Archive for the ‘Wednesday Movies’ Category

Movie Wednesday: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Brave Writer Movie Wednesday Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum

After the planet Earth is destroyed by Vogons to make way for an intergalactic bypass, Arthur Dent, the last surviving human man, hitchhikes to safety along with his alien friend, Ford, aboard the Vogon ship. Soon afterwards, they are dumped into space by the Vogons, where they once again hitchhike aboard the ship of Trillian (the last human woman) and the President of the Galaxy (who also happens to have two heads), Zaphod Beeblebrox, and they become immediately swept up into the quest to find the ultimate question of the universe.

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Originally a radio comedy series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams was published in 1979 and has become a science fiction classic.

In 2005 a major motion picture adaptation was released with a screenplay co-written by Douglas Adams, who sadly passed away before the film was completed.

Under the guise of absurdist humor, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy deals with themes of bureaucracy, callousness, whether life has meaning, and seeing things from someone else’s point of view.

Discussion Questions

  • Arthur Dent is the Every Man, meant to stand in for the audience members. But if you were in Arthur Dent’s position as one of the last surviving humans, how do you think you would react? Would you react like Arthur or in some other way?
  • Trillian is the only female member of the main cast. How do you think the story might change if more of the characters were women?
  • If you could custom build a planet as we see in the film, what would your planet be like?
  • If you were to write a chapter on yourself in the Hitchhiker’s Guide, what would it say?

Additional Resources

DIY Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Towel Bag (YouTube video)

Brave Writer’s FREE movie discussion guide

Brave Writer’s January 2020 Book/Movie Duo online class (recommended for ages 11-14) will explore the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

BoomerangLearn language arts with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Boomerang!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Movie Wednesday: Sense and Sensibility

Brave Writer Movie Wednesday Sense and Sensibility

by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum

The Dashwood sisters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, are left penniless when Mr. Dashwood passes away, leaving everything to their half-brother who forces them to move out of their own home and live meagerly with distant relatives. In the country, the young women encounter love and heartache as they navigate their new social status.

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen was originally published in 1811. It’s original by line read: “By a Lady.” But today Jane Austen might be one of the most recognizable author names on any given shelf in a bookstore.

In 1995 Austen’s novel was adapted to the big screen as a major motion picture. Directed by Ang Lee, the film stars Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant.

Much of Austen’s work, if not all of it, falls under the genre of novels of manners. Novels of manners are deeply concerned with, well, manners. That is to say, the social conventions, restrictions, and behaviors that “define a class.”

In Sense and Sensibility, a lot of emphasis is given to how characters behave when interacting with others, sometimes in juxtaposition with how society feels they ought to behave. Characters who behave “improperly” are sneered at or judged by those around them.

A central struggle many characters face is how to forge meaningful relationships around the restrictions on class and gender interactions put on them by society, and much of both the comedy and drama arises from how awkward following these conventions can make a conversation.

Discussion Questions

  • At the time during which Sense and Sensibility is set only men could inherit property, so the Dashwood sisters and their mother are deprived of their home and forced to live in the countryside. What other examples from the story can you think of that show the different social restrictions and expectations placed on men and women?
  • Do you think the film provides sufficient evidence of the change in Marianne’s affections towards Colonel Brandon at the end of the film or does it feel too sudden? Explain your answer.
  • Of the Dashwood sisters, whom do you relate to the most and why?
  • A character arc is when a character fundamentally changes as a result of their experiences. Example: Marianne journeys from innocent naivety to a more subdued practicality after her heart is broken by Willoughby. Do you think Elinor has a character arc? And if so, in what ways do you think she demonstrates growth over the course of the story?

Additional Resources

Brave Writer Boomerang Book ClubSign up now for our online Boomerang Book Club for Sense and Sensibility (class begins January 1, 2019).

Our book discussions are drawn from rich works of fiction that will easily fulfill the English credit requirement for literature for a year of high school.

Also check out our Brave Writer ideas for a Jane Austen Deep Dive including:

  • novels,
  • films,
  • writing
  • prompts,
  • tutorials, and more!

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January 2019 Movie Club Theme: Transformations

January 2019 Movie Club: Transformations

Getting cozy on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn watching movies and counting it as “school” is homeschool at its finest. Grab your teen and your favorite snacks and join us in our first Movie Discussion Club of 2019 (Jan 7—Feb 1). You won’t want to miss this special selection of films.

Discussing movies doesn’t feel like the chore of writing. When we get close to a teen’s passion, the words flow easier. For the teens who love movies, it’s not enough to watch them. They want to rehash the casting choices, the twist in the plot, the unsatisfying ending. Give them a chance to dive deep!

Kick off the new year with discussion about thought-provoking films on the theme of transformation. The big question asked in each of these films set in locations around the world: Given the constraints of the life we are living, is change possible? Join us in this club and discover the filmmakers’ fascinating answers.


The Breadwinner — Physical transformation. An animated tale set in Afghanistan where an 11-year-old girl takes on the appearance of a boy to support her family.

The Dhamma Brothers — Spiritual transformation. A documentary of what happens to a group of hardened criminals in an Alabama prison when they undertake the grueling 10-day challenge of Vipassana meditation.

