Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yo Momma so Mormon: A Discussion



The Situation: 
  So I have gotten a little bit of backlash from a meme photo we re-posted on our website.  The source image is an old timey 19th century era photo of two women. The comment says above "Yo Momma so Mormon..." And below is said "She Thinks Joining the Tea Party is Against the Word of Wisdom."

   Now I am a firm believer in the John Bytheway principle that you can make fun of the culture, but not that doctrine. Even though the photo has gotten 42 "Likes" on the original post and another 40 on the re-post. It also had 23 "Shares" and several positive comments, but there was a vocal minority of reader who took offense to the photo. I thought it would be good for us to discuss this issue openly.

Why I Find This Funny:

   When I was in middle school "Yo Momma Jokes" were at their height of popularity. The sophomoric jests all begin with the phrase; Yo Momma so fat, stupid, poor, etc.  We would riff back and forth, but we never meant disrespect the other kids mom. Heck we had usually never even met them. It was more about who was the most creative, or who stayed up past Saturday Night Live to watch Showtime at the Apollo on Saturday nights. So the Yo Momma really brought me back to those times.    When I first heard the word Tea Party my first thought was the Word of Wisdom. It's just part of the connotation that word carries for me.  That is the source of the comedic punchline.  The idea of the Mormon who is so zealous in their observance they lose sight of the spirit of the law.  

What People are Saying:   
   Some people have gotten really offended by this.  Once person even made a formal Facebook complaint and has urged others to do that same.  I am choosing to withhold names, but all these comments are publicly visible on our Facebook Page.

"This sort of "stuff" offends me. Some will say it is tongue in cheek..I disagree..it is sending a mixed message..LDS women do not wear these old hair dos or dress styles, we are not frumpy and uninformed..
I find your innuendo out of touch, invasive and insulting."

"It's offensive, mean and hurtful to those of us who are LDS (and TEA party activists too!) and completely go against what the TEA party values :("

Why I Think People Are Overreacting:
   I know that the Tea Party get it's name from the Boston Tea Party, and not the social gatherings created from the imaginations of little girls.  Drinking tea is not one of the tenants of the organization and if anything this, should be boycotted by the organization as symbolism.  

   I was curious if the author of the first comment would be as offended if the photo was of just a bunch of modern day women.  I am pretty sure no one thinks people still dress up like the Gibson Girl.  I know I would be just fine if someone made a meme that referred to Mormon men and used an image of a Pioneer.  It is part of my heritage and I embrace it. 
And is there anything wrong with being "So Mormon?"  My children's Momma is so Mormon, she make sure they always wear their Sunday best to church and the gospel is taught in the home.  That is why I married her.

   I also really don't understand why this would go against Tea Party values.  I really like the Tea Party.  I don't agree with everything, but I am a strong conservative and find common ground in many aspects of the movement.  The common Mormon person doesn't really think the Tea Party violates the Word of Wisdom.  

What do you think?     
   Let us know your thoughts.  Should I take the photo down?  Is it offensive to Tea Partiers, Women, and Mormons.  Let us know in the Facebook Comment section and keep the conversation going.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rise of the Guardians (2012): Mormon Movie Review


Quality: 
 I believe in Santa Claus.  I always have, I always will.  I still get giddy waiting in line for my kids to get their picture taken.  Elf is one of my favorite Christmas Movies.   I can't quite explain it.  My suspension of disbelief is indisputable.  Perhaps it is because growing up the rule was; "if you don't believe, you don't get gifts" or maybe it is just because of everything he represents.  This is one of the major themes of Rise of the Guardians. (now available on Amazon)

   Every holiday is exemplified in some sort of being, St. Patrick's Day has a leprechaun, Valentine's Day has Cupid, and even Groundhog Day has Puxatawny Phil!  The most elite of these immortal beings are chosen to be Guardians. 


