Akeelah and the Bee

Akeelah Anderson (Kete Palmer) is an 11 year-old seventh grader with the amazing ability to spell almost every word she hears. She doesn’t know the etymologies or even the meanings of all the words at first, but has the power to absorb and recall a word once she hears or sees it. Her father died when she was very young and her mother (Angela Bassett) struggles to keep her family together.    She goes to Crenshaw Middle School in South Los Angeles, an area known for gangs and racial … [Read more...]

Ice Age: The Meltdown

I will keep this one short, too. There's wasn't much to add to the first Ice Age that more or less said it all about soon-to-be extinct animals in comedic ways. This sequel isn't very funny because Denis Leary's Diego is just too reformed. Queen Latifa is the voice of a female wooly mammoth with severe identity problems, but even that doesn't save the film. But the squirrel and the acorn makes the films so darned funny; keep your eye on the acorn.   … [Read more...]

Wild, The

I will keep this short... The Wild is a mildly entertaining highly animated film that will remind you of last year's Madagascar and Finding Nemo. Certainly technically more than competent, I found it made me laugh more than Madagascar (that except for the penguins made me snooze)and sure, it has the usual suspect family themes. Some parts might be seen as scary for little kids. There's not a lot that's new here but if you like to take young kids to the movies, and they like this kind of … [Read more...]


Bob Munro (Robin Williams) is a Los Angeles executive for a soft drink/snack company whose job is threatened by new talent. He will do anything to please his boss and safeguard his job. So when his boss wants him to give a presentation at a meeting in Colorado in a few days, right during the Hawaii vacation he has promised his family, he decides to rent a big, ugly, RV, and scam his wife Jamie (Cheryl Hines), daughter Cassie (Jo Jo Levesque) and Carl (Josh Hutcherson) into a vacation that … [Read more...]


Fans of Carl Hiaasen’s best-selling 2003 Newbery Honor-winning kidlit novel will be happy to know that the book has been reincarnated as a funny, thoughtful, and caring film by Walden Media and New Line Cinema to be released on May 5th. When the Eberhardt family moves from the gorgeous mountains of Montana to the flat terrain of Florida’s gulf coast because of his dad’s government job, ninth-grader Roy (Logan Lerman, The Patriot, Jack & Bobby) has to adapt once again. As bully Dana Matherson … [Read more...]


WATER is the story of an 8-year old Hindu widow who is exiled to an ashram for the rest of her life during India's colonial era. An overview of the film and a Discussion-Bible Study Guide (authored by yours truly) is available at: http://www.brehmcenter.com/ReelSpirituality/reelspirituality.shtml  … [Read more...]

Beauty Academy of Kabul

In 2003 a group of hairdressers from New York traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan to open a beauty school for women. Two of the hairdressers had fled Kabul more than twenty years before and wanted to return and volunteer their time and skills to their Afghan sisters; the others came from the U.K. and New York City. The Beauty Academy of Kabul is a warm, sometimes funny, fascinating, and revealing 75 minute film that documents this adventure in mutuality, empowerment, and solidarity. It opens in Los … [Read more...]

Da Vinci Challenge and Jesus Decoded

With the coming of film version of "The Da Vinci Code" in May, you might like to check out a couple of web sites for information and Christian responses to the issues the novel raises. An essay that I wrote has just been posted on www.thedavincichallenge.com and there are other wonderful essays by John Allen, Msgr. Frank Maniscalco and others from various Christian communities. Mine is called "Jesus, DaVinci and Cherrios" and asks what it would mean to me as a woman religious if Jesus had been … [Read more...]


Is everything going to be OK? 'Nobelity' for Earth Day 2006 In an effort to answer his growing children's questions about the future of the earth, Texas filmmaker Turk Pipkin set out on a unique journey to find out how to save the world. Over the course of 18 months Pipkin traveled around the globe visiting nine Nobel laureates to get their views on the world's problems, the situation of children who are most affected by them, and what in their view, we must do to leave the world a better … [Read more...]

God or the Girl

Although I have not yet seen this new series on A&E, here is a link to an article about it by Harry Forbes of the USCCB's Office for Broadcast and Film. The series begins on Esater Sunday evening: A surprisingly reverential treatment of a profound life passage: http://www.the-tidings.com/2006/0414/godside.htm UPDATE I have now seen two episodes, but have been traveling so I need to finish seeing the series. What I liked about the first part was coming to realize that there are young men out … [Read more...]