Christian film

Loving the Bad Man: A DVD Review

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An East Lake Film

Before Christmas arrived, in addition to wanting to watch something with the wife, I also wanted watch a Christian based title. While at Family Video, I saw there were a few Christian titles made available recently, which I can’t help but think is really cool by the way, and one title which I couldn’t resist renting was Loving the Bad Man. I saw an ad for this on Christian Cinema not too long ago, and I also remembered that Stephen Baldwin was on the cover so I was like “hmmmm wonder what’ll be about…?”

Loving the Bad man, concerns two different people. One is a upstanding, Christian girl who tries to be good to everyone and loves the Lord even more. Another is a not-so-wholesome man with a criminal history, that isn’t happy with where he is currently situated in life. The unwholesome character runs into the Christian girl, because she is in need of some help with her flat tire. However in a drunken rage, he rapes her after completing the job…. The dude is thrown into prison while the Christian is struggling with the fact she is now pregnant. Will this prisoner realize the evil he has committed, and how will this Christian girl respond to this very difficult life circumstance?

This is a very controversial film for both Christians and unbelievers a like. I definitely feel this is a film which should be viewed primarily by Christians, simply because there are some ideas within this film which unbelievers are not going to understand or appreciate. However, what is addressed is something which some Christians might also struggle with as well like how Julie responds to her rapist. At times I almost feel the movie is unrealistic, to an extent, in certain scenes where both Julie and her rapist make some diffcult decisions way too quickly; no I am not referring to Julie’s decision to keep the baby. Overall it’s a decent film, it could have been better at times, but it could have been a lot worse too…

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Heaven is Waiting: A DVD Review

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A Bridgestone Multimedia Group Film

I wasn’t always into romantic comedies, I guess I have my wife to blame for watching and liking some of them. Of course when it comes to movies in general, one of my favorite kinds of movies are the ones which make me laugh; people easily recognize me for my laugh. While searching for Christian movies online I found Heaven is Waiting, which described itself to be a romantic comedy. Since I’m primarily trying to find good and family friendly movies, with a variety of genres I decided to check this out for myself.

Heaven is Waiting is about a Dad named Ned who has been grieving for his dead wife longer than he should be. As a way of coping he has conversations with her, some of them are weird and some are humorous. His daughter is now in college and is coming home to visit, but is also bringing a friend. Ned learns his daughter’s ‘friend’ is a boy who might be more than just a friend. Ned struggles with not only letting go of his previous wife in order to start dating a neighbor named Carol, but he also struggles with the idea of letting his daughter go too…

Heaven is Waiting is certainly a movie which has romance and a bit of humor, but there is certainly more than that going on in this story. When there was humor I felt much of it within the movie was pretty funny, though I can definitely say there were times when they tried to be funny and it didn’t work. The story itself is clever and addresses several topics which men certainly have or are currently going through. I enjoyed the resolution to the story as well as some of the moral themes they presented. I also liked the acting and the video quality was very good too. Overall, I didn’t see as much humor in this tale as I wanted, but despite my expectation I felt they balanced out humor/romance/ the serious parts pretty decently and is a worthwhile purchase for the whole family.

TCP Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

p.s. Does anyone else think the girl who played Ned’s daughter looks a little bit like Selena Gomez lol?

Seven Days in Utopia: a DVD Review

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An Arc Entertainment Film

During the Fall of 2011, I read the book Golf’s Sacred Journey:Seven Days At The Links of Utopia by David L. Cook, which this movie is based from, thanks to the reference of a Twitter friend. One reason why I originally wanted to watch this movie, is because of Robert Duvall being a good actor, another being that I like to play golf with my Dad once in a while, but at the same time I liked the story concept too; especially after reading the book. I was finally able to watch the film itself very recently and I wanted to see how similar this was to the original book and how well the presentation was also.

Like the book, Seven Days in Utopia is about an upcoming golfer who had a really bad day. He is frustrated partly due to his performance and partly due to his poor relationship with his father. The golfer angrily goes out for a drive and crashes his truck into a fence. Shortly after he crashes his truck he meets a man named Johnny, played by Robert Duvall, who talks the PGA hopeful into a seven-day training course while the truck is being fixed. During his time staying in Utopia, there are many lessons learned; some which are more valuable than mere golfing tips.

