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Michael W. Smith shines in his film debut!
christismypilot4 February 2006
Michael W. Smith does a great job in his film debut with the new film "The Second Chance". Smith plays an associate pastor named Ethan, who leads quite a comfortable life under the sheltering wing of his father's suburban mega-church, The Rock. Jeff Carr, plays Jake Sanders, an inner-city preacher at the older and more urban church, Second Chance Community Church. While the two come from different walks of life, they share the same faith, which ultimately leads them to help each other. It's only when the two unite to work together that they realize they have truly done the Lord's work. This is a great movie with a great and inspiring story about the diversities that are evident in a lot of today's churches. Although a Christian movie in most respects, the film is PG-13 so I would advise parents to use discretion when taking an children under 13. There is some language, drug use and some violence. Great film overall, check it out Feburary 17th!
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A movie about the church that is actually relevant...
toddjob20 February 2006
Here's the sad thing about this movie...I fear that not a lot of people will see it. That would be a real shame.

Let's face it: Christian 'entertainment' is normally completely void of any artistic skill, woodenly-acted, hokey, and moronic. It's made for those who want to build large brick walls around their church and stay safe from the evil world outside.

On the other hand, this is an intelligently crafted, authentic look at the divisions that lie within Christianity in America. If you have attended church for any length of time in your life, the attitudes that you see displayed on screen will undoubtedly hit home, because you've either seen them in others or yourself (the use of "Christian-ese" to silence dissent is all too real). If you aren't a church-attender, you'll recognize some of the things that probably help to keep you away.

This is a movie with heart that never gets cheesy. It's not terribly complicated, but that's part of the point...either your actions match your words or they don't. Very simple.

If you're looking for 30 plot twists in a movie, pull out one of the 80 "Left Behind" DVDs and have a ball with the fairy tales. But if you want to experience good art, something real and challenging, see this movie.
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Great message for todays church!
fcollier24 January 2006
I had the opportunity to watch a preview of the movie, The Second Chance. Set in a large Southern city, the film portrays the racial tensions between a predominately white, affluent church with that of a black and financially struggling congregation that they have supported for many years. The movie does a good job of character and plot development with very credible acting from Michael W. Smith and the other lead actors. The film realistically portrays today's inner city environment which causes its content to receive a PG-13 rating. I believe that this movie contains a valuable and enjoyable message for today's Church. It is a moving story of renewal, forgiveness and Christian love.
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A Great Family Movie!
lsb11316 January 2007
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 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'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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One the best Christian films today!
single_in_inna31 July 2006
When I heard about the movie I was not expecting much ,however, the movie was really great. This film helps bring movies in the general area back to good ground. It is not based on music as many people would probably think. It is about how Christians no matter what race or color they are should stand together and to look at every situation from both sides not just yours. There is one part in which I cried my eyes out. I am proud to see MWS showing his acting ability's!! I hope every one gets something out of this movie. There's is moments for laughter, crying, cheering and thought!! There was one thing that made me sad about the movie and that was the ending. I got it now don't get me wrong but well ill just let you all figure it out!!!
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THE SECOND CHANCE is not a perfect film, but it tries and it has guts
David A Dein17 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have been eagerly awaiting THE SECOND CHANCE. A film that was written and directed by Steve Taylor and starring Michael W. Smith. Imagine my two childhood heroes making a film together. It was too much for me to bear.

THE SECOND CHANCE follows Ethan Jenkins (Michael W. Smith) a suburban pastor whose life is just getting comfortable. He had a successful recording career that ended in rehab, and has since taken the associate pastor gig at The Rock, his fathers mega-church deep in the heart of suburbia. When Ethan's methods get in the way of the church boards plans he is sent to The Second Chance Community Church. It's a small inner city church Ethan's father started when Ethan was a child and he's there to learn and observe. Second Chance is in the middle of the inner city and is presided over by Pastor Jake (Jeff Carr), a former pro basketball player who is trying to save his community from the plight of gangs and drugs. Its an uphill battle and he sees Ethan as just another suburban do-gooder that will leave when the going gets tough. Can these men work together? Will Ethan stick with Pastor Jake? Or will other insidious plans cause a rift in the 'hood? THE SECOND CHANCE is a film with very lofty goals. It's a film that reveals one of the biggest problems that is plaguing the Christian Church in America: racial and class separation. There is a problem with terms like "Black Church" and "White Church." and "Rich Church" and "Poor Church." They're false. There is only one church and we all should be invited. Ethan and Jake are two souls caught in the middle. Ethan is out of his comfort zone at Second Chance and Jake is tired of the Suburban church throwing money at his neighborhood problems and not helping out. Does the Second Chance film succeed in opening our eyes to the problems in our own backyard? It does.

