Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two Family Films

A few weeks ago my family and I were able to go to the Christian Book Distributor's (CBD) warehouse sale in Massachusetts. It was a lot of fun looking through the many items and we found quite a few bargains. We found two inspirational films that my family and I really enjoyed watching and I wanted to share mini reviews with you all. These aren't really old-fashioned films but both are set in the 1950's to 1970's so the costumes, props and scenery are a step back in time to my parent's and grandparent's day.

Believe In Me

Synopsis: Coach Clay Driscoll is a small town basketball coach who seems to have everything going against him. A team he doesn't want. A town that doesn't support girl's sports and small town politics that threaten to undermine any chance he has of winning. But his pride and his "girls", the Lady Cyclones, refuse to let him quit. This inspiring tale of perseverance, character and redemption pits Coach Driscoll against the school board President Ellis Brawley who had the school board and the town in his pocket. You'll cheer these strong-willed young women and their hard-headed coach as they fight for equality and a share of the dream, taking on the town prejudice and their own self-doubt in this heart-warming true story of a team, a town and a man who wouldn't give up. - From DVD jacket.

My Thoughts: This film starred actor Jeffrey Donovan, as Coach Clay Driscoll, who my family and I really enjoy in the hit TV series Burn Notice. Jeffrey plays a very sharp ex-spy/con-man type character in Burn Notice and acts as many different characters with various accents so we were very excited to see him in this role as a kindly basketball coach. Also of note to Little Women fans is actress Samantha Mathis (older Amy March in the 1994 adaptation) who plays Coach Driscoll's encouraging wife Jean. We all really enjoyed cheering on Coach Driscoll as he and his team met many failures and learned to work together through their weaknesses. There were many funny and charming moments which made us laugh and cry. A few scenes were a bit rough such as when one of the girls runs away from home to get married and then later a scene of her giving birth is show (very clean but her cries may be a bit much for younger viewers). The DVD copy we bought also has a tiny bit of language bleeped out (name calling mostly) which is nice but I'm unsure whether all DVD copy have this feature or not. The story is so touching and has such a great message of hard work and compassion. We really enjoyed it and recommend Believe In Me!

The Secrets Of Jonathan Sperry

Synopsis: Dustin and his two best buddies are twelve year olds looking forward to a summer of fun in 1970. When Dustin mows the lawn of seventy-five-year-old Jonathan Sperry, a many he has seen at church, a unique friendship develops. What happens the rest of this summer is something Dustin and his friends will never forget! And inspiring film for all ages. - from DVD jacket

My Thoughts: Several Christian friends had recommend The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry to my family so we were excited to pick a DVD copy up at the sale. It was all that our friends had said and more! This film reminded me a lot of the films from Sherwood Pictures (Fireproof, Facing The Giants, Flywheel) in that it was so full of faith and clearly presents the gospel and examples of how a Christian should live. We really enjoyed the story which followed Dustin and his friends as they learned lessons in faith from Mr. Sperry and reach out to touch their community with the word of God. The acting is top notch featuring a few older TV stars like Gavin MacLeod (who I didn't know was such a strong Christian!) and Robert Guillaume, and charming newcomers like Jansen Panettiere (who plays the main character Dustin) and Frankie Ryan Manriquez (who plays Dustin's comical friend Albert, and this kid has a great testimony!).  My parents really enjoyed seeing the fabulous props, costumes and set designs they used on the film, my father in particular recognized many of the decorations saying his parents had similar items in the 1960's and 70's. The music was light and airy and fit the film perfectly. There's also delightful behind the scenes footage on the DVD with interviews and testimonies of how the Lord worked in the lives of the cast and crew as they worked on the film. The Lord really blessed the efforts of writer/director Rich Christiano as he made this beautiful film! The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry is a must see for every family!

Have you seen either of these films? What was your favorite scene?
What are your favorite family films? 

Love In Christ,


Tristans_Isolde said...

What a wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading your reviews. I watched 'The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry' with my family a few months ago and we all really enjoyed it too.
I hadn't seen, or even heard of "Believe in Me" until i read your post. It sounds so interesting and I really hope I get the chance to watch it.

My favourite family movies (that I can think of right now) are the Love Comes Softly series, Amazing Grace and a christian short film I saw with my parents a while ago called "Most". It only went for about half an hour but it impacted me so much and brought me so much closer to God that i feel it deserves a mention :)

Thanks for the great post!

Jemimah C. said...

Those are two films I've been longing to watch since I first heard of them, so I have yet to see them. I love family films from Sherwood Pictures. They're my ever-favorites.

Anonymous said...

I was at the sale too! I would've loved to have met you, but that would've been hard since you don't know what I look like! lol My family left early anyway, we left at about 9:30.

I bought a movie called Like Dandelion Dust, but I haven't seen it yet.
I also bought the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which was fantastic and family friendly, just a little scary.

Miss Laurie said...

Tristan_Isolde, love all the films you mentioned, I haven't seen "Most" though. Definitely check "Believe In Me" out if you can!

Jemimah, I'd been wanting to watch these for a long time too and they were well worth the wait. I'm longing to see "Courageous" when it comes out, that's going to be a wonderful film!

Anonymous, I kept my eye out for any blogging friends I might know but didn't seen anyone I recognized. The sale is so big, isn't it! My family & I were there in the afternoon though so we just missed you. Sounds like you found some good bargains too!

Thanks for your comments all! :)

~Miss Laurie

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