Spotlight: Facing the Giants

I am easily moved to tears.  Sit me in front of a new film and you can almost guarantee that the waterworks will come out at some point during the movie.  But if I watch a film more than once then the effect it has on my tear ducts will probably decrease.  However, one film that never fails to wet my eyes is ‘Facing the Giants’.

The plot summary can be found via Wiki so I won’t rehash that.  The Kendrick brothers did a commendable job in getting someone who is not a slight bit interested in American football (aka moi) in love with the film and all the characters.  The score and use of the music at key points in the film was very effective and invoked strong emotions of frustration, helplessness, anger, hope and pure joy.  I love stories about people turning around a defeated situation and triumphing against all odds.  Above all else, this inspirational story was one of faith; faith in a God that is true to His Word – when you honour Him, He will lift you up.

“What’s impossible with God?”


– Facing the Giants

♥ Ames

set-apart femininity

This book has changed my life.  Like, literally.  I would love to do a closer analysis of it but right now, I don’t think I could do it justice.

This is the real deal.  There’s no gloss, no fluff, no wishy-washy Christianity.  The author, Leslie pushes past the ‘shallow, self-focused, pleasure-seeking femininity’ that is common in today’s society (even in Christian circles) and sounds the call ‘for the heroic femininity that world-changing women of history understood’.

This is not for the faint hearted.  Read it only if you are ready to trade in the mundane, everyday, ordinary life for one that is ‘radically abandoned, poured-out, servant-hearted’…

Let us live looking up, looking on, standing true by the grace of Him who has called us.

– Amy Carmichael (1867-1961)

♥ Ames

#28. to #31. ‘Summer Flicks’

In an attempt to clear the slate of this blog space in anticipation of many new and other exciting things to write about, I give you a quick rundown of the movies viewed this summer (this is in relation to goal 28 from my 101 in 1001 list).  I can’t remember the exact dates when I watched them so….

#28. The Green Hornet (2011)

Occasion: taking cousins and Fi for their belated Christmas pressie movie shout :)

Rating: 3/10

Thoughts: I guess after a string of good movies, there had to be a dud somewhere along the line… I found the main character obnoxious and frankly awful.  He treated everyone so horribly and swore his head off so often that I wanted to cover the ears of my teenage cousins!  Even in light of his troubled childhood, I couldn’t muster any sympathy for the supposed hero.  That said,  Jay Chou wasn’t as bad as I thought he was going to be… his English was still a bit incomprehensible at times but he, along with the cool gadgets, were the only things in the movie that kept me from walking out.






#29. Persuasion (2007)

Occasion: Girls Night In at Miss Sunshine’s :)

Rating: 8/10

Thoughts: I do love the classics.  I hadn’t read Jane Austen’s Persuasion but there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to meet some of the awesome girls I knew Miss Sunshine would be bringing together :).  The movie itself moved at a good pace and the mix of loveable and detestable characters made for good entertainment indeed.  It followed the standard Jane Austen formula with the poor but intelligent heroine with the slightly aloof love interest… we were all amused by the array of miscommunications that happened throughout the course of the film and I have to say that I found the running commentary that everyone participated in whilst watching the film as enjoyable as the film itself.  This will not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you can appreciate the English countryside and the beauty of English literature then it is definitely one to watch in the company of like-minded friends :).





#30. Morning Glory (2010)

Occasion: In-flight entertainment on the way to WA :)

Rating: 8/10

Thoughts: I’ve been meaning to watch this ever since it got released so imagine my excitement when I found out that this was going to be the film for our flight hehehe.  Rachel McAdams is such a flawless actress and beautiful as ever in the role of Becky Fuller, the career driven new producer.  With an all-star cause it wasn’t hard for this film to do well… I loved how the wall that Harrison Ford’s character had built up around his heart is slowly taken down by Becky’s persistence, upbeat, positive and contagious attitude.  I loved the soundtrack of this movie as well, particularly the two songs that kicked in when Becky starts running back to the studio towards the end… I guess a feel-good romantic comedy that I probably won’t watch again any time soon, but wouldn’t mind staying a few moments there if it was shown on TV on a weeknight lols.






