Christ Centered Gamer Blog

This blog contains non-gaming related reviews and random ramblings

Ways to Pass the Time Online

Thank you Shout Factory for sending us this DVD to review!

While this 82 minute DVD entertained my children, I was disappointed at how many of the characters were portrayed.  God was shown as being lazy and using props for "special effects".  Noah was humble and righteous (though not very intelligent), but his daughter in laws bickered all of the time and his sons were useless as they didn't lift a finger to help him in building the ark.  Instead they just fought among themselves.   Unlike the Bible's version of the great flood, this show adds a couple of greedy stow-aways onto the ark.

In the animal kingdom, their lion king is an indecisive womanizer who is spoiled and incompetent.   Some of the female animals are sexualized and there are hints of mating and a few instances of potty humor.  This is a far cry from the Veggie Tale accuracy and humor we are used to.  On a positive note, this DVD does teach kids the importance of working together.

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Delivery Man

Thank you Time Warner for sending us this movie to review!

Delivery Man is about a meat truck driver name David Wozniak who has made several mistakes in the past and has a knack for losing money.  He’s now deeply in debt and unless he repays it, his life is in danger.  As David’s life is continuing its downward spiral, his relationship with his girlfriend is on the rocks and he finds out that he is the father to over five hundred children.  To make matters worse, the sperm donor company informs him that more than one hundred and forty of the offspring want to know his real identity. 

Despite being told by his lawyer friend, not to have anything to do with his kids, David enjoys acting like a guardian angel to several of them.  Without revealing his identity, he helps many of them launch their career, build their self esteem, and even kick drug use.   There’s a lot of variety in his children as they each have various skills and abilities.  One of them is a professional basketball player while another is unresponsive and wheelchair bound.  

While the overall message of this movie is positive, there are some issues worth mentioning that make this movie not so family friendly.  It does earn its PG-13 rating for language, sexual themes, including homosexuality, drug and alcohol use.  

In the beginning of the movie David tries to grow marijuana to help raise money to pay off his debt.  Later in the film as he gets to know one of his daughters, he saves her from overdosing on heroin.  Another one of his daughters puts him in the protective dad role as she is very attractive and gets many cat calls with her skimpy outfits.  In another scene, David is following one of his sons only to find that he is an active member in the gay community.  Sex outside of marriage is promoted in this film. Lastly, given the nature of the plot, there are several sexual innuendos about how these children were created.

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5 Tips for Safeguarding Kids Online

Thank you Nest Entertainment for sending us this DVD to review!

This twenty-six minute DVD opens up with a pretty song that describes God's love for us by sending our savior. As the opening credits scrolled on, I noticed that Orson Scott Card wrote the screenplay. The story begins with Simeon telling an elderly lady (presumably Anna) that he has been promised to see the Messiah before he dies. King Herod gets wind of the Messiah's coming and vows to eliminate him. After that scene, Gabriel tells Mary that she will bear God's son and although she doesn't understand how it is possible, she complies. I was surprised to see how easy going Joseph was about this situation when Mary told him the news. In this DVD he had a dream explaining the divine pregnancy before Mary announced it. According to the Bible he was troubled by the news and later comforted by the dream and felt at peace knowing that Mary was not unfaithful to him.

Later in Mary's pregnancy, Caesar Augustus proclaims that everyone must return to their city of birth to be counted and taxed. As they near Bethlehem Mary starts to go into labor, but they have no place to stay since the inns are full. A kind man gives them shelter in a stable. Baby Jesus arrives (no gory details shown) and is visited by nearby shepherds while the wise men start their journey to meet the king.

Anna and Simeon get to meet their promised savior when Mary and Joseph present an offering at the temple. King Herod hears about Jesus' birth and tells the wise men to let him know where to find the baby. When they disobey, every baby boy pays the price (again no details are shown). Thanks to Joseph's dream warning them to leave Bethlehem, they fled safely to Egypt and raised Jesus there until king Herod died.

That is where this DVD ends and if you like Biblical stories with good voice acting, I recommend continuing the story of Jesus' life by watching Jesus, The Son of God. The animation is a bit dated since it's from the eighties, but the artwork has a Disney like style to it. While the normal price is $9.95 I have seen it for $5 on Nest Entertainment's website and for less than $12 shipped on Amazon.

