underneath it all by kristen hoyt

“The Star” Shines Bright: A Fresh Perspective on the Greatest Story Ever Told

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Sony Pictures’ The Star opened in theaters nationwide on Nov. 17, creating a buzz among Christian and non-Christian moviegoers. For adults, the film fills in the gaps in the biblical account of the months preceding Jesus’ birth. It adds depth to characters that otherwise play only supporting roles in the Gospel narratives, mainly Joseph. For children, the movie is sure to entertain with fun animation, silly antics and a well-told story. Both young and old are sure to enjoy this imaginative take on the greatest story ever told.

While it has already faced criticism for its blend of playfulness and solemnity, The Star has found favor among members of the general public. Seventy-five percent of moviegoers who rated the film on Rotten Tomatoes approve of its idiosyncratic charm.

the star movie, the star, star, sony, affirm films, steven yeun, aidy bryant, keegan-michael key
Bo, Ruth and Dave work to save Mary from King Herod’s henchman

 

Indeed, it is the fresh perspective on this timeless story that makes it so charming. The Star reimagines the months leading up to the birth of Jesus and shows it to us through the eyes of some colorful animal characters.

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claire and jamie, starz, catriona balfe, sam heughan, jamie fraser

“Outlander’s” Episode 6 was Everything We’ve Been Waiting For and More

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Outlander’s A. Malcolm breathes new life into the series and sets it up for a long and dazzling run. Episodes one through five were remarkably well done, but they canna hold a candle to seeing Claire and Jamie embrace after 20 years of separation. For Outlander fans the period between seasons, or what is fondly referred to as #Droughtlander, has been long and filled with anticipation for the reunion between Claire and Jamie. And Episode 6, A. Malcolm, doesna disappoint! It is filled with a satisfying mix of heartwarming dialogue, humorous circumstances, and passionate encounters between the pair.

sam heughan, jamie fraser, a malcolm, print shop, outlander, starz

Claire may be the star and narrator of the Outlander saga, but it is Jamie who shines in Season 3. Sam Heughan must be lauded for the way he completely disappears into the role of a tortured Jamie who is but a shell of the robust and canty character we knew in Seasons 1 and 2. Heughan portrays the transformation of Jamie’s character from the shell-shocked and broken “dunnbonnet” hiding in a hole to avoid capture to the strong, capable, and wise printer of seditious pamphlets with delicacy, nuance, and care.

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gal gadot, wonder woman, dc comics

Wonder Woman Changes the Face of Feminism

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As someone who knew nothing of the Wonder Woman backstory, I was unsure as to what to expect from this DC Comics blockbuster.  My expectations were blown out of the water!  Surprisingly good acting, strong character development and an entertaining story line easily held my attention.  What really stood out, however,  was the message the film conveyed.

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman shows us a new type of feminism.  Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, is powerful and a fierce figher. She is also graceful, kind and tenderhearted.  She embraces her feminine beauty, using it to her advantage and reveling in the joy of being admired by the opposite sex.  Her power lies in her integrity and commitment to protecting what is precious in life — love, kindness, innocence.  She draws strength from her romantic relationship with Steve Trevor.  It’s clear she does not feel his love or protection suppresses her ability to assert herself.  She was more than capable on her own but was made better by his partnership and love.

Modern feminists tell us that in order to be respected and treated “equally,” women must turn their backs on femininity and seek equity, or sameness, with our male counterparts. 

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  • Kristen, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been thinking about how I miss Star Wars heroines in a dress and how the new leads are made to be androgynous. Being feminine is beautiful and it does not take away from being a strong woman.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Christie! It does seem like many of the new characters lack the femininity of Wonder Woman or Princess Leia. Modern feminists never would have let Star Wars: Return of the Jedi come out because of Princess Leia’s famous/infamous outfit!

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priyanka chopra, quantico, alex parrish, resistance, abc

Quantico Ends Season 2 With A Fizzle Not A Bang

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ABC’s Quantico has always walked the fine line between good storytelling and the ridiculous.  Prior to its Season 2 spring debut in January 2017, the show was often unrealistic, but featured likable characters and interesting and informative plots.

Since the election and inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, however, the show’s writers seem to have developed the same hysteria as the rest of the mainstream, or should I say “lame-stream” media.

Season 2 started out okay in the fall, with Season 1 favorites Alex Parrish quantico, priyanka chopra, jake mclaughlin, abc(Priyanka Chopra), Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy), and Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin) fighting a terrorist organization recruiting from within the CIA.  It was the spring start when things really began to get strange.  The second half of Season 2 features an off-the-books black ops organization, led by Clay Haas (Hunter Parrish) and comprised of Alex and her crew, that performs covert operations on U.S. soil, which is illegal.  The plotlines have deviated from stopping terrorist attacks and training at “the Farm” (the CIA training facility in Campy Peary, VA) to overtly political and ridiculous efforts to stop “radicals” within the U.S.

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elisabeth moss, offred, the handmaid's tale, hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale Highlights the Fragility of Freedom

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The Hulu original drama The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 best-seller, follows Offred (skillfully played by Elisabeth Moss), a twenty-something millennial wife and mother with a successful career. Offred is dismissed from her job, “freed” of her money and property, and ultimately enslaved as a handmaiden when a puritanical group overthrows the United States government.

The story takes place in Gilead, a dystopian America in which all forms of our Constitutional republic have been abolished in favor of strict adherence to Old Testament law.  The propaganda pedaled by the puritanical authority is that America had become so “sinful” – engaging in pollution, drugs, extramarital and homosexual sex, abortion, etc. – that God cursed most women with infertility, causing the slowing birth rate to grind to a near halt.  Therefore, any fertile women must be rounded up and used as breeding stock, or handmaidens (after the biblical story of Rachel and her handmaid, Bilhah), to provide wealthy powerful families with children.

The show portrays the fundamentalist ruling regime as right-wing, religious fanatics. The story is an example of what happens whenever any ideologically-driven group gains absolute power. 

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