Category: Books

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a Flavorful Treat

posterwebOver the past few years, I’ve become quite the foodie.  So I was delighted to see a new film from producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey that stars…well, food!  I was excited to see The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren (The Queen) and wasn’t disappointed.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a charming film (based on the best-selling novel) about the Kadam family, who was forced from their home of India and make their way to a quiet village in France to open their family restaurant.  But there is one problem…they are opening it next door to a very respected and celebrated French establishment run by Madame Mallory, played by the always fabulous Helen Mirren.  Madame Mallory wants them gone, until she discovers that the young Hassan Kadam has potential to be the next 3-star chef, and she takes him under her wing.

fathersonhelenwebIt’s a wonderful story about love.  Love is found all around…in the bond between father and son, in the blossoming relationship between the son and his neighbor, and of course, in the love of food.

The love of food is what draws all the film’s characters together as a family.  The love of food is what helps them to discover, that although they are all different culturally, they are all part of the same human family.  And it’s the love of food that brings them home to their family.  As Papa Kadam notes when asked by his son where was home, “Home is where your family is.”helenofferingsweetsweb

Audiences will find this film to be a lovely two hour retreat into the French countryside, a film that doesn’t have any unnecessary sex, violence, or bad language…a rarity these days.  But a word of advice before watching this film in the theater: DON’T GO HUNGRY!  This film will make you want to run right out and eat at the best French restaurant in town.

Heaven is for Real Offers Up Faith-based Entertainment for the Whole Family Just in Time for Easter

Do you believe in Heaven? Do you really believe in Heaven? That is the question that is asked in the new film by Sony/Tri-Star Pictures, Heaven is for Real, opening this Easter weekend.  Based on the book of the same name, the story is about the Burpo Family and their son Colton, who had a near death experience when he was just 4 years old.  After his recovery, Colton starts to talk about how he went to heaven, what it was like, and the people he met there.  These statements shake the small rural town the family lives in and the small church family that is ministered to by their Pastor, Colton’s father.  As Christians, they have always said they believed in Heaven.  But now they are forced to decide if they really do believe what they always have said they believed.movie poster

Heaven is for Real stars Greg Kinnear as Pastor Todd Burpo.  Kinnear gives a convincing performance as a man who is confronted with the beliefs that he preaches.  Connor Corum debuts in his first major role as Colton.  For a 4 year old, he does quite well in the role and is adorable and endearing to the audience.  The rest of the cast is rounded out with veteran actors such as Thomas Haden Church, Margo Martindale, and Kelly Reilly.  Audiences will appreciate the portrayal of a loving family who rely on their faith to stick together during the difficult times.  They will also enjoy the loyal friendship seen between Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church.

As Christians it can be easy to “talk the talk” but more difficult to “walk the walk”.  This film will inspire you to look inside and ask yourself if you really do believe what you say you do.  Heaven is for Real is a sweet and gripping story for the whole family that is perfect to enjoy this Easter Season.

Heaven is for Real opens April 16th.

The Romance of Religion by Father Dwight Longenecker is a Book Everyone in the Business of Making Movies Should Read

Romance of Religion coverwebAccording to Box Office Mojo, the top grossing films of the past 10 years are Shreck 2 (2004), Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Spider-Man 3 (2007), The Dark Knight (2008), Avatar (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), The Avengers (2012), and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).  What do all of these films have in common?  They are adventure stories!  What makes these stories so popular?  They are popular because we all want to be that hero/heroine who goes out on a big quest to seek what is true, good, and beautiful.

The Romance of Religion: Fighting for Goodness, Truth, and Beauty by Father Dwight Longenecker is a wonderful book about the quest that we all take and the treasure we all seek.  Father Longenecker shares with us, that inherent in our own humanity, is the longing for both the adventure of the quest and the treasure found.  That treasure is God who is Truth, Goodness, and Beauty Himself.

We love stories that express this on the big screen.  The box office doesn’t lie.  Audiences are drawn to these stories because they are caught up in the quest of a hero that is representative of their own journey in life…or what they wish that journey to be.  It’s part of their DNA.

The next time Hollywood moguls are sitting around wondering what the formula for the next big blockbuster is…I would highly recommend they read The Romance of Religion.  They may be surprised that the formula has always been the same.