Review of A Cowgirls Story -By Sabrina C.

When the text came last night saying the movie was on its way and would be in the mail box today we were all so excited. Of course we made immediate plans to get together to watch it. We started out with five but word spread we were having a viewing party and ended up with ten people watching.3
I will say not one of us were let down by this movie even though we all had our doubts about a religion based movie.  But this movie made some of us feel something we had been missing.  Something we grew up with and needed back in our lives. Prayer. Something bigger than ourselves to believe in again.

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At first I thought Pat Boone would doom this movie. Now I honestly can not imagine anyone else playing the part. He was perfect and the chemistry between him and the actors just made it seem so real and natural. Like he really was the grandpa. Not just some actor playing a part.  And sorry but he is not as old as I thought he would be.  He did an excellent job of showing what family unity and sticking together is all about.
Aiden Alexander and Troy Guiterrez both carried their roles like seasoned professionals and just fit. You know what I mean, like who ever cast these characters knew what they were doing,  They all just fit. Made it more real. I hope to see Bailee and Chloe work together again. They compliment each other well and seem like a natural fit.

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At first I thought well it is not normal for that many kids to lose a parent in the war but then Dawn reminded me that they likely lived in a military town. Since she is an air force brat herself she picks up on these things faster than I would.  And it is true if you live near a military base there are going to be a lot of families going through exactly what you go through.  One or both parents always missing from your life and sometimes they do not come home.
Timothy Armstrong did a beautiful job of showing what it really is like for military kids in this movie.  I do not understand why it did not go to theaters and we all agree it should have. It would have been a major contender for awards. There was no cheapness to this movie that you can tell by the video. It seemed well planned out and beautiful scenery so why video?  I am glad it is out and really don’t care how but feel like every single person who acted in this movie deserves recognition.

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First let me say don’t even think you will not tear up or even cry. If you have a heart in your chest you will cry.  When these kids show their true raw emotion over losing a parent it makes you so glad you can go home at night and hug your own. Not all in our group can do that. And without calling names several of our group of friends have lost a parent. And one of them lost in war.  But that will be up to them if they want to write about how this movie made them feel.
The story line carries nicely and kept our attention. no one left the room for snacks or anything during the movie. I don’t think anyone even spoke during it. We were captivated.
Of course Bailee Madison does her usual fantastic acting job but one thing we most agreed on was that is hard to watch her transition from the kid to being older.  She just seems like the same Bailee to us.  The ugly crying scene was pretty good though. Bailee plays Dusty Rhodes whose mother is away at war and her father gets shipped out but is right back immediately because he was wounded and now her mother is missing. She turned to her love of horses to stay busy and turned some troubled kids lives around to join her in forming a drill team.  I realize the movie had to be a certain length but there seemed to be major portions missing to explain things. Like how long was he gone before he was hurt and came back because in the movie it seemed like overnight. How long was her mother missing?
Then comes Chloe Lukasiak who we all knew could act from her role on center stage but seeing her play a troubled kid with a goth look was hard to bite into at first. Then Chloe sold the role.  Not a role I hope sticks to her but she sold this one. Her father has been killed in the war and her mother has turned to drinking to cope. Chloes role as Savannah was perfect. She tried to hide the truth from everyone of what she was going through but sometimes when you have no other family to fall back on things happen to families that are not what they expect.  Savannah and her mother lose their home because they can not afford to live like they could when her father was alive. Not only is her father dead but she loses her mother to drinking and acts out.  They say she spent time in Juvie but never went into it much. There are hints that the townspeople look down on them which was a flaw in the writing because most military families stick together and lift each other up not tear them down.
For those who say it is not real to see teens sitting on bleachers drinking at school. Where have you been? It is not only very real it is happening in more and more schools likely a lot more than you want to accept. Not only on bleachers but in parking lots, at lockers, in bathrooms and yes, even in classrooms. Kids today carry flask to school.  I wish the movie had covered more of this issue because drinking alcohol is a major problem for kids today. It should not be ignored by saying you don’t think it happens because it does.

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I thought the movie was going to be an extension of Cowgirls and Angels and Bailees character would show what happened after her father came back in her life. It has no connection at all to the first movie.  It in my opinion is much better.
Some are saying this is a feel good movie. A support your troops movie.  A religious movie. To me this is a movie that shows how people should act toward each other. Do not judge people going through hard times rather lift them up. Do not ignore someone who has lost their husband and turned to self medication instead get in there and help them survive it.
I don’t want to write to much on what was going on in the movie since this is the first day it is out and many have still not seen it but I will tell you this. Do not miss seeing this one. Our watch group ranged in ages from 14 years to 52 years old.   Every single one of us came away with a different feeling of what we have let go and need to get back to. Maybe it is being a better neighbor , maybe it is getting away from your faith and finding it again, maybe it is being a better friend or ignoring bullying when you see it. But everyone who watches this movie should do so with an open mind of what you let go in your life and need back in it and then make sure to follow through with getting it back.  You will be happier when you do. The world we live in today is in sad shape. Very sad shape. This movie shows you it can be better if you all work together and support one another with love and kindness.
I hope you will see it.  Grab a box of tissues because you will need them.
Excellent job by all. It would be great if Hallmark or some one would pick this up as a weekly series because it came real close to showing real life today as many know it.

