|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|Index||25 reviews in total|
A semi-biographical (i.e. mostly made up) film about a girl who finds
Jesus, has completely average problems, and sadly dies in a school
shooting -- because that's the most important and interesting thing
about Columbine. Those other kids, especially that boy who was killed
for being black: who cares, really?
Rachel seems to have been a nice enough girl (although she conned her mother into thinking she was "witnessing" at all those drunken parties she attended), but she has been compared, in all seriousness, with Anne Frank. There are just so many parallels between a girl who had to study for physics tests, whose parents were divorced, and suffered absolutely no persecution for her religion or anything else until she died in a random shooting, with a Jewish girl during WW II who died of a horrible disease at the hands of people who hated her very being, after years of fear and suffering. They both wrote journals, dammit! But did Anne share her journal with a hunky homeless man? I think not.
The Columbine High School Massacre was one of the most important
impacts of our nation and our school systems for a multitude of
reasons. A rather common but nonetheless heartbreaking event, the
tragic murders of twelve people left many hearts broken and spirits
withered. Families, friends, and all people nationwide watch their TVs
in shock and sorrow, as they hear the gunshots and see the tears
flowing in young teenager's eyes. Most heartbreaking however was the
fact that it wasn't some foreign terrorist attack nor some natural
fire, but rather at the helm of two psychologically troubled teenagers
who wanted revenge. This in particular led a huge impact in our
society, such as a push to more weapons security as well as multiple
campaigns on Anti-Bullying and Mental Health counseling. But a lot of
these changes were hinged on the biggest question of the time - "why?
Why did they do this?" Multiple claims were thrown into discussion but
barely any of them were concrete: "It's the videogames!", says one.
"It's the bullies!" says another. "Maybe it's that pesky Marilyn
Manson!", says that fellow over yonder. Even to this day, these
perceptions on the promotion of terrorism lingered as many people
desperately wished for an answer to this tragedy.
But then, courtesy of the TV-level hacks of PureFlix, I'm Not Ashamed lunges into the fray and claims to finally have an answer! Centered around the recovered accounts of a diary by one victim Rachel Joy Scott, the film dares cement the fact that the tragic murders of 12 helpless victims were an attempt to stop Rachel's task of spreading the word of the Lord. No really. That's it. I'm Not Ashamed literally evokes a metaphor saying that the root of terrorism stems from the fact that these people are Anti-God punk-rock losers who want to get revenge on those who believe in God.
OH MY FING GOD!! And that's not even the worst part of the movie.
I'm Not Ashamed is a disgusting dumpster fire of a movie. A terrible, poorly-conceived catastrophe that dares use the last moments of the victims of Columbine as a plot device to halt Rachel Joy Scott's "exodus" without ever respecting or properly representing the truth out of it. It's a pandering, bias-pushing disaster that sinks even below the worst this type of movie offers so far. It's Remember Me bad. It's Little Boy bad!
Masey McLain plays a ditzy, obnoxious, Gossip Girl-esque version of Rachel as she struggles with her last days of high school by supervision of her Christian household. After one harmless night out with her friends, her strict mother suggests the proper penance is to spend the summer in exile with her God-loving cousin in the farm so that she can find her righteous path. After she does, she acts like a saintly, cutesy little button to all her classmates. She helps a douchebag get back on his feet, joins a theatre class, and makes a lovely friend with a mentally disabled kid. DAW, MOVIE! YOU'RE JUST THE SWEETEST THING AREN'T YOU!?
It's not all smiles and sunshine though. At times, she ponders about her faith and her place in the world like any other angst-y, stupid teens back then who never keeps in mind to anything other than themselves. This happens along with her breaking up with friends, arguing with parents and boyfriend, and dealing with stereotypical bullies. But then after some undiscernible reason, she finally finds her place (again?) with God and finally make friends with everyone in the school.
