Movie Monday: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Road Less Traveled

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What happens when the POstables find a seemingly old disposable camera in the lost and misdirected mail with pictures on it? And not just any pictures, but one including a note with a child’s writing begging to be reunited with his dad?

Was the child kidnapped? If so, where is he/she now? The pictures offer few clues.

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The POstables set out to find the answer. And so the adventure across Colorado begins in the old Winnebago that Rita’s parents gifted Norman and Rita. Along the way, the group not only discovers the surprising answer to their mystery, but also some important things about their relationships along the way. Will Rita complete the 100 things she “must” do according to a wedding magazine before she and Norman get married? Why is Norman being so evasive? And who is Alex Brighton – the one who continues to text Shayne? Does Oliver have reason to be concerned?

Humor, romance, drama, a mystery, and clean wholesome viewing occur once again in this episode. It contains nothing objectionable. However, young children may be frightened by the “kidnapping” theme. It is appropriate for tweens and up.

 

Those of you who follow the Movie Monday reviews on my blog likely realize that the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series is among my favorites. It’s right up there with the Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye Series,Where Love Found Me, The Redemption of Henry Myers, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, Finding Normal, Beautifully Broken, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, and Beyond the Mask. All awesome movies for family night (among many more too numerous to list, but that can be found on my Mom-Approved Movie Listing).

As a matter of fact, I can’t wait to watch the next installment of Signed, Sealed, Delivered when Rita and Norman finally head to the altar. Will Shayne and Oliver be next?

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Movie Monday: Hailey Dean 3-Film Collection

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Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres (only behind historical and contemporary romance), so when I discovered clean suspense movies, I was thrilled.

Hailey Dean (played by Kellie Martin) is a former prosecutor. Now she’s a therapist who finds herself solving mysteries.

She joins close friends, Danny, who is the brother of her murdered fiance; Fincher, an investigator for the D.A.’s office; her boyfriend, Jonas, who is a medical examiner; and her therapist partner, Sabrina. Fincher brings comic relief to the series with his obsession with Mexican food trucks (and eating in general). Jonas, a more serious fellow, never really realizes what he’s in for when he accompanies Hailey on one of her “investigations,” disguised as a date. Danny turns to her for assistance in everything from missing persons cases to murders that aren’t as easy to solve as they may seem. Sabrina is a more dramatic character.

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One of the pros of the Hailey Dean mysteries is the whole setup of the cast of characters that the viewer gets to see, as they attempt to figure how whodunit. It’s not always a clear-cut case, and the writers of the show do an excellent job of choosing someone as the perp who isn’t always the obvious choice.

The Hailey Dean mysteries (there are six available on DVD/streaming at the writing of this review) are clean and avoid stepping over the boundaries when it comes to violence. However, they are not for children, but rather 13 and up.

A fun added bonus? Nancy Grace, the author of the Hailey Dean series, of which the movies are based on, makes an appearance as a reporter in several of the episodes.

I give the Hailey Dean Mysteries a rating of a solid 4 out of 5.

 

 

 

Movie Monday: Flying High for the Glory of God: The Orville Rogers Story

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When I stumbled across Flying High for the Glory of God: The Orville Rogers Story, it piqued my curiosity.

Orville Rogers was born in 1917. However, at 101, Orville isn’t ready to take it easy just yet. He runs marathons (and holds many world records) and keeps himself in excellent shape. His mind is sharp.

And he has led an adventurous life.

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Orville is a patriot, having fought for our country in both WWII, where he was a bomber pilot instructor, and in the Korean War. He’s also flown for numerous ministry missions to a variety of remote places.

He was the husband of Esther Beth for over sixty-four years. He’s a father, grand-father, and a great-grandfather.

But the thing that stuck out most to me in watching this documentary? Orville’s love for God and his courage in sharing that love. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite parts of the movie is when he’s in a taxi and he’s sharing about Jesus with the cab driver. (But he’s never overbearing). Orville is devout in his faith – something we don’t always see as often in today’s men.

Throughout the short movie, Orville shares about his passions: his faith, his family, flying, and running. It is never slow or boring, but rather uplifting and inspirational.

