28 March 2015

TV DVD Review: "Dragons: Riders of Berk": Part Two

Rated: TV-PG for violence
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, and T.J. Miller
Released: November 2012 - March 2013 (original Cartoon Network premieres) / July 23, 2013 (DVD)
Synopsis: The adventures of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), his beloved dragon Toothless, and their friends continue in this second part of the first season! In these nine episodes, they discover new species of dragons, defend their home island of Berk from lightning strikes, and fight to escape the clutches of the evil Alvin (Mark Hamill, Star Wars).  With plenty of action and suspense, as well as dashes of humor, this collection is sure to excite and entertain!
As seen on Cartoon Network.

The Good: This is pretty much more of the same as in the first outing...but, as they say: If it's not broke, don't fix it.  Everything that made the original How to Train Your Dragon film and the previous episodes as great as they were is still present here.  The animation is once again outstanding, as is the voice work.  The finale has me eagerly awaiting the next season; I won't give it away, but, I will say that it'll leave you breathlessly desiring a further installment...which is kind of the point.

The Bad: Nothing here to complain about, except, once again, the inappropriate rating; it should be "TV-Y7-FV", not "TV-PG-V".

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Innocent romance. 4/5
  • Nudity: None. 5/5
  • Language: Name-calling, at worst. 4/5
  • Violence: Fantasy/cartoony violence abounds.  The dragons fight each other and shoot blasts at people; however, no one is seriously hurt, and there's absolutely zero blood or gore. 3/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the fantasy violence, there's many a suspenseful moment, especially in the two-part finale, and some of the dragons are rather hideous. 2/5
  • Other: A bit of gross-out content (i.e., spitting). 4/5
Conclusion: I had my doubts about how this series would turn out, but it definitely does justice to the theatrical film.  If you loved the movie, but have yet to check out this series...what are you waiting for? Go rent it from your local library, NOW!

Score: 4.5/5

TV Miniseries Review: "The Bible"

Rated: TV-14 for violence
Starring: Keith David, Diogo Morgado, and a cast of over 100
Released: 2013 (History Channel premiere)
Synopsis: The Bible is the bestselling book of all time...but, how much do you know about the stories contained within? This series takes us on a dramatic journey from Genesis to Revelation.  You'll see classic stories such as the creation, Abraham and Isaac, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lions' den as never before.  Watch as Jesus is born, starts His ministry, dies, rises again, and commands His followers to continue his work.  With amazing special effects and a massive cast, this series brings God's Word to life as never before.
From Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (Touched By an Angel).  As seen on the History Channel.

The Good: What a journey this series was! As epic as the Book that inspired it, the Biblical stories highlighted within are all done amazingly well.  I've seen portrayals of Bible stories in celluloid form before, but, never quite like this, with the exception of the Son of God film, which borrows from this series.  The entire cast does amazingly well; especially of note was Francis Magee's (House of Anubis) portrayal of King Saul, as well as Amber Rose Revah in her role as Mary Magdalene.  Even the special effects are well done, and not cheesy like in too many Christian films.  Trust me; you've never seen the Bible like this!

The Bad: As good as this is, I do have a couple of complaints.  First and foremost, I didn't like the way some of the stories were changed.  I understand the need to leave some details out for the sake of running time, but, did they really have to have Jesus kiss Lazarus to raise him instead of telling him to "come forth"? Second off, there were some great Bible stories--Joseph and his brothers, Queen Esther, etc.--that I would have loved to have seen portrayed like this, but they were skipped over.  Maybe the makers will make another series that features those accounts.

Content Concerns: I'm not going to do my usual listing, only because of this series' source material.  What I will say is the violence is intense and bloody at times.  To the makers' credit, it seems that they went out of their way quite often to not show the violence in graphic detail; the only problem with that is doing so leaves it to the mind's eye, which could make it even worse.  Also, some of the stories contained within--David and Bathsheba, Abraham and Hagar, etc.--are not exactly first grade Sunday School material.  Suffice it to say: This series is rated "TV-14" for a reason, and is definitely not for the VeggieTales crowd.

Conclusion: I once heard a saying about bestselling books: They're ones everyone buys...but nobody reads.  People all over the world own or have access to Bibles; these days, even public libraries have them in various formats, not to mention that you can access them in countless languages online.  However, it seems that many people--Christians included--don't seem to know much of what's in the Good Book, aka the bestselling book of all-time.  I think this series is a great thing; not only does it show the Bible in all of its epic detail, but, it also encourages people to check out the Word that inspired it.  If you haven't seen this series yet...prepare to be amazed!

