Thursday, September 27, 2018

Little Women: A Modern Retelling ~ Movie Review

Louisa May Alcott's novel, Little Women has endured as a favorite for 150 years. It is considered to be a timeless classic, and rightly so as it has served as an inspiration to generations of women. Originally published on September 30, 1868, Little Women remains a favorite and continues to inspire and encourage women, young and old, to dream new dreams and pursue purposeful lives.
"I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen."
 At the beginning of Alcott's writing career, she wrote poems, short stories, and potboiler dramas. Then in 1868, her publisher asked her to write a book for "little girls"...and the rest, as they say, is history. 

And now, on the 150th anniversary of Alcott’s original release, a modern retelling of LITTLE WOMEN brings us the same story of those beloved sisters to a new generation.




Movie Synopsis

(Pinnacle Peak Pictures)

Sisters—and dreams—are unique in their ability to inspire, encourage and change the world. 
From girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters- Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy- are committed to always supporting each other. 

Yet growing up sometimes means growing apart.

An aspiring writer, Jo leaves for New York determined to publish a novel. In the wake of rejected draft upon draft, her editor challenges Jo to write about something more interesting...her family.

When tragedy brings the sisters back home, sticking together takes on new meaning. As Jo comforts her sick sister, Beth asks for one thing: a story.

Jo knows the perfect one by heart. 

Starring Lea Thompson as Marmee and featuring a talented cast, Including Lucas Grabeel and Ian Bohen, LITTLE WOMEN tells the story of the same beloved sisters to a new generation. Celebrating dreams, family and unconditional love, LITTLE WOMEN opens in theaters this weekend(Sept. 28th).

Themes

  • Family 
  • Purpose: Finding your purpose, following your dreams
  • Friendship
  • Love
  • Identity
My thoughts

I have to admit when I screened this movie, I was ill prepared to do a true comparison to other Little Women movies...or even with the book. It has been so long since I had read Little Women that I needed to do some research to get the story back into my recent memory. 

While some of the elements of the story are obviously different than the original story, such as Marmee(Lea Thompson)dealing with creditors on the phone while her husband is overseas in Afghanistan serving as an Army medic, the heart of the story remains true to the original. The unshakable bond between the March sisters remains the same...and that is the heart of this film. 

Pinnacle Peak Pictures
Jo (Sarah Davenport) works on her novel in “Little Women.”
The movie begins with Jo going to New York where she has grand plans to publish a novel and then continues a series of flashbacks to where it all began...in her family home, growing up with her sisters and their wise mother, Marmee who encourages them to follow their dreams. 
I admit that I did get a little confused at a point or two with the chronological flashbacks, but overall the story began to flow for me and I settled in to enjoy the movie.

I did get a little put off with how strongly cruel Jo could be to her sisters, particularly to her sister Amy...but sibling spats can resort to being mean-spirited arguments. I have to admit the 'B' word did come to mind a time or two, but as Jo grew in character some of that meanness lessened as well. And in the end, there is reconciliation...which in my opinion is a necessary element of a good story. 

Pinnacle Peak Pictures

I'll leave the rest of the storyline for you to discover. The writer and director of this modern retelling seem to have worked hard at staying true to the heart of the original. The themes of celebrating sisterhood, unconditional love, and the quest of following your dreams come through clearly in this beautiful retelling of this much loved classic novel.  



Genre: drama
Rating: PG-13
Release date: 9/28/18
Studio: Pinnacle Peak
Talent: Lea Thompson (BACK TO THE FUTURE), Sarah Davenport, Lucas Grabeel (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL), Ian Bohen, Bart Johnson (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL).

Ticket Info here.

Take the quiz! Which March Sister are you?









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    LittleWomenL3

    Thursday, September 20, 2018

    Rambling on about books...and a movie ticket giveaway! Little Women: A Modern Retelling

    My idea was to share how this love affair began.  You see, I was going to write just a bit about my passion for all things books. After a bit of rambling on about my love of books, I was then going to find a way to segue from talking about a classic I read as a young girl to introducing a movie that is a modern retelling of said classic...releasing in theaters later this month...Little Women: A Modern Retelling.

    Photo courtesy of Official Facebook Page for LITTLE WOMEN,
    a modern adaptation of the classic book Louisa May Alcott
    But the 'just a bit' became several paragraphs and was on track for becoming a full-blown article...without mention of the movie. No surprise there. So I've decided to just talk just a bit about the movie here.
    She is too fond of books, it has turned her brain.   
                                 ~Louisa May Alcott
    I can totally relate to that quote! Books like Little Women tend to make us stop and take a deeper look at the way we view ourselves and the world around us. Books have deeply impacted my sense of right and wrong, taken me on exciting adventures to new lands, and given me insight into the way others think that is profoundly different than my own way of thinking. Reading has shown me glimpses of characters who portrayed such traits as valor or courage or chivalry. 
    But enough about books for now...