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Best Entertaining Computer Games for Youth During The COVID-19

I recently flew from Thailand back to New York after Christmas break. Being on a transatlantic flight means you have the opportunity to watch a lot of films, so I thought I would try something different for a column. Note that my opinions on them aren’t that valid because I fell asleep during three of them (plus the fact that I’m just a dumb college kid with no experience in film but let’s not go there) but here are some brief impressions with or without complete sentences.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: This film exists for two reasons – to show off the wacky world of computer animation and to write puns about food. Has a remarkably weak villain and a sidekick I found uncomfortable to look at. Just trust me. A combination of Jurassic Park and the first movie, the sequel just doesn’t have the legs to stand on its own. The animation is fairly stunning, I’ll give it that. C

Rush: Interesting rivalry biopic, the Amadeus of Formula One (note: I’ve never seen Amadeus). Daniel Bruhl outshines Chris Hemsworth in every way, but Thor does a serviceable job despite a choppy English accent. Surprisingly little actual racing, but still manages to keep it fast and compelling. Nice pacing, integral for a racing flick. Entirely unnecessary sex scene (although I hear there are more with mine being edited for plane viewing). B

Now You See Me: Ensemble cast doesn’t make me care about them, despite their theatrics. Cool illusions and action sequences, everything is quite slick and enjoyable, and I expect nothing less from Louis Letterier. Unfortunately the movie isn’t strong enough to support its own resolution, so the result makes it as forgettable as the implications of its title, despite all the fun. Yeah, I’ve seen you, so what? B-

Man of Steel: I’m going to catch flak for this, so let me begin by revealing my bias by saying I’ve never really liked Superman but I wanted to see what was done with the reboot. The most positive thing I can say is the strength of the visuals and their design. Much of the emotional fell flat, Cavill never looks like he belongs (maybe that’s the point, but…), a lot of the plot didn’t make sense to me, and there were some scenes I found flat out silly. Utterly humorless except for one or two awkward jokes, and like many reviewers, I disliked the mindless destruction of Metropolis. I’m not saying that every movie has to be funny, but this one was grim business, and I didn’t think it was good enough for me to take seriously. Zod was a good choice as villain and Michael Shannon does well with the role but I just couldn’t put up with the rest of the movie. It might just be that it’s not for me. D+

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Happy 12th birthday Sega Dreamcast!

Warning: This review contains references to graphic material and is not suitable for children.

Review:

If you were interested at all in the first Kick-A** film (referred to by initials from here on out), you are likely aware by now of the sequel's many issues: Gratuitous language and sexual references, highly stylized graphic violence, and the inevitable curse of sequel-itis. Despite all of its explicit content, the original KA was an enjoyable romp through superheroville with heroes that bled and swore throughout its 117 min. running time. There was a facade of realism, but it wasn't meant to be taken too seriously. Director Matthew Vaughn carefully realized his own version of New York City, creating a careful balance between the gritty vigilantes and the mafia with the fantasy of comic books, especially in the character of Hit-Girl. I bring all this information up about the first one to highlight some of the main problems that plague KA 2. 

The first problem that is almost immediately noticeable is the restricted budget. The action isn't quite as slick as it used to be, and it shows. This problem is almost painful in a later sequence partially shown in the trailers with Hit-Girl sliding around on the roof of a van. However, you can't completely fault the production crew for this issue, and newcomer Jeff Wadlow does a serviceable job with the action he's given. Of particular note is the first real glimpse the audience gets of Mother Russia and her brutality against the police. 

The second major problem that KA 2 suffers from is an inconsistency that stretches across multiple aspects. There's a forgivable amount of continuity errors from the first film, but some of it just doesn't make sense. For example (Spoilers for this and the original), the girl that Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) successfully dates after spending the entirely of the first movie trying to get her to like him, is dismissed with an uncomfortable throwaway gag about people thinking that Dave and Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) are together. (End spoiler) There is also a persistent inconsistency in tone. When Vaughn created his vision for KA, he knew exactly what he wanted out of his characters, with all the violence in the film leading up to an intense finale with consequences. Maybe it's just poor screen-writing (the opening minutes of the film were a little painful for exactly this reason), but there were several moments of surprising sincerity and melodrama surrounding Hit-Girl that felt out of place, like it was taking its role in the superhero canon too seriously. This is contrasted with two particularly over-the-top scenes for her character that seem to come out of left field and left a bad taste in my mouth: Mindy's "sexual awakening" in noticing a boy band's music video and her revenge against the popular girl's clique. It also lends to the feeling that KA 2 has more to do with Hit-Girl's story than it does with Dave's, which wouldn't be so much of a problem if the movie didn't share its name with Kick-A**. 