Score: 4.5/5

21 March 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "A Distant Thunder"

Rated: Not Rated
Starring: Deborah Flora, Ned Vaughn, and Peter Renaday
Released: 2005
Synopsis: Things are not always as they seem, especially when entering the halls of a desperate mind in this gripping supernatural thriller.  Struggling to keep her fragile sanity from unraveling, Prosecutor Ann Brown (Deborah Flora) is offered a murder case that will challenge everything she believes to be true.  Uncertain whether or not to accept the assignment at first, a harrowing encounter with Defense Attorney Tom Condan (Ned Vaughn) convinces her to meet the challenge.  The deeper she investigates, reality and tormenting delusions collide as she encounters an evil force that is as unnerving as it is foreboding.  In this award-winning movie, terrifying secrets are exposed, and you'll discover the shocking twist which will reveal the chilling and unforeseeable truth.
(Adapted from the back cover of the DVD)

My Review: This film may be a bit short, but it packs a powerful message! It's a bit unsettling, but, that's exactly the point, and it's the kind of movie we need more of these days! I'm going to remain vague in this review only so that I won't give away the plot details; seriously, you should watch this, but, prepare to be shocked!

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A non-graphic childbirth scene. 4/5
  • Nudity: A woman is seen in the shower, though critical areas are obscured. 4/5
  • Language: None. 5/5
  • Violence: A graphic description of an abortion procedure; some bloody visuals. 2/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Freaky visuals, which are accompanied by creepy music, are seen throughout; some emotional intensity is present as well. 1/5
  • Other: A lack of closed captions or SDHs will prevent deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers from fully experiencing this film. 4/5
Score: 4.5/5

TV DVD Review: "Touched By an Angel": The Complete First Season

Rated: TV-PG (US) / G (Canada)
Starring: Roma Downey, Della Reese, and Charles Rocket
Released: 1994 - 1995 (original TV premieres) / August 31, 2004 (DVD)
Synopsis: Monica (Roma Downey, Son of God) is an angel who has just been transferred from the search and rescue department; now, with the help of her best friend Tess (Della Reese), she will be working with people and help them work through their problems. In our fallen world, though, there is much work to be done! Whether they're helping a teenage mother (Alyson Hannigan) who is afraid to face her own parents, living among the homeless, or coming face-to-face with Satan himself (John Schneider), things are likely to get crazy...but, it's up to Monica and Tess to keep order.
As seen on CBS and PAX. Also starring Phylicia Rashad and Malcolm Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show), Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All), Jack Black (School of Rock), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Marion Ross (Happy Days), and country star Randy Travis.

The Good: Well, it's great to have this series on DVD, first off.  The episodes are mostly well-produced, and the acting is fabulous.  Though some of the hallmarks of the later seasons are not present here--for example, actor John Dye is nowhere to be seen--this is still a rather enjoyable set of episodes.  If you're familiar with this show--and you likely are--you know what to expect from it, and that's what you'll get here.  In a world where entertainment is bent on skewering people of faith any chance they get, it's great to have a show that honors the Creator of all.  It's also quite fun to see some rather well-known actors in their younger years in this set. This show is a little bit more adult than I remember--see the content concerns below for a further explanation--but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The Bad: Other than the problematic content, I did feel that the portrayal of angels was a bit irreverent.  Not only that, but, the video could have used some remastering; it was almost like I was watching it on an "EP" video tape.  The addition of the two-parter finale was unnecessary; I didn't even watch it, because I didn't want to see the ending of the series after I just watched the first season. Still, those complaints are rather minor.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Passionate kissing in a couple of scenes; extramarital affairs are discussed quite frequently; a non-graphic childbirth scene. 2/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage; women seen in everything from short shorts to off-the-shoulder dresses to even underwear (albeit briefly, and only once). 2/5
  • Language: Pretty much every episode has at least five or six profanities peppered into the dialogue; mostly d-words and h-words, but also both b-words and a misuse of God's name here and there.  Rude phrases--i.e., "shut up"--are heard occasionally as well. 2/5
  • Violence: A kid shoots himself; a car blows up with a woman inside; a woman threatens to rip another woman's arms off, etc. Though non-graphic, it can be intense at times, and a couple of scenes are bloody. 2/5
  • Drugs: An episode features a woman who is a big-time alcoholic and smoker, and drinking is seen here and there in other episodes as well. 3/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Pretty much every episode has right much emotional intensity. 1/5
  • Other: The portrayal of angels is a bit irreverent. 4/5
Conclusion: In Prince Caspian, the Pevensie kids are told, "You might find Narnia a more savage place than you remember." That's how I felt about this series; I watched it here and there as a kid, but, I found it to be much more adult than I remembered.  To borrow another Narnian phrase: "It is not tame...but it is good." I look forward to watching the remaining seasons, of which the library I work for has plenty.

