father Christmas and give it a Christmasy 4.5 stars out of five. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Movie Monday – Unbroken: Path to Redemption

Movie Monday

Due to popular demand, Movie Monday is back! This week, I’m reviewing a movie that was recently shown in theaters across the country. Based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: Path to Redemption is the true story of Louis Zamperini, the patriot, World War II hero, and Olympian, and shows us a glimpse into how no one is beyond God’s amazing redemption.

First off, if you haven’t had the opportunity to see this movie, I would highly recommend it. Estimated release date for DVD and Amazon video is in December.

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I personally couldn’t wait for the release of this movie into theaters. So when our small local theater decided to show it, I rounded up the gang, and we made a family night out of it. Complete with a big bag of buttered popcorn (yes, it’s one of my weaknesses, and yes, I did eat the entire bag, but we’ll just let that be our secret!). 😉

The movie opens with Louis Zamperini returning home after being presumed dead during World War II. We see the loving and close-knit family that rejoices when he walks through the door. Finally, all is well.

Or is it?

Little by little, we are shown how being a tortured prisoner of war affected Louis. Nightmares, flashbacks, alcoholism…will he ever be able to forget the affliction he faced at the hands of enemy?

He is given a break from his speaking circuit and heads to the beaches of Florida. It is there that he meets Cynthia. They have a whirlwind romance before marrying shortly after meeting. What will Cynthia do when she discovers the “real” Louis? A lost man with a severe alcohol problem?

I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that this movie is ultimately the story of God’s love for us. He never gives up on us, no matter how far we stray. He stands there always, with arms wide open, welcoming us. Through Jesus, we have the assurance of forgiveness and the hope of eternal life with Him.

It’s also a story of true love between husband and wife. Marriage isn’t always easy. But by the grace of God, true love does triumph.

There was one instance of minor foul language and some cleavage. Other than that, this is a clean movie. Because there are “memories” of the severe torture (nothing graphic) Louis experienced, this is definitely not a movie for young children. However, for teens and adults, it’s a memorable movie that begs for a second viewing.

Pureflix has created another phenomenal movie complete with forgiveness, redemption, and love; I’m proud to give this a strong five stars out of five.

Below is the trailer:

Join me a couple Mondays every month (in addition to my regular weekly blog posts) for movie reviews, from new releases to old favorites, from a Christian point of view.

Have you seen Unbroken: Path to Redemption? What were your thoughts?

 

 

 

9 movie series sure to be a hit for your next family night

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I’ve made it my mission to find movies that are suitable for families. In our culture of so many movies that aren’t suitable, it’s especially fun to discover ones that are clean and well-made.

So, pop up some popcorn and check out these movie series (in particular order) sure to be a hit on your next family night! (Click on the title to find out more information. Note: I am not affiliated in any way with either CBD or Amazon, but those are two of the places I did find availability for these movies).

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Our family has become addicted to this wonderful show that has a combination of romance, drama, comedy, and even some action! Four postal employees solve mysteries based on letters in the “dead mail” office. The employees, Oliver, Shane, Rita, and Norman will soon have you rooting for them as they solve mysteries and provide happy endings.

Father Murphy

If you loved Little House on the Prairie, you’ll love Father Murphy. Set in the same era, actor Merlin Olsen and Katherine Cannon team up with Moses Gunn to provide a home for orphans. There’s always a nemesis, and in Father Murphy, there are two: Miss Tuttle and Mr. Rodman. Together, they provide underhanded efforts to take the children from the orphanage to their work house. Faith, adventure, romance, and good lessons round out this wholesome pick that family members of all ages will enjoy.

Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye

Sue Thomas is a deaf woman who can read lips and speak. She’s lived a sheltered life for the most part, so when she’s accepted for a job with the F.B.I. hours from her hometown, she knows she’s embarking on an adventure.

Based on a true story, this series is one of the best I have ever seen and is on my top-ten favorites list of all time.  Sue Thomas F.B. Eye  has everything that makes a movie good – a touch of romance, drama, humor, action, and adventure. What’s more, the writers and producers managed to pull off this feat without the use of the distasteful Hollywood variety of violence, crass humor, foul language, and sexuality.

Sue Thomas F.B. Eye is a wholesome show, but it’s far from dull.

Anne of Green Gables

I promise you this series will soon become a favorite! This is the original Anne of Green Gables series that was produced by Sullivan Entertainment in 2002 and includes the following: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Green Gables the Sequel, and Anne of Green Gables, the Continuing Story. Viewers watch as Anne Shirley first goes to live on Prince Edward Island with a charming elderly brother and sister. She gets into mischief, falls in love, becomes an adult, and does her part in the War in this endearing series. (Note: this is not the most recent version of Anne of Green Gables, but the one, as mentioned above, that was produced in 2002. I personally do not advocate the most recent version).

Doc

This series, peppered with faith, humor, and touching stories, stars Billy Ray Cyrus as a doctor who travels from his practice in small town Montana to New York. Taking a job in the big city, however, is no easy task for the cowboy who sees the good in people and always makes time for those in need of help.  A small town girl myself, I can only imagine how a move might make a huge impact on someone unaccustomed to city life. 🙂

Viewers find themselves growing attached to the characters, who seem to come to life as they wrestle with everyday problems. Great lessons abound, including discussion of topics such as humility, greed, selfishness, putting others first, and the importance of faith no matter what our chosen profession.

It is great for the entire family and contains nothing objectionable.

Love Comes Softly

My first-ever Christian romance novels given me as a gift were from my grandma. Yep, they were Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly. Fast forward many years later to a movie series based on the books. While some are better than others, this collection is a win-win for those who love a good series with faith, romance, and endearing stories.

When Calls the Heart

A newer series, this drama set in the early 1900s in Canada is sure to draw fans who enjoy drama and romance with a dash of comedy. My absolute favorites are Lee and Rosemary, who provide comedic relief as well-developed characters. This series is also based on Janette Oke’s book series by the same name. While the movies may not be quite historically accurate in every sense, this series an enjoyable watch and wholesome and clean as well.

Little House on the Prairie

All right, show of hands…how many grew up watching Little House on the Prairie, whether the first time it showed or after it had been released on VHS or DVD for some time? Growing up, we watched re-runs on Channel 12 at our house. And yes, I did have a crush on Almanzo. 😉 This series is perfect for those cold winter evenings when the family wants to escape into simpler times.

The Beverly Hillbillies

I had never seen this iconic movie that aired in 1962, many years before I was born. Corny and farfetched at times, this is the perfect antidote to take a break from the serious issues that plague our world today. My youngest daughter had even perfected the voice of Granny as she said her memorable, “Elly Mae!” Toss aside the amazing graphics of today’s movies and settle into a goofy series from yesteryear.

What is your favorite series of all time?

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