All of this is not to say that KA 2 does not have any bright spots. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz are as comfortable as ever in their roles and Jim Carrey's screen time as Colonel Stars and Stripes is criminally short. I was also surprised and impressed by some of the other casting: Donald Faison is irresistibly plucky as Dr. Gravity, and the rest of Justice Forever handle their roles formidably. I was initially put off my Christopher Mintz-Plasse's return as Chris D'Amico, but he eventually won me over in his quest for vengeance and desire to be feared. I found most of the action sequences to be well-implemented and entertaining and appreciated the diversity and creativity among both the hero and the villain’s squad.

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The Sonic Sitcom: Episode 2

Thank you Shout!Factory for sending us this video to review!

What happens when you combine Ponies, Unicorns, Pegasus', Breezeies (bug like ponies with wings and antennae) and dragons? You get some wild adventures that teach lessons like being true to yourself, compromising, and taking responsibility for your actions.

The My Little Pony Classic Movie Collection consists of two DVD's with two episodes each. With all of the episodes combined the total running time is 114 minutes. I'm not sure why they didn't put all four “movies” on one disc.

 

Here's a breakdown of the shows included:

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Detroit: Become Human (PS4)

Thank you Nest Entertainment for sending us this DVD to review!

Even non-believers will acknowledge that Jesus was a good teacher. Through this twenty-five minute DVD, your kids can experience and learn the meaning of the following parables:

  • The tares and the wheat (Matt 13:24-30)
  • The pearl of great price (Matt 13:45-46)
  • The ten virgins (Matt 25:1-13)
  • The sower and the seeds (Matt 13:18-23)

As if the parables were not convicting enough, seeing Jesus' audience leaving after being shamed or convicted from the teachings really drove the messages home. Each of the people leaving Jesus' teachings represent the seeds from the sower that went to the wayside (refuses to understand God's word), had shallow roots (left when persecuted), got choked by thorns (put possessions before God) and those that landed in good soil (receives and follows God's word).

 

Though the animation is a bit dated, it still looks good and you can see some artistic similarities between these and Disney films. The voice acting and singing is well done. The parable of the pearl has its own song about the man gladly selling his possessions. While the song sounds fine, if my kids were to sing it in public, they would get some silly stares.

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Animated Bible Story of Jesus, The Son of God

This twenty-seven minute DVD illustrates Mary, Joseph and the twelve year old Jesus going to the temple for Passover. (Luke 2:42-2:52) The young Jesus is carrying a young lamb and Mary and Joseph shopping around and haggling for a clay pot and some bundles of wood. The family present their offering (no blood is shown) and Jesus impresses rabbi's with his knowledge of the law and wisdom. As Mary and Joseph are packing up to leave they discover that Jesus is not with them and assume that he's with his cousins. When they discover otherwise, they search all of Jerusalem only to find him at the temple doing his Father's work. As a parent I'm impressed with their attitudes and grace as I would have been an angry and emotional wreck.

 

As the movie progresses it has some beautiful singing and shows Jesus growing older and preparing for his Father's work. They depict Jesus comforting Mary after Joseph’s passing (but never show any children between Mary and Joseph as mentioned in Matt 13:55). The orchestral music is very emotional and tugs at your heart strings a bit. The voice acting is pretty solid and has aged well. While you can tell the animation is older, it still looks decent. Some of the artists that made this movie used to work for Disney and I can recognize some artistic similarities. My children enjoyed this video and I highly recommend it for children of all ages.

 

This video was sent to us from Nest Entertainment and is available for purchase at their website for $15.95 (retail price is $29.95). You can download a free activity book to accompany the DVD from their site as well.   

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How playing esports influence education: 5 advantages

Episode List:

  • Mean Isn't Your Color
  • Russel Up Some Fun
  • Eve of Destruction
  • Frenemies
  • Summertime Blues

This DVD collection features five episodes, a sing-along, a Zoe toy and collector card, all for the reasonable price of less than $15. Each episode is around twenty minutes long and they are entertaining, informative and teach some good lessons. One of the episodes has Blythe coming to grips

with the concept of her father starting to date. Other episodes encourage teamwork, getting along, expressing, believing in and being yourself. Not every message is a positive one though. There's a bonus sing-along to the song Fun Being Fun. While it is silly, it's promoting rebellion.


