When their father dies suddenly, the rivalry of the siblings comes out in the open. The father’s veteran flag on his casket is given to the oldest brother, which sets off the conflicts. Judy says she was hoping to have the flag because it means so much to her: as a daughter and as a former soldier.
As the conflict increases between the siblings, Judy begins having nightmares related to post-traumatic syndrome. In flashbacks, it is established that Judy was indeed a hero. The brothers suddenly discover a shocking secret about their father’s medals, but it may be too late for the family to reconcile.
FLAG OF MY FATHER is dramatic and well told. The story moves quickly, keeping the viewer’s attention. The battle scenes are very dramatic without being gory. The performances are very solid, led by William Devane as the veteran father.
There’s a strong Christian, moral message in FLAG OF MY FATHER. Heroism is extolled. Also, Judy goes back to save a fallen fellow soldier because, in her previous conversations with him, he had not yet accepted Jesus as his Savior. Also, several characters quote the Bible. Finally, FLAG OF MY FATHER has a very strong patriotic theme as characters discuss what the American flag means to them.
FLAG OF MY FATHER has some battle sequences that may be too intense for very young children. With that one caveat, this is a meaningful, inspiring family movie.
Hungarian leader Regent Horthy (Sir Ben Kingsley) sees that the Allies will eventually defeat Hitler’s National Socialist regime in Germany. So, he cuts ties with Germany. Because of his decision, Hungarian Jews are no longer protected and are seen as the enemy by the desperate Nazi soldiers.
Elek Cohen, a young energetic Jew, rushes from the city to his home village to make sure his family is all right. Upon arriving, he and all the other young men are forcibly sent to a labor camp. The Germans ruthlessly work the young men, killing anyone who becomes sick or is injured. When some Allies planes strike the compound, Elek and the prisoners have their chance to escape.
Once Elek gets back to his village, he finds out his entire family was relocated. Desperate to find them, he goes back to the city to see if he can find more information on where his family might be. In the city, Elek finds himself with a group of resisters who are forging passports for Jewish families so they can escape to Switzerland.
One day, a group of Jews are being led to a train for their impending execution. In an attempt to save them, Elek puts on a stolen Nazi officer uniform and uses his perfect German accent to order the soldiers to transfer the Jews to him. Miraculously, this works, and he is able to save many lives.
Reinvigorated to make a difference, Elek goes on dangerous missions posing as a German officer for the remainder of the war. The longer he goes, the more likely it becomes for him to be discovered. Along the way, he develops a relationship with Hannah, a young Jewish woman whose life he had saved.
WALKING WITH THE ENEMY is a very exciting World War II drama. The acting is powerful, and the sets and special effects are very impressive for an independent movie. The nature of the story makes it gritty and rough, but never gratuitous. The story moves quickly, but forgets to convey to the audience where they are taking it at times. Otherwise, however, the movie holds interest throughout.
WALKING WITH THE ENEMY has a very strong moral worldview with strong Christian elements. At the center of the story are Jews and Christians who risk their lives to save men, women and children. Inspirational and emotionally gripping, the movie is a testament to the impact one man can have against an evil empire. The violence, though not gratuitous, is still intense and warrants strong caution.
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
With all due respect, the complaints and opposition to the movie don’t make much sense.
To prove this, let’s examine the two major complaints being made against the movie.
In fact, on that point alone, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL has a lot of good things going for it.
Best of all, the movie ends on the fact that Jesus Christ is real and true.
Both Jesus and His “beloved” apostle, John, do exactly that.
Thus, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL actually re-affirms Christian, biblical faith. It doesn’t contradict it.
In Episode 524, the first story is about a positive rapper, Tyler Griffin. His father abandoned the family when Tyler was four months old. The family lived in a rundown area. At the age of 9, he got inspired by rap music. He soon did a song that was used as a commercial for a local politician. His positive rap brought him into contact with major acts such as the Newsboys. His goal is to honor God, and he sets a great example for children who are musically talented, especially forgiving his father for abandoning him.
Finally, the last story is about Jimmy Mosqueda, a talented motorsports engineer who first discovered his talents in high school. He has helped some of the leading racecar drivers succeed, and he finds his help in the Bible.
THE REAL WINNING EDGE has a very strong moral worldview with strong biblical principles. It has no negative content except for minor references to self-determination and self-improvement. Otherwise, it shows that success is best achieved through faith and values.
A couple members of the Newsboys Christian group and racecar driver Jeff Gordon are featured in Episode 524.
By Amy Swanson, Contributing Writer
That’s nice. . . wait. . . what? When did that become romantic?
Johnny Depp plays Will Caster, a brilliant scientist pressing the frontiers of artificial intelligence. Rebecca Hall plays his fellow scientist wife, Evelyn, who loves the possibility of using artificial intelligence to cure cancer, end poverty, and clean up the environment. Their charmed life is shattered when some radicals who believe artificial intelligence is dangerous shoot Will. Will survives the shooting, but the bullet turns out to be highly radioactive.
As Will’s life slips away over a month’s time, Evelyn decides to try to save his mind by uploading it to a computer. She and their friend, Max, succeed, even when being attacked by radicals trying to stop them.
When Will’s uploaded to the Internet, his powers expand exponentially. He’s able to study the entire world’s surveillance cameras and alert the FBI to where the anti-technology people are hiding. He even discovers ways to regenerate severely injured bodies and give sight to a man born blind. However, there are drawbacks to such power. He knows everything about everyone. Also, those he has healed have super strength and live almost as his drones. In fact, he uses nano-technology to connect all of them to him through the Internet.
With Max’s help, the FBI decides to work with the anti-technology radicals to stop Will.
It’s actually refreshing to see a science fiction movie where a major threat to life on earth is not posed by Godzilla, evil Transformers, or any huge flying objects going around destroying cities. In an age when government agencies have access to every phone call or mouse click, and enemies can be taken out by soldiers at consoles controlling drones, this is a movie that will make you think. Do we want a cure to cancer if the price is programmed cells? Do we want more security if the price is the complete elimination of privacy?
Early in the movie, Will is asked if he wants to play God. This is a valid question. Will was working on “transcendence,” which he considered the use of supercomputers to add powers beyond the imagination to an uploaded human mind. Consider the similarity. God knows our every thought. God knows our motives. God made children who scrape their knees to regrow perfect skin. God made mankind capable of building artificial intelligence, atomic bombs, and surveillance cameras. We are living in a time when we expect technology to find astounding cures, but also to build ever more horrifying weapons. We live in an age where a small gift to a politically incorrect cause can cost you your job 15 years later. We live in an age where information gathered by the IRS and other government agencies can trigger politically motivated audits and prosecutions.
TRANCENDENCE does a wonderful job of causing viewers to think. How far do we want technology to go? What keeps it from being misused? Can it be stopped? Should it be stopped?
Those who obey God will use technology as God desires. Those who disobey God can misuse technology in frightening ways.
TRANSCENDENCE has a less than satisfying resolution, along with a couple possible plot holes, but the trip there is some of the best science fiction in years. It has less foul language and less violence than most of today’s science fiction movies. Not a single block of a major city gets blown to bits, but the world is radically changed.
By Carl Kozlowski, Contributing Writer
Interestingly, Depp doesn’t consider himself a tech wizard at all.