When is the Release Date for the Latest James Bond, 007 Movie?

Léa Seydoux and Daniel Craig attend the British premiere of Spectre in 2015. (Image: John Phillips / Getty Images)

Filming officially begins on Sunday, with the movie’s release dates around the world below.
Release Dates
France          April 8, 2020
UK                April 8, 2020
India              April 8, 2020
Turkey           April 8, 2020
USA               April 8, 2020
Germany       April 9, 2020
Netherlands   April 9, 2020
Portugal         April 9, 2020

The James Bond 25 live broadcast on April 25th below revealed the film will be produced but failed to provide the film’s title. The informal title is James Bond 25. One thing we do know is that the film will be based on Raymond Benson’s book Never Dream of Dying. In the book, James Bond, 007, finally comes face to face with his most cunning nemesis-the enigmatic blind criminal mastermind behind the sinister organization known only as the Union. Several mistakes were made along the way including friends being hurt but James Bond prevails. Although the book may look like screenplays; it nevertheless make very entertaining reads.

  • Author:Raymond Benson
  • Mass Market Paperback:320 pages
  • Publisher:Jove; Reprint edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0515133078
  • ISBN-13:978-0515133073
  • Product Dimensions:3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight:4 ounces

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Filming Locations
These filming locations has already served as the Caribbean setting of the Bond films Dr. No and Live and Let Die.

  • Langvann, Oslo, Norway
  • Matera, Basilicata, Italy
  • Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (studio)
  • Jamaica, Caribbean island
  • London, England, UK
  • Norway
  • Italy
  • Jamaica

Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Writing Credits

  • Neal Purvis
  • Robert Wade
  • Scott Z. Burns
  • Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Based on characters created by: Ian Fleming

Cast

  • Daniel Craig                    James Bond
  • Ana de Armas                 Paloma
  • Rami Malek                    Villain
  • Ralph Fiennes                 M
  • Léa Seydoux                   Madeleine Swann
  • Ben Whishaw                  Q
  • Billy Magnussen
  • Naomie Harris Eve         Moneypenny
  • David Dencik
  • Jeffrey Wright                 Felix Leiter
  • Lashana Lynch
  • Rory Kinnear                  Tanner
  • Dali Benssalah

Produced by
Chris Brigham             Executive Producer
Barbara Broccoli         Producer
Michael G. Wilson      Producer
Andrew Noakes           Co-Producer
Gregg Wilson               Associate Producer

Film Editing by Tom Cross & Elliot Graham

Casting by Debbie McWilliams

Director of Photography Linus Sandgren

James Bond 25 will be Daniel Craig’s last as 007 having played Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), and Spectre (2015).

A press release shared the following preview of the film’s plot
Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.



Kingdom Men Rising – Teaser Trailer

KINGDOM MEN RISING: NO EXCUSES
Distributor: Fathom
Release Date: April 29, 2019 (for 2 days only)
Genre: Documentary, Inspirational
Runtime: 1 hrs. 30 min.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Production Budget: N/A

This is a documentary with author, pastor and speaker Dr. Tony Evans and his guests exploring what it means to be a real honest man today according to God’s original design. The film wrestles honestly with the unique questions and circumstances men face today. Kingdom Men Rising takes a journey that challenges men to rise above what we have become to lives of no more sitting on the sidelines, no more passivity, and no more excuses.

This film draws from the experiences Dr. Tony Evans to provide clarity on this topic. Matters of significance, priorities, race and passivity are addressed from a biblical perspective. Featuring Grammy-award winning entertainer Kirk Franklin, Heisman trophy winner Tim Brown, former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Jon Kitna, Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy, NFL vice president Troy Vincent, author Priscilla Shirer, and others, Kingdom Men Rising provides an honest portrayal of today’s man that is countered by God’s original design.

Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. He has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 1,300 US outlets daily and in more than 130 countries.



Magic Carpet Ride! Here’s When Aladdin Hits Theaters

by Stacey Nguyen | With its May release date and Disney prestige, Aladdin will almost certainly be a smash Summer blockbuster. It comes out the same weekend as Brightburn, Ad Astra, and Booksmart. (image, Disney)

Ride-or-die Disney fans, rejoice! You’re about to get your wish granted with the upcoming live-action version of Aladdin that promises an Avatar-level of blue Will Smith as the iconic Genie. If you tuned in to commercial breaks during the Grammys, you may have caught the special sneak peek trailer of the movie. Soon, we’ll be able to join Aladdin and Jasmine for a magic (and maybe a little CGI-driven) carpet ride.

The Aladdin reboot is set to come out on May 24. It’ll join a legacy of beloved classics that have received a live-action revamp, including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Mary Poppins Returns. Most Disney remakes have met with moderate success and critical acclaim, so we don’t anticipate this upcoming project to be a total flop despite the sometimes-brow-raising promo material so far.

We know, we know — it keeps happening. But it was all but inevitable that the Disney classic would get a reboot treatment. After all, the original animated version of Aladdin came out almost three decades ago on Nov. 25, 1992. It’s been a seminal classic for Disney fans all over the world, bringing us earworms such as “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World.”

Plans for a remake have been around since October 2016, when Disney announced that Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie would be helming a live-action Aladdin. Casting commenced in 2017, and the search for the right Aladdin would prove to be a tall order. Disney finally sealed the deal with Canadian actor Mena Massoud to portray to the titular street urchin. Once Disney found the perfect Aladdin, filming began for this “ambitious and nontraditional take” on the classic. The script, cowritten by John August, promises a nonlinear style, departing from the straightforward narrative of the original. No worries — we’re still going to get all of our favorite childhood tunes. (And as a bonus, there’s even a whole new Aladdin and Jasmine duet!)

With its May release date and Disney prestige, Aladdin will almost certainly be a smash Summer blockbuster. It comes out the same weekend as Brightburn, Ad Astra, and Booksmart. While these adjacent projects have big names attached to them, it doesn’t look like they’ll be aiming for the same family-friendly crowds as Aladdin. The first two are sci-fi thrillers, whereas the Olivia Wilde-directed Booksmart appears to be a high school comedy romp.

In fact, it looks like Aladdin‘s strongest competition may be the other Disney live-action remakes of Dumbo and The Lion King, which, respectively, come out on March 29 and July 19. In addition to those, there are also 10 other upcoming Disney flicks that’ll probably compete with the family-friendly fantasy musical this year.

While we wait for Aladdin‘s release, let’s all take one jump ahead to appreciate the dazzling set photos so far. And maybe even indulge ourselves in a little Disney fan theorizing? It’ll certainly be a minute before we can set our sights on a blue Will Smith or hot Jafar.

Stacey NguyenStacey Nguyen is a California-based entertainment and lifestyle writer. When she’s not writing, you can probably catch her sipping on Yorkshire Tea, listening to Terry Gross, or philosophizing about the virtues of primetime soaps.



The Matchmaker

by Mike Myers | Marcy arrives at the village of Ballinagra when it is preparing for an annual Matchmaking Festival. A well-dressed, handsome and single young lady, she becomes the center of attention for two professional matchmakers, Dermot and Millie, as well as for bartender Sean. Connect via mmyers@ucsd.edu

Initial release: October 3, 1997
Director: Mark Joffe
Based on: Original screenplay by; Greg Dinner
Screenplay: Graham Linehan, Karen Janszen, Louis Nowra
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Luc Roeg

Marcy, a worker in the reelection campaign of bumbling Senator John McGlory, is sent to Ireland on a quest to find the Irish ancestry of Sen. McGlory, to help him win the Irish vote. But when Marcy arrives in the small village of Ballinagra, she finds herself in the middle of a matchmaking festival, and the local matchmaker is determined to pair her off with one of the local bachelors.



The Cultural Train Wreck That Is Hollywood

by Tom Allen | I went to see three movies over Christmas break—Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, and the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody—and, as usual, I was both entertained and upset by them. These are engaging films that are all marred by the worst kind of roll-your-eyes propaganda that our still largely naïve and gullible public passively absorbs.

Ours is a tragic age, but based on my cultural observations over the Christmas holidays hardly anyone appears to be taking it tragically.

Instead, people are blissfully adrift: eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage. Few seem to be noticing the red tide rising.

The holidays always afford me the opportunity to take the temperature of the culture by taking in a few movies at the multiplex. Having worked in film for the past two decades, I remain in awe of its power as an art form. A well-made movie can be a transcendent, transporting experience. Unfortunately, the propaganda factor has swamped the American film industry to such an extent that it has become unbearable for me, so most of the movies I watch now are foreign. Once you start “seeing” the agitprop you can no longer not see it, and your ability to slip into suspended disbelief is forever compromised. So I visit the movie houses at Christmastime mostly to see how the train wreck is progressing.

I’ll state it as plainly as Archie Bunker would: there’s a Commie bias in Hollywood films—nearly all of them. The Cultural Marxism unleashed by the “Frankfurt School” nearly a century ago has become the dominant philosophy of the western world. Its overt proselytism is pervasive and relentless. The Tinseltown propaganda machine has changed our culture in astonishing ways over the past 50 years, and up next is nothing less than the forced revision of our very identities as men and women.

This isn’t just a theory. It is manifestly obvious to anyone with eyes to see. In January of 1963, the House of Representatives reviewed and entered into the Congressional record a document entitled “Communist Goals for Taking Over America,” derived from researcher Cleon Skousen’s book The Naked Communist. In addition to such tactics as promoting the UN as the only hope for mankind, capturing one or both of the political parties in the United States, softening the curriculum of schools and infiltrating the press, it contained the following agenda items:

  • Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
  • Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression.
  • Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
  • Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
  • Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

You’d think we would have heard about all this in school. But alas, the Cultural Marxists swept into American academic institutions at the same time they infiltrated Hollywood, prompted by influential radicals like Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Communist who argued that the Left could transform society by seizing control of the “cultural means of production” via a “march through the institutions,” including academia.

