Every once in awhile it seems like there is always a movie to see. May has been that way for me as we kick off summer movie season. With that in mind, here is the breakdown and my thoughts on all the recent movies I've seen. I'm open to your thoughts as well, so let me know what you thought as well. These reviews won't be as extensive as some I've done, but will suffice to give you an idea of what to expect if you haven't seen them yet...
X-Men Origins-Wolverine: This is DEFINITELY a guy's guy movie. It is packed full of action and was exciting from start to finish. As far as comic lore goes, it did a pretty good job of unpacking what we know about the "ole canuck." The only area that it varied from the comics was in the treatment of the character known as "deadpool," but I won't go into detail as I don't want to spoil anything. Overall a great movie. This one is NOT a kids movie, it has it's share of language and the action sequences are pretty intense. There are a few talk points though that you can use with a youth group about anger, regret, revenge, and much more. It's worth seeing if you are in youth ministry because most of your kids probably have seen it already. Grade A-
Star Trek: Alas, the long awaited new Trek movie and JJ Abrams' (of LOST fame) reboot of the franchise. I really liked this one, although it did mess with Trek lore a little bit. Again, I won't give any details because I don't want to give any spoilers, but I really enjoyed it. The new actors did a great job of portraying their counterparts (although the guy who played Scottie was a bit over the top) and I believe that Abrams successfully reinvented Trek for the next generation. As it relates to family friendliness, there are some sexual overtones a couple of times in the movie as well some language, so again you may want to preview it first. As far as teachable moments, there is some great dialogue about destiny and living up to your potential that would be great for a youth talk or two. This one is definitely worth seeing. Grade B+
Angels & Demons: Overall it was a decent movie, but if I am being honest I would wait for it on DVD. I was turned on to the Dan Brown/Robert Langdon books when "the DaVinci" was creating such a controversy in the church and so I read both books. I honestly thought DVC was a better movie, but A&D is a better book and that is why I was disappointed with this movie. As I was reading the book I felt a sense of urgency that just didn't seem present in the movie, it just didn't move as fast as I should. Also they did a large amount of deviating from the book plot which was frustrating to me. I wouldn't have minded, but they changed MAJOR plot lines from the book to the movie which honestly I thought took away from the movie itself. It's not bad, but just not the best. This one is not family friendly, it's dark at times, and the action sequences are a bit graphic so I wouldn't take the kids to this one. The teachable moments come in discussing faith and why we believe what we believe, not to mention the discussion that can come in talking about the role that science plays in faith. Grade: C-
Terminator Salvation: Again, this is another reboot of the franchise to help carry it into the next generation, but I think they should have left it alone. It was a decent story and I thought the "Marcus Wright" story line was okay, but as far as Terminator canon goes it just took away too much and wasn't believable and it was somewhat slow too. It is worth seeing if you're a Terminator fan, but wait for video. Action sequences are pretty intense at times and somewhat graphic, not to mention the terminators themselves can be kinda scary, so not one for the kids. Teachable moments come in talk about redemption (don't want to ruin the plot, but there is a sense of redemption in one character making things right), and again you could plug in some discussion about legacy and living up to potential (but that might be a stretch) Overall not bad, but wait for video. Grade C
Those are the thoughts for now, we're heading to see "Up" tonight and taking the youth to "night at the museum 2" tomorrow so I'll try and have thoughts about them next week.
So what do you think about any of these?