For the most part this show is family friendly and isn't obnoxiously girly. All of my kids (including my son) enjoyed this DVD and went back and watched Petacular Escapades after finishing this one. There's plenty of humor and the pets each have their own personalities and quirks. If your children like the toys or TV series, this is a worthy addition to your DVD collection.

 

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CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner

Mary Poppins is a timeless classic that reminds parents not to get too caught up in their jobs and ambitions and to spend some quality time with their children.  The movie begins as the Banks family is losing yet another nanny and they inadvertently place two advertisements for a replacement.  The children's advertisement draws the attention of the ideal nanny Mary Poppins and her competition is literally blown away.  Mary Poppins is polite yet stern and practically perfect in every way.  She treats the kids to whimsical adventures and brings the family closer together.  

This is the first time the movie has been released on Blu-ray and it comes bundled with a DVD and a digital copy so you can play it on many devices.  There are tons of extras including behind the scenes footage of the movie Saving Mr. Banks which tells the true story of the twenty year journey to make the Mary Poppins movie a reality.  

We had the 40th anniversary DVD and were glad to see all of the special features including the making of documentary were still included in this edition.  In addition to those features, there's a Mary-Oke Sing Along that features many song favorites including Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Chim Chim Cher-ee.  While the text effects are nice, they are hard to follow so knowledge of the lyrics is still pretty much a given. 

The special effects in the movie still hold up well to today's standards.  I honestly can't see much improvement in the video quality, but this movie still has its charm.  My whole family loves Mary Poppins and I highly recommend adding it to your collection if you haven't already. 

 

 

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Man O' War: Corsairs First Impressions

This is the final action packed season of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters. This season starts off with the Autobots scattered and badly damaged after losing their base to the Megatrons. Can they unite and defeat the Megatrons, Predacons and Insecticons? Not only do they have to save earth, but Cybertron is in danger as well. There are thirteen episodes in total which offers nearly five hours of robotic smashing fun. There is plenty of violence and robotic experimentation going on, and this show is best suited for grade school boys. My kindergartner son was sort of interested in this show, but his older cousin loved it. After you finish watching this season, make sure you check out the finale Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising. You won't be sorry!

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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Super Adventure

The main show on this nearly two-hour DVD is about Mickey and his Friends being granted super powers to transform their town back to normal after Power-Pants Pete shrinks everything.  With the help of each other, the mouseketools, and input from your child, they can conquer any obstacle!  I expected my five year old son to be comfortable with talking back to the television, but I was surprised to see my seven and nine year old daughters chiming in as well.  In fact, they asked to watch it multiple times.  My kids love all four episodes on this disc.  The included trading cards are a nice bonus too! 

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Loot Gaming October 2020 Boo! Crate

I remember seeing this movie when it first came out in 1989.  My cousin owned the VHS copy with the controversial cover art and we watched and enjoyed it many times.  The story remains unchanged and is about a teen-aged mermaid that's in love with the outside world and a prince whom she rescued.  Despite her father's orders, she makes a deal with a witch to exchange her voice for some legs and must woo him in three days or be turned into a hideous sea creature.  There's plenty of humor to be seen as Ariel tries to understand the outside world.  Her crab friend Sebastian is close to her side and sings some pretty catchy tunes including the popular "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl".    I like how the Diamond Edition includes a "Crab-E-Oke" sing along when ever the movie is paused for the inevitable potty breaks.  The voice for Sebastian is different but sounds close enough.  Another new extra is Carly Rae Jepson's music video and rendition of "Part of Your World".  All of the previous DVD extras are bundled in as well.  The video quality has been further restored compared to the 2006 platinum DVD copy we own and the 7.1 speaker support is another welcome feature. For those who have not owned the Little Mermaid in disc format, this is a worthy purchase.   

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Is Your Fleet Ready for the New Food Transport Rules?

