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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: October 18, 2017.

There is an array of amazing films in theaters this week! A top pick movie for the third week of October is an encore Fathom event, Steve McQueen: American Icon on October 19.  This intriguing, entertaining documentary is hosted by Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California.  Steve McQueen: American Icon tells the story of the life of one of America’s most enduring and intriguing movie stars. It is a redemption story which chronicles McQueen’s retreat from the world of fame and fortune, as he searched for meaning, truth and significance. It reveals how Steve McQueen experienced a transforming, fulfilling faith at the end of his life.  This heartfelt movie is engaging and inspiring.

“They said that he could act with the back of his head! No fancy dialogue or frills required—his mere presence loomed larger than life in every shot. Put him next to some of the finest actors in the business, and he would undercut every one of them simply by being in the frame. His piercingly distinctive blue eyes were set in a rough-hewn, unconventionally handsome face that rarely betrayed strong emotion. His smallest physical gesture was precisely calculated and gracefully executed. You couldn’t best him, you couldn’t buy him, you couldn’t touch him. He was the King of Cool. He was Steve McQueen.” (Esther O’Reilly)‘ iconic film starring legend Steve McQueen.

The top pick movie for the third week of October is Same Kind of Different as Me, which is due in theaters October 20th. I had the privilege of being with Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger, Jon Voight, Djimon Hounsou, Director Michael Carney, and author Ron Hall in LA this past weekend for interviews. They are all lovely people of faith. You can hear their hearts in the audio file about the main issue of homeless in the movie from the live interviews. The true story upon which this movie is based is amazing and timely.

Same Kind of Different as Me is a not-to-miss, timely major movie featuring the skillful performances of Academy Award® nominee Greg Kinnear, Academy Award® winner Renée Zellweger, Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou, and Academy Award® winner Jon Voight.

This engaging and inspiring movie come to theaters Friday, October 20th from Paramount Pictures and PureFlix.  This pristine movie is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and is appropriate for teens and adults.  It is based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent.  This uplifting movie provides solutions to today’s challenges of racial and socioeconomic divides and of homelessness.

The film presents a remarkable true story about the transforming power and importance of the following: faith, family, friendship, kindness, unconditional love, and forgiveness. Audiences are sure to find inspiration to “Make A Difference” in the lives of others because as Denver would say—everyone can help someone.

Same Kind of Different is based on an inspiring true story and subsequent New York Times bestseller. It is about international art dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear), who befriends a homeless man (Denver played by Djimon Hounsou), in hopes of saving his struggling marriage to Debbie (Renée Zellweger). Debbie’s dreams will lead all three of them on a remarkable journey. Hall’s father, played by Jon Voight, will also be transformed and reconciled by the relationships of Ron, Debbie, and Denver.

The third week of October also presents many other good redemptive family movies in theaters. Another new heartfelt family movie, The Stray, is about Mitch Davis and his family. Mitch is a workaholic executive for a big studio in Hollywood with a passion to become a screenwriter. His son, Christian, is being bullied at school and desperately wants his father’s attention and time. Mitch does not understand his son’s needs. A stray dog helps Christian fight off a bully. The family adopts the dog, whom they name Pluto. Mitch takes Christian, Pluto, and two other boys on a trip to the Colorado mountains where they encounter a threatening storm.

This movie is based on a true story artistically directed by the real Mitch Davis, who lived to tell his tale of being struck by lightning. This PG movie is for the entire family, although the storm may be scary for little children. This entertaining movie teaches valuable lessons such as forgiveness, sacrifice, and trust in God.

Many other redemptive and family movies for all ages are prevailing at the top of the box office the third week of October. Among these outstanding films is A Question of Faith. In this powerful work, three families are struck with tragedy that intertwines them, but sets them free collectively and personally. There are twists and surprises that bring hope to audiences. In the converging, growing, deepening journey, the characters find and experience God’s love, grace, and mercy in their deepest places, and resurrection of their personal and collective faith. This movie is especially inspiring in a time such as this.

Among other top picks remaining in theaters is Dunkirk. This riveting movie inspires courage and compassion with its true story of sacrifice and grit as individuals risk their own lives in water rescues manned by volunteers and professionals to save others in harm’s way. This has been a top pick movie at the box office for adults since its release the third week of July.

Personal and corporate courage and compassion as people serve, sacrifice, and save strangers and communities, revealing the best in people in the worst of times, is a recurring and inspiring theme in the true stories in top pick movies, as it is today in our real lives.

The courageous and compassionate efforts of people in the US and around the world in response to hurricanes, fires, and tropical storms have been inspiring. Likewise, the true stories of courage and compassion in current movies in theaters is also encouraging.

Dunkirk immerses audiences in the harrowing, heroic, amazing events of 1940, when Germany trapped Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk, France.  Under skilled air and ground cover from British and French forces, British crews and boats, including civilian, courageously, carefully, and safely evacuated 330,000 French, British, Belgian, and Dutch soldiers from the beaches.

This powerful, thrilling movie (rated PG-13) is most suited for adults, due to intense war violence, although there is little that is gratuitous or inappropriate in terms of language or behavior. The courage, sacrifice, and camaraderie of soldiers and civilians is deeply inspirational.

The acting and cinematography is outstanding. Although the dialogue is often difficult to understand, the action speaks for itself. In this movie, everyman and everywoman role models and heroes are significant in their positive potential influence on viewers. Research provides evidence that those who observe and identify with role models are significantly influenced by the role models for good. Those who role model compassion, sacrifice, and courage can inspire it in others, as we are seeing played out in real life currently in flood rescues.

