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I will be the first to admit that I love a good movie. Sometimes I will even watch a ho-hum movie in search of something entertaining. Sadly, more and more ‘new releases’ seem to fall into the ho-hum or plain just not great category. Add in the desire to filter young eyes from things they don’t need to see and it can be downright challenging.
That being said, our family is probably less stringent than some Christian households. For instance, we do not ban all books and movies with any mention of magic in them. Instead, we talk with the boys about how it is all fantasy and that anyone possessing magical powers must be getting them from entities we have no business being around. We have also included some films that might be deemed too violent by others. (However, I know first hand that my kids do not see the same breadth of movies their friends have seen.)
Here’s what we’ve been watching in our house….
All Quiet on the Western Front (the original from 1930)
This particular movie was not picked for entertainment value, but instead to augment our recent study of World War I. I have a little pdf file living on the desktop computer that was shared a while back of movies by time period. Of those listed for WWI, this was the only one I could find in the library here. And, I had my older boys (10 and 13) watching it. D (age 7) floated in and out of the room, but had other things he would rather be doing when it was running.
Now, the boys are not big fans of black and white films. Presenting the war from the viewpoint of one German soldier fighting in France, the boys were drawn into the movie and had no further complaints about it not being in color. This isn’t the first time they have ‘forgotten’ all about the lack of color and appreciated a movie on it’s own merit. (Boys Town is another one we did a while back for school and they liked it a lot.)
As it is a war movie, there is definite inclusion of violence. However, it is not the blood and gore that you find in most modern pictures. Don’t get me wrong, people are dying in this film. And, you see people aiming weapons to do the killing. This is a WAR film, after all. You just don’t see a bomb go off and have splinters of a person flying about like you would expect in something by, say, Quentin Tarantino. There is a bayonet scene, though, that Mr. O recalls as being rather graphic. I just know that it is a far cry from the graphic approach a modern director might take. That being said, it is a great film to help solidify study of WWI with a middle school on up student.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=dabydainouwo-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004AKCME8&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThis one has the element of fantasy, but I don’t think I would quite say it includes magic. Obviously, this is NOT our reality since owls do not talk or fashion tools and artistic things from metal.
The premise of the film is that a young owl, taken from his family and enslaved, finds his way to solicit help from the larger than life Guardians he has heard in stories told by his father. Along with a small group of other characters, he finds the Guardians and ultimately helps them defeat the ‘pure ones’ that had enslaved him and others for their own nefarious schemes.
The graphics are amazing in this film and the story itself was palatable. The boys all enjoyed it and I did not see anything jump out at me as being objectionable for a child old enough to handle the darker nature of the story. There is fighting resulting in death, including a battle between siblings (the hero’s brother had crossed over to the ‘dark side.’) That particular piece of the story line could be a great way to discuss how easily someone could be seduced into evil deeds.
All that being said, I’d say this is NOT a film for the whole family to watch together.
This post has been submitted for inclusion in The Christian Home carnival, hosted each Monday at The Legacy of Home.