YUK!
Okay, could be better
Good
Excellent!

New As Of 1/17/2000.....

The Messenger, The Green Mile, Smoke Signals, Sleepy Hollow, End of Days, Dogma, and Joan of Ar: TV Miniseries.

The Messenger (PG-13)
Six months has been my waiting period to eagerly view The Messenger. I was so excited to finally see a recent feature film created around Joan of Arc. I was even more excited to here that cast members included John Malkovich and Dustin Hoffman (two very fine actors). After several long months of high expectations, I was sorely disappointed in this attempt seen in The Messenger. I feel as if I just wasted six months of my life waiting to see a lie, and one that mocks the Christian faith as well.

Firstly, The Messenger included unnecessary violence. For example, Joan's sister is murdered and then raped. I have read and seen many documentaries about Joan of Arc and never heard of any rape-taking place, which leads me to believe that this did not happen. The movie also has war-related violence, but that is understandable as war is indeed violent and gruesome. There are also some odd visions of Joan that include winds blowing as packs of wolves. Don't ask me to explain that vision, though. I'm still trying to figure out the significance of it.

Not once is Joan of Arc shown as being visited by specific saints, nor does The Messenger concentrate on Joan's strong faith in Christ. Some other offensive language includes an army member using profanity, including the off-color "f" exclamation. Joan is also referred to as a "b*tch" several times.

She is portrayed as a psychotic nut case, instead of the young woman of God that she was. In many scenes she looks and acts as if she should be in a mental institution. History says that when Joan was burned, she didn't move at all. It was as if she didn't feel the fire. Right before she died, she yelled out the name of Jesus. At that time, one of her executioners states "My God, we just killed a saint." Sadly, all of this was conveniently ignored.

Confusion reigns during much of the film. Dustin Hoffman's character makes it hard to distinguish whether he is an angel of the Lord of Satan himself. Joan of Arc appears in one scene as a woman of God, and in the next as a mental patient. Further, the acting was terrible. Why was Milla Jovovich chosen to portray Joan? She simply failed. Joan Malcovich and Dustin Hoffman give semi-decent performances, but their characters are so unbelievable that one could care less about their acting ability.

As a Christian who was raised as a Catholic, I was highly offended. The Messenger is nothing but a pack of lies. I am just pleased that I did not take any of my non-Christian friends along on this one. They may be left with the impression that Joan is a pawn of Satan rather than of God. Of much higher recommendation would be the Joan of Arc TV miniseries, now available on video.

The Green Mile (R) 1/2
It is no accident that condemned prisoner John Coffey's (Michael Clarke Duncan) initials are the same as our Savior. Coffey is a gentle giant who is able to heal by placing his hands on the afflicted. After prison guard Paul Edgecombe (Tom Hanks) is cured of an infection, he slowly comes to believe that Coffey is innocent. However, it is 1935, they are in the deep south of the United States, and Coffey, an African-American, has not, and will not get, a fair trial. Despite the obstacles, the men develop a friendship that transcends Death Row

The supernatural elements of the story enhance their relationship, but does not overpower the plot. It actually enhances the themes of resilience, repentance and faith.

The lead actors are great. Hanks plays Edgecombe as a decent, humane man, who does not relish being an executioner of men, but has a duty to his job. Duncan does well in his part of a child-like man, bewildered by his dire circumstances. Doug Hutchinson (better known as the monster Toombs from a couple of famous "X-Files" episodes) is good as a sadistic guard. Bonnie Hunt, known for comedic roles, is solid as Edgecombe's supportive wife. Many of the actors shine in smaller roles as well.

There are a couple of scenes of implied sex between Edgecombe and his wife. Several characters use foul language and racial slurs. The violence level is above average. Electric chair executions are shown; one in particular is very graphic. Otherwise, this movie is nicely put together and a powerful story. This is recommended strictly for adults.

Smoke Signals (PG-13)
Once in a great while, a humble movie with something on its mind will squeeze its way through the Hollywood bottleneck and receive the national attention it deserves. The American Indian film Smoke Signals is sure to be the film that rises above its own expectations to make a significant impact on cinematic culture.

Smoke Signals enters into national distribution on the strength of two Sundance prizes, including the Audience Award. It is conspicuous in that it is the first film to be written, directed, performed, and produced entirely by American Indians. As such, it is a fresh cinematic voice and a rare peek into the only indigenous people in the United States. Sherman Alexie's screenplay is two parts formulaic plot and one part inspired character study. The story is basic: two lifelong friends hit the road and find themselves dealing with personal ghosts. The characterization, however, is genuine, endearing, and humorous. Victor, played by Adam Beach, is a stoic, angry type who resents his father for abandoning the family. Needing a ride to Phoenix to recover his father's ashes, Victor is forced to ask for help from Thomas (Evan Adams), an animated and overbearing loner. As the buddies journey, writer Alexie and director Chris Eyre unfold multiple dimensions of Victor and Thomas' characters, engaging the viewer with seamless flashbacks, subtly choreographed drama, and wry, poignant dialougue.

Viewers should be warned that Smoke Signals is an unerring and disconcertingly honest look at American Indian domesticity. An unambiguous camera places the viewer right at the edge of scenes of family violence motivated by heavy doses of alcohol. Nothing is gratuitious, however, and the movie continually endorses the winds of change and freedom which have been beckoning American Indians for centuries. Smoke Signals should be viewed with an eye toward cultural exposure, but its thematic content is distinctly universal. However, if you're strong in your Christian beliefs, you should be able to hear or witness other religious viewpoints without being easily offended.

Don't ask me why this movie is even rated PG-13. There is very little foul language (you'd probably hear worst stuff in most PG rated movies), there is absolutely no nudity, sex, or sexual innuendos whatsoever, and the violence (mostly on the abusive father's part) is minimal. I personally think this should have received a PG rating.

Sleepy Hollow (R)
I was a bit leery at first when going to see Sleepy Hollow. Many questions came to mind, considering that the film is not the same as the Washington Irving story and it does have an "R" rating. I wondered, "has this been turned into another graphic horror movie? -- Has Hollywood once again taken a classic and turned it into a piece of trash? -- Is it just going to be lots of gore and violence?" After all, Hollywood seems more interested in making a buck then in telling a compelling story. I found my fears were unfounded. Sleepy Hollow is an interesting and fun story, though quirky at times.

