MoviePass Adventures: Month 4

Month 4 of my adventures of MoviePass and picked up the pace in seeing films in the theater:

1.) Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Based on the story “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first film from Studio Ponoc but in it’s DNA is a Studio Ghibli film.  The director Hiromasa Yonebayash previously directed The Secret World of Arrietty and When Marnie Was There and this film has that same kind of heart and visuals.  This film feels like a mashup of When Marnie Was There, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle. This is the next era of animated films as a spiritual successor to the Ghibli dynasty.

2.) Ferdinand

Based on the children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand”, Ferdinand is about this large bull named Ferdinand who everyone expects to be this fighter but he doesn’t want to fight.  It was a really fun little film.  The voice cast was entertaining and had a lot of laughs.  It was very enjoyable.

3.) The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is based on the life of P.T. Barnum, who helped create and run one of the biggest circuses in the country.  Ironic that the film released shortly after the Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down.  Anyway, I liked the film.  I’m usually hit or miss with musicals but this one I enjoyed.  The songs fit the story & overall had a good story.

4) 12 Strong

Based on a true story, 12 Strong tells the story of the first military group that went to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban after 9/11.  There’s a really strong cast that includes Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena & Rob Riggle.  This was a really good film and enjoyed it a lot.

5.) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

A “sequel” (probably better to call it a spiritual successor) to the first Jumanji film, this one takes the Jumanji board game and turns it into a video game.  Four teenagers find the game during detention and get drawn into the game and in order to get out have to break the curse and save Jumanji.  Very funny film with good action sequences.  It tells its own story while giving nods to the original film.  Worth checking out.

6.) The Post

Based on the true story of the “Pentagon Papers” and the release of them to the media specifically involving the Washington Post newspaper.  It was an okay film.  They had a good cast that did a good job.  It just wasn’t as compelling a film to me as other films set in that time period.

7.) The 15:17 to Paris

This film is based on the true story of three friends (played by their real life counterparts) who help stop a terrorist attack on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.  Directed by Clint Eastwood, it looks at the event as well as the lives of the three friends growing up out in California.  It was a good film.  There was some editing that was kinda off at times but overall I enjoyed.  For not being actors, the three guys did a good job.

8.) Forever My Girl

This film tells the story of a country music superstar who left his fiance at the altar 8 years prior who finds his way back to the same small town and trying to win back the heart of his ex as well as the daughter he never knew he had.  It’s a nice film and for a romantic film it’s pretty good.

9.) Black Panther

The latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Black Panther continues the story of T’Challa, king of Wakanda and superhero Black Panther as he deals with ruling his people as well as dealing with the troubles that come from outside and inside.  I thought this was a really great film.  The humor in it was way better than the last MCU film Thor: Ragnarok because it wasn’t forced or wasn’t trying for humor every 5 minutes.  The action was great (another great job by director Ryan Coogler) and overall told a really great story.

 

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 23

 

 

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MoviePass Adventures: Month 3

Month 3 of my adventures of MoviePass and unfortunately there was a lack of usage due to weather and health.  But did get my first repeat viewing along with another new film (Hopefully will get more viewing in during the next month):

1.) Wonder (second viewing)

This was a repeat viewing (first watched it last month). This is the first film not named Star Wars that I went to see again in the theater in a long time.  This has become one of my favorite films ever.

2) Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour is based on the true story of Sir Winston Churchill and his first month or so as prime minister during the middle of World War II.  It essentially looks at May of 1940 which was one of the toughest times for the British Empire and how Churchill tried to deal with becoming prime minister in such a time.  Gary Oldman is spot on as Churchill.  It was a really good film and it’s a good one to watch after watching Dunkirk which is also during this time period.

2017 Year in Review

This year of 2017 is finally drawing to a close.  This has been another rough and tough year for me.  It has been that case the last several years.  I hope though that your year was good.  If it wasn’t, I hope that 2018 is better for you.  As is tradition for me, I like to look back and review the year.  Here is the year in review starting with the final book list of books I’ve read this year.

Final reading list for 2017:

Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

College Ministry 101: A Guide to Working with 18-25 Year Olds by Chuck Bomar

Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support by Brad House

Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary by Ernie Johnson Jr.

Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan K. Dodson

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed The Movies by Mark Clark

Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of the Monsters by Brian Solomon

Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan J. Napier

What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom and the Great Commission by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Church by Dave Anderson & Tim Wilcox

You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television by Al Michaels


This is the 13th year of keeping track of books I’ve read. Here’s the number breakdown:

2005: 19

2006: 20

2007: 18

2008: 22

2009: 29

2010: 24

2011: 15

2012: 14

2013: 9

2014: 7

2015: 13

2016: 12

2017: 12

2016 Year in Review

Highlights of the year: The highlights were the following:  Board game nights with friends, Opportunities to preach, The joy of writing for this blog, Seeing the total eclipse and a baseball game afterwards

Five things that 2017 taught me:

1) It’s okay to let go of some things so you can better grab hold of what’s better

