Mary of Nazareth: A Beautiful Reflection of the Blessed Mother

We were asked to be a part of the blog tour/rosary crawl, along with many other inspiring bloggers, for the release of Mary of Nazareth on DVD and we were happy to say “yes”!  See the recap of the #RosaryCrawl HERE.

As part of the tour I am excited to share a clip from the film.  This scene is of the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord.

“And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ …

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last” (Lk 23:33-46). 

“‘Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures’ (1 Cor 15:3)” (CCC, 619).

Our Father, 10 Hail Marys (contemplating the mystery), Glory be to the Father.

MON_pieta_webWhat struck me in this scene was, at the moment before Christ’s death, the screenwriter gave Mary the line of “I am the servant of the Lord.  Let what you have said, happen to me.”  The screenwriter gave her this same line at the moment before the conception of Christ in her womb.  The screenwriter was clearly linking these two moments for the audience.  Why?  This moment during the Annunciation is known as Mary’s “fiat”…her “yes” to God.  It was this moment that she accepted the gift of Christ, reversing the “no” of the first sin of Adam and Eve, giving us the hope of redemption.  By reminding us of this, the screenwriter is reminding us that this moment, the moment of Christ’s death, is the moment when that hope of redemption becomes a reality.

MON DVD fr willy  webBy saying “yes”, not only did Mary accept the joys of being the Mother of Christ, but she also accepted the sorrows that came with it…including witnessing his suffering and his death.  She did not run.  She was there through it all.  Before he died, Christ gave his mother to us.   And she is with us through our joys and sorrows too.

Mary of Nazareth is a wonderful film for the whole family that beautifully tells the story of Christ through the eyes of his Mother.  The film is a great meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary.  And since October is the Month of the Rosary…what would be a better way to celebrate than to watch this film?  We would like to help you do that!  Thanks to the wonderful folks at Ignatius Press and Carmel Communications, we have a DVD of Mary of Nazareth to give away.  Leave us a comment here or on this post on our facebook page by Thursday (October30th ) and we will randomly draw a name to receive this DVD as a special gift.

We are the final posting on this blog tour. Even after this blog tour has ended, please continue to spread the word of the Mary of Nazareth film.


“The Fault in Our Stars”: Love, Death… & Faith?

fault-in-our-stars-landscape-poster webWARNING – this blog contains many plot spoilers! Now out on DVD, The Fault in Our Stars, known as TFOS by its fans, is a best-selling book adapted to film that has been proclaimed by many to be this generation’s Love Story. Don’t tell this to the movie’s creator or cast who have publicly cringed from the comparison. However, like that film, TFOS is about a young couple who fall in love against the odds, only to have their love tested by terminal illness, all in a tragic tale designed to have the audience leave the theater in tears. Both even have a signature line. In Love Story, the line is, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”, and (maybe as the biggest indicator of the difference in generations) it has been swapped with “Okay”. Yes, you read it correctly – “Okay”. In this movie, “Okay” takes on a special meaning– and it actually plays surprisingly well, but you sort of need to see it to believe it.  Read More »

“The Maze Runner”: Intense Action but a Family Film Puzzle

the-maze-runner webYou may have noticed, September is a strange time for movies. All the big action blockbusters opened in the summer, and all the horror films won’t come out until October when it’s close to Halloween. That leaves September as a no-man’s land somewhere in between, and that is the feel of The Maze Runner. Based on a book with the same name, The Maze Runner is part thriller and part action movie, but it also stars teen-age protagonists (or at least ones from teen oriented TV and films), so it seems aimed at a youth or family audience. However, it falls in between all of these genres – except, it is definitely not a family movie. It has scenes and themes far too intense for children and probably most pre-teens. That said, it is an engaging, entertaining story, and though it suffers from a number of flaws, it is a fun film for an older teen to young adult audience. Read More »

“FAMILY DINNER” – Family Theater Productions Announces New Release in DVD Series for Teens

family at table webWe here at Family Theater Productions are excited to announce the release of our latest project…FAMILY DINNER!

Family Dinner is a half hour teen drama about a young girl, Christina, who makes a deal with her parents to help them with their projects and cook a family meal.  In return, they will meet her boyfriend so that she can start dating.  Along the way, Christina starts to ask herself…what is true love?

christina communion webThis is the latest DVD in a series for teens that focuses on the Mysteries of the Rosary.  Family Dinner focuses on the contemporary issues of true love and dating and parallels with the Fifth Luminous Mystery, The Institution of the Eucharist.

Families will love this modern teen drama that will help them discuss together the meaning of true love and the selfless service of Christ that we are all called to.

Look for the release of Family Dinner on DVD October 1st….just in time for the Month of the Rosary!

mom kids grandma webIn celebration of the release we will be hosting a Photo Contest on our Facebook page.  Post your photo of your family dinner…be creative!  Then have your friends and family vote for the photo.  The photo with the most votes at the end of the contest will win a DVD copy of Family Dinner and several of our other films in this series.

For more information on where you can obtain a copy, visit our store.