Unlike the animated version, the character of Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is a New York City constable, dispatched to the upstate village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a string of murders where all the victims have been beheaded. When he arrives in Sleepy Hollow, Crane hears the story of a Revolutionary War mercenary who beheaded American soldiers until he himself was beheaded. Now, the locals of the town believe that the horseman rides through the night, cutting off people's heads to replace his own.

This film does have its moments of gore. The trailer/commercial states, "heads will roll," and roll they do. In fact, most of the gory scenes are when the headless horseman is chopping the heads off of his victims. These scenes can be pretty gruesome and bloody at times. Another part of the film that some Christians may object to are scenes of witchcraft and spells, as well as the pastor of the local church being an adulterer. One sex scene is also included, though it may be considered mild by today's "R" rating standards There is also a scene in which Crane tells of his Bible-thumping father killing his mother and then using the Bible as an excuse for the murder. Crane then states "I was 7 when I lost my faith." However, the church is shown as a refuge in which one can be safe from the feared horseman. I personally was not offended at any of these scenes because I believe that it added to the story. It was also refreshing to sit through an entire movie and not hear any obscenities, especially the "f" word or God's name being used in vain.

Tim Burton is an oddball when it comes to making movies. They're quirky and silly, but they're also serious when they need to be. And that's what Sleepy Hollow is. It has its moments of silliness, and its moments of seriousness, and Johnny Depp is the perfect actor to play the main character. I was never much of a Depp fan, but seeing that he's also a bit of an oddball, it was as if he didn't even need to act when playing the role of the quirky and strange Ichabod Crane. To my surprise, this film exceeded my expectations. It is not for the weak of stomach, however, nor those who are easily offended.

End of Days (R)
Ephesians 6:11-12 gives the warning to "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Without even realizing it, suicidal skeptic Arnold Schwarzenegger sets out to fight the evil one head-on in End of Days. Throughout the story, he resorts to a plethora of guns and firepower. He just didn't understand that spiritual warfare cannot be fought with guns. Not until the conclusion, when Arnold comes face to face with the knowledge that, without God he is useless, is he able to effectively battle Satan. In this I find redemption in End of Days, and Biblical truth, though one will find a theologically flawed plot, profanity, a heavy sex scene and other offensive materials.

Some call this movie a "theological mess". Yes, they're stretching it, but I don't think End of Days is intended to be biblically accurate. Through various heavenly signs and prophecy, the Catholic church catches on that the chosen one of Satan has been born and, through papal orders, sends out representatives into the major cities of the world to try to find this girl and protect her. Of course, there are those in the church that believe only the death of this unknown woman can stop the end of days. And so we are introduced to a special group of assassin priests whose only job is to find and destroy Christine (Robin Tunney).

Thus lies the conflict: Satan (shown as a Wall Street tycoon character played by Gabriel Byrne) is trying to impregnate Robin in the final hour of 1999 or he loses his chance (again bad theology), the Catholic church is split as it works to both protect and kill Christine, and Arnold is caught in the middle trying in futility to blow the brains out of Satan to protect Christine while struggling to find meaning in life.

End of Days accurately shows Satan as limited in power and knowledge, full of hatred for both his followers and enemies, evil to the core, yet entirely cunning -- a master of temptation and deception. An excellent scene occurs in Arnold's apartment with Satan, as he tempts Arnold with the offer of a restored family, and encourages him to blame God for allowing the murder of his wife and daughter to happen. This is another point where the film comes through with truth of Satan and his schemes.

I While End of Days raises many open doors for a conversation that may lead someone to the truth, it is marred with a heavy sex scene, profanity, and theological problems. Discernment may lead you away from this film, despite the pro-God, anti-Satan message. Be warned of the problems in content, but be aware of some of the more positive aspects of this film.

Dogma (R)
The premise of the movie involves two angels, played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Damon's character used to be the angel of death but his friend convinced him to quit, thus going against God. Their punishment? Banishment to Wisconsin. They take human form, although still have many angelic qualities, such as retractable wings. All they want is to get back to heaven, and they think they've found a loophole to permit it... and that's the movie. If they succeeded in such an endeavor, it would prove God wrong, which would prove reality to be non-reality... and everything ceases to exist! So a group of misfits works to prevent this from happening, including two misguided "prophets," the thirteenth apostle (Chris Rock), a human innocent and others.

When a movie starts with a disclaimer that basically says, "Lighten up, God has a sense of humor," you know you're in for a ride. And many Christians would take offense to the very strong language (heavy use of the "F" word and about every other word you can probably think of) in Dogma. Although sex is referred to many times, and one character is clearly obsessed with it, it's hardly a focus of the movie which goes much deeper into theology. Also, there is quite a bit of gore and violence in the movie. This is definitely not for kids.

Instead of finding the movie offensive, I looked at it as one person's view of Christianity. A lot of the subjects brought up in the movie are actually questions that many Christians (myself included) have had in the past. The only thing that got to me was the script itself. The movie was just too weird for my liking. It could have been done much better.

Bottom line: If you are strong in your faith and don't have a real problem with the profanity, crude references and violence, then you may be able to handle this film and its contents. However, most Christians should probably stay away for those reasons. But if you do see it, let it question your faith and make you think. If anything, it did make me question a lot about my personal views and convitions and now, I hold stronger to those views then ever before. So perhaps something good did come from seeing this film.

Joan of Arc: TV Miniseries (PG)
First, allow me to say that this is the best Joan of Arc movie I have ever seen. The acting in Joan of Arc is exceptional, especially for a made-for-TV movie. Sobieski is radiant in the title role, and the supporting cast is uniformly outstanding as well, with the possible exception of an English nobleman who comes across as a caricature. The violence is brutal but not overly graphic, and there isn't any offensive language to my knowledge.

Most importantly, though, this film demonstrates a deep respect for the Christian faith. Even Peter O'Toole, as the bishop who plays an instrumental role in Joan's downfall, is not so much a villain as a tragic, jaded figure who recognizes that he is destroying an innocent woman. He sees his actions as necessary to preserve the stability of France. One of the best throwaway lines in the film is delivered by O'Toole to King Charles as he is being sent away to the English, indicting the king for his betrayal of Joan.

