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 ..

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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..

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Tebows’ “Run the Race” Not Just Another Sports Movie

Always wanting to be part of something that is encouraging and inspirational, former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow has devoted much of his adult life to helping others. From openly demonstrating his faith on some of the world’s largest athletic stages to spearheading “A Night to Shine”, a program that celebrates people with special needs, Tebow is known far and wide as one of the ‘good guys’. So much so, that is came as a bit of a surprise when he announced recently that he and his brother Robby Tebow would be entering the movie industry as executive producers of the forthcoming film, Run the Race. While filmmaking is not exactly what the Tebows are used to, Tim believes that it is a venture worth pursuing.

“I never had the goal of being in the movie industry,” the former NFL quarterback and current MLB prospect says. “This is storytelling. It is just another avenue to encourage people. It's not an easy place for a lot of young people and I have a heart for that. To be able to tell a story that is a real story, hopefully young people will be encouraged by it.”

“We decided to get involved with this because it really resonated with us,” echoes Robby. “It was just something that in today's media, the platform that it has, I think you can reach a lot of people.”

Watch a trailer for Run the Race

For the Tebows, it was important for them to find a first project that demonstrated many of the faith-based core values in which they strongly believe. Their search led them to Texas-native Jake McEntire, a former seminary student who was working in Hollywood as an actor. The perseverant McEntire, who began writing the script for Run the Race in 2004 as a college student, had been doggedly trying to get the movie made for 12 years before the Tebow brothers came along.

“I just felt like this was a calling that God gave me in my heart to try and to pursue, to tell the story,” McEntire explains. “It literally was a lot of dark nights of the soul praying, “Lord God, ..

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Movie Review

Dreamworks’ new How to Train Your Dragon movie lives up to the franchise legacy with its third and final installment, The Hidden World. It’s a fun and moving story all about what love looks like, and that feels right, for right now.

In The Hidden World, Hiccup, his beloved dragon, Toothless, and his colorful crew send a group of powerful warlords reeling when they rescue a ship full of their dragon cargo. Determined to eliminate the threat, they turn to a famous dragon slayer, a ruthless tyrant named Grimmel. With such a cunning hunter at their doorstep, Hiccup must decide what’s best for his people even if that means risking everything and everyone.

On so many levels, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, just works. Visually, emotionally, this concluding film in Hiccup’s story entertains and enlightens. We watch Hiccup grow into the chief he was destined to become, overcoming enormous obstacles and his personal doubts.

It’s a movie that teaches us the importance of friends and family; the support they can give in trying times can be life-saving. Ultimately, The Hidden World illuminates what real love does. Not wanting to give too much away, let’s just say this: you will be moved to tears (or at the very least watery eyes) by the end of this film.

Rated PG for “adventure action and some mild rude humor”, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is appropriate viewing for most ages. Moviegoers should know that this Viking story does include profanity-ish dialogue. Some of the supporting characters say “Gods”, a meant-to-be comedic expression of frustration.

Dreamworks takes us on a great adventure yet again with its final How to Train Your Dragon movie. Beyond it simply being a fun film, it offers audiences a virtuous story packed with loads of meaningful moments that inspire us to love, sacrificially.