DVDs FOR TEENS
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (2008). Though this sequel is more action driven than the first episode, character development has by no means been abandoned. Between the many white-knuckle battle sequences, the intricate plot and the growth of the main characters will likely serve to open a rewarding dialogue between parent and child. The Christ-like symbolism found in the pivotal character, Aslan, and the meaning of God’s silence at times in our lives are addressed with transparency. PG
THE CLIMB (2002). Concerns two mountaineers (one black, one white) forced to team up as they ascend Mt. Chicanagua, a dangerous Chilean alp that tempts the most astute of adventurers. With different backgrounds and views on life, their struggle with each other becomes as daunting as the mountain itself. What impressed me most was the script’s delicate inclusion of the Gospel message. After the success of the comical road picture Road To Redemption, which gained the highest decision rate of any televised Billy Graham movie to date, World Wide Pictures is following with an outdoor adventure that reveals an innate need for Christ’s salvation. The day of the “church” movie is past, at least at Dr. Graham’s film organization. No Bible thumping here, just a sincere portrayal of God’s mercy, Christ’s sacrifice, and how to welcome both into our lives. PG (mature themes).
DANCER, TEXAS POP. 81 (1998). Eddie Mills, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Johnson. Engaging comic drama. PG (a few mild expletives & 1 obscenity, but no profanity; muted sexual innuendo as a ne’er-do-well father brings home a date, but no sex scenes). Talky LAST PICTURE SHOW wannabe about four graduating high school chums set to leave their teeny, tiny town due to a vow they made in grade school. Although the big city of Los Angeles holds the promise of excitement, responsibilities and fears fill the 90- some minute film with the question, “Will they or won’t they?” Good technical aspects, fine performances by the unknowns, and it is a pleasure to see a film about teens without the usual crudity, exploitation and profane language. Enjoyable. Use TVG
THE GIRL OF THE LIMBERLOST (1990). Annette O’Toole, Joanna Cassidy, Heather Fairfield. A young girl is determined to get an education in 1908 rural Indiana. Good storytelling and character development. Use TVG
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (the 1946 version). John Mills heads an all-star English cast, including Jean Simmons and Alec Guinness. Yes, it is an old film and, yes, it is in black and white, two turnoffs for today’s teenager. But if you can get them to sit still for 10 minutes, most will be hooked. Directed by one of the greats, David Lean (DR. ZHIVAGO, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA), this Dickens tale is brought to life in one of the best movies ever made. Several Oscars went to this classic about an orphan and his mysterious benefactor.
REMEMBER THE TITANS (2000). In 1971 Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), a young black coach new to Alexandra, Virginia, was hired as head coach of the T. C. Williams High Titans over Bill Yoast, a white man with several years seniority, a steadfast following and a tradition of winning. I suppose if you looked hard enough you could find something not in agreement with your own personal view of biblical teaching, but it contains a concerted effort to tell an uplifting story sans today’s accepted ratio of obscene and profane material. I left the theater feeling good about the possibility of man learning to care about his fellow man. I am pleased to tell you that one of the athletes is a Christian – and he is not mocked for his beliefs. He even has a positive effect on his fellow teammates. (PG) Use TVG
SMILE (2005). Mika Boorem, Luoyong Wang, Beau Bridges, Sean Astin. The story concerns Katie (Mika Boorem from SLEEPOVER) a self-centered teen from an affluent Malibu family, cute and at the top of the social order at her school. Struggling with adolescent issues, including whether to have sex with her boyfriend, Katie is beginning to sense that there is more to life than what’s offered by her preferential world. When a favorite teacher presents an opportunity to get involved with a charitable group, she hastily agrees to travel to China as a volunteer, not knowing that this trip will change her life. PG-13 (A mother discusses sexual matters with her teen daughter and supports her decision to get birth control pills. There is a make-out scene, but the girl realizes that she is not ready for sex and puts an end to it.)
STEEP (2008). is an interesting documentary about men – and women – who live for danger. Like surfers searching for the tallest wave, extreme mountain skiers attempt to conquer the highest and most inaccessible adversary. Best moment: Three skiers are photographed from a helicopter while getting caught in an avalanche. Not only a thrilling, armrest-grabber of a moment; the aftermath also shows a camaraderie known only to those who risk their lives together. Now, that’s awesome, dude. (PG) Use TVG
TOY STORY 3 (2010). Once again cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks), spaceman Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and friends emerge from their toy box and burst onto the screen in this delightful fantasy-adventure Pixar animated film. The toys’ owner, Andy (John Morris), is heading off to college and his mother insists the toys either go to the attic or the dumpster. By mistake Andy’s beloved childhood companions end up in the dumpster. But that’s just the beginning of a hilarious escape/rescue roller-coaster string of events. The first rescue takes them to the Sunshine Day Care Center, where they are greeted by Lotso (Ned Beatty), a giant fatherly teddy bear –or is he? The newcomers are tormented by toddlers who tear, mangle and almost destroy the new toys. The seemingly idyllic day care becomes a prison. How will these displaced friends overcome the dangers they face? Can Woody lead them to freedom? Will they remain loyal to Woody? G (action scenes, toys are mangled by toddlers, cruel treatment and some threats; Messages about trust, loyalty and friendship).
A WALK TO REMEMBER (2002). Shane West, Mandy Moore. A smart drama aimed at the teen market, whose central figure is – are you ready for this – a committed Christian! Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks about a high-school bad boy who finds love and a reason for life when he falls for the Baptist preacher’s daughter. Youth leaders may occasionally blush during the first third of the film, but parents don’t have to worry that their children will be subjected to the profane use of God’s name or see explicit sexual activity. The “S” word is used several times, but no other harsh expletives. And there is no irreverence to God or Christ. The sexual references, I admit, border on the objectionable, but these moments are utilized to set the stage, to show the difference between the spiritual and the non-spiritual. PG (ten obscenities, but no misuse of God’s name; one character utters crude sexual remarks, but I found these infractions merely depicted the moods and feelings of many high schoolers; it shows the difference between secular society and those who have been instructed by God’s Word concerning how to conduct themselves). Use TVG