Tag Archives: movie

‘I Still Believe’ Is Worth Your Time

To be honest, I generally avoid Faith-based movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good inspirational film, but I’ve found many of the “church” movies to be cheesy and unrealistic. That being said, I was hesitant to watch “I Still Believe” when it came out in early March. I finally decided to give it a chance because I love the previous work of the two lead actors, KJ Apa (you might know him from the insane teen drama, “Riverdale”) and Britt Robertson (of “Tomorrowland” fame). Knowing that these actors would give stellar performances regardless of the story, I gave in and fired up the film the other day.

“I Still Believe” is the real-life love story of Christian singer Jeremy Camp (Apa) and his college sweetheart, Melissa (Robertson). When Camp sets out for college, he dreams of writing songs and playing guitar on stage. He meets a friend, Jean-Luc (Nathan Parsons), who is also a singer. At one of Jean-Luc’s shows, Jeremy spots Melissa in the crowd and is immediately taken with her. The pair begin to secretly date and a wonderful love story unfolds. However, the pair finds out that Melissa is severely ill. The latch on to their faith as they navigate the tough waters ahead.

“I Still Believe” managed to weave in faith, miracles, and Christianity without feeling phoned in or cheesy. Apa and Robertson are incredibly believable and share an easy yet intense chemistry. At the end of the film, the real-life Jeremy Camp enters, discussing Melissa’s story and her desire to change lives for the better, even if it is only one person that she impacts. After watching the film, it is safe to say that she succeeded.

You can stream “I Still Believe” on Hulu, or rent it on demand.

Happy Streaming!

~Katie

Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ a Triumphant Adaptation

“Little Women” is a widely-known story about the March sisters, Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen). The sisters are all very different from each other, each one of them having their own talents and flaws. The story centers around the sisters and their growing up. Director Greta Gerwig was not afraid to put her own vision on the famous story, jumping through time in a non-linear fashion, something the previous adaptations did not do. 

One day, the sisters meet Laurie (Timothee Chalamet), and an incredible friendship is born. Laurie is close with the whole March family but has a special bond with Jo. Chalamet’s performance in the scene where Laurie finally professes his love for Jo is breathtaking. 

The true shining star of this film, though, is Florence Pugh. Amy March is well-known for being the least endearing of the March sisters. She is blunt, rash, and selfish. However, Pugh’s performance somehow brings a different shade to Amy than what audiences have seen before. One spectacular moment is her monologue to Laurie concerning how marriage is not about love, but rather, and economic endeavor, really lets Pugh shine.

The whole film feels like what growing up in the March home probably felt like: chaotic, dramatic, heart wrenching, yet warm and inviting at the same time. Gerwig’s adaptation manages to capture that feeling of sisterhood in a way that the previous adaptations had not. Gerwig also sprinkles in some modern touches, like more modern dance moves and a few slang terms here and there. 

Many people were probably expecting another stuffy movie about women pursuing marriage partners in the old days. What they get from Gerwig and company pushes beyond that into an enjoyable, heartbreaking, and fulfilling experience. Not to mention, Gerwig’s tweak on the story’s ending is a fabulous interpretation of the material that none of the previous adaptations proposed. 

You can find “Little Women” on streaming and rental services.

Happy Viewing!

-Katie

‘Spies in Disguise’ Will Surprise You – And Keep the Kids Entertained

Many of us are making the interesting transition to being home with our children 24/7 in light of the current stay-at-home orders. If you’re like me, this has drastically changed what type of content you’re consuming on the daily. I was less than thrilled when my little one saw the “Spies in Disguise” movie pop up on our Vudu platform, which he promptly insisted on watching. 

I agreed to watch the movie, “Spies In Disguise”, where one of the main characters gets transformed into a talking bird for half the film. Needless to say, I went in with very low expectations.

I have to say – I was pleasantly surprised.

“Spies in Disguise” is full of heart, humor, and good messages. Not only that, but it’s got a stacked cast. The movie centers on Walter (Tom Holland), an inventor working for a government agency where Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is the alpha superspy. Walter, an outcast, spends his days watching soap operas and making inventions that are rather…unorthodox. 

Lance goes on a secret mission, where a database with all of the spies’ locations and names is stolen by an evil villain, Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) with a robot hand. During the fight preceding the theft, Lance tries to use one of Walter’s inventions to ward off attackers. Lance throws the gadget into the air, only to find out it is a Kitty Glitter Bomb. When Lance returns from his mission, he promptly fires Walter, citing the fact that Walter’s “weird” invention could’ve gotten him killed. 

