GIFTED Movie is a MUST SEE for the whole family!

The whole family will enjoy GIFTED, a movie about a special young girl Mary, played by the very talented Mckenna Grace. Her uncle Frank Adler (Chris Evans) wants her to have a normal life, unlike his sister whose life as a genius drove her to suicide, leaving the child prodigy for Frank to raise. This arrangement doesn’t suit the grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) who tries for custody creating the main conflict of the film.

The film itself is well-paced thanks to the excellent work of Director Marc Webb, who shot the film in record time and yet produced a well-crafted piece that engages all ages with a stellar cast who work well off each other. Octavia Spencer and Jenny Slate add their own special touch as supporting characters who are torn by their love for this little girl and what each thinks may be best for her given her unique abilities.

In a recent interview, Mckenna Grace was asked if she memorized the math equations. Her response: “Yes, I did. But, my mom and I, we turned it into a little song that I sang in my head. I still remember that tune to this day because it was so catchy, it had to be a catchy tune or else I would forget it.”

GIFTED is a feel-good movie that brings up very real emotions when opinions differ in a family on how a child should be raised, gifted or not. See the downloadable Teacher’s Guide for discussion questions on the movie.

Watch the trailer below:


Synopsis: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida.  Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.  Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend.  Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

Release: In Select Theatres April 7.

Facebook: GiftedMovie


florencefosterjenkinsSO TOTALLY thrilled to announce that FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS is in theaters August 12! I am so excited to see this movie. Love the historical element of this story and the excellent cast. Some of my faves!

First, I am heading over to Fandango to see if I can get some tickets online and see where it is playing  near me. Totally takes the stress out of standing in line! Love Fandango! (UPDATE: Put my zipcode into the Fandango search bar and I got immediate results. Looks like all the theaters near me are playing it! Sweet!)


Directed By:  Stephen Frears

Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda

Set in 1940s New York, Florence Foster Jenkins is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.

Join the social fun:




Not convinced yet? Watch the trailer!


WEEKLY GIVEAWAYS: 2 FREE Movie Tickets to The Met Opera: Live in HD Summer Series


Comment below to be entered in weekly drawings for 2 Tickets to one of the following Met Opera Summer Encore specials showing on screen in cinemas near you!

Let me know which date you are available & theater where you would attend. Click through link of the date or opera of interest below and find a theater near you. Let me know which opera & the theater that interests you in the comments below. I am giving away 2 tickets to each to 4 different recipients.


Puccini’s Tosca – Wednesday, June 22
Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore – Wednesday, June 29
Puccini’s La Bohème – Wednesday, July 13
Mozart’s Così fan tutte – Wednesday, July 20

Drawings will take place in the weekend before each show! Comment daily for additional entries.




Recently I received a DVD of the movie Awakened which is now available in stores and on Amazon for $9.99. It is a faith-based thriller which turns over the leaf of demonic oppression to create suspense and intrigue.

Personally, I don’t usually watch thrillers and don’t enjoy supernatural threats to life and limb,  not to mention the residual memories of them that haunt me in my sleep. I watched this one purely out of the desire to support Christian movies and producers who I hope are ultimately trying to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ with their craft and perhaps need an edge like this to break into the very short attention span of the current media consumer.

As for this particular movie, the plot is a bit slow — punctuated by the occasional sermon & visit to the pastor to remind the viewer who to turn to in times of trouble. Honestly, I started watching it in fast forward.  I think it needed just a bit more action throughout. I felt that the performance Rob Boltin (Jacob Harker) was the best of the actors. I wasn’t too impressed with his “wife” played by Gwendolyn Edwards but I am not sure her lines for the script were much to go on.

ABOUT Awakened:

Newspaper reporter Jacob Harker (Rob Boltin) loses his job, forcing he and his wife, Haley (Gwendolyn Edwards), to move into a small rental house owned by Webster Cain (Michael Monks). In the process of moving in, Jacob discovers a discarded audio recording of 60’s blues singer Carol James (Hannah Hughes). Captivated by the voice on the recording, Jacob conducts an investigation into Carol James’ life and death.  Through his pursuit, Jacob becomes haunted by an evil spirit. While the spirit seductively persuades Jacob, drawing him deeper and deeper into its own malicious plot, the spirit attacks and terrorizes Haley, creating both fear and distrust in the Harker’s home. Haley sees her husband turning into someone less recognizable each day.



