The Perfect Gift: A DVD Review

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A Kelly’s Filmworks movie

A while ago, when I still had Cable, I watched The Perfect Gift on JCTV. I remember when I first saw it I really liked it, but I never got around to purchasing it. Years later, when trying to think up some good Christian Christmas movies for my upcoming movie night, this was one of the first thoughts of which I was reminded. However, I didn’t completely remember why I had enjoyed watching Jefferson Moore’s The Perfect Gift so I had to re watch it again in order to properly write this review.

The Perfect Gift contains multiple stories, which all revolve around a drifter named Jes. Maxine is a spoiled rotten girl who is forced to make some new adjustments with Dad and his money no longer being in the picture. Maxine’s mother also has a burden forced upon her, but this mom’s trouble involves planning a politically correct celebration called “The Winter Gala”. Tony is an over burdened, Assistant Pastor who is in the process of setting up a Nativity Scene outside of the church; he also wishes the church was doing better. Blaine is an Atheist who is the head of an activist organization which claims to promote “religious freedom”. Jes is a drifter who peacefully arrives into town who looks a lot like Jesus Christ, is mysteriously a great carpenter, has a gift of wisdom, and somehow directly and indirectly affects the lives of all of these people and the rest of the town itself. What sort of lessons will everyone learn, and what makes Christmas… well Christmas?

After watching this I remembered why I LOVED The Perfect Gift. This movie is wonderful for many reasons, and certainly puts many Holiday Fluff films out there to great shame! One of my favorite reasons for enjoying this movie was the deep theological messages contained within the film without the actors hammering it into your skull. I was especially enamored with the way the townspeople respond to Blaine; it was awesome!!! Jefferson Moore is great as Jes, because he is able to cultivate a variety of moods appropriately, and I also liked how he passionately talked about Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and what he said to Blaine. In fact most of the actors did very well; Christine Fougnie wasn’t the best at first but got better with each scene. The story is very clever and quite realistic, and this was even funny at times. I am amazed I didn’t buy this sooner or tell people about this any sooner. I very strongly recommend this movie for your collection; especially if you like Christmas movies.

Movie Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.


Christmas Angel: A DVD Review

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A Pure Flix Film

Lately I’ve been in the Christmas movie mood. In order to plan for a special movie night for my Christian movie group, I’ve been doing some recent research on finding more Christian Christmas movies besides the ones I was aware of thus far. Checking out a lead on Pure Flix’s YouTube Channel, I saw they just came out with the new movie Christmas Angel. The trailer actually looked pretty cute, and since it was also recently released on Netflix I couldn’t wait to test it out before it would arrive at my mailbox.

Christmas Angel is a story about some kids who discover a “magic” house which seems to grant certain wishes after the kids throw rocks at it. More is going on though than meets the eye in this Christmas story. Olivia is a 5th grader who is looking for a great guy to be with her mother, while she is also trying to solve the mystery of the “magic” house. Why is it that some of the kids’ wishes are granted while others are denied? What is the strange blue glow coming from within that “magic” house at night…? Is it really an Angel like Olivia thinks? And what purpose does Dr. Davis have for even owning the rundown building in the first place?

I absolutely loved Christmas Angel. The actress who plays Olivia and the rest of the kids themselves, are very cute and play their roles well. It was also really neat to see the grownup actors apart of the cast, very nicely done I must say to whoever arranged that. I really enjoyed the story itself as well, because it captivates many different moods appropriately while also providing a message that closely relates to the Christmas season.  We need more films like this to be made, and someone ought to get Christmas Angel to be played on national television because a new trend needs to be set with our culture’s “entertainment”. We need to kick out all of the Holiday Fluff which is poisoning the purpose of this time of year. This is definitely a film you can enjoy with the entire family, and I am glad to have added this to my Christian movie collection. I am confident if given the opportunity, those I show this to will also enjoy it as well!

Movie Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

The Heart of Christmas: A DVD Review

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Produced by Image Entertainment

Christmas time is already approaching, I mean you can see it in the TV commercials so it MUST be true! Lol. Anyway, I wrote a blog entry not too long ago about the Three Types of Christmas movies, which I recommend you read when you have the time, and I started thinking about Christmas movies. At one point I even thought: “I should do research and see if there are more Christian Christmas films out there…” One day I went to my local Family Video and saw they had The Heart of Christmas available, and so I had some hopes on this being a really good and hopefully real Christmas film.

The Heart of Christmas, is a story about a busy business mom whose kids and husband don’t feel like they see or spend time with her enough. This mom barely manages to go trick or treat with her kids and when she does, she uncovers a house with Christmas decorations. She asks “why the early decorations?”, and a local hands her a business card and replies: “read this blog and you’ll understand.” So she starts reading the story of a boy named Dax and the painful journey his parents are making for him… The acting was very good from all the cast members, the quality and script were quite original, and the song by Matthew West is awesome! But, what I am about to write might sound heartless to some people and I apologize for that in advance. It is not my intent to be a jerk, however I feel this needs to be said.