    You can check back later to read the article on my love of books and how it all began and where it has taken me. 

    Also, next week I will have a review of the movie on the blog...so if you haven't made up your mind to see it, be sure to check back here to see if it sounds like your cup of tea. 

    In the meantime, I'm running a giveaway!! Be sure to enter below for your chance to win a $25 Fandango e-gift card, redeemable for LITTLE WOMEN!

    It's the 150th Anniversary of Little Women, which makes it the perfect time for the release of a new film adaptation of this beloved classic.

    Little Women releases in Theaters nationwide September 28, 2018. 
    Get your ticket info here: Little Women Ticket Information. 

    Watch the trailer here...



    Happy Birthday, LITTLE WOMEN!!! Let's Celebrate!! Be sure to enter below for your chance to win!!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway  
    Note: only US-based giveaway winners are eligible due to Fandango limitations in Canada and outside the US.

    Just for fun take this QUIZ to find out which March sister you are!
    Little Women: Find Your Sister Quiz

    See you at the movies! 
     #LittleWomenL3

    Thursday, September 6, 2018

    Healed By Grace 2...Review & Movie DVD Giveaway


    Overview

    Studio: Blended Planet
    Genre: Family/Drama
    Rating: NR/Dove Approved: All Ages 
    Run Time: 1:32
    Release Dates: 8/20/18 Digital, 9/18/18 DVD.  
    Talent: Sean Young, Kennedy Martin, Natalie Weese, David Matthew Weese

    About

    Jesse is approaching her 15th birthday and the only gift she desires is a horse. 
    Unbeknownst to Jesse, her mother Brandy is in the throes of a cancer diagnosis which has Jesse's father jumping through unexpected obstacles. He signs Jesse up for summer camp, but when summer camp falls through he decides to have her stay with her estranged grandfather, an old gruff horse trainer named Gauff. Gauff, still recovering from the death of a special horse named Grace, now faces the challenges of teen negotiation. Gauff finds he must swallow his pride and ask his daughter Brandy for forgiveness. A humorous and inspiring story of how Grace works in mysterious ways. 

    Themes

    • Forgiveness
    • Reconciliation
    • Faith


    Available now on Digital. Available on DVD 9/18/18! 
    Purchase your copy here: Healed By Grace 2 DVD 

    Official Movie Trailer


    My Review


    Healed By Grace 2 is the second in a film series set in an inspirational equestrian training setting.  While the movie begins by establishing Jesse's love of horses, it quickly gets into the tricky problem of dealing with a cancer scare for Jesse's mother, Brandy. Brandy doesn't want to let Jesse know about the possible cancer diagnosis until she has had time to go through diagnostic testing to establish whether it is cancer or not. So, they begin making plans to send Jesse to camp in order to give them time to work things out.

    I don't want to retell the entire story in my review so I will just say that things begin to get a bit more complicated as Jesse's dad works on taking care of not only Jesse's situation with camp but also Brandy's need to take care of some emotional baggage in her own healing process with the cancer.  And it all becomes entangled with an old horse trainer named Gauff and a horse named Grace. 


    The Takeaway


    Again, as I said in my last movie review, like so many other movies within this genre there is a certain level of predictability. And some of the humor is a bit too cheesy for me...particularly the Christian camp director who Jesse's dad first spoke with. He was a bit too caricature-ish for me. 

    That said, I would still recommend this movie as a good family movie. While it handles some serious subject matter, there is also a good amount of humor to lighten it up. 

    I believe that there is value in watching movies with our children that handle difficult topics with grace. It can provide opportunities to discuss life's tuff stuff with our kids. In this case, there is family division, divorce, and cancer. But even more so the movie points out the importance of reconciliation, the role forgiveness plays in our healing both spiritually and physically, and the importance of unity within the family. 

    This film will encourage you to trust "...that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."  


    Here's the fun news! I have a flash giveaway! 
    Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win not just one, but two DVD's! The original Healed By Grace and Healed By Grace 2 


    No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Must live in the United States and be 18+ or older to enter. Must use a valid email address to enter. Winners will be notified by email used on the entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  


    HURRY!! CONTEST ENDS  September 10th!


    As a contributor for the Lev3L digital Influencer Program, I offer my honest opinion. I am not monetarily compensated, but I get to run the free DVD combo contest and receive a free DVD combo set for myself. So that's a possible win for you and a win-win for me! 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Grab some popcorn and enjoy the movie!
    #HealedByGrace2L3