 Santa referred to as North (Alec Baldwin) in one scene says, "It is our job to protect the children of the world. For as long as they believe in us, we will guard them with our lives..."  Not only do these Guardians represent their respective holidays, they also represent what they call their "Center."  It is a child like trait that they are tasked preserving in the children of the world.  When an Pitch Black (Jude Law) comes to instill fear in these children a new Guardian is called to support them in the fight.

   It might be my love of Santa, but Baldwin's North was the highlight of the film.  He was Santa with an edge.  His thick Russian accent and dual wielding swords is a bit of a twist on the jolly old Saint Nick we are used to.  It is explained marvelously though when he presents Jack Frost (Chris Pine) with a Santa set of Russian nesting dolls.  Each one representing an aspect of his character.  He is a fierce protector, but is also loving and kind.
   
  The rest of the cast is well rounded and creates a type of synergy where as a whole they become greater than the sum of their parts.  Each Guardian also has a bit of a twist, to them.  The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) is a tough talking Aussie.  The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) is a bit of a ditz and looks like a cross between a fairy and a humming bird.  The Sandman is a mute.  And Jack Frost is a young and irresponsible teenager with a knack for mischief.

 After our outing to Wreck-It Ralph I decided I would leave my oldest home and take my super talented friend Tyler (who does artwork for Yo Gabba Gabba and the Aquabats Super Show) and his son with my 4 year old.  The boys had a great time! There is a lot of humor and the plot is constantly moving and keeps you engaged.  The preview screening we went to was in 3D, which I am not personally a fan of.  Rise of the Guardians was a real exception to the rule.  There were a few rough patches, but that might have just been because we were seated very close to the screen.  The theme of Guardians protecting the innocence of children is such a tender topic.  We even got to experience a bit of that innocence while in line.  The animation was done very well, but some of the characters were a little under done, as well as some of the scenery.  I hope if a sequel is made they can incorporate much more of the legends in the story.  Even if it were just for a big climax scene at the end like in Disney's Hercules.  Deamworks isn't Pixar yet, but they are hot on their heels.

Content:
 Rise of the Guardians is rated PG and is appropriate for all audiences.  Some scenes may be a bit scary for younger children, but facing and overcoming those fears is a major theme of the movie.  Although I love Santa's style, I was a little disappointed in his forearm tattoos of "Naughty" and "Nice."  They are never mentions or given attention to, but they are visible.  There isn't much mention of the religious meanings behind the holidays of Christmas and Easter, but for a children's movie I don't really expect it.  But each one of the Guardian's "Centers" can easily be denoted as a Christlike attribute as well.

If you have small children this will be a great film for Thanksgiving weekend.  If you do not, you will likely still enjoy it and it is sure to put you in the Holiday Mood. It is in theatres now and there are a few methods you can use to see it free, or pretty cheap!


This post is sponsored by Amazon.com. If want to add a great family friendly movie to your DVD library, get your copy at Amazon today! If you already have it; here are some other ways you can help support us and keep the reviews coming!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012): Mormon Movie Reviews


I thought it would be fun to have my wife Kristie write our review for Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 (now available at Amazon) since she will be seeing it much sooner with all her girlfriends than I will with all my buddies.

Quality: 
Twilight Themed Snacks
 "Let me start with saying I love the Twilight book series.  I swoon for books with a love story. My girlfriends and I were excited to hear there would be a movie for Twilight. We arranged a pre-party complete with décor and yummy themed treats. T-shirts were made. It was a blast despite the low budget and cheesiness. I love a good girl’s nights. By the third movie we decided to skip the party, but we were still going to the midnight showings. This year my dear girlfriend suggested we see it Friday while our kids were at school. It worked out perfectly. I was glad I was able to see the movie with four other ladies that I love while my kids were in school. And Mr. Media Reviews was nice to watch the baby and pick up our preschooler." (I'm a good husband like that.)

   The Mormon Movie Guy did a post dedicated to Twilight Parties that is a good read.

