forgiveness

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.

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The Imposter: a DVD Review

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A Serendipitous Film

So I didn’t realize this until I saw it at the very end, but one of the actors in this movie was from the classic rock band Kansas; neat random thing to notice. Anyway so while donating some plasma, I wanted to watch a movie to relieve my boredom. I take a look at some of the Netflix movies which are considered as “Faith and Spirituality” and I found the concept of The Imposter very curious. For the film, The Imposter, it concerns the lead singer of the fictional Christian rock band: Grand Design.

People really like Johnny C and want his autograph, and on the outside Johnny C’s life is great and he appears to be apart of a model ministry. However, Johnny C never stopped popping pills like he promised, nor did he stop drinking, nor has he been faithful to his wife, and it’s questionable if he even got saved in the first place… When his wife and others find out, Johnny’s life starts to crash and burn in multiple aspects. How will he respond to the rejection, financial hardship, etc? And will he realize the damage his sin has done for the right reason?

The morning after I’ve watched this movie, the topic of my Bible Study is 1st Corinthians 5. This is interesting, because when you look at the verses in that chapter you’ll see Paul is talking about someone like Johnny C; Paul says “do not even eat with such a person” (a person who claims to be a believer, but has been warned multiple times of their sin and refuses to address it.) In light of the entire context of the movie, I felt the band kicking Johnny out was good because he wasn’t repentant of his actions, but how everyone responded towards him at the end of the movie I’m not so sure… I say this, because they were essentially saying in summary: “Ignore what Jesus said in the prodigal son. Forgiveness and Grace are things you have to earn back.” with which I disagree. Despite Johnny’s behavior, I also felt Johnny’s brother in law was a Pharisee. The video quality was good and the story was well written, but the acting could have been better in some aspects (I’d say Kerry Livgren and Kevin Max were the best actors though). All in all, The Imposter really makes you think about a few controversial, yet necessary lessons; the greatest lesson being that sin doesn’t affect a person in only one aspect… I didn’t like the ending though.

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Hidden Secrets: A DVD Review

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A Pure Flix film

Hidden Secrets is a very realistic movie which might give some Christians a kidney punch to the gut; please excuse the unpleasant metaphor lol. I think this was a film which took a very risky approach. I’m certain some might feel such an approach is offensive and I respect them for taking the risk considering the ending of the film. Granted this unique direction wasn’t perfectly executed but it was certainly quite refreshing too. What do I mean by this? Let’s just say this movie was definitely unorthodox from the usual format.

Hidden Secrets begins on a stormy night with a man holding a gun to his head, when the screen fades to black, and the phone rings… Seconds later, it is revealed a man named Chris is dead. Chris’ funeral brings the attention of several including an old group of friends/associates; some who meet for the first time.  When the friends meet together, the men of the group decide they want to repair the roof of Chris’ sister’s housing project. During this stay a variety of characters collide including an over zealous woman, a half Jewish Atheist, an uncertain sense of direction, and a love triangle. There were two controversial plot elements in this story I thought made the movie very interesting; only one I can tell to avoid spoilage.

Although there were some things which could have been better like giving more air time to Reginald VelJohnson (who most people know as Carl from Family Matters) and maybe extending the movie a little more, I thought this was a pretty good film. Throughout the movie scripture is spoken of, though sometimes not in the right contextual use but that is apart of the plot point lol, and I really liked the overall moral lesson in this film of not being so judgmental and Pharisaic. A lot of the times we Christians talk about avoiding sinfulness and encouraging others the same, but the idea of avoiding legalism and Pharisaism isn’t as common of a thought in Christian circles which I cannot help but support in promoting. The other very interesting, yet controversial plot point I cannot reveal exactly what it was in particular but let’s just say it is one which some might find it offensive, but I cannot help feeling it is shocking yet a great reminder of how available and wonderful God’s grace is for all of us. Any sinner who repents of their sin and puts their faith and allegiance in Jesus Christ is forgiven through the blood of Christ, no matter how terrible of a sin one may think… Such a great message and realistically presented.

TCP Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Saving God: a DVD review

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a Cloud Ten Picture

“Keeping it real”. I know hearing someone saying that phrase may sound cheesy at times to the nearby listener, especially if that someone is white like me, but it is a true life statement. One of the biggest complaints about Christianity from outsiders is “there are too many phonies and hypocrites”. I agree with that complaint, in fact Jesus said the same thing to the Pharisees too; though everyone at times is guilty of being one. Saving God is a film which keeps it real in that their approach was uniquely addressed to both Christians and agnostics. I am not an expert on this, but I would also argue this was a decent film in addressing life on the streets.

Saving God is about a Reverend who returns to his community after serving a 15 year sentence, which he has sincerely repented of ever committing. Reverend Armstrong Cain is taking over his father’s church, which rests in the middle of the ghetto, and it has certainly seen better days… The Reverend struggles through trials such as repairing the church, dealing with financial difficulties, facing the critics who aren’t very forgiving of his past, and reaching the lost souls around him. While in the restoring process, Armstrong Cain meets a lost soul named Norris who is trying to sell drugs next door. At first when meeting the Reverend, Norris isn’t very open to what is said, despite Reverend Cain saving his life. As Norris occasionally runs into the Reverend, his drug dealer Boss Blaze, his grandma, and his girlfriend Norris’ priorities begin to change. Norris is tired of feeling like he is worthless and he is also tired of being mistreated. The reopening of Armstrong’s church changes many of the lives within the ghetto.

This was intense. I was almost expecting this to be very corny, unrealistic, and stereotypical; since a lot of people don’t understand that particular culture. Although I’ll admit I am not someone who understands a lot about life in the ghetto, from what I could tell this movie orchestrated an accurate depiction; though cities vary of course. Although the movie was dark at times, I felt the mood and most of the story made sense and was threaded well into place. I enjoyed hearing some of the Reverend’s responses to his trials and critics. I also liked how they turned the word “thug” into a Christianized Acronym “True Heroes Under God”. I was surprised to see despite the ghetto setting, the characters didn’t swear. I was pleased to hear Jesus being preached, though more time could have been spent on this. The ending confused me at first, but after thinking about it, while writing this review, I was able to determine how things went as they did. Overall not a bad movie and a movie worth sharing with lost souls especially.

TCP Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.