Friday, May 10, 2013

Ring The Bell~ Movie Review

I may be dating myself just a bit, but do any of you remember when the Wonderful World of Disney was on Sunday nights? If we hurried home from church we could usually see just about the whole movie. As an adult and a parent, I appreciate those memories, in part because so many of the movie options today are generally NOT palatable for those with young children. How I long for true "Family Friendly" feature films.

This is why our family was so excited (and blessed) to be able to review the new movie Ring The Bell. This movie features some of our favorite things... baseball, and music (including a performance by Casting Crowns). I should mention that I had hoped to get this review up LAST week, but the craziness of ... you guessed it... BASEBALL interfered (we're discovering how life rolls with TWO boys in baseball this year, added to the 2x/week dance schedule of the daughter...).

Here is the "official" synopsis:

About Ring the Bell:
Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.
Ring The Bell features a host of well-known Christian music artists, such as Mark Hall along with his band Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, all who play a role in this inspirational drama. Several former and current Major League Baseball all-stars are also featured in the film: ESPN analysts John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe (a former Cy Young Award winner), along with Ben Zobrist.
This family-friendly movie was produced by Mark Miller, Beach Street Records' founder and Casting Crowns’ producer. Miller, who is also the lead singer and founder of country music group Sawyer Brown, co-wrote the script with Thomas Weber and Weber directed the production. 

Here's a trailer for you to check out~

So~ what did our family think? 
I am gratified to know that my children have developed the same sensibilities that I have regarding what is appropriate/not appropriate for general viewing, and they all, from the 5 yo to the 15 yo enjoyed being able to watch a movie that did not require muting, fast forwarding, or closing their eyes. 

What a relief not to hear obnoxious language, or themes that required "Censoring for the 5yo" (the only sensitive bit that would have bothered my eldest when she was 5, but didn't phase my current 5yo was a scene that included a brief, non-graphic discussion about a boy whose parents were in an accident). 

Although the movie is somewhat "slow-moving" that didn't bother any of us, and it fit the theme/subject matter of the film. My two eldest particularly enjoyed seeing the "Casting Crowns" performance, after having seen them live in concert last summer~ and CC gave a heartfelt message that will speak to the viewer as well as to the main character in the film. 

The videography is beautiful and well done. Left me with a very nostalgic, small-town, slower-pace-of-life feel that I enjoyed. The characters are well drawn, and my only negative is that there is a side-story romance that I felt could have been fleshed out a bit more ~ hard for me to jump from quiet attraction to suddenly holding hands, but that could just be me~ since it was a side-story, and not the main plot theme, perhaps it wasn't quite as relevant.

If you are looking for adventure, mystery, or action, you won't find it here. What you will discover is a feel-good story that touches on the mystique of "All-American, Baseball and Apple Pie" while telling about the greatest love story there is, and it might inspire you to want to go out and buy your own bell! :) 

Our family gives Ring the Bell 2 thumbs up!

Ring the Bell is available on DVD for only $19.99
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"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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