Archive for the ‘independent’ Category

Happy Easter

April 4, 2010

Zoom Daddy

The Swirling Eddies

Greetings from Michigan

Sufjan Stevens

The Miracle Maker

You might also want to check out

What Should My Family and I Watch During Holy Week?

and

Pictures of Jesus in Film and Literature

Have a great Easter

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Christopher’s Top Picks of the Decade (1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

January 28, 2010

It took all month but here are

Christopher’s Top 20 Picks (with 3 “Ties and an Honorable Mention) of the Decade

(1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

  1. Lord Of The Rings (1 movie in 3 parts)
  2. The Passion of the Christ
  3. Unbreakable
  4. tie – DISTRICT 9 Pride and Prejudice 
  5. The Exorcism of Emily Rose  
  6.  Signs
  7. To End All Wars
  8. The Village
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe 
  10. Lars and the Real Girl 
  11. Luther 
  12. B000JLTR8QM. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water
  13. Napoleon Dynamite
  14. In The Bedroom
    Note: “The Bedroom” in the title refers to a compartment of a Lobster Trap
  15. Man On Fire
  16. I Am Legend
  17. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
  18. Phone Booth
  19. tie Nanny McPhee Up
  20. tie Danielson a Family Movie (or, Make A Joyful Noise HERE) Food Inc

Honorable Mention

Bella theatrical one sheet

Bella

Fireproof

This film was not the best done, or the most moving. Several films not on this list were better films. (The Spider Man films, Inglorious B——-s, Juno, Iron Man and even  Twilight, were all better films.) Still, a church got together and made a good film with a great message, and I think that should be applauded.

Bella

December 28, 2009

 

What Is It?

Bella is the simple story of a man who walks out on his job for a day to comfort a waitress who has just been fired. While they go one a trip through the city they also explore their own souls.

How Was It?

Many people like independent films because they go places that Hollywood can not. Places that are not obviously marketable but are instead real, emotional, beautiful, and gripping. Bella charts it’s course too slowly but beautifully though issues of life and death, love and family. I enjoyed Eduardo Verástegui as Jose the main character who serves as the shuttle in this movie’s weaving loom of a story.  His performance helps bring out all the other characters. It’s wonderful to get to know these people (and wounder what the soccer players have to do with it all.)

Is It Good For Kids?

The thing that will mostly alienate younger viewers is simply the maturity of the story and the issues they are dealing with.

There is no cussing or sexuality shown, though the waitress (Tammy Blanchard) is pregnant and talks about here boyfriend not wanting it. The “option” of abortion seems to be her only choice. Still, the cause for kids would be

SPOILER

a seen where a little girl is run over by a car and killed in front of her mother. It is not gory. In Fact it is quite tasteful in its presentation. Even with that, it is as emotional as that subject matter should be. I think some adults will have a hard time with this scene, some kids will definitely have a hard time with it.

What About Spiritual Issues.

This film does slowly reveal it’s correct Christian world view.  Not only in word but in dead. This is not a fluffy “I have Jesus, now everything is as shiny as a Lisa Frank  sticker.” Instead we see real people make hard choices because they trust in what is right and more important than their circumstances.

What Is Your Recommendation?

This film will require your attention but will not arrest it like films on a higher scale. Still I think you will be richly rewarded for your time with this deep emotional film.

Bella

#34 – Top Money Makers of the Decade – The Passion of the Christ

December 11, 2009

We have taken the list of the Top Money Makers of the Decade and we are doing the “Question Entertainment Lightning Round”
I hope you like it. Let us know your thoughts.

See them all at http://www.youtube.com/user/1ThessFIVE21and22#p/c/A4E6B15329949FF4

The Passion of the Christ

Help MAKE A Movie!

September 22, 2009

As most of you know, the film “To Be” is in script form and we are planning to make the movie. I’ve been in contact with a couple people who have experience in getting independent projects off the ground.

 Recently, one of those individuals had this to say about the film.

“I sat in on a reading of the script and thought it was fantastic, funny and would appeal to teens like no other Christian film I’ve yet to see. It’s titled TO BE. Here’s a brief summary: Graf Dorin feels alone, empty and dead. He thinks that ‘To be or not to be,’ are more options than he has ever had. Tormented at school, he finds comfort in the campy horror films of the 1920’s – 1950’s. Graf wonders if he himself is simply one of the Undead-a vampire-and sets out to uncover the truth. During his quest for truth, he is befriended by Roselin, who lets him know that he is ‘dead in his transgressions and sins’ and can be ‘alive in Christ’ through the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice. Vampires are the current top media attraction for teens right now, and will be for a few more years, so I think it’s extremely timely in addition to entertaining. It’s edgy and quirky enough that teens, believers or not, would check it out.”

