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Ethan Jenkins (Michael W. Smith) and Jake Sanders (introducing Jeff Obafemi Carr) are both passionate pastors who worship the same God from the same book--but that's where the similarity ends. White and well-to-do Ethan is comfortable in his music ministry at the media-savvy suburban mega-church, The Rock; Jake is a street smart African-American who ministers to the gang members, teen mothers, and drug addicts of the urban Second Chance. When they are suddenly thrown together in a tough neighborhood and forced to work side by side, Ethan discovers there is no boundary between the streets and the sanctuary. But can the faith these two men share overcome the prejudices that divide them to give themselves and a struggling urban church a second chance? Written by
Unfortunately, I didn't hear about the movie 'The Second Chance' the first time around, no pun intended. In fact, as I searched the Video store for a good family movie (4 kids, age 6 to 17) that we could watch together on Martin Luther King's Holiday.
I pulled at least 15 videos off the shelf and pondered bringing a few of them home with most of them everyday trash we see on TV, videos and the theaters. Mega-Theaters...16 screens and look in the listings today, you'll be hard press to find one of those 16 screens with a PG movie rating. Our children are sped through life with technology, forced by those in charge to watch what sells....at the detriment of innocence.
I'm not a preacher and I'm not preaching, I'm just a husband and father (African American) that would like to watch simple entertainment. I've seen all the gore, the whore, the violence, the drugs, the homosexual, the racial, the slutty strip club-ish videos, the gangsta exploitation, everything we see on daily prime time television and media today.
Nearly 40 years after MLK's death and his Civil Rights battle, we still see the same stereotypes prevalent in today's society, yet for this movie to be considered racist, then everything you see on every other screen, you can't be blind to it and call it good entertainment.
Sure this movie has racial tones that still ruffle feathers of people. The same themes we've seen in this 'free' country since it's birth, still exist today.
So back to my video store stroll. I saw all the latest releases....20 Wide Screen boxes..25 Full Screen boxes of all the hits and I find this 1 DVD, "The Second Chance" I read it and think well, what the heck, I've seen all the other junk, maybe this will be something we all can watch together and not send my 6 and 12 year old out the room to watch something on Disney Channel.
I was pleasantly surprised! I've read all the reviews...some thinking it's racist, others thinking it's the best thing since sliced bread, and Christians shouting with joy. I think there's a little of all of that in this movie, but you know what....I thank God that it is what it was intended to be....GREAT FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT! It was worth the $3.99 I spent, much more than the $10 we spend for our other feel good movies that do nothing to unite people.
I've lived long enough to know that for every black prostitute, drug dealer, gangsta, crooked politician, shady pastor, imperfect Christian, imperfect citizen...there are the same in the white community.
So I don't have to feel exploited and stereotyped from a film like this, I just watch it for it's entertainment value and get an added plus that it has a Christian message too.
I love movies - I wish the Hollywood field was fair -- and offered more films like Dreamgirls, Deja Vu, The Pursuit of Happiness, and Blood Diamond...four movies at the Mega-plex, all good and all with lead African American actors in roles that don't always have to be the stereotypical....first time I can remember 4 being out at the same time. I just wished we had that many choices on a regular basis.
I'll let everyone else dissect this movie for it's good and it's flaws, acting, directing, production, theme, plots, etc... Everyone has their own opinion and they're entitled to it. I just keep it simple.
America's not perfect...never will be, but "The Second Chance" was a perfect movie for my family to watch on the day we celebrated my hero, Martin Luther King. That plain and simple! My wife and I, our 4 children and my daughter's boyfriend -- 7 people were moved by watching this movie. "Wow, that was good"....all of them feeling good and entertained with a Spiritual undertone, and not feeling they'll be left behind. I thank God for that. Best $3.99 I've spent in my life. I'll buy it and keep it..it's a worthy effort.
Lastly, it's ironic that the Golden Globe Awards were on last night too...I'm so glad I chose to ignore them as they ignore my culture most of the time anyway with the superficial Red Carpet strolls. You probably won't see any of the characters from this movie on the Red Carpet........but they're on my mine. Worthy Effort!
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