Wednesday, April 18, 2018

150 movies King David might watch


Great mind think alike, and this month those two great minds were a missionary in Brazil and an evangelist in California.

The evangelist, Ray Comfort, passed along a story, first told by Jeremy Archer, about a man who invited all sort of folks into his house to meet his family. Often the visitors would talk crudely and angrily with each other, teaching his children words he'd rather they not know. But they could also get his whole family laughing so the man decided to focus on the good they did, rather than the bad.

Over time the man could see the visitors were having an impact on his family, and it wasn't a good one. He found that his own children were now using crude language and making coarse jokes. What was worse, the visitors were behaving outrageously, even taking their clothes off right there in front of his family!

That's hard to believe, isn't it? Why didn't the man just kick them out? Why didn't he protect his family from their influence? Well, it turns out this man had some sense, and as the visitors started getting naked the man acted. Together, with his family, the man finally "turned off the television."

That same month, and it might have been the same week, the missionary, Rev. Ken Wieske expressed the same concern another way, titling a Facebook post "David vows to get rid of his TV." Underneath he included the text of Psalm 101 which reads (in part):
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
The pastor's point was clear: most of what's on TV is worthless and if King David were here on earth today, he might well pitch his TV right out of the palace. Of course, it isn't quite as easy as that. Today we also have computers, and smartphones, so getting rid of the TV isn't going to restrict out access to fluff and filth that's so readily available.

So let's take this a step further. Yes, much of what's on TV (and on YouTube, Facebook, etc.) is pretty much worthless. But some of it isn't. Some of it is quite good. Excellent even! So if we were to make the same promise King David makes in Psalm 101, to put away all that is worthless, what sorts of film and videos might he still watch?

I've got some suggestions, and I've listed them under 10 categories, with 15 movie recommendations in each category. My hope is that this list can help families find something worthwhile to watch. With over 150 suggestions I'm also hoping there will be something for everyone.

Title, year, and length, are included, and, if there's a review available on ReformedPerspective.ca, or my movie review blog, ReelConservative.com, then I've indicated that by making the title all caps and clickable.

I've also included an entertainment rating. This is out of 10, and in my books a 7 is a solid mark, while 8 is something special, and 6 is still watchable, but that indicates there is some notable flaw (maybe corny writing, or a bad bit of acting, that sort of thing). The only reason I've included a few films that rate as low as 6 is because they have educational value.

One other note: none of these take God's name in vain. That's important. While a degree of violence and even sexual content of some sort (kissing, hugging) can be appropriate on screen, the way God's name is abused on film never is.

ANIMATED VIDEOS
This mix of shorter videos (the longer ones are made up of several parts) can be ideal when mom wants to take a nap, but doesn't want the kids sitting in front of the TV forever

Anne of Green Gables, Vol. 1-3 – 2003, 150 minutes – 7/10
Adventures in Odyssey: The Knight Travelers – 1991, 27 minutes – 7/10
THE GRUFFALO  – 2009, 27 minutes – 8/10
Horton Hears a Who – 1970, 30 minutes – 7/10
JUNGLE BEAT – 65 minutes – 10/10
Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space – 1999, 30 minutes – 7/10
Lord of the Beans – 2005, 52 minutes – 7/10
Peppa Pig: The Balloon Ride – 2014, 60 minutes – 7/10
The Pond
   – THERE'S SOMETHING FUNNY IN THE WATER – 2005, 27 minutes – 8/10
   – The Little Things – 30 minutes – 7/10
   – The Rise and Fall of Tony the Frog – 30 minutes – 7/10
   – Alligator Hunter – 30 minutes – 7/10
   – Big Mouth Bass – 32 minutes – 7/10
Wallace and Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures – 1989-1995, 85 minutes –  7/10
THE WAY THINGS WORK – 2001, 300+ minutes – 8/10

ANIMATED FILMS
Looking for something good for a family "dinner and a movie" night?