Director Taylor fills his film with rich colorful characters. But at times his actors can't get into them. For instance I particularly loved the sassy women playing the choir leader. She has such a small role and yet she fills it with color and realism. Other performers just aren't as skilled and the dialogues they have sound like dialogue and not real life conversations.

As for the two leads, Smith and Carr give competent performances. Both are first time film actors and against the odds grow into their characters. There are a few moments early on that felt a little wooden but as the film progresses I bought their relationship, and them as the characters.

The major flaw with the film is the long winded first act. The script dumps a lot of plot conflict on the story and the long walk around the 'hood confused me a little. But then there is this scene with Smith, a small child, and a paper plate. WOW! Taylor and Smith nail it. This was a small moment in a lot of disjointed clutter that was perfect. I hoped for more honest moments like that and they definitely came.

I also liked that the film had a good natured sense of humor. There were moments when I saw Taylor's wit and good natured ribbing poking out. Trust me you won't look at prayer and a lottery ticket the same way again.

But how will this admittedly "Christian Film" play to the unchurched masses? I don't really know. It feels more like an exhortation to the Christian Community and I wonder how someone on the outside would be able to follow it. That is not a negative. If this film gets the Christian community to enter into a discussion about how to fix a great divide between the rich and poor, between the Black Church and the White Church, then I applaud it. But it is also a good look into what goes on inside the Christian community and may cause those who don't quite understand to ask questions and there is nothing wrong with dialogue.

THE SECOND CHANCE is not a perfect film, but it tries and it has guts. Moreover its watchable and more importantly honest. I liked it an applaud all involved.
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Really really really great movie!
BroncosGrl92418 February 2006
"The Second Chance" is one of the best movies I have ever seen in a long time. The general story and message is absolutely amazing. At first, I was a little worried that it would flop, seeing as how a lot of Christian movies do. When I found out that it was playing near me, I made it a point to go see it. It was a breath of fresh air, as it wasn't one of those religious movies that "plays it safe" and is "extra clean." It took no fear in including some violence and language in order to get through. In fact, even Pastor Jake, himself swears a bit. The movie never ceases to pull at your heartstrings and get through to your head. Not only is it just an awesome movie, it has some great acting, directing, writing, music, etc. Speaking of music, Christian singer Michael W. Smith himself stars in this movie as Ethan Jenkins. He does quite well for his movie debut. But it's really Jeff Carr who shines throughout this film. However, the whole cast does a great job to put the message across. I strongly recommend "The Second Chance"!
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A Movie Worth Seeing
bobw-217 August 2006
The Second Chance is a movie that takes on the complexities of cultural difference and social conscience. The film stars Grammy award-winning musician Michael W. Smith in his first acting role as Ethan Jenkins, a rock star turned associate pastor of a suburban mega-church called The Rock.

The film costars jeff obafemi carr, a multi-talented artist with experience in acting, singing, writing, and directing. jeff prefers lower case letters for his name, a gesture of humility. His character, Jake Sanders, is the pastor of a small inner city church called Second Chance Community Church that deals with all the associated problems plaguing the economically starved inner cities.

Michael W. Smith does amazingly well in his acting debut, considering his only acting experience was working with an acting coach in preparation for this movie. Equally amazing is the performance by jeff carr who nails his character with realism and genuine passion. jeff becomes Jake Sanders.

The background of the film involves Jeremiah Jenkins (J. Don Ferguson) who founded Second Chance Community Church in the 1960's and was part of the civil rights movement. Time has seen him move on to The Rock mega-church. The Rock has become part of the new electronic church era where it's about TV, image, and donations.

Jerimiah's son, Ethan, is caught up in the worldly business of the church. An affluent yuppie with attitude, Ethan finds himself at odds with the church's leadership after creating some waves. The church's board decides "he needs his wings clipped" and they decide to send him to Second Chance Community Church.

The plot revolves around Pastors Ethan and Jake as their cultures clash when Ethan is sent unwillingly to "observe and learn" at Second Chance and the surrounding community. Both pastors have their own flaws.

