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The Quick Take for February 14, 2014

Streaming Picks

Ender's Game, the new film based on the popular 1985 sci-fi novel, is now available on demand and Amazon Instant Video (read CT's review here).

Grace Unplugged, a film about a young Christian girl with big musical dreams, is also available to rent on Amazon (Crosswalk.com has a review here).

Miss Annie Rooney, best known as the film in which Shirley Temple has her first on-screen kiss, is on Netflix.

And for a Valentine's Day pick, Take Me Home is about "the road less traveled," written, directed, and starred in by Sam Jaeger and his wife Amber.

Critics Roundup

This week, critics and movie lovers alike celebrated the life and talent of Shirley Temple Black, who died on Sunday at the age of 85. Aljean Harmetz for The New York Times remembers her "sparkling personality and sunny optimism" that "lifted spirits and made her famous." Harmetz also notes something to be admired: when the star retired from the screen at age 22, "instead of retreating into nostalgia, she created a successful second career for herself." Read the Times' full piece about Shirley Temple, the rare child star who "grew up to be a level-headed adult." It's possible to say she was not an actress in the way we understand it today. Richard Corliss says in Time that "Temple was more an expert stimulator of whatever emotion the director called for." As a child, Shirley Temple wanted to please the widest audience and did so, "sensationally." Leonard Maltin remembers meeting Shirley Temple and says, "It wasn't just the golden curls or her singing and dancing " that made us fall in love with her, but her "elusive commodity known as quality." (Read Maltin's full piece here.)

This week Amazon released 10 new pilots that anyone can view for free, and then vote on the ones they want to be continued into full series (you can read a summary of each pilot show here at Paste). Brian Tallerico, for RogerEbert.com, says Amazon "has perfectly timed the launch of their second round of pilots," since the only other program to watch on television (besides House of Cards) seems to be the Olympics. Tallerico is optimistic about these pilots. He says there are "three comedies and two dramas, all of which have some star power and could conceivably build an audience over a whole first season." You can watch the pilots here.

Movie News

Just in time for Valentine's Day—our regular critic Ken Morefield interviews Mark Burnett and Roma Downey over at his blog about being a couple who also works together (in this case, The Bible miniseries).

Greta Gerwig, the quirky star of last year's Frances Ha, is set to star in the How I Met Your Mother spinoff (read more here and here).

And Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, who starred as a duo in 50/50, are now working on a Christmas comedy together. Expect to hear far, far more on that as the year continues.

Heather Cate is a spring intern for Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King's College in New York City.

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The Quick Take for February 14, 2014