I’d also never learned about or read Bella Dodd while at St. Augustine’s or Notre Dame. Dodd spoke of the infiltration of the Catholic Church by Soviet agents and Commie fellow-travelers in the mid-twentieth century, identifying the Catholic Church as the only one “feared” by the Communists. Clerical fellow-travelers would become a new threat along with the older Modernist one previously identified by Pope St. Pius X as posing the greatest danger to the Church. Dodd echoed Pius’s claim that the attempted destruction of the Church would be carried out from within.

After her expulsion from the Party in the early 1950s, Dodd fell in with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and revealed how in the 1930s “we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within.” The idea was for these men to be ordained and then climb the ladder of influence and authority—to become monsignors and bishops. “Right now,” she wrote, “they are in the highest places, and they are working to bring about change … changes that would be so drastic that you will not recognize the Catholic Church.”

It appears Ms. Dodd—and Sen. Joseph McCarthy—was right about the “Red Scare” in twentieth-century America. Our institutions were besieged while academia and the news media pretended all was well. Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan was a secret Communist Party member, and pioneering gay activists such as Harry Hay were also Reds.

Dodd is said to have predicted that once the priest-infiltrators became bishops their influence would spread because “bishops beget bishops.” They would use their leverage to elevate and promote clergymen who would not necessarily be dedicated Communists, but who were of a progressive, “rainbow” mentality and whose influence would foster a new philosophy and theology within the ranks of the clergy. This is why things are the way they are today both in the Church and in the culture.

Awake to the Propaganda Reality of Film
I awoke from my personal media-driven stupor a couple of decades ago and started seeing the disturbing signs. So thankfully, from the time my children were young, I whispered in their ears in dark theaters phrases like, “Here comes the obligatory ‘father-is-an-idiot’ scene,” or “Here is where they disparage Christianity,” or “Here’s where they advance the gay agenda.” And it played out like clockwork. Now my grown kids predict such scenes and plot devices themselves. They and their friends are awake to the propaganda reality, and aware also that these scenes are the reasons why most of the movies get made and distributed in the first pace.

I started seeing the corruption while at film school in New York, but I did not see all of it, for I could not have imagined the extent of it then, or the venality of the propagandizers. Working closely with Mel Gibson on The Passion of the Christ, I would think he was off his rocker every time he’d go on about how the Curia had been corrupted and the liturgy ruined and sacraments were invalid in places. All that was a bridge too far for me at the time, but, like Bella Dodd and Joe McCarthy, Mel was right about much.

In any event, I went to see three movies over Christmas break—Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, and the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody—and, as usual, I was both entertained and upset by them. These are engaging films that are all marred by the worst kind of roll-your-eyes propaganda that our still largely naïve and gullible public passively absorbs.

Clint’s movie is excellent on balance but not without cave-ins to the prevailing left wing culture. I’ve long recognized and endured the advancement of the homosexual agenda in movie after movie over the years. At this point, practically every movie ever made contains some genuflection to the gay culture, and Clint’s newest is no exception.

The character Clint portrays, a 90-year-old horticulturalist who made all the wrong decisions in life and suddenly finds that he has nothing and no one in his old age, decides to become a courier, i.e., a “mule,” to make some fast cash and at least win the favor of his endearing granddaughter. Mission accomplished as he gets infused with instant drug riches and the concomitant rise in social status. Stopping for a meal on one of his drug runs, he encounters a biker gang which turns out to be a group of motorcycle lesbians—“dykes on bikes”—who in their moment of recognition in a major movie jump at the chance to squeeze their breasts and boast of their manliness. Gone are the days of charm and sweetness to gain favor. Today it’s all head banging Antifa and in-your-face nasty. This is the advancement of the gay agenda with a twist. Reminiscent of Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, released during my “awakening” period in film school, one minute you’re looking at a standard American biker gang and the next you’re seeing, as if through a kaleidoscope lens, an agitated group of angry women who menace an old man for not recognizing their femaleness.

Even Clint needs to bow to the modern-day altar of gender confusion. It was a completely gratuitous scene, like all gay commercials, doing nothing at all to advance the story. But it needed to be there for the same reason that a hagiographic Ruth Bader Ginsberg biopic needed to be advertised before the film—to get the masses thinking “the right way” on an issue. We must be indoctrinated to believe that mean and hostile biker women are acceptable without question. We must be indoctrinated to believe that RBG is the greatest justice to ever grace the Supreme Court.

More Obligatory Gay Agitprop
A Star Is Born raised the obligatory gay agitprop scene to a whole other level. With homosexual marriage already enshrined into law, the next frontier of the Godless left is the normalization of transgenderism. Bradley Cooper—to my surprise, because I thought he was a normal male, treats viewers to the longest transgender scene in (mainstream) cinematic history when his aging, alcoholic character drifts into a drag bar and encounters a singer with serious vocal chops belting out Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose.” This, of course, is Stefani Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, unmasked but provocative as ever, bringing down the house with one of her trademark performances. This is what’s required, you see, to get millions of people to stare, rapt, for half an hour (or so it seemed) at XCUs (extra close-ups) of men in drag with painted faces, bouffants, and eyelash extensions at a two-drink-minimum “bring-your-own-boobs” establishment. Again, mission accomplished. Transnormative agenda advanced. It’s the Star Wars “Cantina Scene” redux, only the characters in this one are wunnnderful: funny, loving, and supportive, to a man. They’re fantastic, all of them—so don’t complain when they read to your kids at the library story hour.

In the following scene we’re treated to Germanotta, in a straight bar now, socking an off-duty cop in the kisser, repeatedly, for bugging the Bradley Cooper character, whom she’s taken a liking to. So you get girl power and anti-police narratives advanced simultaneously in one scene.

The RBG advertisement was by no means the only movie trailer to advance an agenda that’s as disruptive, transgressive, left wing, and anti-Catholic as ever. A preview to a film called “Greta,” which I thought might be a movie about Garbo, turned out instead to be about a possessed stalker who is today’s answer to Glenn Close’s “every-Lothario’s-worst-nightmare” Fatal Attraction turn. Only this one blesses herself while surrounded by Catholic iconography when she’s not perpetrating horrors on her terrified victim. Nowadays, the monsters are not in the biker gangs or drag bars or Supreme Court. They’re in the Church.

Next came a preview of Captain Marvel, the comic book character Lennon sings about in “Bungalow Bill,” who I didn’t realize was female. Once again, audiences were treated to the kind of desensitizing, smash-mouth brutality that’s meant to exorcize the demons haunting the male-hating feminists who make these anti-patriarchal films.

Then came the third feature of my Christmas week, the one I was looking forward to the most: Bohemian Rhapsody. I was entranced by that song the first time I heard it as a young lad on the bus to school. I expected gay aggrandizement in the film, of course, because Freddie was so out there before dying of AIDS in 1991. What I did not expect was the tender, male-on-male open-mouthed kissing scenes, again in XCU, sustained, and with the kind of intimate sound design that makes you practically feel the actors’ tongues slithering into your ear.

I’m conflicted about Queen. I loved the music they produced during my growing up years. “You’re My Best Friend” is simply lovely. “Bohemian Rhapsody” woke me up to the emotional power of pop music during my grade school years. “We Are the Champions” united rival competitors at my swim meets and became the anthem of my high school swimming years. However, I never wanted my children to sing lines like “I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all,” or “nothing really matters … to me,” or worst of all, “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me,” and in so doing program their brains.

When I was young I thought of Freddie Mercury as I had thought of Elton John before him—a flamboyant and exuberant attention-seeking showman intent on driving record sales. Now I pity him as a man who was raised by loving, straight-laced parents in a monotheistic tradition who got engaged to a beautiful girl but eventually surrendered to his lusts and then feared the eternal consequences of doing so. His is a sobering cautionary tale. We must remain ever on our guard.

So what is a faithful Catholic to do in the face of all this, as the walls of the culture and Church tremble and collapse all around us? Should we see these movies at all? Perhaps it is the duty of some of us to do so and report back on what we see so that others will gain the perspective needed to withstand the assault. For the tide is high and rising.

 

Tom Allen is the Director of Marketing at the Sophia Institute Press.



5 Must See Christian Movies of 2019

by Jeannie Law | The success of faith-based films in recent years has led to a resurgence of Christian movies being made in Hollywood. 2019 is expected to be another blockbuster year for Christian films. Here’s a list of five faith-based movies to watch for.

1. The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story
As the social fabric of life in rural India disintegrates in the late 1990s, journalist Manav Banerjee (Sharman Joshi) moves with his pregnant wife to the town of Orissa in hope of a better life and the promise of a lucrative career. When speculation mounts that local Australian missionary Graham Staines (Stephen Baldwin) is illegally proselytizing leprosy patients, Manav agrees to investigate undercover for the newspaper. What he finds is a series of revelations that are difficult to fathom and even harder to explain, and Manav is forced to make a choice between his own ambition and the truth. In the end, his actions spark a tragic event that is felt around the world. Based on a true story and shot on location in India, “THE LEAST OF THESE” beautifully illustrates the power of love, hope and forgiveness to overcome hate.

Release Date: February 1, 2019
Rating: PG-13 (1hr 52min)
Genre: Drama
Director: Aneesh Daniel
Writer: Andrew E. Matthews (as Andrew Matthews)
Stars: Sharman Joshi, Stephen Baldwin, Shari Rigby
Another film heading to theaters in the new year is the true story of missionary Graham Staines who was martyred in India in 1999. Titled “Staines,” the movie shares the story leading up to the murders of the Australian Christian missionary and his sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6, who were killed after serving as missionaries to a community of lepers in India.

