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Book & Movie Reviews

“Legally Blonde”
Film Review by Kaitlyn Mills

Legally Blonde is a hilariously inspirational story of a woman who preservers to follow her dreams, despite her friends and family telling her she can’t. Elle Woods has always been stereotyped as a “dumb blonde.” She is the president of her sorority, Delta Nu, and a fashion merchandising major at UCLA. When her boyfriend unexpectedly breaks up with her, she is determined to get him back, no matter what it takes. Even going to Harvard Law School. Once at Harvard, Elle faces many naysayers in her quest to win her (newly engaged to a new woman) ex back. Elle works hard, though, and is chosen as an intern for a case involving Brooke Wyndham, a fitness guru, a Delta Nu, and an alleged murderer. During the trial, Elle is faced with one more major setback when her professor hits on her and basically tells her she was only chosen as an intern for her looks. Elle initially quits the case but decides to come back and show everyone she really belongs. The comical movie has spawned two sequels, a TV show, a musical, and the pop culture staple, “The Bend and Snap.”  

While on the surface Legally Blonde may seem like a plain, silly, comedy, it really has a deeper impact. Elle must fight to prove herself when every thinks she is incapable of success. She works hard and shows everyone that you can have brains and be beautiful, too. Her inspirational story always helps motivate me when I’m feeling like I’m just not good enough for something. Plus, there are always some good fashion tips here and there!


"Bend it like Beckham"
Film Review by Lukonde M.

Bend It Like Beckham revolves around Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (played by Parminder Nagra), a British-Indian 18-year-old with two Sikh parents and an older sister named Pinky. Jess, much to the dismay of her parents, loves playing football (soccer to us Americans) and often runs off to play in the park with her best friend Tony. When Juliette "Jules" Paxton (played by Kiera Knightly) sees her playing in the park, she invites Jess to try out for the Hounslow Harriers, the local female football team. Trying to hide this from her family, all the while getting involved in a love triangle and preparing for her sister's wedding, Bend It Like Beckham is a movie that does not disappoint.
This movie is known as the breakout film for both Parminder Nagra and Kiera Knightly. Parminder Nagra went on to star in "E.R." as Dr. Neela Rasgotra and had a reoccurring role on the show "Psych" as Rachel. Kiera Knightly went on to star in movies such as Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean and Anna Karenina. These actresses, along with everyone who appears in the movie, gives a great and inspired performance, leaving viewers with a lasting impression.

What makes this movie unique is the fact that it touches on numerous issues all within the span of 112 minutes. Cultural clashes and expectations, love interests, sexism and even homosexuality are discussed in one way or another. Not many movies can cover many issues as well as Bend It Like Beckham did. 

Overall, the movie is amazing and everyone should see it. It's one of those movies that I can watch again and again and never get tired of even though I know all the words already!

"When Christians Get it Wrong" by Adam Hamilton
Book Review by: Alex S.

When Christians Get It Wrong is a powerful wake-up call to modern day Christians, as well as a request for a second look to those who have been turned away from the church by those who acted in un-Christian ways. With an excellent grasp of scripture and plenty of real-life experience, Hamilton shares his findings on just what non-Christians see in the church that causes them to turn around and walk out the door. Hamilton presents examples and stereotypes of many common attitudes among Christians today and spends time either outright condemning such behavior or arguing for a more loving way to present a belief to those around us. However, Hamilton doesn't just point out problems; he gives examples of when Christians get it right, making the book less of a reprimand and more of an instruction manual. With a wide range of topics covered and despite the small number of pages, Hamilton's book still manages to dive into some of today's biggest issues in the church. Overall, this is a great read with keen insight into the current issues in the modern church for both Christians and non-Christians alike.

"Reborn on the Fourth of July" by Logan Mehl-Laituri
Book Review by: Sarah W.
Reborn on the Fourth of July tells the the true story of a young man struggling to integrate his patriotism and his faith.  Logan recounts how the experiences he went through as a soldier in the Iraq War and the discussions he had with his friends and fellow comrades ultimately led him to his current position as a Christian conscientious objector.  Along the way, he also shares with us his vision of a nation that would allow its soldiers to practice just war doctrine; before reading this book, I was unaware that the government only recognizes obedience or complete pacifism and doesn't let its soldiers selectively object to the wars they deem unjust.  Another part of the book I found particularly interesting was his own CO application, ripe with Biblical references, which he included as an appendix at the end.  Anyone contemplating their own views on war, seeking to better communicate with the veterans in their midst, or simply wanting to understand what it means to "conscientiously object" will not regret reading this book.