Score: 4/5

20 March 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "Your Love Never Fails"

Rated: G for general audiences
Starring: Elisa Donovan, Brad Rowe, and John Schneider
Released: April 5, 2011 (DVD)
Synopsis: Years ago, Laura Connors (Elisa Donovan) separated from her husband, Dylan (Brad Rowe), and jetted off to New York in search of a career with their daughter in tow.  Though Laura had received divorce papers, she never bothered to do anything with them...and, now, it's come back to haunt her, as she is subpoenaed to appear in court all the way back in her home state of Texas.  Laura's daughter Kelsey (Kirstin Dorn) is thrilled at everything the Lone Star state has to offer, especially her estranged father, but, Laura is kind of hesitant about getting back together with Dylan.  Will they rekindle their marriage, or are they headed for Splitsville?
Also starring Catherine Hicks (7th Heaven), Tracey Gold (Growing Pains), and comedienne Chonda Pierce.

My Review: This kind of movie is a rarity: a "G" film that isn't animated or full of cutesy talking animals or something to that effect.  It's actually one of the cleanest movies I've seen in a while; then again, I haven't watched a film that was literally rated "G" in well over a year.  It isn't exactly the best movie, but, for what it is, it's rather entertaining and fun, even if it is sappy and predictable.  Fans of family-friendly entertainment will likely enjoy this one.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing. 4/5
  • Nudity: Slight cleavage. 4/5
  • Language: None. 5/5
  • Violence: None. 5/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: None. 5/5
Score: 3.5/5

13 March 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther"

Rated: PG-13 for intense action violence
Starring: Justin Gross, Grey DeLisle, and Michael Massee
Released: August 8, 2006
Synopsis: In this sequel to Ultimate Avengers, the fictional African country of Wakanda is under attack by aliens.  When their leader is killed, his son and the villagers try to defend their homeland...but their weapons are not enough.  The Avengers, who have dealt with this same threat before, are called in to help...but, even with all their powers and abilities, will they be able to vanquish the threat they once thought long gone?
Based on Marvel's The Ultimates.

My Review (Warning: Spoilers!): Can a sequel be better than the original? Maybe sometimes, but, not in this case.  Most of this movie is on par with the previous outing; same great animation, same amazing action sequences, same voice actors, most of the same content concerns.  It almost feels like the next episode of a television show, which is funny when you realize how much this film and its prequel have in common with Disney XD's The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon.  However, I found the ending a bit depressing; though the heroes triumph, Giant-Man is killed.  That, to me, was an unnecessary plot point.  Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing. 4/5
  • Nudity: Bare midriffs, shirtless guys, and cleavage, the latter of which is made rather sultry at times. 3/5
  • Language: None. 5/5
  • Violence: The movie starts with the leader of an African country being killed, which is a bit bloody.  Other scenes feature the heroes, other humans, and the aliens punching, kicking, shooting at, etc., each other quite frequently.  Blood is seen in a few of these sequences, as well.  The film ends with the death of one of the heroes. 2/5
  • Drugs: Wine is consumed. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the violence mentioned above, the aliens are rather scary looking, and there is quite a bit of emotional intensity, especially after the two characters die. 1/5
Score: 3/5

11 March 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "Contest"

Rated: PG for some bullying, rude humor, and language
Starring: Kenton Duty, Danny Flaherty, and Katherine McNamara
Released: December 17, 2013 
Synopsis: Tommy (Danny Flaherty) has been having a tough time of it lately.  Not only will the bullies at his high school not leave him alone, but, the pizza shop he runs with his grandmother (Mary Beth Piel) very well could soon be closed due to lack of funds.  To make money, Tommy enters a cooking contest for teen chefs, where the victor gets $50,000 and his/her own television show.  Problem is, he needs two assistants to enter! Head bully Matt (Kenton Duty, Shake It Up) seems to want to be Tommy's friend, despite his previous attractions...but, can he be trusted? Will Tommy ever work up the courage to ask his crush (Katherine McNamara) out?