THE BOXCAR CHILDREN – 2013, 81 minutes – 7/10
Chicken Run – 2000, 84 minutes – 8/10
Curious George – 2006, 88 minutes – 8/10
Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle – 2015, 81 minutes – 7/10
Finding Nemo – 2003, 100 minutes – 8/10
Fox and the Hound – 1981, 83 minutes – 8/10
LOST AND FOUND – 2013, 24 minutes – 8/10
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 1977, 74 minutes – 8/10
Meet the Robinsons – 2007, 95 minutes – 7/10
Monsters Inc. – 2001, 93 minutes – 9/10
THE PEANUTS MOVIE – 2015, 88 minutes – 8/10
SGT. STUBBY – 2018, 84 minutes – 8/10
Tangled – 2010, 100 minutes – 9/10
Up – 2009, 96 minutes – 9/10
Wall-E – 2008, 98 minutes – 9/10
WINNIE THE POOH – 2011, 63 miinutes – 8/10

BASED ON A BOOK
It's always hard to live up to the book, but some of these get awfully close!

The Adventures of Robin Hood - 1938, 101 minutes – 8/10
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – 1939, 82 minutes – 7/10
Animal Farm – 1954, 72 minutes – 7/10
THE GIVER – 2014, 97 minutes – 8/10
Ivanhoe – 1952, 107 minutes – 7/10
THE HOBBIT – 1977, 77 minutes – 7/10
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – 1979, 95 minutes – 7/10
Little Women – 1949, 121 minutes – 8/10
Little Women – 1994, 118 minutes – 9/10
THE LORD OF THE RINGS – 1978, 133 minutes – 7/10
POLLYANNA – 2003, 99 minutes – 8/10
The Prince and the Pauper – 1937, 118 minutes – 8/10
Pride and Prejudice – 2004, 104 minutes – 8/10
Sarah Plain and Tall – 1990, 98 minutes – 8/10
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON – 1960, 126 minutes – 8/10

BLACK AND WHITE CLASSICS
These have all stood the test of time and are still being watched again and again.

12 Angry Men – 1957, 96 minutes – 8/10
THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR – 1961, 96 minutes – 7/10
Adam's Rib – 1949, 101 minutes –  8/10
CASABLANCA – 1943, 103 minutes – 10/10 
Citizen Kane – 1941, 119 minutes – 7/10
High Noon – 1952, 85 minutes – 9/10
I Remember Mama – 1948, 134 minutes – 7/10
It Should Happen to You – 1954, 87 minutes – 7/10
The Man in the White Suit – 1951, 85 minutes – 7/10
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE – 1962, 123 minutes – 8/10
Meet John Doe – 1941, 122 minutes – 7/10
Mr. Deed goes to Town – 1936, 115 minutes – 7/10
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – 1939, 129 minutes – 8/10
THE SEA HAWK – 1940, 127 minutes – 8/10
The Shop Around the Corner – 1949, 99 minutes – 9/10

BIOGRAPHICAL
Some of these are great, others only okay, but all are education.

Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace – 1999, 90 minutes – 7/10
The Case for Christ – 2017, 113 minutes – 7/10
End of the Spear – 2006, 108 minutes – 7/10
Final Solution – 2001, 102 minutes – 7/10
God's Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale – 1988, 93 minutes – 6/10
Hellen Keller – 2005, 30 minutes – 6/10
John Hus – 1985, 55 minutes – 5/10
Martin Luther – 1953, 105 minutes – 7/10
The Miracle Worker – 1962, 106 minutes – 9/10
THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS – 1957, 135 minutes – 7/10
Torchlighters:
   – THE CORRIE TEN BOOM STORY – 2013, 34 minutes – 7/10
   – THE JIM ELLIOT STORY – 2005, 30 minutes – 6/10
   – THE MARTIN LUTHER STORY – 2106, 34 minutes – 7/10
   – THE RICHARD WUMBRAND STORY – 2008, 30 minutes – 6/10
   – THE WILLIAM TYNDALE STORY – 2005, 32 minutes – 6/10
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS – 1996, 27 minutes – 7/10

CHILDREN
This is fare for younger children – not a lot of tension here. And that means, while the kids will probably like it, mom and dad might not.

