BIG HERO 6



BIG HERO 6 is an excellent Disney Animated movie set in a fictional metropolis called San Fransokyo. Hiro is a 14-year-old boy with a gift for robotics. With his parents deceased, Hiro lives with his older brother, Tadashi, and his Aunt Cass, getting in trouble periodically by wasting his talents in robot fights, which are illegal.
After Hiro is caught in a robot fight and thrown in jail, Tadashi tries to inspire a greater sense of purpose for Hiro by showing him his University lab. Amazed by the technology and opportunities of Tadashi’s school, Hiro decides he has to go there as well. His only chance is to build something truly remarkable and showcase it at a robotics convention. If Hiro can impress Professor Robert Callaghan, he’ll be allowed into the school’s program.
With the help and encouragement of Tadashi’s friends GoGo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred, Hiro creates something truly unique and revolutionary that blows everyone at the convention away. So much so, his creation even gains interest from tech guru Alistair Krei, who wants to buy Hiro’s invention. However, Hiro decides it’s not ready yet and opts to join the University. Later in the evening, a fire starts at the convention and Tadashi runs in to help the Professor, but the building explodes, killing Tadashi.
The loss of his brother destroys Hiro. The only remnant of Tadashi left is his creation called Baymax, an inflatable robot that Tadashi built as a healthcare companion. When Hiro discovers his invention wasn’t destroyed in the fire, he wonders if the fire wasn’t an accident and if someone is responsible for Tadashi’s death. Determined to find this person, Hiro turns the huggable Baymax into a fighting machine and enlists the help of Tadashi’s four friends to catch this person. They discover that this mysterious man has stolen Hiro’s invention and is now using it as a weapon.
Can Hiro and his friends stop this villain before he harms other people? Will the distraught and angry Hiro go too far in trying to catch this villain?
BIG HERO 6 is a delightful, charming movie that all ages will enjoy. Disney carries on its tradition by bringing another meticulously well-crafted story with an emotional pull and an exciting storyline. FROZEN gave us a lovely depiction of sisterhood, and while BIG HERO 6 is a little more tragic, the bond between the brothers is touching. Baymax the robot steals the show though with his adorable innocence, which is especially hilarious when his low battery makes him confused and lethargic. The animation is beautiful, especially the fused landscapes that San Fransokyo gathers from San Francisco and Tokyo.
The positive messages in BIG HERO 6 are abundant, but they’re found among some heavier themes and plot elements that might be a little much for young children. Hiro learns he needs to use his talents for the good of others rather than personal gain, but before he learns this he does participate in illegal gambling of underground robot fighting. Tadashi is an exemplary older brother, who cares for, loves and guides his younger brilliant brother in the right direction. Tadashi also exhibits courage, bravery and selflessness, which are defining values that push Hiro into becoming a hero, but this also comes with Tadashi’s tragic death in an explosion. Hiro is transitioning from boyhood to manhood, and with that comes all complications of discovering who you are, who you want to be and even the awkward stages of puberty. Everything stays upbeat in BIG HERO 6, but some of the themes should spur positive conversation and discussion.
FEAST, the Disney short preceding BIG HERO 6, is brilliant storytelling at its finest, about a young puppy and his relationship with his owner through the food he’s fed.