Joan herself is portrayed as a passionate, courageous and devout woman who has complete faith in God and in her conviction that He has chosen her to free France. There is no hint of insanity in her demeanor; instead, she shows a remarkable calm even in the midst of battle and at her own execution. Although the film does not directly show us Joan's visions -- and therefore declines to take a position about whether they really came from God -- it clearly leaves the possibility open.

The effect that Joan has on those around her is remarkable. Common people are inspired to acts of courage. A young, cocky soldier grows to admire and ultimately love her. A cynical mercenary, at first hostile to taking orders from a woman, eventually risks everything in an attempt to rescue her. Whatever your personal beliefs about the authenticity of Joan's visions, this film makes a stunning statement about the power of faith and hope. It's a shame that this movie wasn't shown in theaters, because it probably won't get the attention it deserves. If you ever get a chance to see it, don't pass it up. It's possibly the best Christian movie of the decade. The Green Mile (R) 1/2
It is no accident that condemned prisoner John Coffey's (Michael Clarke Duncan) initials are the same as our Savior. Coffey is a gentle giant who is able to heal by placing his hands on the afflicted. After prison guard Paul Edgecombe (Tom Hanks) is cured of an infection, he slowly comes to believe that Coffey is innocent. However, it is 1935, they are in the deep south of the United States, and Coffey, an African-American, has not, and will not get, a fair trial. Despite the obstacles, the men develop a friendship that transcends Death Row

The supernatural elements of the story enhance their relationship, but does not overpower the plot. It actually enhances the themes of resilience, repentance and faith.

The lead actors are great. Hanks plays Edgecombe as a decent, humane man, who does not relish being an executioner of men, but has a duty to his job. Duncan does well in his part of a child-like man, bewildered by his dire circumstances. Doug Hutchinson (better known as the monster Toombs from a couple of famous "X-Files" episodes) is good as a sadistic guard. Bonnie Hunt, known for comedic roles, is solid as Edgecombe's supportive wife. Many of the actors shine in smaller roles as well.

There are a couple of scenes of implied sex between Edgecombe and his wife. Several characters use foul language and racial slurs. The violence level is above average. Electric chair executions are shown; one in particular is very graphic. Otherwise, this movie is nicely put together and a powerful story. This is recommended strictly for adults.

Smoke Signals (PG-13)
Once in a great while, a humble movie with something on its mind will squeeze its way through the Hollywood bottleneck and receive the national attention it deserves. The American Indian film Smoke Signals is sure to be the film that rises above its own expectations to make a significant impact on cinematic culture.

Smoke Signals enters into national distribution on the strength of two Sundance prizes, including the Audience Award. It is conspicuous in that it is the first film to be written, directed, performed, and produced entirely by American Indians. As such, it is a fresh cinematic voice and a rare peek into the only indigenous people in the United States. Sherman Alexie's screenplay is two parts formulaic plot and one part inspired character study. The story is basic: two lifelong friends hit the road and find themselves dealing with personal ghosts. The characterization, however, is genuine, endearing, and humorous. Victor, played by Adam Beach, is a stoic, angry type who resents his father for abandoning the family. Needing a ride to Phoenix to recover his father's ashes, Victor is forced to ask for help from Thomas (Evan Adams), an animated and overbearing loner. As the buddies journey, writer Alexie and director Chris Eyre unfold multiple dimensions of Victor and Thomas' characters, engaging the viewer with seamless flashbacks, subtly choreographed drama, and wry, poignant dialougue.

Viewers should be warned that Smoke Signals is an unerring and disconcertingly honest look at American Indian domesticity. An unambiguous camera places the viewer right at the edge of scenes of family violence motivated by heavy doses of alcohol. Nothing is gratuitious, however, and the movie continually endorses the winds of change and freedom which have been beckoning American Indians for centuries. Smoke Signals should be viewed with an eye toward cultural exposure, but its thematic content is distinctly universal. However, if you're strong in your Christian beliefs, you should be able to hear or witness other religious viewpoints without being easily offended.

Don't ask me why this movie is even rated PG-13. There is very little foul language (you'd probably hear worst stuff in most PG rated movies), there is absolutely no nudity, sex, or sexual innuendos whatsoever, and the violence (mostly on the abusive father's part) is minimal. I personally think this should have received a PG rating.

Sleepy Hollow (R)
I was a bit leery at first when going to see Sleepy Hollow. Many questions came to mind, considering that the film is not the same as the Washington Irving story and it does have an "R" rating. I wondered, "has this been turned into another graphic horror movie? -- Has Hollywood once again taken a classic and turned it into a piece of trash? -- Is it just going to be lots of gore and violence?" After all, Hollywood seems more interested in making a buck then in telling a compelling story. I found my fears were unfounded. Sleepy Hollow is an interesting and fun story, though quirky at times.

Unlike the animated version, the character of Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is a New York City constable, dispatched to the upstate village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a string of murders where all the victims have been beheaded. When he arrives in Sleepy Hollow, Crane hears the story of a Revolutionary War mercenary who beheaded American soldiers until he himself was beheaded. Now, the locals of the town believe that the horseman rides through the night, cutting off people's heads to replace his own.

This film does have its moments of gore. The trailer/commercial states, "heads will roll," and roll they do. In fact, most of the gory scenes are when the headless horseman is chopping the heads off of his victims. These scenes can be pretty gruesome and bloody at times. Another part of the film that some Christians may object to are scenes of witchcraft and spells, as well as the pastor of the local church being an adulterer. One sex scene is also included, though it may be considered mild by today's "R" rating standards There is also a scene in which Crane tells of his Bible-thumping father killing his mother and then using the Bible as an excuse for the murder. Crane then states "I was 7 when I lost my faith." However, the church is shown as a refuge in which one can be safe from the feared horseman. I personally was not offended at any of these scenes because I believe that it added to the story. It was also refreshing to sit through an entire movie and not hear any obscenities, especially the "f" word or God's name being used in vain.