I found myself wishing the movie was longer – I wanted to know even more about Orville’s life and his testimony. His book, The Running Man: Flying High for the Glory of God is next on my list!

Flying High for the Glory of God: The Orville Rogers Story is available to stream or to purchase as a DVD. It is appropriate for the entire family.

Rating: 5 stars.

 

 

Movie Monday: Unplanned

“What she saw changed everything.”

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When Unplanned finally came to my small-town theater, I was excited to support this film that was unapologetically pro-life. Based on the true story of former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director, Abby Johnson, Unplanned is a movie that stays with the viewer long after the credits roll.

There are some difficult scenes to watch, namely:

At the beginning when Abby is called to assist with an abortion,

The scene with Abby in the bathroom after taking the abortion pill RU-486,

The scene with the young girl who nearly died when her uterus is perforated during an abortion,

And when Abby is called into the POC room at the beginning of her tenure at Planned Parenthood and we witness the tiny parts of a baby needing to be reconstructed to be sure the doctor removed all parts during the abortion.

Disclaimer: I did avert my eyes during several of those scenes.

There is also some minor language throughout the film.

Perhaps one of the ironies I discovered with the Unplanned movie is that horror flicks that garner an R rating show disgusting and oftentimes perverse themes. Bloody corpses, zombies, and the like are commonplace for that genre. (You can probably sense that I am not a horror flick fan and have seen only one in my life as a teen, and one I regret subjecting my eyes to).

In contrast, Unplanned shows the reality on film of tiny babies being murdered. It’s truth, not something from someone’s imagination like a horror film.

I loved how both Abby’s husband and her parents, while in disagreement over her choice of career, stood by her and prayed for her heart to be changed. Friends she made along the fence outside the clinic did the same. Prayer is powerful, and when God has a plan, nothing and no one can stop it.

Perhaps two of the biggest themes in the movie are redemption and forgiveness. Forgiveness not just of others, but of oneself. Abby struggles to forgive herself for her role in contributing to thousands of abortions and for her own abortions.

One of the other things I really appreciated about the movie was that it did not condemn women who have had abortions. As I discuss in my blog post the importance of life, a close friend of mine had an abortion years ago. She confided to me that, while she remains pro-choice, not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about her baby and what he or she may be like if she had chosen life. She struggles with forgiving herself.

Thankfully, we serve a mighty God, who can forgive us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Abby discovers this in Unplanned, as she, too, has had not one, but two abortions.

Is Unplanned difficult to watch? Yes.

Is it intense and grisly in parts? Yes.

Will it leave you emotional and burdened for the preborn? Yes.

Is it a movie for children? NO.

Sadly, when we entered the theater, we noticed that several back row seats were filled with little children – some about three or four years old and none older than about seven. While this movie is an important one, it’s not one for children. I honestly cannot state that often enough. It’s not for children. It’s not even for young teens.

Due to the graphic nature, this movie’s target audience is older teens and adults. And those older teens should be watching it with their parent(s) and discussing it afterwards.

But while this movie isn’t for young teens, it’s important to begin discussing with your children the importance of life. Our girls knew that a baby was a baby from the moment God placed it in a mommy’s tummy. That was our simplest explanation when they were little and discussions were age-appropriate as they grew older.

I would highly recommend this movie. But be warned, it will change you. Bring a box of Kleenex and a prayer in your heart. It will leave you with a prayer for people to again someday see the value of life “from womb to tomb,” a prayer for those contemplating abortion that they would choose adoption or to raise the child themselves, and a prayer for those women who have had abortions. That God would heal their broken hearts.

Rating: Five out of five stars.

 

Movie Monday: Beautifully Broken

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One of the things I love about reviewing movies is that I often come across amazing ones that stick with me long after the credits have rolled. Beautifully Broken is one such movie.

Three families worlds away face brokenness…and healing. Their lives intersect across the globe during the Rwanda Genocide of 1994. Three fathers face difficulties while attempting to protect their families. One father is on the run with his wife and daughter to escape the massive killings occurring in his beloved country. Another faces a difficult decision that must be made to save his family. And the third, across the ocean in the United States struggles with a wayward daughter and the terrible secret she’s kept hidden from he and his wife.

