Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Daddy Is In Heaven

My Daddy is in Heaven 
is the story of Becca (Jenn Gotzon Chandler), Adam (Lane Garrison) and their 5-year-old daughter Acie (Riley St John). They lived a life full of joy as they worked together on their farm, but their perfect family is torn apart when Adam is tragically killed in an ATV accident on the night of their annual Inependence Day celebration. Adam's death caused Becca's worl to spin out of control as she struggled to make sense of WHY her husband died.

Unable to cope with life without Adam, Becca leaves Acie with her grandfather Rick (Corbin Bernsen), and goes for an extended visit with her former classmate, June (Jill Morrison). Due to her shattered faith, Becca's anger with God soon has her rebellioslyslipping into the "Party Girl" lifestyle that June leads. All comes to a climax when Becca is arrested for Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct, causing her to realize that she needed to return to her child and her father. Deciding to accompany her friend, June and Becca board a bus only to encounter an unexpected event that has a profound impact on the lives of both women as they journey home.

My Daddy's in Heaven is directed by Waymon Boone and written by Boone, Joseph Nasser, and Noelle Nelson. Other actors in the film include Lorenzo Lamas, TC Stallings, Lee Benton, AJ Knight and Jim E Chandler. The movie will be available on DVD and Digital March 13th at Walmart, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, VUDU and On-Demand via local cable providers.

REVIEW: To clear possible confusion, I want to say that this film is very loosely based on the book, My Daddy Is In Heaven With Jesus by Rebecca Crownover. The book was an explanation to her very young daughter trying to help her understand her father's death. The first names and death are the same, but the movie is a story of a young woman coming to grips with the death of her husband and feeling abandoned by God.

The downsides were some of the storylines were a bit hurried although that could have been with editing rather than writing. I also would have liked to have had a few more minutes to get to know Adam and a bit of backstory. I wasn't crazy about all of the characters, but each was in the story for a reason.

Beyond the nitpicking above, I loved the movie. I have been in a similar situation as many of the roles played and the actors breathed life into characters I could identify with as part of my life. My story is not identical to Becca's, but I have been a young mother who felt abandoned by God and went through a period of anger, bitterness, and rebellion. Jenn Gotzon was brilliant as Becca! She made me laugh, she made me cry, and she skillfully portrayed a woman whose world had been overturned to a point she was spinning out of control. I could feel the many emotions as Becca struggled to hide the pain and look for a new normal while both running from and grasping the past.

The chemistry between Jenn Gotzon Chandler and Jill Morrison (June) was tangible and seemed as natural as breathing. June was one of my favorite characters and Jill played the role with a charm and passion that was irresistible. Of course, Corbin Bernson and Lorenzo Lamas gave amazing performances. Rick (Corbin) had a rock solid dependability that masked his inner fears and vulnerability. TC Stallings had a small but pivotal role that touched me as deeply as it did the movie characters. And, Jim Chandler (Jenn Gotzon's husband) was low-key but very charming as Nick; it was a delight to see Jim and Jenn together.

Despite a few discrepancies here and there, I have to give Daddy Is In Heaven 5 stars. The casting of the major roles (and some minor) was excellent and the story of hope and healing after a terrible loss is sure to transform lives. Broken lives and shattered dreams may cause us to stumble for a while but God is always standing by to welcome us back home.


DISCLAIMER: The film publicist, Lovell-Fairchild, provided me with a screener for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mama was Baptist, but...

It was the Winter of 1963...and I had a really bad cough. The doctor told my mother to make a mixture of honey, lemon juice, and WHISKEY! ­čś« She was instructed to give me a spoonful as needed until the cough was gone. My mother was distraught! Her only daughter's health was of utmost importance...but, BUT----we were Baptists!! How was she to follow Dr.'s orders?

Fortunately, our neighbor, Lucy, had a working knowledge of whiskey... and needed a ride (since she was no longer allowed to drive). Mom parked as near to the road as possible outside the closest liquor store (Ms Lucy was able to share directions), and cowered down in the front seat, cautioning me to lie still in the back seat. She further instructed me that should anyone approach us we were to tell them that the car broke down. Apparently, lying was a lesser sin than being parked outside a liquor store!
That memory stayed with me. I admit to drinking alcohol a few times in the years ahead, but I was 26 years old before I ever walked into a liquor store...and that was only because I needed milk for my kids and nothing else was open early on a Sunday morning. And that's the truth! Not all of my mama's instructions followed me throughout my life, but on the other hand, I am now 62 years old and have never been in a POOL HALL!

Today I have another cold. I have some honey, and I have some lemon juice. I even have teaspoons. Of course, no whiskey; Mama would be so proud. LOL!  But, this reminds me of another song...


Come to think of it, the only times I have been around my mom's family and alcohol, it involved teaspoons: homemade cough syrup, my grandmother's attempt to drink a little wine before eating to relax muscles making her get strangled (2 spoonfuls and she claimed she was too dizzy to continue), and a bizarre Thanksgiving that involved tasting a bottle of home-made wine that someone gave my aunt. Each of the adults (who were willing) tasted a spoonful and quoted Scripture about wine and/or drunkenness. They were quite knowledgeable about this topic and Scripture! Of course, I was never handed a spoon or offered a chance to try it. After all, I was a child---only 36 years old!