Tim Burton is an oddball when it comes to making movies. They're quirky and silly, but they're also serious when they need to be. And that's what Sleepy Hollow is. It has its moments of silliness, and its moments of seriousness, and Johnny Depp is the perfect actor to play the main character. I was never much of a Depp fan, but seeing that he's also a bit of an oddball, it was as if he didn't even need to act when playing the role of the quirky and strange Ichabod Crane. To my surprise, this film exceeded my expectations. It is not for the weak of stomach, however, nor those who are easily offended.

End of Days (R)
Ephesians 6:11-12 gives the warning to "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Without even realizing it, suicidal skeptic Arnold Schwarzenegger sets out to fight the evil one head-on in End of Days. Throughout the story, he resorts to a plethora of guns and firepower. He just didn't understand that spiritual warfare cannot be fought with guns. Not until the conclusion, when Arnold comes face to face with the knowledge that, without God he is useless, is he able to effectively battle Satan. In this I find redemption in End of Days, and Biblical truth, though one will find a theologically flawed plot, profanity, a heavy sex scene and other offensive materials.

Some call this movie a "theological mess". Yes, they're stretching it, but I don't think End of Days is intended to be biblically accurate. Through various heavenly signs and prophecy, the Catholic church catches on that the chosen one of Satan has been born and, through papal orders, sends out representatives into the major cities of the world to try to find this girl and protect her. Of course, there are those in the church that believe only the death of this unknown woman can stop the end of days. And so we are introduced to a special group of assassin priests whose only job is to find and destroy Christine (Robin Tunney).

Thus lies the conflict: Satan (shown as a Wall Street tycoon character played by Gabriel Byrne) is trying to impregnate Robin in the final hour of 1999 or he loses his chance (again bad theology), the Catholic church is split as it works to both protect and kill Christine, and Arnold is caught in the middle trying in futility to blow the brains out of Satan to protect Christine while struggling to find meaning in life.

End of Days accurately shows Satan as limited in power and knowledge, full of hatred for both his followers and enemies, evil to the core, yet entirely cunning -- a master of temptation and deception. An excellent scene occurs in Arnold's apartment with Satan, as he tempts Arnold with the offer of a restored family, and encourages him to blame God for allowing the murder of his wife and daughter to happen. This is another point where the film comes through with truth of Satan and his schemes.

I While End of Days raises many open doors for a conversation that may lead someone to the truth, it is marred with a heavy sex scene, profanity, and theological problems. Discernment may lead you away from this film, despite the pro-God, anti-Satan message. Be warned of the problems in content, but be aware of some of the more positive aspects of this film.

Dogma (R)
The premise of the movie involves two angels, played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Damon's character used to be the angel of death but his friend convinced him to quit, thus going against God. Their punishment? Banishment to Wisconsin. They take human form, although still have many angelic qualities, such as retractable wings. All they want is to get back to heaven, and they think they've found a loophole to permit it... and that's the movie. If they succeeded in such an endeavor, it would prove God wrong, which would prove reality to be non-reality... and everything ceases to exist! So a group of misfits works to prevent this from happening, including two misguided "prophets," the thirteenth apostle (Chris Rock), a human innocent and others.

When a movie starts with a disclaimer that basically says, "Lighten up, God has a sense of humor," you know you're in for a ride. And many Christians would take offense to the very strong language (heavy use of the "F" word and about every other word you can probably think of) in Dogma. Although sex is referred to many times, and one character is clearly obsessed with it, it's hardly a focus of the movie which goes much deeper into theology. Also, there is quite a bit of gore and violence in the movie. This is definitely not for kids.

Instead of finding the movie offensive, I looked at it as one person's view of Christianity. A lot of the subjects brought up in the movie are actually questions that many Christians (myself included) have had in the past. The only thing that got to me was the script itself. The movie was just too weird for my liking. It could have been done much better.

Bottom line: If you are strong in your faith and don't have a real problem with the profanity, crude references and violence, then you may be able to handle this film and its contents. However, most Christians should probably stay away for those reasons. But if you do see it, let it question your faith and make you think. If anything, it did make me question a lot about my personal views and convitions and now, I hold stronger to those views then ever before. So perhaps something good did come from seeing this film.

Joan of Arc: TV Miniseries (PG)
First, allow me to say that this is the best Joan of Arc movie I have ever seen. The acting in Joan of Arc is exceptional, especially for a made-for-TV movie. Sobieski is radiant in the title role, and the supporting cast is uniformly outstanding as well, with the possible exception of an English nobleman who comes across as a caricature. The violence is brutal but not overly graphic, and there isn't any offensive language to my knowledge.

Most importantly, though, this film demonstrates a deep respect for the Christian faith. Even Peter O'Toole, as the bishop who plays an instrumental role in Joan's downfall, is not so much a villain as a tragic, jaded figure who recognizes that he is destroying an innocent woman. He sees his actions as necessary to preserve the stability of France. One of the best throwaway lines in the film is delivered by O'Toole to King Charles as he is being sent away to the English, indicting the king for his betrayal of Joan.

Joan herself is portrayed as a passionate, courageous and devout woman who has complete faith in God and in her conviction that He has chosen her to free France. There is no hint of insanity in her demeanor; instead, she shows a remarkable calm even in the midst of battle and at her own execution. Although the film does not directly show us Joan's visions -- and therefore declines to take a position about whether they really came from God -- it clearly leaves the possibility open.

The effect that Joan has on those around her is remarkable. Common people are inspired to acts of courage. A young, cocky soldier grows to admire and ultimately love her. A cynical mercenary, at first hostile to taking orders from a woman, eventually risks everything in an attempt to rescue her. Whatever your personal beliefs about the authenticity of Joan's visions, this film makes a stunning statement about the power of faith and hope. It's a shame that this movie wasn't shown in theaters, because it probably won't get the attention it deserves. If you ever get a chance to see it, don't pass it up. It's possibly the best Christian movie of the decade.

The Blair Witch Project (R)
"In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary." "A year later their footage was found."

