IF I STAY is about a teenage girl who gets in a car accident with her family, has an out of body experience, and must decide to live or die. IF I STAY has a strong pagan worldview mixed with Romantic elements, lots of foul language and implied teenage fornication.
Mia is a high school student in a very musical family. The rest of Mia’s family enjoys rock music, but she loves classical and has a passion for learning the cello. When the family has a snow day off, they decide to take a drive. They are hit by an oncoming car, and Mia wakes up and sees the wreck. Surprisingly, Mia sees herself and realizes she’s having an out of body experience. Mia’s body is taken to the hospital, but she doesn’t really know what has happened to her family.
Flashbacks start to come to Mia. They begin when she first met someone she loved dearly, Adam. Adam had seen Mia playing the cello at school. Being a musician himself, he admired her. Adam asks Mia out for a date. They go to a musical performance and a romance begins.
Meanwhile, Adam’s band has been gaining recognition. So, he starts to travel more and more for different concerts. At the same time, Mia has decided to audition for Julliard but hasn’t told Adam yet, because she fears he’d be sad since they had decided to get a place together once she graduates from high school.
Once Mia tells Adam about her plans, he becomes enraged that she hadn’t told him before about the possibility they won’t be living together. Mia has to make the decision whether or not she should go to Julliard if she is accepted, even though she will be away from Adam.
As these memories are coming back, Mia is in and out of the hospital. She learns both her parents have died in the accident, and her brother may not make it. Ultimately, Mia must decide if she should fight to live or just give it all up.
Based on a young adult novel, IF I STAY has a strong pagan worldview mixed with some Romantic elements. It seems as if Mia is presented with the option of living or dying by walking into “the light.” In reality, humans don’t have that kind of control, only God does, through faith in Jesus Christ. The only supernatural indication in the movie is the tunnel of life, with no mention of God or Jesus or heaven, as described in the New Testament. As the Bible tells us, we must accept Jesus in this life in order to get to heaven.
Other problems with IF I STAY include implied sexual relations of unwed teenagers, underage drinking and parenting with no discipline. The movie shows no repercussions for these actions, but actually seems to glorify them. Mia’s parents tell her she can do whatever she pleases. In fact, they even prompt her to “have fun,” which is destructive advice because it is so vague and doesn’t seem to come with any objective standards for living one’s life. Thus, IF I STAY presents a completely unrealistic, false view of reality.
Though the question of what Mia will decide is absorbing enough, the story in IF I STAY doesn’t flow very well as it transitions from reality to flashbacks. The movie does this constantly, which leads to rather awkward pacing. Also, the movie’s dialogue is somewhat trite, even for a mainstream romantic movie. The most successful element is the cinematography, but, overall, media-wise viewers probably will think the movie wasn’t worth their time and money.


THE FATHER’S LOVE is about Sarah, an aspiring filmmaker who’s enjoying the New York City lifestyle as a single woman. She regularly dates more than one man at a time, sometimes even in the same day, but Sarah’s best friend Tricia warns her that she’s playing with fire. Will Sarah ever take her friend’s advice to heart?
When Sarah was just a little girl, her parents split up. Fond memories of her father are now painful reminders of the unreliability of men. Still unable to forgive her father, Sarah hides her pain and refuses to read the letters that he had written to her. Her friend, Tricia, who just started going to church, tries to influence Sarah positively, but Sarah is set in her promiscuous ways.
When Sarah starts dating Reece, the perfect man of her dreams, everything seems right. He’s thoughtful, polite, kind, and even knows quite a bit about Sarah’s Malaysian cultural background. Things seem to be going perfect for Sarah, when Reece suddenly starts acting suspicious. Canceling out on weekend getaways and missing special dates, Reece’s behavior worries Sarah’s friends, but she refuses to see past his charm. When Reece reveals a secret to Sarah, her whole world is turned upside.
Will Sarah ever be able to trust again?
THE FATHER’S LOVE is an engaging story with an important message about love, faith, purpose, and meaning. The story, while a little slow at the beginning, builds momentum and emotion as it goes. Helping the entertainment value is a great cast that gives a fun authenticity to their characters. Sarah’s journey from not trusting anyone, to trusting the wrong man, to trusting in Jesus shows good character progression and leads to a satisfying conclusion.
The Christian message in THE FATHER’S LOVE is strong, but not heavy handed, thanks again to good performances. The Gospel is shown, a life is redeemed, and transformation is made. Sarah’s lifestyle is anything but godly at the beginning, where she misleads people and sleeps around with men. Thankfully, the director shows some creative restraint and tastefully implies her promiscuous behavior. THE FATHER’S LOVE also has some light profanities that warrant caution.
All in all, however, THE FATHER’S LOVE is a good movie showing older teenagers and young adults the pitfalls of a life without Jesus and the benefits of salvation through Jesus Christ.


WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL tells the true story of a high school football team that had a 151 game winning streak under coach Bob Ladouceur.
The opening montage informs viewers of how the De La Salle Spartans, a high school football team, has remained undefeated for many years through hard work and discipline. Though the coach has worked hard to get the team where it is, his goal has never been to keep the streak alive. Instead, he wants to make sure that his players grow into men with integrity and character.
After yet another successful undefeated season, the pressure is high for Coach Bob and his team. When Bob has a heart attack, it becomes apparent that the stress has taken a toll on not only him, but also his family, whom he’s neglected.
To make things more difficult, one of Coach Ladouceur’s most promising graduates, a man who has learned to be a good, godly man and who has just received a full-ride scholarship to play division one football, is gunned down tragically on the streets. After this incredibly dramatic event, all of the football team is shaken up, especially Coach Bob. This causes the rest of the team to lose sight of the coach’s main purpose not to win but to grow into God-honoring men. Their 151 winning streak is lost on the first game of the season.
With a tough schedule ahead and a town that’s disappointed in them, the team has to learn to rely on each other and reevaluate why they play the game.
WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL has a strong second half that ends on an inspiring, tear-jerking note. Though the acting is good, much of the story is disjointed, mostly in the first half. At times, it feels as if the characters have too many goals, and it’s hard to discern where the movie is going. This doesn’t take away much from the entertainment value, but the emotional impact of the story could have been much stronger. The football games are riveting and well shot and the characters are genuine.
All through the movie, it’s clear that Coach Ladouceur has been teaching the boys on his team the importance of humility. In one very touching scene, he brings his dejected and downcast team to a wounded veterans hospital to learn about serving others instead of serving yourself. The biblical themes are extremely apparent in WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL. It’s encouraging to see such a positive representation of the Christian faith, especially among young people. Ladouceur and his family had a realistic family dynamic, and the conflict that comes with it. However, the subplot that was supposed to tackle the ever-relevant issue of fatherhood and work/life balance was left underdeveloped and unresolved.
Overall, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL is a movie that bucks against a culture that’s all about glorifying one’s ego and seeking personal pleasure. Instead of pursuing individual accomplishments and individual fame, the movie promotes an ideal of pursing the exaltation of others. It overtly highlights Matthew 23:12 (“Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, but those who humble themselves will be exalted”) as an example for living. WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL is a moving story for families with older children and teenagers that inspires love and humility.

Principles To Live By: An Exclusive Interview with Jim Caviezel of WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL


Principles To Live By:

An Exclusive Interview with Jim Caviezel of WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL

By Evy Baehr, Executive Managing Editor

This month, the new faith based movie called WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL comes to theaters. The movie stars Jim Caviezel as Coach Bob Ladouceur, the coach of a winning team. When Coach Bob suffers a heart attack and the team loses one of its players, he must teach the team the values that can get them back on track.

MOVIEGUIDE® had the opportunity to speak with Jim about the movie and his role.

MOVIEGUIDE®:  What did you know about this team or how was this personal?

Jim:  When I grew up, every summer I was at basketball camp. My vacations were going to basketball camps. My personal experience was when we were playing, in order to qualify. . . they were the number one team in the state, and it looked like we had no chance. They were bigger, faster, stronger, all this. The next day, we watched movie called HOOSIERS, a movie about a big basketball powerhouse playing a little high school basket team and the basketball team won. That night, we went out and we won that game. My teammates were like brothers to me. I was fearless. … You’re not going to let them down. When I read the script, I felt like this was that story. I take movies on personal stories. That was one of the best experiences of my life, and I thought, here’s the power of film that had such effect on me and maybe I could have the effect of this story, on others. Get it right, that was the other thing.

MOVIEGUIDE®:  What is the coach talking to his players about beyond the field?

Jim:  Two of the things he is talking about are trust and honesty. There is a segment in the movie where they have commitment cards. They have three goals. One would be a game goal, another would be a practice goal, and another would be a weight lifting goal. . . . Having the courage to say, this is who I am, can I help you? It begins sometimes with a painful evaluation of our strengths and weaknesses. Letting yourself open to be vulnerable, but it is only through this process that the real growth and change can occur. To fool ourselves into believing that we have arrived is just closing the door on life itself. The other parts of those virtues are courage. This does not mean just brave in the face of a tough opponent, but rather having the courage to conquer our own cowardly spirit. The voice inside of us saying, “Well, I can’t, or I’m not good enough.” The biggest reason why we don’t achieve is that we don’t believe that we can.

