The Star: A Real Treat

As far as films based on the Bible go, this one is a keeper. Without going into the realm of religion, The Star keeps it simple. It’s basically a story about faith and friendship. Something anyone can relate to at all times.

The Star stands out because the main characters are animals.  Their role in the story of the “king” provides entertainment while driving home the importance of values. Being true to friends and having faith should be the compass that guides any soul through the complexities of life.

The film remained close to the story of the birth of the King as it has been told to humanity. Elements associated with this event were not relevant. You don’t see anything having to do with Christmas. It’s a film that can be viewed any time of the year.

No matter what “faith” you belong to,  consider The Star a motivational film. Emphasis is on the three Fs: Friends, Family, and Faith. I give it a two thumbs up! ~~LMMolina

 

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Ferdinand: Being True to Oneself

Be true to yourself! If ever there was a classic message, this one is it. What a lovely movie! Based on a children’s book by Munro Leaf,  it tells the story of a flower-loving bull. What I didn’t know was that Disney had already made a movie based on the story in 1938 and had won an academy award.

I’ve never been a fan of bull-fighting. Even though it’s a cultural thing, I’m against the killing of any animal for the sake of sport. The movie brings this out in a heart-warming way. We root for Ferdinand and celebrate his victory and his need to be who he is. We can all relate, right? It’s a children’s movie which any adult can enjoy. I heartily recommend it.~~LMMolina

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

 

If you enjoy watching films that keep you on the edge of your seat, this one’s for you!  Sequels are always kind of risky for a director but in this case, I thought it worked well for Matthew Vaughn.  Fast paced, stunning visual effects, a touch of romance, humor…all the elements to keep the viewer hooked.

As for the characters, Julianne Moore was a hoot in her psychopathic role as the villainous Poppy and Jeff Bridges as Champ was fun to watch!  Gambon was a treat even if his role was short-lived. Thank you, Vaughn for bringing back Colin Firth’s character. It was tastefully done and very believable. I’m looking forward to another adventure with the “Kingsman”! ~~LMMolina

 

Despicable Me 3 & The Lego Ninjaga Movie: It’s All About the Family

Hurricane Maria and its aftermath had kept me a bit busy but now that I have power again, I took some time out to watch two movies that I would recommend for those who enjoy light entertainment: Despicable Me 3 and The Lego Ninjago Movie.

Curious how these two films emphasize family relationships. Siblings, father-son, step-mom and daughters, mom-son… there’s a little bit for everyone in both. I admit that at the beginning of each, I didn’t know where they were headed but as the plot moved on, I sensed a message and learned several valuable lessons. There’s always room for improvement, changes occur and can be embraced, love, forgive and move on are just a few that come to mind. Simple stories using humor to bring across a message to teach us that no matter what has happened in the past, we can benefit from our mistakes and accept family for what they are. Both films are worth watching with the family time and again.

As Master Wu would say, “Find your inner ‘piece.'” (Love the pun!) And after what’s happened to us in the Caribbean, I would add: If the pieces fall, just pick them up and put them together again as best you can!  An excellent message for the New Year 2018, don’t you think? ~~LMMolina

 

Movie Review #20: “War Horse”

As far as war movies go, I enjoyed this heart-warming story of a young man from Devon, England, (Albert) and his love for a horse (Joey) that is taken to war. We see the struggles of this fine animal through a 4-year war that leaves millions dead. What we see through this film is the use of horses to win a war through bitter ends.

The bucolic countryside we see contrast sharply with the scenes of the soldiers in trenches and the bitter fighting.  Some of the battles were epic and awe-inspiring!

When Albert as a wounded young soldier is reunited with Joey, we cannot help but feel moved. This is a story of love, patience, devotion and faithfulness among humans and horses.  It’s a film worth watching with the family. ~~LMMolina

Movie Review #19: “Spirited Away”

I watched this film for the first time with my students. I must admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The animation was unusually creative. I observed a lot of detail in the drawings.

If I were to compare this story to any others I’ve read or heard about, I think of Alice in Wonderland. We have many weird characters in a strange setting and a little girl trying to find her way back to the “normal” world with her family intact.

Several themes stand: hard work in life is necessary, family is important, greed is evil and a person must be true to oneself.  Themes that are traditional as they are enduring.

I have to hand it to the animator Hayao Miyazaki for a visually stunning piece of work! ~~LMMolina

Movie Review #18: “Beauty and the Beast”

I must admit I wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard that a new version of Beauty and the Beast was coming out in March of 2017. When I told my students that we were going to the theater to view the movie, I got mixed reactions, especially from the males! However, we were all pleasantly surprised! Overall, both of my Movies and Films sections enjoyed this latest edition.

This version exceeded my expectations. I thought the film was colorful, moving and had more action than I expected. The singing and acting were a delight!

This film will definitely be added to my video library and be a part of my course for next year. It is one I highly recommend for all ages. ~~LMMolina

Movie Review #17: “Walking with Dinosaurs”

Telepathic dinosaurs? That’s one person’s view. The images and sounds (apart from the talking) I thought were unique.  It was definitely an educational film. I learned facts that I was not familiar with. It’s been classified as a family film but there were some parts that might not be appropriate for little ones. But who knows? Maybe they’re used to seeing scary creatures from the past. ~~LMMolina

Movie Review #16: “Casablanca”

A story of two people who fall in love and are torn apart by a war. Sound familiar? Maybe. But these lovers are a bit different. Our hero Rick is somewhat bitter and cynical but when he sees his former lover, Ilsa, his world changes and he along with it. Ilsa struggles with her emotions as she tries to convince Rick that her feelings towards him have not changed even though she is married. We are kept in suspense throughout the film and are surprised by the turn of events at the end.

Both actors give a superb performance and we understand why this film won best picture for 1943. It will always remain a true classic! ~~LMMolina

Movie Review #15: “Driving Miss Daisy”

driving-miss-daisy

I’ve always been a fan of both Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. Their work is exceptional and in this film their performance is outstanding. I never tire of watching it and as I grow older, I feel more emotionally involved with the characters. I suppose anyone can relate to the issues in some way or another. That’s a good director’s purpose, to get the audience to feel the character’s emotions.  This film was directed by Bruce Beresford who, in my opinion, was able to get these two wonderful actors to outdo themselves. Dan Aykroyd’s performance as Miss Daisy’s son was also top-notch!

With so  many films focusing on action, it’s nice to watch a film in which we get the “action” from just watching the main characters interact with one another through eye-contact and body gestures. Don’t you agree? ~~LMMolina