The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith

About The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith

THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN 2: FIRE OF FAITH continues the epic true saga of Elder John H. Groberg’s missionary adventures in Tonga as depicted in the eponymous Disney-distributed hit film of 2001. Whereas the original movie detailed Elder Groberg’s first mission to Tonga in the 1950’s as a 19 year-old bachelor, the sequel tells the inspiring true story of his return to Tonga in the 1960’s with his wife and five young daughters to serve as President of the Tonga-Fiji Mission.

Shortly after arriving in Tonga, John’s wife, Jean, becomes pregnant with their sixth child, a boy who is born with a serious illness that threatens to end his tiny young life. In fact, the boy is born too weak to be evacuated to another country with medical care sufficient to properly diagnose and treat him.

With their child’s life on the line, John and Jean face the ultimate trial of their faith only to find themselves enfolded in the love and prayers of thousands of Tongans of various religions who unite in a nationwide fast for the health of their little boy. Barriers of inter-religious strife are broken down as all unite in hopes of a miracle that will save the Groberg baby boy’s life, as well as that of the son of a non-Mormon Tongan minister who has been beaten within inches of death.

My review

I was blessed to be able to go to the World Premier of The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith the other night. I’ll just tell you up front that The Other Side of Heaven is one of my all time favorite movies. And the second one is just as great! I loved everything about it. Guess what?! The movie opens today, go see it!

The movie stars Christopher Gorham, as Elder Groberg or Kolipoki. He was also the star of the first movie. I loved the way they did that, it just works for both movies to have him be Elder Groberg in both. He does a great job.

One thing I really loved about this movie were the nods to the first one. I loved seeing Feki again. The scene at the beginning with his family that uses some of the same words, music and dancing as the first was just fun! And just the little things, like the woman who worried about his feet or Feki’s comments. It’s kind of hard to explain. But I just loved it.

There were so many parts in this one that made me laugh. Many of those things involved Elder Thomas S Monson. There was at least one time I can remember that the audience was kind of crying, and right then something funny happened and everyone was laughing through tears.

I loved the way this one portrays Elder Groberg’s family. The first movie was about his mission to Tonga. This one is about the family’s mission. There were so many awesome things about that. I loved Jean in the movie and the girls that played his daughters were adorable. It’s a bit hard to imagine his family being in some of the situations shown. I would personally have been a bit scared for our kids in them. But it just worked!

Another thing that really touched me is the religious aspect in it. Elder Groberg is, of course, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That was why he was in Tonga to begin with. But the movie also includes the story of a Tongan minister. Can I share with you the scene that touched me the most? It was when Elder Groberg’s is so sick in the hospital, and the minister prays for the boy. This was such a poignant scene, I guarantee I won’t soon forget it.

This movie is amazing! I loved everything about it. If you want to watch a family movie that will make you laugh, cry and think about life and maybe even religion in a different way, go watch this movie!

Movie Trailer

Learn more about The Other Side of Heaven 2

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About The Trial of Porter Rockwell

The Trial of Porter Rockwell

Based on the True Story

When former Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs is shot by an unknown assailant, rumors quickly spread that the Mormons are responsible for the attempted assassination of the controversial politician. Never a friend of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Boggs had four years earlier issued the infamous extermination order that pronounced, “Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State.”

Rumors gain new momentum when recently excommunicated member John C. Bennett implicates the Prophet Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell in the crime. Though these accusations are vehemently denied by Joseph and his supporters, arrest warrants are issued for the Prophet and his protector. Joseph’s warrant is dismissed; however, Porter Rockwell, not yet thirty, is arrested. After spending nine months in jail, Porter is finally brought to court for a grand-jury hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to indict him—a hurdle the state of Missouri must clear to proceed with a full criminal trial. This taut courtroom drama brings to life the friendship of Joseph and Porter and the original story behind the larger-than-life, legendary Porter Rockwell.

