A Movie, Interview and A Craft Idea

I know it’s only October. But I am really excited about a new movie that’s coming soon from Sony Pictures Animation and Affirm Films. The movie tells the story of the first Christmas and is a well done, animated movie, that is fun, funny and full of adventure. The best part is there are no elves. It’s the real story behind the meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus.  I believe this is a movie that is going to be a wonderful theatrical experience for the whole family.

The official synopsis from The Star web site describes the story as follows.

” A small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock, and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.”

Check out what a few ministry leaders are saying about this new movie.
“Okay – bit of a scoop. Last night me and my 3 boys (6, 10 and 13 y/o) went to a preview of The Star movie. I was pleasantly surprised – it was really good! Each of my boys (who usually prefer Marvel movies to animal movies) loved it, and I did too! it was hilarious – plus I really liked how they portrayed the nativity story. Would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a family friendly movie this coming Christmas season.Mark Millard The Lads Band 

“The Star is a delightful movie that does an incredible job of portraying the struggles Mary and Joseph went through and the merciful love of God that guided them through it. Just like in the Bible, The Star will point your family towards Christ.” Jeff McClullough JumpStart3

I love that this is a Christmas movie that will open in November, because families can see the movie and then spend the Christmas season unpacking the messaging in the movie around the dinner table, during bedtime conversations, at church and spontaneous moments during the Christmas season. The Star represents a gift for humanity in the promise of the Savior Jesus. After seeing the film I would encourage families to come up with a few ways in which they can be a gift at school, work, family members or to complete strangers in their communities.

Here are some suggestions for families:

1- The 12 days of Giving;  Establish 12 days of giving as a family and come up with different ways as a family you can be a gift and a blessing to someone in your community.

2- Make The Star cookies as a family and share them with a neighbor, a retirement center, a homeless shelter as an unexpected gift.

3- As a family, create some memories by making Star ornaments or a star tree topper for the family tree (see the video example below).

4- Continue to talk and discuss the story of Christmas as a family thru out the Christmas season and unpack ideas on how each person can be an example of a gift to their community.

Check out the video below of an interview with the Executive Producer of The Star, Devon Franklin. Devon talks about the movie and why he decided The Star was an important story to share with the world this coming Christmas season.

The Star opens in theaters November 17th. Mark your calendars and make plans as family to see the film to start the celebration of the Christmas Season.

See you at the movies!

David Almgren – The Movie Guy

Check out this “How To” Video idea for a family Activity;

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New on Netflix – Veggietales In The House!

I am excited to announce that Veggietales are coming to your house!!  Premiering this Thanksgiving November 26, 2015 as a Netflix original series, it’s “Veggietales in the House”.

According to the Netflix web site, “this all-new series and features the same characters you know and love, along with the same faith-based values and teaching you’ve come to expect from VeggieTales. We care about what young people are watching and are excited VeggieTales is launching this new series on Netflix that helps teach meaningful life lessons and makes children smile”.

Check out the trailer below for a quick overview and there is also a link to hear some of the thoughts from the original creators Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer. It is good to see Phil still involved with Veggietales as the brand moves forward.

For those Veggietales fans that may be looking for various Veggietales toys, plush, DVDs, music and more, check out http://www.kidzonearth.com

Here is a link to 4 FREE coloring and activity sheets for the Veggietales fan in your house.

A few word from Mike and Phil regarding the launch of Veggietales in the House.

After you check out the trailer, let us know what you think. Do you like the new look and feel to Veggietales?

