The Defense of New Haven (Movie Review)

The Defense of New Haven (2016) | Trailer | Amelia Steege

Plot Summary

The Raiders constantly attack the city of New Haven, trying to take more victims. Alec is just a regular citizen trying to make his way in the world, but he get accidentally caught in the conflict and wants to join the New Haven Defense army. However, they are skeptical of his abilities due to his handicap but give him a shot. Together, will the team be able to stave off the coming Raider onslaught?

Production Quality (2 points)

This production is fairly good overall despite a few concerns. One of these is a soundtrack that sometimes overpowers other sounds, but most of the audio is acceptable. Video quality and camera work are professional. Sets, locations, and props, though they are limited in scope, are well-utilized. Some of the editing is a bit choppy at times, but all production elements improve with time. Thus, an above-average score is warranted here.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)

Much like The Runner From Ravenshead, The Defense of New Haven crafts an intriguing world for its story and creatively applies a parable/allegory to the narrative. A major drawback, however, is the characters could have been better developed. As they are, the characters have some believable motivations and slightly developed personalities but lack true arcs and feel one-dimensional due to some unsubstantial dialogue. Surprisingly, the plot is fairly complex due to the well-developed premise and advanced spiritual lessons. Nonetheless, this complexity is also a negative as there’s too much content, which leads to a very rushed conclusion after some time is wasted in the film’s first half. The writers try to use off-screen content to make up for lost time, but it’s not enough to keep the ending from being abrupt and crammed. Moreover, the storyline scores enough wins to be rated average.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

Just as The Runner from Ravenshead had a cast composed entirely of kids, The Defense of New Haven follows the same model. This makes the performances hard to quantify, but most of the time, they seem to be on point with line delivery and emotions. Some of the cast member reuse can be redundant, and this overuse can cause smaller roles to suffer in quality. Nonetheless, this section is at least average.

Conclusion

This creative team is definitely doing the best that they can do with what they have. Now that they’ve made two movies using a similar formula, it’s likely time to step out and try something more ambitious. At the very least, they could provide valuable screenwriting skills to a field that’s starving for substantial narratives. It will be interesting to see what they can come up with next.

Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points

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The Runner from Ravenshead (Movie Review)

The Runner From Ravenshead (2010) | Full Movie | Addison Steege | Amelia  Steege | Brendan Steege - YouTube

Plot Summary

Sam has been sentenced to serve time in the impenetrable Ravenshead Prison. However, she desperately wants to be free. Thankfully, the City of Refuge Watch regularly springs prisoners from the bulwark, but in Sam’s case, a rookie is forced to do the job. Can they escape to the City of Refuge before the wardens catch them?

Production Quality (2 points)

Despite being a low budget production, this section is actually pretty good. This is evident in the video quality and camera work. Audio quality is fine although the soundtrack is a bit loud at times, and there are some dumb sound effects used throughout. Special effects are also poor, but sets, locations, and props are fine. Editing is professional, so this rounds out an above-average score.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

The parable premise of this film is quite creative, and it’s encouraging that an intriguing world was built in this narrative without being too heavy-handed with Christian messaging. Nonetheless, the lesson is clearly there with its implied allegorical parallels. However, it feels like the plot could go further than it does even though it was good to try a unique storyline with the limited scope that was available. It’s unfortunate that the characters are only average due to underwhelming dialogue. There’s also some forced comedy and silly coincidences, and a few sequences go too long and only extend the runtime for no reason. More substantial conversations would have fixed both of these problems by building character personality and improving the use of time. Doing this would have also provided better opportunities to explain the narrative’s world. Moreover, there’s enough good here to warrant a small rating.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

While it’s hard to quantify all-child cast, it was efficient to reuse of cast members even though it can become repetitive. Nonetheless, in The Runner from Ravenshead, it was clear that the creators were doing the best they could with what they had, which is all we ever ask from entertainment makers. In this movie, emotions and line delivery are mostly average, which leads to this final score.

Conclusion

Screenplays like this one are certainly unique, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They showcase what the creative team could do with more funding and maximize what’s right in front of them. While films like The Runner from Ravenshead have a low ceiling of potential, finding this maximum is the best way to show what can be done in future projects.

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points