My review

I love the way there are things from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints history making their way to movies. It makes the events they depict so much easier to understand. I feel this one really gave life to this event and helped me understand so much better.

Who doesn’t love hearing stories about Porter Rockwell?! He’s one of my favorite characters from history. The way he’s portrayed in this movie really made me understand him better. I loved that it showed that he was a human. He may have made mistakes, or been the “Destroying Angel,” but number one he was a man, a husband, a father.

This movie isn’t very long. But it does a great job of showing what the trial would have been like. It’s well worth your time to view it! I think this would make an amazing family Sunday or Family Home Evening activity.

I was sent a copy of The Trial of Porter Rockwell DVD as a gift from Covenant Communications. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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Movie trailer

What to watch after The Trial of Porter Rockwell

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Just a bit of housekeeping before I get started today. This will be my last post before Christmas. I’ll be back next Wednesday with more book reviews. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas with your family.

I’m really excited to be part of a Christmas DVD blog tour and giveaway today! I enjoyed watching both of these movies. I can’t wait to tell you about them!

Christmas DVD Giveaway

About Christmas Break-In

Today was supposed to be one of the best days ever for nine-year-old Izzy Rush. But now, on the last day of class before Christmas break, she has been left alone at school. To make matters worse, the biggest blizzard this town has ever seen is blowing and snowing full force. Which is why three bumbling crooks on the lam decide to take shelter in the seemingly empty school. When Izzy discovers that the criminals are holding her friend Ray, the school custodian, she decides it’s up to her to save the day. But what can a nine-year-old girl do? You’d be surprised!  

My review of Christmas Break-In

This movie reminded me of one I used to watch when I was a kid. It’s kind of like Home Alone in the way that Izzy ends up in the school by herself. And right in the path of the bad guys too!

I loved the way she was inventive and resourceful. She was my very favorite character in this movie. Izzy is sassy and determined. She really was great!

I need to say that I was a bit annoyed by how ditsy both of Izzy’s parents were. Really?! There were parts that they both were just so stupid. It almost detracted from the plot a bit.

Izzy’s friend, Ray, the janitor was great. I loved the way he goes out of his way to help Izzy with everything. He even misses a concert and puts himself in harm’s way for her.

The criminals in this one were just kind of funny! They stole from somewhere that I would never have imagined. And their get away vehicle made me laugh. I did like that there was a thread of change and redemption in this one. The bad guy doesn’t always have to be bad.

All in all this one’s a cute one that you will love to watch year after year as part of your Christmas celebration.

Christmas Break-In Trailer

Christmas Break-In 60 second Trailer, Koan from Ron Brough on Vimeo.

Christmas Break-In Purchase link

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About The Christmas Apron

The children in Millie’s family can’t wait for Grandma to arrive with her special Christmas apron. According to tradition, each grandchild will write down the gift he or she wants most in the world, and then slip that wish into the apron’s pocket. Then, on Christmas morning, those wished-for gifts will be magically waiting under the tree. But then eleven-year-old Millie overhears her parents: the family can’t afford gifts for all the little ones. She pictures the disappointment on her siblings’ faces: nothing to open on Christmas morning. Is Millie willing to sacrifice her own whole-soul wish so that someone else’s can come true? Full of tender emotion and delightful surprise, this story reminds us of the miracles that unfold when we think of others before ourselves.

My review of The Christmas Apron

This little movie was just cute! I loved the characters in it. The way they are willing to give up their own heart’s desire for each other was just sweet. It brought tears to my eyes.

This one’s only about a half hour long, but there’s a lot going on in the plot. It kept me interested. I loved it! I can’t wait to get to watch this one over and over!

The Christmas Apron movie trailer

The Christmas Apron Trailer from Ron Brough on Vimeo.

The Christmas Apron purchase link

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jane and emma

About Jane and Emma

jane and emma Sister Jane Manning, a free black woman, and convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, returns to Nauvoo to find that Joseph Smith, her prophet and friend, has been assassinated.