Ethan feels being sent to the inner city is beneath him and not worthy of his time. "I am an associate pastor, not a social worker," he protests when told of his assignment.

Jake, the Second Chance pastor, also has his cultural conditioning come into play. "We've seen enough of those ghetto tourists down here … hanging around just long enough so they can go back and tell their congregations that they've 'been there' ".

The stage is set for conflict that extends beyond the surface of black/white issues. Both pastors are separated by economic barriers and their views of how to help people. Ethan's rich suburban church mentality is to throw money at a problem and walk away. Pastor Jake's method is to roll up your sleeves, get on the streets, and make a difference one person at a time. Some of his tactics are tough-love.

As Ethan navigates his way through the real life of the inner city, his belief system is thrown into turmoil. There are several memorable scenes in this movie, one of the most compelling is the sub-plot involving the African refugee child's paper plate drawing. Without revealing too much, I will say the associated scenes with this paper plate demonstrate that sometimes the seemingly small things in life can have a huge impact.

Ethan's acceptance into this different culture is slow. It's a painful learning curve but to his credit, Ethan continues forward. There are failures and victories. In one scene we see how music can serve as a wonderful bridge between personal and cultural differences. Acceptance involves doing, not just words or money.

As the movie progresses, power, money, and politics threaten Second Chance's existence. Ethan experiences another defining moment of life that will further serve to "call him home." Another defining moment for several characters comes during a foot-washing scene.

One of the most powerful scenes involves Jake's speech near the end of the film. jeff carr absolutely nails it with passion, emotion, and sheer believability. Michael W. Smith's musical score for this scene using his instrumental song "The Last Hallelujah" is perfection.

The movie could have ended several different ways. According to the commentary information, there was considerable discussion on how the film should end. The ending that was finally chosen worked for me. Its message was clear and thought provoking.

Michael W. Smith did the musical scoring for many of the scenes as well as performing and co-writing the track "All in the Serve". Michael also performed all of his own piano and singing scenes and seemed right at home doing so.

The film was directed by Steve Taylor, his first feature length directing job. Prior to The Second Chance, he made several short films and music videos. Considering this and the fact that The Second Chance was a small budget film, he did an incredible job.

The commentary track in the DVD's special features section provided some interesting insights to the behind the scenes trials and tribulations that went into creating this movie. Steve Taylor, Michael W. Smith, and jeff carr recounted the obstacles that had to be overcome and how some of the casting assignments came to be. A significant amount of local talent was used. The film was shot entirely on location around Nashville.

Henry Haggard, who played Sonny, the challenged Second Chance Community Church custodian, could not have been cast better. Shirley Cody, playing Miss Burdoe, the choir leader, was simply outstanding. The chemistry between her and Michael was obvious. Jamal, the drug dealer played by Robert Fitzgerald, brought his street character to believable and authentic life. J. Don Ferguson, as Jerimiah Jenkins, did a memorable job that included his character's humble transformation.

The film succeeds in tackling tough contemporary issues in a compelling and entertaining way. If you want to experience a great film that was created on a small budget by people who regarded it as a true labor of love, see this movie! The movie's message is one of hope, reconciliation, humility, tolerance, forgiveness, and understanding … something the world needs now more than ever.
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Good Message
blestiam17 February 2006
Redemtion and forgiveness come to play boldly in this movie and it's fun to see your typical black guy and whitie go at each other. I really enjoyed seeing them interact with each other and try to get along. The movie plays out these roles and these two grown ups act like children with their haughty or arrogance ways consistently picking fights with each other ...thinking that each one is better than the other. I'm glad they finally got it figured out near the end..but I would have been more delighted to see them play this out in more depth.

This movies does leave a lot unanswered, but is a great conversational type of movie.

Acting was good. Pleasantly surprised by both Jeff Carr and Michael W Smith. The two of them seem to fit the roles that they were given and they played them well.

If you want to see a challenging movie with a great message that will lead you to want to make a difference right where you are...see this will motivate and stir you to ponder on it.

It's all in the serve! Sherry
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More Powerful Ending
john_geeter1 January 2007
I had the opportunity to watch the movie, The Second Chance also. The movie does a good job of character and plot development but in my opinion and real-life experience the ENDING was inconclusive leaving the audience with a lack of a Powerful Heart wrenching FINALE. It realistically portrays today's inner city youths which should have ended with a more DYNAMIC positive MESSAGE. I believe that this movie contains a valuable and enjoyable message for the 21 century Church. It is a touching story of God's special calling 1st for Home Missions {Jerusalem & Samaria} and Christian love.

