Dolphin Island—Review

Annabel (Tyler Jade Nixon) and Mitzy (dolphin played by Goombay or Cayla)

This delightful family film is set in a beautiful Caribbean island with great aesthetics. After seeing some of the press materials, I was anticipating a fun story about a young teen girl who battled for the small-town coastal life where she lives versus the life her city dwelling grandparents want for her.

The promotional materials center the story around Annabel, the 14-year-old girl, teaming with her friends to battle her out-of-town grandparents. The available family study guide also references all kinds of heart-warming themes including courage, forgiveness, and faith. But that is not what the film is about.

The film is about Annabel’s fisherman grandfather, Jonah, who overcame alcoholism to properly take care of his granddaughter in the way Annabel’s parents requested before their accident. Thematically the story is about choosing the moral high-ground, which cultivates and drives respect from others.

The final story turned out very different than what the marketing team, or maybe even the director originally thought. In any case, you can image my surprise to learn the promotions did not match the actual story. Thankfully many of the performances overshadowed this mishap.

Jonah (Peter Woodward)

Peter Woodward, who plays Jonah, gave an award-worthy performance. He certainly lived up to the talents gained through his long career. His character’s love interest, Desaray, played by Dionne Lea, also gave a solid performance. While she has more potential than this script allowed her to explore, I’m confident we will see her rise in the actor rankings quickly after a few more films get under her belt.

Tyler Jade Nixon played Annabel. Instead of playing the protagonist as marketing led me to believe, she was clearly the archetype or the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the story. Her character saw to everyone’s emotional needs and fully supported her grandfather to the best of her ability.

Robert Carbunkle, Esq. (Bob Bledsoe)

Bob Bledsoe, most known for his role in Parks and Recreation, played a character who shifted back and forth from being a comedic bubbling fool to a shady lawyer. He brought life to the screen with every appearance and quickly reminded the audience that the film was created for ages 6-12, although the Dove Foundation, who gave their family seal of approval, suggests ages 7-18.

There are other mishaps with this story like the main plot point not starting until 28-minutes into the film. Prior to that a viewer has to be content watching the beautiful scenery cut together like an extended music video with interrupting vignettes. Each segment revealing what a typical day looks like for Jonah, Annabel, and her dolphin friend, Mitzy.

Overall the production team did a good job with its limited budget. Director, Mike Disa, known for his work on shows for younger kids, did a good job trying to make the script work for a more intimate budget. Due to the limitations, the courtroom scene takes place in a conference room. The ocean front conservatory teaming with wildlife is mostly imagined, as it is only revealed through the pier area, a dolphin, and two parrots.

The best part of Dolphin Island for me was its position on morals. The film built a respect for anyone and everyone who chose to live a moral life over a selfish life—a powerful message for the times we live in.

This could have been the film’s greatest achievement, especially if done in a way that kids could emulate the character’s choices. However, most of the morality was played unrealistically, not giving the viewers a real understanding of how to stand up for what is right in their real world.

An example of this disconnect from reality was seen in Bledsoe’s lawyer character making the decision to call the judge and confess his crime at the end of the story. He wasn’t jailed or disbarred. Instead, he was forgiven.

I think the director forgot that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean erase or forget the crime. Forgiveness believes in payment in full and an opportunity for a second chance. The short scene should’ve just been left out of the story since it didn’t move the story forward, especially since it raised more questions for young viewers than the value of resolving the minor subplot brought to bear.

Frankly, I think if the film was re-edited to get into the story quicker and the promotions were about Jonah and how Annabel fought with him for what was right, this film would get lots of traction. I’d like to hear your opinion on this film. You can find it available for rent and purchase at most of the major digital release outlets.

#DolphinIslandMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork

Copyright 2021 by CJ Powers

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hopes that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Church Strip Clubs and the Media’s Truth

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I read about two churches, in two different states, that were ordered by government officials to close in the name of COVID while those same officials allowed local strip clubs to remain open. Based on the specific language in the orders, the churches decided to notify the authorities that they were now strip clubs—One stating, “Where we strip the devil of his hold, power, and authority over people’s lives!” Yes, the churches stayed open in spite of the orders and have pending court dates.

