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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: January 26, 2017.

Real gold and Fool’s Gold actually look somewhat alike. The major difference is that real gold has soft edges and Fool’s Gold, Pyrite, has hard edges. During the last week of January there are movies in theaters that are like real gold and Fool’s Gold.

Box Office Mojo reports that redemptive and family movies continue at the top of the box office in theaters for the fourth of January.  During the last week of January 2017, movies that are more like real gold are Hidden Figures; The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, and Sully. They are the top picks for redemptive movies this week, along with Queen of Katwe that Fandango reports is still in theaters. The top picks for family movies the last week of January are Sing; Rogue One, A Star Wars Story; and Moana.

There are cautions for a couple of top movies that look family-friendly and redemptive in theaters. These are Patriot’s Day and A Dog’s Purpose. These two movies have some cautionary hard edges.

Hidden Figures, however, is more of a golden choice. It is based on an amazing true story about an outstanding team of African-American women during the American Civil Rights Movement and Space Race of the 1960’s. It is primarily about these brilliant women who provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space mission.

As the United States races against Russia to put a man in space, NASA finds incredible talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Hidden Figures is based on the incredible true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers.”

These women wisely, boldly, and quickly rise in the ranks of NASA, alongside many of history’s greatest minds. They are specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return.

Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), and Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) cross all gender, race, and professional boundaries, as their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly places them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

Hidden Figures has many outstanding elements: amazing true story set in fascinating and sad history; good acting; effective use of humor and romance; character role models (of perseverance, humility, determination, and faith); inspiring Christian church, family, community support, and more.

The three female leads are engaging, captivating, and delightful in their performances.  Hidden Figures features Kevin Costner as Al Harrison, Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell, and other notable actors.

DF-02289_R2_Comp_V2 – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) are three brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Photo Credit: Hopper Stone. Photo Courtesy of EPK.TV

Hidden Figures, which is PG rated, is most appropriate for teens through adults due to its subject matter. Unfortunately, the hard-core administrator, Al Harrison, has one line early in the movie in which he takes our Lord’s name in vain. There are also honest, historic depictions of harsh treatment to African-Americans.

However, the movie focuses on the gracious, strong, and overcoming spirits of the women at NASA and those who support them. This movie is inspirational, redemptive, and hopeful.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone produced by WWE ((World Wrestling Entertainment) is another golden choice. It is an inspirational comedy about faith and forgiveness. In this movie, wrestling star, Shawn Michaels, is featured in a comedic role. In our current times, when celebrities speak as authorities on social subjects out of their field, it is refreshing to see a humble celebrity who does not take himself overly seriously.

The story in this movie is about Gavin Stone who is a washed-up former child star who is forced to do community service at a local mega- church. He pretends to be a Christian so he can land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play. However, he discovers that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood. This movie is rated PG and is appropriate for older children through adults. See the Sonoma Christian Home interview with its director, Dallas Jenkins.

Disney’s Queen of Katwe has received many good reviews. It follows a Ugandan slum girl’s rise from a hopeless future to that of an international chess player. David Oyelowo (Selma) plays Robert Katende, a missionary and refugee of Uganda’s civil war who as a chess teacher sees potential in 9-year-old Phiona Mutesi. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) plays her mother. It is about love for family and young people. This movie is rated PG and is appropriate for older children through adults.

Sonoma Christian Home presents an exclusive interview with the screenwriter for Sully in which he tells about relying on prayer to write the winning screenplay. This is another movie about sacrificial love and service for others.

