Movie Review: All Saints, directed by Steve Gomer (Four Stars)


theatrical release poster

Movie Review: All Saints, directed by Steve Gomer

Four Stars

“Pray for God to send help.” “Isn’t that supposed to be you?”

Based-on-a-true-story movie about a failing Episcopal church in Tennessee who took in a population of Karen refugees, who’d fled persecution in Myanmar. The lives of more than the congregation and the Karen were transformed.

Good production values, though it has a made-for-television feel. Good acting and plot points. The faith elements are appropriate to the story.

Many of the Karen refugees were played by themselves.


Movie Review: The Case for Christ, directed by Jon Gunn (Four Stars)


theatrical release poster

Movie Review: The Case for Christ, directed by Jon Gunn

Four Stars

“There is no ‘what if’ with God.”

Better than the book, which I read and reviewed in 2003. The movie had a plot (several); the book was a set of investigations by then-atheist Lee Strobel into the truth behind Christianity. The book rests almost entirely on assertions from authority; the movie explores experience, feelings and motivation.

“You didn’t want to see [the truth].”

For what was obviously a low-budget film, Case was well-plotted and well-acted. The sub-plots add credibility and depth to Strobel’s search.

“I want whatever is next.”

Movie Review: Woodlawn directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin (Five Stars)

Movie Review: Woodlawn directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin

Five Stars out of Five.

“This is what happens when God shows up.”

I was surprised. I don’t much care for sports or sports movies, but Woodlawn catapults the viewer into early 1970s Birmingham, Alabama, “the most segregated town in America.” Though focused on Woodlawn High’s running sensation Tony Nathan, It’s about a lot more than high school football. “Based on a true story” of how the adults and youth of that city dealt with forced racial integration. There are good and bad guys on both sides.

Incredibly entertaining as well as pointedly positive. So much of the action follows the actual events that verifying the plot should be easy.

Well done.

“One way.”

Movie Review: Heaven is for Real (4 stars)

Heaven is for Real (movie)

(Four stars out of Five)

Occasionally Hollywood gets it right: “it” being a Christian movie. Not that Heaven is for Real is perfect, but it follows the book well and where it diverges it improves–by condensing and focusing. Not a big-budget blockbuster, but a solid, well-told story. Greg Kinnear, as Colton’s father Todd Burpo, is the only big name.
This “based on a true story” film about a child’s near-death experience, captures the emotion, the uncertainty, and the growing wonder of the book well. It doesn’t have easy answers and, in fact, when it dramatizes young Colton Burpo’s reports of heaven is where it goes farthest astray. A respectful, is necessarily compact, exploration of the other people’s reactions–both positive and negative–to Colton’s reported experience.

Connor Corum‘s portrayal of four-year-old Colton is nothing short of amazing, and worth the price of admission.
Quibbles: I doubt that many blacks lived in western Nebraska. Hispanics, yes. Sonja Burpo (played by Kelly Reilly) was just a bit too sexy. Why did they have to film it in Manitoba?