 Best Selling Author, Jeremy Robinson http://www.jeremyrobinsononline.com/

I have read over the script again, myself, and I still believe in the story and I think it is worth pursuing. I am putting together a package to start shopping the film around to investors.I am editing together some “Test” scenes that we shot to show to investors with the script. You can see them online at

http://www.youtube.com/tobethemovieofficial

 and

http://www.tangle.com/dialtoneproductions.

 It would help a lot right now if you would watch the videos, rate them, comment on them and share them with others. I am very excited about this new opportunity and I hope you will be as well.

inCHRIST christopher

If you would like to help in with a donation of any amount, we will start shooting as soon as we know we can afford to make the movie.

Napoleon Dynamite

September 13, 2009

What Is It?

This is a low budget independent film about kids in school, so uncool they are almost cool. It’s an hour and a half of semi-random events befalling Napoleon and his two friends as life just happens to them. They bumble through school, family life and social orders, coming up with little less than very quotable lines and catch phrases

   How Was It?

After that description of “what is it” you may think this question is unnecessary, but… It was hilarious. If you watch the film knowing it’s tacky for the sake of tacky and that it’s character driven to the almost total exclusion of plot… you will have a fun time, and at the end you will start saying things like “sweet bike” and “gosh” (with a sharp tinge to it.) Reports say this film cost about $14,000 to make and then earned around 48 million before being released to video.

   Is It Good For Kids?

The film is very clean. There is a section where the unlikeable Uncle Reco hands out 3 fliers offering Herbs to enhance a woman’s figure, and illustrates briefly with 2 cooking pots. Later the leading lady of the film explains that she is just fine the way she is and doesn’t need anything like that to be accepted.

You can check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.

Though it does not relay anything that would be harmful for kids, its delivery and style would probably bore younger kids. This film is relay geared toward teens and up who want to root for the anti-cool and laugh at well crafted meaningless silliness.

   How about Spiritual Issues?

Though there are no spiritual issues raised (there are almost no issues raised, period). The writers do come from a Mormon background (and have worked on Billy Graham Films as camera men). This seems to have no influence on the film, other than to keep it clean.

   What Is Your Recommendation?

I have already put a “Vote For Pedro” bumper sticker proudly on my guitar case. (That will make more sense after you see the film.) If you want a film you don’t have to think much to enjoy (which is rare) and you are a big enough person to realize they are just having fun and not trying to insult your intelligence… then rent this film and sit back with some junk food and friends and laugh.

Here is a Taste Of Napoleon from David Letterman’s Top Ten List

Napoleon Dynamite

henry poole is here Question Entertainment Christian review and analysis

August 14, 2009

ABIGAIL ROONEYs jewelry from http://www.liasophia.com/abigailrooney

On DVD

Henry Poole Is Here

Twilight – Book vs Movie + New Moon Question Entertainment Extra

August 7, 2009

twilightandnewmoonpp1

One Night With The King

June 16, 2009

What Is It?

Based on the Tommy Tenney , Mark Andrew Olsen novel Hadassah, “One Night With The King”, it is an expansion of the Biblical story of  Esther. The plot is the one you know, with the addition of a political plan to stop Greece and gain vengeance for the Kings murdered father.

How Was It?

It starts off shaky, gets good then drags on it’s way to a satisfying ending. This is an accomplishment considering the screen writer (Stephan Blinn) and the director (Michael O. Sajbel) are separately responsible for some of the absolute worst Christian films ever. The feel of the movie seems a bit like someone jumped a camel from “the Ten Commandments” grabbed “Belle” away from “…the Beast” and dropped her in Middle Earth, where she was to reenact Bible stories, accompanied by a king who shares a make up artist with Captian Jack Sparrow.

LOTR fans will recognize John Rhys-Davies or Gimli, narrating as Mordecai . Furthermore, you will also spot obvious knods to Gandalf’s helpful moth, the flame lit fortress in Mordor, the forging of the Orc’s swords, Saruman’s speeches to the armies, Aragon’s dramatic entrance through the giant doors of Helms Deep, the black riders and even theOne Ring, itself, revealing it’s message by fire.

Though there is lots that we have all seen before, they are emulating some of the best film has to offer and do it with decent actors, solid photography and a very large budget. Little touches like having Haman’s symbol look surprisingly like a swastika, and the evil advisors fearing the Greeks because the will bring democracy (more the American version than the Greek) border between cute and silly but don’t detract from the story. There are a couple holes left unresolved like a “Three’s Company” style misunderstanding and Esther’s questions about Queen Vashti that are never answered. Despite these down falls, it is a very watchable movie.