My Review: This movie was rather cute and funny, and the content was clean, but, it was a bit forgettable.  If you're looking for something to rent for a family movie night, this would be great, but, don't expect to remember it two years from now.  There's not much to say other than that.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing, including passionate smooching in a closet, which is later pantomimed by another kid. 4/5
  • Nudity: Shirtless guys; cleavage; girls in short shorts; bare midriffs. 3/5
  • Language: Some name-calling, and one misuse of God's name. 4/5
  • Violence: Mostly, the bullying; kids hit, kick, and throw one another fairly often.  One kid is even whipped with a leather belt, with slightly bloody results. 2/5
  • Drugs: Wine is consumed, but only by adults. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the violent bullying, there is some emotional intensity. 2/5
  • Other: A bit of crude humor. 4/5
Score: 3/5

10 March 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "Ultimate Avengers: The Movie"

Rated: PG-13 for action violence
Starring: Justin Gross, Grey DeLisle, and Michael Massee
Released: 2006
Synopsis: During World War II, Captain America saved the world from nuclear destruction...only to be frozen in the depths of the sea in the process.  In modern times, the same threat is back, and Cap appears to be the only one who can stop them.  After he is thawed, he teams up with Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and other superheroes to save the planet once again...but the newly formed Avengers are having trouble working as a team.  Just when they think they've disposed of their foes, it turns out that their biggest threat comes from within.
Based on The Ultimates by Marvel Comics.

My Review: I've reviewed probably more superhero-themed entertainment on this blog than anything else.  Among them was each of the six volumes of Disney XD's The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which features many of the same characters and situations as this movie does.  Instead of feeling like déjà vu all over again, though, it was fun to see a bit of a different take on the Marvel characters.  It was actually a bit better than many of the DC Comics films, if only because the makers didn't feel the need to pepper in excessive profanity, unnecessarily graphic scenes, and needless sexual content.  Superhero fans who have already blown through the various Disney XD series should give this a try.  Just be warned: The violence is rather intense, as you'll see in the section below.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A beautiful woman is used to get a playboy's attention. 4/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage; bare midriffs; a woman in a tiny outfit; a shirtless guy. 3/5
  • Language: Three or four d-words, an h-word, and a misuse of God's name, as well as a bit of name-calling. 3/5
  • Violence: Right from the get-go, this film packs a lot of fantasy violence.  The Avengers, the bad guys, and others are hit, kicked, punched, choked, slammed, shot at, etc., throughout.  It gets even more intense at the end, when one of the Avengers fights against all the others; one of the heroes is seen with blood on his face. 2/5
  • Drugs: Chemical transformations; drinking at a bar; a guy is seen with a wine bottle. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The villains are a bit scary, as is the Hulk, especially when--spoiler!--he goes on a rampage.  There is also some emotional intensity. 2/5
  • Other: Some crude humor (i.e., burping.) 4/5
Score: 3.5/5

Quickie Movie Review: "Bad Hair Day"

Rated: TV-G
Starring: Laura Marano and Leigh-Allyn Baker
Released: February 13, 2015 (Disney Channel premiere)
Synopsis: Monica (Laura Marano, Austin & Ally) has been eagerly awaiting her senior prom...but, the morning before, she wakes up to discover that her hair is a total mess, and her dress and shoes are ruined! To make matters worse, FBI agent Liz (Leigh-Allyn Baker, Good Luck Charlie) appears at her doorstep, in search of the necklace Monica bought for prom...which was actually stolen from an exhibit, and is worth millions of dollars! Together, Monica and Liz work to keep the necklace from the wrong hands...but the thief is hot on their trail! Will they be able to apprehend the criminal and keep Monica's prom night from being a total washout?
As seen on Disney Channel.

