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Saving Mr. Banks

savingmrbanksJohn and I were able to land tix to another free screening a few days ago to see Disney’s new movie coming out – Saving Mr. Banks. It’s the story of the making of Mary Poppins, or rather the story of the author of the Mary Poppins books, P.L Travers and her struggle to release the characters and story over to Walt Disney. It comes out Dec 20.

We both really enjoyed this movie! It love that it is based on a true story and at the same time that makes it a tiny bit more sad. There is a story within the story and the true story behind Mary Poppins character comes out as never before. It’s a rare thing to be able to get a glimpse into how a character came to be direct from the authors experience, but this movie allows just that. Of course, it will also leave you wanting to go watch Mary Poppins again and you will have the choruses to many songs running through your head, though it is by no means a musical.

This is a great flick by Disney. It’s not a fairy tale. It’s very real, but I think that’s what makes it very good. Life is hard, but that doesn’t mean we should live in bitterness. There are responsibilities in life that must be taken care of, but imagination and creativity should never be too far from us either.

You can check out the trailer here.

McHenry Drive-In Theater is a Blast From the Past

This is the second year we have made the trek to the McHenry Outdoor Drive-In Theater to catch a movie. Last year we had a groupon. This year we paid full price. The lineup was Despicable Me 2 and Man of Steel.

Even though the tickets are about the same as you’d pay at AMC for 1 movie, you get a whole evening out. I love it that you can bring your own food and drink. You have to arrive early to get a good spot and you can just enjoy the beautiful summer weather, while you wait for the sun to set and the movie to begin. drive in mchenry1

There are a few down sides though. It’s not the best sound or clarity of picture, though they are raising money so they can change to a digital projector. It’s late. If you are not a late night person it’s very hard to stay up for that second movie. I somehow managed to stay awake through the first half of the second movie, but that was as far as I made it. I didn’t care for it much anyway.

Overall though, I will say that John and I have so enjoyed both our trips there. We really hope they raise the funds necessary to stay open. Maybe we’ll get to go one more time this summer when they have a throw back weekend. Check it out for yourself!

Thoughts on Superheros

ironman3This weekend John and I went to see Iron Man 3 with a free coupon for my birthday. I enjoyed it just like I have enjoyed so many of the Marvel movies. That got my brain thinking. Why do we love superhero movies? What is it about these types of movies that keep people, like myself, returning for more again and again? I mean basically every movie is the same right? Good guy vs. bad guy. Good guy wins, at least until another bad guy comes along. And lots of violence, ups and downs and special effects in the middle.

I think though that says something about us, about the way we are wired. We do like stories of heros. We know there is good and there is evil, instinctively. We like to believe that good will always win out in the end, and so we write stories where it does. We walk into the theater knowing the good guy will win. So if we know the outcome, why go? We are intrigued by the story. How will the good guy pull it off this time? What new evil will he face? Who will help him? Will his loved ones make it? The only thing different in each of these movies is the story. The characters change, the setting changes, the circumstances change, but the plot is the same. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think we also can relate to the Superheros. Most of them are human, or were at some point. They aren’t perfect. They have weaknesses and struggles. They can’t save the world on their own. They are imperfect beings trying to do the right thing and responsibly use the powerful gifts they have been given.

All these things remind me of another Superhero story, only this one hasn’t ended yet. We are in the midst of it. It’s never a fun ride when you are in the midst of the drama of the story unfolding. However, one day we’ll look back and think, “What an awesome story!” In this story there is good and evil too. God vs. Satan. And like all good Superhero stories we are assured of the victory of good. Satan has already been defeated when Jesus came. The only question playing out now is how the rest of the story will play out. Our Superhero, Jesus, allows us to help him in this story. We are the imperfect beings trying to do the right thing and use what gifts he has given us to glorify Him. He is the ultimate Superhero because he is perfect! And one day, there will be an ultimate defeat of evil. There will be a time when there will be no more villains left to fight. Happily ever after will become a reality….one day, at least for those who trust in the ultimate Superhero.

All this talk of Superhero’s and Jesus reminds me of one our favorite Sparks songs we sang at club. Jesus You’re My Superhero. Enjoy!

Free Screening: The Way, Way Back

220px-The_Way,_Way_Back_PosterJohn and I took advantage of a free screening last night. We had our B1G1 Qdoba birthday meal, a free movie, a free large birthday pop courtesy of AMC and a even got 2 free t-shirts out of the deal. Not bad. But what made it even better was that it was actually a pretty good movie.

Of course there was some swearing and since it’s set on the beach and at a water park, some scantily clad women. There was also lots of drinking. But that really is just the backdrop of life for Duncan, a 14 year old boy stuck spending the summer with his mom at her boyfriends beach house. He is awkward and shy and having trouble finding a place to fit. Eventually he lands at Water Wizz Water Park and finds a friend who helps him realize his potential.

One really good message from the movie was a great reminder to myself, and that is that you never know the influence you can have in the life of another person, especially a child. Just being there and loving someone can be enough and can be just what they may need to flourish.

