Movie reviews

The Blind Side

What is it about (according to Amazon): The Blind Side takes the true story of a young man who went from abandonment to success as a pro-football player and treats it with respect. The movie doesn't oversell what is, on the face of it, already compelling. It's almost impossible to describe the plot without sounding painfully inspirational: Michael Oher, a hulking but gentle African-American teen in Tennessee, gets taken in by a well-to-do white family; the mother, Leigh Anne Touhy, pushes and mothers the boy, who eventually wins a football scholarship to the University of Mississippi.

Good, Bad, Indifferent: It was certainly touching, had some very funny parts  (particularly the young son who was very amusing) and some very sad moments that brought tears (meeting Michael's real mother).  After so many Hollywood movies, I was expecting something bad to happen - but no, it doesn't contain swearing, violence, sex etc.. which is quite refreshing.

The Tuohys' strong Christian faith is evidenced mainly by their actions, although it filters through some of the dialogue as the characters struggle over what the appropriate Christian response should be to their situation. I can imagine that some Christians would have liked a stronger theme, and a more explicit Christian message, however I think to capture a wider audience, the Christian message has been diluted to some extent to encourage more to see the film i.e. non believers.  It is interesting  that it won the Oscar considering it is unlike many other modern movies.

My 22 year old son watched it with me and really enjoyed it, finding it both inspirational and encouraging. 

Sandra Bullock (who I don't mind) comes across as quite matter-a-fact which she does very well, perhaps a little too much, but maybe that is what the real Leigh Anne Touhy was like.

My one complaint would be the clothing worn by Leigh Anne Touhy - rather tight and revealing in parts.

* * *

Alice in Wonderland

What is it about (according to Amazon): Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland plays more like The Wizard of Oz than a Lewis Carroll adaptation. On the day of her engagement party, the 19-year-old Alice is lead by a white-gloved rabbit to an alternate reality that looks strangely familiar--she's been dreaming about it since she was 6 years old.  Drawing from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Burton creates a candy-colored (have to disagree with this) action-adventure tale with a feminist twist. If it drags towards the end, his 3-D extravaganza still offers a trippy good time with a poignant aftertaste.

Good, Bad, Indifferent: To sum it up in a couple of words - it was dark and gloomy.  None of the characters smiled, the story was miserable and only a couple of characters were likeable (the Cheshire Cat and the little mouse) and I can't remember any great battles in the books.  If you expect to see a film based on the book don't watch this version of Alice in Wonderland as Tim Burton has ruined a beautiful and imaginative story.  Plus the clothes that Alice wears are horrible  (see picture) and as far as I am concerned this is not suitable for children even though it is rated PG (parental guidance). It almost has a Harry Potter (magical) feel to it.

Some trivia: My son went to school with Mia Wasikowska, the actor who plays Alice.


  1. Jo, my husband, daughter and I went to see The Blind Side at the cinema. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and was a refreshing movie to see. (We hardly see any movies, but had wanted to see this one in particular).

    Yes it does have a Christian theme, but I might add, it is a secular movie. I found this quote off a Christian movie review sight,

    "However, it is not a "Christian" film, but a universal story about a godly family who lives up to their convictions"...

    The actual family had a degree of Christian convictions (as many American families claim to do), so that was portrayed in this film.

    I loved Sandra Bullock. She is a great actress, and her character in this film was enjoyable. Tight clothes etc, yes, lol. But by normal Hollywood standards, at least she was covered up. ;)

    I was pleased there was no swearing of any kind in the movie too...

  2. Could someone explain why this is PG-13 (don't know the Aussie rating) when there are worse movies rated PG? We thought maybe it was the drug paraphernalia -- it's amazing what the MPAA considers dangerous to children (or maybe what the don't consider dangerous)! I'm not surprised however. Though I loved Sandra Bullock's portrayal of Leigh Anne it is sad to think she turned the role down 3 times because she would have to portray a Christian.

  3. Wow, a hollywood movie with a bigtime actor in it that sounds almost decent! Wonders will never cease. Interesting to read your reviews, Jo :)

  4. I agree with you on both movies though I haven't seen them, lol!
    My dh has seen the first and I will see it when it comes out on dvd. The second should not have even been called Alice in Wonderland! very deceiving! we won't be watching it!

  5. Amanda - yes The Blind Side is a secular movie but unlike most Hollywood movies it does carry a Christian message. You might find this quote interesting:

    Actress Sandra Bullock, who plays the lead role, said she was initially reluctant to work with Leigh Anne since she'd has had less than positive experiences with Christians." One of my biggest questions was how people use their faith and their religion as a banner, and then they don’t do the right thing, but they go, 'I’m a good Christian and I go to church and this is the way you should live your life,'" says Bullock. Her views quickly changed after meeting Leigh Anne Tuohy, Bullock's real-life counterpart. "I finally met someone who practices, but doesn’t preach."

  6. Joyfulmum - I was so disappointed in Alice and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Why do they ruin a perfectly good story - Tim Burton is known for this sort of thing so it isn't surprising.

  7. Thanks for the further info Jo. I didn't realise she knocked back the role a few times! I loved her character, and I am sure she was accurate to the real life person.

    Alice in Wonderland... didn't it much either... think I feel asleep at one point lol.

  8. I loved the Blind Side too, although I watched it in less than ideal circumstances on a plane to
    Tokyo. It was nice to see a wholesome secular film.

    I am perhaps a little less scathing than you about Alice though. To me it was the story of the Jabberwocky poem rather than of Alice. In fact, I think that if you didn't know the poem you would struggle to follow the story. What do you think?

  9. Jeanne - Hadn't thought of it along that line - but why were all the characters so sad, even at the end. That poor dog, I just wanted to take him and his family home (and give the rabbit a hug). A PG film should be more up-lifting - what age group do you think it was made for?

    Alice didn't slay the Jabberwock?

    Did you like the Mad Hatter - he was miserable too! Much preferred Johnny Depp in Chocolate Factory.

    Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!


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