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What I Learned From Watching Dance Moms

Many people have asked me why on earth I watch this show.  I got hooked on it  when I saw a young lady dancing to a favorite singer of mine, Bianca Ryan.  I looked her up and learned Chloe Lukasiak used to be on Dance Moms show on Lifetime TV. So of course I started  watching the show but she was not there. Then I learned she had left the show because that horrid woman who owned the dance studio had made fun of her for having a medical condition. Really made me dislike her even more ,
Well Sabrina, my friend, was nice enough to let me know they show reruns on another channel. So I started recording everything I could on dance moms and saw the younger dancers.
Of course like the rest of the world I fell in love with MacKenzie Ziegler. She was so cute and little. She was also very talented.
Then I really started looking up to Nia. It was like Nia was the big sister to everyone on the show even if she was younger than some of them in the beginning. I affectionately nicknamed her Ducky because it seemed like no matter what was thrown at her she just let it roll off her back. I thought wow here is a young lady with so much talent to share with the world being smothered and ignored on this show but she still shone through even when the cameras were not focused on her.  With a kind word to a team mate or a look of disbelief to the teacher who put down another child Nia sent a loud message that you do not ever have to believe what others say about you as long as you know your worth.
From Paige and Brooke I learned that you make decisions based on what makes you happy not what makes others happy. Sure you have friends at dance but you also have friends at school who are not a part of dance. And is it worth giving up your entire childhood to be on a reality show.  They did not feel it was right for them and chose to end it. Not just because of their mother and the teacher getting into a fight but because they really were done long before that happened but unfortunately they were in a contract they had to get out of.  My hat is off to their mother for finding a way to do that for her daughters.
From Kalani I learned you never take a back seat to anyone. It may take you longer to get what you are going for but you pay your dues the honest way and wait for it and it will happen if you are willing to put in the work. You never have to cheapen yourself and can prove to others that your dreams will come true if you just keep going for them.
From Chloe, I learned so much.  I learned that what others say about me should not bother me. It is their opinion and like Dr. Holly Frazier said, they are entitled to their wrong opinions. I learned that others opinions did not shape who I was and what I could do. I learned to never give up no matter who beat me down and just because an adult says it does not make it gospel especially when the adult is a negative mean spirited person. I learned to be respectful to others and treat them with dignity and respect and it will be returned. Chloe has the most steadfast fan base I have ever seen of anyone in the business. They go to bat for her and support her in everything she does.   Even if it is just a best dressed contest for some  magazine they show up and they get it done.
That is because she stayed true to herself and never cheapened her reputation doing jobs just for the sake of getting noticed even if they were inappropriate for her. She maintained a clean image that girls can look up to. I also rediscovered my love of reading from Chloe suggesting books to read. Turns out we share the same taste in books.
From Kendall I learned that sometimes in life you have to do things even if you really do not want to do them.  And because a bunch of producers or anyone else decide to downplay you does not mean you cant do just as much as anyone else.  You have to wait your turn and get away from the ones who do not believe in you and form a life you really want.
From Vivi I learned that you can be honest about what you want. If you enjoy dance but it is not your passion just be honest about it and go for what you really want in life. I know she still dances but I have to admire and respect her mother so much for not pushing her to be a star and keep pushing  her on the show. Instead she saw what was best for her child and held her back showcasing her other students more.  Not many dance studio owners put other kids out there to shine instead of their own. That is because Miss Cathy felt her child needed to have a normal life away from cameras.
From Maddie I learned that hard work and dedication to your chosen craft will pay off if you stick with it and make the right connections.

Now for the bad things I learned that I will never use. No matter who you are, using people to get ahead is never ok. You do not pretend to be BFF with someone because they can further your career.  Never pretend you are more than what you are because it is clear to see there are so many better on you tube. Its the age of the internet. You can claim to be the best at anything at 12, 13, and so on but then when someone looks on youtube and sees a six year old make you look like a beginner its not good.
Never allow your goals to destroy friendships because when you fall from that high spot you climbed to it can be pretty lonely.  Never steal the limelight from your siblings. Let them have their own glory.
It is never ok to break laws and use connections to get away with it. It is never ok to demoralize yourself to get ahead. It is never ok to betray those who were there for you and walk over them to get ahead.
And it is never ok to turn your back on someone who dedicated their lives to making your dreams come true.  Stand up for yourself yes, but to completely turn your back on those who got you where you are is never acceptable. Not to me anyway. I guess to some it might be ok for them but I hope they have a good parachute.
So in all reality I did learn some valuable life lessons by watching this TV show.  And I realize I like me and can live with the choices I make in my life.  Thanks to a bunch of brave girls on a reality show.

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