“Remember, God made you special and he loves you very much!!” Bob and Larry

Dave Almgren

Faith and Family Films

When The Game Stands Tall

 

When The Game Stands Tall

When The Game Stands Tall is in production in New Orleans and is slated to hit theaters in the Fall of 2014 (Sony Affirm Films). I have to say that I am excited to see this movie because of the lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays the coach in the movie.  Jim is a good actor and I really have enjoyed his film work over the years. I always remember the movie “Frequency” and loved the story and the father son relationship in Frequency.  Anyway – back to “When The Game Stands Tall.”  As I read the description for the film I am enthusiastic about the film because it is a sports film that in the end is not about sports. Sports is the vehicle that was used by the coach to teach the lessons of life to the high school kids in his care. It’s not about winning – but rather putting forth your best effort. Teaching about values, life and loss. The real stuff that happens in life and the game of footballs help high schooler’s prepare to navigate thru their journey.

So based upon what I see so far . . .

I am marking my calendar to see “When The Game Stands Tall” August 22,  2014!

Here is the Films Description:
When The Game Stands Tall – which tells the true story of legendary De La Salle High School football Coach Bob Ladouceur, (Caviezel), and his assistant coach Terry Eidson, (Chiklis), who took the Concord California Spartans prep team from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak from 1992 to 2003 that shattered all records for consecutive victories in any American sport. Known as “Coach Lad”, Ladouceur had little experience coaching football when he was hired at De La Salle, but through his unyielding focus on character-building, faith, responsibility and commitment, created one of the country’s greatest football dynasties.

Inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame and widely considered the greatest prep football coach of all time, Ladouceur’s spectacular achievements during his 34 years with the De La Salle Spartans include a historic 12-year, 151-game run of consecutive wins, 20 undefeated seasons, seven national titles, five CIF Bowl championships, 17 state championships and 28 CIF North Coast titles. When Ladouceur retired in January 2013, he was the all-time winningest coach in California having amassed one of the highest-winning percentage of any coach (.934 percent) with his 399-25-3 record.

“On the surface, it appears that these players just won a lot of football games, but what makes this story so special is that this is a coach who placed little value on winning, instead focusing his players on giving ‘a perfect effort’ in life,” said producer David Zelon. “Underneath it is a resounding testimonial about how much more kids can achieve when they are challenged with responsibility and commitment.”

Here is a trailer for When The Game Stands Tall:

Veggietales MacLarry Coming Soon!

Veggietales-Maclarry-Stinky-Cheese-Battle-Christian-Film-Movie-DVDBig Idea is set to delivery a new episode from the award winning kids series VeggieTales. This time Larry The Cucumber takes the lead as “MacLarry” and brings us a lesson in getting along with others. Always a great reminder for kids and adults for that matter and as always audiences are served a brand new Silly Song (caution, may cause extreme laughter and singing unexpectedly in the car). The bad news is that you will have to wait until July 27th to secure your own copy.  The good new is that we have the trailer for you to view. Oh, and by the way you can pre order your copy from http:///www.kidzonearth.com.

 

Overview of  MacLarry:

A long time ago, in a land flowing with beards and kilts, there lived two clans who were locked in a longstanding feud! The tribes plotted against each other with various pranks, including water balloon ambushes, bad haircuts, and a host of other hijinks! Dwelling amongst these perpetual pranksters is “MacLarry” — a well-meaning young inventor who just wants to make kooky gadgets!

Try as he may, he has never mastered the art of pranking, even after much training from the Chief prankster himself; his father, Chog Norrius. Discouraged, MacLarry sets on a journey to find the great inventor “Archie-medes”, in hopes of finding a place he can belong. Meanwhile, the feud is escalating and Chog’s clan is plotting their biggest prank yet; releasing the stinkiest cheese in the land on their rivals! When the cheese caper goes afoul, Chog and the people realize they aren’t able to solve the situation on their own — they need MacLarry’s special skills to save the day! Will Chog and the tribe find MacLarry in time to convince him that his unique and God-given gifts are just what is needed to help both clans from being overcome by the loathsome Limburger and resolve their differences for good?

Pre order from http:///www.kidzonearth.com

Home Run The Movie Hits Theaters Today!

