Movie Monday: Beautifully Broken

Beautifully Broken movie monday.png

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.

beautifully broken

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

signed sealed delivered movie monday.png

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?

signed sealed delivered.jpg

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: Duma

movie monday duma

Once in awhile, I come across a little-known movie that is, in my opinion, a “must-see.” Duma is such a movie.

dumaSet in South Africa in the present day, 12-year-old Xan and his father nearly run over a baby cheetah while driving home on an empty stretch of highway one evening. They take the animal back to their South African farm and raise it as a pet. Xan mentions that when you give something a name, it then becomes your friend.  After trying to decide on a name, Xan finally decides to give his new pet the name of Duma, which is “cheetah” in Swahili. It isn’t long before a wonderful friendship begins between Xan and Duma.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this movie is the portrayal of Xan’s closeknit family. Xan’s dad, Peter, is sure to teach his son all he knows about building things and taking care of a farm (which comes in handy later in the movie). Peter spends a considerable amount of time with Xan and, together, they test Duma’s speed by racing alongside the animal with a stopwatch.  There is also a strong love and devotion between Xan’s parents, even when they are in the midst of tragedy.

Duma is void of anything objectionable (there is a situation with “cultural” medicine practices, but nothing explicit); however, there are several intense scenes that will frighten younger viewers. When Xan embarks on an adventurous journey and a promise he made to his father to return Duma to the wilds where he belongs, Xan encounters the harsh elements, wild animals, a stranger, and near death due to a lack of water and food. Parents will also want to discuss Xan’s choice to leave on his own to help Duma find his way back to the wilds, rather than solicit his mom’s help.

Duma is one of those movies that I hadn’t heard much about, but that I am glad I purchased. Themes of family unity, forgiveness, loyalty, loving your neighbor, and grief all play integral roles in this movie. I highly recommend it for everyone ages 12 and over. (NOT recommended for those under 12).

For a listing of movie suggestions, followed by archived movie reviews, please see Mom Approved Movie Reviews.

 

Movie Monday – The Penny Promise – 11/5/12

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Movie Monday suggestion is The Penny Promise (Feature Films for Families)…

Picture 136Will is an honest man. In short, he never breaks a promise. He strives to do the right thing in all circumstances and his kind, trustworthy, and laidback personality make him popular with his students.

Will is also on a quest to marry Annie Farnsworthy, the woman he loves. However, before he can marry her, Annie’s wealthy father makes Will promise to save $10,000.  Will is poor and works as a teacher, but he is determined to save the money to win Annie’s hand in marriage. What Will doesn’t bank on is some competition from a wealthy young rival who also wants to marry Annie.  Can Will compete with someone who is deemed to be more worthy of Annie’s hand just because he has a well-paying job and a fancy car?

Will also doesn’t count on a misunderstanding that lands him in court and turns those he cares about most against him. Can Will prove his innocence? Can he do so without breaking a promise to a friend?

The Penny Promise is a fun movie with some humorous parts and some great lessons. It is quirky (and slightly unbelievable) at times, but full of good intentions. Themes include: honesty, keeping promises, doing the right thing, setting a good example, being a mentor, helping those in need, standing by someone in all circumstances, integrity, the importance of good character, bullying, lying, and dishonesty. Great discussion questions abound in this film. For example:  Is it ever all right to lie? If no one even recognizes that you are an honest and upright person, is it even worth it to be one? What are the most important attributes in a person’s character? What would you do in Will’s situation? In Dusty’s situation?

As we watched this movie, two Scripture verses came to mind: Proverbs 12:22, which states, Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who are faithful are his delight and Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

I highly recommend this movie for all ages. There is no objectionable content (please note that we watched the edited Feature Films for Families version). In all, a great movie for Family Night for all ages!

For a listing of movie suggestions, followed by archived movie reviews, please see https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/mom-approved-movies-for-families/

Join me each week for a new movie suggestion of recommended movies suitable for the entire family with reviews written from a Christian worldview.

And the winners are…

Yay! We have some winners to announce! A big “thank you” to everyone who stops by and enters to win the books of my author friends. I really appreciate you all! And now, drumroll please…

The winner of the mystery novel The Secret of the Love Letters by K. Dawn Byrd is…

Ruth Cox!

And the winner of Diana Brandmeyer’s historical romance A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee is…

Ginger!

Congratulations, Ruth and Ginger! Dawn and Diana will be contacting you shortly regarding your win.

