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The Fight Within (2016)
Action and romance
I picked this up at Walmart, sensing it was a Christian movie with fighting action that I could recommend to my unsaved friends that are into fighting. What I discovered is that this movie has something for everyone. There are no twists or big surprises, but it's a good story. The light romantic interaction between Logan and Emma was wonderful. She could see that he had a good heart by observing his kindness toward others, and was drawn to him because of it. Yet something was troubling him. Actually, a few things. So Emma is a woman on a mission- to lead him to the one who can help him through all this: Jesus Christ. The only negative critique I have of this movie is that the man who plays as his brother doesn't look anything like him.
God's Compass (2016)
Should've had a different title
God's Compass is basically a story about a woman who decides to take custody of a troubled juvenile to save him from jail and help him in the right direction. That's the only connection to the title I can think of. Everything else about a compass seemed awkward and without any practical application. But if you can forget about that, it was actually a good movie. It had a good story, good script, good acting, and a happy ending. Sometimes we don't know the reasons why we are led to make certain decisions. In this movie, Mrs. Waters eventually finds out why. Jazelle Foster and Joey Ibanez, (who do not appear on the front cover of the DVD) gave exceptional performances. I think that they both have a bright future in the entertainment industry.
The Atheist Delusion (2016)
Good, thoughtful questions.
This movie is a compilation of interviews that has been edited by the topic of the particular question. It's the typical format of what Ray Comfort normally does. He asks good, thoughtful questions, and I thought everyone he interviewed was a good sport. This is a good film for anyone who is seeking answers to the hard questions about life. It may not reveal all the answers you are looking for, but it's a good place to start. Ray Comfort contends for the faith in 3 basic steps: 1) Prove there is a God. 2) Tell you who he is. 3) Invite you to actively pursue this faith. His knowledge, humility, and genuine sincerity is heart-warming, as he breaks the ice with everyone he interviews, in an open, honest discussion about the reality of God. Just a side note: When I saw the archive footage of Amanda Peet, I thought she was Jessica Steen. Am I the only one who thinks they could be twins?
The big challenge for writing a story around a biblical event is trying to fill in the blanks without "coloring outside the lines". The writers of RISEN did an excellent job! There was only one scene where they may have stepped out of bounds a little: When Jesus told the disciples to toss the net on the other side of the boat, (John 21:2) The writers put Clavius in the boat with them. Not scriptural, but no harm done. The rest of the scenes that were not specifically from scripture took into account the historical backdrop and human nature, leading to likely conversations, and plausible outcomes where scripture left off.
The lead actor (Joseph Fiennes) was very good with subtle expressions that spoke volumes! One notable scene was when Clavius found the other tomb guard, Polybius (played by Richard Atwill) and questioned him. This had to be the most demanding role of the movie, and Richard Atwill was outstanding! Dear IMDb, please get his photo and more details about him on this website!
Grace Unplugged (2013)
The prodigal daughter story
What a great story! A girl fighting her dad for some space to grow up and be herself. She is struck with the awesome idea to fill her dad's old shoes in the music business when he turns down the request of an old producer friend. Not knowing the extent of the commitment, she gets caught in a moral dilemma. Some of the scenes made me squirm. If you are a Christian who has ever put a bushel over your candle during a tense moment, you will relate to this! It could be described as the prodigal daughter movie. The cast was perfect. Also a great message of comfort to parents to commend their children to God on that day when it's time for them to leave the nest. God is already at the place where they are going. Trust God!
American muscle car on a mission
I'm not much into action movies, but I really enjoyed this one. It explores possible scenarios in America during the time of Revelation. A loner with a cool car who tries to help people, beats up bad guys, and in the course of events, ends up traveling with a beautiful woman who is trying to find her mother. What's not to like? It definitely has the Mad Max feel to it, but Biblical truths are weaved into the story. Josh McManus is a man on a mission, and has a Plymouth Roadrunner to get him there. As he and Sofia search for her mother, they are miraculously led to the mysterious "Shepherd", but will all their questions be answered? I never saw the first two movies in this series, so now I have to go buy those, too.
Nice guy gets misunderstood
For anyone who enjoyed "The Man from Snowy River", here is another great Australian horse flick. The movie cover shows Jeff Fahey, and so there's an assumption that he is the wrangler. He is actually a Merchant (Ben) who calls on a particular wrangler friend (Jack) when business requires the movement of horses. But in the course of events, Jack gets deceived and manipulated by a con man into thinking Ben is trying to steal their business. And a debutante named Alice, being young and naive, doesn't understand Ben's financial maneuvers when he tries to save her father's estate. And so Ben is this nice guy trying to help people that he cares about, but misunderstandings end up making his efforts more painful. This movie features Jeff Fahey at his finest, and it is a mystery to me why it didn't become more popular.
Across the Great Divide (1976)
Trust out of necessity
My mother took me to see this movie at the theater when I was 10 years old, and it is one of my all-time favorites. It has all the elements that make movies great: soothing music, breath-taking scenery, suspense, humor, and adventure. Right from the start you are drawn into the movie by the charm of Zachariah Coop, a trickster by trade. While running from the mischief he stirred up at his last gig, meets up with two kids who are in need of some adult help and protection to see them safely over the mountains. After the unfortunate timing of their meeting, they struggle to regain each other's trust, which they know is the only way they will be able make it. The wolf scene was incredible. The director should have won awards for that.