Featured in the film is Stephen Baldwin (“God’s Plan”), (Shari Rigby (“October Baby”), and Sharman Joshi.

“I know God called me to the ‘Staines’ movie,” Baldwin told The Christian Post in an interview earlier this year where he described the film as an answer to prayer and “empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

2. Breakthrough
When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake Sainte Louis and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth’s mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around.

Release Date: April 17, 2019
Rating: PG
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Roxann Dawson
Writer: Grant Nieporte
Stars: Topher Grace, Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas
From the producer who brought the blockbuster hit “Miracles from Heaven,” Devon Franklin’s new film “Breakthrough” will tell the miraculous real-life account of Joyce and John Smith, a mother and son who show the true power of prayer.

“When Joyce Smith’s adopted son John falls through an icy Missouri lake, all hope looks lost. Even though John lies lifeless for more than an hour, his mother refuses to lose faith and prays for a miracle. To the astonishment of everyone present, her prayers are answered as John’s heart suddenly begins to beat again, defying every expert, every case history, and every scientific prediction. Mere days after the accident, he will walk out of the hospital under his own power, completely healed,” the movie’s synopsis reads.

The cast includes Chrissy Metz (“Thie Is us”), Topher Grace (“That 70s Show”), Mike Colter (“Luke Cage”), Josh Lucas, Lecrae and Marcel Ruiz.

“Breakthrough” is based on Joyce Smith’s book The Impossible, and was adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte (“Seven Pounds”). Pastor Samual Rodriguez is listed as executive producer of the film.

3. Overcomer
This movie will unpack a pivotal issue in the life of students and adults alike.

Release Date: August 23, 2019
Rating: ??
Genre: Drama
Director: Alex Kendrick
Writers: Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick
Stars: Alex Kendrick, Ben Davies, Shari Rigby
The Kendrick Brothers wrapped up filming their new movie “Overcomer” last summer and the faith-based drama featuring strong female lead characters played by Priscilla Shirer and Shari Rigby is scheduled to hits theaters throughout North America on Aug. 23, 2019. The film will share the value of knowing one’s identity.

Known for their inspiring Christian films (“Fireproof,” “Courageous,” and the No.1 box office hit “War Room“), the Kendrick Brothers (Alex and Stephen Kendrick) aspire to have another blockbuster hit in their repertoire with “Overcomer.” In a visit to the set during filming, The Christian Post was told that the film centers around the book of Ephesians.

The sports drama stars Alex Kendrick in a leading role, along with several female co-stars including Rigby (“October Baby,” “Wildflower“), Shirer (“War Room,” “I Can Only Imagine“), and newcomer Aryn Wright-Thompson.

4. The Islands
Based on the incredible true-life story of Chiefess Kapiolani who descended into an active volcano to demonstrate her new-found faith and ushered in a new beginning in Hawaii.

Release Date: September 12, 2019
Rating: PG
Genre: Adventure
Director: Timothy A. Chey
Writers: Timothy A. Chey, Amanda Lauer | Umi Perkins
Stars: Teuira Shanti Napa, Mira Sorvino, Ricky Sua’ava |
The Islands is a faith-based historical film coming April 2019. The picture will be based on the true story of a Hawaiian Queen Chiefess Kapiolani who came to faith in Jesus Christ over two hundred years ago. Her conversion made such an impact that it brought Christianity to all of the Hawaiian  islands.

According to a press release shared with The Christian Post, her stance is “considered the greatest act of moral courage by any world leader.”

The Tim Chey film was shot entirely in Hawaii and features newcomer Teuria Shanti Napa as Chiefess along with Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino and actor John Savage who play Boston missionaries who arrive in Hawaii in 1821. Many of the lead characters in the movie include native Hawaiians and Polynesians.

5. Roe v. Wade
Dr. Bernard Nathanson and Dr. Mildred Jefferson square off in a national battle in this untold conspiracy that led to the most famous and controversial court case in history.

Release Date: In Production
Rating: ??
Genre: Drama, History
Directors: Cathy Allyn, Nick Loeb
Writers: Cathy Allyn, Nick Loeb
Stars: Jon Voight, Nick Loeb, Robert Davi
Actor Nick Loeb is the co-director of the upcoming film “Roe v. Wade” about the landmark Supreme Court case.

The “Roe v. Wade” film was made to show the history of “what happened from 1966 through 1973” that led to the Supreme Court’s decision declaring existing state laws banning abortion unconstitutional. The featured film will tell “the untold story of how people lied, how the media lied, and how the courts were manipulated” to legalize abortion nationwide which has led to the killing of more than 60 million Americans, Loeb said in an interview on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in March.

The cast includes famous Hollywood celebrities such as Jon Voight, Robert Davi, Corbin Bernsen, John Schneider and Stacey Dash, along with Loeb.

“Roe v. Wade” was written and directed by Cathy Allyn and Loeb, and was produced by Alveda King, Cathy Allyn and Mindy Robinson.

Jeannie Law joined the Christian Post Reporter in 1983, If You’d like to stay up to date on the Latest Christian and Entertainment News, Follow Me 🙂 @JLawCP



Disney’s Circle of Life

Hakuna Matata, This 3D makeover for its return to the big screen of “The Lion King” re-released next year brings back deep memories in the lives of millions of millennials touched by the movie in the 1996 release. Check out the trailer yourself. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is intense.

 
Release Date: July 19, 2019 (USA)

Animation, Adventure, Drama

Directed by Jon Favreau

Writing Credits
Jeff Nathanson (screenplay)
Brenda Chapman (story)
Irene Mecchi (characters)
Jonathan Roberts (characters)
Linda Woolverton (characters)

Cast
Seth Rogen – Pumbaa (voice)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Scar (voice)
Donald Glover – Simba (voice)
Amy – Sedaris (voice)
James Earl Jones – Mufasa (voice)
Keegan-Michael Key – Kamari (voice)
Alfre Woodard – Sarabi (voice)
Billy Eichner – Timon (voice)
Beyoncé – Nala (voice)
John Kani – Rafiki (voice)
Eric André – Azizi (voice)
John Oliver – Zazu (voice)
Florence Kasumba – Shenzi (voice)
JD McCrary – Young Simba (voice)
Shahadi Wright Joseph – Young Nala (voice)

Produced by
John Bartnicki (Co-producer)
Debbi Bossi (Associate producer)
Jon Favreau (Producer)
Karen Gilchrist (Producer)
Tom C. Peitzman (Executive producer)
Thomas Schumacher (Executive producer)
Jim Shamoon (Executive producer)
Jeffrey Silver (Producer)
David H. Venghaus Jr. (Associate producer)
Mario Zvan (Executive producer)

Music by: Hans Zimmer



The 30 Best Family Christmas Movies of All Time

by Keith Phipps | The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to put away our differences in the interest of peace on earth, goodwill toward others, etc., etc., and kick back with a great Christmas movie, a filmmaking tradition that dates back to the 1898 film Santa Claus. In that one, Santa slides down a chimney, stuffs some stockings, and promptly disappears into the ether; the whole film runs just over one minute long.

No one would argue that that early effort was anything but a Christmas movie, but these days, the question comes up frequently: What exactly is a Christmas movie? Is merely being set at Christmas enough? Or is there some elusive other element that makes a Christmas movie a Christmas movie?

Also, the movies on this list have to be good. There’s a cynical reason to make a Christmas movie: The demand is high, even for the bad ones, every holiday season, when cable plays them ad nauseam to satisfy Christmas-crazed subscribers. So, sorry, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — just because you’re unavoidable doesn’t earn you a spot on the list.

Another qualifier: We stuck with films that received a theatrical release, mostly features but with a few shorts thrown in as well. That means Hallmark Channel Christmas movies about young people who don’t like each other but then end up liking each other a lot weren’t considered; nor was Netflix’s movie featuring Kurt Russell as a hot Santa. (Apologies, hot Santa.) Not every title will be for everyone, but there should be something for each family here. In the spirit of the season, we erred on the side of generosity.

30. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a remarkable retelling of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and Marius Petipa’s The Nutcracker, about a young girl who is gifted a locked egg from her deceased mother and sets out in a magical land to retrieve the key. After restoring peace and tranquility in the Realms, Clara promises to visit the Realms in the future and returns back to London, where time has hardly passed since she left. After she arrived, Clara took her father’s hand and opens her music box and the two of them danced the night away. Clara’s father becomes emotional and reveals that the music box’s song was the first song that he and Clara’s mother had ever danced to.

Disney’s take on the holiday classic is the story we all know; Alice in Wonderland mixed with some pieces of Tchaikovsky’s music and some ballet, courtesy of Misty Copeland and Sergei Polunin. The film has grossed over $150 million worldwide as of today against a production budget of around $120 million, and received generally unfavorable reviews from critics, who called the film “soulless” and “incoherent“, criticizing the slow pace and lack of dance numbers, although the visual effects is appealing.

29. Home Alone (1990)

Nostalgia and holidays both have a way of warping emotions. Combined, they’re hard to resist, especially when it comes to movies that won us over when we were younger. That’s why it’s impossible not to include Home Alone — the John Hughes–scripted, Chris Columbus–directed hit in which Macaulay Culkin finds himself unexpectedly left behind when his family mistakenly flies to Paris without him. But it would be unfair to rank it any higher. Have you watched it? Lately? As a grown-up? Like, watched it all the way through from the shrill opening filled with obnoxious kids to the leadenly staged slapstick climax? It’s a much rougher ride than you might remember. Still, Culkin’s charming, and the sentimental ending works every time. Just ask George Costanza.

