New Possibilities for Your Next Movie Night
Considering how downright spendy going to the movies is and the strikingly hit-or-miss nature of many of today’s films anyway, hosting a movie night in the comfort of home has probably never been a more appealing option.
Whether you watch on a flat-screen that feels as big as a football field or even your home computer with high-definition capabilities, there’s a pretty spectacular picture quality. Perhaps, even better yet, your snacks will be a whole lot healthier and more affordable, too. Basically, you can say "sayonara" to the huge mark-up on candy and kiss that bright yellow butter-flavored topping goodbye and (gasp!) have a little real butter on your popcorn.
When it comes to figuring out what to watch, the options are seemingly endless. Now that many of the major film companies no longer have a huge lag time between when a blockbuster hits theater and eventually arrives on TV, you can be watching whatever came out in theaters in no time flat.
So what’s actually making its way to DVD this month, you ask? Well, we’ve got the skinny on everything from The Hunger Games to some seriously snarky pirates to a movie with the cutest chimpanzee protagonist ever.
gmc Pick of the Month: The Pirates! Band of Misfits, featuring the voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayak
Maybe it’s Capt. Jack Sparrow fatigue or the fact that it wasn’t publicized all that much, but whatever the reason, I’m not sure why the very funny Pirates! didn’t gain more traction with audiences during its theatrical run.
Made by the same eccentric souls who came up with Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, The Pirates! is ideally suited for Grant’s particular brand (read: sly, British) of humor. Full of madcap action sequences, exciting characters, and yes, even a good lesson to boot, The Pirates! is something the whole family could enjoy as Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals in the “Pirate of the Year” contest.
The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Stanley Tucci
Yes, the odds are definitely in The Hunger Games’ favor as the movie manages to do the unthinkable and actually live up to the high standards established by the accompanying best-selling novel. Well-acted, engaging and thoroughly disturbing at its core, given the dystopian world it takes place in, The Hunger Games is a pop culture phenomenon that celebrates bravery and explores the ongoing class struggle in a fascinating way. And unlike, say, Twilight, The Hunger Games features a heroine with more on her mind than just boys.
The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner and Riley Thomas Stewart
If you’re in the mood for a good cry, The Lucky One is another Nicholas Sparks weepie that’s sure to generate the waterworks. Featuring the stunning seaside cinematography that made everything from The Notebook to The Last Song such fan favorites, The Lucky One also marks Efron’s foray into more grown-up roles as he convincingly plays a broken soldier who’s returned back to a world he doesn’t always connect with. Naturally, the love of a good woman will help in his recovery (no spoiler alert required, right?).
Chimpanzee, featuring the narration of Tim Allen and many adorable chimps
Animal lovers, rejoice, as there’s plenty to "awww" about with Chimpanzee, the story of an adorable three-year-old chimp who’s separated from his loved ones and eventually adopted by a fully-grown male. A beautiful story of sacrifice and survival, Chimpanzee also puts God’s glorious creation front and center.
The Penniless Princess: God’s Little Girl, starring everyone’s favorite veggies from Veggie Tales
Forget all you know about all those Disney princess stories because Veggie Tales re-defines what it means to be royalty in The Penniless Princess: God’s Little Girl. Full of positive take-away for girls that center around Biblical principles, it’s got plenty of heart (and silly songs) to boot.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith
While probably a little too heady and slow for your kids and teens, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a compelling grown-up story about self-discovery, even in one’s advancing years. In what’s a fascinating set-up, we get acquainted with a motley crew of British retirees who end up traveling to India to what they think is this gorgeous, newly restored hotel. Of course, it turns out to be far less glamorous (read: dingy) than they expected. But sometimes even the biggest goofs have their charms, and that’s what these characters discovery in this charming story that’s a little like Eat Pray Love without all the narcissism.
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About the Writer
After graduating with a B.S. in Journalism from North Central University in 1998, Christa Banister moved from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tenn. and eventually started working at CCM Magazine/Salem Publishing in various editorial capacities as an editor, columnist and website guru for five and a half years. After that, she launched her own Dallas-based freelance writing company and writes for numerous clients including Salem Publishing, Crosswalk.com (she reviews movies for them each week), Christian Single, Christianity Today, Threads Media, Songs4Worship.com, PassAlong.com and also helped kickstart the first Christian music blog for MTV. In addition, she also writes bios for professional recording artists and authors and penned her first two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers for NavPress.
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