Film

Astral City: Entering the Spirit World

Alyson Charles by Alyson Charles | January 25th, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Inspirational Media, Personal Growth | tags: afterlife, Andre Luiz, Astral City, Chico Xavier, dead, death, Film, gaiam tv, life, life after death, living, mediums, movie, psychography, purgatory, review, seance, spirit world, spirits, spiritualism, transformation

Astral City

One of humanity’s most mysterious and pondered questions is, “What happens when we die?

Astral City on GaiamTV.com poses the answer to this question in an extremely unique and bold way, using the notion of spiritualism. With spiritualism, spirits of the dead have the ability and inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions are held by mediums, who provide information about the afterlife.

If you’re ready for a wild, mind-opening and thought-provoking ride that’s based on a true story, Astral City is your ticket. Here are the highlights:

The Hunger Games: Landmark for Millennials

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | March 29th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Inspirational Media, Personal Growth | tags: apocalyptic, critic, death, Film, Gary Ross, generation, Hollywood, HOPE, hopeful, Jennifer Lawrence, millennials, movie, reality television, reality TV, Spiritual Cinema Circle, Suzanne Collins, technology, The Hunger Games, video games, violence, violent

The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games is certainly the most frightening movie that I have ever seen … and, in a bizarre way, one of the most hopeful.

Even though it contains echoes of films such as 1984, Network and The Lord of The Flies, The Hunger Games is singularly unique in that it represents a very “right now” look at our celebrity-worshiping, violence-laden, reality-television culture, and it throws in some chilling warnings about the dangers of all-powerful government.

Having not read any of Suzanne Collins’ three books from which this film springs, my first impression upon hearing about the film’s central theme of a nationwide contest that pits 24 teenagers against each other in a fight to the death was ”Uh-oh, here we go again with the mindless violence…”

Somewhere in Time, It’s Midnight in Paris

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | June 29th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: Christopher Reeve, critique, Film, future, love, Midnight in Paris, movie reviews, movies, Owen Wilson, Paris, passion, past, present, Rachel McAdams, Relationships, romance, Somewhere in Time, Stephen Simon, the 1920's, the past, time travel, Woody Allen

Midnight in ParisMy wife Lauren and I were delighted to see Woody Allen’s new film, Midnight in Paris, over the weekend. The film is wonderfully entertaining, very sweet and really a lot of fun.

Owen Wilson plays a successful screenwriter who has come to Paris with his fiancée and her parents. While his fiancée sees the trip as a shopping opportunity, Mr. Wilson has a different agenda. He has always loved the notion of being a novelist, has indeed written his first book, and is enamored with the whole concept of being an artist in Paris, not a commercial “hack.” Unfortunately, his fiancée (played with great audacity and courage by Rachel McAdams) is shallow, materialistic and totally horrified that her soon-to-be husband is actually considering a career that is not based solely on making money.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | January 31st, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: break up, breakup, change, emotions, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Film, forget, heartache, heartbreak, Hollywood, letting go, love, memories, memory, movie, pain, Relationships, romance, Stephen Simon

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindFrom time to time, I will highlight a classic film that some — maybe even many — people might have missed. Or forgotten. Or maybe you did see it, and forgot that you asked for it to be erased it from your memory?

Imagine:

Your heart has been broken in a love relationship that ends.

Someone offers you the chance to literally erase that relationship — that person — and everything about it and them from your memory forever.

Would you do it?

Should you do it?

COULD you do it?

Such is the provocative premise of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind from 2004.

Tucson, Christina, Healing and Rabbit Hole

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | January 17th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Inspirational Media, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: anger, child, children, Christina Green, courage, crisis, death, family, father, Film, friends, grace, grief, grieving, happiness, healing, HOPE, humanity, joy, kids, loss, marriage, mother, mourn, mourning, movie, parenting, parents, Rabbit Hole, Relationships, saddness, tragedy, tragic, Tucson

Still from the movie Rabbit Hole

As a parent and grandparent, I was very hesitant to watch Rabbit Hole because I knew that it focused on parents who were dealing with the death of their child. After much encouragement from my wife, Lauren, and one of our community members (Mark), and with the tragedy in Tucson in the background, we watched the film last night and were absolutely mesmerized.

Love Actually: A Holiday Classic

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | December 19th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Inspirational Media, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, christmas, Colin Firth, family, Film, friends, holiday season, Hugh Grant, It’s a Wonderful Life, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Love Actually, movie, multiple storylines, Old Hollywood, Richard Curtis

Love Actually movie poster“The” holidays. Family. Close friends. The end of one year and the beginning of a new one. A time when one’s heart may be at its most vulnerable — either fully open to the warmth of all the love that the season can imply, or, perhaps, fully susceptible to the loneliness that can seem almost unbearable in the longing for family, a significant other, health, or peace of mind.

The Old Hollywood often embraced this season with films that touch the beauty within the soul of humanity, the best known and most enduring example being perhaps It’s a Wonderful Life which always plays innumerable times during this season (and in which I get lost each and every time I happen to flip to it when it’s on — I’m always hooked!).

For our family, another film has arisen as a classic Holiday film. Love Actually is “actually” that wonderful and it is a pleasure to be able to luxuriate in its dizzying and intoxicating recipe for joy, laughter, pathos, and life.

The Blind Side: The Must-See Movie of the Holidays (and 2009)!

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | November 27th, 2009 | 2 Comments
topic: Inspirational Media, Personal Growth | tags: Film, holiday movie, inspirational film, inspirational media, inspirational movies, movies, must-see movie, Stephen Simon, The Blind Side

TheBlindSidePostercroppedRemember what it was like to go to a movie and cry and laugh and applaud and feel great about just being alive when you walked out of the theater?

I do. And you will, too, when you run as fast as you can to a neighborhood theater to see The Blind Side, one of the most touching, wondrous, uplifting and miraculous movies of the last several years. And, what makes the experience even more delicious is that the film is based on a true story.

See ‘Earth,’ Then See 8 of Earth’s Most Amazing Wildlife Destinations

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | May 7th, 2009 | 2 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living, Inspirational Media | tags: africa, antarctic, arctic, climate change, conservation, Disney, earth, eco-travel destinations, endangered-species, Film, movie, penguins, polar-bears, spirit bear, whale watching, wildlife

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Disneynature’s acclaimed new film Earth presents the most spectacular 100 minutes of wildlife footage I have ever seen. The film reunites directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, who produced the award-winning BBC series “Planet Earth,” in a new venture that brings equally stunning images to the big screen.

Waking the Dead

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | April 4th, 2008 | 1 Comment
topic: Inspirational Media | tags: Film, Hollywood

One of our subscribers at The Spiritual Cinema Circle recently left an entry on our message boards that included “I just wish Hollywood would wake up.”

That would require much more of a resurrection than an alarm clock. Waking the dead is still quite a challenge for us mere mortals.