Again, thank you to everyone who stops by and enters to win. I am taking a break this week due to an abundance of things on my plate. I will be back next week with a new movie review, inspirational post, and giveaway. You won’t want to miss my next giveaway – its from a talented author whose book will touch your heart! Also, if you haven’t read it already, my most recent devotional The Game of Life was written by my tween daughter (her first ever devotional!) and can be found here.

In the meantime, would you please pray for my mom? She broke her shoulder in five places during a hiking trip a couple days ago. She is in an intense amount of pain, and may require surgery on Monday if the bones don’t fuse together on their own. Sadly, her prognosis of ever having use of her arm again is low. But we serve an awesome God – the Great Physician – and we are praying for complete healing for her. Would you join me in that prayer and for wisdom and direction for the doctor? Thank you SO much and I’ll see you next week!

Movie Monday – Front of the Class – 6/25/12

This week’s family movie night suggestion is Front of the Class…

A Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Front of the Class  takes viewers into the life of Brad Cohen, a real-life man with Tourette Syndrome. When Brad was six-years-old, he began to make strange sounds and have peculiar tics. His parents had no idea what was wrong with him and his father even blamed him for misbehaving and disobeying whenever he asked Brad to stop. His classmates ridiculed him and his teachers sent him to the principal’s office on a regular basis.  Several times throughout the film, he was made to promise to “quit making those noises” – noises he had no control over. Attending movies and going to the library was out of the question because Brad’s unannounced sounds came at the least opportune moments.

Brad struggles to deal with his undiagnosed disorder, although he terms it as his “constant companion” as a way to deal with it. His upbeat attitude helps when few around him understand. After numerous trips to doctors and psychiatrists, Brad’s mom finally takes matters into her own hands and discovers there is a name for what her son struggles with – Tourette Syndrome. She can now find him the support he needs.

Later in life, Brad sets out to become a teacher – a lifelong dream of his. But who will hire someone who can’t control when they might make a strange sound or have strange tics and movements?

This is a touching movie, and many times throughout, I had to reach for a Kleenex. Brad’s mistreatment at the hands of ignorance (especially as a child) is hard to watch, especially as a mom. There are many great discussion topics in this movie including –

Treating others as you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12)

Loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)

Everyone is made precious in God’s site and no one is a mistake (Psalm 139:13-18)

God loves us, cares for us, and knows all about us (Matthew 10:30)

The heart is what is important  (1 Samuel 16:7)

When I asked my oldest daughter what most impacted her in the movie, she said “to just be yourself.” That is true – Brad was himself and people slowly began to see that he was a kind, caring, and generous person who happened to be born with a disorder.  While this is not at all a faith-based film, it is clear to see that the Lord used Brad’s difficulties with Tourette Syndrome to make a difference in the lives of others who struggled with other health-related issues.

This movie is based on a true story, and I would highly recommend this film, which contains nothing objectionable, for tweens and older (those younger than eight or nine may not understand the plot line).  For more information about Tourette Syndrome, please see the Tourette Syndrome Association website.

For a listing of movie suggestions, followed by archived movie reviews, please see https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/mom-approved-movies-for-families/

Join me each week for a new movie suggestion of recommended movies suitable for the entire family with reviews written from a Christian worldview.

Be yourself

Movie Monday – Jacob’s Harvest – 1/23/12

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Family Movie Night Movie Suggestion is Jacob’s Harvest (Feature Films for Families).

This movie begins several years prior when Daniel Hansen’s older brother, Jacob,  leaves on his wedding day, deserting his fiance, Maddy, and his family. Jacob isn’t seen again until he arrives, seemingly out of nowhere, twenty years later for a visit.  A lot of things have happened in those twenty years. Daniel and Maddy married, started a family, and together (with Daniel and Jacob’s father, James) run the family dairy farm.

Life hasn’t been easy for Daniel and his family recently. They are losing milk cows to an unknown cause. Their 17-year-old son is rebelling. A money shortage has required Maddy to secure a job as a waitress in their small Wisconsin town. When Jacob arrives, he only adds to Daniel’s stress.

This is a modern story of a prodigal son, similar to the Biblical “prodigal son” parable found in Luke 15. It is an excellent movie with many discussion points.  Some of those discussion topics include: family values, keeping one’s word, family loyalty, work ethic, rebellion, importance of marriage vows, envy, helping others in their time of need, and working out differences with those we love.

Jacob’s Harvest is a touching movie of one family’s fight for what’s important. It is realistically done with convincing actors. This movie contains nothing objectionable.  I would highly recommend for all ages, although very young children might be frightened by a few scenes.

I have a listing of numerous family movie night suggestions here: https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/mom-approved-movies-for-families/

Also, if you have missed any of the Movie Monday Movie Reviews, they are archived under the listing referenced above.