MOVIE NEWS: Living Hope


Have you ever met someone who changed the course of his or her life completely to follow Jesus? In the movie, Living Hope, be prepared to be inspired by several individuals and families who gave it all and got so very much in return – not in money or fame but in the joy and peace of knowing they were serving the living God with their lives, serving the poor and needy, through the ministries of Living Hope in South Africa, where “poor” takes on a whole new meaning.

I had the great pleasure to go to South Africa recently on my way to Kenya for a Christian conference with the non-profit for whom I work. This movie truly shows the heart and soul of the people of Africa and I enjoyed the inspiring stories I saw here.


LIVING HOPE is the story of three extraordinary individuals who have devoted their lives to serving the poor in South Africa. It is a feature length documentary created by the filmmakers behind Journey to Everest, Apostles of Comedy, and Honoring a Father’s Dream: Sons of Lwala.  John Thomas, a pastor who is leading his church to serve the sick, hungry, and dying in the communities that surround them. Journey beside John through the neighborhoods where they work, meet the people their ministry has impacted, and hear from his heart why they chose to make a stand for the poor.  Joey Lankford, a businessman and father of four who moved his young family from the United States to Cape Town. Journey beside Joey as he equips men and women with job skills, and leads them out of the bondage of poverty.  Leonie Rustin, a single mom and nursing assistant, who turned from a life of crippling drug addiction to follow Christ. Journey beside Leonie as she attempts to help other in her community unshackle the chains of addiction and prostitution.

Learn more about how YOU can get involved in this amazing multi-faceted ministry.

Enjoy this Living Hope Trailer:


MOVIE NEWS: Chasing Grace


Recently, I had the opportunity to view a new Christian movie called Chasing Grace. Christian movies often get a bad rap because the filming quality, the acting quality, etc. (which is not the case in this film) but I do like to support them because I believe in the heart of the message and that is to glorify Jesus. Movies like Chasing Grace show us a bit about what happens when normal, God-fearing people deal with human emotions and human realities in the face of truly difficult circumstances. Every day we face temptations to walk away from God’s perfect will for our lives and there are very real consequences which this movie explores well.

Overall I felt that the movie moves at a pretty good pace and has some great actors and actresses in it. It also included a bit of a twist I didn’t see coming which is always a welcome surprise.

Read below a bit more about the movie and watch the trailer for yourself!

ABOUT: Chasing Grace


A tragic accident threatens to destroy a pastor’s family and sets into motion a complex betrayal between two brothers, while exposing secrets no one wants to face.

Pastor Jonathan Matheson lives in a world of black and white, yet finds a way to navigate the “grey in-between” to work to his advantage, while facing one of the most tragic moments of his life. Set in small-town America and woven inside a tale of redemption, “Chasing Grace” is a story of how one family takes on the burden of guilt in order to make sense of their loss. While pointing the finger of blame at his brother, Pastor Jonathan also chooses to hide from the truth while trying to escape his own personal demons. “Chasing Grace” is loosely based upon true events and provides a powerful story about the redeeming power of forgiveness.

Buy the DVD on AMAZON.

Learn more about the movie HERE.


Broadway Philadelphia’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Growing up with the movie Sound of Music makes the opportunity to see the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway version live down in Philadelphia next week all that much more special. I can never get enough of one of MY favorite things –  a story filled with classic lyrics, tantalizing romance and big picture tension that keeps the plot moving throughout.

Can you believe that EVERY time my husband says “So . . .”, I immediately think and occasionally say, “a needle pulling thread . . . “? And, if he pauses too long, I may even start at the beginning with “Doe, a deer, . . .” Love, love, love this timeless classic that has contributed to many phrases in our culture today not to mention how we view Julie Andrews and her incredible talent in so many ways.

somMy friend Jo-Lynne and I are headed down to enjoy the show on opening night March 15 at 7:30 pm. The show will run March 15-20 and right now you can get a family 4-pack for only $179 through the Kimmel Center Ticketing website with the code EDELWEISS.

To join the social fun, follow the Kimmel Center on Twitter @kimmelcenter and hashtag #BWYPHL for news on all upcoming shows.