28. The Great Rupert (1950)

A true Christmas oddity, this is the only holiday movie featuring Jimmy Durante as a down-on-his-luck vaudevillian forced to part ways with his trained squirrel as Christmas approaches. That’s the heartbreaking premise of The Great Rupert, but it’s all a set-up to a happy ending in which Durante is reunited with his four-legged friend, the poor get rich, and the rich learn a lesson (a story element that pops up a lot in the flood of Christmas movies released in the years immediately following World War II). The plot lags at times, but Durante’s always fun, and so is Rupert, the delightful creation of producer George Pal, the stop-motion wizard behind Puppetoons.

27. The Insects’ Christmas (1913)

Before The Nightmare Before Christmas, before Rankin-Bass specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, before even The Great Rupert there was The Insects’ Christmas, from Russian animator Ladislas Starevich. Starevich made a series of films using dead insects as his stars. His Christmas movie expands the cast to include Father Christmas and an animated doll. But insects remain, as the title suggests, front and center in an inventive, enchanting, if a little unsettling, look at how a bunch of bugs (and one frog) celebrate Christmas that climaxes with Santa, a grasshopper, and assorted other bugs skating on a frozen lake. счастливого Рождества to all!

26. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

As Christmas approaches, all is not well for Henry Brougham (David Niven), a Protestant bishop trying to raise funds for the glorious new cathedral of his dreams — a project that’s led him to neglect his wife, Julia (Loretta Young), and daughter and cause him to lose sight of his roots as a minister to the needy. Enter Dudley (Cary Grant), an angel determined to set Henry on the right path. The only trouble: He finds himself increasingly wanting to spend time with Julia instead. The film’s a bit pokily directed at times, but Young and Grant’s chemistry smooths over some rough patches — particularly when Grant gets a wistful look in his eyes suggesting that he might call heaven his home but he knows he could find even greater happiness on earth with Young’s character by his side. (The Preacher’s Wife, the 1996 remake starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, is also worth a look.)

25. Scrooged (1988)

What is Scrooged trying to say, anyway? You can watch the film over and over — easy to do if you have a cable subscription in December, when it plays all the time — and never quite figure it out. Is it a pitch-black comedy about the commercialization of Christmas? Is it a cynical send-up of our once-a-year celebration of kindness and selflessness? Is it a sincere depiction of a man being transformed by the holidays? It’s a tough film to pin down, probably because the darkly comic sensibilities of star Bill Murray and writers Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue often seem at odds with that of blockbuster director Richard Donner. But what makes this Reagan-era update on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol — in which Murray plays a cold-hearted TV network president visited by Christmas spirits — flawed also makes it fascinating, and Carol Kane is especially fun as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Worth noting: Dickens’s classic looms large over the Christmas-movie genre, making this just one of many A Christmas Carol adaptations to make the list. Others include …

24. Scrooge (1970)

For a more tuneful version of the Dickens tale, there’s this 1970 musical starring Albert Finney as the eponymous miser. Finney holds nothing back as Scrooge, truly living up to the moniker “the Meanest Man in the Whole Wide World” given to him in “Father Christmas,” one of many earworm-y songs written by Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory songwriter Leslie Bricusse. Highlights include Alec Guinness as a spooky Jacob Marley and a truly scary Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It’s a big, occasionally tacky, but quite fun take on the familiar story.

23.. The Holiday (2006)

With her follow-up to Something’s Gotta Give, Nancy Myers seemingly set out to ask the question, If I cast four actors who really have no business appearing in a soft-edged romantic comedy in my next movie, could I make it work anyway? The answer: kind of? Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet play, respectively, a tightly wound editor of movie trailers and a British newspaper reporter who decide to swap houses shortly before Christmas. This leads Winslet’s character, now in L.A., to befriend an aging screenwriter played by Eli Wallach and (eventually) fall for a kindhearted composer played by Jack Black. Meanwhile, Diaz’s character, installed in Surrey, unwittingly hooks up with the brother of Winslet’s character, played by Jude Law. It’s a somewhat shapeless movie that goes on too long, but it also has an undeniable, nap-friendly, tryptophan-like charm as four beautiful people overcome the ridiculously small hurdles keeping them from getting together in two photogenic environments. (Also, Wallach’s a lot of fun.)

22. The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)

Bob Hope didn’t so much play characters as variations on the Bob Hope persona, a wisecracking coward with a tendency to get in way over his head then make matters worse for himself. Hope’s not the most obvious fit for a Damon Runyon adaptation, much less a Christmas-themed Runyon adaptation with a deep sentimental streak, but their sensibilities end up meshing pretty well anyway in this 1951 comedy. Hope plays the eponymous character, a con artist who has to flee Florida for New York in order to pay off a debt to a gangster. The ensuing scam involves criminals dressed as Santa and a fake retirement home for “Old Dolls.” The inspired slapstick bits reportedly come from the brilliant animator-turned-director Frank Tashlin, but it’s Hope and co-star Marilyn Maxwell’s performance of the then-new “Silver Bells” that’s ensured the film its spot in the Christmas-movie canon.

21. Holiday Affair (1949)

Janet Leigh plays Connie, a war widow who unexpectedly becomes the center of a love triangle when her longtime suitor Carl (Wendell Corey) meets an unexpected rival in the form of Steve (Robert Mitchum), a veteran trying to figure out his place in the postwar world. Steve finds himself infatuated with Connie after they meet-cute in a department store — he’s a clerk, she’s a Christmastime undercover shopper — then starts a hard sell, asking him to dump Carl and take a chance on him. Mitchum’s tough-guy demeanor serves him well here, giving an odd energy to the love story. His character is sometimes written as too pushy, but the scene in which he declares his intentions over Christmas dinner, a moment where there’s no room for lies, is downright electric — and the final scene is a stunner.

20. Elf (2003)

Sometimes the right actor in the right role is pretty much all you need. This pleasant, goofy film stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who’s grown up at the North Pole living under the mistaken impression that he’s an elf, despite developing into a lumbering adult with little skill for elfish endeavors such as toy-making. Eventually, he has to find his way in the human world when he travels to New York in search of his birth father (James Caan). As a cynical department-store employee, Zooey Deschanel provides a fun contrast to Ferrell’s wild-eyed enthusiasm. The film’s more winning the less it relies on wild antics, but Ferrell and others make sure it stays heartfelt throughout.

19. A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The first big-screen Muppet project after the 1990 death of Jim Henson, A Muppet Christmas Carol features some terrific Paul Williams songs, and smartly slots the always charming Muppets in the familiar Dickens roles. (Kermit and Piggy play the Cratchits, naturally, yet it’s details like the Swedish Chef as a party cook that make it a particular delight for longtime fans.) In the end, though, what makes the movies is Michael Caine’s performance as Ebenezer Scrooge. Caine plays it straight, as if he doesn’t even realize he’s surrounded by puppets, ensuring that the movie works as a moving Dickens adaptation first, and a Muppet movie second.

18. Arthur Christmas (2011)

Aardman Animations, the studio behind the Wallace and Gromit shorts and Chicken Run, brings its own particular whimsical sensibility to a holiday tale with this playful look inside the inner workings of the North Pole, where the latest in a long line of Santas (Jim Broadbent) seems reluctant to give up his post to one of his sons. Steven Claus (Hugh Laurie), who’s been running the operation for his dad with military precision, seems the obvious successor, but it’s the bumbling Arthur (James McAvoy) who best embodies the Christmas spirit, as evidenced by his mad rush to make sure the one kid who mistakenly got the wrong present doesn’t wake up disappointed on Christmas morning. The film mixes clever ideas — dig that high-tech North Pole! — with real warmth, making it feel like nothing less than the future of Christmas itself rests on Arthur’s shoulders.

17. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

Neither Disney animation nor its biggest star, Mickey Mouse, were riding high in the early ’80s. Disney had suffered a string of disappointments and setbacks, and though he remained an inescapable icon, Mickey hadn’t been seen in movie theaters since the ’50s. But this adaptation of the Dickens story suggested there might be life in both yet. Running just 26 minutes — and originally serving as the opener for a rerelease of The RescuersMickey’s Christmas Carol offers a brisk, moving take on the familiar story. Scrooge McDuck (who else?) assumes the Scrooge role, but it’s Mickey and Minnie’s turns as the Cratchits that give the lovingly animated film its heart. After years of cutting corners and coasting on past triumphs, it provided an early sign that Disney was trying again — almost as if the studio has been visited by spirits reminding it what really mattered or something.

16. Remember the Night (1940)

Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck famously co-starred in Billy Wilder’s 1944 noir Double Indemnity, but that’s just one of four films to pair them together. They first teamed up for this 1940 Christmas romance in which Fred MacMurray plays John Sargent, a hard-charging DA who, through a misunderstanding, comes to spend the days before Christmas with Lee Leander (Barbara Stanwyck), a small-time jewel thief he’s prosecuting. They start to fall in love during a road trip to Indiana, a sojourn that almost allows them to forget that John still has to try to send Lee to jail when they get back. Directed by Mitchell Leisen from a Preston Sturges script, Remember the Night begins as a broad, brisk comedy but shifts moods as John learns about Lee’s difficult past. In a classic holiday-spirit turn, he comes to realize the advantages his loving family have bestowed upon him once he sees how appreciative Lee is after sharing the first warm Christmas morning of her life with his family.

15. Reve De Noel (The Christmas Dream) (1900)

French cinematic pioneer Georges Méliès’s contribution to the Christmas-film canon offers little in the way of narrative, just an abundance of turn-of-the-century Christmas imagery as a pair of sleeping children imagine a winter wonderland filled with frolicking musicians, holiday revelers, and, of course, Père Noël himself. It’s a lovely, whimsical short film that captures the inventive director in a festive mood, and immortalizes on film ways of celebrating Christmas that otherwise might have faded from memory.