My Review: Much like the movie Moms' Night Out, this is a madcap comedy adventure with plenty of action and hilarity.  The characters the leads play in this telefilm are very different from the ones they portray in their sitcoms; it's a treat to see them step outside their usual roles, and do it as well as they do.  Really, I don't have too many complaints about this movie, except for an annoying blooper reel during the closing credits.  Fans of Disney Channel Original Movies will find plenty to enjoy about this...and so will other viewers.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A guy is said to be cheating on his girlfriend; flirting is referenced. 4/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage; short shorts; off-the-shoulder dresses. 4/5
  • Language: Some name-calling and usage of terms such as "gosh," as well as one misuse of God's name. 4/5
  • Violence: Comedic pratfalls; nothing bloody or graphic.  A man is tased. 4/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Some emotional intensity.  A girl's father is kidnapped and used as collateral by a thief.  (Spoiler: Her father is not hurt.) 3/5
  • Other: Monica uses some hacking skills, and Liz has some illegal devices in her car. 3/5
Score: 4/5

09 March 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "The Hunters"

Rated: PG for action/violence
Starring: Robbie Amell, Alexa Vega, and Michelle Forbes
Released: January 7, 2014
Synopsis: When their parents send out a distress call, it's up to brothers Paxton (Robbie Amell) and Tripp (Keenan Tracy), along with their friend Dylan (Alexa Vega, Spy Kids), to save them.  Dylan knows something the guys don't, though: Their parents are part of an ancient society called the Hunters, who hunt down magical artifacts to keep them from getting into the wrong hands.  With villains who will stop at nothing to thwart their plans, Paxton, Tripp, and Dylan are in for the rides of their lives.  Will they be able to save their parents...and the world?

My Review: This movie feels like a video game or an old-school serial: big on action, and with plenty of fantasy elements mixed in.  You could almost say it's a throwback, in a way.  Though I enjoyed the movie for the most part, I thought there still could have been a bit more action, and that one of the final scenes could have been improved.  The ending leaves room for a sequel; is one already on the way? Despite its issues, though, it was still a fun romp; one that I would never have discovered if a friend hadn't recommended it to me.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing. 4/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage; shirtless guys. 4/5
  • Language: None that I heard. 5/5
  • Violence: Quite a few scenes involve kicking, punching, and the shooting of crossbows; nothing bloody or graphic, though at least one person dies. 3/5
  • Drugs: People drink alcohol at a party. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with what was mentioned under "Violence," a man is seen turning into stone and crumbling, and some sequences are dark and eerie. 3/5
  • Other: A bit of product placement. 4/5
Score: 4/5

08 March 2015

TV DVD Review: "Mork & Mindy": Season One

Rated: TV-G (US) / G (Canada)
Starring: Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Conrad Janis, and Elizabeth Kerr
Released: 1978 - 1979 (original TV premieres) / September 7, 2004 (DVD)
Synopsis: Sent from the planet Ork to learn about the customs and culture of our planet, Mork (the late Robin Williams, in his star-making role) crash-landed into Boulder, CO, just in time to inadvertently save college-aged Mindy McConnell (Pam Dawber) from a date gone horribly wrong.  With nowhere else for him to go, Mindy invites him to stay at her place, much to the chagrin of her father, Fred (Conrad Janis).  Mork quickly makes friends with young kid Eugene (Jeffrey Jacquet) and insane nut Exidor (the late Robert Donner), but completely fumbles when it comes to the ways of our planet.  Whether he is falling in love with a lady who is a real doll, learning the truth about lying, or using his alien powers to defend Mindy from a womanizing jerk, hilarity is sure to ensue!
Features guest appearances from Henry Winkler (Happy Days), Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley), and screen legends Morgan Fairchild and David Letterman.

The Good: Mork & Mindy is one of my longtime favorite shows, so, of course I would enjoy this first season.  I hadn't watched much of it in a while, but, when I heard that the final season was being released on DVD, I knew I had to catch up.  Since most of the cast has passed away, being able to see them in action is a real treat, especially since this set features the episodes as they were originally broadcast.  Robin Williams is definitely the star here, and his antics are hilarious; however, the rest of the cast does well, too, especially Robert Donner as Exidor, who is even loonier than Mork himself.  By now, I would think most everyone would be familiar with this show; if you're not, but you're a fan of old-school television, you should definitely check this out from your local library.  Give it a chance and see if you don't laugh.