#31. The Social Network (2010)

Occasion: In-flight entertainment on trip back to Melb :P

Rating: 4/10

Thoughts: Honestly, I didn’t really like this one.  I generally like to watch movies based on true events but this one was kinda tragic… Not much I want or need to say except that I wish I had watched ‘Life as we know it’ first so that I could have finished it all the way through before arriving back at Melb…


*Disclaimer: All ratings are purely based on my own personal opinions.

♥ Ames

#27. Unstoppable (2010)

Date watched: 6th January 2011 in cinemas with the parentals :)

Rating: 8/10

Thoughts: Dad had been keen to watch it since seeing the trailer and Mum is always interested in stories based on true events and I just wanted to escape the heat soooo… Unstoppable happened :D.  It was the first day it was released in cinemas so Hoyts assigned us to their special Xtremescreen cinema which of course had a massive screen and black, luxurious, comfy leather chairs :D.  With Kettle Chips, Asian beef jerky and GrainWaves, we were all set for our premiere movie experience :D.  

Inspired by Ohio’s unmanned train incident in 2001, the film opens up by giving us some background to the main characters played by Chris Pine and Denzel Washington. Now, I’ve watched enough films with Denzel Washington to know that he has a good track record when it comes to choosing good scripts and movies to be involved in and this was no exception.  The director does really well in drawing out the suspence-filled story… Chris Pine’s character was in an estranged situation with his wife and kid, but when she realised that she might actually lose him, his wife forgets all her past grievances to root for his survival.  I guess I came away realising the fragility of life and how silly it is to let misunderstandings or resentment rule our lives… life is so precious and we should not take our loved ones for granted.  I’m glad I didn’t have a train rushing towards my town for me to realise this.  Glad I watched it but not something I’d go out of my way to watch again I guess.

*Disclaimer: All ratings are purely based on my own personal opinions.


#26. Tangled (2010)

I will definitely not be posting as often as I have been in the past two weeks (23 posts in 11 days!), but I know time will just run away from me once the summer subject starts, so…

Date watched: 6th January 2011 in cinemas (3D) with Miss Sunshine :)

Rating: 10/10 !

Thoughts: I’ve always loved Disney, so it wasn’t a hard decision to make when Miss Sunshine suggested to watch this movie :).  We chatted through the previews but the moment the film started, we were in awe of the beauty of the scenery as the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale unfolded.  Disney has outdone itself again :). 

The only thing I remembered from the story was the witch’s chant, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,” so it was good to hear how the princess actually came to have extra extra extra long hair :).  I was surprised how many songs there were in the movie, it was more like a musical and the casting of Mandy Moore as the voice of Rapunzel was right on the mark.  Her somewhat breathy vocals captured the innocence of the naive princess who’d never left her tower.  The four-legged characters, Pascal and Maximus added just the right amount of humour and helped bring the two leads together.  Keep your eyes out for the amazing floating lanterns scene (breathtaking in 3D!) and the use of the frying pan hehehe! Definitely one to see in 3D! 

*Disclaimer: All ratings are purely based on my own personal opinions.

♥ April

#2. The Four Loves

Author: C.S. Lewis

Date began: 1st January 2011

Date finished: 5th January 2011

Synopsis: Millions of words have been written on the true nature of love, but few are as succinct as in this book.  This seminal inspirational work divides ‘love’ into four categories: Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity.  The first three come naturally, but without Charity, C.S. Lewis shows how all love can become distorted, bitter and even dangerous.