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The long awaited release of the new baseball themed movie Home Run hits theaters across the nation today ( check the films web site for theater listings). Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and freedom are apart of America. Well freedom is also the central theme in this new theatrical release from Samuel Goldwyn Films. Home Run takes you on a journey of a man with a bright future, but is haunted by a troubled past. Home Run is a must see film that will entertain and inspire audiences and will also remind us all that there is hope in our  journey of life. There are multitudes who are living life without hope and their addictions have completely overtaken and ruined their lives. My hope is that this movie will not only entertain, but will cause many to look inside and deal with their hurts, habits and hang ups that are keeping many from experiencing FREEDOM!

PLEASE NOTE: The movie is rated PG13 and is for junior high and above. The movie deals with some challenging topics and is not a movie for younger children.

HERE IS A SYNOPSIS OF THE MOVIE FROM THE HOME RUN WEB SITE:

Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control.

Hoping to save her client’s career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory’s agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up. Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can’t wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible.

As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future … and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.

Based on thousands of true stories, HOME RUN is a powerful reminder that with God, it’s never too late … freedom is possible.

Check out the Home Run Movie trailer and than buy a ticket and go see Home Run this weekend!

Not Today The Movie – In Theaters April 12

This Friday is a BIG weekend for a few films that will deliver a poignant message that is sure to impact the psyche of our culture. The movie “Not Today” is most definitely one of those films and was birthed out of a desire to educate and challenge society to do something to stop slavery.  This is a giant issue to tackle and can be a challenge to really understand what a person can do to make a difference. Some may just ignore the issue and miss this movie altogether. So here’s a cliff note version of what your actions can do and simply start right here. First,  please understand that as you support the film and spread the word this helps create a successful opening weekend. As a result more people will be hearing about the movie and this issue and will explore their roll in helping to fight against slavery. Secondly, your ticket to see the movie is their ticket out of slavery. As a result of spending your money you are partnering with Friends Media and the Dalit Freedom Network who have committed to building 200 schools that will assist in rescuing thousands of children out of the human trafficking business and will give them a new life full of hope.

Not Today is a film that will grab your heart and leave you compelled to do something well beyond the credits. Please check out the movie, invite some friends, talk about the issue and how you can make a difference. Please note that Not Today is not necessarily a family movie because of the subject matter ( PG-13).

SYNOPSIS OF THE MOVIE:

Caden Welles has the world at his disposal. With the resources of his wealthy father, he’s living life as large as any 20-year-old could dream. But what happens when that dream becomes a nightmare halfway around the world?

Traveling with his friends to Hyderabad, India on a whim, Caden’s expectations of a never-ending party crash hard. But not as hard as his conscience when he refuses to help a starving man and his little girl. Haunted by the images of Kiran and Annika, Caden attempts to right his wrong—only to discover Kiran has been forced to sell his own daughter.

Caden’s eyes are now opened to a world few Americans know still exists: a thriving human-trafficking trade. Add the dehumanization of Kiran and hundreds of millions of other Dalits due to India’s caste system, and Caden could easily turn his back.

Yet spurred by a true purpose, an unlikely new friendship, and the prayers of his mother and girlfriend back home, Caden chooses to help in Kiran’s unlikely search to find his daughter.

Starring Cody Longo, Walid Amini, Shari Rigby, and John Schneider, NOT TODAY challenges moviegoers with a purpose that goes beyond its gripping story. The movie was produced by Friends Church Yorba Linda, a congregation committed to educating the Dalits and ending human trafficking in India.

NOT TODAY is a powerful reminder that change is possible if we’re willing to open our eyes … today.

“If not now, then when? If not me, then who?” Jewish leader, Hiller the Elder

Thanks for reading!

Peace

Dave Almgren

42 is a Must See Movie!!