14. White Christmas (1954)

After leaving the Army after W.W.II, Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters, Betty and Judy (Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen), who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy travel to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis follow, only to find their former commander, General Waverly, is the lodge owner. A series of romantic mix-ups ensue as the performers try to help the General.

A song of yearning for holiday togetherness the singer suspects he’ll never find again, Bing Crosby’s recording of the Irving Berlin song “White Christmas” became a runaway hit in 1942 as America adjusted to the loss and separation of World War II.

13. Holiday Inn (1942)

When singer Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) finds out that his fiancée is in love with smooth-talking dancer Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), he skulks off to milk cows and lick his wounds on the farm he now owns. While his pride heals, a swell idea occurs to him: Why not turn the farm into an inn that’s only open on holidays, with live entertainment and a homemade breakfast in the morning? A girl (Marjorie Reynolds) looking for her big show business break helps Hardy bring his daydream to fruition. Not only is his Holiday Inn a success thanks to her singing and dancing, he’s falling in love to boot. But trouble’s right around the corner. Hanover’s girl has dropped him, it seems, and his search for a new dance partner has him once again courting Hardy’s girl.

Holiday Inn is the better film by a good measure, but watching it means grappling with an ugly blackface number mid-film. (To make matters worse, skipping the scene altogether would result in missing an important plot point.) White Christmas, on the other hand, features fewer songs and a sleepy, low-stakes plot as Crosby and Kaye romance (sort of) a sister act played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. Still, its aggressive, Technicolor pleasantness has its own charms.

12. 3 Godfathers (1948)

Not unlike Scissorhands, John Ford’s 3 Godfathers similarly uses echoes of the story of Christ to tremendous effect. A rare Christmas Western, the film stars John Wayne as one of a trio of bank robbers who agree to care for a newborn child while fleeing the law in Death Valley. Ford’s biblical echoes aren’t subtle, nor are they intended to be, but Wayne keeps the film, and its themes of redemption and rebirth, grounded with one of his most sensitive performances.

11. It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

A great Christmas movie that not enough people talk about, It Happened on Fifth Avenue opens with the homeless sage Aloysius T. McKeever (Victor More) moving, as he does every Christmas season, into the luxurious Manhattan home of vacationing tycoon Michael J. O’Connor (Charles Ruggles). From there the film keeps piling on the complications as it breaks down the divide between the haves and the have-nots. McKeever is soon joined by a displaced World War II vet (Don DeFore) and O’Connor’s daughter Mary (Ann Harding), who doesn’t let on that she’s loaded and knows the house even better than those squatting there. The house grows more crowded, new loves get kindled, old loves get renewed, and O’Connor is forced to do a Scrooge-like about-face when he gets reacquainted with those less fortunate than him. Directed by Roy Del Ruth, who took on the project after Frank Capra decided to make It’s a Wonderful Life instead, It Happened on Fifth Avenue earns its warmth honestly, tethering a tale of fresh starts and changed hearts to the real difficulties faced by those reaching for the American dream in a postwar era that was supposed to bring prosperity for all.

10. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

In a film as sexy as it is funny, Barbara Stanwyck plays Elizabeth Lane, a magazine columnist who risks being exposed as a phony if she can’t create the perfect Christmas at the Connecticut home she’s writing about as part of a PR stunt to reward recuperating GI Jefferson Jones (Dennis Morgan), who’s been dreaming of tasting her recipes while serving in World War II. The only problem: There is no Connecticut home, and she can’t cook. The farcical complications pile up from there, and Stanwyck deftly balances Elizabeth’s mounting sense of panic with wry humor as she reckons with her unexpected desire for Jones — a desire that has popped up just after she’s decided to give up on love in return for a marriage of convenience. Director Peter Godfrey keeps the action fast and light while trusting Stanwyck to excellently bring her character’s dilemma to life, even if it involves changing a diaper as if she’s never seen a baby before in her life.

9. Comfort and Joy (1984)

The end of the year can be a confusing time of reflection for those who feel they don’t have anything to celebrate. That feeling is captured beautifully in Scottish director Bill Forsyth’s tale of a Glasgow DJ (Bill Paterson), who finds himself unexpectedly alone when he’s dumped by his girlfriend shortly before Christmas. Adrift, he finds himself drawn into a turf war between two rival ice-cream vendors, a conflict that might offer him a chance to start over, or might drive him to the brink of madness. Paterson beautifully depicts a man who’s quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, experiencing a nervous breakdown as the world around him grows stranger and more absurd. That it all somehow builds toward a hilarious moment of reconciliation involving an unexpected new ice-cream product is just one of many little miracles in a Christmas movie that takes a roundabout way to celebrating the season’s possibilities of renewal and rebirth, but still gets there all the same.

8. Carol (2015)

Like Comfort and Joy, Todd Haynes’s Carol depicts the holidays as a time of possibility and peril as an intense, forbidden romance plays out against the backdrop of the 1952 Christmas season. The film stars Cate Blanchett as the eponymous unhappy housewife, a woman who unexpectedly falls for Therese (Rooney Mara), a store clerk. But their relationship seems doomed before it really begins once it threatens Carol’s ability to see her child, leaving her with an impossible choice. Inspired by Brief Encounter and adapted from a 1952 novel by Patricia Highsmith, otherwise best known for pitiless crime fiction like The Talented Mr. Ripley, Carol uses its holiday setting as more than a backdrop: Haynes bathes the films in Christmas lights, sure, but he also captures the spirit of a season through Carol and Therese’s relationship. The passing of one year gives way to a potential new beginning of the next — for those who can make it to the other side.

7. Bad Santa (2003)

A proudly mean-spirited black comedy seemingly at war with the Christmas spirit, Bad Santa somehow loops all the way back around to being a heartwarming Christmas movie about one man’s redemption. It’s a weird trick, pulled off in large part thanks to star Billy Bob Thornton’s performance as a hard-drinking con artist who uses his work as a mall Santa as a setup for grand larceny. Actually, “hard-drinking” doesn’t begin to describe Thornton’s Willie Soke, who spends much of the film in a near-stuporous state yet still manages to form an unlikely makeshift family with a misfit kid (Brett Kelly) and a bartender (Lauren Graham) with a thing for Santas. With able support from Bernie Mac and John Ritter, director Terry Zwigoff keeps the humor dark without losing sight of his characters’ humanity — however deep they might sink into a drunken haze.

6. A Christmas Story (1983)

Making his second appearance on this list with a much different Christmas movie, director Bob Clark’s venerable 1983 film adapts storyteller and radio personality Jean Shepherd’s tales of growing up in Hammond, Indiana, while cutting nostalgia and sentiment with just the right amounts of broad, occasionally dark, comedy. The episodic film follows Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) in the days before Christmas, when he wants nothing more than a Red Ryder air rifle — and seems destined not to get one. Narrated by Shepherd himself, it mixes big comic moments, like a kid getting his tongue stuck to a stop sign, with affection for family life and days gone by. Clark renders the memories of growing up in a particular time and place so well that Shepherd’s Hammond — its name changed to “Hohman” — becomes an idealized stand-in for any time and every place.

5. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

There are many great romantic movies set at Christmas, but somehow The Shop Around the Corner still stands above them all. Maybe it’s the irresistible premise: A pair of feuding co-workers don’t realize they’re falling in love with one another via anonymous letters. (If that sounds familiar, it’s because Nora Ephron drew on the same source material — the Miklós László play Parfumerie — for You’ve Got Mail.) Maybe it’s a cast headed by Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan and filled out with colorful character actors. Maybe it’s because few directors have balanced lightness and romance like Ernst Lubitsch. Whatever the case, it’s both a peerless romantic comedy and one of the great Christmas movies, weaving themes of forgiveness and second chances into a love story that reflects the season in which it takes place.

4. A Christmas Carol (a.k.a. Scrooge) (1951)

What makes an adaptation of A Christmas Carol great? Above all, it’s the actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge. There have been many memorable movie Scrooges (take a look at the multiple entries above), but few as memorable as Alastair Sim. He’s not just terrifyingly convincing as a pitiless miser in the film’s early scenes but also heartbreakingly affecting as a changed man in its closing moments. Not that Sim doesn’t get help from director Brian Desmond Hurst, who whisks the action along while surrounding his lead with lushly realized Victorian trappings and an able supporting cast. But the film rests on Sim’s shoulders, and it’s not hard to see why he’s yet to be supplanted as the definitive Scrooge.

3. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Here’s a question: What was going on that led to so many great Christmas movies being released in 1947? That year saw the release of The Bishop’s Wife, It Happened on Fifth Avenue (see above), and offered most viewers their first chance to see the greatest Christmas movie of all time (see below). It also produced this lovely story of a girl (Natalie Wood) whose mother (Maureen O’Hara) unwittingly hires someone who may be the actual Kris Kringle as a department-store Santa at Macy’s. What follows is part fantasy, part romance (as O’Hara’s character starts to fall for a charming neighbor), part indictment of commercialism, part defense of letting children be children as long as they can, and part legal thriller (well, sort of). Mostly, the film, written and directed by George Seaton, is an irresistible bit of Christmas whimsy made unforgettable by Edmund Gwenn’s turn as the man who might be Santa.

2. Tangerine (2015)

It takes time for a film to emerge as a Christmas classic, and while this one may not end up being shown in constant rotation alongside A Christmas Story and Home Alone, let’s stake an early claim for Sean Baker’s Tangerine, a film that follows the Christmas spirit into some unexpected corners. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor co-star as, respectively, Sin-Dee and Alexandra, a pair of transgender sex workers living on the fringes of Los Angeles. Released from jail on Christmas Eve, Sin-Dee is driven to frustration when she learns that her pimp/lover Chester (James Ransone) is cheating on her as Alexandra prepares for a musical performance. Chaos mounts as day turns into night in the hours before Christmas.

