I am tweaking the way I review movies a little bit. My hope is that this new format will be shorter and easier to read on the fly for people who would like to know my opinions on a film.
MY VIEWS ON THE KENDRICK BROTHERS
I am and have been a big fan of the Kendrick Brothers. I have long felt that they have led Christian movies in a much better direction then what Christian movies had been previous. Yes, they have a message in every one of their movies. Having a message DOES NOT disqualify it as being art as some people have tried to argue. It is actually a very classic form of storytelling to have a “moral of the story.” This is not what has held Christian movies back, what has held them back is the fact that the story the message is wrapped in has been poorly written. The Kendrick Brothers have done a fantastic job. I will defend Fireproof to my grave! It was a Character piece about the transformation of a man who took the challenge of his father which led to very strong character growth within the main character to spite the fact that it was not having the intended outcome on his wife. It was a wonderful story! Anyone who thinks different is jaded or didn’t get it! (Yes, I said it!)
MY REVIEW OF WAR ROOM
The message of the film is an uplifting one. I am sure that many Christians will be touched by the message of this film. If you have been touched by watching this film, great! I promise you the Kendrick Brothers would say that if one person was touched and challenged to pray more than the film was a success no matter how much money it made or what critics say. If you were touched by the film, no one can take that away from you. Not a single nay-sayer can remove what that message has meant to your life!
In the past I have given the Kendrick Brothers a pass when it comes to acting because they use members of their congregation instead of trained, professional actors. I give them a pass because their movie company was a division of their church. It was originally formed for the church to make original films as a way to invite the community in to their church and give them an uplifting spiritual message in a non-threatening way. It was the entire point of their movies and it also just so happened to become very popular. They had a lot of success in their community and beyond. However, this film is the first film the Kendrick Brothers have made with their very own movie studio. They had the budget to hire professional actors. Actors that have done more than just their films… yet they didn’t. They had the funds, and the ability to shoot for quality but they didn’t. I cannot look past it this time.
However, in my opinion, this was not the worst part of the quality of this film. The worst was the writing! This film was the most disjointed story the Kendrick Brothers had put out. The tone of the film was all over the place. The first half of the film was a rushed Lifetime movie that seemed that it just couldn’t wait to get to the second half of the film which was a Disney Children’s movie about jump roping! Yes, I am sure some people had fun watching the jump rope competition with the dubstep (I actually enjoyed the dubstep) but it was not a smooth or well written story. I mean, come on… that random mugger? Really?
Again, it is fine if someone gained enjoyment with this film. It is also fine if it spoke to you but the reason I began this blog was to try, in my very own little way, to monitor the quality of film making in Christian films. With this being my goal, simply gaining satisfaction won’t due when even more satisfaction could have been had if they would have put out a better quality film. I was very disappointed with this film. I will still look forward to the Kendrick Brother’s next film, but they MUST show me that they are concerned with raising the quality of their craft or I will be forced to conclude that they are simply looking to make money off of their fan base who they know will just come and see their films as an emotional drug instead of seeing their films for the quality of the art. If your real goal is to reach people, you will reach many more people with quality…