Have Courage and Be Kind: Thoughts on Cinderella

When the new live-action Cinderella movie released, I thought it looked sweet but I didn’t rush out to the theater to see it. I finally nabbed it from Redbox on my birthday to see just how much it made me feel like a little girl again. Even though I had heard such things from reviews, I was still kind of surprised by the meaningful message of the film, and that it went deeper than magical fluff. Don’t be mistaken, it is still very fairy tale, with love-at-first sight and all that, but the character of Ella developed here is an excellent role model for young girls (and older ones too, really).

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The (maybe just slightly heavy-handed, but still very nice) theme of the movie is summed up in the words of Ella’s mother to her: Have courage and be kind. This is Ella’s motivation as she endures the awful treatment of her stepsisters and stepmother, and while she fights against being a doormat, they certainly take advantage of her kindness. It’s also these very same qualities that she possesses that attract the prince to her when they first meet. And it’s this courageous kindness that gives Cinderella the ability to forgive her stepmother in the end – a strong, important message for us all.

Overall: Cinderalla didn’t become a new favorite for me, but I definitely enjoyed watching it, and it would be a film I would be happy to show any daughters I might have one day.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Watch Big Hero 6

1. It’s Set in San Fransokyo, Which is Awesome

Big-Hero-6-sanfranSo the movie is set in a futuristic city called San Fransokyo, which is basically exactly what it sounds like. It was so interesting and my biggest complaint about the movie would probably be that we didn’t get to learn more about it! I’d love it if they set more movies in this city, even with different characters!

2. Baymax is the Most Lovable Robot Ever

hariy-babyI mean, seriously, is this not the cutest thing ever? It is. And that’s just some of the lovableness.

3. Awesome, Supportive Friends & Family

BIG HERO 6Hiro goes through a lot in this movie, but everyone in his life, including his brother’s college friends that he barely knows, are super awesome and supportive. A lot of times we MC in a story has to go through everything alone, or with just a significant other, and it was so nice to see the MC was not alone, even when he thought he wanted to be.

4. There is Zero Romance & You Will Not Miss It

I love romance just as much as most anyone else, but it was also kind of refreshing to watch a movie where everyone was just friends and there wasn’t even a hint of romance. The love in this movie is all familial.

5. Girl Power!

bighero6-gogoIn addition to Hiro and Baymax, Big Hero 6 consists of two guys and two girls, with both of the girls and one of the guys being students from the university Hiro’s brother attends and who are incredibly smart. They know about science and are working on awesome projects that ultimately end up as part of the superhero identities.

6. Surprise Cameo!

I don’t want to say too much and spoil the surprise, but if you’re a fan of a certain franchise you’ll definitely appreciate this!

Have you seen Big Hero 6? Why do you think others should watch it?

Mini Movie Reviews: Frozen and The Book Thief

I’m still catching up on some movies from 2013, so recently I FINALLY saw Frozen and The Book Thief!

Frozen

frozen_poster2I’ll tell you, I only became interested in Frozen because everyone was raving about it. The trailer for the movie really did not do it justice. My husband and I thought it was a movie that centered on a silly snowman, but that turned out to not be the case at all. It’s a story about family and love and sacrifice, and Olaf the snowman was sweet and funny, not ridiculous as the trailer made him out to be. And the big twist in the story surprised me!

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I thought overall, the characters were pretty good. And I love that Disney is able to poke fun at itself and its usual formula when it comes to love at first sight and all that. Though the relationship in this story doesn’t have the chance to develop as well as Rapunzel and Flynn in Tangled, in my opinion, I still really liked what we got of it.

meltingI will admit I was also a little concerned going into this movie about the hype over the music. I had heard “Let It Go” several times before watching the movie, and I honestly didn’t get what the fuss was about and why it was “the song” of the movie. In the context of the movie, I did enjoy it more, and I liked the other songs as well. For some reason, overall, the music felt less forced than it did in Tangled, but maybe it was because I was expecting it from this movie. I think “Let It Go” could have been a bit grander, but still, it’s a nice song. I also really like the ice song at the beginning, which Lesley Marie and I conversed about on Twitter.

It was a fun, well-done film, but I would have liked it more if it could have been just a little longer to develop the story just a little more. I rate it four stars.

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The Book Thief

book_thiefWith The Book Thief, I was curious to see how everything would be adapted. I had heard pretty positive things so I was optimistic, but also aware that there is no way it could meet all my expectations. But overall, The Book Thief did a good job of hitting the highlights of the story and capturing the spirit of it. Though Death does not speak up much, he does narrate the film, and the movie ends with the same words as the book.

All the actors did a great job in their role: Sophie Nélisse as Liesel, Geoffrey Rush as Hans Hubermann, Emily Watson as Rosa Hubermann, Ben Schnetzer as Max, and Nico Liersch as Rudy… they were all pitch-perfect! Sophie and Nico especially, as Liesel and Rudy, respectively… well, just look at them!

The-Book-Thief-Liesel-Rudy-CROPThey were completely adorable, and I absolutely fell in love with little Rudy all over again. While watching the movie I didn’t think of it because they were doing so well that I was just completely into everything, but in hindsight, it’s amazing that these child actors were able to display the complexity of their characters and of emotions that they needed to, and I believe they truly held their own against the adult actors. And Geoffrey Rush? Just so perfect.

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I only have a couple of small complaints. Obviously, it’s not a perfect adaptation because they couldn’t fit everything in, but I so wish they could have! But mostly, that they *SPOILER* changed Rudy’s death so that he survived the bombing for a short period of time before he died in front of Liesel (after he starts to say “I love you”) was not a good change in my opinion. First off, that meant he suffered a lot, and secondly, how traumatizing for Liesel! I mean, more so than already with everything she experiences. I just wish they hadn’t done that. *END SPOILER* My husband, who has not read the book, liked the movie, so I think it was a success in appealing to fans of the book as well as others.

4stars2What are your thoughts on Frozen and The Book Thief?