Category Archives: Review

Review: The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

gavin-stoneLast night I had the opportunity to pre-screen The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. Actually, I had the opportunity last week, but due to some technical issues I didn’t get to until last night.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is Walden Media’s and Vertical Church’s latest offering in the ever growing faith-movie industry. It’s about washed-up child star, Gavin Stone, who has become a media badboy as an adult. After a particularly wild party, Gavin is sentenced to 200 hours of community service. He serves these out at a church in his hometown, where he has no choice but to reconnect with his estranged dad. Gavin also charms himself into the church’s stage production to get out of mopping floors, and takes the role of Jesus. It stars Brett Dalton (Gavin), Anjelah Johnson-Reyes (Kelly), Neil Flynn (Waylon), D.B. Sweeney (Pastor Allen), and Shawn Michaels (Doug).

When I was asked if I’d review a movie in which Grant Ward (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) plays Jesus and the Janitor (Scrubs) is his dad? I said, “Yes, please.”

The movie opens this Friday (Jan 20, 2017) in theaters. As a matter of full disclosure, I was provided an advanced screening from Inspire Buzz marketing. However, as I always do, I will give you a completely honest review. Continue reading Review: The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

Mom’s Night Out: Review from a Pastor’s Wife

Jesusfreak Mommy

So, the other night, my hubby and I FINALLY watched Mom’s Night Out.  I’ve been wanting to see the movie since its release, but never had the opportunity to go.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the laughter found in a rare, truly family friendly comedy.

The chemistry between the cast was phenomenal.

Seriously I LAUGHED so hard…much needed after the past few weeks around here.

But, I also cried.  There were several moments of silent tears as I found myself identifying greatly with the story.

I’ve been the frazzled mom…many many times.  I’ve found myself putting the focus in entirely wrong places.  I’ve felt the aggravation over never seeming to have a moment alone.  Children who refused to just go to church and take part in children’s activities while mom had a rare moment of adult worship.  I’ve been there.

I’ve tried not to crush dreams my children have by freaking…

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The man who forgets…

eleventhglassA few days ago, my friend and author Kat Heckenbach made this observation on Facebook:

Realizing, as I watch Doctor Who Season 7, that Clara Oswald is not lacking anything. She is really awesome. BUT. There was no mourning time for the Ponds. That is why the transition didn’t work. For some reason, the move from Rose to Martha to Donna to Amy/Rory…it all felt like it was going in the same direction. But going anywhere away from Amy and Rory…there just needs to be time to mourn, and we weren’t given any.

Being a Doctor Who fan who actually remembers and watched Classic Who when it was still new, I am of the opinion that #11 (Matt Smith) actually embodies Classic Who the best of the modern Doctors, that Moffat’s writing for #11 is more true to the Classic Who methodology, and that Amy and Rory were more typical of Classic Who companions. I know not everyone agrees with me in this, but that’s not really the point of this blog. I bring up those opinions because the transition from the Ponds to Clara and saying goodbye to #11 was a big deal to me.

So as I was considering what Kat said and the subsequent replies, which covered things like having to say goodbye to the Ponds too many times and Moffat’s split loyalties in writing between Who and Sherlock, and a great joke which I’ll include at the end, I realized that, even though I too felt something odd about the transition from the Ponds to Clara and a weird misstep in Eleven’s goodbye, Moffat really did get it right.

Continue reading The man who forgets…

The Lego Movie: One of the most anti-Christian movies ever

legomovieThis is a really difficult review for me to write. First let me say that I actually enjoyed the Lego Movie. My kids thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s imaginative, high-energy, and exciting. I was also very impressed that the movie was created with actual Legos using stop-still animation. (UPDATE: I now know that it was computer animated. Good job animators! Fooled me!) And contrary to the title of this review, maybe surprising to you…maybe somewhat hypocritical on my part…I will probably own this movie and my children will watch it till it wears out. BUT not before I explain to them what I’m about to explain to you.

Despite being such a fun movie, everything is NOT indeed awesome. Everything was great until the movie took a very existential and philosophical twist at the end, making it the most anti-Christian film I’ve seen in a long time. Almost as blatantly anti-Christian as the Golden Compass, and I’m surprised there hasn’t been a wide-spread out-cry against it.

SO BEWARE. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Continue reading The Lego Movie: One of the most anti-Christian movies ever

Book Review: I Am Ocilla, by Diane M. Graham

I Am Ocilla

Open your heart and mind to the simplicity and complexity of a name.

I know only my name. Beyond that is confusion, a void where fantasy and reality swirl together. Fairies, Giants, Elves, Dwarves, ancient Keepers, and…Dragons? A dark soul threatens the Five Kingdoms, but I am powerless to stand against him, overwhelmed by phantom memories, broken and lost.

Somehow, I must live. I must find my purpose. There are friends to love and battles to fight.

I know my name. Perhaps that is enough.

I am Ocilla.

This is my story.

In our current book economy, where writers can rush to publication, by-passing the traditional gatekeepers, and throwing good writing principles to the wind, there’s a lot of junk out there. And the problem is, you can’t tell anymore what is a properly good read and what is a waste of your time and money. It’s become a mine field, a dart shoot, a flip of the coin. So more than ever, the educated reader must depend on good solid honest reviews before taking a chance. Sadly, most reviewers are just as random now as the books they review.

Continue reading Book Review: I Am Ocilla, by Diane M. Graham