I was so excited when I saw that Disney would be creating a live action movie on the story of Mulan. And when I saw the previews, the movie looked colorful and epic! There is just so much that could be done with the beauty of Chinese culture.

Mulan is the story of a Chinese girl trying to figure out where she fits in a society where girls bring honor through a good marriage match and being good wives. There is trouble in the land though, and men from all the families in China have been called to join the army and fight against an invading force. The problem is that Mulan has no brothers, and the only man left to fight in her family is her old, injured father. Mulan takes matters into her own hands, steals her father’s armor and impersonates a male soldier. She does well as a soldier, overcomes lots of obstacles and saves the day more than once.

I didn’t like the movie and was a let down, and this is why . . . .


I remember the original Mulan, and I loved it! This Mulan, unfortunately didn’t cut it for me. I was so let down. There is no dragon ancestor, but a phoenix. There is no will power, but the power of Chi. Mulan isn’t discovered, but admits her gender. And what was worse, Mulan doesn’t overcome the enemy through the help of her comrades, but is helped by the enemy witch woman that wasn’t in the original at all.

The movie does have some great scenes, but they are momentary. The rest of the movie looks like a colorful but cheap drama set. The poor acting also doesn’t draw the spectator into their emotions. The war scene in the original cartoon was something that made me gasp at just how spectacular it looked. The war scene in this one was left wanting.

Maybe I am just a purist. My children didn’t like that there was no Mushu and the extra story line with the witch was confusing to them. Why is she even there?

Overall, the movie ran flat for us. It was $39.99 that we will never get back, but it still works out since we are a family of 8 and going to the movies for us costs us more than that. If I knew how bland the movie was going to be, I definitely would have waited for it to be free on the Disney+ app.

The movie is rated PG-13 for sequence of violence.

American Gospel

American Gospel – Christ Alone is a documentary almost 3 hours long. It is free on Netflix. It is mainly an explanation what of what the true Gospel is, what it isn’t and a warning against the prosperity gospel. The movie calls out several popular pastors and explains what it truly means to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

I loved this documentary and it was a breath of fresh air to hear the Gospel just spoken over and over again. It reminded me of the freedom in God that I have and the grace that I couldn’t earn. It brought back the memories of the first times I started to understand just how special I was to have my eyes opened to the Truth of His Word. My heart leaped hearing the Gospel preached by so many and hearing their testimonies on how they came to salvation.

The movie does call out many beloved preachers and pastors, but I believe they (the producers of the documentary) are being obedient in calling out false teachers. John Piper has an excellent response to this very thing and you can read or listen to it by clicking on this link.

This movie was needed. I needed it because lately I have been complacent in my faith. I have become stagnant and mediocre and I can’t stand myself sometimes. My prayer life stinks, my Bible reading has just picked up and listening to person after person explaining their testimony and proclaiming the Good News, livened my slumbering soul. Praise the Lord, for His salvation. Praise the Lord for His Sovereignty! I am saved not because of my works, because of the work of another!

I highly recommend this documentary.

There is a second documentary by the same director called American Gospel – Christ Crucified that I started watching today and so far, it has been a blessing.

The Theory of Everything

the theory of

The Theory of Everything is the story of Stephen and Jane Hawking. It is a drama that resonates with the thinker and encourages the curious to keep seeking out the mysterious deep of the unknown. The movie is a bit romantic, which I wasn’t expecting, but not so much that it causes nausea. It was also surprisingly funny and full of wit. If you liked a Beautiful Mind or Cinderella Man, you will love The Theory of Everything. It has the same feel. There is the man, the struggle, defeat, the resurgence of hope and the triumph.

Eddie Redmayne did a phenomenal job as Stephen Hawking. I recently read that he won an Academy Award for his performance. The music, the picture and the quality of the movie was simply beautiful.


As a Christian, I believe we shouldn’t check our brain at the door. My faith doesn’t require science to prove itself, but that doesn’t mean that science cannot bring glory to God in its own way. I will confess, that many times I struggled with my faith because Christians were so cruel to me. I battled with belief because the Church was cold and un-engaging in a very dark time of my life. I remember one day thinking, that if this is Jesus, then I want nothing to do with Him. But what kept me from storming off into atheism was atheism itself. Evolution is ridiculous. The belief that everything came from nothing or that non-life gave birth to life – that premise is almost silly and frankly, an impossibility. The Spirit used the reasoning of science to nudge me to understand that there is a Creator, and that He made everything, and that He expects to be obeyed, and that I better listen. I couldn’t embrace evolution, so I embraced Christ and His Word – it just made sense. I soon slowly crept out of my single cell thinking and evolved in my faith. Pun intended. 

