So in the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen three fantastic films that I would love to recommend to you, my family and friends. I’m not a great reviewer, but I will do my best to help you get a perspective of each film: Veronica Mars, The Lego Movie, and Ragamuffin.
If you want to laugh, be pulled into the drama, and perch on the edge of your seat, go see:
The Veronica Mars Movie
Veronica Mars was a TV series that ran from 2004-2007. It was about a girl in high school who had a Private Investigator for a dad– and got involved in the biz as well. There were many mysteries to solve in her California Silicon Valley hometown– and they ran the gamut from lost dog to murdered best friend and more. It felt like a blend of film noir and teen soap drama– and it was real good.
About a year ago, the producers launched a Kickstarter fundraiser and raised over THREE MILLION DOLLARS for the production of this movie. I chipped in one dollar and got to hear all the updates about the movie while it was being made. I do know that fans of the TV show will enjoy this movie the most, but the movie itself tells a great stand alone story.
After being away from her hometown for 10 years, staying away from all the drama and politics, Veronica returns to help a former boyfriend prove he didn’t murder his pop star girlfriend, a former classmate of Veronica. While there she encounters friends and enemies, goes to her high school reunion (despite her protests) and has to wrestle with the dilemma: Who am I? Am I the still the private eye I was in high school or am I now a female lawyer with my past behind me? I won’t give you the answer– but the journey is a real thrill. I was on the edge of my seat– when I wasn’t smiling at the celebrity cameos and fun dialogue. Catch this while you can– it’s a hoot.
If you want to have fun, enjoy creativity, and have your mind blown by the ending, go see:
The Lego Movie
So, I loved Legos while growing up. I mean I feel like almost every person at some point in their childhood partook (yes, it’s a word!) in the joy of Legos. But I really loved them– loved using my imagination and creating fantastic worlds, both with the Legos and in my mind. This is just like that. A movie with fantastical worlds and beautiful landscapes and captivating characters and leave-you-guessing plots. I seriously didn’t know what to do for the first ten minutes of the movie– I was just blown away at the details, the in-jokes, the creativity of this movie. And it was actually made with CGI– but it looks like it was stop-motion! Read more about how they made it here! Anyway, it sparked something in me and in my sister when we saw it the other day. It was wondrous.
A no-name Lego with no friends and basically no life gets caught up in a life-or-death adventure that involves government conspiracy, dimension jumping, and the end of the world as we know it. Oh, and Batman. Once more, questions of identity come to the forefront– Am I significant? What makes me special? Can I be creative? Who am I? Poor Emmett– the main character– has to face the truth of who he is and it’s utterly shocking. I’m serious. The ending of this movie will BLOW YOUR MINDSICLES! And it moves to themes of creation, free will, morality, and relationship with God and others. Blam! It’s just so good, And it’s really, really, really fun. I swear, I haven’t enjoyed a movie like that in ages. Go check it out– you’ll get lost in a world of silliness, adventures, and, of course, Legos.
If you want to be encouraged, learn, and have tears running down your face half the time, go see:
Rich Mullins has been a role model to me. I’ve listened to his music, read his writings and books about him, researched his life and even visited his grave– but I never got to know him. And after this movie, I know more about him than I ever wished to know. This movie is honest, brutal, raw, flawed– but beautiful and compelling. This is not just a movie about Rich Mullins– it’s a movie about the brokenness of humans and the immense love of God for His children.
Rich Mullins was a musician who was famous in Christian Contemporary Music in the 80s and 90s. Some of his famous songs included “Awesome God” and “Step by Step” and “Sing Your Praise to the Lord”– and some of his less famous but utterly amazing songs included “Verge of a Miracle” and “Calling Out Your Name” and “Hard to Get.” Rich was a John the Baptist figure, calling out the hypocrisy of the Christian subculture and living a life of humility, service and encouragement to his fans, friends and everyone he met.
This movie tells Rich’s story, but it’s less about the Rich that sang on stages across the world– and more about the Rich (or Wayne, his real name) that sat in hotel rooms, stood outside churches, and struggled his whole life. Alcoholism. Smoking. Suicidal feelings. All those buzzwords, in addition to pride, self-righteousness, loneliness, and his relationship with his father. That last part really is the skeleton of the movie– the pain that Rich lived with in never having heard his father tell him he loved him. This, in addition to his insecure outbursts and being abandoned by his girlfriend and his ongoing pain, causes you to break out in sobs in random spurts throughout the movie. I know I did. This movie will make you cry because Rich struggled with all the junk we did– and though he’d sometimes talk about them in his concerts or write a song about them, for the most part, he hid this part of his life away from his fans and sometimes his friends. The movie shows Rich in all his flaws– and we love him all the more for it.
The movie itself is somewhat flawed– the acting is a little over the top at times and the visuals are very interesting but seem a little forced at times. The director, David Leo Schultz, admits that the movie is flawed– which isn’t great publicity– but he reminds us that sometimes we love a person, not despite all their flaws but WITH all their flaws included. After all, that is Rich’s story– the story of being a broken human being trying to understand God’s love for him. And isn’t that our story as well? I know it’s mine. This movie will be out in DVD at Walmart on May 6th– it’s currently touring the country, but the best way to see it will be on DVD. So pick it up, and be sure to have a box of Kleenex on hand, because you will cry. And it’s okay. After all, as Rich once said that God is like the kid who beats you up and then gives you a ride home on his tricycle. That’s kind of how the movie is as well– it beats you up and carries you home to the Father’s love. So all you ragamuffins, go see this movie.