All of my kids, including my son enjoyed this five episode DVD collection.  While my kids are too young to understand crushes and how embarrassing parents can be to teenagers, they still enjoyed the silly slapstick humor.   The first episode focuses on Sunil's psychic abilities to help Blythe reunite with her crush to give him his keys back. The rest of the episodes were harmless and taught lessons like being yourself and not envying another's person's life/blessings over your own.  

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Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

My son was excited that we finally got a sent a boy friendly bluray to review.  While he has not seen the Transformers TV show or movies, my husband and I are familiar with the movies.  We were happy to hear the familiar voice of Optimus Prime once again.  This movie introduces some new enemies that are threatening Cyberton and the autobots.  An alliance is formed between the Autobots, Decepticons and the Predacons to defeat the risen Zombicon army. There's plenty of action and clashing metal.  In the end, some tough decisions have to be made and a valuable lesson of self sacrifice is learned.  Any Transfromers fan will not want to miss out on seeing this finale.    

   

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How To Research For Science Assignment?

Disney princesses have been inspiring girls for a long time with their radiant beauty and grace.  Sofia has humble beginnings and is adopted into a royal family.  She wears a magical amulet that enables her to talk to animals.  While we can't relate to speaking with animals, we can understand Sofia's insecurities and we can learn many valuable lessons from her.  The Ready To Be A Princess collection has five episodes that teach lessons about lying, gossiping, keeping promises, kindness and overcoming your fears.  As a parent this is my favorite princess and my kids enjoyed the show as well.

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The Crimson King

This was my family's first time watching the cartoon series Regular Show.  Rigby the Hyperactive raccoon and Mordecai a six-foot tall blue jay, are grounds keepers at a park and find their jobs incredibly dull.  They'll often make up games like roadkill bingo to make it fun or avoid their work altogether. Since this is a Halloween themed collection, there are many scary stories shared like the one about a possessed ventriloquist doll that desires to draw on it's owner's face.  My kids were more entertained than scared so I didn't have to worry about them getting nightmares or anything.  My kids now walk around jinxing themselves, fortunately without actually punching each other when they speak.  Like many cartoons there is violence and since this is a fright pack, references to zombies and the undead are plentiful.  When it comes to language there is one instance of "friggin" and one of the characters says "What the H!" without completing the word. Overall my family enjoyed this 176 minute bundle.  While the retail price is $19.82 I have seen it selling for $11 or less.    

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Wonder

The buddies are back and this time they're in for a galactic adventure!  While my family hasn't seen the previous Disney Buddies movies, my kids quickly fell in love with the talking puppies.   The movie begins with Budderball's owner, Bartleby, celebrating his 12th birthday with his friends and grandfather (John Ratzenberger).  While on a treasure hunt, the puppies stumble upon some rings that give them mysterious powers - Eerily similar to some rings mentioned in the Captain Canine comics.  Could this series be based on actual events? Real or not, the puppies learn some very important lessons including helping those in need despite how you feel about them, and that you don't need super powers to be a hero.  While those lessons are praise worthy, Super Buddies does portray the town's sheriff as a bumbling fool and there are some references to Buddhism.  There is plenty of humor and silliness that my kids enjoyed and the action kept them at the edge of their seats.  While I found the movie a bit over the top, my kids enjoyed it quite a bit.  I guess we'll have to catch up on the previous Buddies movies we've missed.    

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I enjoyed my ride on the Red Line

 

While most Christian films are low budget and show it, Red Line has great special effects, actors and is quite the thrill ride.  Unlike other Christian films, this movie is not preachy or tacky.  While it does praise virtue, the message it's trying to share is the insecurity of today's subway systems.  Red Line is about a terrorist attack on a subway that blasts apart a train taking many lives in the explosion and impact.  The survivors are left to fend for themselves and doubt each other's intentions when they realize that the bomber is among them.    I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil anything.  This is a movie you have to experience for yourself.

http://www.redlinethefilm.com/

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My son is not a brony.

However...my two daughters really enjoyed My Little Pony Equestria Girls. The story teaches about the power of friendship as Twilight Sparkle ventures out to a new world and tries to reclaim her crown that was stolen from her in the Crystal Empire. The humor is good as Twilight Sparkle tries to adjust to becoming a human and fitting into a new school with human like versions of her pony friends. There's plenty of singing and dancing with catchy pop music and the voice acting is well done. The artwork is similar to the cartoon series which I'm sure my daughters will now want to see more of. If you have girls, they'll love this movie.

 

  

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