The Song: A Beautiful Lyric Not to be Missed

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Many years ago I worked in a music store selling CDs.  One day a man came in and asked me if I had any love songs.  I looked at him, pointed to the entire store and said “yes!”  Most songs are written about love because that’s what moves us, what touches our souls.  One of the greatest love songs ever written is in the Old Testament…The Song of SongsThe Song of Songs has been attributed to the writings of King Solomon, who had the gift of wisdom.  The Song of Songs is essentially erotic love poetry about a man and his wife.  It is meant to be a metaphor of the love of God and his people, of the love of Christ and his Church.

When I heard that there would be a film based on the story of King Solomon and the Song of Songs, I had two thoughts…1) what a great idea! and 2) wow…that is very ambitious!  So I was excited to see how it would turn out.  I wasn’t disappointed.

The Song, from City on a Hill Productions and Samuel Goldwyn Films, is a film about love, marriage, and the cross.  Aspiring singer-songwriter Jed King writes “The Song” inspired by his new wife, Rose.  “The Song” becomes a huge hit propelling Jed to stardom.  But life on the road and in the spotlight threatens to destroy his marriage, his family, and his life.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

This movie takes a look at the difficulties of married life and how if marriage is not properly looked after, it can wither and die.  This movie also takes a look at how the role of confession, penance, and redemption can save not just a marriage but also a man’s soul.

Music lovers will enjoy this film as the soundtrack is fantastic!  In fact, I would say the music is a character all its own, pulling the film together and moving it along.

Couples will love this film as it will give them hope and encouragement for their own relationships.

Singles will enjoy this film as it will give them the hope of finding that same joy of their own someday.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

I would not recommend this film for young children as there are some serious adult themes dealt with, such as sex, drug use, drinking, and adultery.  However, I would recommend this film for teens, especially when watching with their parents (don’t worry Mom and Dad, it’s done in a tasteful manner) as a conversation starter on these very important topics.

You can find resources for couples and families at the website for The Song.  This film will be just as helpful with strengthening marriages and families as Fireproof was.

The Song opens this Friday, September 26th.

Dolphin Tale 2: Friends and Family Matter on Land and Sea


In Theaters Now

In Theaters Now

Dolphin Tale 2 released recently by Warner Brothers was the number two at the box office its opening weekend in September.  I saw the film Saturday afternoon in a theater packed with children, parents and grandparents.  Part of the fun of the film was hearing the giggles and responses of the kids in some parts, but their absolute silence in other scenes of the film.  The film had their attention and deserves it.

It is a family movie, not just in the sense that it has kid actors, animals and “lunge free” viewing (parents do not have to lunge to cover their children’s eyes or ears), the film is about the importance of family and friendships, of letting go and of remaining committed.

The first Dolphin Tale film tells the story of the rescue of Winter, a female dolphin whose tale fin had been cut off after being caught in a crab trap.  Dr. Clay Haskell, played by Harry Connick, Jr., takes the wounded creature to Clearwater Aquarium assisted by his daughter Hazel, Cozy Zuehlsdorff, and her friend, Sawyer, Nathan Gamble.   They pair an older dolphin named Panama with Winter and ultimately fit her with a prosthetic fin invented by Dr. Cameron McCarthy, played by Morgan Freeman.   All based on a true story.

The real Winter is a celebrity at the Clearwater Aquarium drawing many visitors, among them many disabled people.  Her ability to adapt to the prosthetic fin has inspired humans living with loss of limb or faced with physical challenges.

In Dolphin Tale 2, Winter’s dolphin friend Panama dies.  In spite of efforts by Cozy, Sawyer and the staff, Winter is depressed.  They must find a companion dolphin for her or risk her health and also the loss of the aquarium under pressure from the USAD.

Nathan Gamble star of Dolphin Tale 2 interviewed at Family Theater by Fr. Ed Benioff.

Nathan Gamble star of Dolphin Tale 2 interviewed at Family Theater by Fr. Ed Benioff.

Every character in the film seems called to clarity dedication to a purpose greater than themselves and must wrestle with what that means in terms of their life decisions. The staff at the Clearwater Aquarium rescue animals with the idea to return them to the wild as soon as possible.  Though they come to love the sea creatures in their care: they must be able to release them back to the wild.   The staff, including young Sawyer and Hazel, live the struggle of sacrificial love.

At the same time, Sawyer is offered a scholarship to a semester at sea program based in Boston.  Nathan Gamble says about his character, “The last three years at the Aquarium have been so great for him; it’s given him purpose and many friends, so he struggles with whether or not he should go.”  Can he let them go?  Can they let him go off to school so that he can become the person he is called to be?

The cast includes other greats like Ashley Judd and Chris Kristofferson, not to mention a scene stealing pelican and other beautiful sea animals.

All ages can see and enjoy Dolphin Tale 2.  It is wonderfully escapist in the sense that it has little of the cynicism and darkness of so many films today, but it still points to significant life issues that are worth a little reflection with touching moments, beautiful scenes and fun along the way.