THE GOOD LIE



THE GOOD LIE is a drama about Sudanese refugees who make it through some of the hardest trails and are brought to America to make a new life. THE GOOD LIE has a strong Christian worldview with Scripture, but there are some cautionary elements.
The movie opens with a group of children playing soccer in a village in Sudan. Suddenly, some warlords come into the village. The warlords kill almost everyone, except four boys and a girl, the sister of there of the boys. Bonding together, the children run away from the village. The oldest boy, Theo, is made the chief and must lead the group.
Walking hundreds of miles, the children finally stop in a field and lay down to sleep. One of the boys wakes in the morning and looks up. When he looks up, men with machine guns are walking through. They see him and start shooting. Theo starts yelling and stands up. The evil men take Theo, and the others are saved. The younger boy is now the chief and must lead the pack a few hundred more miles. Finally, the group gets to a refugee camp.
Years pass, and they have now been in the refugee camp for some time, waiting for their name to appear on the list of people to transfer to America. Miraculously, they get on the list. When they arrive in America, the three boys find out their sister can’t come with them. Saddened, they part and are flown to Kansas City, while their sister, Abital, is flown to Boston.
Arriving in Kansas City, the boys are greeted by Carrie, a young woman who doesn’t quite have her life together. Carrie must help the boys find a job. Will the boys be able to find a job, get back together with their sister, and mend their sorrow-filled hearts?
THE GOOD LIE is a powerful movie that will have audiences crying multiple times. The movie is very well down and touching. The acting is actually done by the refugees themselves, but they do a great job. This isn’t Reese Witherspoon’s best acting job, but she does a good enough job. The cinematography is well done, along with the movie’s suspense and dialogue. Finally, although the subject line is very heavy, there is relief from the drama, including some laughter.
THE GOOD LIE has a strong Christian worldview. The refugees travel hundreds of miles with only a Bible, reading scriptures and telling stories from the Bible to keep hope. One of the refugees becomes a pastor later in life, though one of the refugees gets influenced by his coworkers to start smoking marijuana. Also, Reese Witherspoon’s character is a bit edgy and is promiscuously sleeping with men. Eventually, however, the refugees soften her heart. The movie’s title doesn’t depict its values, though it does have some content requiring caution. Overall, THE GOOD LIE has a powerful, inspiring Christian message.

DOLPHIN TALE 2



In DOLPHIN TALE 2, Winter the dolphin’s surrogate mother dies and she must be paired with a companion in order to stay at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. DOLPHIN TALE 2 is a refreshingly wholesome movie with some wonderful, morally uplifting themes the whole family can enjoy.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is doing well, with an even bigger facility then before and larger crowds visiting. Sawyer visits the aquarium almost every day to work with Winter. One day, when Sawyer comes to the aquarium, everyone is in chaos, because Winter’s companion, Panama, has died.
Winter starts to act very odd. Eventually, they find out she’s depressed about Panama’s death. When a dolphin is rescued from the ocean, the team thinks this may be a new companion for Winter. They name her Mindy. Meanwhile, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture comes to check in on the Aquarium. They tell the founder of the aquarium, Clay, that he must find a companion for Winter. Otherwise, she will be transferred to another location.
During this same time, Sawyer has been offered a full scholarship to a prestigious marine biology program. Sawyer is nervous to go, worried about Winter.
DOLPHIN TALE 2 is a well-made sequel to the first. The movie is entertaining and even has some suspense. Both the young actors, who play Sawyer and Hazel, have become better actors.
DOLPHIN TALE 2 has a strong moral worldview. The movie emphasizes hope, companionship, family, commitment, responsibility, and loyalty. The entire family will be able to see this movie because it’s refreshingly wholesome. There is no overt faith content in DOLPHIN TALE 2, but it has a positive message.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER



The new CAPTAIN AMERICA movie, THE WINTER SOLDIER, is a superb, exciting comic book thriller with lots of exhilarating action. Captain America maintains his patriotic integrity and decency throughout the movie, which also has an interesting political message for today’s moviegoer.

In the story, a mysterious, legendary assassin called “the Winter Soldier” critically wounds Nick Fury, Captain America’s boss at SHIELD headquarters. Fury hands Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, a flash drive showing that SHIELD has been secretly compromised. “Don’t trust anyone,” Fury tells Cap before he lapses into a coma.

Captain America refuses to tell anyone at SHIELD about the flash drive, including Alexander Pierce, the man heading the international council that oversees SHIELD. Pierce orders all SHIELD agents to capture Captain American so he can be interrogated. With help only from Natasha Romanoff, the notorious Black Widow, and a friend who’s a veteran, Cap must now avoid both SHIELD agents and the Winter Soldier and his cohorts. Captain America and his friends uncover a secret conspiracy to take over the world. At stake is not just the future of SHIELD and their own lives, but also the future of freedom in America and the whole world.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is a terrific action movie. It hits all the right plot points to drive the story forward, along with some nifty plot twists. Once again, Chris Evans does a superb job as the iconic hero. Skillfully assisting him are Scarlet Johansson as the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Anthony Mackie as the Falcon (Captain America’s new friend), Robert Redford as Secretary Pierce, and Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier.