Although not depicted in the movie, it is also noteworthy that a National Day of Prayer that was declared on May 26 for the soldiers trapped at Dunkirk. People from all walks of life came to British churches to pray. It was this call to prayer that compelled many civilians to bring their boats to Dunkirk to help save the courageous. A unifying National Day of Prayer was also declared on Sept. 3, 2017 for the rescue and recovery work in the Houston, Texas region.

There were miraculous answers to prayer for Dunkirk.  First, Hitler stopped the advance of his armored columns at the very point when they could have proceeded to annihilate the British army. Second, a huge storm over Flanders on May 28 grounded the German Luftwaffe squadrons and enabled the British army formations eight to twelve miles from Dunkirk, to move up on foot to the coast in the dark and rain of storm. Third, the English Channel was amazingly calm as the vast armada of little ships, big ships, and warships rescued the stranded soldiers.

The British were so grateful for the great deliverance at Dunkirk that June 9 was appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving. The Daily Telegraph published C. B. Mortlock’s article in which he stated, “…the prayers of the nation were answered…the God of hosts himself had supported the valiant men of the British Expeditionary Force.”

Another movie based on a true British story that is at the top of the box office is Good-Bye Christopher Robin (PG). This film provides a behind-the-scenes look at the historical and family context of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The audience observes the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin. Christopher’s toys inspire the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. As Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the book, the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War.

Also, remaining at the top of the box office as a top pick for kid is Cars 3.  This movie is a rare G-rated animated comedy adventure for kids and families by Pixar. It has no foul language, but it has some light crudity. In this movie, legendary Lightning McQueen is blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers. Suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves, he wants to get back into the game. He needs the help of an eager young race technician. She has her own plan to win with inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet along with a few unexpected turns. Cars 3 celebrates small-town, American values. It is appropriate for all ages.

A movie for kids, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, remains in theaters. This PG-rated, animated, action-adventure movie is the third movie in the LEGO movie series. It’s based on the LEGO Ninjago sets and also features characters from the LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV program.

The story is about Lloyd (James Franco), a teen misfit who suffers at school because his absentee father – who is the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux) – constantly threatens his home, Ninjago City. However, Lloyd’s secret is that he is the Green Ninja. Lloyd and his friends, who are also secret ninja, constantly save the city from Garmadon. However, during a battle, a terrible monster is unleashed on the city. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), Lloyd, and his friends embark on a perilous journey and learn to trust their power.

The LEGO “Ninjago” franchise has some Eastern mysticism and occult elements in its TV and toys versions; but the comical, new animated movie is basically free of such problematic, objectionable content. The plot of the movie has a strong, family, moral premise about reconciliation of a son with his father and reunion with the boy’s mother and father. It is a movie with a lot of heart, fun action, and comedy.

Kids who have liked the previous The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, who have watched LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, or who have played with any of the toys, will like this movie.  Adults will like references to the 1980’s. The young ninjas are warriors by night and ordinary teens by day. This movie is appropriate for older children through adults.

Further remaining at the top of the box office, Despicable Me 3, which is PG-rated, has some light crude elements and lots of cartoon violence, but is moral and redemptive as it celebrates faith and family in the midst of action-packed adventures. It has no foul language.  Gru, wife Lucy, and their three adorable daughters (Margo, Edith, and Agnes) along with the Minions and Gru’s twin brother, Dru (both twins are skillfully voiced by Steve Carrell), are involved with fast-paced adventures filled with heart and satirical humor for all ages. Despicable Me 3 (PG-13) is suitable for older children through adults.

It takes effort and research to find good movies with worthwhile values through good reviews from trustworthy, wise sources (Sonoma Christian HomeMovieguideFocus on the FamilyDove and more.) Uniquely, each week Sonoma Christian Home not only provides reviews of worthwhile family movies, but it also publishes the top picks in movies in theaters for all ages that are not only entertaining, but they are redemptive, of good quality, and inspirational.

To recap, the top pick movies for the third week of October include the following: Same Kind of Different as Me (PG-13) which is appropriate for teens and adults; Steve McQueen: American Icon encore, Thursday, October 19th, that is suitable for teens and adults; A Question of Faith (PG) appropriate for older children through adults; The Stray (PG) for the entire family; Good-Bye Christopher Robin (PG) that is suitable for older children and adults; Cars 3 (G) which is appropriate for all ages; and Dunkirk (PG-13) which is appropriate for older teens and adults. Other suitable movies for families are Despicable Me 3 (PG-13), which is appropriate for older children through adults, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which is suitable for older children through adults.

In weeks and months ahead for this year, there are many more promising family and redemptive movies for various ages. They include the following:  Revive Us 2, 10/24; I’ll Push You, 11/2; On Wings of Eagles, 11/3;  The Star, 11/10; Mully, 11/ 9; Paddington 2, 11/10; Genesis: Paradise Lost, 11/13; Ferdinand, 11/15; Wonder, 11/17; Let There Be Light, 12/24; and The Greatest Showman, 12/25.

The modern renaissance of artistry and reformation of content continues with the production and distribution of good redemptive movies with the patronage and support of investors and consumers.

Remember to research movies before you see them. Hold out for the best. What we see in movies affects our personal lives, our families, and our culture.  Support in every way you can, the best of family and redemptive movies, so that more like them will be made. Choose and support the best that will affect us all positively for eternal good.



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


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