Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 12/15/21

Remember theaters? As Christmas and a New Year approach, here are four faith and family-friendly movies arriving at big screens near you.

1. Sing 2(in theaters December 22)

Synopsis: Buster (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) has turned the New Moon Theater into a local hit, but the showrodent has his eyes set on debuting a new and bigger show at the world-famous Crystal Tower Theater in glamorous Redshore City.  With no connections, Buster and his cast—including harried mother Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson), earnest Johnny (Taron Egerton), shy Meena (Tori Kelly) and provocateur Gunter (Nick Kroll)— sneak their way into the Crystal Entertainment offices run by ruthless mogul Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale).

In a desperate attempt to get Mr. Crystal’s attention, Gunter spontaneously pitches an outrageous idea that Buster quickly runs with, promising that their new show will star rock legend Clay Calloway (Bono) who has shut himself away from the world more than a decade ago after the loss of his wife. The problem is Buster has never met Clay.

Even worse, Buster has failed to realize that Mr. Crystal is an egocentric gangster who would rather drop somebody off the roof of a building than be lied to. As the pressure (and sinister threats) from Mr. Crystal mount, Rosita’s leading role in the show gets ripped away and handed to Mr. Crystal’s spoiled daughter Porsha (Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Halsey). Desperate to save the show (and his life) Buster embarks on a quest to find Clay and persuade him to return to the stage.

What begins as a dream of big-time success becomes an emotional reminder of the power of music to heal even the most broken heart.  Sing 2 combines more than 40 contemporary and classic hit songs from pop to rock, hip hop to Latin, and from artists including Billie Eilish, Drake, U2, The Weeknd, Prince, Taylor Swift, BTS, Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.

2. A Journal for Jordan (in theaters Christmas Day)

Synopsis: Based on the true story of First Sergeant Charles Monroe King (Michael B. Jordan), a soldier deployed to Iraq who kept a journal of love and advice for his infant son. Back at home, senior New York Times editor Dana Canedy (Chanté Adams) revisits the story of her unlikely, life-altering relationship with King and his enduring devotion to her and their child. Directed by Denzel Washington a with a screenplay by Virgil Williams.

American Underdog (in theaters Christmas Day)

Synopsis: The inspirational true story of how Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi) went from stocking shelves at a grocery store to becoming a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback. Just when his dreams seemed all but out of reach, the support of his wife Brenda (Anna Paquin), along with encouragement of his family, coaches, and teammates, help him persevere and find the strength to show the world the champion that lives within him.

Tiger Rising (in theaters January 21)

Synopsis: Rob Horton (Christian Convery), a bullied 10-year-old boy who just lost his mother and is starting a new life in rural Florida comes upon a full-grown Bengal tiger, hidden in the woods and held captive by the mean motel owner (Dennis Quaid). Based on the New York Times best-selling book by Kate DiCamillo, the parabolic film also stars Queen Latifah.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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