A Message Through Time (Movie Review)

A Message Through Time (2019)
The magic tree!

Plot Summary

After a girl is bullied at her new school and shunned by everyone for no particular reason, things get worse when her mom is late picking her up. Thus, the only thing the girl can do is walk into a random forest, write her troubles on a piece of notebook paper, tear out the page, wad it up, and throw it into a hollow tree. However, she’s shocked when a paper suddenly pops back out of the tree, which lets her know that a monk from centuries before her time received her crumpled note and sent one back to her! Will they be able to help each other even though they’re worlds apart???

Production Quality (.5 point)

In this extremely cheap production, audio quality is very poor, as shown by background echoes, invasive environmental sounds, annoying post-production sound effects, and a loud soundtrack that tries to cover up the problems. Even though video quality and camera work are okay, bad lighting is a consistent problem. Also, the sets, locations, and props don’t adequately represent what they’re supposed to depict. Further, the editing leaves much to be desired. Overall, this section barely registers any life, but it’s not the worst this movie has to offer.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-.5 points)

Besides the fact that the time travel tree portal premise is completely absurd, the characters couldn’t have less personality than they do. Due to blank and vanilla dialogue, they seem like they stepped out of poorly written children’s story. ‘Bad’ characters are total strawmen, and useless conversations contribute to the narrative’s futility. Lots of time is wasted on meaningless musings about who should have been the head of the medieval church, and the world presented in the plot lacks logical sense. Time travel in and off itself is totally nonsensical, but this story takes matters a step further by trying to connect two time periods that have absolutely nothing to do with one another. It’s utterly laughable that this idea was even made into a film, and it’s so ridiculous that this area earned an negative rating.

Acting Quality (0 points)

As if the plot isn’t bad enough, the acting is painfully awkward. Line delivery is quite unsure, and emotions are overly practiced. It’s clear that coaching is lacking for the cast, which isn’t entirely their fault. As a side note, historical accents are obviously incorrectly portrayed, but it really only contributes to an overall zero-point effort.

Conclusion

Movies like A Message Through Time are so detrimental for Christian entertainment efforts. They reinforce stereotypes of inexperienced creators making something laughably bad. Films like this one continue to turn potential audiences off to the concept of faith-based screenplays. However, all that can be done is for the creative teams who have actually been called by God to make movies and series to follow through and transform the market.

Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points

Badge of Faith (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Bryan Lawrence was a well-respected police officer who was caught in an unfortunately violent situation that ended with him becoming paralyzed.  However, through this very difficult situation, he fought to keep his optimism up as his family came around him and supported him.  Though it was deemed impossible, Bryan sought to walk again with the goal of walking his future daughter-in-law down the aisle.  Times were hard and sometimes he and his family felt like giving up, but his faith in God always kept him grounded.

 

Production Quality (2.5 points)

Badge of Faith is clearly a well-funded production with professional caliber video quality, camera work, and audio quality.  The soundtrack is somewhat generic but is respectable.  Sets, locations, and props are highly realistic and appropriate.  There is little negative to speak about here, except for the fact that the editing seems unfinished in that some scenes seem abruptly cut off before they’re done.  However, despite this issue, this is a nearly perfect production that the creators should be proud of.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

This story is a very inspiring real-life story, but one has to question how it is presented in this film.  As it is, the storyline is fairly boring and somewhat flat, even though there is a lot of potentially interesting content here.  For instance, there are too many montages that stunt character development.  Even though there are some good attempts at developing the characters through realistic dialogue, since there are not many characters and since this is a character-driven plot, we would have liked to see further development.  Though there are many pertinent and accessible issues explored in this film, the storyline overall lacks the necessary continuity and driving purpose that would make this movie dynamic.  Though the struggles of the characters can be appreciated, it feels like this is just a string of random sequences.  In the end, Stone Table Films knows how to find a realistic story and make a movie out of, but like Touched by Grace, the plot of Badge of Faith leaves something to be desired.

Acting Quality (3 points)

The acting is definitely the strongest point of this film.  The cast is highly professional and well-coached.  Each member is case highly appropriately.  Emotions are very realistic and line delivery is on point.  There are no errors to point out here.

Conclusion

It is certainly enjoyable and refreshing to watch the movies produced by the Stone Table team, but it is also frustrating to see the potential they left behind.  If Touched by Grace and Badge of Faith had slightly better plot improvement, each of these films would be on the Hall of Fame.  Yet the Stone Table team is continually improving, so there is great hope for their future.  We firmly believe they will keep trying until they finally get that blockbuster release.

 

Final Rating: 6 out of 10 points