Thursday, December 9, 2010

Two Pope Films

We have recently watched both of these and loved both of them, although Karol tells more of his early life and uses one actor for all of the pope scenes. I had never watched either one of these and our teen daughter is responsible for requesting them and bringing such historical wonderful movies into our home! Highly, highly recommended--our whole family was enthralled!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I remember watching this film in Brazil with my mother and siblings... long ago. Last night we watched it, and even the teens and Husband enjoyed it! It is in German with subtitles and it is funny, dynamic and theatrical and the subtitles did not them. The film is based on the life of Empress Elizabeth of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, and it is the ultimate princess movie with the gorgeous dresses, the romance, the palaces and settings, and culminating with a huge Catholic wedding in Vienna. The film is a trilogy and we will watch the second one tonight!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Third Man on the Mountain

Third Man on the Mountain is a 1959 Disney film I had never heard of! We all enjoyed it, teenagers, kids, parents. The Matterhorn is a famous European peak spoken about at my home growing up quite a bit. One of my brother loves rock climbing, and as a youth he would go on climbing expeditions led by a Benedictine monk and priest who also happened to be their Math teacher at their Abbey school for boys. Growing up in Rio we couldn't help hearing about rock climbing as the newspaper showed photos of foreign rock climbing expeditions in and around our Cidade Maravilhosa. Most of them were successful, but some were not, and these served as frequent prayer intentions.

The film's themes are rock-climbing, life in a Swiss Alps village, and above all honor and courage. The mountain scenes were beautiful. Also, the reviews on Amazon provide some interesting and curious information. Truly an awesome choice for family movie night!

Product Description: Based on a true story, here is the thrilling, critically acclaimed account of Rudi Matt (James MacArthur), a young kitchen worker who is determined to conquer the Citadel -- the jagged, snowcapped peak that claimed his father's life. Encouraged by both a famed English climber (Michael Rennie) and the youth's devoted girlfriend (Janet Munro), Rudi goes through a grueling training period before he is ready to face the incredible dangers of the killer mountain. Shot on location in Switzerland, and featuring spectacular scenery and an outstanding cast, THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN is one of the finest adventure films of all time!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

St. Giuseppe Moscati

Husband and kids watched this and gave it 5 stars! Husband's critical eye is... overatcive often, so five stars on Netflix is a huge compliment!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fireproofing Your Marriage

The movie Fireproof is about saving a marriage which is at risk of burning to the ground. It's a modern tale with a Christian foundation, and we hosted a couple's night at our parish for its viewing. I liked the movie a lot -- especially its premise that no marriage is "fireproof." But that prayer, communication, and forgiveness go a long way toward protecting it. See a sample section of the Love Dare challenge, which is available in a book version and requires 40 days of commitment based upon the verses found in 1 Cor. 13. So Day 1 challenges you to relearn "Love is Patient," and Day 2 "Love is Kind," then "Love is Not Selfish," "Love is Not Easily Irritable," etc.  Further discussion topics for couples are found on study guides at the "Fireproof" website. I think this movie would be also be a good tool for teens to learn about the sacrament and success of marriage vows.  Made by the creators of "Facing the Giants" and rated PG.

Monday, August 2, 2010

There Be Dragons

This beautiful new movie tells the story of St. Josemaria Escriva during the Spanish Civil War.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Sandy Bottom Orchestra

I'm always searching for music-related movies, and here is a sweet one that your whole family can enjoy.  There seems to be only a few movies like this that get made for television, so we were thrilled when we discovered it through NetFlix (because we don't have TV at home).  Based on the book by Garrison Keillor and his musician wife, Jenny Lind Nilsson, the storyline features a Midwest family who is trying to fit their classical-music personalities into a rural and not-so-cultural community.  If you live in a small town, you will easily relate to the issues. Set amongst a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, there is honesty about neighbors, marriage, and teenage peer pressure.  Not a love story (as the cover might suggest).  The mother hopes to use her piano degree and the daughter is a talented violinist, but both are wondering about their friends and their sanity.  Sound familiar?  In the end, the movie has a clear but not patronizing message about staying with your principles and offering understanding and forgiveness to others. Inspiring enough for me to take it to Youth Group in the near future.  And the music played (see list here) is quite good!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The new BBC Emma

My four daughters and I enjoyed hours of watching the new BBC Emma these past few days. It is excellent! Faithful to Jane Austen's work, filmed in gorgeous photography, settings and costumes. The acting is impeccable and we just loved the actress who plays the main part--as well as her excellent Mr. Knightly, likeable, a man of integrity, generosity and nobility of soul.

Don't miss it! I have compared the two other versions available in this post.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, trailer

This is my personal favorite of the Narnia books... can't tell much about the quality of the literary adaptation from the trailer.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don Matteo, priest-detective TV series on DVD

Don Matteo, Italian production for television, 1999-2000. Read about it on Ignatius Press page and the positive customer reviews on Amazon.

Does anyone remember the Trinity movies? My family loved those when I was a teenager... I remember Mother laughing so much. Terence Hill was the main actor of those Western films, and he is back as a good Catholic priest in Don Matteo. Our whole family has been watching one episode at a time and we love it!

The priest has a funny housekeeper, and two policemen-sidekicks who make my kids laugh out loud! Together, and with Don Matteo's loving heart, good Catholic morals and excellent detective skills, they solve various interesting murder mysteries. Last night we watched Murder in the Library, where Don Matteo is called to Rome to solve a murder of a scripture scholar, all filmed in the Vatican!

This is an Italian production and it is not dubbed, but the subtitles are well-done and my kids can handle them well. We were all saying Italian expressions by the end of the show! Enjoy! Available from Ignatius Press, Amazon or Netflix.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Black History Month and "Sounder"

Last year, I posted my family's favorite movie about Abraham Lincoln. This year, I thought it worth mentioning "Sounder" as a good family choice for Black History month and related unit studies on the Civil War or civil rights. Disney produced this movie in 1972, and it's a heart-tugging story about the Morgans, a strong family of Black sharecroppers in 1933. The father is convicted of stealing to feed his family and sent to a prison camp. The mother sends the oldest son, who is about 11 years old, to visit his father, and the movie is about that trip--with the dog, of course! Check the library and NetFlix.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Mark of Zorro

We rented a new DVD copy of the original Zorro... a fun family movie, with plenty of Catholic references, and a very nice quality copy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Sorry to post mid-way through, but PBS is airing a new sequel to "Cranford" last Sunday and this Sunday (Jan. 10 & 17, 2010).

The original "Cranford" DVD is a compilation of stories from three books by Elizabeth Gaskell, a Victorian novelist: Cranford, Mr Harrison's Confessions, and My Lady Ludlow. Everyone will enjoy the humorous vignettes from an 1840s British town near Manchester, and its widows who fear such things as the modern progress of the railway as much they fear offending any one's gentility or accidentally exposing their poverty. Of course, we love Dame Judi Dench and her character Miss Matty, whose gentleness brings out the best in her neighbors. You might say she inspires everyone to avoid the near occasions of sin.