Me and my little Sister at our
New Moon Party
   "Breaking Dawn part 2 begins when Bella Cullen becomes a vampire. After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi (the vampire governing body)."


   "Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson did a pretty good job. Way better than the first Twilight film. Taylor Lautner was great too. I think he only took off his shirt once, which was fine with me. I think this might be my favorite movie in the saga, with Eclipse as a second. Breaking Dawn- Part 1 was kind of choppy. I suppose they had a lot to cover. The second part flowed much better. There were some changes from the book, but I know they try to make everything fit. It was interesting to see the vampires portrayed on screen. As you read the book you have vision on how they will look. The actor who played Garrett, Lee Pace, was probably my favorite. I really liked his character in the book and Pace did a great job."   

   "I think overall I would give it four stars. It was better than I expected. It was a nice ending to a great book series. They added a little twist to the end which I really liked. It was pretty clever. And at the end they did a little review of the characters from all the books. It was fun to remember the story and the experiences I have had watching it…"


Content:
   "As for the content I would be careful about taking teenagers. I am kind of conservative like that. For those of you who might not have read the book or seen the first part of Breaking Dawn, Bella and Edward, both immortal now, enjoy a blissful marriage relationship. It is tastefully done. But I think I could have been a shorter scene. Although I think it good for girls to know sex is wonderful and an important part of marriage, I would still like to limit the exposure to it. But I think seeing them kiss and lay down on the bed and fading away would still give you the idea that they were going to be intimate. There is nothing to worry about the language.  In order to protect Edward and Bella's child, there is some fighting that occurs, but it very mild.  Personally I don’t think my Elders Quorum President (why that makes sensewould want to see this movie, but I know his wife will, and she might just drag him along ;)"  

   "Overall the quality of the movie was great. If you have teenagers (who haven’t already seen the midnight showing) I would watch it first and then make your decision. Husbands might like it too! In fact I think Mr. Media Reviews will enjoy it."


   "Also as a side note the Mormon Movie Guy gave his professional diagnosis for each of the main characters.  He explains each of their mental disorders. It's a pretty fun read. "

This post is sponsored by Amazon.com. If want to add this movie to your DVD library, get your copy at Amazon today! If you already have it; here are some other ways you can help support us and keep the reviews coming!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Skyfall (2012): Mormon Movie Review



Quality:
   As of 7 days ago I had never seen a James Bond movie.  I am a major completest and just wasn't sure just where to start when it come to diving into the 007 franchise.  With a current count of 23 films I just wasn't ready to make the 50 and change hour commitment.  Then I learned that the Daniel Craig films were a reboot of the franchise I found my perfect entry point!

   I spent the weekend watching Casio Royale (available now on Amazon & iTunes) and Quantum of Solace (also on Amazon and iTunes).  I really liked Casino Royale (5 Stars) but Quantum of Solace (4 Stars) seemed a bit like "matter unorganized."  The great thing is, that while those films had a linked story line, Skyfall is a completely detached story line.  It helps to watch the previous films, it isn't requisite. 

   Bond's (Daniel Craig) mission is to keep a computer drive that has a list of British agents from being used against them. He chases the man who has it and they have a brawl on top of a train. Eve (Naomie Harris), an agent sent to assist Bond has them in her cross hairs but hesitates to take the shot because she might hit Bond but M (Judi Dench) orders her to take it anyhow.  M's track record for these sort of choices not only make her the subject of a public inquiry, but the target of a once loyal 00-agent.

   Everything I knew about Bond I learned from Austin Powers and from playing Golden Eye on N64.  Craig's Bond went to a more gritty bond, think Nolan's Dark Knight.  Skyfall brings some of those elements back, while still maintaining it's realistic feel.  Q (Ben Wishaw) is reintroduced as MI6's gadget man.  When issuing Bond his new, lack luster tools, there is even a quip about the absence an exploding pen.