Baker’s film, co-written by Chris Bergoch, alternates laughs and shocks, but it keeps circling back to how this particular Christmas has become a crossroads for its central characters, and how much they need each other if they’re going to make it through another year. It all ends with an image that, in its own way, is as warm and generous as Charlie Brown’s friends reviving a seemingly hopeless tree.

You might have noticed that this list — some notable exceptions aside — is dominated by stories of prosperous white families. Among its other virtues, Tangerine serves as a corrective to that tradition, serving as a reminder that Christmas isn’t limited to the land of picket fences and neatly trimmed trees. It’s a film as vital, alive, and in touch with the holiday as more traditional entries — an invitation to other filmmakers to redefine what a Christmas movie can be, and as much a story about the importance of human kindness as the one that tops the list.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

What else? Really, what other film could top a list of the greatest Christmas movies of all time? Frank Capra’s enduring classic stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, the unwitting savior of Bedford Falls, a man whose goodness and generosity has touched more people than he realizes. In fact, as one bleak Christmas looms, he doesn’t realize it at all and is ready to commit suicide — until an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) arrives to show him the error of his ways.

Though it’s become synonymous with holiday cheer, Capra’s film works because of its willingness to go to some dark places, and because of Stewart’s ability to play a gregarious goof one moment and a man whose world comes crashing down the next. Curiously, the film didn’t go into wide release until after Christmas in January of 1947, which might have contributed to its underwhelming box-office performance. But it received a second life thanks to relentless airings on local television in the ’70s and ’80s, where its depiction of one man’s dark night of the soul (and a nightmarish vision of what unrestrained greed looks like without those interested in fairness and justice to stand in the way of the Mr. Potters of the world) connected with a new generation.

It’s not hard to see why. It’s grounded in details of the times that inspired it — the Depression, World War II — but its vision of holiday kindness, and of the sort of country most of us would want to live in and the values of kindness and generosity most of us share, remains timeless.



Creed II


Annapurna Pictures | Release Date: November 21, 2018
Starring: Andre Ward, Daniel Sassa, Darin Ferraro, David Cohen, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Ivo Nandi, Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran, Kristina Aponte, Mark Marcarian, Marko Caka, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Buffer, Michael Santiago, Milo Ventimiglia, Monica Haynes, Myles Humphus, Phylicia Rashad, Raul I Torres, Robbie Johns, Russell Hornsby, Shayna Ryan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris (image: ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios)

The original Creed is a Must-See before watching Creed II. The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed. Creed made over $110 million in domestic box office alone.

Details

Runtime: 130 min
Rating: Rated PG-13 for sports action violence, language, and a scene of sensuality
Official Site: http://creedthemovie.com/
Production: New Line Cinema
Genres: Action, Drama, Sport
Country: US
Languages: English, Russian
Director Credit
Steven Caple Jr. Director
Writer Credit
Cheo Hodari Coker Story By
Juel Taylor Writer
Ryan Coogler Characters
Sascha Penn Story By
Sylvester Stallone Screenplay By
Principal Cast Credit
Andre Ward Danny ‘Stuntman’ Wheeler
Daniel Sassa Fight Spectator
Darin Ferraro Referee
David Cohen Fight Spectator
Dolph Lundgren Ivan Drago
Florian Munteanu Vitor Drago
Ivo Nandi Moscow Referee
Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran Stitch-Cutman
Kristina Aponte Groupie
Mark Marcarian Spectator
Marko Caka Police Local-Security
Michael B. Jordan Adonis Johnson
Michael Buffer Michael Buffer
Michael Santiago Principal Cast
Milo Ventimiglia Robert Balboa
Monica Haynes Boxer In Gym
Myles Humphus Russian Fighter
Phylicia Rashad Mary Anne Creed
Raul I Torres Fish Seller
Robbie Johns Logan Balboa
Russell Hornsby Buddy Marcelle
Shayna Ryan VIP/Photographer
Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa
Tessa Thompson Bianca
Wood Harris Tony ‘Little Duke’ Burton
Cast Credit
Ana Gerena Adrian’s Waitress
Andre Ward Danny ‘Stuntman’ Wheeler
Ariel Fishman Drago’s In-Ring & VIP Entourage
Bessie Amato Russian Red Seat Press
Brigitte Nielsen Ludmilla Drago
Charles W Harris III Adonis Creed Bodyguard
Chris Romrell Russian Fighter
Daniel Sassa VIP Spectator
Darin Ferraro Referee
Diezel Ramos Press
Elizabeth Gaynor Drago Supporter
Freddie Colton VIP Spectator
Ivo Nandi Moscow Referee
Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran Stitch-Cutman
John DiRenzo SUV Driver
Joshua Spudeno Ukrainian Security
Kristina Aponte Groupie
Kristoffe Brodeur Drago Security
Les Price Russian Security/Member Of The Red Press
Mark Marcarian Spectator
Marko Caka Police Local-Security
Matt Jacobs Russian Officer
Michael Buffer Michael Buffer
Michael Santiago Cast
Monica Haynes Boxer In Gym
Myles Humphus Russian Fighter
Patrice Harris Padman
Raul I Torres Fish Seller
Robert Reed Murphy Important Looking Person
Roy Jones Jr. Cast
Shayna Ryan VIP/Photographer
Zack Beyer Palms Photographer
Producer Credit
Charles Winkler Producer
David Winkler Producer
Guy Riedel Executive Producer
Irwin Winkler Producer
Kevin King Templeton Producer
Michael B. Jordan Executive Producer
Ryan Coogler Executive Producer
Sylvester Stallone Producer
Udi Nedivi Co-Producer
William Chartoff Producer

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

From Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures and Chartoff Winkler Productions comes Creed II, with Michael B. Jordan, three-time Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson reprising their leading roles in the next chapter of the Adonis Creed story, which follows the young boxer’s life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with newfound fame, family, his father’s legacy, and his continuing quest to become a champion.

Since arriving in Philadelphia from California three years ago to train with retired former heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa (Stallone), Adonis (Jordan) has found love and success. Under his mentor, coach, and “uncle” Rocky’s tutelage, Adonis has risen quickly in the professional boxing world as a heavyweight title contender. He and his longtime love, Bianca (Thompson), the beautiful and talented singer-songwriter who is a rising music star in her own right, are now ready to make a commitment and start a family. His adoptive mother, Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), who had hoped Adonis would not follow in the footsteps of his father, has accepted his choice, recognizing in her son the talent and passion that made her late husband one of boxing’s greatest champions.

Adonis should be on top of the world — but instead, he’s struggling to reconcile the doubt he feels on the inside with the acceptance and adulation he’s receiving from the world. As the illegitimate son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed — who died in the ring before he was born — Adonis is grappling with his legacy and life in the celebrity spotlight. Despite his success, Adonis is afraid of not living up to expectations, especially his own. He questions his abilities, and wonders if he’s fought the best and is worthy of being a champion.

It’s not long before an opponent steps forward who forces Adonis to confront his doubts and answer those questions: a young, undefeated heavyweight contender, Viktor Drago (Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu) — son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed Apollo in the ring three decades earlier — publicly challenges Adonis for what the boxing world labels a historic next-generation “Creed vs. Drago” showdown.

The film will be distributed theatrically in the U.S. by MGM on November 21, 2018, and Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the film internationally



The Avengers: Infinity War

by Dewayne Hamby | Like the epic comic-book crossover events it’s lifted from, there are many moving parts and countless characters in play, so much so that writing a non-spoiler-filled review is a feat unto itself (Marvel Entertainment/YouTube)

If you’re yearning to see super-powered beings demonstrating true heroism, Avengers: Infinity War, released from Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures, is the blockbuster you’ve been waiting for. It’s a refreshing return to the classic, morally unambiguous ideals of the silver age.

Since the creators dreamed up superheroes, the common thread, woven into the fabric of their literary DNA, was the selfless act of defending the defenseless. Ole’ Spidey even learned early on that, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Your power is not yours alone. It belongs to those who need it.

Somewhere, however, that innate heroic purpose often gave way to clannish ego-centered supernatural battles or attempts at rectifying messes their own clumsy abilities created. Infinity War, however, finds a war coming to earth, and the ones who can do something about it don’t run; they rally and fight.

Like the epic comic-book crossover events it’s lifted from, there are many moving parts and countless characters in play, so much so that writing a non-spoiler-filled review is a feat unto itself. Still, as anyone who has seen the previews can surmise, the action is literally non-stop and plays against dozens of earth-bound and intergalactic settings. Somehow the dozens of fan-favorite characters, even supporting ones, manage to get enough of a spotlight to satisfy their respective fanbases.

Heroes in this film do not wrestle with their destinies. They don’t brood or debate or agonize over putting themselves in harm’s way; they run into danger like stepping into their true calling. It is inspiring and beautiful. At one point, Tony Stark, feeling the weight of responsibility, chides Peter Parker for stepping into this fray, but Peter, though still a teenager in high school, is fully aware of the stakes. He’s ready and willing to go down fighting, telling Stark to be a neighborhood Spider-Man he has to make sure the neighborhood is still standing.

The consequences of the battle are severe and serious; however, the tone is frequently light. On the faith front, Jesus Christ is mentioned in a brief, throwaway line by Star Lord, played by one of the more outspoken Christian actors, Chris Pratt. Shuri, played by another prominent believer, Letitia Wright, also has a significant role in the film.

Anthony and Joe Russo, who delivered the smash Captain America: Civil War, have created a pitch-perfect, wildly-satisfying film. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely somehow managed to capture the voice and spirit of so many heroes, including well-placed comedic banter between newly-paired heroes such as Star Lord and Thor, and Dr. Strange and Iron Man. Even Thanos (Josh Brolin) is fleshed out more than one might expect.