Jane spends a ceaseless night with his widow, Emma Smith, sitting watch over the body of the Prophet, as a whirlwind of memory, loss and confusion leaves them wondering how either one of them will be able to move forward.

Through the long night, Jane wonders if the Prophet’s promise to extend the blessings of eternity to her has died along with him.

Join these two remarkable women of faith on an imagined night that reveals the essence of their complex, raw, and ultimately beautiful friendship.

My review

Several years ago, I read a series of books about Jane Manning James that really made me curious about her and her life. I’ll leave links to them after my review, so you can check them out. But since then, I’ve read other things about her and been curious about her. This movie has been on my to watch list, since I learned that it was coming out.

jane and emma

 

I got to go to the Salt Lake premier of this movie the other night. This movie enthralled me from the very opening scene. It opens with Jane having a dream. This dream leads her back to Nauvoo and Emma’s home. There she finds that the Prophet Joseph Smith has been murdered and Emma is there all alone with his body.

jane and emmaThe night the two of them spend together with Joseph’s body is heart wrenching. Obviously, Emma’s just lost her husband. But she also feels so insanely guilty about his death. As though it was her fault for calling him back when he was going to leave. 

I loved the actors that portrayed the characters in this one. Emma played by Emily Goss seemed believable. At first, I thought that she seemed a bit harsh, but she had just lost her husband. And Emma really went through a lot of things that most women will never have to because of who her husband was. Emma to me is one of those women that I will always look up to. She holds a special place in my heart.

Jane played by Danielle Deadwyler was probably my favorite character in this movie. I loved the way she kept trying, even when things were hard. Being kicked off the steamship without any clothes, would have made me rethink my journey to Nauvoo. Walking hundreds of miles from Buffalo to Nauvoo is not something I would even attempt. This woman was strong, she was courageous and she’s one of my all time favorite women ever! 

I got to talk to Danielle Deadwyler for just a few minutes after. I asked her what her favorite part of the movie had been. I’ve been thinking about what she told me ever since. And I think what she said can have an application in our lives. She said her favorite parts were all on one day. They shot the hardest, most gut wrenching scenes the same day. And that for her, knowing she could get through that day showed her that she could do hard things. We all have days that are hard, and just like Danielle, we can focus on being able to do the hard things. To get through them and to thrive. I love that!

Anyway…Jane and Emma is a fantastic movie. It’s one that I can’t wait to watch again. If you live in Utah where this movie is opening this weekend, go see it! If not, make sure you go to janeandemmamovie.com to find out how you can request that this movie play in your state.

Jane and Emma Movie Trailer

 

Books about Jane Manning James that I mentioned earlier

 

 

 

 

little women

Do you have books or movies that you read or watched as a kid that still affect you as an adult? For me Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of those. I loved reading the book and I loved watching the movie as well. I still consider both of them to be  favorites.

So when I saw that there was a new Little Women movie coming out, I was really excited! And I was even more excited to get to go to the movie premiere the other night before the movie actually came to theaters. My oldest daughter, also a Little Women fan, went with me.

little women

I loved the new movie. The way they changed up the plot was clever, I loved it! This version has the girls as adults, focusing mainly on Jo. But she flashes back to when they were kids and you get to see the whole plot. And this version is set in modern times, so the girls deal with things that kids now would be dealing with. I loved that as well! This movie made me laugh and it made me cry. Make sure to take some tissues for yourself!

It was really fun to see characters in this one that I recognized from other movies. There were a couple from the High School Musical series as well as some of my other favorite movies.

little women

Another thing that’s really awesome about this new movie, is that the 150th anniversary of the book’s release is coming up in just a couple of days on September 30th. I love that a whole new generation of girls can come to love these characters and this story through this movie. That’s fantastic!

Little Women opens in theaters today! Make sure to take the time to go see it. 

