The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
"Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season'' recycles the same characters and in a way the same problems as the wonderful original film, but carries the message a little further. The first film was about a boy who is adopted by a dog, loves it and wants to protect it from its cruel owner--even if that means lying to his parents. This sequel is about how people get to be cruel in the first place, and what you might be able to do to help them.
What's unique about both films, which are based on novels by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, is that they're about hard ethical issues that kids can identify with. A boy's dog inspires fierce love and protectiveness, and if he thinks adults (even his parents) might be a threat to the dog, he will instinctively do what he can to protect it. Even lie.
Who is to say he is wrong? Yes, "lying'' is wrong--but what if it's the only weapon at your disposal to protect a dog that depends on you? I don't think I'd be pleased if a son of mine betrayed his dog. On the other hand, I don't think I'd let him know that. I'd let him find out in other ways. Sometimes parents and children have to enact these passion plays to learn lessons that are deeper than words.
"Shiloh 2'' takes place once again in an isolated rural area populated only by the Prestons, their alcoholic neighbor Judd Travers and the friendly folks at the general store. At one point it occurred to me that the lives of the entire Preston family--father, mother, son, daughters and dog--were completely dominated by Travers, who is their only visitor and the subject of most of their conversations. But there's a kind of purity to the way the story narrows down to the key players.