I've been previewing movies that might work for the 30 Hour Famine lock-in. So here are my basic reviews (nothing in-depth, just surface thoughts...):
The Ultimate Gift: Very good. Made me cry at least 5 separate times. Was a beautiful story. I don't recommend the special features as they remind you that the movie has "a moral point" (as you might say). There are even 12-gift-kits you can buy to practice the 12 gifts for yourself. Avoid those features. But the movie was sweet and does have a good message.
Because of Winn-Dixie: Adorable. I really liked it. The way Opal finds friends, the way they learn to listen to one another, the way the story is told--all great. The growth of the preacher, the healing of telling the story about Opal's mom, his confession to Opal, etc...all good. Plus, the dog is extremely cute.
The Girl in the Cafe: So far, so good. I'm about halfway through as I write this. It's endearingly awkward--you know, older British man, no social skills, etc...girl with no knowledge of world economics getting a crash course at the G8 summit and becoming something of an activist to end hunger. It's not a "real movie"--as in, it's made to educate people about hunger and the Millennium Development Goals, not just to entertain. But it has been rather funny so far. (I'm a little distressed, though, by the age difference between the government man and the girl--he's at LEAST twice her age!)
(update: it looks like there's about to be a sex scene, and I definitely just saw boobs, so that's unfortunate for it's use with high school youth group....)
(second update after the end of the movie: It was an off-screen sex scene, though there was a boob shot or two. The movie was good and I loved the way Gena understood that even if shew as considered a nuisance or an uneducated girl, she could stand up for what she believed and she could try to make a difference.)
The Famine begins tomorrow--we'll be going without food, we'll be making a labyrinth on the floor of the Fellowship Hall using 29,000 pennies (as a visual for how many children die of hunger each day), we'll be playing games, we'll be learning about hunger, we'll be doing a scavenger hunt for the food pantry, and we'll be finding out how much food you can buy on a week's food stamps. And, of course, we've got some movies to choose from. (Watching a movie on Saturday afternoon really hits home the whole not-eating thing. We are so conditioned to eat whenever we're not moving that watching a movie with no popcorn, candy, or Coke is brutal!)