So begins The Blair Witch Project, a low budget quasi-documentary horror film. The creators of the film (which is fictional) have taken this purportedly found footage and edited it into one of the creepiest, most unnerving films I think I have seen. While most modern horror films rely on over-the-top gore, special effects and cheap "jump" scares, The Blair Witch Project works on almost a purely psychological level. Everything about the movie is so convincingly realistic that it does seem very plausible that the events in this film could have actually taken place. The three main performances in the film are phenomenal. They are utterly convincing as college film students, and they also give their characters a very solid emotional core. Since they also operate all the cameras, the audience is drawn into the film in a very effective way. The concept and execution of the film is brilliant. However, on a warning note, there is a very heavy dose of profanity, which doesn't seem out of place (not worse than anything one would hear in an average college dorm), but makes the film pretty grating on the ears at times. There is really not much else that is offensive about the film; no sex, very little violence, although some implication of the latter is present. While I didn't really find the witch concept offensive, I would add a word of caution that both witches and witchcraft are very real, and there are strong warnings against both in Scripture.

In conclusion, if you are an indie or a horror fan, or a fan of psychological dramas, this film is one of the best I can think of. Just to warn people again, however, that The Blair Witch Project is a seriously unnerving film, and probably not good to take anyone who is easily creeped out.

A Midsummer Nights Dream (PG-13)
The works of the Bard, William Shakespeare, are getting plenty of attention in recent years due to several film releases: Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, 10 Things I Hate About You and now, A Midsummer Night's Dream. And that doesn't even mention several other Shakespeare-based releases. This rendition stars such talented actors and actresses as Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, Calista Flockhart, and Christian Bale.

Titania (Michelle Pfeiffer), the Fairy Queen, has an argument with her husband. To teach her a lesson, he sends his mischievous servant Puck (Stanley Tucci) to put a love potion on her eyes so she'll fall in love with the first thing she sees. Puck also turns a weaver Bottom (Kevin Kline) into a donkey-headed monster for Titania to fall for. The potion is also used on four human lovers who appear confused about who loves whom. A Midsummer Nights Dream is full of funny moments and a picturesquely stunning visual setting. The great thing about this movie is that those who never liked Shakespeare (myself included), will surely enjoy it. The Shakespearean language is done in a way that makes it understandable. Not only that, but it is certainly refreshing to sit through a film uncoarsed by verbal vulgarity.

There is no violence in the film, which was also refreshing to see. The major objection is nudity and sexual content. Sexual intercourse is implied a few times, and there is one sexual scene with Titania and Bottom. There is also a little bit of nudity, but not too graphic. I wouldn't recommend this to very young viewers, but I would recommend it to teens and young adults. In an age where violence, gore, homosexuality, and other anti-Christian themes are flooding movie theaters, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a nice change of pace.

LeChambon
This was my first time watching a subtitled movie and I loved it. Itís based on a true story and is about a village in France during World War II. Hitler is in power and is out to eliminate all of the Jews, but the village of Le Chambon wonít stand for it. Guided by a Christian pastor, the village risks their lives to save 5,000 Jewish children. As the pastor says, ďWe will resist whenever our adversaries demand obedience contrary to the order of the Gospel. We will do so without fear, but also without pride and without hate.Ē This is a definite must see movie!

Joan of Arc 1/2
Starring Ingrid Bergman as the teenager who heard voices from God and paid the ultimate price for following Him, this 1948 movie is good, but not great. Itís got some exciting scenes, but in the end, a lot of it is boring. Personally, Iím looking forward to seeing the upcoming TV movie version of this story. I have a feeling itíll be filled with more action that this one. Itís still an interesting movie to watch. Just donít expect it to be Academy Award winning material, even if it does star Ingrid Bergman.

Patch Adams (PG-13)
Based on a true story, Patch Adams is an EXCELLENT movie about a medical student who went against the rules of the medical world and treated his patients with compasion and humor, not just with medicine. Early on, one of his professors states "we're going to train the humanity out of you and make doctors out of you," but later, as Patch fights to stay in school, he makes one of the best statements in the movie: "When you treat a patient you win or lose, but when you treat a person, you win no matter what the outcome." I learned so much from this movie, which shows you that you can find your purpose anywhere (he found his as a patient in a mental hospital). It also shows you that even though everyone may be against you, you should still follow your dreams and do what's right. I absolutely loved this movie!

Youíve Got Mail (PG)
This is such a cute, funny, and DECENT movie! I only counted about three swear words in it. The movie stars Hanks and Ryan as two booksellers who hate each other in person and yet little do they know that they love each other online. You want so badly for these to people to get together. I thought this was such a great movie, and I liked it so much more then their other film, Sleepless in Seattle. This one moved more quickly and I thought it was funnier. It's definitely a must see holiday movie!

American History X (R) Ĺ
This movies contains a graphic sex scene, a graphic rape scene, graphic violence, and loads of swearing. The "F" word must have been used a thousand times, and you know what? Surprisingly, it didn't offend me at all. It didn't even offend my mother and usually she'll get upset when they use that word even once in a movie. The reason it didn't bother me, is because unlike most films, all of this was needed to get the point across. In the movie, Derek is a skinhead who goes to jail for three years for killing two black men. Before he goes in, he absolutely hates blacks, jews, gays, etc. But when he's released three years later, he's a reformed man, wanting nothing to do with these racists. Walking away means that now, not only do other races mistrust him (everyone in town knows of him and his skinhead buddies), but now he's got hundreds of his ex-friends wanting to kill him for turning on them. He finds out that his younger brother David has gotten involved with these people and he has to do everything in his power to convince his 16 year old brother that this kind of behavior is WRONG. He knows that walking away from this lifestyle and standing up against the skinheads could mean death, but he doesn't care. He'll do anything to protect his family and get his brother back on track. In the end, his brother also reforms, only to be gunned down in the school bathroom by a black teenager who David once stood up to. That was the absolute scariest moment in the movie. One of the last scenes is Derek holding his dead, bloody 16 year old brother in his arms and crying. I think that Derek believes in his heart that had he not gone down that racist path, his brother wouldn't have either and he wouldn't be dead right now. And the last words you hear on the screen are the words of David, talking about how everyone should be treated the same and that violence doesn't solve anything, it only makes things worse. This was a POWERFUL movie. It makes you think and I actually began having compassion on the skinheads, esp in the one scene in which they show Derek and David's late father preaching hate to them. You realize that kids do not learn this overnight. Its taught to them and we must do everything in our power to stop hate and to teach children that we are ALL children of God. Nobody is better then another. All of the things that were mentioned in the beginning are necessary to show how evil and fowl racists really are. After all, I doubt very much that actual skinheads walk around with high morals and using Sesame Street type language. Its a scary and immoral lifestyle and this movies shows that.

Enemy of the State (R)
In this action thriller, Wil Smith is Robert Dean, a labor lawyer who unwillingly (and at first, unknowingly) possesses a piece of video which shows the assination if a US congressman. Throughout the movie Smith has to hide not only from the assisins who are out to get him and the video, but he also has to hide from all kinds of surveillance equipment that they use to track him down. I enjoyed this movie a lot, although at first, I was a bit confused with what was going on. Its definitely not a boring movie and Wil Smith does a superb job (as usual). Its a non stop action packed movie that I highly recommend.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (R)
I loved this movie so much more then the first one. First of all, there's not nearly as much swearing (thank goodness). Even my mom enjoyed it and she usually hates these kinds of movies! In the film., JenniferLove Hewitt plays Julie, who is one of the two only surviving characters from the last film. In this sequel, she goes on a trip to the Bahamas with three friends, one of which won the trip on the radio (or so they think). After they've gone, Julie's boyfriend Ray (the other survivor from part 1), who has stayed behind in the US, finds out that the Fisherman serial killer is still alive, and with Julie out in the Bahams, she has no idea of the kind of danger her and her friends are in for. They wind up in the Bahams during the storm season and wind up being the only tourists on the island, along with some "interesting" people who work there. Before long, the employers are being killed one by one and Julie and her friends end up being the onle one left on the island, with no way off and they come to find out that they never won this trip. It wasn't the radio station who called to tell them they won. Instead, it was a set up to get Julie and her friends alone on a deserted island. This was one of those movies in which you have no idea whats going to happen next. Its one surprise after another, but the biggest surprise comes when they find out that the Fisherman isn't alone. He has someone helping him, who's identity I won't reveal. But when you find out who it is, you'll be in for such a surprise. It also has a surprise ending. I really enjoyed this movie from beginning to end.

The Siege (R)
Denzel Washington plays an FBI agent who's job it is to find some Arab terrorists who have blown up a city bus. But when other places and buildings are blown up in NYC, an army general (played by Bruce Willis) and his troops march into town with machine guns, tanks, and all. Its suspected that the terrorists are hiding in the city so whats the solution according to the army general? Answer.....To go door to door round up every single Arab male in the city and put them in a type of detention camp built especially for them. I really enjoyed this movie, and one great thing is that Denzel Washington doens't do movies that have lots of swearing or any sex scenes in them. The F word is used three times at the end of the movie, but I don't recall any other swearing. It's an action packed, smart, thriller.

The Wizard of Oz (G)
One of the most beloved movies of all time has come back to the big screen. Some movies were made to be seen that way, and this is one of them. Some people may not understand the point of going to see a movie thats both on video and on TV alot, and that really is unfortunate because they'll be missing out on a wonderful experience. Maybe you have to love movies to truly understand and appreciate going to see a movie like this on the big screen, but its something I am so glad that I did! I found myself singing along with all of the songs and you can't help but love Toto! I even started to cry in a few scenes! This is a must see for all ages!

Practical Magic (PG-13) Ĺ
In Practical Magic, Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) are sisters AND witches who have been living with a spell that was cast by an ancestor over 300 years earlier: any man who falls in love and marries an Owens woman is doomed to die. After Sally's husband dies, she takes her two children and goes to live with her two aunts, who are also witches. Gillian is the wild sister who refuses to marry any man, and when her boyfriend Jimmy beats her up, Sally comes to her rescue which leads them to accidentally kill the boyfriend. Not wanting to get arrested, they take him home and cast a spell, bringing him back to life. He winds up being worse then before and they kill him again with a frying pan. Thinking he's dead and gone for good, they bury him in the backyard. Soon, detective Gary Hallet comes to town looking for Jimmy because of some crimes he had committed in another state. The sister's try to cover up what they did, but the detective soons discovers the truth and at the same time he and Sally fall in love. While romance is blooming for Sally and Gary, the spirit of Jimmy takes over Gillians body which leads the women of the town to try a type of "exorcism" on her to save her. Yes, a lot does happen in this film, but I really liked this movie a lot. You can't help but love Sandra Bullock. There's some swearing and a little bit of violence.

Pleasantville (PG-13) 1/2
Pleasantville for me, was a very pleasant (and amusing) experience. In this film, lazy Tobey Maguire is obsessed with a 1950s TV show called Pleasantville which is sort of like Ozzie and Harriet or Leave it to Beaver. Tobey and his rebellious sister, played by Reese Witherspoon, are thrown back in time to the 1950's by Don Knotts. They're taken to Pleasantville, where everyone is happy go lucky, nobody swears or even knows what sex is. Basically, everyone is perfect and no one seems to have any problems in their lives. Tobey and Reese wind up with two "perfect" parents. The father who announces everyday, "Honey I'm home" and the wife who does absolutely nothing but cook and clean while continually smiling and looking perfect with her hair and make up. I loved the visual effects that were used in the film. They were able to combine black n' white with color, and if the 50's were anything like in this film, I'm glad I was born in the 70's. I've never seen so many repressed people in all my life! The entire film was hilarious, although there were about 3 swear words in it that could have been left out. Other then that, it's a very enjoyable film to watch.

Apt Pupil (R)
Based on a novella by Stephen King, Apt Pupil stars Brad Renfro (The Client) as a 16 year old obsessed with the Holocaust. He finds out that there's a Nazi war criminal (Ian McKellen) living in his neighborhood and he's able to blackmail him into telling him all about the atrocities that he committed during the war. Brad is a wonderful young actor and he's also a good blackmailer , esp.when it comes to not only blackmailing the former SS Officer, but also his guidance counselor (Schwimmer) who is tricked when the Nazi passes hmself off as Brad's grandfather to get him out of trouble in school. He eventually finds out the truth and he himself is blackmailed by Brad into keeping his mouth shut. There's a lot of violence towards the end of the film, as well as some fowl language.

