Category: Angela Calabro

Disney’s Frozen, a great Holiday Family Film, Will Melt Your Heart

elsa and anna

Disney’s latest animated film, Frozen, is easily one of my favorite Disney films ever made.  As someone who would do anything for my own sister, I could relate to the relationship between the two heroines of the movie, Elsa and Anna.  Anna is played by the talented Kristen Bell and Elsa is played by the legendary Idina Menzel.

Elsa and Anna were close as children.  Elsa has a heavy cross that she must bear in life.  Due to a childhood accident that injured her beloved sister, Elsa decides that it would be best for Anna if she keeps to herself and pushes Anna away.

What Elsa doesn’t understand is that our crosses were not meant to be carried alone.  When we go it alone, we end up isolated, unhappy, and frozen.   We are called to help each other carry our crosses in life.  Even Jesus had help carrying his cross.  That is what sacrificial love is all about.

Anna too must learn what sacrificial love is all about.  Her limited experience has taught her that true love is when a prince shows up to marry you.  While married love can and should be sacrificial, there is a deeper meaning to true love.  As Olaf, the lovable snowman built by Elsa, reminds us “True Love is about putting the needs of another over the needs of yourself”.

The bond of love shown between these two sisters is one of the best depictions of familial love that I have seen on the big screen.  Honestly, I was so moved, I cried.  The love between sisters can be great and the sacrificial love shown between Elsa and Anna will melt even the most frozen of hearts.

My Sister and I, Christmas Morning, 1998

Angel_and_annie

 

 

Game Over for Ender’s Game

Lionsgate release Ender’s Game hit theaters this weekend.  Even though I had never read the book, I was excited to see this film.  My excitement didn’t last.

Ender’s Game tells the story of Ender Wiggins, a brilliant child who is recruited by the International Military to save Earth from a gigantic intellectually superior bug invasion.

Great premise, bad execution.

The film is loaded with great talent…Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Benenders-game-movie-adaptation-poster_(1)webKingsley, Abigail Breslin, and Hailee Steinfeld.  And as great as their performances are, there is only so much you can do with the source material.  The story seemed flat and unrealistic.  I’ve been told that in the book, the story takes place over many years as the main character of Ender grows and is heavy on explaining what goes on in his head.  The film made it seem as though this child goes from elementary school, to command school, to battle school, to saving the planet…in a matter of a few weeks.  The film is dialog heavy with very little action.  There is no arc for the main character, Ender, and I did not feel as though the film made me care about him or any other character.  Granted, if I had read the book then maybe I would have understood the motivation behind the characters.  But a film should be able to stand on its own.  Unfortunately, this one did not.

The film presents many moral questions that are important for all of us to think about.  Is war the answer?  Is pre-emptive war morally sound?  Are child soldiers okay?  Do the ends justify the means?  All great questions, but it felt like they were thrown into the film in the last 15 minutes with no real hint at what the answers might be.

If your children see this film, it would certainly be a good opportunity to discuss these questions with them.  However, with a PG-13 rating, mostly for violence, parents should decide if this is even appropriate for their children.

If you are a fan of the book, you might want to see it but be warned you may be disappointed.  If you are not a fan of the book, I would suggest skipping this one.

 

Martha Williamson and The Hallmark Channel deliver a Family Hit: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”

Catch "Sign, Sealed and Delivered" on The Hallmark Channel

Catch “Sign, Sealed and Delivered” on The Hallmark Channel

Someone wise once said to me, “There are no coincidences with God.”  Over the years I’ve learned how true this statement is.  God’s timing is perfect.

I recently had the pleasure of screening a back door pilot of a new series for the Hallmark Channel.  Martha Williamson, the masterful story teller behind the heavenly Touched by an Angel, has returned to television with a brand new story that is sure to touch the hearts of all those who watch.

Martha Williamson

Martha Williamson

Signed, Sealed, Delivered is the story of four quirky but lovable characters that make up the Dead Letter Office of the US Postal Service.  Sometimes letters have been so drastically altered (by weather, hungry dogs, or other uncontrollable factors) that it is almost impossible to see who the letters were originally addressed to.  It’s the DLO’s job to decipher the clues and figure out who the addressees are and make sure they are delivered.

Each of the members of the Dead Letter Office are masters at what they do.  They get the job done.  And while the letters may have been delayed in arriving at their destination, they are always on time…God’s time.

Oliver,  the eccentric director of the office, who never breaks the rules and has a penchant for yoo-hoos and a simpler time before modern communication, is played by the handsome Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty). His office runs quite efficiently until the arrival of the tech savvy, Shane, who is a nice contrast to Oliver and played by Kristin Booth (The Kennedys).  The two are assisted by the intuitive oddball, Norman, and the sweet and lovely Rita and her photographic memory.  Both parts are played endearingly by Geoff Gustafson and Crystal Lowe and the two have great comical timing.  The quartet has great chemistry on screen as they solve the mysteries that the lost letters bring them.

Life in the Dead Letter OfficeWhile the story itself is well written and the acting solid, what makes the film special is the way that Williamson works in her themes of Faith, Hope, Love, Redemption, and of course the staple (as Touched by an Angel fans will remember) that God loves you and is working in your life.  Oliver and his colleagues have a strong Faith in God and believe that each letter is delivered in God’s perfect timing.

Hallmark has plans to turn this film into a series and I couldn’t be happier to hear it!  In this crazy and busy world, it’s easy to forget that God has a plan for our lives.  This series will be a great and fun reminder to us all that God’s timing is perfect.  And I would add that the timing of this Hallmark series is also…perfect.

Be sure to catch Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Saturday, October 12th on the Hallmark Channel!