Movie Review – Overcomer

Movie Review - OvercomerOvercomer is well done in the respect of the quality of production. The acting, directing, writing and pacing was on par for a ‘faith-based’ film. I have absolutely no problem with this movie except this:  who in the world thought Overcomer would be a catchy title? Almost any title would be better, like maybe, ‘Just Pray About It’, a phrase that was repeated ad infinitum during the movie.

The target audience will find this movie inspirational and uplifting. The Kendrick brothers certainly know how to reach out and touch their followers. Good for them.

Faith-based movies have a very specific audience. Those who want the message of their religion spread far and wide, and the Kendrick brothers figured out the best way to do that; at the movies. And it does seem to work.

Here at my home in Asheville, North Carolina, I know that when I’ve been assigned a faith-based movie to review, the theater will be packed. Again, good for the Kendrick brothers.

So after church Sunday, I recommend taking the family to enjoy Overcomer — despite the silly name.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: Each Peetime gives you the same amount of time to break, so let your bladder decide.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Overcomer. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for some thematic elements
Genres: Drama, religion

Movie Review – Breakthrough – Not a breakthrough in faith-based films

Movie Review - BreakthroughI do Peetimes for most of the faith-based movies. The Christian production company “PureFlix” turns out some really good faith-based films. Woodlawn comes to mind as an excellent representation of such films. Breakthrough isn’t one of those films. This movie was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. This movie feels like a cheap attempt to grab some money over Easter Weekend.

The movie lacks decent production values, and I felt that the real life characters were not represented well. There was a lack of chemistry between the main cast members that could have brought the film up a notch or two.

Having been an ER nurse for a very long time, I’ve stood outside an examining room and heard the prayers and the pleas to God to let a loved one live, but to no avail. Often times, afterwards, the prayers turn to anger. My heart breaks for the loved ones who get no answer. Had I have witnessed a medical miracle such as the one we saw in Breakthrough, would it have changed my mind concerning the power of prayer? No. Having been a student of medicine, I know these ‘miracles’ can (and do) happen with medical intervention. It’s just science.

A very personal note: I did not want to see this movie.

The “all you need is prayer and faith, and all is right with the world again” theme has been a ‘thorn in my side’ (pun intended) for a better part of my life.

I’ll preface this review by telling you I’m the daughter of a Methodist minister. I grew up in the church, hardly ever missed Sunday School, and said my prayers every night.

Then Viet Nam happened.

My brother, Danny, two years older than me, was my best friend and confidant. When he left for Viet Nam, I prayed day and night that he’d come home safely. Then there were only eight days left before he came home. Oh, and by the way, it was only two weeks until Christmas. I was confident my prayers had been answered. Praise God: Danny’s coming home.

Then came the knock at the door. My brother was not coming home.

Why?

During my period of mourning that question was most often answered with the trite comment, ‘It was God’s will’ or ‘God needed another angel in heaven’. The message I took away from this tragedy was that it doesn’t matter how hard you pray or how deep your faith: no one is listening. Or, God had already made up his mind that this remarkable young man would die in a foreign country without his loved ones nearby. Neither answer brought me even the slightest bit of comfort.

Grade: D+

About The Peetimes: I have a recommended Peetime that gives you 4 minutes to get back to the theater — half way through the movie — and an Emergency Peetime giving you only 3 minutes, coming late in the movie. 

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Breakthrough. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for thematic content including peril
Genres: Biography, Drama, Religious

Movie Review – Run the Race – Faith-Based but Sad

Movie Review - Run the RaceAs is my usual, I’ll address the target audience first.

Run the Race has all the ingredients needed for a faith-based movie — a loss of faith, a terrible tragedy, hope, and renewal. Christians of all denominations will be satisfied, and happy with the outcome. (Does anyone write a faith-based movie where God doesn’t prevail?)

Now I’ll address the mechanics of the movie: The pacing was dreadful, with too many protracted scenes of very little payoff.

The acting was sub par, with the exception of the coach played by Mykelti Williamson. Does that name sound familiar? Mykelti is Bubba Gump, and his acting was the real stand-out. The remaining cast came across as wooden, bored, and not very interesting at all.

The setting for the movie was excellent. Principal filming took place in Birmingham, Alabama, which is only 15 miles from Bessemer, and yes, Bessemer is a dying town. I lived in this area during the 1980s, and graduated from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, so it was a real trip down memory lane for me.

The ending didn’t leave me with a sense of hope and renewal; I just found it to be very, very sad.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: Run The Race is a short flick, so I felt 2 breaks were sufficient. The pacing made it fairly easy to choose 2 Peetimes and not miss anything important.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Run the Race. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for thematic content and some teen partying
Genres: Drama, Sport, Religious


 

Some other faith-based movie reviews on RunPee.com: 

Movie Review – God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

Movie Review – Let There Be Light

Movie Review – Do You Believe? – A Film to Help You Find Hope

Movie Review – Unbroken: Path to Redemption

I truly do enjoy faith-based movies, but Unbroken left me a little flat. The acting was pretty good,  and the directing was acceptable, however, since I didn’t read Laura Hillenbrand’s book Path To Redemption, I can’t comment on how closely the book was followed.[pullquote] It was interesting that Billy Graham’s grandson played his grand father (Billy Graham) in this movie, but his charisma is no match to his father’s.[/pullquote]

I didn’t feel that the two main characters, Louis and Cynthia, had much chemistry together. I never really felt their passion for their religion, nor their passion for each other. Nor did the supporting cast offer up much for us to care about.

I was pleased that, once again, PTSD was addressed, even though at that particular time it was referred to as ‘shell-shocked’. [pullquote position=”right”]Of recent, we’ve seen a number of movies addressing PTSD, and this is a good thing. A movie can give the public a visual of how devastating this condition is, and of course the more we know, the more we can help.[/pullquote] History has shown us that, at least every generation or so, we will continue to be welcoming home our vets.

Grade: C

About the Peetimes: Unbroken is very much a drama driven movie, but does have periods of restraint that make for good Peetimes. I recommended the first Peetime, because it actually gives you slightly more than 4 minutes to break.

Movie Review – Do You Believe? – A Film to Help You Find Hope

do-you-believeI’ll admit I was of the mind-set that I was going to hate this movie and be bored beyond tears. As it happens, I was moved to tears.

I’m not a religious person. I didn’t find God in this movie, but what I found was hope for humanity. There are some wonderful people in this world, and there are also some terrible people in this world. If the wonderful people could somehow help and guide the misguided, there’s your answer. I know I have the power in myself to help a struggling person. So do you. If we would all adopt this beautiful mind set, this world could be better. My faith is in that.

Giving a grade to this movie is proving difficult. I have some friends that I know would walk out: they would give it an F. This review being my personal opinion, I’ve decided to give it an A. I walked out with a new hope. That is exactly what the movie was trying for and it succeeded.

Movie Grade: A