THOUGH I KNEW THE RESTAURANT’S DINING tables were crammed together, I did not know I would learn a valuable lesson. There was no way we could not avoid hearing the conversations at the tables around us; one of them intrigued me enough to pay attention. A couple was sitting at the table next to us, talking about the upcoming holidays. They appeared to be husband and wife based on their conversation and the fact they were both wearing wedding rings. What stood out prompting my attention was the wife telling her husband to “suck it up.” I will not go into all the details of their back and forth exchange; but the part that stood out for me was when the wife said they were a couple, which meant sometimes one of them would have to do something they don’t want to do but do it anyway for their spouse. I let that concept sink in a for a moment and found myself agreeing with the wife. It was funny; I almost turned around to give my support to her. Her statement rang true to me; there are some things we just must do. So, no need to complain about it, just do it. In the scheme of things how big of a deal would it be anyway? I REMIND MYSELF ABOUT THAT COUPLE sitting at the restaurant from time to time because there are things I would rather not do; but feel I must do. One of them is going to see a movie that I can tell will be rough for me to watch. Sometimes I cannot avoid the amount of bad press that has come out about a film I have planned to review. A lot of the time my choices are dictated by the available times; if I am at the theater and the movie is scheduled to begin then I go in to see it. Now besides the bad press issue, there are some films that reveal their true nature right in the trailers. You can imagine how many trailers I must sit through based on the amount of films I go out to see. When I am aware I am going to a poorly done picture, I used to complain to friends and family. Also, I have people in class who will ask me why I went to see a movie I knew was going to be a tough viewing. Remembering that couple at the restaurant I tell people the reason I go is because this is what I do; I review all movies. I do not pick and choose only the ones I think will be good; there is no one to blame, so there is no reason to complain. Still, I wanted to complain about this dramatic family film. AMBER HILL LOVED TO SING WITH the church chorus, but after her husband was killed in Afghanistan she stopped singing. She pretty much stopped living. With Jordin Sparks (Left Behind, Sparkle) as Bridgette, newcomer LaDainian Tomlinson as Pastor Williams, Andrew W. Walker (Steel Toes, Against the Wall-TV) as Cody Jackson and Robin Givens (Blankman, A Christmas to Remember) as Karena Williams; this romance movie quickly sunk. As I have said before I do not have an issue with these faith-based films; but I am sorry, there is no reason why a little effort cannot be put in to make a decent picture. All these studios think is pound the message of faith into the script and people will flock to see their film. There were so many cringe worthy scenes in this film that I sat in my seat speechless. No character development, poor direction and acting with hardly any connection to the story lines; it was enough to almost drive a person to religiously convert.
1 ½ stars
Each of us starts out with a blank slate when we come into this world. I believe no one is born knowing about prejudice, hatred, discrimination or the difference between good and bad. So what could be the factors that influence the way a child behaves as they grow older? If we open this up for discussion I am sure we would still be discussing it well into our twilight years. The aspect I find fascinating is when parents and their children are opposites of each other. So many times on the news I have seen quiet, gentle parents talk lovingly about their child who was just charged with manslaughter or some other heinous crime. On the flip side there are the human interest stories where an individual from a disadvantaged background became successful. I have to sit and wonder if child rearing is more like a game of chance instead of some set formula. You will see what I am talking about in this dramatic film that came out of the dark to me. I wound up seeing this movie because it was the only one that was not playing in 3D at the time I had available. Without any awareness of it, I was taken by surprise on how much I enjoyed it. The story was about two inner city boys who had to struggle on their own when their mothers were taken away from them. Skylan Brooks (Our Family Wedding, Seven Pounds) and Ethan Dizon (How I Met Your Mother-TV) played the two boys, named Mister and Pete. For being so young, they were terrific in their roles. Another surprise for me was seeing Jennifer Hudson (The Secret LIfe of Bees, Dreamgirls) playing Mister’s mom, Gloria. I would have thought with her being attached to this film I would have seen a commercial or at least one movie trailer, but nothing at all. The movie even had Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Bullet to the Head, Lost-TV) as Sergeant Pike and Jordin Sparks (Sparkle, American Idol-TV) as Alice. I am not implying that Jordin made the movie; in fact, I did not fully understand her role. But with higher profile people, I found the lack of advertising odd. Irregardless, I fell right into the beauty of this story. People who know me have heard me say, “If you need a license for a dog, then I feel you need a license to be a parent.” See for yourself by viewing this film festival winning movie.