About Little Women

From girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — are always committed to supporting one another. When Jo moves to New York to pen a novel, her editor challenges her to write about something much more interesting — her family. When tragedy brings the siblings back home, sticking together takes on a whole new meaning as Jo tries to comfort Beth when she gets sick.

Check out the movie trailer!

About Trek the Movie

Trek: The MovieTrek follows a young Mormon teenager named Tom and his friends on their handcart journey. Along the way, they try to smuggle in unsanctioned food, battle sibling rivalry, encounter a “special ops” Young Men leader, match wits with a Twinkie-loving skunk, and ponder doctrinal brain teasers like, “Do General Authorities go to PG-13 movies?” But, when they encounter unexpected trouble, their faith is tested much like that of their pioneer ancestors. Whether you’ve been on a trek or not, your family will laugh along and ultimately beinspired as you enjoy this delightful film.

Special Features

  • Trek bloopers
  • Meet the Cast
  • Director Commentary

My thoughts about Trek The Movie

I got to watch this one in the theater. I’ve been looking forward to the DVD coming out so that I could see it again!

This movie is way unique in that it’s about a very specific aspect of Mormon culture. Going on a trek is such a special thing for our young people. I know it was something that our older daughter looked forward to going on and now our younger daughter is looking forward to it in a few years as well.

Trek: the Movie is so well done! I didn’t have my own trek experience, but after watching this movie, I almost felt as though I had. 

I loved the characters in it. There’s the kids that don’t want to be there, for various reasons, the leaders, (some of these were quite funny as well), and it even has the kids that keep trying to make out. My favorite was the Twinkie boy. I had to laugh at all of his antics. His trying to sneak all of his favorite treats onto trek when he knew they weren’t allowed was so funny! There was one part with him and his sister and her doll that made me laugh so hard!

There’s also the boy who is only there because his parents have bribed him. I liked the way the audience doesn’t know why he doesn’t want to go at first. It takes quite a lot of the movie before everything with him is pieced completely together and makes sense.

I liked the way this movie is done. There is plenty of humor, fun and laughing. But the movie has serious parts too. There’s a huge problem that needs to be solved and the kids have to solve it on their own. It takes all of them to do it.

My whole family loved this movie. I loved the extras on the DVD. There were tons of deleted scenes that kept our family laughing. There’s a great music video and the commentary. I don’t usually watch all of the commentary. Our daughter had it on and it was a lot of fun to listen to what the directors were saying about Trek: the Movie.

I was sent a copy of this movie in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase links

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Movie Trailer

Letter from Alan Peterson Director of Trek the Movie 

Trek the MovieIt’s exciting to anticipate the DVD/BluRay release of TREK, the movie. Being with audiences in theaters is the fulfillment of any director’s dream.  But, the reality of independent film is that you can’t get a movie into enough theaters so that everyone who wants to, can see it.  July 3rd is a day that lots of TREK fans have been waiting for.  Now, everyone can enjoy the laughs and lessons of TREK whenever they want.  One of our goals in producing the movie was to create a story that would honor the wonderful tradition of this hands-on experience unique to our faith.  Trek provides a critical chance to connect with our past. Why is this important?  I’ll let Elder Russell M. Ballard explain: 

I have a deep conviction that if we lose our ties to those who have gone before us, including our pioneer forefathers and mothers, we will lose a very precious treasure. I have spoken about “Faith in Every Footstep” in the past and will continue in the future because I know that rising generations must have the same kind of faith that the early Saints had in the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.” (General Conference, October 2017, The Trek Continues!)

It is too easy to forget what our pioneer ancestors sacrificed for their faith and for our good. I hope families can sit down together and share the movie and talk about how grateful we should be for the men, women and children who marched into the unknown following a prophet of God so long ago. And, I hope they will talk about the challenges they face today as members of the church as we march forward into the unknown.  Do you feel like Tom and wonder where God is?  How do we connect with Him? What do we do when we feel weak and alone? Hopefully, TREK helps us know that our Heavenly Father is there and that He cares. 