Oh, and I should also mention the SHOOTERS OF COLUMBINE!?!?! Yeah, apparently Eric and Dylan's backstories are rushed and haphazardly scattered throughout the movie until the final scene in which they have their way with Rachel and her newly found Christian friends (a scene that, mind you, looks straight out of a sadistic Mel Gibson movie). Because of the insulting rush-job, they're given the most retrograde and insulting character traits that only the most cynical, right-wing filmmakers can come up with. They play violent videogames, argues against God, salutes to Hitler, wears black, gets bullied comically, shoots weapons for revenge instead of sport like the original two shooters, and worships a pho-creationist/fascist "natural selection" belief. These guys sound like they should be fighting against Jack Reacher instead of a classroom!
Even apart from the asinine depiction and the insulting agenda- pushing by PureFlix, I'm Not Ashamed is just bad. The staging and direction is limp and inert. There's no clear motivation or logic in anything going on within character or narrative. None of the acting works. The song cues are obnoxious. The dialogue swings from on-the- nose to just awkward. The drama's plagiarized tenfold from other, better high-school movies. Most damning, there's no way of smart, complex morality at play in a story that DEMANDS it. The bullies stop being bullies because "GOD, YAAS!!" and the shooters have no other trait beyond the "kill all that we hate!". It's insulting and unpleasant.
Now to iterate; I don't hate God or am against any of those who follow a belief. I strongly believe that anyone has a right to follow their beliefs and that I don't have any place to criticize anyone because of that. To all my Christian friends who love these Pureflix films or in general loves the aspect of spreading the word of the Lord, do what you wish and I am glad you do so.
However, as I still stand, this movie is just disgusting. Everyone involved should be ashamed for this movie. I would never criticize any belief or opinion, but for a movie like I'm Not Ashamed to do exactly that implicitly is just horrible. I want to burn this movie. I want to erase it from my subconscious and hope to never utter its name or see its poster again.
AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
I'm Not Ashamed is based on the life and premature death of Rachel Joy
Scott, a student who went to Columbine High School on the fateful day
Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris committed, what was at the time the worst
school shooting in U.S. history. The film is brought to you by Pure
Flix Entertainment, an independent Christian film and television studio
which should give you an indication of who this movie is for and what
it's trying to accomplish. Given my particular track-record with this
production company, I came in fully expecting to hate this film -
especially given its uncomfortable subject matter. Yet by the time the
film reached its inevitable, heartbreaking conclusion, I must admit,
this little Christian title had me a bit misty-eyed.
The film begins with a young Rachel drawing on her wardrobe cabinet with Crayon. We're given a brief tour of her broken home before she's whisked away as a teen to Louisiana for the summer to stay with her aunt (under the pretense of avoiding negative influences). It is in Louisiana she rediscovers Christ, starting her sophomore year at Columbine as a baby born again with a necklace cross to prove it. Yet as she rejoins her friends she soon recognizes the struggle of being disciplined in a school culture dominated by teenage angst, blossoming libidos and weekend partying.
Is I'm Not Ashamed Ham-fisted; yeah, pompous and overbearing; sure, amateurish in its execution; you bet, but the story, partially taken from Rachel's diary has a ring of truth to it. We're put into her head-space and can empathize with her struggles to fit in while staying true to her values, finding humility in ourselves as she stumbles, falls and gets up again learning as she goes. For once I felt like I was watching a movie about a Christian instead of a Christian movie. It never feels like a lecture or a sermon but rather a case for understanding; a peek into a worldview through a coming-of-age tale.
The story is served stupendously by the young Masey McLain who doesn't so much debut as arrives to the medium announcing she's the genuine article. She easily sidesteps the stodgy staging, internalizes the poorly delivered lines of her counterparts and reacts like everything is designed for her. That's no easy feat when you have a movie that has her pulling a manic pixie girl routine for a homeless man (Davies) with poorly designed tribal tattoos and the haircut of a 1960's NASA employee.