Happily, THE WINTER SOLIDER has a strong moral, patriotic, anti-totalitarian worldview. The movie’s worldview mostly stems from the conflict between Captain America’s basic integrity and decency and the nefarious motives of the movie’s multiple villains. Without giving away too much of the plot, Captain America learns that the villains have secretly infiltrated SHIELD to take control of the United States and the rest of the world. Part of their plan involves taking over SHIELD’s new system for monitoring and targeting terrorists and using it to control everyone on the planet. Captain America must work with the Black Widow and the Falcon, his new friend, to preserve American liberty and save the world. To raise the stakes, the filmmakers give each of the heroes a personal stake in the fight as well. This effectively increases the danger to the heroes, who have to put everything on the line to stop the villains and their evil plot.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER also has some interesting social and political angles in its plot. For example, early in the movie, Captain America voices some opposition to Nick Fury about SHIELD’s new spying and anti-terrorist technology. The technology involves monitoring possible terrorists with huge military airships in the sky that can also be used to spy on civilians. In fact, [SPOILER ALERT] that’s exactly what the evil conspirators plan to do: spy on civilians and eliminate those who might oppose them, starting with American civilian and military leaders. Captain America tells Nick he thinks the new technology is created out of fear, not out of a desire to protect liberty and defend people. At another point, Captain America urges people to stand up for liberty, but also reminds them that the price of freedom can be very high. Finally, Captain America’s new friend, Sam Wilson aka the Falcon, helps American war veterans recovering from PTSD. Thus, not only does THE WINTER SOLDIER extol liberty, it also briefly honors the price that America’s war veterans, who fight for liberty, pay to protect our freedom and the freedom of others.

All in all, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is one of the best superhero movies yet. Cautions is warranted, however, for many intense scenes of action violence, including gun battles, and some mostly light foul language.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS



WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is a high quality CGI science exhibit humanizing the story of a pachyrhinosaurus and his herd migrating back and forth across Alaska fighting to survive. It vividly conveys the violence and futility of animal existence in nature but adds a human-like message favoring self-sacrifice over pride and arrogance.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS opens with a paleontologist taking two children on a hunt for bones. A talking bird explains to the boy how a particular dinosaur tooth was broken off and left to be found. The bird morphs into a prehistoric bird that befriends Patchi, a very young pachyrhinosaurus. The movie takes Patchi through his childhood and a love-at-first-sight relationship with Juniper, a female pachyrhinosaurus. Every time a new species of dinosaur is introduced, the movie pauses to put in print its species and its taste for meat or vegetation. On occasion you get a quick anatomy lesson as well about teeth or brain size.

Young children raised with pets in their homes and food purchased at grocery stores will find the frequent battles to resist become a meal disconcerting. Patchi’s father becomes a meal while trying to guard Patchi and his brother. Self-sacrifice and the defense of others are presented as admirable while pride and arrogance are rebuked. Somehow the reality of the CGI makes the struggle for life more disturbing than in ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS. In ICE AGE, you know the characters are not real because they look cartoonish. In WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, the characters look too real to be associated with the voices used. Patchi’s father never speaks. He just makes animal noises.

The movie doesn’t rub the viewer’s nose in evolution theory, as many museum exhibits do, but neither does it declare the majesty of God’s creation. What it does do is show life in nature to be much less noble than in AVATAR. It is brutal, dirty, and short. Elders are replaced by young thugs wanting a harem, and the infants, the sick, and the elderly are the first to fall prey to predators.

Praise God for a nation where children are taught, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” People have homes, cars, and televisions because mankind can live far above the survival mentality of raw nature. People are made in the image of God, not beasts. People can speak in words, not grunts. People can write books and make movies. People can even give human voices and personalities to astounding CGI representations of creatures that only some of the bones exist.

If you love dinosaurs and want to see beautiful images of herds of dinosaurs, you may enjoy WALKING WITH DINISAURS. Just be cautious with young children because the CGI is so good that the predator attack scenes may cause nightmares.