MOVIEGUIDE®:  What other messages does the movie have?

Jim:  Brotherhood. It understands that one must lose some of myself in order to find others. Individual egos must die in order for a team to live. Learning how to be a team player. A good team player simple means I know how to sacrifice for a just cause. Respecting the dignity of others. He’s not focusing on winning. When he focuses on their virtues, the byproduct of that is winning, but on a level that most people will never achieve. Why is that? Most people don’t want to give up their ego. Someone told me a long time ago the ego means to etch God out, without God one is not that strong. He sees us.


Mixing It Up With Sly And The Gang: Behind The Scenes Of EXPENDABLES 3


Mixing It Up with Sly and the Gang:

Behind the Scenes of EXPENDABLES 3

By Tom Snyder, Editor

Several actors have starred in three or more movie franchises, but there’s only one star we can think of who actually created three of the franchises in which he starred, and that’s Sylvester Stallone, the creator of the ROCKY and the RAMBO movie series.

Stallone’s third franchise, THE EXPENDABLES, released its third movie this weekend.

Stallone, 68, sounded like a human Energizer Bunny while talking about his new movie and his career at a recent press conference in Los Angeles.

“Age is a state of old mind,” Stallone said. “It gets to a point where, if you get old enough, you forget how old you are, and that’s the best thing….

“I’m not ready to sit at home and play with my Pomeranians 12 hours a day,” he added. “I’m just not ready. Remember in old vaudeville, there was a cane that snatched you off the stage? Well, I’m waiting for that. Actors don’t want to retire. They’re usually forced to retire, and that’s a sad thing because you really do get better as you get older. You may not remember as much dialogue [but] what dialogue you do remember, you’re better at it. We’re just all children. We’re there to perform, and when that’s taken away. . . I’ve always said the artist dies twice. And, the first death is the hardest, which is the career death, the creative death. . . . So, I just think everybody should just keep going.”

Stallone and some of the other actors starring in EXPENDABLES 3 discussed what it was like working with each other.

“It was a great opportunity to work with some of the best actors that I’ve always admired,” Wesley Snipes said.

Snipes added that it was also great to “act a little crazy again” after being away from movies because of some troubles with the IRS.

Stallone and Mel Gibson, who plays the villain in the new movie, were asked what it was like doing the big fight scene between their characters at the end of the movie.

“Mel is a great actor,” Stallone said. “He’s very fast, very strong, and it was great being punched by him.

“It was fun being shot full of holes by Sly,” Gibson joked.

“There were a lot of characters,” Gibson said about his first impressions on reading the script. “I didn’t know how they were going to jam it all in, but somehow they managed to do it, and everybody got a fair shake, and there’s a lot of people here. So, hats off to Sly for enabling that to happen.”

Harrison Ford co-stars with Stallone, Gibson and Snipes in EXPENDABLES 3.

“Harrison is very intelligent and funny, very funny, very witty and dry humored,” Stallone said. “Harrison is special, very unique. He can bring a lot to a scene with minimal effort.”

“At first, there was a surprise that Kelsey Grammer was going to be on this ride, but I’m tougher than a lot of people think,” Grammer (of TV’s CHEERS and FRASIER) said. “If you know anything about my personal life, you’d realize that. I’ve always wanted to work with Sly. I love working with Sly. It was a revelation to me in terms of just how smart and how improvisational Sly can be as well. And, generous with his time and generous with his acting. I just had the best time ever. . . and I’ve been impressed ever since. I hope [my character] comes back. I’m working out. I’m punching people on the street just to see if I can do it [laughter].”

Stallone remembers how, when he first had some success with ROCKY in 1977, John Wayne just came up to him and said, “Hello, my name is John Wayne, and I want to welcome you to the business.”

“I’ll never forget that,” he said.

Mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey, who plays one of the new Expendables, said, like John Wayne, “Everybody [on the set of EXPENDABLES 3] was just so welcoming and warm. Everyone, really, went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I couldn’t have asked for a better first project. I’ve always been the one shaking it down with all the guys anyway. I would have felt more uncomfortable if I were in SEX IN THE CITY 4.”