This movie was not very clear if Mr. Hawking in the end admitted to the possibility of God, it really feels like he couldn’t come to a conclusion. I am not too worried about his beliefs anyway. I know he had a brilliant mind and the mathematics behind his theories made my head hurt, but God’s Word says that a fool says there is no God (Psalm 53:1). Having such a mind amounts to nothing to God if that mind fails to see the sin within itself. Mr. Hawking’s life is inspiring though, and this movie motivated me to think more. To be more aware of what I do and how I perceive things. A book that came to mind for me to read was Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I am also interested to read his books on time.

I highly recommend this movie to all. It is a beautiful and stirring drama. There is no sex or nudity. There are some insinuations of adultery. There is a scene were Hawking’s nurse helps him open up his Penthouse magazine, but there is no visible nudity in the magazine. There is no cussing. The movie is rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and suggestive material. You can watch this movie for free on Netflix.

I have included the trailer here at the bottom of the page, if you are interested in watching it.


Sweeney Todd: Just stop singing already!

I wanted to start writing and critiquing older movies that I have never seen that maybe I should have seen already. So when I saw this movie available on Prime Video, I decided to watch it as I folded laundry and wiped down counters. I also, regrettably, ate lunch as I watched this gory tale.

sweeny todd

I didn’t know that this movie was a musical! The genre I can’t stand the most is musicals. The songs just seem so conflicting and in “Sweeney Todd” it seems to clash even more just because the genre is so dark and the songs are a bit silly. But leave it to Tim Burton to do just that. With movies he directed like “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”, “Beetlejuice” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, Mr.Burton is no stranger to combining the weird and the dark.

I hated the songs. And there were so many songs! All the time! There was no rest from them! I also didn’t care much for the gore either. I somewhat knew the story of Sweeney Todd, but the bloodshed was preposterous at times. It was about the 30 minute mark that I checked the rating on the movie because I just couldn’t believe this was a PG-13 movie, and lo and behold it wasn’t! This movie is rated R for graphic bloody violence!

But I didn’t hate all of it. The story line was one of total depravity. The lack for human dignity that Mr. Barker/Sweeney displayed and his vengeful and unforgiving spirit caused him to destroy the things he loved the most.  What a wretch of a man! He needs an even greater Savior, but like all tragedies, he finds none. He wallows in his self-pity. He destroys any good thing he receives and lives in the memory of a romanticized past. 

I do not recommend this movie, even if you like musicals. It was awful. The songs were horrid and I felt a little dirtier after watching this movie.

#movies #johnnydepp

Frozen 2 – Movie Review

frozen 2

The most important thing that I have to remember is that my girls loved this movie. I took 5 girls to see this. We of course sang “Let it Go” on the way there and then found the new soundtrack and played some of the songs on the way back. Olaf was hilarious! And the cinematography was beautiful. Again, my girls loved it. I, on the other hand, did not. The plot was predictable and I hoped that I wasn’t right. I hoped that Disney would not go there again, but they did!

I also get that this is a girl’s movie, but Kristoff was annoyingly passive. I get that girls can be courageous and girls can do everything, but the feminist innuendos were a bit irritating.  I want to elaborate more, but I fear I may spoil the movie. But let me know if you think the same thing when you see the movie. I also had trouble wrapping my head around the storyline. It all felt so mashed together and nothing made sense for a long time. But I shouldn’t expect too much from a sequel since sequels are notoriously nauseating.

Bottom line, your girls will love the movie. The songs are catchy, although I disagreed with some of the words in it. But details, details. Olaf and Sven are hilarious, especially Olaf. There is a part that cracked me up so much when he was dealing with his fear. Also, there is a horse scene with Elsa that is just magical.  Take your girls! Even if you have to roll your eyes just a bit.


The Bookshop

The Bookshop is a movie about a widow, Florence Green, buying a 500  year old house and making it into a bookshop. There are some awful people who attempt to destroy her dream and equally fantastic people who help her through her endeavor. This movie is a book-lovers fantasy!

bookshop 2

The movie is well produced and the actors are marvelous. For most of the movie, it felt like a cozy book your could curl up with. I will not spoil the movie, but the ending was a bit anti-climactic and I was just hoping for more. The story-line though was just splendid and I just hoped for a different ending.

I do recommend the movie though, despite its odd ending. It is wholesome and if you are a bibliophile, you will love this movie.

