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Prince of Peace: God of War (2007)
Intelligent and insightful
Prince of Peace: God of War asks the question 'Is it ever okay for Christians to kill?' Looking at the topic from both sides of the argument, director John Campea interviews a host of credible contributors, who sit on opposite sides of the fence.
The film is clearly on the side of the pacifist, as opposed to those who would support the idea of a 'just war'. However, Campea appears in the film and says as much, so you don't feel as though you are being manipulated. You could argue that he might have found better people to put forward a stronger argument from the 'just war' crowd. But as he has already told us what side of the fence he sits on, it allows you to recognize when such failings are taking place, which actually isn't that often. As a Christian who sits on the pacifist side myself, I still found at times that I was being sucked into the rational way in which the 'just war' crowd would present their arguments.
This leads me to one of the primary strengths of the film, which is it's ability to challenge my notions of right and wrong. My sense of justice and God's sense of justice are often two entirely different things. But that's because I am ruled by a human heart, that is often selfish and vengeful.
The production values of this film are not very high at all. It is in effect just a series of interviews that have been cut together to argue the finer points that have been raised. But nevertheless, I found it totally engaging, and the hour flew by. I liked the simplicity of the editing, and the use of titles, that almost work like chapter headings. The music suited the piece just fine and was not intrusive, as is often the case on low/no budget documentaries.
When huge films like Transformers have ridiculous budgets but absolutely no soul, it's refreshing to catch a film that was shot on a shoestring and has plenty.
Prince of Peace: God of War is intelligent, insightful, and worthy of being watched. It raises questions that all Christians need to be grappling with and offers the viewer something to really think about.
Brotherly Love (2012)
A little gem!
I really enjoyed this! Very short, to the point, and very sweet! It also brought a warm smile to my face several times during its 2 minute running time.
I love that there is no dialogue, and the music choice works really well.
The kids are all brilliant and suitably mischievous, while the pranks that the two brothers pull on each other often make for nice little set pieces, both humorous and visually interesting.
Brotherly love is also brilliantly edited, and there are flourishes of movement that remind me of Edgar Wright's style of movie making.
All in all a little gem!
No More Room in Hell (2011)
A tightly edited zombie movie.
No More Room in Hell is a very short zombie movie that, like a lot of horror movies (the best example being The Thing), plays on the idea of paranoia destroying a small group of people from within.
It moves at a fast pace due to some tight editing, which is nice, and I like the use of a hand-held camera. It gives a real sense of immediacy.
However, the downside of this fast pace is that you don't get much in the way of character development, so everyone just ends up being canon fodder.
The performances are fairly well balanced; intense without over doing it.
The sound could have been better though and it suffers from some of the typical things that make it feel like a student film i.e. a zombie movie, an abundance of f-words, and end credits that go on way too long.