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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: August 19, 2018.

Grace shines in this week’s movies! Best picks for movies that include elements of innocence, grace, and beauty for the third weekend and beginning of the fourth week of August are the following: Pandas, IMAX (G) for all ages; Running for Grace suitable for older children through adults; An Interview with God for teens through adults; Christopher Robin (PG) for all ages; Incredibles 2 (PG), for older children through adults; and Solo: A Star Wars Story (PG-13) most suitable for teens through adults.

After years of success breeding captive pandas, scientists at the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding (aka Chengdu Panda Base) in China have taken their work to the next level by preparing captive-born cubs for release in the wild.  The film Pandas follows the efforts of a researcher, whose passion leads her to initiate a new reintroduction technique inspired by a black bear rehabilitator in rural New Hampshire.  Starting as a cross-cultural collaboration, this project becomes a life-changing journey for a team of scientists and one special panda named Qian Qian (pronounced Chen Chen). Captured with IMAX® cameras, this film follows Qian Qian on an exciting new adventure into the mountains of Sichuan. She experiences nature for the first time and discovers the freedom and perils of the wild side.

Warner Bros. brings Pandas to the big screen in this IMAX® original film. This is a breathtaking documentary of adventures and amazing experiences for the whole family. David Douglas and Drew Fellman, filmmakers behind “Born to be Wild” and “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” have directed the film. Fellman has also written and produced it with Douglas as director of photography.  It has been released to select IMAX® and IMAX® 3D theaters.

An Interview with God is a timely, engaging, thought-provoking movie with excellent actors. In this film, journalist Paul Asher has covered the war in Afghanistan with some of the best stories of his young career. However, this experience has also cost him much more than he ever could have anticipated.

When Paul deals with the aftermath of his experiences, which includes a failing marriage and dying faith, he accepts an interview with a mysterious man claiming to be God. Over the course of three life-changing days with this mysterious man, Paul finds himself answering as many questions as he asks. While wrestling with that of which he is sure and unsure, Paul grapples with who God is and with some of life’s biggest questions.

An Interview with God is a well-performed movie that will be in theaters for three consecutive nights, August 20th through 22nd. This movie is best understood as a parable that picturizes important elements of faith, prayer, and a personal relationship with God that we have through Christ (See John 1:18 and Hebrews 1:1-2) and whose voice we hear today primarily through His Word, the Bible. (See Romans 10:17 and II Timothy 3:16).

An Interview with God, a Giving Films movie, features Academy Award® nominee David Strathairn (Temple Grandin, Sensation of Sight and much more) and Brenton Thwaites (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).

See my interview with Harrison Powell (executive producer on Paul, Apostle of Christ featuring Jim Caviezel) who manages Giving Films, a company that funds life-giving films and donates the profits to charity. He is co-producer of An Interview with God.

An Interview with God addresses the reality that with faith we believe we are talking to the maker of the universe: the one who controls all things, the one who provided payment for our sins on the cross, and the one who knows our paths before we do. The basis for our prayers is that we pray because we have faith.

At the movie’s conclusion, viewers will experience an engaging panel discussion based on the film’s inspiring themes featuring nationally syndicated radio host, Eric Metaxas, faith & culture writer Jonathan Merritt and Inside Edition correspondent, Megan Alexander.

Running for Grace begins in 1919 in Hawaii. Dr. Lawrence, a new doctor, makes an orphaned half-white, half-Japanese boy named Jo his assistant. Ten years later, Jo is a handsome young man and has fallen in love with a plantation owner’s daughter, Grace. Her father hires Dr. Reyes (played by Jim Caviezel), who asks for Grace’s hand in marriage because he is seeking her father’s fortune (not knowing that Grace’s father is actually bankrupt). This movie, beautifully set in Hawaii, has redemptive themes.

Christopher Robin continues as a top pick movie for all ages. Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and Owl make their first appearances in a live-action film as charming three-dimensional characters. In this delightful, heartwarming movie, the grown-up Christopher Robin, who as a boy has encountered many adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his merry band of lovable stuffed animals, has now lost his way. Christopher has become an overworked husband and father, who is missing out on family events because of a demanding boss. To the rescue, Christopher’s childhood friends come into his grown-up world to help Christopher Robin remember and reclaim the world of the loving and playful boy who is still inside him.

Because of the efforts of Winnie-the-Pooh and company, Christopher Robin, begins to see things from a fresh perspective and comes up with a plan to save his company as well as his job. He also rediscovers the joys of family life, the value of friendship, and remembers to appreciate the simple pleasures in life once again.

Director, Marc Forster believes this story has never been more relevant. “I think it’s something we desperately need in the world,” he says. “We could all use a little bit of Pooh’s heart and wisdom right now….The simpler things in life are, indeed, often those that make us the happiest. And in Christopher Robin, we see a man who has lost sight of that which tethered him to humanity in broad strokes, and who is reminded of his better self through reconnecting to his childhood, his own imagination, and to a love of wonder. Pooh say, “There’s always time for a smackeral of wonder.”