Additionally, the very rudimentary direction and cinematography can't help but undercut the film at every turn. There wasn't a single inspired moment. Of course an argument can be made that I'm Not Ashamed purposely eschews the Norman Rockwell sheen of Miracles from Heaven (2016) or Heaven is For Real (2014) to give it a certain authenticity. Yet I'd be more receptive to that idea if it wasn't so obvious they were trying for it. At it's best the film has the poorly executed sweep of a below average music video complete with scenes of the least exciting teenage ragers in history. At its worst I'm Not Ashamed resembles a Valtrex commercial.
A lot can be said about producer David A.R. White and Pure Flix's unabashed cavort towards Christ-ploitation but at least there's little doubt they actually believe what they're selling. I'd be lying if I said I didn't pruriently enjoy the flippant potshots towards groups not attune to the film's values - in this case the silliest analog is Cameron McKendry as a crush who "doesn't want to use labels". At this point, the kind of culture war contrarianism this kind of stuff is known for should be reacted to with a roll of the eyes.
Yet when all is said and done, Rachel's initial message of compassion and kindness shines through the usual muck and noise. While yes, it might be just as shabby looking as your average 7th Heaven (1996- 2007) riff, the familiar wrapping shouldn't necessarily dissuade. For once we're treated to a grown up, Christian worldview that proudly states what it's about instead of quibbling over what it's against. Considering that almost never happens, I'm Not Ashamed is arguably the best Christian film made yet.
And yes I did chuckle during the credits when, once again, we were zealously given the number to the film's text campaign.
"I'm Not Ashamed" is a very inspirational movie that deals with a
variety of today's social problems including bullying, helping the
homeless, encouraging abused kids, the pain and anger of dealing with
divorce, abandonment, not fitting in with the "in crowd", and how
making good choices can affect your life......and how one person can
make a difference.
There were some good examples of a variety of problems that everyone needs to become aware of. Many people live in their comfort zones and are not aware of the social problems all around them.
This had to be a great team effort by everyone involved in making it....the chemistry shows on the big screen.
I know that what happens in this movie can happen anywhere to anyone and I'm so glad that this movie is being shown in order to continue Rachel's outreach to encourage and help others.
I highly recommend this movie and encourage everyone to see it.
"I'm Not Ashamed" (2016 release; 112 min.) brings the story of 17 yr.
old student Rachel Scott, who was the very first victim at the
Columbine High School tragedy in 1999. As the movie opens, we get TV
footage from those horrifying moments right after the shootings. We
then go back in time, when Rachel was 8 years old, and her parents are
splitting up, leaving her mom in a financial struggle to raise 5 kids.
We then go to "April 1998 - Sophomore Year", with Rachel doing well in
school. Rachel is particularly interested in the drama class. At this
point we're not even 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more would
spoil your viewing experience.
Couple of comments: this movie is marketed as a "christian" film, and plays out like one. If that is going to bother you, please do yourself a favor and catch a different movie for your enjoyment. I really didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at the maturity, even sophistication, of this movie (the script is based on Rachel's journals, we are reminded at the beginning of the movie). That said, it is also a bit of a missed opportunity, as it focuses mainly on Rachel, and not hardly any time on the 2 shooters. If you have the expectation that this movie might delve into the "why did they do it", this movie will not provide the answer (other than some very general and broad brushes). All that said, the last 15 min. of the movie packs an emotional wallop, for obvious reasons. The movie makers hit the bull's eye when they cast Masey McLain as Rachel, she is absolutely fantastic. Bottom line: this is a fine movie (made on a dime, total budget a mere $1.5 million). But if you want to understand Columbine, this is not the movie for it. (Earlier this year, Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan, one of the 2 Columbine shooters, issued a devastating memoir called "A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy", which I would readily recommend to anyone, Christian or not.)
