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Movie Review | Hercules

Orphaned by opposing forces, Hercules is adopted by a couple who finds him on the side of the road. Not knowing his true heritage, they try to raise him to the best of their abilities. However once young Hercules finds out that those who raised him are not his true parents, he goes out to seek his true identity, and return to his family.

There are a lot of wonderful musical numbers that progress the story line in this animated film by Walt Disney. The animation is very detailed and in a few parts, it looks as though they changed animators for that character, but overall it’s very continuous.

I enjoyed this more than just a show for kids, I would say that it is the show for the masses and family friendly. Funny, with enough sass and subtle things that the adults with love while watching with the kids. They have a surprisingly good vocabulary! The subtle themes of jealousy, rivalry, love, betrayal, loyalty, perseverance, and hero-worship are all very intriguing and they keep you entertained if it is the first or (if you have small children) the hundredth time you’ve seen it.

Written by Ashley Shaw

Movie Review | All is Lost

All is Lost is a unique film which follows the journey of a lone man struggling to stay alive on his sinking sailboat. This film is very different from most other movies in that the main character, played by Robert Redford, is the only person in the entire movie. Throughout the film the man struggles to survive when encountering increasing obstacles.

This was a great movie that is entertaining despite there only being one character. Throughout the movie the viewer is able to follow the man, who remains unnamed, on his intense journey. Robert Redford does a realistic job of portraying the frustration and despair you can imagine someone in that situation would feel. There are definitely times when the story line is a bit slow so I would not recommend watching this when you are sleepy.

Written by Clarissa Heslop

Documentary Review | A Sh’mal World: Helping Mentally-ill Drug Addicts

This short documentary follows Sh’mal Ellenberg, a social worker who helps mentally ill-drug addicts. The documentary is a look into the life of Sh’mal and the people that he helps. The viewer is able to take a look into this everyday life and see how his work effects other parts of his life. Along the way he helps two unique individuals try to find stability and success in their difficult lives.

I enjoyed this documentary because it lets the viewer take a look into the life of a social worker and the hard work that they do.  It was also intriguing to see Sh’mal’s interactions with his older son and how his job effects their relationship. Everyone should watch this documentary to get a look into the life of people who are struggling with mental illness.

Written by Clarissa Heslop

Documentary Review | The Children of Chabannes

This documentary tells the inspiring story of a remote school in unoccupied France during World War II. The staff of the school in Chabannes broke the law in order to shelter almost four hundred Jewish children from the Nazis. It is a memoir told from the perspectives of the former students, teachers, and citizens of Chabannes and how they made it through those awful war-torn times. It exemplifies the courage of teachers willing to sacrifice everything to protect the children, as well as the children’s incredible resilience in the face of so much adversity. As they share their accounts, the documentary delivers a message of hope to all those enduring difficult times that it does get better and that there are good people who are willing to help. It also speaks of tolerance, as one of the interviewees said, the stories are being shared in hopes that something so terrible never happens again. The French children and teachers at the school welcomed the Jewish Germans with open arms, despite many of them having never seen either a Jew and their inherit distrust towards many Germans. Many of the children would never be reunited with their parents, but because of the efforts of the school’s staff in hiding and schooling the children, almost all were saved, and a great many went on to live successful, happy lives. Of the hundreds of children who attended the school, only four were murdered, although to everyone there, it was “four too many.” It’s a movie that reminds us that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

Written by Rebekah Hafen


Documentary Review | ER, The Propmasters

ER, the Propmasters is a behind the scenes documentary which explores the medical set of ER, a popular medical drama. The prop team explains the processes behind recreating everything from realistic surgeries to tragic accidents. It even goes as far as demonstrating the filming processes itself as it relates to interchanging props part way through a scene.

The documentary is riveting for anyone with a medical, and/or drama, interest. Though it is short in length, the information shared is fascinating. Its main defect is a lack of organization in its presentation and lack of detail. I would recommend it to anyone, but with a warning that it does not quench the potential curiosity as it could. Overall, I give it 3/5 stars.

