Provision [2017] (Movie Review)

Provision (2017) - IMDb

Plot Summary

Joel wants to serve God and dedicate his life to the Lord, but one day, he begins to lose everything he holds dear. Those who used to be on Joel’s side have now turned against him. Despite the pain and hardship, will Joel hold into his faith in Christ?

Production Quality (.5 point)

Overall, Provision has a very cheap production. Video quality is blurry, and audio quality is inconsistent, including terrible overdubs, chopped-up sound, background noises, and a soundtrack that’s sometimes too loud. While camera work is okay, the sets, locations, and props are extremely limited. The editing is also hit-and-miss, sometimes acceptable and sometimes using weird fadeouts that cut off scenes. Some sequences seem very disconnected from each other as a few are too short to adequately portray their content. In the end, despite some slight improvement as the film goes on, this section digs too deep of an early hole to warrant a higher score than this.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

It’s hard to continually justify plots that are modern-day renditions of well-known biblical accounts. This aside, the least that writers can do is make it interesting, but Provision fails in this respect. Doing next to nothing to hold the audience’s attention, this narrative presents very vanilla characters and uninspiring dialogue. Some of them are total strawmen, and the protagonist is an unrealistically perfect victim. As the story presents one unrelated thing after another without any continuity, it gets worse with time, getting confusing due to large time jumps. Silly and nonsensical coincidences make things happen because they need to, and the Christian message of this movie leaves much to be desired. In the end, there’s no potential to award in this area.

Acting Quality (1 point)

Although this section is actually better than the previous ones, it still falls short. Performances are often overly practiced despite attempts to do the right thing. Lines and emotions are bit too bland, robotic, forced, and wooden. Some cast members try to unsuccessfully portray multiple age brackets. Moreover, though there’s improvement with time, it’s not enough to warrant a higher score.

Conclusion

Provision likely doesn’t fall into the category of Christian movies that are only about getting money from a certain audience. At multiple times, it felt like the creators wanted to do the right thing but didn’t know how. This shows the importance of effective collaboration, planning, and spirituality in the creative process. Without proper direction, support, and reliance on God, the screenplay always suffers.

Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points

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Unbridled [2017] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Sarah Miller hates her life and wants to escape the clutches of her mother’s abusive boyfriend, but she has no way out.  However, a concerned friend and her fellow college student intervene when she acts strange in class, and they are able to rescue her and help her to start a new life at a shelter.  Sarah is also introduced to Unbridled, a horse therapy center for troubled girls, where she bonds with a stubborn horse.  However, when he mother’s boyfriend comes back for revenge, will she be able to survive?

 

Production Quality (1.5 points)

Though the production of Unbridled begins somewhat rough, it definitely demonstrates care and effort.  There is some shaky camera work throughout the film, likely for dramatic effect.  However, video quality is fine, and audio quality gets better as the film goes on.  Sets, locations, and props are excellently constructed and utilized.  There are some slight ministry ‘product placements’ throughout, but it means well.  One caveat to raise in this production is the very awkward editing throughout.  Some scenes lag on too long, while others are cut short.  Still other scenes appear to be unneeded.  However, despite the issues, this is a great beginning production for the Moving Visions team.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

As this storyline is based on true events of real people’s struggles, it definitely has its share of positives.  One of these is its excellent use of underlying philosophy that is manifested in well-crafted dialogue.  Thus, this creates believable characters who have unfortunately realistic struggles.  There is also a great portrayal of trauma and mental health in this film, as well good research on the under-explored world of horse therapy.  However, this plot also has its share of drawbacks.  These include some cheesy horse story elements and a lot of unnecessary sidebars and rabbit trails that are underdeveloped.  There are also some concerning plot holes and a lot of scenes that have been read into very much in order to be fully understood.  Thus, some organization of this otherwise good content was definitely in order.  However, it is still likely worth your time to see if only for the good cause of the film.

Acting Quality (2 points)

The acting and casting of this film is somewhat of a mixed bag, as it contains many familiar faces of Christian film.  For one, Eric Roberts is just too much, even though he is appropriately cast as a creeper.  Jenn Gotzon-Chandler is awkward at first, but she gets better as she goes; the same can be said for Rachel Hendrix.  T. C. Stallings is always good, but he has his moments of over-playing.  Tea McKay is a great lead and has a lot of promise for the future.  On the whole, this is an above-average effort that shows great potential for the future.

Conclusion

Unbridled is a rare caused-based film that is worth recommending because it presents a real issue in a way that is not extremely obvious. The creators of this film clearly knew how to portray real people and their struggles.  However, a series of rookie errors kept this film from being all that it could be.  Nonetheless, this is certainly not something that will hold them back in the future, as we believe they will get better as they continue on.  With a few production tweaks and an improved story presentation, the Moving Visions team is going to go great places in the future.

 

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points