Friday Filter-Movie “Neighbors”

Last weekend as part of birthday weekend, Tom and I went to see the new movie Neighbors, which star Zac Efron and Seth Rogen.


image via

This is a comedy about new parents and their struggles when a fraternity moves next door. At first they try to be cool and friendly with the fraternity to remain hip, with it and now. They eventually realize that the fraternity’s party ways will interfere with their child’s sleep routine and their sanity.

After trying to go about it the nice way, the two parents call the cops for a noise complaint which ignites a war between the fraternity and parents.

There are a lot of ridiculous prank antics and debauchery that ensue.

The movie was absurd. There were so many far stretched scenarios that I feel were just put in to fill time. There were some funny moments, but a lot of it was “um that would never happen.”

I also think it is funny that Hollywood still thinks that college is done after 4 years, no questions asked. It is not like we kick them out once that 8th semester hits.

I will say that we probably found it funnier than maybe we would have a year ago because we are about to be new parents ourselves. A lot of the conversations that the parents in the movie were having about their life being centered around breast-feeding and sleep cycles and the feeling of not being young anymore are conversations that we are having ourselves. My favorite scene is where Mac and Kelly (the parents) were laying in bed saying what “grown up” things that get them jazzed about life like the smell of coffee and tupperware. Tom and I love being grown-ups (except the bill paying part).

This was a fun light-hearted movie. It was one of those that was just so silly and stupid that it makes you laugh. However, I will say that it is better than some other films that Seth has starred in, so there is that.

And a movie with Zac Efron and Dave Franco? I mean come on, that is at least a few points in the win column.

Will I ever watch this movie again, probably not. It was fun for the birthday weekend extravaganza, and it meant I got an ICEE and a soft pretzel.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

Friday Filter: Film “Lone Survivor”

Tom and I went and so this film last weekend.

This is probably one of the best movies I have ever seen.

I honestly don’t even know where to begin reviewing it because there are just so many emotions that overcome me when thinking about it.

Happiness, sadness, fear, anger, curiosity and an immense sense of pride.


Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Their mission was called Operation Red Wing. Four men set out to find this leader but things became fatal when they ran into a couple herders in the mountains. Without radio communication, these soldiers fought for their lives against a group of Taliban, who largely outnumbered the American team. As you can tell by the title, there was only one survivor. This story depicts the realness of war and how simple acts of kindness and a sense of duty to a fellow man may just end up saving us all. You can read here and here for more information.

They did a phenomenal job with this film. I have never heard a soundtrack so real like this. The sound mixing crew captured every breath, every bone shatter, every gun shot, just everything perfectly. I still get teary-eyed and goosebumps just remembering the noise of their bodies being catapulted down the hillside. That is the most haunting thing about this film. The sounds of war.

The acting was outrageously good. They picked a great group of individuals who were dedicated to bringing this story to life for the masses. They believed in our troops and wanted to honor their sacrifice.

And that heroism is what is so breathtaking about this movie.

I understand that I am personally connected to the military everyday, but I honestly think that everyone should see this movie. All of us as Americans should understand what our military goes through. And this is about as real as they can make that experience for us every day Americans. This story gives us a glimpse of the life of a soldier.

You didn’t only see gun fights, but you saw the relationships. That is the part that sticks with me. You see the bonds between a team of soldiers when they eat together or race in the morning. You see the relationships they left behind in the emails and the picking out Arabian horses for wedding gifts. You see the sacrifice for their loved ones. You see the love they have for their brother who is fighting right next to them.

You don’t see politics. You don’t see liberals or conservatives. You don’t see corporate greed.

You just see men being men and fighting to save one another. You see an effort to save human dignity. You see the human spirit and good against evil.

This is why our soldiers are serving in wars. They believe in something and are fighting to protect beliefs that may not even be theirs. They serve because they feel a sense of duty to our country.

As a military spouse, there is a lot I don’t know about what happened on deployment. Even with all the questions asked, there are parts that I will never know or understand. However after many discussions with Tom, this movie does that experience a lot of justice and bridges the gap for us who cannot comprehend the decisions that are made in those moments. They didn’t church it up and showed the gusto that these men have. I am sure many military spouses have heard some variation of, “I can’t promise you that I am going to survive a fire fight, but I can promise you I will not die alone.” There was a scene that showed this sentiment where Marcus Luttrell held up a grenade in fear that he had been compromised. They will not quit even if all is bleak.

Maybe that is why there were moments where I couldn’t breathe or was full out weeping along with the wife sitting next to me. I saw my husband in those men’s faces. I saw our friends standing on the hill. I saw people I admire giving all their energy to the mission. I know if they were in a similar situation as this particular Seal team, they would have made similar sacrifices.