The movie opened on a couple of screens this weekend here in Cincinnati. The Saturday matinée screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely, somewhat to my surprise. It sounds like there is a market for well-made Christian films. If, on the other hand, you want to get a look at the promising life of one of the Columbine victims (who this year otherwise would be 34 years old), then I would readily recommend you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
If you are a Christian and like movies about Christianity, then "I'm
Not Ashamed" is probably worth your time. If you don't fall into this
category, however, then you probably won't appreciate or like the
movie...it's that simple.
This movie is a dramatization of the life of one of the victims of the infamous Columbine Massacre back in 1999. Rachel Joy Scott was a Christian girl who died that day and the film shows her progression from a casual Christian to an 'out and proud Christian'...and how that ultimately led to be being singled out for murder (something the media at the time de-emphasized) as well as the impact this young girl had on others' lives. It's all very sweet...as well as very disturbing and sad...at the same time.
I think the biggest reason I appreciated the film is that while it showed a recreation of the events on the day of the Columbine High School shooting, it did NOT show very much--just the killing of Scott and shooting of a boy she was with at the time (whether or not he died as well, I do not know). The sum total of all this is oddly inspirational and there were no dry eyes in the audience at the end (hint--take along some Kleenex). I also appreciate how this film and quite a few others have recently targeted the Christian audience--giving them some family-friendly films that are well made and worth seeing. But, considering the subject matter, it is NOT a film for young kids.
On April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado, two Columbine High School
students, seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students
and 1 teacher at their school and injured 21 others in the deadliest
U.S. school shooting to date. The first of the students killed was
17-year-old senior Rachel Scott, who was eating lunch with a fellow
student just outside the school. The film "I'm Not Ashamed" (PG-13,
1:52) is Rachel's story. The script by Philipa Booyens, Robin Hanley,
Kari Redmond and Bodie Thoene doesn't shy away from the buildup to the
shooting, but this isn't primarily a story of tragedy. It's a story of
In most ways, Rachel Joy Scott (Masey McLain) was a typical high school girl. She had supportive friends, but she was insecure. She was attracted to one of her classmates, but lacked the confidence to pursue her crush. She had struggles at home and sometimes did things that got her in trouble with her parents, but she wasn't really a "bad" kid. She had hopes and dreams, but couldn't see what life had in store. And she kept a journal, which forms the basis for the narrative of this film, plus first-hand accounts about Rachel's life and the circumstances surrounding her death only weeks before she would have graduated. (Note: Rachel isn't the Columbine victim who was the subject of the book "She Said Yes".) As the film opens, Rachel's divorced mother, Beth (Terri Minton), is having trouble supporting herself and her five kids. (Rachel is the middle child.) Beth eventually remarries, but she and her new husband, Larry (John Newberg), have problems steering Rachel toward making positive choices in her young life, as when Rachel sneaks out at night to attend parties with her friends (Victoria Staley, Taylor Kalupa and Emma Elle Roberts). Rachel is being raised in a household of strong Christian faith, but doesn't really embrace that faith until after spending the summer before her senior year with family in Louisiana.
Even when she makes her family's faith her own, she struggles to live according to the Bible. She seems more concerned about pursuing a romantic relationship with Alex (Cameron McKendry), the BMOC in her drama class, and she shies away from discussing her increasing faith with him. Eventually, her commitment to Christ strengthens to the point that it drives a wedge between her and her closest friends. Yet, she still continues seeking, learning, growing in her faith, and finding ways to live out that faith, such as when she determinedly befriends and helps a homeless teen named Nathan (Ben Davies).
As Rachel's story unfolds, two of her classmates, Eric Harris (David Errigo, Jr.) and Dylan Klebold (Cory Chapman) bond over their shared hatred for high school culture and the world in general. With Harris taking the lead, the two teens begin discussing acting out their frustrations through violence and plan what became the Columbine Massacre. As their story careens toward its tragic collision with Rachel's, the focus stays on Rachel's spiritual journey and director Brian Baugh handles Rachel's final moments tastefully and with compassion (although he does take some liberties with a few of the factual details).
This is an inspiring and tragic story, with appeal beyond the Christian community. The Columbine Massacre is an event of ongoing interest and relevance, so there's understandable interest in a film set against that backdrop. This movie stays just this side of exploitation, but does indulge in a few brief moments of melodrama. The story of Rachel and her classmates is engagingly and realistically told and generally well acted. However, regardless of your personal religious beliefs (or lack thereof), Rachel's struggles with issues of faith and personal conduct should be relatable to most Movie Fans, and Rachel makes for a very sympathetic character. With built-in drama and universal themes, "I'm Not Ashamed" rises above most faith-based films in both appeal and quality. "B+"
I'm Not Ashamed is a refreshing brake from the overly sappy Christian
films and depressing, pessimistic art house films I have been seeing
lately. The acting was fantastic! Kudos to Masey McLain, Ben Davies,
Cameron McKendry, David Errigo Jr., Mark Daugherty and all the rest of
the cast. The shooters aren't portrayed as soulless killers out to get
just Rachel, but as hurting, confused young men who see violence,
instead of the love and compassion of Jesus, as the answer to life's
injustices. Errigo's performance in that role shines. The lighting was
lacking at times, but overall the cinematography and camera work was
well done. My biggest beef would be the conversion segment: it seemed
rushed and her relatives were more tropes instead of living characters.
Of course I was also disappointed that "Shreveport, Louisiana" looked
like Colorado, but that's the fault of the folks in Baton Rouge cutting
the film tax credit incentives.
Overall, I highly recommend you check this film out this weekend. And for the critics who complain about the film only focusing on Rachel, it does pay homage to the other victims at the end of the film, and no one is complaining about The Diary of Anne Frank being made into a movie when there were so many more victims of the Holocaust.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . with ELEPHANT, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, and THE UN!TED STATES OF LELAND being the three best. Apart from a few major flaws, I'M NOT ASHAMED might be on the short list for fourth place. The most glaring error in logic is placing Rachel's murder on the grass outside Columbine High School, where she's sitting alone with a virtual stranger. All four people within earshot (including the two killers) of her Big Moment are dead or dying within the hour. This seems to be an admission on the part of her family (which has apparently made upwards of $220 million and counting from Rachel's Big Moment, according to the closing credits) that it's merely wishful thinking upon their part (to put a charitable spin on it) that Rachel's Big Moment happened at all. Otherwise, ASHAMED portrays Rachel as a Wannabe, a constant Back-Slider belonging to Columbine High's chain-smoking, boozing, casual-sex, pothead, bullying clique. (Her killer, Dylan Klebold, specifically points out to her earlier that he and the rest of the Trenchcoat Mafia listen politely to HER school project, but when it's THEIR TURN, Rachel nips it in the bud--thanks to her being a Teacher's Pet--for being Politically Incorrect!) Rachel's journals, constantly featured here, are packed with quotes such as "I didn't want to live through the night," and she's shown teetering along a High-rise parapet playing Russian Roulette with her every stumbling step. Her religious sect teaches that "God works in mysterious ways," so it seems that this Rachel-Centric flick is suggesting that their God let Columbine happen largely if not primarily to save Rachel's Family from the Trauma of her impending suicide (or worse, such as a drunken wrong-way highway crash wiping out an Innocent Family of Five). You always hear from this Holier-Than-Though Crowd platitudes such as "Every Cloud has a Silver Lining," but in their case, it seems to be Golden!
I took my 16 year old and her friend to see this. I was hoping it would encourage them to be strong in their faith and to want to make a difference. It's the perfect movie for a high school or middle school student because they can relate to it so beautifully! We cried, we laughed, and we left thinking wow! what a remarkable and real young woman Rachel was! The drawing of the teardrops at the end still give us goosebumps- Last night my daughter was writing in a journal (something she hasn't done in 3 years) and i immediately thought how she must have been inspired from seeing Rachel write in her journal, and she was asking about inviting friends to church (again inspired by Rachel). I was thrilled! This movie really touched and inspired my daughter in her faith!
|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|