Whale Rider — Cultural transformation. Set in New Zealand, an old chief searches desperately for the next leader of the community amongst the boys of the village. He refuses to see that his own granddaughter may be the best choice.

Please Vote for Me — Political transformation. This documentary follows a class of elementary school students in China as they participate in democratic elections to determine who will hold the coveted post of Class Monitor.

Here’s what our students say:

I love the way it doesn’t feel like writing, even though it is! And, instead of just watching the movie, I got to ponder deeper into the movie, versus skimming the surface. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!! —Brian N.

[About the Globetrotters—Iran Movie Club] To me, this was more than a movie club. Through these movies, I have learned not only how Iranian movies are made but also about Iranian history, culture, people, religion, geography, law, human rights issues, and much more. I am positive that I have learned a lot more than I could have ever learned in a geography or social studies class. It was an eye opening experience. I just love the club so much. —Meg I.

Sign Up for Our Online Movie Club

Register for Spring Classes before they’re gone!

Online classes for Spring Semester are filling up quickly—hop on over to our 2019 Spring Class Schedule and sign your kiddo(s) up for their favorite picks before we’re sold out!

Brave Writer classes are designed for the busy homeschooling parent:

  • 3-6 weeks in length (accommodating your family calendar).
  • Focused on a specific writing task—allowing a deep dive.
  • Each coach is a published author AND homeschooler.
  • Coaches offer positive, kind, instructive feedback that grows the writing.

Movie Wednesday: A Christmas Carol

Brave Writer Movie Wednesday A Christmas Carol

by Brave Writer alum, Amy Frantz

Ebenezer Scrooge is a selfish miser who believes Christmas and good will towards his fellow man are all “humbug.” But one Christmas Eve night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Marley, who warns Scrooge that he will be visited by three more spirits and if Scrooge does not heed what they show him then he will be doomed like Marley to wander alone and in chains as a ghost. At first Scrooge dismisses Marley’s apparition as the product of indigestion, but at the stroke of one o’clock the first spirit appears to him.

The spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come all manifest to Scrooge, showing him visions of his youth, the squalor and suffering of the poor which he has ignored in the present, and his fate “yet to come” if Scrooge remains as he is. But can Ebenezer Scrooge mend his ways and change his heart in time to prevent what he sees or will he be doomed to his fate?

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, or as it is more commonly known A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens. Published in 1843, it has never been out of print since publication, and is has been so oft adapted and performed that it remains a holiday staple to this day.

One of those many adaptations is the British-American film released in 1984 and starring George C. Scott as the infamous Scrooge. It was filmed on location in Schrewsbury, Shropshire in England.

Ebenezer Scrooge is famous for his uttering of the phrase, “Bah! Humbug!” So much so that it has come to be almost exclusively linked to him in the public consciousness and some people don’t actually know what the word “humbug” means other than being something said by this iconic character. The word humbug refers to a trick or something which is false or deceptive. So, when Scrooge calls Christmas “a humbug,” he means that it is a sham (in his opinion, of course).

Discussion Questions

  • Do you think the apparitions that appear to Scrooge are supposed to be real or are they simply the product of a guilty conscience? Explain your answer.
  • Towards the end of the film, Scrooge admits that he has spoken too quickly on matters which he gave “no great thought.” What do you think the story is trying to say about “thinking before you speak” and why it matters?
  • After being horrified by the visions of his future shown him by the last spirit, Scrooge promises that from now on he will “live in the past, present, and future.” What do you think he means by that?
  • Mr. Cratchit carrying Tiny Tim on his shoulder is an iconic image from A Christmas Carol and is often depicted on book covers of the story. What other famous images from the story can you think of and which is your favorite?

Additional Resources

BoomerangLearn language arts with the Boomerang program!

The Boomerang is a digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Amy Frantz is a Brave Writer alum. When not over-analyzing Star Wars, she has been known to have her nose stuck in a book by Dickens.

Shakespeare Resources

Shakespeare Resources

Part of the Brave Writer Lifestyle is getting to know Shakespeare! 

Here are some resources for introducing your kids to the Bard:

Shakespeare Family Workshop

Brave Writer’s online Shakespeare Family Workshop is a hands-on five-week workshop and is great for all kinds of learners.

The class includes:

  • craft projects,
  • group learning/research,
  • online resources, discussion,
  • creative writing
  • video recommendations

The family workshop provides a multi-sensory approach to the study of Shakespeare and his works. A few informal writing assignments will be provided for families to do together or separately.

Movie Wednesday: Romeo and Juliet

Our Romeo and Juliet Movie Wednesday selection includes:

  • a summary of the 2013 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet,
  • background information on the play and this particular adaptation including alterations made to the text
  • five discussion questions for starting Big Juicy Conversations, as well as additional resources.

Pouch of Boomerangs: Shakespeare’s Scribe

Combine literature and mechanics with Shakespeare! This Boomerang is a part of A Pouch of Boomerangs—a set of ten digital literature guides which are designed for 6th-7th grades. The Pouch is similar to The Boomerang but written for the middle school set. Purchase them individually or bundled together.

Check out our website page for more ways to include Shakespeare in your homeschool.

Shakespeare Family Workshop