I am proud of what my husband does, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about these kinds of scenes. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t know that my prayers were answered when Tom comes home safely every day when so many others do not.

That is why I urge everyone to watch this. It reminds us about the humans behind the war. These men were other people’s spouses, brothers, uncles, fathers, and friends. It gives us a reason to believe that good does triumph evil.

The theater was packed to the brim. And it was eerie quiet once it was over. Watching the slides of pictures of the actual soldiers at the end brought it home to everyone there.

This was a gripping story to watch. It portrayed a realistic and gut-wrenching view about the actual events of war. It was not about the heroics or the romance that Hollywood often infuses into military plot lines. It ripped away all of that and made it raw and real for viewers to see this story of one lone survivor.

I appreciated every tear and lost breathe. 

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

Friday Filter-Holiday Movie Review

I grew up watching classic movies. I feel so connected to the stars like Audrey Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, and Humphrey Bogart…I could go on for miles.

I mean who doesn’t like a movie that has tap dancing and singing?

I am also obsessed with the style of the time. Absolutely gorgeous.


Love everything.

To say that I have an obsession with classic Hollywood would be understatement. I mean seriously, we named our dogs after Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby, and we walked out of our wedding to a Frank Sinatra song.

So it should come as no surprise that my two favorite holiday movies are right along with this era.


I also love classic movie posters, and hope some day have a vast collection.

Holiday Inn is a musical about an inn that only is open during the holidays. They circle the year and put on grandiose dinner shows about several holidays. It is interesting because you definitely see the culture of the time throughout the movie. Gotta love a little historical context. The focus does fall around the Christmas time though, so it still counts as a holiday movie to me. And this is where the famed song “White Christmas” debuted, not with the movie White Christmas like most think.

The story line has humor and romance. Jim and Ted were partners in a show in the city. Jim decides to retire to the country once he learns that Ted romanced Jim’s partner Lila (and thought life partner). Jim then opens the Holiday Inn, as a supper club of sorts. He creates a dinner show for only holidays. Ted was dumped by Lila and comes to be comforted by Jim, only to find his next “love.” I will let you watch it to see who ends up with who.

It is just a funny movie showing the antics of early showbiz. Crosby has a laid back casual approach with perfect wit and charm, which is perfectly paired with Astaire’s more satirical humor and the acrobatics he brings to the table.

I love it all, and Bing’s voice is a dream.

(Also it doesn’t hurt that Tom has a striking resemblance to Bing-in voice and looks. I’m one lucky gal!)


Facts about Holiday Inn from IMDB:

  • It was released in 1942.
  • It was the first time Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire were paired together.
  • When Irving Berlin won an Oscar for his song “White Christmas” from this movie, he became the first artist to present himself with an Academy Award.
  • The firecracker dance sequence required 3 days of rehearsal and took two days to film. Fred Astaire’s shoes for the dance were auctioned off for $116,000 worth of war bonds.
  • The set of the Holiday Inn (1942) was reused by Paramount 12 years later for the musical White Christmas (1954), also starring Bing Crosby and again with songs composed by Irving Berlin.

Which brings me to my next holiday classic….


This is my ALL TIME favorite holiday movie.

Following a very similar story line to Holiday Inn, this movie also occurs at a Vermont inn. White Christmas tells the tale of two Army buddies (Bob and Phil) turned song and dance team when they meet the Haynes sisters who are also a singing duo. They all end up at this inn, which is failing miserably. Bob and Phil find out that that the inn is owned by their former Army general so they stick around to help drum up some business. They of course do this by putting on a marvelous Christmas show.

Again, romance and humor fueled by the singing and dancing.



Facts about White Christmas from IMDB:

  • It was released in 1954.
  • The “Sisters” comedy act that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye perform was not originally in the script. They were clowning around on the set and the director thought it was so funny that it was written in. Many takes were attempted, but Crosby was unable to hold a straight face due to Kaye’s comedic dancing. The scene shown in the film was the best take they could get (which includes some laughter from Kaye as well).
  • While preparing to go on stage for the Sisters routine, Betty and Judy mention their brother being out of the country working in Alaska. This movie was released in 1954 and Alaska wasn’t admitted as a state until 1959, so he was in fact out of the country.
  • One of the dancers accompanying Rosemary Clooney is George Chakiris. He went on to earn the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, as “Bernardo”, in West Side Story (1961).
  • Even though Betty was the elder of the Haynes sisters, Rosemary Clooney was actually seven years younger than Vera-Ellen in real life.