Who couldn't get lost in those eyes?
Those crazy psychotic eyes...
   Daniel Craig maintains in true form as Bond.  Always seeming to be in control of the situation, even though all odds say he shouldn't be.  Especially when he is dealing with new Bond villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem).  He is also a return to the Bond pattern of the mad super genius who is both eccentric and deadly.  Bardem commands the screen in every scene he is in.  While Skyfall fails in the attempt to bring more depth to Bond's character, the sinister and crazy nature of Bardem more than makes up for it.  I really wish they gave us more of this back story.

   Skyfall a lot of fun.  The action is intense and creative.  The story line is easy to follow, and seems to take a more linear path.  If you are a Bond fan, or new to the franchise, you will enjoy Skyfall.

Content:
   Skyfall is about a spy with a license to kill, and he uses it often.  Though most deaths take place off screen, many nameless thugs and police officers are killed in firefights.  A small number or known characters have on screen deaths, but to prevent spoilers I will not elaborate.  

   Bond well known to be a lover of the ladies, which always bothered me.  I sometimes pretend he just makes out with them all to soften my criticism, but there is a scene on implied nudity that might make your Bishop blush.  Also the opening credits maintain the theme of weird psychedelic opening credits that feature silhouettes of the female form.  I never realy picked up that the opening theme is almost like a remix of the Bond orchestrated theme.  Adele's theme Skyfall is great is you are an Adele fan.  

   Although I didn't hear it, someone had said an Eff Bomb was dropped.  There is also a scatter of harsher curses. 





   This is said to be Daniel Craig's last bond film, and the internet seems to be clamoring for Idris Elba.  How do you feel about a Black Bond?  Is it time to expand the role, or should the character remain unchanged.  I remember there being a flurry of complaints about Craig's blonde hair, so it looks like we have come a long way.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Great Movies That Honor our Armed Services


   There are so many great films that pay homage to the men and women that serve in our armed services.  And with days like Veterans' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, a great way to celebrate is to sit down and watch one of these great films.

   I asked you guys what are some of your favorites and I complied a list.  Some of my favorites are Rated R (my thoughts on Rated R movies) so for those I tried to put some content details so you can choose for yourself.  Here are 10 of my favorites, but if you have more to add let us know!


Revolutionary War

   The Patriot (2000)
In 1776 South Carolina, widower and legendary war hero Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) finds himself thrust into the midst of the American Revolutionary War as he helplessly watches his family torn apart by the savage forces of the British Redcoats. Unable to remain silent, he recruits a band of reluctant volunteers, including his idealistic patriot son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), to take up arms against the British. Fighting to protect his family's freedom and his country's independence, Martin discovers the pain of betrayal, the redemption of revenge and the passion of love.

Content Warning: The Patriot is rated R for War Violence.  There is some PG swearing, but otherwise a cleaner R.  

Available at Amazon and iTunes.


Civil War

   Gettysburg 
Three days in the summer of 1863, at a place called Gettysburg. Although it received a theatrical release, this four-hour depiction of the bloody Civil War battle was shot as a made-for-television film. But no taint of cheapness or shortcuts should stick to this magnificent picture (well, except maybe for those phony-looking mustaches). Based on Michael Shaara's book The Killer Angels, this film takes a refreshingly slow, thorough approach to the intricacies of battle. In ordinary circumstances, those intricacies might seem of importance only to fans of military strategy or Civil War enthusiasts, yet in Gettysburg they come across as the very stuff of life, death, and unexpected heroism. If the film has a problem, it's that it climaxes too early: the first long segment, detailing the struggle of a "civilian soldier," Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels), to hold his ground against long odds, is an enthralling piece of moviemaking. Daniels, in a heartbreaking performance, does his best film work. Other cast members include Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott, and Martin Sheen as Robert E. Lee. Richard Jordan, in his final role, gives a powerhouse performance as Confederate general Lewis A. Armistead. 

Available at Amazon and iTunes.