I offer myself free-lance {an inner city pastor with more than 15 yrs writing and producing Christian Plays} and your staff an opportunity to re-write the ending or create a sequel.

The ending shows Jeremiah Jenkins (J. Don Ferguson) with son Ethan (Michael W. Smith)& Pastor Jake (Carr) sitting on the roof of Second Chance Community Church to prevent the CITY contractor from demolition.

The movie could have ended several different ways. According to the commentary information, there was considerable discussion on how the film should end. The ending that was finally chosen again did not complete the Long Anticipated Climax. I heard that the film was shot entirely on location around Nashville about 1hr & 45 minutes away.
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Dishonest voters
nledude27 February 2006
Anyone giving this film anything higher than a 3 or 4 is deluded. As a Christian and a filmmaker I was embarrassed watching this show. The director was completely lost and in over his head. The photography was offensive and showed a complete lack of respect for the craft. The production sound was below standard. I understand the filmmakers may have been going for a natural, gritty look, but this was like a bad student film.

As far as the acting - MW Smith may have a future, but he needs a real director and a real pro to act against. Jeff Carr was adequate but lacked the experience to break free and take his character to a different level. This too, I blame on the director. Most of the film was just plain weird - odd vignettes edited together with no feel or style.

It all starts with the script - if you've got a vague, disjointed screenplay, you're gonna get a vague, disjointed movie like The Second Chance. The biggest issue with producing a show this bad is that Hollywood, which has opened a small window for faith-based shows (thanks to Mel Gibson, isn't going to tolerate box-office returns like those of Second Chance. The studios don't really know what will work, so they will spend a little money and distribute a film like this - and when it completely tanks at the box-office, the studios will sadly close the window. It will be a business decision, and a wise one, and one that will, sadly kill the chances for the breakout Christian film that may surface someday.

Christian filmmakers have a responsibility to create product that is at or above the visual standard set by Hollywood - anything less is just plain disrespectful of the viewer and the industry. Fortunately, we have a recent film like End of the Spear, which shows that faith-based films can be beautifully shot, directed with care and produced to the highest standards.

Sorry to be so harsh, but Christians have to understand that they can't get a free ride and produce sub-standard fare knowing they have a built-in audience.
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Great Movie? Depends on who you ask
nubian_spirit25 February 2006
I heard about this film from a co-worker who compared the attention being given to this movie to that of Passion of the Christ. Apparently, Christians all over have been encouraging other Christians to view and support this film. Why? I am a black person who went to see this movie with another black person. In a theater full of movie goers, we were the only blacks. We did not know what to expect when we sat down to watch this film. With the name THe Second Chance, we figured it might be similar to the Left Behind film and we looked forward to that as we thought those were done well. Well, I sat through the film and more than anything, had wished I could have known what the audience thought about it. No doubt they were impressed with the star's unrealistic offer to move into the inner city area and become a member of this church that now has no home. And of course his fiancé who a few days prior was picking out $350 per setting china, happily agree's with her fiancé' to do so. Right! The movie reminded me of how unaware some Christians are of their fellow brothers in other areas. Who was this movie written for? I would love to know how many black churches have been encouraged to see this film. I don't know. I attend a church of 6000 members and of that number, 60% are black. Not once have I heard my pastor mention this film. Why is that? In the end, I think it was unrealistic and would have reached more people if the two pastors had truly joined together for the betterment of one church against the world rather than once again focusing on separation of churches which is what we see everyday.
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Why is everything a racial issue?
tcpritchett20 July 2006
I was reading a lot of comments on this movie and was surprised to read that most people agreed with this film. The problem with our churches has nothing to do with white vs. black or mega churches vs. small churches. The problem with our churches is the lack of Jesus.I know there are a lot of churches that view church as a business or social club, but those churches are not just white. The movie is right to exhort us to get out into the community and not just throw money, but to make it a racial issue I think is wrong. We need to have the heart of Jesus and whether you are a Jew or a Gentile Christ died on the cross for all our sake. I realize the point of the movie was to tear down racial bearers in the church but I think that it's both sides, most people don't want to get there hands dirty no matter what race or walk of life they are. I think the movie missed out on the real issue, and by the way there are churches out there where ex-prostitutes, ex-drug addicts, ex-homosexuals, white, black, Mexican, rich, poor, work together in the unity of Christ, being Jesus' hands and feet. I go to one and let me tell you, it is a beautiful thing when people from all walks of life have one thing in common and thats being saved from the wrath of God which we all deserve through Christ Jesus our Savior. Lets leave racial issues out of the church and just preach Jesus!
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Shockingly Racist
evhein6 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is by far the most racist movie I have ever seen and it illustrates the growing double standard in our society. White people are portrayed as clumsy cowards and at one point in the movie MW Smith is yelled at by "Pastor Jake" too sit down, like he was ordering around a dog. MW Smith then just sat cowering like a wimp on a bench. Pastor Jake displays arrogance, pride and uses profanities throughout the film but never once does the movie address his attitude, instead it glorifies it. As I watched the film I kept waiting for the plot twist. I thought that the film would show that both sides had something to learn. That the suburban white church would realize the need to sacrifice time..not just money and that the arrogance and pride of pastor Jake would condemned as he learned to display some of the fruits of the spirit and work in cooperation. Instead Pastor Jake and his unchristian attitude is glorified as he throughout the film expresses his hate of whites. According to scripture Pastor Jake would not even be qualified to be a pastor being that he was quick to anger, arrogant, unloving, always fighting, inpatient, unkind, and without any self control.