The Adventures of Milo and Otis – 1989, 76 minutes – 7/10
Buddy Davis' Amazing Adventures:
   – ALASKA – 2015, 25 minutes – 6/10
   – EXTREME CAVING – 2013, 58 minutes – 7/10
   – I DIG DINOSAURS – 2011 – 26 minutes – 7/10
   – SWAMP MAN – 2012, 45 minutes – 7/10
Tintin: Destination Moon – 1992, 83 minutes – 7/10
INCREDIBLE CREATURES THAT DEFY EVOLUTION I – 2006, 47 minutes – 8/10
A JURASSIC ARK MYSTERY – 2001, 45 minutes – 7/10
Lassie Come Home – 1943, 90 minutes – 8/10
A LEGO BRICKUMENTARY – 2015, 93 minutes – 7/10
MISTY – 1961, 91 minutes – 7/10
THE NEWTONS' WORKSHOP – 1997, 226 minutes – 7/10
The Runner from Ravenshead - 2010, 81 minutes – 7/10
The Wild Brothers
   – WELCOME TO OUR WORLD – 2015, 28 minutes – 7/10
   – PARADISE LOST – 2015, 28 minutes – 7/10

ON CREATION, EVOLUTION AND DESIGN

ALIEN INTRUSION – 2018, 109 minutes – 8/10
DARWIN: THE VOYAGE THAT SHOOK THE WORLD – 2009, 55 minutes – 8/10
EVOLUTION'S ACHILLES' HEELS – 2014, 96 minutes – 9/10
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed – 2008, 95 minutes – 8/10
FLIGHT: THE GENIUS OF BIRDS – 2013, 63 minutes – 9/10
GENESIS: PARADISE LOST – 2018, 109 minutes – 8/10
Icons of Evolution – 2002, 52 minutes - 7/10
INCREDIBLE CREATURES THAT DEFINE DESIGN – 2011, 62 minutes – 7/10
IS GENESIS HISTORY? – 2017, 100 minutes – 8/10
LIVING WATERS – 2015, 69 minutes – 8/10
Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies – 2011, 64 minutes – 8/10
MOUNT ST. HELENS: MODERN EVIDENCE FOR A WORLD WIDE FLOOD – 2012, 36 minutes – 7/10
NOAH'S ARK: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX – 2008, 35 minutes – 8/10
THE PRIVILEGED PLANET – 2005, 60 minutes – 8/10
REVOLUTIONARY – 2016, 60 minutes – 7/10

DOCUMENTARIES
The very best documentaries pack books worth of knowledge into a short hour or two. And these are just that sort.

Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson – 2009, 93 minutes – 9/10
Cool It: Are We Saving the World or Just Burning Money? – 2010, 88 minutes – 8/10
DEMOGRAPHIC WINTER – 2008, 56 minutes – 7/10
THE FREE SPEECH APOCALYPSE – 2015, 89 minutes – 8/10
HOW TO ANSWER A FOOL – 2013, 85 minutes – 8/10
EXPEDITION BIBLE: JERICHO UNEARTHED – 2010, 34 minutes – 8/10
INDOCTRINATION – 2011, 102 minutes – 8/10
LOGIC ON FIRE – 2015, 102 minutes – 7/10
THE NARNIA CODE – 2009, 59 minutes – 8/10
NOTES FROM THE TILT-A-WHIRL – 2011, 51 minutes – 10/10
THE RECKONING – 2006, 96 minutes – 7/10
RESCUED: THE HEART OF ADOPTION – 2012, 62 minutes – 7/10
UNPLANNED – 2011, 62 minutes – 7/10
WAITING FOR SUPERMAN – 2010, 111 minutes – 8/10
WAIT TILL IT'S FREE – 2014, 82 minutes – 9/10

FAMILY FUN
These are films that mom and dad can enjoy too, but that does mean that some of them have action or drama that may be too intense for younger children. So be sure to research age-appropriateness.

THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR - 1961, 96 minutes – 7/10
BEYOND THE MASK – 2015, 103 minutes – 8/10
BORN FREE - 1966, 95 minutes – 8/10
CITY OF EMBER – 2008, 95 minutes – 7/10                                               
CONDORMAN – 1981, 90 minutes – 7/10
The Court Jester – 1956, 101 minutes – 8/10
Greyfriars Bobby – 1961, 87 minutes – 9/10
Hangman's Curse – 2003, 106 minutes – 8/10
Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates – 1962, 90  minutes – 7/10
Love's Long Journey – 2005, 88 minutes – 7/10
The Last Chance Detectives – 1994, 47 minutes – 7/10
Old Yeller – 1957, 84 minutes – 9/10
Seasons of the Heart – 2003, 99 minutes – 8/10
Shark Boy and Lava Girl 3D – 2005, 93 minutes – 7/10
STORM: LUTHER'S FORBIDDEN LETTER – 2017, 105 minutes – 7/10
THE THREE INVESTIGATORS IN THE SECRET OF SKELETON ISLAND – 2007, 91 minutes – 7/10
Time Changer – 2002, 99 minutes – 7/10

FOR MOM AND DAD
Films to kick back with your better half...and sometimes the older kids too.

ALLEGED – 2011, 93 minutes – 8/10
Anastasia – 1956, 105 minutes – 7/10
The Caine Mutiny - 1954, 124 minutes – 7/10
COURAGEOUS – 2011, 129 minutes – 7/10
THE HOBBIT TRILOGY
   – An Unexpected Journey – 2012, 169 minutes – 8/10
   – The Desolation of Smaug – 2013, 161 minutes – 8/10
   – The Battle of the Five Armies – 144 minutes – 7/10
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – 2001-2003 – 10/10
LIKE DANDELION DUST – 2009, 104 minutes – 8/10
Rear Window – 1954, 112 minutes – 8/10
Roman Holiday – 1953, 118 minutes – 8/10
The Second Chance – 2006, 102 – 7/10
The Song – 2014, 116 minutes – 9/10
TO SAVE A LIFE – 2010, 120 minutes – 8/10
The Ultimate Gift – 2006, 114 minutes – 7/10
A Vow to Cherish – 1999, 84 minutes - 7/10

BONUS #1 - 5 SUPER SILENT FILMS
If you've never gotten into silent films, be sure to start with the comedies – there the overwrought acting just adds to the funny. And Buster Keaton is the best!

The General – 1927, 80 minutes – 8/10
The Gold Rush – 1925, 96 minutes – 7/10
Seven Chances – 1925, 56 minutes – 8/10
SHERLOCK JR. – 1924, 44 minutes – 8/10
THE CAMERAMAN - 1928, 76 minutes – 7/10

BONUS #2 - 10 ON WORLD WAR II

The very best World War II films were made during the war...or shortly after.

Bataan – 1943, 114 minutes – 7/10
Decision Before Dawn – 1951, 119 minutes – 7/10
Destination Tokyo – 1944, 135 minutes – 8/10
THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT – 1940, 120 minutes – 7/10
Objective Burma! – 1945, 142 minutes – 7/10
Sahara – 1943, 98 minutes – 7/10
THE SILVER FLEET – 1943, 88 minutes – 7/10
They Were Expendable – 1945, 135 minutes – 7/10
To Be Or Not To Be – 1942, 99 minutes – 8/10
Twelve O'clock High – 1949 – 8/10

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