Both of these movies are great films to sit by the fire heater with a cup of something warm to breath in the holiday spirit. They are both on my list of must sees during the holiday season! It is so surprising to me how many people have never seen these two movies, so I urge you to check them out if you are guilty of that!

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

What movies are on your “holiday-must-see” list?

Also, I have a plug for an upcoming post. Next week I am co-hosting a Faith and Fellowship devotional with Susannah. We will be exploring a few verses in the first couple chapters of Luke and are focusing on Mary and her submission to God, which I feel is a great thing to focus on this holiday season! We will be opening it up on Friday, December 27th, so I hope you come back for some thoughts on faith!

Friday Filter-Movie “Catching Fire”

Last weekend, we finally saw Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games series.

Poster of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

All I can see is wow.

Ok I can say a little more. This movie was phenomenal in every way. It was a great book adaptation. They hit all the major highlights without losing much of the integrity of the story. Obviously they don’t go into all the details that the book does. However,  it is hard for me to realize what wasn’t said in the movie because it was knowledge I already had.

The story occurs in a dystopian future where 12 districts are at the mercy of the Capital. The Capital keeps everyone in fear and constant control. The storyline follows Katniss and Peeta as the victors of the 74th Hunger Games, which is a competition (death match) put on by the Capital with two “representatives” from each district. Peeta and Katniss have to do the “victory lap” within all the districts. All the while, they have to pretend they are in love to keep up the facade they started with the whole “berry” incident. As they are on the tour, they see glimpses of the other districts and the beginning of a revolution.

President Snow feels threatened by Katniss, and with the urging from the new game master, they made the Quarter Quell one for the history books by recalling old victors to be tributes once again.

But little does Snow know that this is the beginning of the end for him.

And that is all I am going to say about the story.

I just loved it.

It was packed with emotion and action, and snippets of humor.

My favorite characters are Haymitch and Cinna. I am also Team Peeta all the way.

I cried twice-once when they showed Rue’s family, and then when Cinna had his misfortune.

The cinematography was fantastic. I hate when they make a movie with CGI that you notice, and this was not the case with Catching Fire. Those monkeys scared the daylights out of me. I also don’t like when they are two quick with the camera action that you can’t keep up with what is going on. They did a great job keeping you focused on what you needed to and highlighting whatever emotion of the time.

The cast was phenomenal. I want Jennifer Lawrence to be in my inner circle.

It sparked more conversations about rebellion and the “end of the world” prep in our house. So it is safe to say that Tom enjoyed it too.

The genius of Suzanne Collins (author of the trilogy) was brought to life in the most fantastic way. Although, nothing in my opinion can beat actually reading the book.

I highly recommend this series to anyone!

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Team Peeta or Team Gale?

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

Friday Filter-Movie “Hocus Pocus”

I have one Halloween tradition:  watch either Harry Potter in its entirety or Hocus Pocus. Some years I have done both.

To be honest, I just haven’t had the time this year to invest all the time to Harry Potter. Plus Tom wasn’t really up for it. Maybe this will be November’s challenge with my upcoming free time.

So I just subjected Tom to about an hour and a half of a moviecation.

He had never seen Hocus Pocus!


So we watched it as we waited for trick or treaters this year.

This is my kind of scary movie. Totally predictable and cheesy.

When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with Bette Midler. I am not really sure where that started, but this movie probably helped with that matter. I did several book reports on her through middle school and high school. Not your typical 8th grade read, but I just thought she was the

This movie is about a kid who reawakened three witches from 300 years ago in Salem. They basically suck the life out of children to stay young. So the whole movie is about them chasing each other around to end the madness.

I love Dani. She is a no-nonsense kid who loves her older brother. She is adorably cute through the whole thing.

Her brother on the other hand; I wanted to punch him most of the movie. He was just a dumb love sick idiot. But you could tell he loved his sister as he valiantly sacrificed his life at the end, so I have to give him credit for that.

My favorite parts are seeing the Sanderson sisters react to the 90s culture and new age inventions like roads and candy bars.

Hocus Pocus

It is a silly film that is all about Halloween traditions and tales. It is very cheesy and for me a must every October. I was looking up critiques of it this year and found that when it first came out, the ratings were awful for it. It was doomed to vanish like the Sanderson sisters did in the movie. However, people like me watch it every year and it has become a mainstay on certain channels every fall. On several sites I read that this movie has reached “cult status.” It’s funny how the DVD and cable market can change what used to be controlled only in the theater.

Is there a movie or show you have to watch to get into the Halloween spirit?

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.