Written by Spencer Bradford

Movie Review | Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)

Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) is an amazing representation of the true story surrounding the Christmas miracle that occurred in the dangerous trenches of World War 1. The film follows three characters from England, France, and Germany- respectively. Each one finds themselves pulled into the gruesome environment that was the front line. However, as Christmas comes around, a marvelous miracle occurs for all involved.

This movie brilliantly sets the background within a short amount of time allowing for the majority of the film to highlight the climax. Although it follows multiple characters from different cultures, each brings a unique and necessary aspect with them. I strongly recommend this film to all with 5/5 stars.

Written by Spencer Bradford

Movie Review | South Pacific

Set in the middle of the pacific theatre of World War Two, this small island in a U.S. Occupied South Sea island is home to singing and dancing men who dream of an island of Bali Hai where troves of treasure and women can be found. A spy mission from one Lieutenant Joseph Cable sends the men to the Island to get the help of a native French man. A nurse, Mrs. Forbush, in the navy from Little Rock who is dating the French man, and Lieutenant Cable enlists the help of Mrs. Forbush to get the aid of the French man and spy for the navy.

The lighting choices are very interesting, with most musical numbers cast in an orange or blue filter. The music is decent and the acting good. The story flows really well but it’s a little dry. Overall a good movie for musical lovers and history buffs, though of course none of it is accurate, though it is based off a short story from “Tales of the South Pacific”.

Recommended for young adults and older, some adult themes but great for classical musical lovers.

Written by Ashley Shaw

Movie Review | The Assassin

The story of The Assassin is one of betrothed love, revenge, kidnapping, and death. It tells the tale of a young woman, kidnapped at an early age, who is trained by a nun in the art of assassination. Unfortunately for her and those she knew while young, her next assassination mission is to kill her once betrothed love. She returns home to do so, and we find out that not only was she given to the nun as a child, she wants to make sure her betrothed lover knows that its her that’s hunting him.

This movie was really interesting for me. I haven’t been able to see a lot of foreign films. I find that foreign films offer a unique view into the culture of that certain film. I have liked most of the foreign films that I have seen, but with The Assassin, I found myself waiting for more to happen or for the plot to thicken quicker. There are a lot of scenes without talking which I feel don’t exactly add to the movie. The music is usually intense, without much action. This films requires your full attention, not only because it is in Chinese, but because of the story line as well. And its for these reasons that I gave this film a 3 out of 5.

Written by Kevin Hamilton

Documentary Review | The Real Jane Austen

The Real Jane Austen was a very fascinating look into the author Jane Austen’s life. This documentary is about Austen’s life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and takes place at her various homes including in Bath and Chawton. This documentary of the author provides a thorough account of not only her story but of the many difficulties for women during that time. I really enjoyed this documentary because I have always loved her books and it was interesting to see what led up to that and her joys and struggles while writing them. It was a well-developed movie that smoothly covered all of her important life events. This movie helped me to better understand where Jane Austen was coming from when writing her books. I would definitely recommend this movie, especially with those who enjoy Jane Austen’s writing. I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars because it is a fascinating documentary about one of the greatest authors to ever live.

Written by Hannah McBride

Movie Review | No Impact Man

Many people try to make small changes to minimize their effect on the environment, like using recycling, using public transportation, or reducing their waste. Colin Beavan decided to take this concept to a whole new level by totally destroying his whole family’s environmental impact. They started with small things, like not going out to eat and reducing overall waste, and eventually made it to the point where they didn’t use electricity or elevators. This concept was very interesting to me, as I like to do what I can to help the environment. Watching this movie made me see how much our society really relies on things that are destroying our planet. Overall, I would rate this movie a five out of five because I thought they did a very good job at encouraging the audience to do what they can to reduce their environmental impact.

Written by Sarah Fox

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Students: Audiobooks can be checked out for three weeks; DVDs can be checked out for seven days.

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