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McKenzie Bryant
USA
Movie Fan, Foodie, Blogger.
Recent Activity
I’m looking forward to seeing ‘Finding Noah’ this Thursday. It’s being shown in theaters for 1 night only, on October 8th, and after spending the weekend researching the many expeditions to various mountains in Turkey in search of the ark, including accounts of military personnel and locals who reported actually seeing an enormous barge made of petrified wood at the top Mt. Ararat, I have to say I’m pretty excited about it. Given the danger involved in undertaking such a project, it really is a miracle that the crew made it back from the trek at all, let alone with enough footage to produce a documentary. You can find more info on the film here, including additional clips. Now, if you’re in the mood for being a little bit Indiana Jones, you might find some of these links fascinating as well: Noah’s Ark Expeditions & Sightings - http://nwcreation.net/noahsightings.html Noah’s Ark... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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Photo credit: Universal Pictures I’m sitting on my bed, with tears of laughter drying on my face, shaking my head. I was just looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s profile on IMDb, and saw that he’ll be working on a movie in the near future called “Triplets”. I knew immediately that this was a sequel to Twins, but I was hoping against hope that I was wrong. My thought was, oh for the love of God, tell me this isn’t what I think it is. Tell me they haven’t so completely run out of ideas that they decided to reach back, and dig up Twins from 1988, and do a sequel. I was in so much disbelief, I was actually afraid to click on the movie’s link to read the synopsis, and have my suspicions confirmed. It was just too absurd. Would they really do that? Would they really make a sequel... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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Photo credit: Universal Pictures More Frustrating Odds and Ends One of the first things I noticed about Jurassic World is that there is no real build up to seeing the park. The movie comes on, and within a few minutes we’re there, with sweeping areal views and the Jurassic Park theme music. After waiting 22 years to finally see John Hammond’s vision come to fruition, despite the architecturally pleasing design of the buildings and the stunning special effects, the introduction to the new park is somewhat anti-climatic. There definitely needed to be more of a setup here. Another issue I had early on in the movie is that the children are, I hate to say, kind of annoying. The younger brother is the more tolerable of the two. He’s cute, mostly well behaved, and shows genuine concern for his family. On the other hand, I feel like the writers tried... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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Photo credit: Universal Pictures So I was on the fence for a few months about whether or not to see Jurassic World, but I finally caved in, and decided to see it. I have to say, the movie is a triumph in the sense that it succeeds in being an overall entertaining summer action flick, despite its numerous flaws. There’s plenty to be annoyed with in Jurassic World. First, it’s a contrived money grab that doesn’t fit anywhere in the unfolding story line of the Jurassic Park franchise. A fourth Jurassic Park movie should pick up where the third movie left off, which would be a pretty uneventful place. Basically, the Costa Rican government should be deciding how to handle the dinosaurs (let them wander free or bomb the islands to prevent future deaths), and devising a plan to keep visitors away from the islands now known as “The Five... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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So I just got home from seeing Jurassic World for the 2nd time. (I know, surprise!) Right now I’m supposed to be writing my overdue review, but instead, I’m taking this time to vent about a situation that really ticks me off. It needs to happen, and it’s my blog, so I’m gonna do it. Some people are going to think I’m a mean child-hating witch for writing this post, but I assure you, I’m just a frustrated moviegoer who’s been imposed upon one time too many, and this time, I’m not keeping quiet. As I said (or wrote), I just got back from seeing Jurassic World, and it was supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Oh, the movie was fine, when I could hear it. Sitting a few rows behind me was a couple with little children. They all sounded to be 3 or under, including a baby. It... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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The 2014 Godzilla – An Attempt at Redemption Gone Wrong (Contains Spoilers) While the Matthew Broderick Godzilla movie gets a lot of hate, when all is said and done, it actually is better than the Bryan Cranston version. First I want to acknowledge that there were certain differences that I did enjoy about the 2014 film. While I thought the design of the ’98 Godzilla was a much needed improvement over its campy predecessors, the 2014 Godzilla design stayed true to the classic image of Godzilla (including the blue atomic breath), while utilizing the needed technology to make him look as realistic as possible, rather than cheesy. If there was one thing the filmmakers had to get right with the new film, that was it, and they succeeded. Since I’m not a Godzilla movie purist, I don’t really prefer one design over the other. They both work for me, but... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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The 2014 Godzilla falls under the category of movies I never planned on watching. I saw the previews when they aired last year, and decided nope, that’s not for me. I’m not gonna lie. Over the last few years, I’ve become a little bit of a lightweight when it comes to scary movies. And when I say scary movies, I don’t mean horror movies (which I shun altogether), but more the sci-fi, action, end-of-the-world type movies with special effects that seem so realistic and intense that I could see myself needing some kind of therapy afterwards. I have no judgement for people who like to watch them, I just made a personal decision at some point that when I watch a movie I don’t want to be scared. On the edge of my seat in suspense, fine. Terrified, no. So yes, I will occasionally pass up a major summer blockbuster... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
Ok, so I’ve seen the trailer of the new Jurassic Park movie, and I have to say I’m on the fence with this one. There’s a part of me that wants to see it because I’ve seen the other three films. I especially love Jurassic Park and The Lost World. I could quote those two movies all day. The third one I didn’t like as much, but again, I just wanted to see the next movie in the series. So if I didn’t see Jurassic World, while everyone else goes to see it, and is talking about it, I’d feel like I was missing out. Jurassic Park movies are a big deal after all. When I was 9 years old my parents took us to see the first movie, and we stood in a line that wrapped around the entire theater, waiting to get in. Having the chance to see... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
The Sound of Music (1965) In honor of the 50 year anniversary of The Sound of Music, Turner Classic Movies has teamed up with Fathom Events to run special screenings of the movie on April 19th and 22nd in theaters across the country. I saw it for the first time, on DVD, a few years ago, and knew it would be worth seeing in the theater. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen, and it was absolutely amazing. I enjoy watching The Sound of Music on TV, but I am madly in love with the massive movie theater screen version. I cannot get over the stunning cinematography. The aerial views of the Austrian mountains and hills were just so beautiful. I was in landscape photography heaven. Seriously, that movie is a feast for the eyes. The historic architecture, the countryside, the lakes, the grounds... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
I was having a really great, productive Saturday until my sister sent me a text telling me that Jonathan Crombie passed away. Guys probably have no clue who he is, but women everywhere know him as the actor who played the role of Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables movies (and most likely their childhood crush as well). He died on Wednesday of a brain hemorrhage, at the much too young age of 48. Ugh. Jonathan Crombie, we will miss you :( Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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Fred Astaire and Jane Powell in Royal Wedding (1951) Last night I caught Royal Wedding on Turner Classic Movies. It wasn’t necessarily on my list of must see Fred Astaire films, but I thought I’d watch it anyway, out of curiosity. Now that I’ve had the chance to see it, I’ll say it’s definitely not one of my favorites, but if you watch it all the way through, you do get the chance to see some fun dance sequences. Outside of those scenes though, I just didn’t enjoy this one as much. It’s the story of a brother and sister dancing duo1, Tom and Ellen Bowen (Fred Astaire and Jane Powell) that travel to London to do a show just before (then) princess Elizabeth’s wedding. Both siblings have foregone getting into serious relationships for the sake of their careers, but each find themselves falling in love. Ellen meets Lord John... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
I owe Turner Classic Movies a hug for posting this one! No lie, this is officially my new favorite video. I don't care if this movie is 80 years old or not, this scene is crazy good. Fred Astaire performing Top Hat, White Tie and Tails from the movie Top Hat.....and absolutely killing it. You go Fred! (If you are having trouble viewing the video, click here to watch on Turner Classic Movies' site.) Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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I took a break from my Fred and Ginger/Classic movie fandom to go see the new film Beyond the Mask today. I heard about the movie a few weeks ago, thanks to the newsletters I receive from ChristianCinema.com. I’ve always been a major fan of films that take place in different time periods, so when I saw the official movie poster, I was curious. I get nervous when I see Christian filmmakers taking on historical movies, because they’re so expensive to make, if you want to do them well, but what I saw in the trailer actually looked pretty impressive (especially the visual effects), so I figured I’d give it a chance, and go see it in theaters. Beyond the Mask opened April 6th, and is currently showing in a very limited release in theaters throughout the country, based on demand demonstrated through online ticket