#MamaWasBaptist #ILoveMyFamily

Friday, March 9, 2018

Paul, Apostle of Christ

PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST is the story of two men. Luke (Jim Caviezel), as a friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into the city of Rome to visit Paul (James Faulkner), who is held captive in Nero’s darkest, bleakest prison cell. But Nero is determined to rid Rome of Christians, and does not flinch from executing them in the grisliest ways possible. Before Paul’s death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church.

Bound in chains, Paul’s struggle is internal. He has survived so much—floggings, shipwreck, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure—yet as he waits for his appointment with death, he is haunted by the shadows of his past misdeeds. Alone in the dark, he wonders if he has been forgotten . . . and if he has the strength to finish well.

Two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spread their message to the world. (Website)

Love is the only way. This film covers the life of Paul as he transforms from Saul the persecutor to Paul the persecuted after a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ. One of the major influences on the world in history, Paul continues to make an impact today. His story gives hope to those who expect no mercy or redemption and we are able to gain a more visible insight into the courageousness to follow matter the cost.

My Review: I thought the film was very well made and brought a deep insight into conditions that early Christians faced during the days of Roman persecution. The fictionalized story of Paul and Luke's relationship with a Roman prison official is a backdrop for sharing the gospel of Jesus. Standout performances for me included Jim Caviezel as Luke (physician and author of several books of the Bible) and James Faulkner as Paul.
John Lynch as Aquila and Joanne Whalley as his wife Priscilla gave me a fresh perspective to the danger of being a Christ-follower and decisions that had to be made. Olivier Martinez as the Roman, Mauritius, does a good job as a doubter who is also desperate to save his dying daughter. To be honest, the pace of the film does drag a bit at times, but the message is clear and the ending is both satisfying and inspirational. I recommend it.

I highly recommend you watch all of the videos connected with the film that are on the Paul playlist on YouTube. Writer/Director Andrew Hyatt, Rich Peluso (Executive VP of Affirm Films), and several of the actors share more about the making of the film in these videos.

Website and Buy


Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Star

The Star, an animated heart-warming tale of faith and friendship, is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital. Featuring the vocal talents of Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristen Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, Oprah Winfrey, Tracey Morgan, and Tyler Perry, the film is a delight to young, old, and everyone in-between. Children will be delighted with the brightly drawn, loveable animals (*Word of Caution: There are a couple of scary dogs, so film is rated PG.) and older kids (and adults) will enjoy the humor. The music is outstanding! The soundtrack includes the Golden Globe® nominated (Best Original Song) "The Star" by Mariah Carey and Marc Shaiman. Writers Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore, plus director Timothy Reckart are to be commended for this story of the birth of Christ as told through the animals.

Sony Pictures Animation's story of a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

THE STAR is filled with more than an hour of engaging bonus materials including the “Star-aoke: Sing Along with Bo & Friends,” a dance along to “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World, plus a collection of fun lyric videos, “how-to” crafts videos and much more! Additionally, there is an awesome LIVE Guided Bible Study with Star Executive Producer DeVon Franklin that is “interactive and super engaging." Follow the instructions to get inspired! TheStarMovie. This feature works through Messenger on Facebook.
*Digital extras only available on iTunes Extras and VUDU Extras.

Buy Now and Bonus Features
The Star Official Site

Star Facebook
Star Instagram
Star Twitter

No giveaway this time, but thanks to #FlyBy for sending additional info for me to use in this review. I did see #TheStar in theaters and can highly recommend it!


Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world.  The studio is following its worldwide comedy hitsthe record-breaking monster comedies Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, and the mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movieswith the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village available on digital and Blu-ray now; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with The Emoji Movie now on Digital HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD; the inspirational The Star currently in theaters.  Next will be Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation from director Genndy Tartakovsky in July 2018; and the groundbreaking animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse from the minds of Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature filmsthe CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventureThe Pirates! Band of MisfitsIn 2007, Surf's Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film; a sequel entitled Surfs Up 2: WaveMania is now available on digital and DVD.  The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise including the brand new Open Season: Scared Silly now available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray, was founded in 2002.  Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.
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AFFIRM Films produces, acquires and markets films that inspire, uplift and entertain audiences around the world. Since releasing its first theatrical film-The Kendrick Brothers’ drama, Facing the Giants in 2007, AFFIRM Films has released numerous quality faith-based films including Soul Surfer, based on the inspirational true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton; When the Game Stands Tall, the sports drama inspired by the story of the De La Salle Spartans; War Room, which hit #1 on the domestic box office chart; Risen, which followed the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer; and was the faith-based marketing partner with Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures for their films Miracles from Heaven and the #2 faith-based film of all time, Heaven Is for Real. AFFIRM Films also released All Saints