I loved the fact Cook himself was one of the movie’s producers, I could tell his imput was greatly considered for the picture; I hate it when movies are not true to the original book. I also loved the picture quality and seeing the golfing described in the book put into action. I thought Robert Duvall and the other actors did a great job in their performance. I also found it real neat to see some professional golfers in the film like Rickie Fowler, it gave the movie an authentic PGA feel. I only have two complaints about the movie (which might be similar to my critique of the book too): 1) it felt too short and 2) they could have talked a tad bit more about God than they did. In the grand scheme of it all, this is a movie which golf lovers will love to watch and is true to the original book.

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Home Beyond the Sun: a DVD Review

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A Pure Flix Film

What’s it like being an American Christian in China? The answer to that question might not be the easiest image to paint, especially for someone who has never been to China, but from what I’ve heard it certainly has its ups and downs. Now I wanted to see this movie, despite never traveling to China, and I was hoping this would be entertaining, inspirational, and culturally accurate. Home Beyond the Sun certainly is a unique concept for a movie so it does have an original premise.

Home Beyond the Sun is about an American teacher who has traveled overseas to teach English in the Chinese public school system. The Peoples’ Republic is a bit of a culture shock for Jenna, however, due to the fact they aren’t so tolerant of her Christian faith and of course there’s also their 1 child policy. One day after school, she meets a very cute, eight year old girl. Jenna discovers this little girl lives at an orphanage and has compassion for each of the children; some who were abandoned due to the one child policy. After becoming more actively involved with the orphanage and its children, this American Christian unintentionally clashes with the Chinese status quo; Colonel Kahn and others.

It’s hard to say how culturally accurate Home Beyond the Sun is, because again I’ve never been to China, but from what I could tell it seemed like they tried their best; after all this is said to be based on a true story. Because of my inexperience, I’m not going to factor that thought too heavily for this review, however there are still several good and bad things I can say about the film. One thing I didn’t like so much was the music; it was like it was from a bad Hallmark movie. (there are some decent ones, but most I’ve heard don’t have very good music) I also felt Ehr Neung was a bit over dramatized as a villain, but I blame that on the actress rather than the character themselves. I liked each of the plot twists, because they certainly made the story more interesting; especially the little girl’s birth. I also liked the actress who played Mama Ming and the actor who played Colonel Kahn. I thought the general theme of Matthew 19:26 was appropriate for the persecution and struggles characters had endured. All in all, there were things which definitely could have used improvement, but I thought this was a decent film and certainly does give an American like me more of an appreciation for the Bill of Rights.

TCP Movie Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Blind Side: a DVD review

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A Warner Brothers Film

Since this movie won an Oscar, was rumored to be a Christian based film, also a movie based on a true story, and after hearing a couple of friends say they liked it I decided I had to check this out for myself. I wasn’t sure what to completely expect from The Blind Side considering this was a Hollywood mainstream film touching on something Christian, but after watching it last night I found it to be not bad and I do not regret adding it to my movie collection. I usually don’t watch a lot of sports movies, but I found it decent overall.

The Blind Side is a story about the Touhy family who adopts Michael Oher out of Christian charity. Leigh Anne Touhy, Sean Touhy, and the rest of the family find Michael cold and alone after the end of a basketball game, so they decide to give him a place to stay and eventually after a time they adopt him into their family. While apart of the family, the Touhy’s influence Michael to turn his life around by doing better in school and joining the football team which Michael eventually after a bit of training excels in. I felt this was a great story and a good example of how we ought to be as Christians, to help those in need and not cast them off based on appearances, social status, and color.

I felt Sandra Bullock deserved the Oscar for playing Leigh Ann Touhy. I also felt at times this movie was funny like when Tim McGraw, who played Sean Touhy, says “I never thought we’d meet a democrat” or something like that; I am horrible with quoting people lol. The Blind Side also had some sad, realistic moments which I felt were necessary to reenact like the gang members within Michael’s past and the racism within the audience of Michael’s first football game. I am not a fan of swearing, as the A-word and B-word were used several times in this movie, so use that as a disclaimer if you show this to your kids, but I wouldn’t go as far as rating this a 1 star (like I saw from some) JUST because of that. However, I will take a star away from my review, because they were very light on referring to God and the family’s Christian faith in that Hollywood watered it down to the point where I felt the word “Christian” could have been replaced with most religions and it probably wouldn’t have changed the story much… (which is dangerous…) I felt it would have been nice to hear the gospel mentioned or touch on Michael Oher’s Christian faith (if he is one… I’ll have to read his upcoming book to find out), but I assume because this movie was produced from mainstream Hollywood I didn’t see that and felt it would have been nice considering Christ was a motivator for the Touhy’s doing what they did for Michael.

TCP Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.