Many Americans may not put much stock into a film that stars former female hip-hop artist Queen Latifah and country music artist Dolly Parton, but Joyful Noise just may surprise those skeptics. Focused on a gospel choir’s effort to win a prominent competition, the film includes very strong Christian morals, poignant analysis of familial relationships, and dazzling Gospel performances, but makes some unfortunate choices regarding sexual relationships that may keep Christian moviegoers away from the box office.
Breaking Dawn, part one of the final installment of the Twilight movie saga, brought in $139.5 million in its major North American box office debut. The film, though essentially just a teen flick, proved satisfactory to its most avid fans — which is about all that can be expected from a series about a girl who chooses to love and wed a vampire.
It is predictable that J. Edgar takes a less than favorable approach to J. Edgar Hoover, founder and director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hollywood never did embrace anti-communist stalwarts. However, this production’s treatment of Hoover is somewhat surprising seeing as it was directed by Clint Eastwood, typically a more conservative-minded presence in Hollywood. J. Edgar is expectedly an entertaining and engaging film, given the impeccable cast and direction, but its somewhat unfair depiction of Hoover undermines its overall quality.
When Janie Jones was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, it was a hit, and it is not too difficult to see why. Focused on a blossoming relationship between a father and his daughter, and comprised of wonderful musical performances, the film is heart-warming, though predictable. However, some of the film’s content may make it unsuitable for younger audiences.
The recently released movie The Big Year — featuring a cast of well-known faces and a number of poignant and also comical scenes — focuses on a group of bird-watchers who allow their pride to interfere with everything that's important in life. With a positive pro-family message and loads of humor, it's a family friendly film for audiences of all ages.
Courageous is one of the few films to hit the big screen this year that's worth writing home about. Exploring the lives of four men who are impacted by tragedy, the movie deals with spirituality and faith, and tells a story that will likely remain with its viewers long after the final credits.
When one considers viewing a movie that explores in depth the difficulties of coping with terminal illness, and depicts the full range of agonizing and grievous emotions, one would not expect the fim to include Seth Rogen, who is better known for his roles in foolish films such as Pineapple Express and Superbad. Yet in 50/50 Rogen proves that Rogen is a multi-faceted performer.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes backtracks a bit, telling the origin story of how a planet that is ruled by apes came to be. Set in present-day San Francisco, the movie focuses on how genetic engineering resulted in the increased intelligence in apes, which ultimately leads to a war over domination. Though the film includes elements of revenge that seem to be validated, it proves to be quite entertaining and very well-written. It is by far the best film of the entire Planet of the Apes franchise.
Those behind the movie The Smurfs performed poorly in their efforts to re-introduce the popular 1980s franchise to a new generation of children. They produced a film that at times is dull and relies on the same potty humor that is growing a tad old, particularly for adult audiences. For those who are feeling a bit nostalgic, the film is likely to jog some fond memories of the beloved children’s cartoon, but this aspect alone is not enough to make a trip to the movie theater worth the cost.
Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer proves to be a pleasant enough family movie about the joys of childhood. The film follows Judy Moody on her adventures as she is determined to make this her best summer yet, and will have moviegoers laughing as they reminisce about their own childhood summer escapades. However, much of the thrills and humor in Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer is oriented for younger audiences, with a limited amount of appealing humor for adults.