To get a brief glimpse of this North American Tour, see the trailer below:


Movie News: #FINDING NOAH opens in theaters October 8 #FLYBY

noahAs a child, I heard the story of Noah’s Ark read from the Bible. As a teen, I studied dimensional facts of the ark in my high school Bible class. As a mom, I saw Noah’s ark made into nursery fabric, lamps, paintings, toys, you name it. But, did the real Noah’s ark exist and does it still exist today under centuries of ice and snow atop Mount Ararat where it landed according to the Biblical account? Is God going to let one of His great mysteries be revealed so that science can poke and prode?
I had the opportunity to preview the movie Finding Noah which releases in theaters for one night on October 8th. In this movie, researchers set out to answer this age old question. Throughout the movie, we are treated to historical references and believed sightings of the mammoth ark over the years as the journey of exploration of this recent group of men is documented all the way to the camp site where they dug deep to find the truth both in the ice and in themselves.
I watched and waited as they made their way up the treacherous mountain side getting closer and closer to the place believed to be the resting place of the ancient ark that saved the human race through the line of Noah. I watched as they drilled and took core samplings. And, I watched the end which warned future researchers:
 2014: All ark search permitting on Mt. Ararat DENIED – the Turkish Regime. 
 So what did they find? You will have to watch the movie yourself! Sorry, no spoilers here. Go see the movie and support their work.
For over 2,000 years, man has been searching for the final resting place of Noah‘s Ark.  Though there have been many attempts, few have been able to fully explore the one place specifically noted in the Bible: Mount Ararat.  Located in Eastern Turkey, Agri Dagh or “The Painful Mountain” is the tallest mountain in the region and lies in the very center of a centuries old, geo-politically unstable hot spot.  With constant threats of deadly rock slides, hidden crevasses, and glacial ice falls, the Kurdish Rebel held mountain poses great risk to any explorer, let alone those performing a thorough scientific investigation.
Join director/producer Brent Baum and the FINDING NOAH film crew as they follow an expedition of intrepid explorers on a perilous trek up to Mt. Ararat’s desolate summit.  There, using state of the art technology and real-time satellite imagery, this team of archeologists, scientists and professional mountaineers will begin a grid work of exploration unlike any before, hoping to finally resolve the age-old question:  did Noah and his Ark actually exist?
Shot in never-before filmed locations in the harshest of conditions, this unprecedented feature-length documentary shows just how far men are willing to go to discover the truth.  Narrated by Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise, FINDING NOAH is more than a quest for answers, it is a testament of the human spirit, where belief and the need for exploration transcend risk and limitation.


MOVIE NEWS: 90 Minutes in Heaven #HOPELIVES #FLYBY

piper90 Minutes in Heaven may simply look like a really cool, action-packed inspirational movie but it is so much more  . . . WAY more.

It is the true story of a man named Don Piper who died in a terrible car crash and saw and heard the most incredible things as he entered heaven. Then, leaving that tremendous eternal experience behind, he was pulled back to earth to recover from a broken body and then to share his seemingly fantastic story with the world. That story became a best seller on the exclusive New York Times bestseller list and now we get to see it come alive on film this coming weekend.

I read the book and now I am excited to see the movie! A movie edition of the book has also been released recently and has some great pictures of Don Piper as he lived this very real experience.

What an incredible testimony to the fact that God is REAL, Heaven is REAL and there is are angels looking out for us each and every day.

About the movie presented by Giving Films:
Releases in theaters everywhere September 11, 2015
Rating: PG-13 (for intense accident and injury images)
Starring Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Kate Bosworth (Remember The Titans, Blue Crush) Michael W. Smith, Fred Thompson, Dwight Yoakam, and Jason Kennedy, 90 Minutes In Heaven is based on the inspiring New York Times best-selling book that has sold 7 million copies.
Enjoy a brief look below:


About the book:
Paperback; 245 pages
Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car.  Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes.  Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before.  Don was in Heaven.  
When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle!  Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened.  Heaven‘s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil.  With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life.  The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life – and death – will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it. 

CLOSED: GIVEAWAY: American Sniper Blu-Ray & DVD

American Sniper 3D Box Art

Leave a comment below to enter to win an American Sniper Blu-Ray & DVD set by June 1st. I was given three copies – one to giveaway here, one to review and one to give to a veteran as a gift.

This Blu-Ray & DVD set hits stores May 19th – just before Memorial Day or buy a copy online at Warner Bros. is donating a dollar from the sale of each DVD, up to $1 million, to the Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission is to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP’s life-saving programs and services, please visit



From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.

Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield, and as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.

Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

Movie Trailer: