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"Godspeed" is an intense, dramatic thriller set in the lingering light of the Alaskan midnight sun. Charlie Shepard is a modern day faith healer, a man who claims that if you let go and believe, then his power to heal is very real indeed. Living a hand-to-mouth, blue collar existence with his wife Rebecca and young son, Charlie ekes out a meager living from his "healing" sessions. With his marriage failing, and an old drinking habit coming back to haunt him, his family is brutally murdered by unknown assailants for seemingly no reason whatsoever. Six months later, Charlie has abandoned his former life and the house his family lived in, moving through the days' slow existence more like a ghost than a man. But then a young, mysterious girl named Sarah appears in town, and seeks out Charlie. She will become the link to his family's killings and to the murderers themselves, ultimately leading to tragic, violent consequences for all. "Godspeed" is a film that explores faith, grief, and the... Written by
There's a darkness bourne of the centuries, bourne of the pain that it takes to live the day. It's long lost on the ages, but it courses through everybody's blood. I guess even mine. Now, after all of this, I've come to wonder why we're so surprised when it wells up and bursts back into the light of our lives - and we've know all along, it's wrapped up in us, dug deep into the fibers of our own flesh. I'd eat it away if I could. We all would. But then, we'd only be half a person, ...
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I'm Not Afraid
Written by Peter Stein
Performed by Howling Bells
from the album "Howling Bells"
Courtesy of Bella Union See more »
Godspeed is probably best described as a movie in search of redemption.
Charlie Shepard is a modern day faith healer. Living hand to mouth with his young son and wife Rebecca, Charlie ekes out a meager living from his ministry in a small Alaskan town. His marriage is failing and an old drinking habit has come back to haunt him and that makes things even worse in his life. Then, just when you thought it couldn't get much worse, Shepard's family is brutally murdered for what seems to be no reason at all.
Six months later, Charlie has abandoned his former life and the house his family lived in. Now he moves through his days' slow existence more like a ghost than a man.
"A Movie In Search of Redemption" Godspeed is probably best described as a movie in search of redemption. Not only do we follow a storyline of redemption in the movie, but at times Godspeed drops in some inappropriate moments that just don't fit with the overall flow. As a result, the scriptwriters seem to be searching for some sort of redemption of their own. While it's easy to forgive an independent film for poor acting, I have a low tolerance for an independent film that feels the need to trash up language and a scene or two, just for the sake of tossing in a string of "f-bombs" or unneeded sex scenes. As a result I say "shame" on the writers of Godspeed for the inclusion of the out-of-place "f-bombs" and the whole bedroom "sexual assault" scene.
They simply were not needed and added nothing to an otherwise brilliant script!
"A Captivating Storyline & Great Film Scenery" This brings me to the storyline and script. Godspeed is a fascinating look at life in the face of grief and what can be a very cruel world. There were even some surprises and plot twists tossed in along the way too! Without spoiling the movie, I must admit I was on the totally wrong track as to whom I thought the killer was until well into the movie! While I said a "shame on you" to the writers for trashing up portions of the movie, I have to applaud Cory Knauf and Robert Saitzyk for throwing an incredible curve ball in this whodunit.
When you can make me say - "Wow! I didn't see that one coming!" - You've made a huge accomplishment.
Godspeed won the Exceptional Artistic Achievement Award in the 2009 CineVegas Film Festival. The award is well deserved. In a Hollywood landscape of computer generated graphics, I must say I was very impressed with the real life filming of the Alaskan landscape. While I initially thought some of the scenery shots were tossed in as padding, I quickly discovered how the beautiful scenery serves as a stark contrast of beauty vs. tragedy in the overall feel of the movie.
Last, but certainly not least, lets talk acting in Godspeed.
While Joseph McKelheer plays an admirable Charlie Shepard, Courtney Halverson who narrates and plays the character of Sarah Roberts really shines and steals every scene she's in. She's a stellar actress and one I hope to see on the big screen in a big way in the future. While it's somewhat of a bit part, it was also nice to see Ed Lauter of The Longest Yard and Seabiscuit fame playing the role of a Fish and Game officer.
All in all, I did enjoy the creativity, suspense, storyline and great scenery shots found in Godspeed.
That's not to say Godspeed should be ignored as an independent movie. Aside from what I've described above as the good points, I also really liked the bracket effect of setting the movie up, and then ending the movie with a flashback to the earlier scene.
Cautiously enjoy the show! Dr. Rus
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