Through 18 films, every step forward in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building to this, since Iron Man first took flight in 2008, bringing along with it the hopes and dreams of millions of fans. Avengers: Infinity War delivers on the hype. It is everything superhero fans were hoping it would be, and more. You’ll want to see it again.

Infinity War is rated PG-13 for language and violence and stars Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Benedict Wong as Wong, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Dave Bautista as Drax, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, with Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, with Josh Brolin as Thanos and Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord.

DEWAYNE HAMBY is a communications specialist and longtime journalist covering faith-based music, entertainment, books and the retail industry. He is also the editor of the White Wing Messenger, director of communications for the Church of God of Prophecy, and author of the book Gratitude Adjustment. Connect with him at his entertainment blog, dewaynehamby.com or on twitter – @dewaynehamby.



Paul, Apostle of Christ

The story covers Paul, portrayed by Faulkner, going from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Jesus Christ’s most influential apostle.
CAST

Jim Caviezel (THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST)
James Faulkner (“Downton Abbey”)
Olivier Martinez (S.W.A.T.)
Joanne Whalley (“A.D. The Bible Continues”)
John Lynch (THE SECRET GARDEN)


PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST is the story of two men. Luke, as a friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into the city of Rome to visit Paul, who is held captive in Nero’s darkest, bleakest prison cell. But Nero is determined to rid Rome of Christians, and does not flinch from executing them in the grisliest ways possible. Before Paul’s death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church.

Bound in chains, Paul’s struggle is internal. He has survived so much—floggings, shipwreck, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure—yet as he waits for his appointment with death, he is haunted by the shadows of his past misdeeds. Alone in the dark, he wonders if he has been forgotten . . . and if he has the strength to finish well.

Two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spread their message to the world.



The Good Catholic

Daniel is an idealistic and dedicated priest who loves his work more than anything else, until a chance meeting with a woman at confession stirs up emotions that make him question his true calling

Daniel (Zachary Spicer) is a young, idealistic priest who loves his work more than anything. While he struggles to find balance between the dueling philosophies of his mentors, Father Victor (Danny Glover), an old school, no nonsense traditionalist, and Father Ollie (John C. McGinley), a chainsmoking, carb addicted Franciscan, Daniel’s passion for his calling never waivers. And then he meets Jane. After a chance encounter during a late night confession, the complicated and mysterious Jane (Wrenn Schmidt), starts to open up Daniel’s world to an entirely different set of possibilities. And problems. As new bonds form and old ones are tested, Daniel must decide what his true calling really is — and whether or not he has the courage to answer it.

Runtime: 96 min
Rating: Rated PG-13 for language including a sexual reference.
Production: Pigasus Pictures
Genres: Drama, Comedy
Countries: USA, US
Language: English
Home Release Date: Oct 24, 2017
Director Credit
Paul Shoulberg Director
Writer Credit
Paul Shoulberg Writer
Principal Cast Credit
Alex Miro Jazz Hands Carl
Callie Rekas Featured Extra
Chandra Lee Mann Donna
Danny Glover Victor
John C. McGinley Ollie
Wrenn Schmidt Jane
Zachary Spicer Daniel
Zane Naylor Coffee Shop Patron
Cast Credit
Alex Miro Jazz Hands Carl
Callie Rekas Featured Extra
Chandra Lee Mann Donna
Danny Glover Victor
John C. McGinley Ollie
Wrenn Schmidt Jane
Zachary Spicer Daniel
Zane Naylor Coffee Shop Patron
Producer Credit
David Anspaugh Executive Producer
Graham Sheldon Producer
John Robert Armstrong Producer
Jonathan Mann Associate Producer
Jordan Gershowitz Executive Producer
Michael Borgmann Associate Producer
Ryan Mieczyslaw Juszkiewicz Line Producer
Stephen Ruminski Line Producer
Zachary Spicer Producer

 



Holiday Family Movies

There’s no better way to hide out from the cold than by cozying up to a holiday movie (Rotten Tomatoes).

Holiday time is a great time for reflection and appreciation, and the holiday movies listed below is a way to take it easy and reflect on the good old days for the grown ups and a new beginnings for the young. The movies pick ranges from Ebenezer Scrooge’s redemption in the adaptations of Christmas Carol  to the salvation of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. There is no better way to put yourself in the holiday spirit than with a classic holiday movie. Get the popcorn and drinks ready and relax to any or all of this classic holiday movies.