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About the Trek the Movie: Written by Hollywood screenwriter David Howard and Jon Enos, and directed by Alan Peterson, TREK is a family comedy that follows a group of LDS teens as they stumble their way through the sagebrush looking for their pioneer heritage as well as their own testimonies. 

Watch as Tom, a young Mormon teenager and his friends try to smuggle in unsanctioned food, battle sibling rivalry, encounter a “special ops” Young Mens leader, ponder doctrinal brain teasers, and match wits with a Twinkie-loving skunk.  Through all of the ups and downs, they are revealed to be “real” LDS youth who are struggling with real challenges—doubts, divorce, relationships.  When they encounter unexpected trouble, their faith is tested much like their pioneer ancestors.

My review: A few weeks ago my family and I were able to go to a pre-screening of a movie. This movie is way unique in that it’s about a very specific aspect of Mormon culture. Going on a Trek is such a special thing for our young people. I know it was something that our older daughter looked forward to going on and now our younger daughter is looking forward to it in a few years as well.

Trek the M9ovie is so well done! I didn’t have my own trek experience, but after watching this movie, I almost felt as though I had. 

I loved the characters in it. There’s the kids that don’t want to be there, for various reasons, the leaders, (some of these were quite funny as well), and it even has the kids that keep trying to make out. My favorite was the Twinkie boy. I had to laugh at all of his antics. His trying to sneak all of his favorite treats onto Trek when he knew they weren’t allowed was so funny! There was one part with him and his sister and her doll that made me laugh so hard!

There’s also the boy who is only there because his parents have bribed him. I liked the way the audience doesn’t know why he doesn’t want to go at first. It takes quite a lot of the movie before everything with him is pieced completely together and makes sense.

I liked the way this movie is done. There is plenty of humor, fun and laughing. But the movie has serious parts too. There’s a huge problem that needs to be solved and the kids have to solve it on their own. It takes all of them to do it.

My whole family loved this movie. We’re still talking about it weeks later! Can’t wait for it to come out in Theaters so that we can see it again.

I was able to go to a pre-screening of this movie with my family.

This movie comes to theaters on April 6th, in Utah. To get all the details, check out the movie’s website.

Movie Trailer

 

 

About the movie: Indy lives with her aunt and uncle and believes her life is fine until an accident brings a new guy into her life. Bryant Bailey is not Indy’s type – she’s never been into guys like him. But then again, she’s never really known anyone so stubborn and caring that can also help her discover who she is and what she’s worth. A modern telling of Cinderella, based on the novel by Jenni James.

My review: One of our family’s favorite things to do together is to watch movies. I don’t know if you’re like us or not, but if our family is going to watch a movie together, we want it to be clean. There’s nothing worse than watching a movie and not realizing there’s inappropriate language or one of THOSE scenes in it. I love it when I find clean movies that I can share with others.

This movie is based on one of Jenni James’ books, and it was a good one too! Our family watched this movie last Friday, both of our daughter’s (17 and 12) loved it! In fact, they voted to watch it again on Saturday. And then they both started reading the book, and I think they both finished the book last weekend as well.

I loved the whole story line of this movie. I liked Indy. I liked the way she worked so hard and never complained when she never got any of the things that normal kids got. I liked the way she was with Bryant. I thought it was kind of funny that she refused to forgive him. And I loved the way he never gave up, even when she was purposely mean and it would be hard for him to want to keep trying. There’s also Maxon, he’s Indy’s best friend. It was so funny when he declared that she was his girlfriend and she had no idea! 

I didn’t like Indy’s family. Her aunt and uncle are horrible and her cousins…wow! Let’s just say the whole family are terrible.

I loved everything about this movie! I loved the characters, the plot, the actors and actresses in it. Make sure to go watch it yourself!

I was able to watch this movie for free on Amazon, using my Prime subscription.

Watch it on Amazon! Or you could read the book.

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