ImageThis past week I had the chance to preview the new film called “42”. This is the story about Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers. This is a film that engages and inspires you well beyond the credits.  I say this because of the multiple layers in the movie and the fact that the movie is based upon a true story. The acting was superb and allowed you to become invested in the characters. The film is cut well, has high production value and the story keeps you engaged throughout the entire 128 minutes. This film is part love story, a lesson in over coming adversity, an inspirational story and a history lesson that leaves you thinking beyond the credits about the man, his mission and commitment to do things right.

I have to say I have followed baseball over the years and have been very familiar with Jackie Robinson and his life in baseball. Or at least I thought I did . . . But there are a few things that I learned from this film regarding the era, Jackie, his life and his convictions.

42 is a must see movie that will inspire you to do what is right. Challenge you to stand up for what you believe in and motivate you to stay the course.   Jackie Robinson is truly an American legend who changed baseball and also challenge the nation to make a change in the right direction regarding race.  I overheard some younger people in the audience that stated “who is Jackie Robinson?” I would imagine there are many from younger generations that are being introduced to Jackie and his story for the very first time. Mr Robinson is the kind of hero that we need today. Thank you Warner Brothers for telling the story and thank you Jackie for your example and staying the course!!

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About the movie:
“42” based on a true story of two men-Jackie Robinson, the baseball great who broke the Major League color barrier, and Branch Rickey, the iconic Brooklyn Dodger GM who brought Robinson to the team. Their brave stand against racism forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball. “Your enemy will be out in force, but you cannot meet him on his own low ground”……..”I want a player who’s got the guts not to fight back.”- Branch Rickey

Cast:
Harrison Ford (Branch Rickey), Chadwick Boseman (Jackie Robinson), Nicole Beharie (Rachel Robinson), Christopher Meloni (Leo Durocher), Lucas Black (Pee Wee Reese)

Release Date:
4/12/2013

Rating:
PG-13

Running Time:
128 minutes

Veggietales The Little House that Stood – Review

Veggietales The House That StoodIntroducing Brycen’s new review called “Brycen’s Review to You!”  Each segment will feature reviews of  new children’s videos and products. What better than to hear from an eight year old regarding her feelings about new stuff available to families and kids?  On Brycen’s first review post she gives an overview  and her insightful thoughts about this new Veggietales episode The Little House That Stood.

Click here to secure your copy of Veggietales The Little House That Stood

Thanks for your time and remember this – the choices you make today will determine who you  are tomorrow.

Does Club Jelly Telly Help Fill The Void?

ImageSo what is Club Jelly Telly anyway? Is it the latest jelly of the month club for those families that can’t make their monthly run to Costco? I had to say it – because that may have been the first thought that popped into your mind.  No, It’s not from Harry and David’s, but from the one and only Phil Vischer (creator of Veggietales). In my last post I talked about the church stepping up and bringing wholesome family programming to the table. Well, Phil Vischer is one those pioneers and he is certainly is a covered wagon, head for the west type of pioneers that is willing to step out and take a risk and is attempting to fill the void.

Here is what Club Jelly Telly is all about.

Club JellyTelly is a unique online network for families, developed by VeggieTales and What’s In the Bible? creator, Phil Vischer. As a faith-based alternative to other chidren’s programming, JellyTelly provides families with a safe place to learn and play online. We have gathered the largest and most diverse collection of Christian children’s programming in the world for families to enjoy and engage.

Whether you want to spend some quality time with your family or just need a break in the day, Club JellyTelly is here to provide programming that you can believe in!

Click Here to Listen to Phil Vischer talk about Jelly Telly;

So to answer the question that is in the title of this blog. I would have to say Yes! I believe Club Jelly Telly does fill a void and provides parents with excellent family programing that parents can be proud of and whole heartily support! So here we go folks, here is an effort that we can support and get behind with our wallet. The site is up and running and Phil needs our support (Jelly Telly).   If you like what you see and you can afford $5.00 per month. Give it a try and see how your family likes the programming content.

Thanks Phil for being a pioneer and for filling the void!!

Dave Almgren – Family Films