Sully is about the “Miracle on the Hudson” in which Captain Sullenberger saved the lives of all on his flight by landing in the Hudson River. Tom Hanks performs skillfully the everyman heroic captain, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

Sing (PGall ages), a delightful, animated musical comedy, is about a Koala Bear named Buster Moons who puts on a singing competition at his failing theater. Sing is appropriate for all ages. It has positive themes that include the value of hard work, perseverance, using one’s passions and gifts, positive family relationships, and overcoming fear. (It has a few light crass elements.)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG-13) has no immoral language or behavior, and is most appropriate for teens and adults due to battle violence, monsters, and evil villains, as well as some New Age elements. It has worthwhile themes: repentance, redemption, sacrificial love, hope, doing what is right, and finding a greater purpose.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a prequel that precedes the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope when rebels stole plans for the Death Star from the Imperial Empire.

Brett Dalton portrays a Hollywood bad boy in ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’. Photo Courtesy of Pure Publicity and WWE Films

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana continues strong in the box office this week. It is an amazing animated, action-packed movie with realistically fast-moving water in an ocean adventure story. Most importantly, Moana is also about love for and commitment to family, friends, and community. A significant theme is about social responsibility Moana is a good role model for young people.

The sweeping CG-animated fantasy adventure based on Polynesian folklore and legends, follows the heroic journey of a Polynesian teenage girl to save Polynesian life and culture from annihilation.

Drawn to the ocean (which guides and protects her as an anthropomorphic character), Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) convinces the comedic demigod (half god, half human) Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson-Fast and Furious 6, San Andreas) to join her with her comedic sidekick on her mission.

Reluctantly Maui helps Moana on her quest to be a master wayfinder as they voyage across the open ocean encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds to save the Polynesian Islands.

This is a delightful, entertaining movie for older children through adults. Read the interview with key animator, Mark Henn, on Sonoma Christian Home about the latest in the meticulous animation process Disney uses for this movie.

Patriot’s Day has countless F words. It is in documentary style with non-stop graphic bloody scenes. It is redemptive in a sense in that the people of Boston pull together during the Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath. It honors the courage and sacrificial service of police officers, first responders, and Boston citizens. Producer and actor, Mark Wahlberg, wants to make redemptive movies; but his Deepwater Horizon has more redemptive Christian elements related to faith and prayer. Patriot’s Day fills the mouths of the police and others with non-stop F words, especially at the beginning of the movie. The language improves as Boston police pull together with the citizens.

In contrast, Danny Wahlberg, Mark’s brother, also plays a tough cop in the outstanding TV series, Blue Bloods, which is a wonderful TV series about cops in New York City. This series has no foul language and depicts rich family life with prayers and faith. It presents the lives of cops honestly but honors them for their character, as well as their courage and sacrificial service.

A Dog’s Purpose comes out in theaters this week. Although the movie is about lovable dogs, it has crude moments and is based on the philosophy of reincarnation. There are many other good dog movies without these egregious elements.

The growing Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content continues to produce many good movies for various ages for movie theaters for the fourth week of January. The top pick redemptive movie for all ages is The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. The top pick redemptive movie for older children through adults is Queen of Katwe. The top pick redemptive movie for teens through adults is Hidden Figures. The top pick family movie for teens through adults is A Star Wars Story: Rogue One. The top pick movies for children through adults are Sing and Moana.

Brett Dalton portrays Jesus in a play in ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’. Photo Courtesy of Pure Publicity and WWE Films

Movie consumers need to continue to research movies they are interested in seeing and need to sort out the gold from the Fool’s Gold. Because consumers continue to support redemptive and family movies, more films of the same kind continue in production.

Here are some of the many more promising redemptive and family movies for various ages coming to theaters in weeks and months ahead for this year that consumer support is making possible: February 10, God Bless the Broken Road; February 17,  The Heart of a Man; February 23,  Is Genesis History ; March 17, Beauty and the Beast, Same of Kind of Different as Me, and Second Coming of Christ; April 7, The Case for Christ , April 21, Born In China; April 5, Guardians of the Galaxy 2; April 26, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; June 16, Cars 3; November 3, Thor: Ragnarok; November 22, Coco; December 15, Star Wars Episode Eight; and December 24, Let There Be Light.

 

 

 

To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard

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