IMAGE  DESCRIPTION
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The classic Disney animated characters play the roles in this animated retelling of the Charles Dickens masterpiece. Ebenezer Scrooge. Nominated for an Oscar.
Starring: Wayne Allwine, Alan Young, Will Ryan
Directed By: Burny Mattinson
Rating: G
Genre: Animation, Kids & Family
Directed By: Burny Mattinson
In Theaters: Oct 23, 1983 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Nov 5, 2013
Runtime: 25 minutes
  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1967)
Critics Consensus: How the Grinch Stole Christmas brings an impressive array of talent to bear on an adaptation that honors a classic holiday story — and has rightfully become a yuletide tradition of its own.
Synopsis: Chuck Jones’ animated version of the classic Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas originally aired on television in 1966 and has since become a holiday family favorite. Voiced by Boris Karloff (who also narrates), the Grinch lives on top of a hill overlooking Whoville with his dog, Max. Each year at Christmas time, the Grinch’s hatred grows stronger toward those insufferably cheerful Whos down in Whoville. Content to exchange presents, eat large banquets, and sing songs in the town square, the Whos live in a blissful ignorance of the Grinch’s contempt. One year, he gets the idea to stop Christmas from coming by dressing up as Santa Claus. He cobbles together an outfit and makes his dog drag him around on a sleigh while sneaking into the Whos’ homes and stealing their presents, food, and decorations. After he has stolen every last thing, the Whos wake up on Christmas morning to sing in the town square, causing the Grinch to question the basis of his nefarious plan. Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of kid cereal mascot Tony the Tiger) provides the vocals for the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” This story was remade into a live-action movie in 2000 by director Ron Howard starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
Starring: Boris Karloff, June Foray, Thurl Ravenscroft, Eugene Poddany
Directed By: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Rating: NR
Genre: Animation, Classics, Comedy, Kids & Family, Musical & Performing Arts, Television
Written By: Theodor S. Geisel
In Theaters: Jun 1, 1967 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Oct 31, 2000
Runtime: 26 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
  Holiday Inn (1942)
Critics Consensus: With the combined might of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Irving Berlin working in its favor, Holiday Inn is a seasonal classic — not least because it introduced “White Christmas” to the world.
Synopsis: Music by Irving Berlin, songs by Bing Crosby and dancing by Fred Astaire all add up to a really delightful musical that also just happened to launch the hit ‘White Christmas’.
Starring: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale
Directed By: Mark Sandrich
Rating: NR
Genre: Classics, Comedy, Musical & Performing Arts, Romance
Written By: Claude Binyon, Elmer Rice
In Theaters: Jan 1, 1942 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Nov 2, 1999
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: MCA Universal Home Video
  Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sally Benson’s short stories about the turn-of-the-century Smith family of St. Louis were tackled by a battalion of MGM screenwriters, who hoped to find a throughline to connect the anecdotal tales. After several false starts (one of which proposed that the eldest Smith daughter be kidnapped and held for ransom), the result was the charming valentine-card musical Meet Me in St. Louis. The plot hinges on the possibility that Alonzo Smith (Leon Ames), the family’s banker father, might uproot the Smiths to New York, scuttling his daughter Esther (Judy Garland)’s romance with boy-next-door John Truett (Tom Drake) and causing similar emotional trauma for the rest of the household. In a cast that includes Mary Astor as Ames’ wife, Lucille Bremer as another Ames daughter, and Marjorie Main as the housekeeper, the most fascinating character is played by 6-year-old Margaret O’Brien. As kid sister Tootie, O’Brien seems morbidly obsessed with death and murder, burying her dolls, “killing” a neighbor at Halloween (she throws flour in the flustered man’s face on a dare), and maniacally bludgeoning her snowmen when Papa announces his plans to move to New York. Margaret O’Brien won a special Oscar for her remarkable performance, prompting Lionel Barrymore to grumble “Two hundred years ago, she would have been burned at the stake!” The songs are a heady combination of period tunes and newly minted numbers by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin, the best of which are The Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. As a bonus, Meet Me in St. Louis is lensed in rich Technicolor, shown to best advantage in the climactic scenes at the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Lucille Bremer, Mary Astor
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli
Rating: G
Genre: Classics, Drama, Kids & Family, Musical & Performing Arts, Romance
Written By: Irving Brecher, Fred F. Finklehoffe
In Theaters: Nov 28, 1944 limited
On Disc/Streaming: Apr 6, 2004
Runtime: 113 minutes
Studio: MGM
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Critics Consensus: Deftly directed by Ernst Lubitsch from a smart, funny script by Samson Raphaelson, The Shop Around the Corner is a romantic comedy in the finest sense of the term.
Synopsis: The Shop Around the Corner is adapted from the Hungarian play by Nikolaus (Miklos) Laszlo. Budapest gift-shop clerk Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and newly hired shopgirl Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) hate each other almost at first sight. Kralik would prefer the company of the woman with whom he is corresponding by mail but has never met. Novak likewise carries a torch for her male pen pal, whom she also has never laid eyes on. It doesn’t take a PhD degree to figure out that Kralik and Novak have been writing letters to each other. The film’s many subplots are carried by Frank Morgan as the kindhearted shopkeeper and by Joseph Schildkraut as a backstabbing employee whose comeuppance is sure to result in spontaneous applause from the audience. Directed with comic delicacy by Ernst Lubitsch, this was later remade in 1949 as In the Good Old Summertime, and in 1998 as You’ve Got Mail. It was also musicalized as the 1963 Broadway production She Loves Me. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Starring: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch
Rating: NR
Genre: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Written By: Samson Raphaelson
In Theaters: Jan 1, 1940 limited
On Disc/Streaming: Oct 1, 2002
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: MGM
Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During a post-Christmas play date, the gang find themselves in uncharted territory when the coolest set of action figures ever turn out to be dangerously delusional. It’s all up to Trixie, the triceratops, if the gang hopes to return to Bonnie’s room in this Toy Story That Time Forgot. (C) Disney
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kristen Schaal, Kevin Mckidd
Directed By: Steve Purcell (II)
Rating: NR
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation
Written By: Steve Purcell (II)
In Theaters: Dec 2, 2014 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Nov 3, 2015
Runtime: 22 minutes
Studio: Disney/Pixar
 A Christmas Carol (1938)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: One of the better versions of the Dickens classic features Reginald Owen as Scrooge, real-life relatives Gene, Kathleen and June Lockhart as the Cratchit family, and Terence Kilburn as Tiny Tim.
Starring: Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, Leo G Carroll
Directed By: Edwin L. Marin
Rating: G (nothing objectionable)
Genre: Classics, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Written By: Hugo Butler
In Theaters: Dec 16, 1938 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Nov 8, 2005
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: MGM
Paddington (2015)
Critics Consensus: Paddington brings a beloved children’s character into the 21st century without sacrificing his essential charm, delivering a family-friendly adventure as irresistibly cuddly as its star.
Synopsis: From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (HARRY POTTER), PADDINGTON tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you,” and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. (c) Weinstein
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters
Directed By: Paul King (VII)
Rating: PG (for mild action and rude humor)
Genre: Comedy, Kids & Family
Written By: Hamish McColl, Paul King (VII)
In Theaters: Jan 16, 2015 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Apr 28, 2015
Box Office: $85,879,985
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: The Weinstein Company
 Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Critics Consensus: Irrefutable proof that gentle sentimentalism can be the chief ingredient in a wonderful film, Miracle on 34th Street delivers a warm holiday message without resorting to treacle.
Synopsis: Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle, a bearded old gent who is the living image of Santa Claus. Serving as a last-minute replacement for the drunken Santa who was to have led Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Kringle is offered a job as a Macy’s toy-department Santa. Supervisor Maureen O’Hara soon begins having second thoughts about hiring Kris: it’s bad enough that he is laboring under the delusion that he’s the genuine Saint Nick; but when he begins advising customers to shop elsewhere for toys that they can’t find at Macy’s, he’s gone too far! Amazingly, Mr. Macy (Harry Antrim) considers Kris’ shopping tips to be an excellent customer-service “gimmick,” and insists that the old fellow keep his job. A resident of a Long Island retirement home, Kris agrees to take a room with lawyer John Payne during the Christmas season. It happens that Payne is sweet on O’Hara, and Kris subliminally hopes he can bring the two together. Kris is also desirous of winning over the divorced O’Hara’s little daughter Natalie Wood, who in her few years on earth has lost a lot of the Christmas spirit. Complications ensue when Porter Hall, Macy’s nasty in-house psychologist, arranges to have Kris locked up in Bellevue as a lunatic. Payne represents Kris at his sanity hearing, rocking the New York judicial system to its foundations by endeavoring to prove in court that Kris is, indeed, the real Santa Claus! We won’t tell you how he does it: suffice to say that there’s a joyous ending for Payne and O’Hara, as well as a wonderful faith-affirming denouement for little Natalie Wood. 72-year-old Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the “jolly old elf” Kringle; the rest of the cast is populated by such never-fail pros as Gene Lockhart (as the beleaguered sanity-hearing judge), William Frawley (as a crafty political boss), and an unbilled Thelma Ritter and Jack Albertson. Based on the novel by Valentine Davies, Miracle on 34th Street was remade twice: once for TV in 1973, and a second time for a 1994 theatrical release, with Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Starring: Edmund Gwenn, John Payne, Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood
Directed By: George Seaton
Rating: NR
Genre: Classics, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interest, Romance
Written By: George Seaton
In Theaters: Jan 1, 1947 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Oct 16, 2001
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
  Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Critics Consensus: Enchanting, sweepingly romantic, and featuring plenty of wonderful musical numbers, Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s most elegant animated offerings.
Synopsis: Walt Disney Animation Studios’ magical classic Beauty and the Beast returns to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D(TM), introducing a whole new generation to the Disney classic with stunning new 3D imagery. The film captures the fantastic journey of Belle (voice of Paige O’Hara), a bright and beautiful young woman who’s taken prisoner by a hideous beast (voice of Robby Benson) in his castle. Despite her precarious situation, Belle befriends the castle’s enchanted staff-a teapot, a candelabra and a mantel clock, among others-and ultimately learns to see beneath the Beast’s exterior to discover the heart and soul of a prince. — (C) Disney
Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach, Angela Lansbury
Directed By: Gary Trousdale
Rating: G
Genre: Animation, Drama, Kids & Family, Musical & Performing Arts, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance
In Theaters: Nov 22, 1991 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Oct 8, 2002
Box Office: $47,611,331
Runtime: 85 minutes
Studio: Buena Vista
   It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Critics Consensus: The holiday classic to define all holiday classics, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of a handful of films worth an annual viewing.
Synopsis: This is director Frank Capra’s classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls. As the film opens, it’s Christmas Eve, 1946, and George, who has long considered himself a failure, faces financial ruin and arrest and is seriously contemplating suicide. High above Bedford Falls, two celestial voices discuss Bailey’s dilemma and decide to send down eternally bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), who after 200 years has yet to earn his wings, to help George out. But first, Clarence is given a crash course on George’s life, and the multitude of selfless acts he has performed: rescuing his younger brother from drowning, losing the hearing in his left ear in the process; enduring a beating rather than allow a grieving druggist (H.B. Warner) to deliver poison by mistake to an ailing child; foregoing college and a long-planned trip to Europe to keep the Bailey Building and Loan from letting its Depression-era customers down; and, most important, preventing town despot Potter (Lionel Barrymore) from taking over Bedford Mills and reducing its inhabitants to penury. Along the way, George has married his childhood sweetheart Mary (Donna Reed), who has stuck by him through thick and thin. But even the love of Mary and his children are insufficient when George, faced with an $8000 shortage in his books, becomes a likely candidate for prison thanks to the vengeful Potter. Bitterly, George declares that he wishes that he had never been born, and Clarence, hoping to teach George a lesson, shows him how different life would have been had he in fact never been born. After a nightmarish odyssey through a George Bailey-less Bedford Falls (now a glorified slum called Potterville), wherein none of his friends or family recognize him, George is made to realize how many lives he has touched, and helped, through his existence; and, just as Clarence had planned, George awakens to the fact that, despite all its deprivations, he has truly had a wonderful life. Capra’s first production through his newly-formed Liberty Films, It’s a Wonderful Life lost money in its original run, when it was percieved as a fairly downbeat view of small-town life. Only after it lapsed into the public domain in 1973 and became a Christmastime TV perennial did it don the mantle of a holiday classic. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell
Directed By: Frank Capra
Rating: PG (for thematic elements, smoking and some violence)
Genre: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Written By: Frank Capra, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett
In Theaters: Dec 25, 1946 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Sep 19, 1995
Runtime: 135 minutes
Studio: Liberty Films
  Frozen (2013)
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon.
Synopsis: Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, “Frozen” is the coolest comedy-adventure ever to hit the big screen. When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction. (c) Disney
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad
Directed By: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
Rating: PG (for some action and mild rude humor)
Genre: Animation, Kids & Family
Written By: Jennifer Lee
In Theaters: Nov 27, 2013 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Mar 18, 2014
Box Office: $400,736,600
Runtime: 102 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures


‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’ Gets its First Trailer

by Anita Busch | The story covers Paul, portrayed by Faulkner, going from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Jesus Christ’s most influential apostle….Set For Easter Week.

A first-look teaser trailer just dropped for the James Faulkner-Jim Caviezel faith-based film Paul, Apostle of Christ, which comes from Sony’s Affirm Films label. It follows the epic story of the man who went from persecutor of the church to a follower of Christ. The film, from writer-director Andrew Hyatt, will be released March 28, the Wednesday before Easter.

The story follows Paul (Faulkner), who suffers alone in a Roman prison, awaiting his execution under Emperor Nero. Mauritius (Olivier Martinez), the ambitious prison prefect, can hardly see what threat this broken man poses. Once he was Saul of Tarsus, the high-ranking and brutal killer of Christians. Now his faith rattles Rome. At great risk, Luke the Physician (Caviezel) visits the aged Paul to comfort and tend to him—and to question, to transcribe and to smuggle out Paul’s letters to the growing community of believers. Amid Nero’s inhuman persecution, these men and women will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and change the world.

Paul, Apostle of Christ, which was filmed in Malta, also stars Joanne Whalley and John Lynch. It was produced by David Zelon and T.J. Berden. Executive producers are Rick Jackson, Harrison Powell and Eric Groth.

The film was done with Sony in association with Giving Films as an ODB Films production in association with Mandalay Pictures.



Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defense attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. is set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when his mentor, a civil rights icon, dies. When he is recruited to join a firm led by one of the legendary man’s former students – the ambitious lawyer George Pierce (Colin Farrell) – and begins a friendship with a young champion of equal rights (Carmen Ejogo), a turbulent series of events ensue that will put the activism that has defined Roman’s career to the test.

Release date: November 17, 2017 (USA)
Director: Dan Gilroy
Screenplay: Dan Gilroy
Music composed by: James Newton Howard
Producers: Denzel Washington, Jennifer Fox, Todd Black