Is It Good For Kids?

There are some parts that are a bit scary and dark and Queen Vashti shows some cleavage at one point. Other than that, there is some bloodless action to keep the boys interested and some “princess movie” elements for the girls.

You can check Screenit.com for a complete breakdown of the elements presented.

What About Spiritual Issues?

For the most part all the Bible story is here. It’s just “more flushed out.” They incorporate elements from other parts of the Bible as well as retelling of some of the actual stories themselves. There is even the utterance of a Messianic Prophecy.

The only change I found distracting was the kings selection process for a new queen. First the other girls were all so dreadfully silly, that there was no real competition. Second he avoided having his “one night” with any other girl and then asked Esther to be his queen before their evening really started. I found this nod to the American romantic sensibilities more out of place and silly than the democracy comments.

Despite there additions and rewrites, there is nothing that changes the ultimate message of the book and it certainly lines up with the message of the Bible.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s a movie you may enjoy. It’s well worth watching, especially if you have friends who are interested in the film.

I always find it fun (especially with kids) to read the Bible story first, talk about what happened, and then watch the movie and compare them.

“One Night with the King” offers plenty to entertain as well as inspire thought.

Still, for my money, I much prefer the 1999 TV movie Esther (now on DVD) that, though not quite as grand, captures the beauty of the story much better while keeping a stricter focus on the original text and giving us a smoother story

One Night With the King DVD

Hadassah

The Bible – Esther

Steve Taylor Movies – The Second Chance and Blue Like Jazz

February 6, 2009

Here is one of the most exciting bits of movie news I have heard in a while.

This means that I will be reading Blue Like Jazz as soon as I’m done with Kronos!

0785263705 Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

1935142011 Kronos

 

For those of you not up on Steve Taylor’s film career, his last film was

second_chance

What Is It?

See a bit of it here!

After doing a direct to video comedy, “Newsboys: Down Under The Big Top” rumors were flying about a full length feature from rocker turned movie maker, Steve Taylor.  After its limited theatrical release, Steve’s independent film, picked up by Sony, is now on DVD.

Michel W. Smith plays Ethan Jenkins, a charismatic* Associate Pastor with a book deal, being groomed to take over at his father’s mega church. The board thinks the best way to “clip his wings” is to send him down to work under the Pastor of “The Second Chance.” This is a struggling inner-city church that his father ( J. Don Ferguson ) founded and is now run by Pastor Jake Sanders (Jeff Obafemi Carr). So, the squeaky clean preppy boy needs to learn to put his faith into action in a place that does not welcome him.

*charismatic personality, not theology 

How Was It?

This is not going to blow the doors off Hollywood , but it is a good film. This is a Christian film and the message is for Christians. Despite the usual Christian fare, this film is Cheese free! (God Not Gouda) I don’t know if Michel W. Smith can act outside of this, but if nothing else, he was type cast well enough that it works. The movie is clever and interesting all the way through. It doesn’t resort to clichés, nor does it feel like they are doing something just for the sake of avoiding a cliché.

Is It Good For Kids?

This is a Christian film, which does not make it a Family Film. Though it is discussed that “God doesn’t like it” there is cussing (but never the Lord’s name). Sub plots deal with gang violence, drugs, as well as references to Abortion, genocide, and children taken from their family. It is all handled very well. There are biblical perspectives communicated about all of these issues, but they are there.

(I’m trying to “list” a little more because this movie is not on screenit.com.)

What about Spiritual Issues?

That is what this movie is about. The big question posed here is “If you are going to follow God, are you willing to take it all they way?”

This film is not here to challenge what you believe, but to challenge what you do with what you believe. James 2:17

What Is Your Recommendation?

Go rent it. You will definitely get the value of your rental fee out of this film. This would also be a good thing to kick off talks in your church about service or missions.

And if you don’t know Steve Taylor, check him out.

www.onfritz.com

 

ps

The Music that did not make it on the Sound Track CD is from the L.A. Symphony!

B000FIHNA2 The Second Chance DVD

6304252447 Newsboys: Down Under The Big Top VHS

B000CC1TRY The Second Chance CD

B000B66POI Disappear Here CD

And Steve Tayler was a Solo artist himself

clone-front-cover1I want to be a clone

 B001B3PCYE Meltdown

B0002Q5ZT8 On the Fritz

cgChagall Guevara

B000VI1352 Squint

B000SR6BBW Steve Taylor, Now the Truth Can Be Told

 (Best of Steve Taylor covering everything before Squint)