As you would expect, at the end of the movie both the white man who cleans the toilets for the black church, and MW Smith wash the feet of pastor Jake and one of the members of his church. Pastor Jake walks up when MW Smith takes the basin as if he was expecting for his feet to be washed. MW Smith then decides to move to the church and work underneath Pasor Jakes leadership.

The church in America definitely needs healing from it's racial divides, but a movie like this only encourages racism and hatred in whites and blacks. In our society it is becoming increasingly acceptable to be racist towards whites...but not towards anyone else. If you reversed the roles in this movie and put MW Smith as the inter-city pastor and Pastor Jake as a pastor from the suburbs, this movie would have had to have been released by the KKK. Just imagine a movie where a black pastor from the suburbs comes to help out a church of skinheads with their white pastor in the hood and the white pastor is constantly humiliating the black pastor, yelling at him like a dog and having him wash his feet. That is what this movie is...the roles are just reversed but our society is so blind especially in the Christian community that we can't see it.
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I give this movie full marks and a big round of applause to the cast and crew!
cpickens6824 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was blown away by The Second Chance. I expected it to be good, because Steve Taylor (writer/director) would not release anything that was second rate. I feel it covers issues and problems relevant to every day life; while not giving pat answers or cure-all solutions.

It is not a movie you can watch and then forget once you leave the theater. You will find yourself thinking about and wanting to discuss it. My husband and I are still talking about all of the issues that were raised, and we plan to take our 11 and 13 year old sons to see it. It is a movie that families with teens should watch together, because it will open up conversations. (Anytime a movie can get teens and parents talking - it is worth seeing!)

I would not suggest taking younger children to see it. There is some language and violence in it (although most younger children have seen more language and violence on average TV shows than this movie has). I do not think the language or violence over done; just enough to make it real. In fact, having lived in the inner-city the writers could have put in a lot more and still had an accurate representation of inner-city life. This movie deals with some complex issues that need abstract thinking to understand, and most younger children will miss the point.