Thoughts:  I actually bought and read this book in early 2010 but never got around to reviewing it so I thought before putting my 2 cents to it, I should read it through again… and I’m glad I did.  C.S. Lewis really is a literary genius.  Perhaps I don’t read enough of the classic authors to make this statement, but I do think he writes very eloquently and there is always a quiet reasonable logic behind the observations he makes about the different natures of ‘love’.  As C.S. Lewis was an author who was a strong atheist before becoming a Christian in his later life, he does write from a Christian perspective and uses lots of examples from literature.  I did find that I had to exude a lot of concentration or read lines twice to grasp the meaning of his words but there was definitely worthwhile insight to be gained.  The most intriguing section, in my opinion, was his observations on the love of ‘Friendship’ (hence, it was also the section I coloured most with my green highlighter).  He observes that ‘Friendship is – the least natural of loves; the least instinctive, organic, biological, gregarious and necessary’.  ‘It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival’… just one of the many amazing insights I got from the book.  I personally felt that his descriptions and analysis of the other aspects of love were also quite accurate and would encourage everyone to read it either for personal development or just for the admiration of such well-thought out proses (though I think you’d need a fairly good grasp of the English language and more than a handful of patience to persevere to the end- was quite a brain workout for someone who hadn’t read anything that intellectually stimulating since exams).

Favourite Quotes:

“Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship.  Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest.” – pg 73

“The mark of perfect Friendship is not that help will be given when the pinch comes (of course it will) but that, having been given, it makes no difference at all.” – pg 84

Last review can be found here.

♥ April

#26. Despicable Me (2010)





Date watched: 4th January 2011 on DVD

Rating: 10/10!

Thoughts: I’ve been wanting to watch this even before it was released in cinemas :).  The humour of the  ‘It’s so fluffy’ line was kind of a let down since I’d watched it over and over in ads before watching the film all the way through.   However, having said that, Agnes’ overall cuteness won me over with her Unicorn song and ‘Goodbye, recorded message’ hehehe.  I thought the whole concept was quite endearing and glimpses into Dr. Gru’s childhood helped the audience understand how he came to be the villian who wanted to steal the moon.  I personally thought that it had the perfect balance of child-like fun and witty storyline.  And the minions!!  They were awesome :D.  I loved their gibberish language… you could sometimes here some French words and the occasional English one too…soooo cute!  I guess with an all-star cast including Steve Carrell, Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother’s Marshall), Russell Brand and Julie Andrews, Despicable Me was always going to be a success!  I’d watch it again….and again and again and again!  Definitely get the DVD and watch the behind-the-scenes clips (not to mention bonus short films!) because it amplifies the awesomeness of this movie even more :).

As a side note, I wanted my parents to watch it with me but after the first scene, they had lost interest (“What is this?  Some kid movie?”).  I hope I’m never too old to enjoy a good ol’animated feature film…

“Cure you, tiny toilet!”
*Disclaimer: All ratings are purely based on my own personal opinions.

love these guys ♥♥♥


♥ April

#25. Tron Legacy (2010)

Date watched: 2nd January 2011 with Dad (in 3D)

Rating: 6/10

Thoughts: As Joseph Kosinski’s feature film directorial debut, I thought Tron Legacy was alright.  It wasn’t vital to have watched the prequel (whose director, Steven Lisberger, returned in this film as producer) and it had a good balance of action and drama.  The story was quite simple: creations turning against their creator and a hero comes to save the day… I couldn’t help but make some slight (very slight) comparisons with the Christian story lols.  The main theme was how we may aim for perfection but ultimately, we should appreciate what is right in front of us because one day it might be gone.  On a superficial note, I liked how everything lit up when you walked into a room and it made me want to watch and feel the warmth of a sunrise :).  It was also good to take Dad to his first 3D film :).  There were some scenes that were 2D but the special effects made up for it…. I thought it was quite a smart concept overall but generally, I don’t watch films twice unless they are really, really awesome…so probably won’t again, but I think it would be worth watching on DVD maybe…?

*Disclaimer: All ratings are purely based on my own amateur opinions.

See earlier film reviews for #28 of 101 in 1001 list here.

♥ April