April 29, 2015

Polycarp: destroyer of the gods 2015 movie review

Within the past two weeks, my siblings and I got to see the Polycarp movie
(available as DVD on May 5th 2015!)
We were interested partly because we know many of the people involved with this film project, and partly because historical accounts such as these are so important to remember.
I must admit that I experienced some fear of going to see a Christian film because I can be rather critical of the typical badly-filmed poorly acted homeschool family film. 

Imagine my relief and excitement when I immediately found myself immersed in the movie, with no qualms at all about the quality of the production!
We all agreed that this film accurately and respectfully portrayed the life and death of Polycarp. 
Polycarp (AD 80-167) was one of the earliest martrys. A student of the apostle John, Polycarp served as the bishop of Smyrna.  Tertullian testifies of Polycarp's discipleship with John, while Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna. Polycarp was martyred at an advanced age for refusing to burn incense to the Roman Emperor. He was burnt at the stake and then, when the flames did not end his life speedily enough, stabbed to death. A famous quote from the martyr is:
"Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong"

       How wonderful then, that Henline productions (run by talented brother and sister Joe and Jerica Henline) has produced this beautiful film dramatizing the later years of Polycarp. Although it incorporates some fictional aspects, one can tell that the film was made with much thought and consideration to historical detail and the glory of God in particular. This is no money-seeking venture but rather a film dedicated to the Lord! 

Since there are so few details known about the daily life of Polycarp, Henline productions created several fictional characters, specifically a slave girl ''Anna'' around which to weave the story. The whole film beautifully emphasizes God's amazing love and grace as the family in the story actively demonstrate God's love by opening up their hearts and home to the young slave girl.
It makes a wonderful family film which will open up hearts and lead to important conversations particularly with young children. On that note, I will assure you that this movie kindly avoids gore and extreme violence. The scenes in the ampitheatre are surprisingly well-done with the horror of the moment being represented yet there is nothing you would want to hide from a child younger than 8 or 9. 

Other aspects we loved about the movie include...
-Sets/props were accurate; excellent portrayal of ancient Smyrna (our family loves history and are used to critiquing films)
-Believer's worship gatherings were realistic and well done (you know how awkward it is when you're watching a film about believers in ancient times and they use terms from the 21st century? Not so in this film, thankfully!)
-Gary Nation who played Polycarp did a great job!
-Eliya Hurt, although not a professional actress played her main role of ''Anna'' delightfully
-The score by Benjamin Botkin was absolutely beautiful. I loved how he incorporated traditional instruments into the music to give it a perfect Greek feel.
-The horror of the amphitheater was hinted at without there being any gore whatsoever
-I recommend this movie for ages 8+
-The cinematography of this film was especially pleasing. Beautiful color tones and filming.

As for those necessary critical thoughts which I'm sure you want to hear since there is no way this movie can be absolutely perfect...
-We didn't care for the actor (Gary Bosek) who played the evil Quadratus...but he was a bad guy, and nobody's supposed to like them right? We just found his acting talent lacking. 
-The mother (played by Ilse Apestegui) is sweet but a little overdone in the film. However,
this probably won't bother most people since a lot of actresses posing as mothers in films are like that. 
-There are some amateur actors of course, but not unbearable. 
-Although I prefer slower-paced films over fast-paced, I did find that this movie was a little long (slow) but it wasn't meant to pass as an action or adventure film, so one can hardly criticize it for that. And I did watch it at the end of a full Sunday so I was probably tired.
In conclusion, your family can't go wrong with getting this movie and watching it together! You will be moved and blessed by it. 

April 21, 2015

March 2015...promoting Beyond the Mask

Of course you have heard of Beyond the Mask? 

Well, in March my siblings and I, as well as some friends spent a few days helping the Burns with shipping promotional materials to the theater captains around the US! It was fun to read all the names and addresses...we even sent a box to ''North Pole, Alaska''! :) 
Promotional ''tickets'' for the theater captains

T-shirts for theater captains

Dozens of empty boxes!

Fun busy-ness...we had quite the speedy system going, Lindsey, Ben, Mrs. S. and I! 
Of course the others tried their best as well... ;) 

Also that weekend, we spent some fun hours promoting the film with hundreds of conference attendees at a local homeschool conference! I just might be going into sales after this...it was really fun. :)
getting set up

A pretty nice poster, I must say!

Peter Saffa has things all under control here... ;)

Speaking of, this is Peter's masterpiece. It's kind of spooky. 

Folks! It's your favorite salesman....Sam!
I so do not trust him. 

This is more what I looked like....
''excuse me, would you like a flyer?Oh, but you would like a flyer! Please take a flyer!''


Sara, myself and Nikola

Peter, Grand rearranging things the start of the second day

A little guy watching the trailer :)


 When the conference was over, the Burns, Grant and we went to Westport Plaza on our way home to relax with some Panera's...
I had never been to Westport Plaza before. (feeling sheepish) It was delightful.

My very own Westport Plaza selfie

The view from the tower was beautiful! 
I could live here. :)

April 20, 2015

A dolls' St. Patrick's day 2015

After doing a successful little dolls' Valentine's party, I promised Katia (8) that the next event would be a dolls' St. Patrick's breakfast...So on March 13th I got up (I make it sound like an unusual feat, don't I) and unpacked my little Irish things (from my 10th birthday :)) 

(insert photo of honorable 10th birthday):
I suppose I look about 3 years older now. ;p

When Katia saw what I was doing, she insisted upon helping. 
                    My childhood dolls (and bear) were excited to attend a party again. :)
                                       Of course they were all decked out in green....

Tien Pao and Sammy tried very hard to not crash the party...but considering their wardrobe choices, I'm not sure what to think. Supposedly they were short on green vestments.

Now..to make you hungry and to inspire you to return to my blog for the recipes when I share them...
Minty coconut patties...  made with stevia. As in... no sugar! :) 

Little scones

Healthy orange ''jello'' :) Recipe to come...
I juiced carrots, apples, etc. and mixed with gelatin and honey.

Unhealthy shortbread cookies :)

Healthy. Don't hurt their feelings. They tried their best and actually tasted good. 

Healthy trifle...my favorite :)
Recipe to come some time


   It was a pleasant little morning...I'm so proud of myself for not forcing my dear family to consume some overly green concoction such as....
(assurance: this photo was found online. I may love green, but I don't go that far)

This is as far as I've ever gone.... ;)
(photo from 2011)

Of courseth, around St. Patrick's day we watched Riverdance! :) 

LOVE Riverdance :)

April 8, 2015

A dance in March

There is another dance coming up this week, so I thought I would post pictures from the March dance with friends before...well before 
1) we go to a new dance and forget all about March's
2) Furthermore, we aren't interested in seeing pictures from March's dance
3) we get totally confused when the Mazzou posts pics from a March dance when we've just attended an April one...
In other words, for your sanity, here are pics from the March dance. :) 
Lots of friends attended!
I love those first two shots! 

Our Dad looks mischievous :)

Sweet :) 

Baby with her Auntie!

(these siblings were so much fun to watch dance :) )

So happy Ellie joined us at this dance!!!


I loved this girl's style!

Had to take a picture of these two! :)