Movie Review: Stuck

StuckI know, I know. Fridays are for book reviews, not movie reviews. I didn’t have enough time to read a new orphan/adoption book this week, though, so a movie review it is. If you want a book review check out Saving Levi, A Horse to Love, or Bridge Called Hope. But for now…

All of these kids have families. All of these kids have homes in the US, and they have for years. And ye here they’re sitting, waiting, suffering.

International adoption is known for it’s hefty price tag and frequently long duration. Why does it take so long when so many children around the world wait for forever families? This documentary follows three families through their international adoptions, and provides a very personal look at the joys and heartaches of the process. It also provides a glimpse at international laws and treaties that cause adoptions to be held up for years with very little reason.

Yes, it’s true, I cried my way through this film not once, but twice. It’s heartbreaking to watch parents struggle against a convoluted system while loving children they can’t be with or take care of. And it’s wonderful (in a tearful sort of way ;)) to see these parents finally united with the children they have fought for. You can rent it for a week on Amazon or buy the DVD off the Both Ends Burning website. Want to know more? Read my friend Marli Renee’s blog post or watch the Stuck trailer over on the Teens Interceding for Orphans.

What do you know about the cost and time involved in international adoption? What are your opinions on the subject?

Care about orphans? Check out my new website, Teens Interceding for Orphans.

Movie Review: A Little Princess Movie Comparison

DVD A Little Princess [Shirly Temple]A Little Princess, starring Shirley Temple:
This is the video version of A Little Princess that I grew up with. It’s a classic Shirley Temple movie. Though built around the original story, it is not faithful to the book but it’s charming anyway (it is Shirley Temple after all). For example, Sara (aka Shirley) is friends with Rose, a young teacher at the boarding school (not in the book), and Rose falls in love with the riding teacher (not in the books), and Miss Minchin kicks Rose out for getting engaged (obviously not in the books since Rose wasn’t in the books), etc. My pet peeve as I got older (and read the book) was that Sara’s father was still alive (he’s not in the books). Still, their reunion is sweet, and I loved it when I was younger. There’s nothing objectionable in this film.

DVD A Little Princess [b]A Little Princess, staring Liesel Matthews:
This was my second foray into the world of Little Princess movies. I had just read the book and realized that the Shirley Temple version did the story wrong, so I decided to see if the library carried a different version. (I was hoping to find one where Dad actually died and his friend rescued Sara.) This movie is a bit more accurate. The old man next door at least plays a part in Sara’s happily ever after. Miss Amelia (Miss Minchin’s sister), is particularly funny in this movie. And Becky is so sweet. My one complaint/warning about this film is that the Buddhist/Hindu culture Sara was raised in (she grew up in India) came through much more in this film than in others.

DVD A Little Princess [PBS]A Little Princess, staring Amelia Shankley
This version of The Little Princess is my most recent discovery, my favorite movie rendition of the story, and (not surprisingly!) the most accurate to the book. It was originally created for PBS and the film quality is similar to classic BBC films. It still does not adhere 100% to the books, but it comes about as close as a movie rendition can (and, yes, her father dies, and it’s his friend who finally rescues Sara from her life of drudgery). If you can get your hands on it, this is definitely the version I recommend. You’ll probably want to check with your library, though. Used copies on Amazon start at $75.

What’s your favorite movie version of A Little Princess? Did I miss any of them?

Movie Review: The Hobbit

The Hobbit-An Unexpected JourneyYes, breaking ground here and posting a movie review. My brother is an ardent Lord of the Rings fan, and I enjoy the stories too. Last Christmas my cousins (thank you cousins!) gave me a gift card to the movie theater, and I’ve been saving it to see The Hobbit. While the movie probably wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I certainly enjoyed it. Okay, here’s the review.

When adventure comes knocking at his door, Bilbo Baggins wants nothing to do with it. But, before he knows it, the pull of the unknown and heroic outweighs the draw of familiar comfort. He signs a contract that stipulates (among other things) that his dwarf companions will not be held responsible if he is incinerated by a dragon! So starts a journey of courage, friendship, and unexpected heroes.

Cons: The dwarfs exhibit some rude table manners at the beginning of the movie. While none of the humor is inappropriate, some of it seems unnecessary and has a distinctly “Hollywood” flavor.

Pros: Everything else. 😉 I left the theater with the warm feeling that comes from a story with hidden depth. While the plot of The Hobbit stand firm on its own, the underlying themes add lots of dimension. One of my favorite characters was Thoren Oakenshield. He’s a flawed character. Pride and stubbornness sometimes outweigh his common sense, but he is a wonderful leader. His men trust him and he routinely risks his life to protect them. Bilbo leaves the comforts of his home and comes to realize he’d rather serve a greater good than return to the safe and familiar. In the same way, the path God has for us is not always smooth or safe, but it is always best. There are a lot of lessons to learn from the story if you look for them.

Bottom line. If you enjoyed the trilogy movies, you’ll definitely enjoy this first movie of The Hobbit.