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One of the things that struck me most was the reliance on God by William, of the Rwandan Christians and main characters in the movie. As a husband and father, he took his job of loving and protecting his family seriously. He relied on God for his every breath. To see such an amazing display of love and reliance on the Lord was humbling and not something one sees often enough in our country.

The movie, based on a true story, offered excellent reminders to fathers and husbands to lead, protect, love, care for, honor, and cherish their families.

Another topic that was prevalent in the film was immigration to the United States. I appreciate the way it was done legally and through the proper channels, as intended.

Beautifully Broken is a movie of hope. Of redemption. And of forgiveness. Be sure to have  a box of Kleenex ready and consider purchasing this movie, rather than streaming it. You’ll want to watch it more than once – yes, it’s that good.

I rate Beautifully Broken a five out of five stars. It is appropriate for ages 16 and up due to a couple intense and graphic war scenes, and an assault (not shown).

 

 

Movie Monday: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Home Again

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From the very first episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I was hooked. Imagine my excitement when I discovered the latest installment in the series.

In Home Again, the Postables find a package with what appears to be an expensive vase. Who sent it and who was the intended recipient? After discovering the answers to these questions, they discover a family in dire need of help before they lose their family farm. Will they be able to assist the family in their dream of keeping the farm before it’s auctioned off to the highest bidder? Will they be able to convince one of the daughters who left years ago on bad terms to return home?

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In other news, Norman and Rita receive a visit from Rita’s parents. Things get off to a bad start right away. What can Norman do to make Rita’s father like him?

Signed, Sealed, Delivered boasts great story lines, humor, romance, and a little mystery all thrown into one. There is nothing objectionable – this is truly family fare at its finest. The characters are realistic, the acting superb, and the storylines heartwarming. The only downside in Home Again is one unnecessary use of the Lord’s name in vain.

If you are looking for a series for your next family night, I highly recommend Signed, Sealed, Delivered. But start at the very first episode. It’s quite possible you’ll become an ardent fan as well!

 

Movie Monday: The Christmas Cure

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Sure, it’s no longer the Christmas season, but some movies are great to watch any time of the year. Case in point: The Christmas Cure.

Hallmark Christmas movies are plentiful. Some are top-notch, some are so-so, and there are a few I’ve hit the “pass button” on. The Christmas Cure is one that goes in the top-notch category.

Vanessa Turner decides to spend Christmas at home. A busy emergency room doctor in a large city, Vanessa is ready for some rest and relaxation in her small home town. She reconnects with her mom, dad, and younger brother, Kyle,  all of whom she has close relationships. She also reconnects with a man from her past – high school sweetheart, Mitch. After all these years apart, is there still chemistry between the two of them?

the Christmas cureVanessa’s dad decides to retire. He’s run the clinic, which is attached to his and his wife’s home, for a number of years. It will be difficult to walk away from a job and the patients that he loves, but he deems it’s time. Will Vanessa decide to continue her father’s practice, or will she return to a job, complete with a promotion, in the city?

There are many redeemable qualities in this movie. Vanessa’s parents, Bruce and Martha, love each other and have a happy marriage. The longevity and sincere love of their marriage is a breath of fresh air.

Dr. Bruce Turner has worked as a doctor in his clinic for numerous years. He still cares deeply about his patients and goes out of his way for them. He even makes housecalls. His daughter, Dr. Vanessa Turner, follows in his footsteps and is also a kind and caring doctor as well.

The sibling relationship between Vanessa and Kyle is endearing. They are close and back each other up when necessary. Kyle, as the klutzy younger brother, provides several instances of comic relief.

Vanessa and Mitch have an innocent love that has endured throughout their years apart.

There is nothing objectionable in The Christmas Cure, and it is suitable for the entire family. It contains humor, love, drama, and a wonderful story line interwoven through the lives of a family and a young man who they’ve taken under their wing.

I highly recommend The Christmas Cure and give it a five out of five star rating.

For a listing of movies, please see my collection of Mom-Approved Movie Listings.