If You Really Love Me (Movie Review)

If You Really Love Me

Plot Summary

Three sisters want to support each other in their life, love, and faith, but sometimes, expected circumstances get in the way. Thus, they’ll have to decide if they’ll rely on each other and on what they believe about God or if they will go their own way.

Production Quality (1.5 points)

Unfortunately, this production isn’t all that it could be. Video quality and audio quality are acceptable, but the camera work is all over the place, including shakiness and mid-shot zooms. The soundtrack is generic, and the special effects are cheesy. Sets, locations, and props are very limited, but the editing is at least average. Though there’s some improvement throughout the film, it’s only enough to give this section an average rating.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

It’s difficult to grasp what this narrative is going for since there’s really not much quantifiable content to base it on. The plot is basically the portrayal of stereotypically one-dimensional character doing random things without good reasons. This story is essentially a collection of long, dry conversations that lack purpose or focus. There’s hardly anything noticeable to discuss, and any half-hearted conflicts that are introduced are unrealistically fixed in the end. Thus, with no potential in this section, zero points can be awarded.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

Though not all cast members post bad performances, some aren’t very good. Emotions are over the top at times, and a few actors and actresses appear to be trying too hard. Line delivery is mostly even throughout, and this mixed bag warrants an average score in this area.

Conclusion

It’s hard to put one’s finger on movies like If You Really Love Me. It seems like an attempt to explore the authentic experiences of some, but it’s done in such a way that it’s not relatable in the real world. Without realistic characters and dialogue, it’s nearly impossible to do this type of screenplay the right way.

Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points

Caged No More (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Aggie never thought it would turn out this way.  She had always cared for Elle and Skye, the daughters of the family whose house she cleaned.  But when they disappear along with their father, Aggie feels like she has to care for the distraught mother left behind.  However, when the mother commits suicide, a string of events are set into motion that alert Aggie to sinister activity that Elle and Skye might be caught up in.  Therefore, she takes a leap of faith to get the help she needs in order to get her girls back.  As the journey takes her across two continents, Aggie clings to faith in God and to the hope that she will find her girls again.

 

Production Quality (.5 point)

It seems like the creators of Caged No More had good intentions, but not the resources to pull it off properly.  They likely bit off a larger portion than they could chew.  At least the video quality is clear, which is something most new Christian movies are finally getting right.  The audio quality is passable.  The camera work is okay; sometimes it tries to be too ‘dramatic’ and it comes off wrong.  However, the lighting is very inconsistent.  Some scenes are very dark, seemingly on purpose, but it doesn’t make any sense.  What’s more, the sets are too limited for this scope of a plot.  The surroundings are fairly realistic but sometimes seem empty.  Speaking of scope, the editing of this film is deplorable.  As will be discussed next, Caged No More is a collection of spliced together sequences forced to fit together.  In short, while the effort is applaudable, the delivery is frustrating to watch.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

Caged No More is built on a very choppy plot that is patched together with constant narration that either reminds us what just happened or explains something that happened off screen.  There is no coherence between subplots, and the one interesting subplot is wasted and underdeveloped.  The storyline contains too many leaps in logic and is based far too much on coincidences and happenchance.  The characters are thin and empty, crafted with stiff and cardboard dialogue.  It’s really a shame that this review has to be so negative, because the genre this film is trying to break into is interesting.  The idea behind this film is quite interesting, but it is very much wasted potential.  Between the vague ending and the rushed plot, this film felt like it was just speeding to the sequel, but it gave us nothing to be interested in for in the sequel.  At this rate, there is little purpose in creating a sequel; money would be better spent on a remake.

Acting Quality (.5 point)

These cast members seem like they mean well, but they have been thrown into the mix with little to no coaching at all.  Emotions are very overdone and not believable.  Line delivery is forced and awkward.  Kevin Sorbo playing two different characters just doesn’t work at all.  Christian ‘celebrities’ are shoehorned into the cast only for the sake of having their name on it.  In short, there is some potential here, but it is not tapped.

Conclusion

Caged No More is a sad production in many ways.  It really could have been a great genre-breaking work based on an important topic, but it fell very short of the mark.  It pretends to be something bigger than it is.  Buried inside of it are good ideas, but they will likely be wasted as this movie is forgotten over time.  We desperately need different genres of Christian\inspirational films, but this is not the way to go about it.  Human trafficking is a highly important topic that needs to be exposed, but this isn’t the way.  I hope a lesson can be learned here that will make a difference.

 

Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points