“These guys are all one of a kind,” Stallone said about his cast, both the veterans and the new people. “We’re not coming this way again. You seriously have a real bouillabaisse of talent here, and it’s great to be in the kitchen mixing it up.”

That said, he also joked, “After the fifth EXPENDABLES, you start wearing Dependables.”


Overcoming Misguided Mindless Media Morality


Overcoming Misguided Mindless Media Morality

By David Outten and Tom Snyder

News media outlets recently have suspended several reporters and commentators for their allegedly controversial political views.

ESPN suspended two of its stars recently for being offensive. Steven A. Smith was suspended for a remark about women provoking domestic violence and Dan Le Batard was suspended for renting provocative billboards sarcastically “thanking” Lebron James for bringing two NBA championships to Miami.

Reporter Sean Bergin of Channel 12 in New York/New Jersey was suspended for a remark he made about too many black youths having no father in the home.

Following the shooting death of Jersey City police offer Melvin Santiago, Bergin said, “It’s important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities. This same sick, perverse line of thinking is evident from Jersey City to Newark and Patterson to Trenton. It has made the police officer’s job impossible, and it has got to stop. The underlying cause for all of this, of course, young black men growing up without fathers. Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.”

A spokesperson for Channel 12 News told the Hollywood website, THE WRAP, “It is News 12′s policy that reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air. In regards to the particular incident with Sean Bergin, the matter is being addressed internally and we don’t comment on personnel matters.”

Clearly, media executives are prepared to take action against some material considered offensive.

What’s important for audiences to understand is that media morality can be very different from public morality. Even more importantly, the public needs to understand that the media wants to implant its anti-biblical, leftist morality in the public’s consciousness.

Thus, over the years, Americans have become much more accepting of sex outside of marriage, divorce, homosexuality, abortion, secular big government, and same-sex marriage because of media indoctrination.

Of course, what the mainstream media never considers to be offensive are any attacks on Christian faith, Jesus and Christian believers. The idea that Disney/ABC would even consider a program called GOOD CHRISTAIN B_ITCHES, or that Turner Broadcasting would produce a program like BLACK JESUS, shows that offending Christians is of little concern to media executives and their flunkies in the news room and programming offices in Hollywood, New York and Washington, DC. Worse, it shows they willingly and consciously invest in programs that ridicule Christianity, Jesus and people of biblical faith.

Allegedly offensive comments by people like Steven A. Smith are spur-of-the-moment slipups. The production and scheduling of GOOD CHRISTIAN B_ITCHES or BLACK JESUS is not.

It’s highly informative that the remark that got Sean Bergin suspended closed with the line, “Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.” This implies there are people working in the media that fear reprisals if they say something truthful that doesn’t adhere to the unwritten, but well understood, leftist morality of the media.

Take the case of inner city crime, for example. Statistics show that African Americans are far more likely to be murdered by a young black man than they are to be murdered by a policeman. However, whenever an African American is killed by a policeman, it makes national news, giving the impression that the police are conducting some kind of genocidal campaign against the black race throughout the United States.

Of course, crime statistics also show that males are stopped, arrested and killed by police far more than females, but that doesn’t mean America’s men and women in blue are a bunch of feminists sexist “pigs” trying to destroy the male sex.

Because of the leftist media’s almost constant distortion of the news, a distortion which the media uses to increase racial strife between blacks and whites, an inner city suburb in St. Louis, the City of Ferguson, this month saw four or five straight nights of rioting, looting and attacks on the police after the death of a 17-year-old black teenager during an altercation with a policeman.

Like many other recent cases, the rush to judgment among media pundits and even reporters would make your head spin.

Thus, if you work for the media, your paycheck depends on you staying in line with the leftist media’s unwritten moral code. This explains why there are so few moral conservatives in the media. To earn a paycheck, you must either agree with the media’s liberal agenda or pretend that you do. Mention that fatherless families are bad for society and you can get suspended. Do it a second time and don’t even consider being a news reporter.

The Fox News Channel infuriates the rest of the media, and gained a large audience, because they refuse to tow the Christophobic, secular progressive line of the Left. The Drudge Report really angers the media elite by drawing the attention of the American people to stories the mainstream media doesn’t want covered. But, even Fox and Drudge don’t interview the media executives who produce and market programs like GOOD CHRISTAIN B_ITCHES and BLACK JESUS. Neither do they lay bare the direct consequences of the sexual revolution.