The Heart of Christmas is misleading, because this is not a conventional Christmas film like you may imagine when observing the movie’s cover appearance and the title itself. So if you’re hoping for a movie which heavily relates to the Christmas season, and with which you can laugh/enjoy beside the whole family, this isn’t it. No, The Heart of Christmas is a very painful journey through the lives of a group of parents whose child is fighting off cancer.  I get the idea that you’re supposed to see this film and then say to yourself: “Wow… I could have it a whole lot worse. I should be grateful of what I have.” However, I felt it was unnecessary for that to be most of the movie itself, because I can’t imagine this being a film I can watch again and again and again. Basically, no disrespect intended, this movie was designed to be emotional porn meant to make you cry. (I am not misusing that word, look it up.) Though this is a necessary message for some people to hear, because there are a lot of ungrateful people out there and we also have to be realistic in that Christmas isn’t always full of smiles and giggles, it doesn’t really talk about WHY Christmas is even worth celebrating; it just hints Dax “just needs one last happy moment” with his family. I won’t discourage you from watching/purchasing the movie, because there are somethings within the movie I felt are worth seeing especially if you haven’t experienced Cancer for yourself, but I won’t be adding it to my library; I’m sorry if that sounds heartless.

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

p.s. Please don’t misunderstand my words. I take what they produced very seriously and my heart goes out to all children, especially the children involved apart of that kind of situation. I just can’t watch a movie like this again and again and again, because this will emotionally shock you just as certain horror films are designed to emotionally shock you; hence why I called this ’emotional porn.’ Also keep in mind I would rather watch this than many of the Holiday Fluff films being currently released like Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special.

‘Twas the Night Before Easter: A VeggieTales DVD review

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With the Resurrection Day season approaching I wanted to see if I could find some films which fit the actual reason for the season. When I heard of the recently released film ‘Twas the Night Before Easter,  remembering how I enjoyed watching Christmas themed films like It’s a Meaningful Life, and since they were nice enough to put it on Netflix (I know I’ve been watching Netflix more lately lol) I knew I had to watch this movie for myself to see if it would be a film I’d show to my future children. Although this wasn’t bad, I was expecting a little more out of this presentation…

‘Twas the Night Before Easter is a story about a dissatisfied reporter named Marlee Meade, who comes across a news story regarding a failing theater. On a passionate whim, she decides to quit her job in the hope of putting on a successful play and revive the Crisper County Theater. Marlee, her assistant, and the theater owner write and organize a play called “Up with Bunnies!” and desire for it to be a wondrously amazing performance. Miss Meade desires to enlist the famous singer Cassie Casaba, played by Melinda Doolittle, in order to attract more people to their play, but Cassie’s already scheduled to sing at an Easter Sunday sunrise service. Maybe I was expecting too much, but my first impression was different than the movie’s actual direction.

I thought ‘Twas the Night Before Easter would be similar to Saint Nicholas where the VeggieTales cast would correct certain misconceptions about Easter. Maybe they did that focus for their An Easter Carol movie, (<–movie review as of 4-14-11) but I have yet to see that film so I don’t know; I plan to watch/review it next week. I felt for the most part they wrote a good story, but the scriptural passage they tried to apply I felt wasn’t applied the best. The scriptural passage they used was Mark 10:45 which is a good passage to remember, but perhaps maybe because they used that verse they should have changed the story a little bit where Cassie willingly performs for the play after overhearing the conversation between Miss. Meade and the Pastor instead… Although they did talk about Jesus and I liked what they had to say, I felt they could have talked about Christ more considering his death and resurrection are the whole point of celebrating this special Holiday. I also wished they would have eventually condemned the “Up With Bunnies!” play by saying ‘bunnies are not what Easter is all about’, because of their condemnation of the Bunny song in Rack, Shack, and Benny. Other than those concerns, I thought their parodies and jokes, including one involving American Idol, were pretty funny. I also liked the silly song The Hopperena by the French Peas lol. Although overall I felt this movie could have been better, I have no doubt this movie was better than unbiblical alternatives like Russell Brand’s Hop.

TCP Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Saint Nicholas: A VeggieTales DVD review

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Veggie Tales

As odd as this might sound for some, I didn’t grow up watching any of the Veggie Tale movies. The first Veggie Tale movie I remember watching was back when I was almost done with High School. I was at a youth group meeting at church and the Youth Director said “we’re going to watch____. It’s from Veggie Tales.” Everyone was either excited or at least knew of Veggie Tales, but not me lol. When I admitted it was my first time watching,  people were a bit surprised. “You never heard of Veggie Tales? (insert positive or negative remark) ” Yeah so long story short ever since then I’ve enjoyed watching them occasionally especially Larry’s songs; anyway enough about me.

So I saw Saint Nicholas recently and I meant to write this review before 2010 ended, but I was a bit preoccupied. A lot of things are talked about during the Christmas season like Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer, Tim Allen, bad weather, sledding, being ‘a good person’, presents, decorations, food, family, etc but in all that talk there isn’t a lot of mention of the birthday boy. Put it this way, if you want to watch a film about the cliché Santa Claus with the big red suit who says “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and is adored by companies like Macy’s, Kay Jewelers, and Coca Cola then you might not like this movie because Veggie Tales talks about the real Saint Nick story; one who is more historically accurate.

I respect the boldness Big Idea (creators of Veggie Tales) took by producing this film considering there are many parents out there, some of them Christians, who tell their kids about the fake/commercialized Santa Claus. I loved watching this movie, because it has a lot of good humor in it especially the silly song Donuts for Benny; my sides hurt from laughter when hearing that one. I also loved how Bob the Tomato corrected false assumptions Larry the Cucumber would bring up about Saint Nick and how Bob told the story kids ought to actually be hearing in an informative, creative, and an entertainingly educational way. Personally, whenever God blesses me with the privilege of becoming a father, I don’t feel it would be right to tell my kids about the fake Santa. I would prefer for my kids to know the truth that Saint Nick gave presents to kids during the time of the Roman Empire because of the merit-less gift Jesus gave each of us…

TCP Movie Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.