The Bad: As good as this is, I do have some minor complaints.  Though the packaging is nice, the discs themselves are void of any special features, save for the cute menu screens.  Non-English speakers may be disappointed to find that there aren't any foreign subtitles; I've heard this show was popular in non-anglophone countries, so, you'd think they'd at least include at least a Spanish language option.  Also, the last episode ends the set with a whimper; it's rather boring, especially for a season finale.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Mork naively refers to sex in a childlike way here and there.  People believe Mork and Mindy are "shacking up,"; though they never do anything immoral, the stigma of a man and woman living together without marriage is still there. 3/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage, and Mork often wears an outfit that shows a bit of his chest. 4/5
  • Language: Profanity is quite rare, but many characters call each other names, including Mork teasing Orson--who is never seen--about being overweight. 4/5
  • Violence: Comedic pratfalls are the rule here.  Mork does get into a fight with someone, but it isn't the least bit bloody or graphic. 4/5
  • Drugs: People are seen drinking alcohol fairly often; smoking is referenced once or twice. 3/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: One episode features Mork nearly dying.  In other episodes, he suffers from some emotional intensity. 3/5
  • Other: Mork makes occasional disparaging remarks about conservatives and religion. 4/5

Conclusion: This review is probably biased, but I really enjoyed revisiting one of my old favorites.  Now, I can't wait to watch the remaining seasons! Look for reviews to come in the future! Seriously, if you've never seen this show...you're missing out!

Score: 4.5/5

05 March 2015

Movie Review: "Moms' Night Out"

Rated: PG for mild thematic elements and some action
Starring: Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, and Patricia Heaton
Released: May 9, 2014
Synopsis: Allyson (Sarah Drew, Grey's Anatomy) is beyond stressed out.  With a house full of rambunctious kids and a husband (Sean Astin, The Lord of the Rings) constantly traveling for business, she definitely needs a break.  Together with her best friends--fellow young mother Izzy (Andrea Logan White, Revelation Road) and preacher's wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton, Everybody Loves Raymond)--they plan a moms' night out, and leave their husbands to look after their kids.  What started out as a fun night quickly turns into disaster...for both the moms and the dads! Between an escaped pet bird, a search for a baby that inadvertently leads the moms to a tattoo parlor, the moms landing in prison, and a car chase involving the police, a British cabbie, and a motorcycle dude, hilarity is sure to ensue!
Also starring Alex Kendrick (Facing the Giants), Robert Amaya (Courageous), Sammi Hanratty (The Lost Medallion), and country music star Trace Adkins.

The Good: This is a hilarious madcap adventure in the vein of old-school family comedies such as Home Alone or Jingle All the Way, but without the problematic content.  Many moments were so insane, I literally laughed out loud.  Though this may be a Christian movie, it's unlike any other I've ever seen...and I've seen a lot of them! As for the talent, Sarah Drew is a definite standout as the lead.  Seriously, she plays the character so well, it's hard not to enjoy her presence onscreen.  The other talent does very well, also.  It was also great to see a ethnically diverse cast; one of the moms is married to a Hispanic man, and an older African-American couple ends up saving the day.  (To say how would give away the movie's plot.)  In typical family movie fashion, lessons are learned by the movie's end.  Not much to complain about, except...

The Bad: A post-credits scene makes an allusion to sex.  Also, some of the moms act in rather rude ways, like texting among each other when someone is talking.  (Yes, the person in question may have been droning on, but that's still rude!)  Not only that, but...the hilarity abruptly ends when the movie takes a serious--though not tragic--turn.

Content Concerns:

Sex: A brief allusion to sex at the end; it is mentioned that an unmarried woman has a biological child. A pregnancy test is shown. 4/5
Nudity: Slight cleavage; a shirtless guy. 4/5
Language: Kids are referred to as "hellions"; a woman is called a "tramp". 4/5
Violence: Various comedic pratfalls.  A guy gets injured, and heals himself by slamming his arm against a hard surface; a guy gets hit by a car and is knocked unconscious; an insane car chase; a guy sits on a pet bird, etc. 2/5
Drugs: A guy appears to be affected by drugs or alcohol; alcohol is referenced and seen once or twice. 4/5
Frightening/Intense Scenes: Some emotional intensity. 4/5
Other: The moms sometimes act in rude ways, despite being Christians. 4/5

Conclusion: What a crazy ride! This movie is unlike not only any Christian movie I've ever seen, but unlike any movie I've seen in a while! Then again, I've mostly been watching action/adventure or sci-fi/fantasy flicks instead of comedies.  Problems aside, this made for a fun flick, and would be great for a social outing...such as a Moms' Night Out!

Score: 4/5