I give this movie full marks and a big round of applause to the cast and crew!
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pleasantly surprised
jessicamay2726 February 2006
I just saw this movie this weekend at a special screening and it was fantastic. I was a little apprehensive about MWS, much as I love him...but it fit. Steve Taylor and Jeff Carr were there and there was a terrific discussion afterward. I think the honesty that went into this movie is as important as the movie itself. It is interesting to note that originally Taylor wanted to go with a big Hollywood name for Carr's role, someone like Don Cheadle. Carr was just brought in to do a table reading, but he nailed it. Still, Taylor was going to hold out for Hollywood...he asked Carr for some help on his script (carr is a playwright as well as actor) and a lot of good changes were made because of their discussions. And of course, eventually Taylor realized Carr was meant to play the role (and he did great!) I'm so glad Christian cinema is finally becoming quality. GO see this movie if it is near you, and take a friend!!
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Not my favorite movie
gorty2126 February 2007
I was pretty a little disappointed in this movie. I read some of the reviews and I don't agree. I don't think Michael W. Smith did such a great acting job. His singing was great but his acting just average. I thought his character was believable because unfortunately many people who grow up in the big church world are pretty clueless about life outside of theirs, and think that a wad of money will make everything better. I think actually most people are like that. I was also disappointed with the character of the black pastor, always angry and distrusting. . He could have been cynical for all he had to deal with but I thought that was too stereotypical. I was surprised at some of the language, but for PG-13 it wasn't bad. Over all it was a decent movie, better than a lot of the trash that's put out today. I hope Christian producers continue to look for better scripts and better actors.
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Excellent and Very Well Directed Film!
em-653586 November 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie (with substance)! The acting from both Michael W. Smith, and Jeff Obafemi Carr was superb. I was very impressed with the work Steve Taylor did to direct this film. It begins with the role of Ethan Jenkins (Michael W. Smith) and Jake Sanders (Jeff Obafemi Carr) running an inner city ministry in Tennessee. White and well-off Ethan is a musician overseeing the suburban mega-church his father ministers, as well as to the Second Chance church in Tennessee, and Jake is a black recent-convert who ministers to gang members, teen mothers, and drug addicts of the Second Chance with Pastor Ethan.

The story is very rich and realistic, and will certainly hold your interest to the very end! A+++
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two priests walk into a ghetto...
Movie Man17 February 2006
even though this was the director's first at-bat, i was pretty disappointed with his style of what i feel potentially could have been a very real story. not only did i just see the preview but i also watched the film in order to give it a fair evaluation. what made the story and the characters hard to attach to was that the film preaches to the audience rather than keeping it in context of the film's inner-workings. this story with conflict between two characters was almost totally diluted with an overly dramatic religious setting and a plot based on fictitious themes. i feel a better film to see would be 'Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit'
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Great Film That Shows Struggles in Inner City
olsonmk720 February 2006
The Second Chance is a great film! It shows the struggles in the church and Christian community in the inner city. I hope that this film does well so that Hollywood will take notice. What we need is more films that touch your heart like this one. I think that Michael W. Smith and Jeff Carr were great in there film debut. Go see this film and help it expand to more cities, so many more people have a chance to see it. This film was not afraid to explore all the areas that affect the inner city. The struggles with drugs, crime, and the need to make changes to the inner city. It shows how missions, which normally focus on international areas, need to focus more on our own backyard. I hope that you will go see this film with an open mind and allow it to open your eyes.
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"The Second Chance" Reverses the Curse on Christian Movies
the_crains16 February 2006
I watched an advance screening of "The Second Chance" Thursday night, and was pleasantly surprised. This certainly the best movie I've ever seen from the Christian movie bubble (whose track record is horrible, admittedly). First time director Steve Taylor hits it out of the ballpark with this one. The film stars Micheal W. Smith as an associate pastor of a wealthy white church who ends up working in the "hood" with a black pastor, played excellently by newcomer jeff carr. Smith does a fine job by the way. I found it to be throughly entertaining-although I admit that part of that may be because as a life-long church attender, I'm interested in the subject matter. My expectations were low as well. Despite the "Christian" connection, the film is never hokey and the acting is top-notch. I even had to fight back tears at one point! There was quite a bit of emotion in the theater especially in one scene. My only criticisms would be that there are too many sub-plots, many unresolved. None of these are boring however, and perhaps director Steve Taylor didn't want to wrap things up nicely. Also, carr (yes he spells it lowercase)'s character curses several times throughout the film-which is disappointing considering he plays a minister. The rest of the profanity in the movie makes sense. I think the central message of the film, which is that we need to do more for the poor than just give them cash, is an important one. It's rarely told these days outside of the "Blame America First" crowd, who fail to reach people just like many churches.

Mel Gibson once talked about the "curse" that's been on "Christian" movies and how bad they are. I think "The Second Chance" has finally broken the curse.
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I'm thrilled with this movie...
dottyjyoung15 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
...not just because Steve Taylor is my favorite lyricist of all time, but because he made this transition to the big screen with a well-written drama that peels back many layers of the Southern, Christian, racial divide.

Unlike other Christian movies (End of the Spear comes to mind) Taylor and the other writers understand that a story is not made simply by having someone get saved at the end. The church as a body has so much room for growth and development, and the role of the artist should always be to shine a light into dark places. "the bible...says I'm supposed to love you, but all I want to do is beat the he11 out of you." If we never talk about such struggles, how can we overcome them?