2) Being a jerk is never okay no matter the situation

3) It’s important to know what fights to pick and what hills are worth dying on

4) Hold onto hope with every part of your being, especially in the rough times

5) Show kindness to others, a little goes a long way

*Five personally significant events of 2017:  (Well this year it was three again)

1) I celebrated the 4 year anniversary of this blog

2) Had opportunity to preach several times

3) Got to spend quality time with friends

4) ——————————————–

5) ——————————————–

Ten things I want to do in 2018 (in no particular order):

1) Continue to grow in my walk with the Lord

2) Be faithful to the work God has called me to

3) Hopefully find and be in a relationship with a girl that is honoring God

4) Continue to pray for my friends around the world

5) Show grace and mercy to everyone around me

6) Find time for recreational reading

7) Travel to see friends

8) Be an encouragement to those around me

9) Learn as much as I can from the experiences I have

10) Smile every day

Five things I don’t want to do in 2017:

1) Grow weary in doing good

2) Not appreciate the blessings God has provided for me

3) Forget where God has brought me and where he’s taking me

4) Hurt people and lose friendships because of my actions

5) Grow angry and bitter at my circumstances

Five things I love beyond all reason currently:

1) God

2) My family and friends

3) Opportunities for the future

4) Reading

5) Writing

Five things I hate with good reason currently:

1) My sinful nature

2) Frustration about circumstances beyond my control

3) Being lonely

4) Being hurt

5) Bad attitudes

I hope that 2018 will be a better year than 2017.  That is my prayer for me and for you

My Favorite Films of 2017

I’m keeping up the yearly tradition of sharing my favorite films of the year and so here is my list of favorite films for 2017. They are in no particular order, just in the order that I can remember them from the beginning of the year until the end of the year:

Kong: Skull Island

This film both reintroduced King Kong back to the big screen but also set up future films involving Godzilla and that line of monsters.  There was a tremendous cast with Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly & John Goodman and a great version of Kong.  I have high hopes for this franchise after 2014 Godzilla and now this one.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

The sequel that did not disappoint.  I blogged earlier this year about this film and how much I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It advanced the story while at the same time developing the characters without losing the charm that made it special.  Another great Marvel film.

Wonder Woman

Probably the first really good film in the DC cinematic universe, Wonder Woman had that heart and hope.  Gal Gadot embodies the role of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.  The film (which is set mainly in World War I era) has a similar feel to the first Captain America film (which is my favorite Captain America film).  Superhero films that have heart and hope are the best ones and Wonder Woman is one of those.

Cars 3

The third film in the Cars franchise (and in feel more a direct sequel to the first Cars film) Lightning McQueen has to deal not only with young upstarts but his own mortality as an athlete.  It has a lot of feels like the first film as well as tells a good story on its own.

The Hero

This is a film that stars Sam Elliott as an aging actor best known for a role decades earlier as “The Hero”.  It’s a film that deals with fame, mortality, loss, love and life.  I blogged earlier this year more in depth that goes into more detail.

Dunkirk

Set during the heart of World War II, Dunkirk tells the story of one of the biggest rescue missions in history.  The British army was trapped in the city of Dunkirk and it took 800 civilian ships to save the day.  Christopher Nolan directed the film and it covers the land see  and air aspects of this battle.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

The first Spider-Man film in the MCU, Spider-Man: Homecoming was really well done.  Going back to Peter Parker in high school along with having it be the “Tony Stark Redemption film” was a good touch by Marvel Studios.

Blade Runner 2049

The sequel to the 1982 film, Blade Runner 2049 is one of the most visually stunning films I’ve seen.  Starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, the film is set 30 years past the first film.  Like the first film, it asks what does it mean to be human?

Marshall

Based on the true story of Thurgood Marshall, Marshall looks into the life of the future Supreme Court judge when he was a trial lawyer and the case of a Connecticut man accused of rape and attempted murder.  Chadwick Boseman was at his best again and the rest of the cast including Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown and Kate Hudson stood out as well.

 

Goodbye Christopher Robin

A film based on the life of writer A.A. Milne and his family, Goodbye Christopher Robin is probably one of the most poignant and bittersweet films I’ve seen.  I grew up (and still do) love Winnie the Pooh and all the characters of the Hundred Acre Woods.  This film shows the ups and downs of the creation of those characters and the lives of the family around that.

Wonder

Wonder is based on the book of the same name.  I will go on record and say it is one of my favorite films ever.  The story of the Pullman family is such a heartwarming film and the story it tells is so needed in this time.

Coco

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second Pixar film released this year, Coco is a story about family and finding one’s place in the world.  It is centered around the holiday of the Day of the Dead.  It is such a lovely story and another example of the Pixar charm.

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour looks into the right before and the first month of Sir Winston Churchill as prime minister of Great Britain.  Gary Oldman was spot on in the role of Churchill and the film as a whole was great storytelling.  It also fit in well with Dunkirk which also released this year since they both are set in this same timeframe.

Thursday Quote Day: Helen Keller

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from Helen Keller:

“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles.” (Helen Keller)