World War I

   The Lost Battalion (2001)
There are not a lot of great World War I movies about Americans, but how could you say no to fellow Mormon Ricky Schroder?  The Lost Battalion is the true World War I story of an American unit that was surrounded by German troops and pounded mercilessly for days (at times even by its own artillery) is vividly portrayed in this made-for-television film starring Rick Schroder. Playing a patrician New York City lawyer commissioned a major and sent into combat, Schroder commands a battalion composed of New York wiseacres as well as so-called "apple knockers" from the West. The plot is straightforward (and will be familiar to those who know World War I history), but the film rises above what could have been a clichéd telling of the story of Major Whittlesey and his heroic men. The action sequences, shot tightly with hand-held cameras, owe a debt to Saving Private Ryan, and the surreal horror of World War I, in which armies killed with machine guns yet communicated by carrier pigeon, is conveyed very well.

Available at Amazon.


World War II

   Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed (2012)
On August 15, 1944 the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team (PRCT) jumped over the south of France. Their mission was to support and protect the Allied Troops marching to Berlin. Landing in enemy territory, they fell under immediate attack. In their effort to complete the mission and rendez-vous with their unit, three isolated paratroopers come across a group of French resistants in desperate need. They decide to help liberate some of the captive Partisans. Doing so they risk their lives in an effort to live the AIRBORNE CREED.  You can red our full review here, but some of the great themes of forgiveness and sacrifice really are well displayed. 

Available at Amazon.


   Band of Brothers (2001)
My friend suggested The Pacific, but I really didn't care for it. But because I do care for my friend, I am going to plug that they are trying to adopt.  They have a sweet story that will uplift and bless you to learn more about.  She did remind me how much I loved Band of Brother, which was made by the same studio.  Technically is a miniseries, Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers' journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. The best part of each episode is the end where the actual veterans in the episode give their feelings of their experience.  They are so humble and have such reverence for their brothers in arms.  

Content Warning: Band of Brothers is rated TV-MA and has profanity laced throughout.  The violence if very intense. There is also about 15 seconds of female nudity in episode 9.

Available at Amazon and iTunes.




   To Hell and Back (1955)
True-life account of the military career of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in WWII. Native of Texas, he was placed in charge of his many younger siblings on the death of his mother and decided to join the military at the age of 18 to provide for them. His many acts of bravery and heroism during the US military advance through Italy, France and into Germany earn him increasing rank and responsibility as well as the respect of his comrades in arms. Eventually he receives two dozen of the highest medals the US and France can bestow, culminating in the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

Available at Amazon. (Right not it is only $4.99 and includes Wake Island, Battle Hymn, and Gray Lady Down.)

  

   Patton (1970)
"Patton" tells the tale of General George S. Patton, famous tank commander of World War II. The film begins with Patton's career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Europe and the fall of the Third Reich. Side plots also speak of Patton's numerous faults such his temper and tendency toward insubordination, faults that would prevent him from becoming the lead American general in the Normandy Invasion as well as to his being relieved as Occupation Commander of Germany.

Available at Amazon and iTunes.
The Trailer leads off with one of my favorite Patton quotes!



   Saving Private Ryan (1998)
One of my favorite soldier movies.  Opening with the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Miller fight ashore to secure a beachhead. Amidst the fighting, two brothers are killed in action. Earlier in New Guinea, a third brother is KIA. Their mother, Mrs. Ryan, is to receive all three of the grave telegrams on the same day. The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall, is given an opportunity to alleviate some of her grief when he learns of a fourth brother, Private James Ryan, and decides to send out 8 men (Cpt. Miller and select members from 2nd Rangers) to find him and bring him back home to his mother.  


Content Warning: Saving Private Ryan is Rated R and has obscenities throughout.  The violence is very graphic, particularly during the storming of Normandy Beach.

Available at Amazon and iTunes.