The movie is rated PG and you can click here for a link to the trailer.

Overcomer – Movie Review

I saw this movie on Sunday with 58 of our church members. And there really isn’t much I can say about it that you  probably have not already guessed. “Overcomer” is another Kendrick movie. They are wholesome, heart string pullers with mediocre acting and this one is no different. The story line is about a coach losing his basketball team and finding his identity in Christ. He then ends up coaching an asthmatic girl in cross-country. There is also a sub plot regarding her that was the heart-string puller. The movie focuses on who our identity is in Christ and that He is the one who defines us.

We took our family of eight and most of them liked the movie. The younger ones liked it more than my older ones. Unfortunately, the movie was predictable, but if you generally like Life-Timey Hallmarky movies or love the Kendrick movies, you will also like this one. I am not at all into this genre of movie. I went because my kids begged me and I like hanging out with my church, but if you like sappy movies, you’ll love this one!

overcomer 2

I did cheer on the little girl running and there were some sweet moments in the movie and I like that the Kendrick brothers portrayed a very “Christian” family. It reminded me of how movie cultures can impact us negatively or positively and this movie motivated me to be a better mom and wife. It also hit Christian hypocrisy hard, and I was grateful for the obvious exhortation.

I didn’t like the “repeat-after-me salvation prayer” Priscilla Shirer lead the little girl in. But I did like that she pointed her to Scripture afterwards, I just wish the prayer would have been her own maybe after reading the Scripture recommended by Shirer. Other than that, the movie was tolerable for me and afterwards the kids and I had a good conversation about hypocrisy and identity – two very important topics in this generation.

overcomer 3Please don’t get me wrong, these movies are good and needed. And I am so happy that more and more are coming out to provide other options to a lot of the filth out there. I just wish the stories were better and not so predictable. In the real world, sometimes our prayers are not answered. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes there is no healing.  And all these awful experiences point us to another home where there is complete healing and where we have already won! So let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us! 


I have been following Abby Johnson for some time now. She is a tremendous speaker whose every single word packs a punch of meaning and logic. Her testimony is definitely one of those stories that magnifies the verse:  . . . you meant evil . . . but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. – Genesis 50:20 Through a lot of pain and spiritual growth, Abby gave up her successful career in the abortion industry and is now an advocate for the unborn. She is a champion for the most vulnerable in our society and I pray and encourage her to keep up the outstanding and long-suffering work she currently does.

I first heard of her movie in an interview with Steven Crowder where she promoted it, so I marked the date on my calendar and set myself to see this movie. The movie is very well done and not cheesy (a fear I have when I see Christian flicks). It is rated R for blood and some violence. Please do not let this rating deter you, as Christians we need to understand that this is abortion. It is not pretty, it is shocking and it is violent. Although, I do believe that this rating is more because of it’s political unpopularity- one look at secular critics of the movie and you can see how much it is hated. I watch PG-13 movies all the time and most are way more violent than what was portrayed in the movie. This movie has no nudity,  no sex and no strong cuss words. The movie has about two scenes where it was shocking and uncomfortable to see, but I applaud them for not turning the camera away from an ultrasound guided abortion or another scene of a chemically induced abortion. This reminded me of Wilberforce taking people to see the slave ships in the English trading ports or the naive Germans who were taken to view the concentration camps in their own back yard. These things must be seen and they must be seen by Christians. We can not turn a blind eye to the evil that has penetrated our society and the minds of our young men and women. Abortion kills a baby, and it is wrong. Just like slavery is wrong and genocide is wrong. It doesn’t matter who benefits from it, it is wrong.

So would I take my kids to see this movie? I believe if your kid is old enough to have sex then your kid is old enough to watch this movie. In my family that is my 13, 16 and 20  year old kids. The 12 and two 10 year-olds are staying home. This movie will also provide a wonderful opportunity for a deep and meaningful conversation about so many things. My son and I had such a significant talk afterwards.

Women, take your sons and husbands to see this movie. I work at a crisis pregnancy center and the impact a man has on a woman making a decision about her pregnancy is vital. Most women who abort their babies would not if the men in their lives had encouraged them not to. This is not just a woman’s issue.

I recommend this movie to all Christians and those interested in the pro-life movement.

