Promises to Keep [2020] (Movie Review)

Promises to Keep (2020) - IMDb

Plot Summary

Jonathan and Evelyn were engaged when they were young, but mistakes drove them apart. Now that they are both older and widowed, they have come back into each other’s lives because their children have fallen in love. Will they be able to heal the old wounds while looking to the future???

Production Quality (1.5 points)

Despite a mostly acceptable production, including fine video quality and camera work, the beginning of this film is quite rough. Audio quality leaves something to be desired, such as an in-your-face soundtrack. Flashbacks have an unnecessarily weird quality to them. Also, sets, locations, and props are slightly limited. Further, editing is incredibly choppy and disorienting. However, there is some improvement as the production goes on, which is enough to warrant an average score for this section.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Throughout this narrative, there is a generally odd tone as the writers try very hard to force their specific doctrines onto the viewers, which include some very unusual beliefs about Christian behaviors. As such, the dialogue is very obvious, creating perfect characters that are inaccessible as they spout Christian platitudes at the other characters. Besides this, some of the characters make really weird decisions for no reasons at all, and in general, events occur simply because the creators wanted them to happen. The “bad” characters are ridiculous stereotypes while the “good” characters push the lie that becoming more religious fixes all one’s problems. Nearly every scene is either about imposing the writers’ worldview or an exploration of edgy content. Basically a long monologue of propaganda, this plot has no potential and is thus awarded no points.

Acting Quality (1 point)

The acting in Promises to Keep is very sub-par. The performances are quite matter-of-fact, including overly practiced and forced emotions. Some scenes have over-the-top drama, such as yelling and screaming. Though line delivery is mostly acceptable, this isn’t enough to keep this section from receiving a low score.

Conclusion

As has been said many times before, when the creator of a screenplay intends to push propaganda in their movie, there’s no way that the film can ever be good. Two main goals of Christian entertainment should be to invite the audience to think and to responsibly present the writers’ worldview without shoving in down viewers’ throats. It’s unbiblical and un-educational to force agendas on audiences, which is why the reputation of Christian media is so poor today. The only way to fix this problem is to focus on quality over quantity as we move forward.

Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points

Divine Decision {The Tribunal} (Movie Review)

Divine Decision (2016) - IMDb

Plot Summary

Tony wants to marry Emily, but before he can do this, he has to annul his first marriage. However, the Catholic Church will only allow Tony to annul the marriage if Tony’s friend Joe will testify about this. The problem is that Joe used to date Emily, so this could make for an awkward love triangle. Will they all do the right thing in the end?

Production Quality (1 point)

Despite acceptable camera work and video quality, this production contains many pitfalls. One of these is the audio, which is mostly uneven and contains a horrific soundtrack. Lighting is also a problem as there are too many dark scenes. Sets, locations and props are okay, but stupid special effects detract from the viewing experience. Further, editing poses problems due to the fact that some scenes drag on while others cut off prematurely. In the end, the negatives outweigh the positives, leading to a below-average score for this section.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)

This plot is completely dominated with high amounts of legalism and fundamentalist propaganda. The issues that are raised by the narrative are only painted in the light that the writers want the audience to see, so alternate perspectives are not considered. This makes for a very awkward story presentation that’s filled with obvious and canned dialogue. Nearly every conversation is designed to force the intended worldview upon the viewer, which leads to cardboard characters who are tools for brainwashing. Further, an obsession with edgy content doesn’t help matters. Thus, due to various offensive elements, this aspect of the film garners negative points.

Acting Quality (0 points)

With extremely forced and dramatic performances, the acting of Divine Decision leaves much to be desired. Most of the cast members come off as very stiff and lacking in emotion. Many of them are too theatrical and overly practiced, and there’s a lot of yelling and screaming throughout. Any other acting is just awkward, so there aren’t any positives to note here, leaving this section with zero points.

Conclusion

It’s evident that the creators of this movie only wanted to push their agenda on the audience. When this is the central goal of a screenplay, it never ends well. The purpose of Christian entertainment is not to try to force people to believe what you believe. Everyone is tired of religion being shoved down their throats, so showing, rather than telling, is the only way forward.

Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points