Korean War

   Pork Chop Hill (1959)
I didn't even know the Korean War existed until I was in High School.  It was known as the Forgotten War, being sandwiched between World War II and Vietnam.  This gritty, grim Korean war drama presents the grueling ordeal of a platoon charged with taking a hill of no military value during the final days of the war. While diplomats and generals argue over peace negotiations (in an appropriately wordless montage under the opening credits), tough but compassionate Lt. Joe Clemons (Gregory Peck) leads a unit of 135 men up a well-guarded hill while miscommunication--and at times no communication--cuts them off from reinforcements and regimental command. Shot against a bleak, battle-scarred mountain of white dust honeycombed with black trenches, director Lewis Milestone presents the devastating battle as a meaningless sacrifice of hundreds of lives spent in a political game of chicken. Peck leads a terrific cast of young talents and character actors, many of them just starting their respective careers: Rip Torn, Harry Guardino, Martin Landau, Norman Fell, George Peppard, Gavin MacLeod, Bert Remsen, Harry Dean Stanton, plus veteran stalwarts Woody Strode, James Edwards, Robert Blake, and Bob Steele. 

Available at Amazon and iTunes.


Vietnam War

   We Were Soldiers (2002)
There are not many films that pay homage and honor to the brave men who fought in the Vietnam War.  They didn't come home to parades, kisses from nurses, or the love of a grateful nation.  We Were Soldiers give these men the respect the deserve.  In a place soon to be known as The Valley of Death, in a football field-sized clearing called landing zone X-Ray, Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and 400 young troopers from the elite newly formed American 7th "Air" Cavalry, were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers dug into the tunnel warren mountainside. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history and is portrayed here as the signal encounter between the American and North Vietnamese armies. We Were Soldiers Once... And Young is a tribute to the nobility of those men under fire, their common acts of uncommon valor, and their loyalty to and love for one another.

Content Warning: We Were Soldiers is Rated R and has few major obscenities and has violent content.

Available at Amazon (Prime members can stream it for free) and iTunes.  

Operation Enduring Freedom

   Lone Survivor (2014)
Lone-Survivor-ss-18bHere is a late addition to the list. Based on the true autobiographical story of Marcus Luttrell and Seal Team 10 who set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare. As you might be able to tell by the title of the movie, things don't go well.  
   It is a hard thing to find a film based on any conflict after 1943 that paints our armed forces in a positive light. Lone Survivor is one of those films. It does not glorify war or tell the story or immortals who kick butt and chew bubble gum. Instead it is the very real and gritty telling of a group of brothers who were willing to do anything to make sure they made it home.  (Full Review)

Content Warning: The F-word is used so often and freely. There is a lot of war violence; not gratuitous violence, but certainly realistic. There is mild sexual content as a soldier recites a mock creed with some inappropriate references.  

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph (2012): Mormon Movie Review





Quality:
   "I'm gonna Wreck-It!"  The phrase has been echoing around our home (mostly by me) ever since we saw the trailer.  I took my two older boys Garren (7) and Greyson (4) to see Wreck-It Ralph this past weekend. (now available at Amazon)  It was truly a joy.


   Wreck-It Ralph longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix Jr.. Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes... so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives in the arcade they live in featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun, Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan -- win a medal -- but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz, a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade?


   If you were born any time from 1975 to 1990 you are going to love Wreck-It Ralph for pure nostalgia alone.  Ralph attends a regular Bad Guys Anonymous meeting where he learns to cope with his role as the villain in the game.  There are so many popular video game bad guys of my youth in his group; M. Bison and Zangeif from Street Fighter II, Bowser of Super Mario Bros, and Clyde from Pac-Man among others.  

   One of the major themes that is carried through is that of bullying and the effects it has on our self esteem.  Although Ralph plays the role of a Bad Guy in his game, once the arcade closes he is a gentle giant.  But the citizens of his game exclude him from their community and treat him poorly.  At this point in the movie my oldest son Garren really started having a hard time emotionally.  He is pretty sensitive to these sorts of things.  You can learn a little more about why he is so perceptive when it comes to being bullied and feeling eluded here.


