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Films

Movie Reviews:

About Schmidt

About Schmidt (New Line) is an American masterpiece about a 66-year-old retiree's quest to pick up the pieces of his disappointing life and to discover new sources of love and meaning.

 

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Spirited Away

Spirited Away (Buena Vista) is an animated feature that is nothing short of wonderful with its ten-year-old girl protagonist and its steadfast refusal to set up a dualistic battle between good and evil.

 

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The Way Home

The Way Home (Paramount Classics) is a wonderful Korean film on the miracles that can be wrought by the expression of unconditional love.

 

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Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (DreamWorks)

Is a fine family film about a wild stallion who overcomes obstacle after obstacle to maintain his freedom.

 

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Antwone Fisher

Antwone Fisher (Fox Searchlight) salutes a young African American's desire to know and come to terms with his origins, a sacred task strongly recommended by a caring counselor.

 

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Saint Maybe (1998)

Starring: Thomas McCarthy, Mary-Louise Parker. Director: Michael Pressman Synopsis: Touching drama about man, grief-stricken over his brother's death, stumbling towards faith, doing good deeds. Told in an admirably non-cloying context, this moving film will thrill inspirational drama aficionados. Runtime: 100 minutes MPAA Rating: Not Rated. Genre: Drama

Viewers Comments:

This is a heart-wrenching story of a family experiencing many difficulties and facing them with heroic stamina that only God could have given the characters. It addresses modern family flaws with dignity and selfless virtues. The individuals truly desire what is best for the other members of the family. If you love kids, self-sacrifice, dogs, Christmas, and good winning over evil--get this video and share it with others.

This film was an excellently produced film that was not preachy. Yet, it taught a powerful lesson in forgiveness of self. The young man in the film was a quiet powerful presence who grew from a callow self-centered youth into a man of integrity and honor. I was totally captivated by the writing, the acting, and the production design. Superior work! I will purchase this video and treasure it in my library.

 

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Instinct

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Cuba Gooding Jr., et al. Director: Jon Turteltaub.

Synopsis: Intriguing psychological thriller concerns ambitious psychiatric resident's attempt to unravel dangerous secret kept by murderous, savage primatologist. Hopkins plays a brilliant anthropologist studying gorillas who entered into their world, becoming part of their family, and who killed two park rangers in the gorillas' habitat. Gooding plays a brilliant young psychiatrist who's supposed to evaluate Hopkins and determine whether he's fit to stand trial. Hopkins, along with a number of other psychotics, is being held at a prison, which serves to illustrate the movie's themes about control and freedom. Runtime: 126 minutes MPAA Rating: R Genres: Drama, Suspense.

 

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Patch Adams

Starring: Robin Williams, et al. Director: Tom Shadyac.

Editorial Reviews. -Jenny Brown. Amazon.com. Patch Adams raises two schools of thought: There are those who are inspired by the true story of a troubled man who finds happiness in helping others--a man set on changing the world and who may well accomplish the task. And then there are those who feel manipulated by this feel-good story, who want to smack the young medical student every time he begins his silly antics. Staving off suicidal thoughts, Hunter Adams commits himself into a psychiatric ward, where he not only garners the nickname "Patch," but learns the joy in helping others. To this end, he decides to go to medical school, where he clashes with the staid conventions of the establishment as he attempts to inject humor and humanity into his treatment of the patients ("We need to start treating the patient as well as the disease," he declares throughout the film). Robin Williams, in the title role, is as charming as ever, although someone should tell him to broaden his range--the ever-cheerful do-gooder ŗ la Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society is getting a little old. His sidekick Truman (Daniel London) steals the show with his gawky allure and eyebrows that threaten to overtake his lean face--he seems more real, which is odd considering that Patch Adams does exist and this film is based on his life. Monica Potter is the coolly reluctant love interest, and she makes the most of her one-dimensional part. While moments of true heartfelt emotion do come through, the major flaw of this film is that the good guys are just so gosh-darn good and the bad ones are just big meanies with no character development. Patch Adams, though, does provide the tears, the giggles, and the kooky folks who will keep you smiling at the end. Runtime: 115 minutes MPAA Rating: PG-13 Genres: Comedy, Drama. Click here to order this movie.

 

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Good Will Hunting (1997)

Starring: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, et al. Director: Gus Van Sant.

Editorial Reviews. Amazon.com. One of the best films of the 1990s, this is one of those rare box office mega-hits that deserved all the adulation and awards it earned. Youthful stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck earned an Academy Award for their incisive, witty script. Damon plays a janitor at MIT who is an enormously gifted mathematician. Salivating professors bring the angry and troubled young man to psychiatrist Robin Williams, hoping Damon will conform enough to further his education. (Williams garnered an Academy Award for his heartfelt performance.) Director Gus Van Sant put away his more invasive camera tricks and let the story tell itself. Good thing, because this is one involving and well-acted tale. Several plot tangents, including a sweet little romance between Damon and Minnie Driver, are carefully woven into the fabric of this multilayered drama. Friendship, societal expectations, and the long reach of a damaged childhood are all portrayed with such finesse that the story never feels heavy-handed. Extraordinarily optimistic, Good Will Hunting is exceptional because it causes elation and forces you to think. --Rochelle O'Gorman. Runtime: 126 minutes MPAA Rating: R Genres: Drama, Romance.

 

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Religion and Film Reviews

Film Reviews from Focus on the Family
Weekly Movie Reviews from National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference
Film Reviews from Crosswalk
Film Reviews from Ted Baehr's Movieguide

Copyright © 1999 International Association of Christian Chaplains Inc. All rights reserved.