Instant Family – Movie Review

I did not want to see this movie. When the link was sent to me by another foster mom, I immediately told her I was not going to go. I don’t like going into situations knowing my heart strings are going to be pulled. I don’t do lifetime or hallmark Christmas movies. It’s just not my cup of tea. I realize that this is a foster care movie, I realize it would make me laugh, but it was just too close to comfort. I didn’t want to do this! And they couldn’t make me. So a group of foster moms and I went on opening day.  I hate/love my friends for making me do things I don’t want to do!

The movie was very real. It did make me cry, but they didn’t leave you there for as long as other movies in this genre like to do sometimes. I also appreciated that they didn’t sugar coat the life of foster parents or kids. It was obvious that the writers of this movie did their homework and interviewed many social workers, foster kids and parents. So many aspects of our fears, of our secret thoughts, and of our joys were covered by this movie and I was grateful for it.

Would I take my foster kids to see this movie? I cannot paint with a broad paint brush with this question.  I would recommend it only for the older foster kids who feel safe with their foster parents and only if your kid is capable to deal with strong themes like seeing a drug addicted mother repeatedly abandon her kids. For example, I think my 13 year old foster son would be okay watching this movie.  On the other hand, my 12 year old foster daughter who struggles with missing her mom and abandonment would not be okay watching this movie until she is much older. She still has a lot of healing to do before she sees her nightmare played out on the screen. But for my older one, this movie will provide so many awesome opportunities to have deep conversations with him. We can talk about what he related to the most or what he thought wasn’t right. He could also see (hopefully) just how difficult it is to be a foster parent and some of our fears and concerns. I do recommend you watch the movie first on your own and then assess if your foster kids would be okay with it.

I do recommend this movie to all who have thought for more than half a second about fostering or adopting out of foster care. I also recommend this movie to anyone who likes family drama genres.

The movie does contain adult themes that are not strangers to foster parents like comfort masturbating, sexting, cuss words, manipulation, drugs, sexual abuse, running away etc. There is also several times that God’s name is used in vain. There is also a gay couple who fosters a little boy. Generally the mood is light about all these things and I really enjoyed the political incorrectness. This just added more to the general authentic feel of the movie and frankly its comedic value. There was no nudity or sex scenes.

Just be aware, this is not a “Christian” movie. There is a Christian couple that is made fun of, but everyone is made fun of – even the gay couple! The movie is all around very secular. There is a scene at the very end where the main actors answer the question “why they chose to foster” to their teenage foster daughter and although their answer is very sweet, it is also very humanist and came short for me. This is why as Christians, we have such an advantage in foster care to live out the Gospel with these children. Our answer to this question runs red deep in meaning and purpose! I wrote more about this in this blog.

When we enter into the world, the world in all its non-glory exposes itself to us. We cannot shudder away from this with tight lips and eyes closed. The world was us and there are still many not yet part of our fold who are in it. Let’s go get them.


There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.
– I John 4:18-19

Hereditary – Movie Review

I saw this movie with my two older sons at 10:30 p.m.! In preparation for it, I took a nap during the afternoon because I can no longer hang with the young kids it seems. I also prefer not to watch horror movies because of my over active imagination, but a las, there we were.

This review contains no spoilers.

Summary: The movie is about a family and their struggles with loss, pain and death. The mother of the main character, Annie (Toni Collette) has just passed away and very slowly the story unfolds of her evil and obscure past. This past ends up affecting the entire family in very horrible ways. The movie ends with an unexpected twist and leaves the viewer thinking a little about the plot.

My take: The movie was very slow and I didn’t like it. The acting was phenomenal though and the tension of the family was very much felt. Even the cinematography was very well done, but it was just so slow. There were some frightening scenes, but nothing about what all the hype was about. I read so many great reviews about this movie. I read that it was the scariest movie of our time, that it left the viewer unnerved. I really didn’t leave feeling that way, and I am a wuss with this genre. I still scare myself in dark bathrooms afraid of seeing Samara from The Ring! The plot was somewhat interesting, but I really didn’t think it was executed well. They really had a good story line, but it fell short in accomplishing the gravity of the situation. The ending felt silly to me, and the last scene did absolutely nothing in leaving me unnerved. It was very anti-climactic.

Recommendation: I really don’t recommend this movie. There are about two unexpected twists throughout the movie, and if that makes you curious then watch it. I would describe it as an intellectual horror movie, but nothing that stays with you. If you like fast paced slasher, jump scare, type of horror movies, this movie isn’t for you.

There are several shots of non-sexual nudity that makes the movie awkward, and watching it with two young men, the giggles were many. There is profane language throughout the movie. There is also teenage drug use. There are several intense scenes of gore also. The movie is rated R.