The Supreme Court of the United States prevented the state of New York from upholding lockdown restrictions on houses of worship, writing, “Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”

In the meantime, the media has gone nutty in our area with over hyped fears that led up to Thanksgiving Day. Their exaggerated warnings focused on making it politically incorrect for families to share a meal and churches to have services.

The media’s main fear-based message highlighted the skyrocketing tests (up to around 150,000 per day at that time). The story swelled with references to a huge wave about to crash down on our society and overburden the hospitals. They did not report that large numbers of the people being tested had no symptoms and just wanted proof that they didn’t have the virus so they could get together with family.

Nor did the news share that the number of actual positive cases during this time was between 6-12%, depending on the day. That’s right, out of the 150,000 tests, less than 10% of the tests were positive. The news didn’t broadcast that information.

In fact, when the media started the fear hype, they didn’t inform the public that the number of confirmed positives was at only one person for every 20 tests, the lowest recorded in COVID history. That’s right, when the number of confirmed cases were at the lowest, the media started their fear hyping campaign.

While the hype continues, the media also leaves out information about the fatality rate. During this big Thanksgiving season hype campaign, the fatality rate dropped down to 2%. In fact, it’s been on a steady decline since May. Yes, a steady decline—so why the push for more lockdowns? Weren’t the lockdowns to reduce the death rate?

By the way, you can read all the data points at ourworldindata.com.

The numbers that haven’t been broadcast make it clear that the media is filtering out the truth. Or, as social media would express it, the networks are sharing “their truth.” Maybe it’s time for a new media company to step up and present just the facts and allow us to interpret them for ourselves.

© 2020 by CJ Powers

The Thanksgiving Filter

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I prefer my turkey smothered in cranberry sauce, rather than gravy, which I save for a perfectly formed gully in my small mound of mashed potatoes. Black olives that once fit on the tips of my childish fingers continue to accompany my filled plate. Aside from all of the fixins, my masterful pumpkin pie with its famous secret ingredient continues to cap off a great feast where memories are shared.

But this year is a bit different due to many undesirable changes. Who would have thought that politicians, the media and social media influencers would alter the course of our culture in 2020 as they leveraged the numerous and significant events we faced?

I was raised to never make life-altering decisions during a crisis. The reason was to avoid empowering the negative event to determine an outcome. However, sometimes we are forced to make significant decisions at inopportune times.

Thankfully, we can look back on history for a filter that helps us sort through the barrage of false information to decide an outcome based on who we are as a people, rather than being sucked into the latest impromptu force or power group supported by a biased media.

Thanksgiving is a great time to reset our filter to the core principles of who we are as a people. Those who came over on the Mayflower knew exactly what their joint goal was and reduced it to writing with the crafting of the Mayflower Compact—the predecessor to our Constitution. Their “why” in life was clear as they had undertaken the “…voyage to plant the first colony…” for the “…Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith…”

The religious freedom of the people was at the forefront of their actions. They were a desperate people who wanted all men to have and cherish their God-given rights. They desired equal laws based on morals, not the latest trends or political movements. And, it was all for the general good of the colony, not individual people groups that rise in popularity from time to time.

Their words stated, “…solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; (we) covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony…”

So this Thanksgiving, I once again used the filter set by our forefathers to determine what I can do as an individual on behalf of my community. My local answer has been to help others learn how to speak their peace and share their passions online. I have encouraged and taught many how to come across in a professional manner so their words are given due consideration.

In my attempts to offer encouragement, I was amazed at how few people wanted to improve their online communication skills. I’m pretty sure their lack of desire comes from a dwindling confidence in speaking up for what’s right, especially in the middle of cultural change that forces self-preservation—after all, many have lost jobs when those objecting to an opinion, twist their views into an evil attack against society.

It takes courage to speak against those who blur the lines between privilege and entitlement, and focus on the individual instead of what’s best for the general good of all people. It’s much easier to stay quiet and hope the social media bully picks on someone else, a person who we can provide empathy.

However, those that created our heritage didn’t sit idly by, but instead gave up their comforts in life to pursue the most honorable activity of all—battled for the good of all in their community.

During this Thanksgiving Day weekend, please consider what you can do locally to help those in need and see to the freedom of everyone’s religious beliefs and spoken opinions. For this practice shall certainly strengthen our God-given rights, for which we are all thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

© 2020 by CJ Powers