Unplanned: Movie Review

It's a significant undertaking to make a movie on the delicate subject of abortion. Such a film is long overdue, but brace yourself. Profound visuals will make you squirm.

No issue has seen such polarization in American politics as abortion. Proponents from each side have engaged in endless and, at times, caustic debate. Lost in the crossfire is the human toll of abortion. Unplanned attempts to change that.

THE STORY
Unplanned dramatizes the true story of Abby Johnson, the former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. In 2011, Johnson and author Cindy Lambert wrote a book by the same title. Johnson's story chronicles her transition into Planned Parenthood and her departure eight years later. The Rated-R drama shows why an abortion-industry insider reversed her stance on this controversial topic.

After a lighthearted introduction, the movie jumps to a pivotal scene near the end of Johnson's story. A heavy metal door slams shut behind Johnson as she and moviegoers enter a procedure room at her clinic. The jarring scene leaves viewers wondering whether they should cover their eyes or exit the theater. As the story rewinds, relief comes from the protagonist's hind-sighted narration, which splices together the scenes.

Johnson, played by Ashley Bratcher, comes from a conservative family that shuns abortion. Her parents are appalled at their strong-willed daughter's choice of employment. It's her work ethic, passion for excellence, confidence, and altruism quickly earn her favor at Planned Parenthood.

THE R RATING
Unplanned earns its R-rating. With unsettling images, plenty of blood, and sensitive content specific to human reproduction, parents should be cautious about letting their minor children view this film. Regardless, the disturbing scenes do serve a vital role: they force viewers to consider what goes on at abortion clinics and the human cost of the procedure itself.

MAIN TAKEAWAYS
Unplanned points a finger at Planned ..

“Palau” Movie: Remembering Evangelist Luis Palau’s Roots

When you see a famous and popular person on television, in the movies, or in person, the glow of success can sometimes eclipse their more modest roots. But, the genuinely successful do well to remember their origins.

Global Christian communicator Luis Palau remembers his, and he's grateful to those who helped him along the way. His biopic, Palau, which features in theaters April 4 and 6, 2019, could inspire you to dream big, as he did.

Palau has told stories about Jesus to millions of people worldwide. From New York City's Central Park to London's streets, Holland to Honduras, Bogotá to Beijing, multiplied thousands have packed stadiums, auditoriums, beaches and parks to hear his message of hope, grace, and faith. He's touched millions more via radio and television. But, his reach wasn't always this wide. In fact, as a 10 year old in Argentina, his future seemed a swirl of confusion.

Plunged into Chaos

At boarding school, Luis received news that his father was ill. Before he could return home, his father died. Financial mismanagement by a relative plunged the family into economic chaos. Things got so tight, he recalls, that sometimes his large family had to split a loaf of French bread or carve one steak into eight parts as their dinner. But, buoyed by his mother's faith, the family survived.

As a young man, Luis worked at a bank. But, his real passion became helping people find God. His dream was speaking to masses of people across Latin America and beyond, but how to start? Open-air speaking in Argentina gave him his initial experience.

Ray Stedman, an admired American pastor, arranged for his education in Oregon. There he met and married Pat. Major Ian Thomas, a British speaker, encouraged him to pursue his goals, as did Billy Graham, for whom Luis interpreted from the platform in Fresno, California. While serving as a missionary in Colombia during politically dangerous times, he spoke at a major rally in the capital, Bogotá. ..

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HISTORY Takes on Jesus’ Story in New TV Series

He's one of history's most controversial personalities. Was he a good man spreading love and peace? A rabble-rouser stirring rebellion? A charlatan deceiving the masses – then and now? Something else?

Easter seasons have spawned numerous Bible-related media projects. In 2013, we saw Mark Burnett's and Roma Downey's blockbuster The Bible series, which drew huge television audiences – 100 million viewers. Their Son of God film hit theaters in 2014. CNN's Finding Jesus investigative documentary series ran in 2015 and 2017.

So, what's different about the History Channel's 2019 project, Jesus: His Life?

This one tells the story through the eyes of eight people intimately involved with him … friends and antagonists:

Joseph, his earthly father, who protected him
John the Baptist, who publicly presented him
Mary, his mother, who raised him
Caiphas, who sought to eliminate him
Judas, who betrayed him
Pilate, who condemned him to die
Mary Magdalene, who supported him
Peter, who died serving him
The series blends dramatic reenactments with commentary from scholars and faith leaders. Some series commentators question the Bible's accuracy. Others support its plausibility.

You're Pregnant by Whom?

The opening episode depicts the challenge Mary's premarital pregnancy created for Joseph. She believed an angel told her she was pregnant by God.

Suppose your fiancé/fiancée exhibited apparent evidence of sexual activity with someone else during your engagement … and said God sanctioned the whole thing. Would you believe that story? Would you cancel the wedding?

Joseph, whom biblical accounts describe as “a righteous man…decided to break the engagement quietly” to avoid disgracing Mary publicly (Matthew 1:19-21). But, the record specifies, an angel appeared to him in a dream, explaining that the child was conceived in her by God, and told him to “name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph followed instru..

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Run the Race: Movie Review

The buzz started last summer when it was revealed that Heisman Trophy winner, former NFL quarterback, professional baseball player, and best-selling author Tim Tebow would add movie making to his ever-burgeoning resume. Along with brother Robby Tebow, the brothers had signed on to executive produce a new faith-based film called Run the Race.

While it is certainly significant when a well-known figure dabbles in an area that is not traditionally his or her own, it is easy for the narrative to become more about the person than the project. While this has certainly been evident at times for Run the Race, in the end solid filmmaking wins the day.

With high school football serving as the backdrop, in Run the Race, two determined teenage brothers craft a plan to leave their hometown behind for something better. To be clear, this is not a movie about the Tebows. Beyond two brothers who love football, the similarities stop there.

Directed by Chris Dowling (Where Hope Grows), the movie stars Tanner Stine (NCIS), Evan Hofer (Kickin’ It), Kelsey Reinhardt (Transparent), and a group of Hollywood veterans including Frances Fisher (Titanic, Unforgiven), Mario Van Peebles (Ali, Superstition), and Mykelti Williamson (Fences, Forrest Gump).

THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE

Two teenage brothers find themselves facing some incredibly difficult life-altering circumstances. Dave (Hofer) and Zach (Stine) are desperate for better days to overcome their mother’s death and father’s alcohol-infused abandonment. They plan to do so through football. With a ‘guaranteed’ athletic scholarship beckoning for younger brother Zach, their dream comes to an abrupt halt when he seriously injures his knee.

With Zach nursing his injury and a seriously bruised ego, Dave, a former athlete, joins the track team. His goals are two-fold: to earn an athletic scholarship in his own right, but more importantly to restore his brother’s hope.

Facing unbelievable odds, the brothers forge an unbreakable bond despite thei..