Hope Floats (PG-13)
A breathe of fresh air is what this movie is! Sandra Bullock (one of my absolute favorites), plays Birdie, a wife and mother who finds out on a talk show that her best friend is having an affair with her husband (very funny scene by the way). She then picks up and moves back with her mother in Texas. It doesn't take long to find out that the entire small town saw her embarrassment on national television! Soon, Justin Matisse, an old boyfriend who still loves her, shows up. He tries to get her attention, but she can't acceopt the fact that her husband isn't coming back. But eventually, she does start to realize (with Justin's help) that her husband doesn't love her anymore and won't be coming back. And of course, she then falls for Justin. The one thing that I noticed right away is NO sweariong, NO sex scenes, and NO violence which makes me wonder why in the worls this got a PG 13 rating. Hope Floats is a pretty predictable movie. I mean, once Justin shows up, you know that these two are gonna get together, but you can't help but love Sandra Bullock and of course, good looking Harry Connick Jr (and this big, puppy dog eyes)!!!!! I also highly recommend the CD. I hate country music but surprisngly loved the soundtrack. I think everyone will love this movie.

Titanic (PG-13) Ĺ
This is an absolute masterpiece! The special effects are so realistic that its scary. The movie revolves around Rose, a first class girl and Jack, a third class boy. Rose is engaged to Cal, although it seems to be more of a relationship of convience rather then love, at least on her part. Cal may love Rose, but he seems to be more greedy then anything. When Rose attempts suicide, Jack comes to her rescue and the fireworks begin. He shows her true happiness and makes her see that she should chase after her dreams instead of being confined in an unloving marriage. I think she starts to realize that money and fine things really aren't as important and following your heart. The only parts that could have been left on the cutting room floor are the nude scene and the love scene. I think it would have been more romantic had they not jumped into bed together, and that's one reason why I only gave it three and a half stars. Jack and Rose are fictional characters almong non fictional people such as The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Bruce Ismay, and Captain Smith. I hope people will see beyond the love story and realize that this was indeed, a real tragedy. Many real people lost their lives and loved ones on that fateful night. I also hope that you also won't just watch it for Leonardo DiCaprio. While I think he did a superb job, I hate to see people, esp. young people become so upset over the fact that Leo died. If you do cry, I hope its because you realize that there were real men who gave up their lives for their women and don't just cry because they killed off poor Leonardo DiCaprio. The details are exquiste, from the fine china to the staircase, and the sinking of the ship is so realistic that its heart stopping, at least for me. I loved this entire film, from beginning to end.

What Dreams May Come (PG-13)
In this slow and boring movie, Robin Williams plays a husband who has just lost his two children in a car accident. A couple of years later, he is also killed in another accident. He winds up in Heaven and I must say, that I loved the way they portrayed Heaven. Its one of the most stunning and beautiful Heavens that I have seen in a film. Cuba Gooding Jr plays an angel who guides Robin through Heaven. Meanwhile, his wife on earth is so tormented by the death of her children and now her husband that she kills herself. But she doesn't go to Heaven or Hell. Instead, Robin is told that she is in a dark and lonely place where people who can not forgive themselves go. Robin then searches through Heaven and Hell to find his wife. The creators of this picture didn't want to focus on just one religion so throughout the film you see many different religious points of view from forgivness to reincarnation. I found this to be an extremely confusing film. Its one in which you have to analize it from beginning to end. There are a few funny moments in the picture and the acting was good, plus, as I said, the visual effects are stunning, but none of that is enough to save this film. I love Robin Williams, but I couldn't stand this film. I recomment that all you Robin fans go out and rent Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam, or Good Will Hunting instead. Don't waste your money on this film.

Rush Hour (PG-13)
I just got back from seeing this movie and I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot. There were a few swear words that could have been left out (esp. the ones involving the name of God), but other then that, it's an action packed movie. Jackie Chan plays a Hong Kong detective sent to America to help find a kidnapped Chinese girl. Chris Tucker is the LAPD Rookie Cop who's forced to become this guy's partner. There's a lot of humor in this movie as well as a lot of martial arts action, which I enjoyed the most. I also loved watching the credits because the showed outtakes from the movie and you get to see the actors mess up both their lines and their martial arts over and over again. I'm a big fan of Jackie Chan and although this isn't you're average Jackie Chan movie, I thought it was very entertaining.

The Avengers (PG)
My goodness, I have never seen anything this bad in all my life (cross my heart). I don't know what to say about this film except AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL! I saw it the day it came out and even though I had heard that it wasn't released to the critics first because it was supposedly so bad, I thought I'd give it a shot anyway. After all, I figured that if Ralph Fiennes is in it, it can't be that bad! But I was wrong! I have a feeling he was suffering from temporary insanity when he chose to do this film. You know those green Yuk stickers they have for poison bottles? Well, they need one next to the title of this film to warn the victims (oops...I mean people) going in to see it! Yes it is very colorful and I did enjoy looking at their costumes, but the acting was bad, the story was horrible, and basically, the entire film made absolutely no sense. I felt like I had wasted my entire day......for nothing!

Alive (R)
Based on the true story of the 1972 plane crash into the Andes Mountains, Alive is one of the greatest disaster films of all time. When the plane carrying South America's famous rugby team, their families and friends, crashes into the mountains, they have no way out and foods runs out fast. That leaves them with one option and although that option is a bit disgusting, they don't show too much of it which is good. Instead, they concentrate on the friendship between them and how they stuck by one another as their friends slowly died everyday. I also liked how they showed their faith in God and how they trusted in Him to help them. After 72 days on the mountain, there are 16 survivors left and they realize that the only way to be saved is if someone walks out of the mountains and into Chile. The plane crash scene is the most realistic, scary plance crash that I have ever scene in the film and at the end, when the helicopters are coming up over the mountains to their rescue, I needed so much tissue! This is such a wonderful movie about finding courage in the face of unbeatable odds. I loved it!

Psycho (R)
In this Hitchcock classic, Norman Bates is a nervous and strange motel owner who takes care of his very old mother. When Marion Crane stops by the motel with stolen cash, Norman's mother intervenes. Suddenly, Marion's sister, her boyfriend, and an investigator show up to ask some very serious questions. This is such a suspensful film, mostly because it was made at a time in which they weren't allowed to use all kinds of blood and gore, so they had to concentrate on the storyline and the suspense without all of that garbage (something movie makers today could learn from). It's definitely a film that could scare you away from taking showers and the next time you meet a guy who is awfully close to his mother, you might want to be a bit wary! Norman is after all, the poster child for mamma's boys.