Lance is called in by his boss, Joyless (Reba McEntire) to meet with an Internal Affairs investigator, Marcy (Rashida Jones). Marcy has video surveillance that shows that Lance is the one who stole the database, not Killian. Thus begins Lance’s journey on the lam. A series of events brings Lance to enlist Walter’s help, which is where things go awry.

Walter turns Lance into a pigeon. 

Yeah, they almost lost me there. But, trust me, there are plenty of antics to keep you and your kids entertained. Lance and Walter make an unlikely team as they try to track down Killian and retrieve the stolen database, all while running from Marcy and Joyless. 

One of the best parts of this film is that it begins with Walter being shy and afraid of what others think. Throughout the film, though, he learns to embrace his uniqueness. He is sensitive. He loves hugs and glitter bombs. This is not the typical male character in a movie. It was refreshing to see a male character on the screen that teaches young boys that it is okay to like hugs and glitter, to be smart, and to embrace their weirdness. 

So that’s how a movie about a talking pigeon made me squeeze my boy a little tighter and hope that one day when this pandemic craziness is all over and he is a little older, we can sit down and watch this movie again, and he’ll see a little reinforcement that being unique is his superpower.

Happy Streaming!

Katie

Bring Your Tissues To See ‘Just Mercy’

The new film Just Mercy chronicles the true story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) as he fights for wrongly convicted inmate Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) on death row. Jordan delivers a solid performance as Stevenson, who graduates from Harvard and immediately moves to Alabama to provide free legal assistance to death row inmates. When Stevenson meets McMillian and hears his story, Stevenson cannot forget about the case and knows that McMillian is innocent. Stevenson vows to free McMillian and begins the arduous journey of uncovering the truth (and gross corruption) about how McMillian got to death row. With help from his assistant Eva Ansley (Brie Larson), Stevenson fights to exonerate McMillian and others awaiting their fate. 

While Jordan and Foxx give fantastic performances, the true beauty comes from the performances of two supporting actors, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rob Morgan. Nelson’s work as the physically deformed, convicted felon Ralph Meyers was truly stunning, and will no doubt stick with viewers long after the credits roll. Nelson fully transforms as he twitches, stutters, and emotes his way through a challenging character. Somehow, he demands sympathy from the audience for a character who might not deserve it.

Morgan, on the other hand, turns in a breathtaking rendering of his character, Herbert Richardson, a PTSD-stricken war vet fighting for a stay of execution. His last scenes were the most gut-wrenching, yet fascinating, that I’ve seen in a while.

Just Mercy gives viewers a deeper look into how racism seeps into our justice system to this day. I had to remind myself multiple times that the film (and the case itself) didn’t take place in the 50s or during the Civil Rights Movement, but rather from 1987-1993, just two years before I was born. It is easy for some to believe that the days of racism and police corruption are just far-off stories in our history books, but learning about Walter McMillian’s story should remind audiences that the work is far from over. Bryan Stevenson has not forgotten, and he’s stayed hard at work fighting these injustices through his nonprofit organization, The Equal Justice Initiative (or EJI). For more information on EJI, visit https://eji.org/about/

Viewers may not leave Just Mercy feeling overwhelming happiness or joy. But, hopefully, they’ll leave having learned something. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll want to join the fight for a better tomorrow.

~Katie

For The Love of Movies

With the “Writing Challenge” I am up to the one where I am to post 5 movies that I never tire of watching. This is a pretty tough one-we spend a lot of time watching movies during the winter. Our local public library has an AWESOME selection of new releases, and the best part is they are FREE to rent. As with anything, depending who’s turn it is to pick or who will be watching with us(kids), I have a pretty flavorful selection of favorite movies. But through and through I never tire of these 5:

  1. Miracle on 34th Street
  2. Dirty Dancing
  3. Grease
  4. Titanic
  5. Up

I could possible be a romantic based on looking through my choices..lol. Miracle on 34th, Titanic and Up always cause tears. And another favorite of mine is The Notebook.

I sound old and crabby but honestly I just don’t think movies are as good as they use to be. Once in awhile we will rent a new movie and it will be home run but I find it harder and harder to find movies that just really trip my trigger like they use to.

It is one of our favorite past-times at our house, along with board games and camping. Nothing better than snuggling up on the couch with some popcorn and movies!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and took the time to appreciate all the things you have to be thankful for.

Love to All-Kim