Incredibles 2 is a sequel to Pixar and Disney’s classic animated movie, The Incredibles, in which the family protects civilians when a supervillain hypnotizes them to harm them. Incredibles 2 is another fun, exciting, family superhero movie with humor, heart, and overall moral value (there are a few inappropriate words). It is a movie for the whole family with themes of challenges of parenthood and family life; making good moral and courageous choices; and overcoming screen addictions and harm.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Solo is like an American space western about Han Solo, a character from the Star Wars saga. This movie is about Han Solo’s first adventures, which include how he first encountered future copilot Chewbacca, how he first met Lando Calrissian to become owner of the Millennium Falcon space ship, and how he first became involved in space adventures before joining the Rebellion.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a heartfelt movie in which Han and Chewbacca often do the right thing as they fight for justice against totalitarian, criminal evil to protect and liberate the oppressed and weak.

Directed by Ron Howard and produced by Lucasfilm, Solo: A Star Wars Story is the second of the Star Wars anthology of films and follows the 2016 Rogue One. It is set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, as it explores the adventures of younger Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.

Star Wars is an American epic space saga set in “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” based on the film series created by George Lucas. The series has appealed to audiences who are now of grandparent age, to current young audiences. The franchise began in 1977 with the release of the film Star Wars (with the later subtitle in 1981 of Episode IV: A New Hope. It was followed by the successful sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), which along with the first movie make up the original Star Wars trilogy.

A prequel trilogy was released between 1999 and 2005, which received mixed reactions and reviews.  A sequel trilogy emerged in 2015 which included Star Wars: The Force Awakens and in 2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The first eight films were nominated for Academy Awards and have been commercial successes. Animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and Rogue One (2016) have been spinoff films.  In 2012, The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm and gained distribution rights to all subsequent Star Wars films, which began with the release of The Force Awakens in 2015.

Wonderfully, there are many more promising movies to look forward to. Although theater release dates can change, here is what is known about the “what and when” of some of the most promising redemptive and family movies due in theaters this year: Beautifully Broken, 8/24; Rudy, 8/28; Pick of the Litter, 8/31; Moses, 9/13; Unbroken, Path to Redemption, 9/14; God Bless The Broken Road, 9/21; Palau the Movie (TBA); Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 10/14; Mowgli, 10/19; Reach, 10/19; Indivisible, 10/26; The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, 11/2;  The Grinch, 11/9; A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War, 11/11;  Wreck-It-Ralph, 11/21; Mary Poppins Returns, 12/21; Walking with Herb, 12/30, and more.

Other promising redemptive and family movies scheduled for 2018 with release dates to be announced include: Heavenquest: A Pilgrim’s Progress; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair; Peter Pan; Staines; Faith, Hope, and Love; In God’s Underground; and Megan’s Christmas Miracle.

New 2019 movies include: Frozen 2; The Penitent Thief; East Oil Texas; Lego Movie Sequel; Dumbo; My Brother’s Keeper; Disneynature’s Penguins; Aladdin; Toy Story 4; Star Wars Episode IX; Indiana Jones 5; Dora the Explorer; Overcomer; and many more.  Watch for interviews and insightful stories for these movies on Sonoma Christian Home.

What we see and think about becomes a part of us and affects our mental, physical, and spiritual health. It is important that we make good choices in movies and media for ourselves and for those in our care. With some careful research, it is possible to find good movies that enhance our well-being that are entertaining while also inspiring, uplifting, and edifying, as they show the good consequences of good actions and the bad consequences of bad actions.

Best picks for movies that include elements of innocence, grace, and beauty for the third weekend and beginning of the fourth week of August are the following: Pandas, IMAX (G) for all ages; Running for Grace suitable for older children through adults; An Interview with God for teens through adults; Christopher Robin (PG) for all ages; Incredibles 2 (PG), for older children through adults; and Solo: A Star Wars Story (PG-13) most suitable for teens through adults.

Uniquely, each week Sonoma Christian Home publishes the top picks for the best choices in movies in theaters for all ages that are not only entertaining but edifying with quality production elements. Sonoma Christian Home also provides valuable reviews and substantive interviews for these top picks in family-friendly and edifying movies.

Please continue to search for and support the best movies for your friends and families. The best is yet to come as long as we continue to support the ongoing reformation in content and renaissance in artistry in media and movies.

As audiences continue to see good family and redemptive movies in theaters, keeping them at the top of the box office, more good movies like them are being made. Watch for many top picks this year of redemptive movies that continue to improve in the ongoing renaissance of artistry and reformation of content in movies. Remember that consumers can facilitate the success and wide global distribution of good redemptive movies. Remember that a movie’s success opening weekend is important. Continue to research movies before you see them and hold out for the best for you and yours.



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


Think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… (The Bible)



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