I had a few plot problems with the script. I feel like Smitty was never quite believable as a rebel, not because of his acting skills, but because he never got to *act like a rebel.* What's the worst thing he did? Mess up the church order of service? We didn't even get to see him as a materialist, he just threw out a comment about gravy on his Guccis. :) A couple of very small scenes would have fixed this--show him designing his house, or buying an engagement ring.

The fiancée (what was her name again? ;) ) could have been a great foil for this'---"You know, it's just us, I don't *need* 5 bedrooms..." But she seems to *suddenly* enter the story-arc as a good-hearted woman, with no set-up. Someone posted "Why would a woman who was picking out a $350/set china pattern *suddenly* agree to move to the hood?" I have to agree there. We were not given a lot of motivation for her actions.

We get hints of Ethan's past--but does he still struggle with it? If he was a drug addict himself, even in a high-quality rehab center, wouldn't he have a better understanding of what drove the actions of the men at the small group? With the character as it was portrayed, Ethan Jenkins would have been better written as just a normal, spoiled preacher's kid who happens to be a good singer. If his past is there, it needs to have a payoff.

With all the anger, bitterness, and swearing :) that Jake gave us, I kept waiting for a repentance on his part as well. After Ethan led the music for the SC choir---Jake's wall was still up. After Ethan saved him from the gang attack---Jake's wall was still up. I feel like Ethan was learning humility after his time on the streets, but Jake kept an arrogant, angry stance until he broke down at the pulpit while talking about "loving your enemies." Maybe this is just the Southern, white girl perspective, but even that sermon could have been *easily* misinterpreted as "self-righteousness, part deux." As if, "I haven't done anything wrong, but I'm going to love the people that are hurting me." Truthfully, Jake was a racist. In racial reconciliation, doesn't everyone have to repent of racism? Or is it just white people? So, Mr. Taylor, keep making movies! If you have a mailing list, put me on it! :)
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What a bust...
charlesncharge14 July 2006
Shameful attempt at making a "Christian" film. This film is living proof that people whose "gifts" are music and performing should NEVER make films! Never mind the profanity comes a "preachers" mouth... repeatedly which seems to bother little or no one in the faith based community. If this "film" did not have Michael W. Smith as the 1st lead role it would have never been made at certainly never offered for resale.

Pick this one up at a yard sale or discount rack. Once again we have shown the entire world that film making should be left in the in hands of the truly gifted.
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not quite like the description of movie said
tsimm972 October 2011
I thought it was a decent enough movie. However, the description of the movie says that it's about two pastors with vastly different backgrounds working together to save an inner city church. 90% of the movie seemed like it was one sided. In fact, I didn't see anything in the movie where the pastor of the inner city church learned anything from the so called rich pastor (I don't think I've seen pastors quite as rich as this one). It just would have been nice if the pastor of the church wasn't always criticizing the other and never having anything to learn from him. Also, seemed a little too Christian filmish. The typical gang members and drug users. Not that there isn't that in the inner city (or anywhere for that matter). But it just seems to planted. Again, over all it's a good movie, it just could have been better.
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Forget Christian or not Christian, this is just a really good movie
dbborroughs20 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Some time there is a certain serendipity to stumbling on a movie. I had been walking down the street in New York 's financial district and I passed a homeless man selling various goods on the street corner to whom ever passed. Most people, myself included, paid him no mind. I tried my best to not get involved but I did and the result was I picked up a DVD of this movie, because he seemed to be rather certain I needed to see it. I gave him a couple of bucks and I went on my way to the seaport. Last night I sat down to watch it and was rather surprised at how good the film really was. The plot of the film has a well to do white minister going to spend time at the church where his father started. The visit was prompted by the young black minister at that church, and an up and coming fellow, saying some insensitive things at the church of the white minister's dad. Over the course of the film the two friends get closer and find a common ground with each other and life. I can't explain it well, bu this is a great little film about people being people regardless of color. Of how skin color isn't important and how knowing where we came from in necessary for finding the future. I don't think there is a mistake anywhere in the film. The performances are on target, the emotion is real and the story is nice. I don't know if its one of the best films of the year but it is one the great finds. It's a movie about ideas and teaching a lesson that doesn't preach or feel forced. It's a movie that everyone should see, because even if you're like me and think you won't like it you will. (Filmmakers should see this because it's the way you should make a movie like this.)
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