You can watch the trailer here.

Action and Laughs Leave us Satisfied

This weekend was another where we took advantage of the cold weather to stay inside and catch up on movies. I am soooo thankful for our library, where we can find all these movies to watch. This weekend were John’s choices (minus one). So it was more of an action theme. We watched Thor, Reel Steel, and then my pick, Johnny English Reborn. We actually enjoyed all of them.

Thor was good. It was another of the avenger movies. Even though you know what to expect going in, it is still always enjoyable and kind of neat to get the back story on him. I think we only have 1 more avenger movie to go.



real steel

Real Steel was a real surprise. I had no idea what it was, nor had I ever heard of it. But John knew. I thought it was just gonna be another violent action movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a slightly futuristic movie about the world of robot boxing. They use these machines instead of humans. They have a huge following and it’s a big deal and lots of money is involved. So Hugh Jackman plays the main character who was a former human boxer now trying to make it, unsuccessfully, as a robot boxer. John described as Rocky with Robots, and I think that’s quite accurate. Other than all the swearing it was a good movie.

johnny english

Johnny English Reborn was strictly for amusement, and that’s what it was. It was pretty funny at times and just what I was excpecting. I think you need a little silly humor every now and again. If you’re looking for a good spoof on James Bond movies, this is it. I actually think it was a little better than the first one, though it’s been a while.

Anyone else seen any good movies lately? We made need a few more to tide us over til the nice weather comes.


Chariots of Fire and the Sabbath

chariotsAfter watching Chariots of Fire this weekend I was amazed at the conviction of this young man in the movie. He definitely took God’s laws seriously and had his priorities straight. If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it. But here is a quick synopsis as it relates to these thoughts. There is a really good runner who runs a mission in Scotland. He decides to pursue running in competitions and makes it to the Olympics where his trials fall on a Sunday. He refuses to run because it is the Sabbath, the Lord’s day. That’s all I’ll say.

His conviction is astounding and it leads me to the question: What does it mean to honor the Sabbath? What does it mean in our day and age? We celebrate it on a different day, and we celebrate it differently than the Jews do. I know we go to church, but is that really all there is to it?

I don’t have answers. I am just posing the question.

Movie Marathon

John and I are not movie-a-holics, but in the winter when there is not much to do we tend to play catch up. I think we’ve been trying to get in as much as possible before spring comes. And it is coming….soon. At least I hope it’s soon. It doesn’t feel like it with so much snow on the ground.

This weekend, and even through yesterday we watched 4 movies:
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Chariots of Fire: A classic. John had never seen it before so it was a must rent at some point.
Hugo: Great movie. Some very deep concepts for a kids movie. Great graphics and unique story line.
Fantastic Mr. Fox: Typical of Roald Dahl. Witty humor, slightly bent towards the dark side sometimes. But it had it’s moments.
The Adventures of Tin Tin: I thought the graphics on this were stunning but the story itself was only ok. It was predictable and felt long, which is never good, especially for an action film.

Thank you Arlington Heights Library for providing all these wonderful movies for us to watch for free!

Snow Day 2013

John is between jobs for two days and I decided to call in and spend one of those days with him, yesterday. I am actually glad I did because it ended up snowing quite a bit and getting home from work would have been a nightmare. It was a beautiful day though, just relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable.

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John woke up and made pancakes for us in the morning and got to use his Darth Vader spatula. And after a nice chill breakfast, we headed to the library for more relaxing. We picked out some movies for later, browsed all the books and spent some time reading.

snow day 20133

We ended up watching Madagascar 3 and We Bought a Zoo. The first was amusing as usual and the second was sad but good. Definitely cried more than I thought I would. Sometime during the first movie the snow started falling and it didn’t stop until after I was in bed. It was really pretty to watch and I enjoyed that for a while as well. It was a great snow day. But alas, back to work for 1 more day before the weekend. I can do it!

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The Three Little Pigs….Like You’ve Never Heard it Before

I came across this video via one of my favorite Christian comedians who I will give a shout out to in a later post. But this video is from another up and coming comedian who I am beginning to really enjoy as well, John Branyan. He’s from Kokomo, IN which is cool since that’s just a little ways away from where I went to college. He has alot of tour dates in IN so for all my peeps there, go check him out!

He retells the story of the Three Little Pigs, and really, I’ll just let the video speak for itself.

You can purchase the Illustrated book to practice your vocabulary. Makes for a very fun read. Especially if you try the accents.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, this movie will not disappoint. At almost 3 hours long it seemed to fly by and I was actually disappointed when it ended.  Expect your typical orc, giant, troll battles. Expect witty humor and well-known characters. Expect stunning graphics. The only negative is that the movie is not complete. They produced it as another trilogy so you will have to wait, along with me, to see the next two movies. I guess we’ll just have to be patient, but it’s hard. But it does give me a chance to read the novel again.

Watch the Trailer