Quiz Show (PG-13)
Based on the game show scandal of the 1950's, Ralph Fiennes plays a man who compromises his values in the name of money and fame by becomming a huge game show star. Little does anyone know that he was given the answers in advance by two of the creators of the show. But the truth comes out by an ex champ who is ticked off when the creators drop him for Fiennes. A little slow at times, but Quiz Show is still an interesting and entertaining movie, and you can't help but feel sorry for Fiennes when he realizes what's he's done and comes forward to make things right by admiting his guilt. A definite must see!

Rear Window (PG)
Another wondeful Hitchcock classic. Jimmy Stewart (one of the greatest actors that ever lived) plays L.B., a photographer with a broken leg who's stuck in a wheelchair in his apartment and all he does all day is sit by his window, watching his neighbors across the way. He begins to suspect that one of the neighbors named Thorwald, has killed his wife and he gets his fashion model friend, Lisa Freemont to help him investigate. She relucantly agrees to help him and she ends up going as far as breaking into Thorwald's apartment in which he winds up coming home while she's still there. Meanwhile, L.B. is watching it all from his apartment window. He sees everything from her snooping around to Thorwald walking down the hallway towards his apartment and L.B. can't do anything about it except sit back and watch. This was the very first Hitchcock movie and the very first Jimmy Stewart movie that I ever saw and I immediately became huge fans of them both. It's suspensful and yet they dont show anyone being killed. The murder is implied, but never shown which makes you wonder if anyone was really killed or is L.B. going after an innocent man. You don't find out until the very end. I highly recommend it.

Mrs. Doubtfire (PG)
I absolutely loved this film. Robin Williams plays Daniel Hillard, who is divorced from his ex wife, played by Sally Field. When she needs a housekeeper and puts an ad in the paper, Daniel replies. Only he replies as Mrs Doubtfire, an old British lady. I think this film is one of Robin Williams best movies. I think it's wonderful to see how far one man will go to spend time with his children.

Dead Again (R)
I know that many Christians may find this film objectional, but I enjoyed it a lot. It's a bit confusing, but eventually you catch on. It stars Kenneth Branagh as detective Mike Church, who has been hired to help a woman suffering from amnesia, played by Emma Thompson. This woman is suffering from horrible nightmares and has no idea why. Then, along comes an antiques dealer and hypnotist played by Derek Jacobi. Through hypnosis, he comes to a conclusion: The source of the nightmares may have something to do with a past life. In the past, she may have bee Margret Strauss, a world famous pianst allegedly murdered by her husband Roman in 1948. Now, this film does have a lot of bad language in a couple of scenes, but I enjoyed it a lot because not only is it entertaining, but also suspensful in a good way (in other words, there's not a whole lot of blood and gore like you see in some horror flicks). Obviously, since it's rated R, it's not for young people. But I think the older generation may enjoy it.

School Ties (PG-13)
Another movie that's entertaining and at the same time, makes you think. Brendan Fraser plays David Greene, a kid who gets a scholarship to play football at a Catholic New England prep school. He becomes one of the most popular guy on campus and wins the heart of a beautiful young lady. But then, a so called friend, played by Matt Damon tells everyone his secret......he's Jewish. David then goes from being the most well liked guy to being persecuted and humiliated. He becomes the outcast of the school. But eventually, he coms to the conclusion that there's nothing to be ashamed of in his beliefs and he's determined to make everyone see that he's a human being and should be treated as one. Through all of the ridicule, he continues to stand up for his beliefs and in the end, touches the lives of many. I enjoyed this film so much. There's not a whole lot of bad language, but there are a couple of racial slurs. I don't see anything wrong with young people watching it, esp. if they love Matt Damon, who is now one of the most popular actors on earth!

Pocahontus 2: Journey to the New World (G)
In this Disney sequel, Pocahontus becomes an ambassador of peace and travels with John Rolfe to England, so that she may speak to the King to try to build trust between the English and the Indians. Soon, Ratcliffe pops up again and is planning another attack on the Indians, which Pocahontus must convince the King to stop. Of course, John Smith shows up along the way but if you think the two of them are going to get together, you may be surprised! I found this sequel to be just as lovely as the original and the five new songs are just as charming, esp. the first song, 'Where Do I Go From Here." You can't help but love Disney movies. All ages can watch and enjoy them.

Little Women (PG)
Based on the Louisa May Alcott novel, Little Women tells the story of four sisters as they follow their hopes and their dreams in a time when women had limited rights. Jo, Amy, Beth, and Meg follow their hearts in life and love and they all find both independance and romance. Jo is the spunky and lively sister who dreams iof becomming a writer even after she is turned down by one pulisher because she's a girl; Meg is the older sister who is both conservative and "proper,"; Beth is weak and sickly yet strong and hopeful; and Amy is the romantic one. The rest of the cast includes Marmee, their mother who teaches her girls about inner beauty and strength; Laurie, the sister's friend who is rejected by Jo but accepted by Amy; and Professor Baher who encourages Jo to follow her dreams and eventually wins over her heart. This movie is beautifuly acted, beautifully filmed, and beautifully written. I enjoyed every second of this movie. Winona was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Jo, and in my opinion, she should have won.

Swing Kids (PG-13)
The time is 1939 and the place is Nazi Germany. Swing Music such as Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller has been banned by Hitler. But that doesn't stop the youth from rebelling the Nazi's by meeting at underground dance clubs where they listen and dance to American Swing Music. That's the true part of the story. Now for the fictional part. Peter and Thomas are best friends and when Peter is forced to join th Hitler youth, Thomas joins up as well to keep him company. They believe that they can be Hitler Youth by day and swing kids by night. But slowly Thomas begins to be brainwashed by the Nazi's and that eventually leads to their crippled friend (and someone who doesn't keep silent about his hatred of Hitler) to committ suicide. Peter continues to defy the Nazi's and his friendship with Thomas is threatened by this. They must choose between loyalty to their friendship, or loyalty to the Third Reich. To me, this film is about friendship and standing up for what you believe in.This film has a bit of bad language in it and a lot of violence, but I would still highly recommend it. Not many people saw it in the theater, which is a real shame because it's one of my favorites!