America’s mainstream media would have you think America’s problem is underfunded schools and poverty programs, not promiscuity, immorality and left-wing extremism. The American people are smarter than the elites running the media. When surveyed, they chose welfare as the leading cause of poverty. They also ranked the breakdown of the family far above racism, unlike the recent reports on the riots in Ferguson from the likes of the New York Times, USA Today and CNN.

What America, and the world, needs is news media competition. We need reporters who can report without fear on the problem of fatherlessness. We need reporters who won’t be intimidated by Muslim terrorists or by leftist racial demagogues. We need a major media company that greenlights movies and programs that support conservative, biblical values and the historical definition of marriage and that promote faith and family. We need executives who’d be repulsed if someone asked them to fund programs like GOOD CHRISTIAN B_TCHES or BLACK JESUS.

The best way to defeat the Left’s misguided, mindless media morality is by applying Christian, biblical values of Truth, Justice, Beauty, Self-Control, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Purity, Faith, and Love.

These values begin with Jesus Christ. They are all part of His Gospel.


LIFE AFTER BETH follows a teenager named Zach who is emotionally distraught after his girlfriend, Beth, unforeseeably dies after being bitten by a poisonous snake during a hike.
Shortly after Beth’s funeral, Zach’s recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead and shows up at her parents’ home. Her parents try to hide her from the outside world, including Zach.
At first, Zack adamantly believes that his girlfriend’s parents played a sick joke on him by fabricating her death and funeral, but discovers she dug herself from her grave. He believes Beth has the right to know that she’s deceased and be informed of how she died. However, Beth’s father pleads with him not tell her and to make a promise that he won’t tell her. Zach agrees and decides to rekindle his courtship with Beth.
During his attempts at reigniting his relationship with Beth, he gradually discovers she’s different and not the way he remembered her. To his disappointment, there is one problem: Beth is a violent, human-eating zombie. Zach now faces a very tough decision about his future with Beth.
Romanticism is undisputedly the dominant worldview in LIFE AFTER BETH. The concepts of Romanticism are fully reflected in the protagonist, Zach. Zach is fully aware that the logical thing to do is to end his relationship with his zombie girlfriend, Beth. Instead, he irrationally decides to proceed with his romantic relationship because he’s still madly in love with her. Eventually, he finally accepts that the right thing to do is to let her go, despite how difficult it might be.
Just as LIFE AFTER BETH fails at presenting Christian and biblical worldview, it also completely fails artistically. The one poor quality of LIFE AFTER BETH is the storyline and plot, the most important aspect of a movie. Aside from that, the acting and cinematography are good.
The story in LIFE AFTER BETH is undoubtedly horrible and distasteful. The movie’s story doesn’t contain a powerful, deeper meaning, but rather a surface-level one. This fact will cause the viewing audience to become disinterested in and bored with the movie. Moviegoers do not simply watch a movie for entertainment purposes, but they also desire to have a meaningful connection with a movie and be changed by it. This movie definitely fails at its attempts to do that.
The meaningless story in LIFE AFTER BETH will also cause it to become an unmemorable, forgotten movie. At the most basic level, the story has the potential to be a profound, heartfelt story. This could have been achieved if the filmmakers would have incorporated scenes containing biblical, or at least redemptive, elements, instead of several scenes of repulsive sexual immorality. It seemed like the writer and director just wanted to fill the void of time in order to have a feature length movie. They failed to create meaningful scenes that would drive and help communicate the idea of “sometimes when you love someone, you have let them go.” LIFE AFTER BETH is technically considered a comedy, and there are funny scenes in it, but for the most part, it plays more like a drama, so viewers might expect the story to be more meaningful or profound.
Despite its unpleasant storyline, LIFE AFTER BETH has fairly good acting and cinematography. The acting performance by the actors, especially that of Dane DeHaan, who plays Zach, helps the audience connect and relate with the character on a deeper and profound level. Viewers may feel the emotional pain that Zach was feeling because of DeHaan’s fine performance. The adult audience will have compassion for Zach because they most likely have dealt with pain, love, the hardships of relationships, and the loss of a love one.
The cinematography in LIFE AFTER BETH is also fairly good. There are several really well shot scenes that contribute to the overall mood of the movie. For example, at the beginning of the movie, the scene when Beth is hiking on her own and enjoying herself is shot in slow motion and then immediately cuts to the scene of her funeral. The slow motion is done for the audience to understand her happiness. Of course, death is inevitable, and it may occur at an unexpected time, including during moments of happiness.
Overall, LIFE AFTER BETH is an unpleasant, abhorrent movie with a strong Non-Christian Romantic worldview containing a lot of foul language and strong lewd content.


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