sales, and will open to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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Helen Broderick, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire in Top Hat (1935) Back in high school I fell in love with a Woody Allen movie called The Purple Rose of Cairo1. Set during the Great Depression, it’s the story of a young waitress, married to an abusive, cheating husband, who also gambles away what little money she earns. She loves going to the movies, and one day while she’s drowning her troubles away in back-to-back viewings of her new favorite movie, one of the characters breaks from the script and starts talking to her directly. He then walks out of the movie, into real life, leaving the other characters in the movie behind. The two run off together and, of course, fall in love. During the course of the movie I saw a clip from a real 1930’s movie featured. I remember the actor and actress were dressed to the nines, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
Funny Face (1957) Funny Face was the first movie I watched during the 7-movie marathon (that eventually morphed into two weeks of movie mania). I had originally started watching this movie for the first time about four months earlier, when it came on TV. I wasn’t able to finish it, so I DVR’d it 20 minutes into it, went on with the rest of my day, and just never came back to it. This time around, I watched it all the way through, from the beginning, and absolutely loved it. The story follows Jo Stockton, a philosophy enthusiast (Audrey Hepburn), working in a Greenwich Village bookstore, who is chosen by fashion photographer, Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) to be the model for an upcoming photo shoot in Paris. While Jo is more interested in intellectual pursuits, thinks very little of the fashion industry, and believes her face is too funny for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
Singin' in the Rain There are these old movies that I’ve been meaning to see for the longest time. I’ve heard about them here and there, and thought, “I can’t believe I haven’t seen this yet” or “I need to watch this sometime”, and it just never happens. The other day I was writing a blog post that reminded me how I had heard about the movie Marty while watching Quiz Show, and I thought, why do I keep putting off watching this movie for another day? Why don’t I watch it now? And not only Marty, but all the movies I’ve been meaning to watch. So I made a list of the movies I definitely wanted to watch, and movies I’d been curious about, and then gave myself until the end of the month to watch them. But then I decided that a movie marathon sounded like more fun.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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I had never heard of the movie ‘Old Fashioned’ until about a month ago. I already had plans for the evening, but I cancelled them so I could make it to one of the few screenings that would be in Maryland that weekend. I faced the crazy downtown Silver Spring traffic, and a line about 30 people deep at the self-serve ticket station, and managed to get a decent seat in a packed out theater 15 minutes into the movie. (When it comes out on DVD, I’ll have to get it to see how it actually starts. I know, I could have waited for the next showing 3 hours later, but I had gone through hell and high water to see the 7:15 show, and it wasn’t in me to accept defeat.) ‘Old Fashioned’ is the story of Clay, used to be frat boy womanizer turned loner gentleman, whose counter-cultural... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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Black Movie Remakes – Is This a Matter of Right and Wrong or Personal Preference? I’ve always hated the idea of taking a movie that was originally made with white actors, and remaking it with an all black cast or making the main character black. I’ve always thought, can’t we make our own movies? Do we have to make the black version of 'Dracula' and call it 'Blacula'? (In case you didn’t know, that is a real movie.) Do we have to remake 'The Wizard of Oz'? Then I remember the 1997 made-for-TV Rogers and Hammerstein’s 'Cinderella', starring Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother. The casting in that movie was diverse, but in the most awkward and unrealistic way. Cinderella’s family was comprised of a white stepmother who had one black daughter and one white, while over in the castle, we had a white king, a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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This is one of those hot button issues that keeps cropping up, causing arguments and accusations of racism to be leveled at everyone involved. Some might think that as an African American woman I’d be in favor increasing the level of diversity in Hollywood movies, and they’d be right. I am. I would love to see more roles for black people in films and on TV shows. I’d also like to see more roles for Latinos, Asians, and Middle Easterners, since black people aren’t the only non-whites in the United States. I was born, raised, and spent my entire life in a very culturally diverse part of the country, and I have friends of various racial and religious backgrounds. I love being in the midst of cultural diversity. There’s more than one race on the planet, and I want to be around everybody, not just one group. Changing Superheroes -... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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The Conundrum It’s no secret that Christian movies have a tendency to be preachy, and that this preachiness winds up causing many people to avoid them if they can. While some might be tempted to think that’s just the result of non-Christians wanting to avoid a movie with a spiritual message, that specifically elevates Jesus Christ above all other religious figures, we have to acknowledge that even Christian movie goers largely stay away from these films as well. People who have absolutely no problem listening to and singing songs with overtly Christian lyrics, listening to sermons, reading countless books on Christian living or apologetics, and putting fish bumper stickers on their cars, people who are daily striving to talk the talk and walk the walk are avoiding these movies, because they’re “preachy”. How strange. But isn’t your cd collection full of preachy music? Isn’t your home library full of preachy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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I've been compiling a list of Christian movies I want to see, so I can check them off my list one by one. There always seems to be so many other things that need to be done, but last night I decided, enough. It’s a Saturday night, and I deserve some fun. Pick one of your movies, and watch it. So up first was ‘A Strange Brand of Happy’. It’s the story of average guy, David Weathersby, trying to figure out what to do with his life after losing the job he hated, though endured to pay the bills. His roommate tricks him into meeting up with a pretty life coach, played by Rebecca St. James, in hopes that she can point him in the right direction, and drag him out of his emotional rut. You ever watch a movie or hear a sermon that seems tailor made for you?... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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I went into this movie open-minded, though put off by the title. Product placement is one thing, but naming the movie after the dating site is just obnoxious. At least 'You’ve Got Mail' wasn’t called America Online. I watched this movie on the UP channel, and made it about ¾ of the way through, but just didn’t want to finish it. I feel like the actors did the best they could with an unbelievable script, but their efforts just couldn’t save it. Almost everything that any of the Christian characters said was very fake and awkward sounding. I kept thinking to myself, who talks like this? Every time the lead guy referred to his dad as “papa” I cringed. What man in his 30’s calls his dad papa? Maybe if you’re 4 years old and living in the 1800’s or very early 1900’s, yes. But not today. There was just... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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I go on Fandango, IMDB, and Movie Fone to read reviews of new movies, and more and more I keep seeing users leaving “reviews” for movies they haven’t seen. They plan on seeing them or they plan on avoiding them at all costs, and then they proceed to tell us why. The problem is, they’re using a tool specially designed for telling the world what you thought about a movie you’ve already seen. It’s not the place to say “I’m so excited to see this movie” or “This movie’s gonna suck, I’m skipping it”, or even “I’ll wait ‘til it comes on Netflix”. That’s what facebook statuses, tweets, and blogs are for. You don’t need to skew the overall score of a movie on a given site with a review that says “I haven’t seen this, but…”. I want to ask these people, “You haven’t seen it? Then why are... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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This is one of the best faith based movies I’ve seen, and I enjoyed it all the way through, despite its issues. I loved the look and feel of this movie. The characters are Christian, but the movie never wanders into preachy territory, thankfully. It’s cute, clever, and succeeds at being funny some of the time, but it does fall short at others. This would have been a great movie if the plot had been more realistic. I felt like some of the issues the main character had with her children could have been resolved if she would’ve just put her foot down. There’s a scene where she and her kids are in the parking lot, about to get out of the car to go into church, and the daughter throws a fit when she sees the mom putting on her eye makeup, because the daughter wants to put the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries
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(Reposting from 4.12.14) (THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.) There’s been so much controversy surrounding the movie Noah, but after reading a few reviews by critics who had seen the final version of the movie released to the public, I had hope that I would actually enjoy the movie, despite the few areas where the director veered from the story as recorded in the bible. Well, I saw the film today with a friend, and let me tell you, every bad thing you’ve read or heard about this movie is true, and then some. And then a lot actually. When I say Noah is the worst movie I’ve ever seen, aside from amateur movies, I’m not saying that to be sensational. It really is just that bad. And I was actually surprised to see that it was bad. I was prepared for the fact that the director had taken creative license with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at The Christian Movie Diaries