   Wreck-It Ralph is smartly written, well acted, and beautifully animated.  The world is truly an original idea where game characters travel through subway like surge protectors.  John C. Riley's Ralph is endearing and lovable.  He surrounded with other great character voices that really fit well.  There are 3 main games the movie takes place in, and each one if stylized slightly different, yet all are amazing and immersive.


Content:
   Wreck-It Ralph is a kids movie and is appropriate for all.  Some scenes might be a little intense for younger kids.  When Ralph goes to the game Hero's Duty it is pretty extreme.  When imitating a soldier in this first person shooter Ralph even comments, "When did video games get so violent? It's scary out here!"  There is also a bit of irreverent humor when Hero's Duty is referred to as Hero's "Doodie."

   Wreck-It Ralph is great fun for the whole family.  It teaches us that to have good friends, we need to be god friends.  It is in theatres now and you can check show times on Fandango.com




This post is sponsored by Amazon.com. If want to add a great family friendly movie to your DVD library, get your copy at Amazon today! If you already have it; here are some other ways you can help support us and keep the reviews coming!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Religious Test (2012): Mormon Movie Reviews


Quality: 
 A few days ago we posted a picture in our Mormon Memes section of our Facebook Page.  It was a fun picture of Mitt Romney saying, "Top of the Mormon to ya!"  The comment we made was, "The only thing that I think is more silly than people who only vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon, is those who won't vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon."  We got a huge number of "Likes" and shares, and even some great comments.  I am not sure if what motivated people was the picture itself, or my comments, but people are certainly interested in Mitt Romney and his Faith

   The Cultural Hall Podcast asked us to review a movie for them about how Mitt Romney's faith effects his campaign for president.  Documentaries are not normal fare for us, but the theme was really intriguing.  The Religious Test is a feature documentary film that explores why roughly 20% of Americans have said they would not support a Mormon (a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) for President of the United States. It attempts to inform viewers about perceptions and misconceptions regarding Mormon faith and culture. The film avoids dogmatic discussions and does not seek to promote any belief system. This independent production is not affiliated with or endorsed by any church or political candidate, party, PAC, or caucus.

   The Religious Test pulls some big names to discuss a range of topics from religious freedom to divisive social issues.  Even Us Senator and former Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman gives a positive view of the role of a candidates faith.  

   The interviewees come from several backgrounds.  Many or not of our faith, or are members who have more liberal views.  They are all very respectful.  I enjoyed the comments from an Evangelical couple who have used this moment to better understand their Mormon neighbors.    

   One the interviewees brings up a great point when discussing a sort of open season when it comes to Mormons in the Media.  He speaks of how horrified people would be if we were to substitute Jew, Black, or Muslim with some of the headlines we see in mainstream media.  In fact Hilary Clinton called the trailer for the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" "disgusting and reprehensible," yet didn't say a word when she saw The Book of Mormon musical on Broadway.

   Another interviewee explains that if you want to find a good taste of anti Mormon sentiment, find any major news
source that has posted a mildly complementary story.  You will find an explosion of views that are just awful, and not fit for civilized company.  I read a recent CNN article about the change in the missionary age.  Just about every comment is disparaging about the Church.

   The narrative of the documentary is a little hard to follow.  Although the film is separated into themed segments, there seems to be a lack of direction as there is not a narrator guiding us through the story.  

   The final segment of the film really gives a great perspective on the result of the gallop poll.  We should not see the results as 20% of Americans would not vote for a Mormon President, but that 80% of Americans would!

Content:
   The content of the Religious Test is completely safe for all audiences.  The interviewees are respectful to our views, even though some might not agree with them.







Mormon Media Reviews gives honest and frank perspective on movies, music, shows, and other entertainment from an LDS perspective. Ratings are given based on the Quality of the media and the appropriateness of the Content.  If you would like to read more of their reviews you can read them here at The Cultural Hall or at www.MormonMediaReviews.com.  



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