2012: Doomsday (Movie Review)

Only Dale Midkiff can save us now

Plot Summary

When a volcano is about to explode in Mexico, Dr. Frank Richards knows that the only conclusion can be that the end of the world is near.  The American government’s best scientists agree and begin to make an action plan as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis rack the planet.  The only hope for saving humanity is Frank Richards’ plan to return a secret Mayan artifact to its rightful resting place so that the disaster will reverse and mankind will be able to rebuild from the ashes.

 

Production Quality (-1 points)

The Asylum’s side project Faith Films was once determined to purposely make cheap parodies of Christian films, and they mostly succeeded in masquerading as real Christian movies because they were often indistinguishable from other cut-rate productions.  2012: Doomsday is no exception.  There are multiple purposeful production errors in this film, including clear audio overdubs and a stupid soundtrack.  Ridiculous special effects riddle the landscape of this natural disaster, as well as shaky camera work and other expected errors.  Basically, these films are someone trying to be like Cross Shadow or Faithhouse.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)

Though the satire of this absurd disaster story is actually funny at times, it’s still not really any good.  It’s only funny because it’s so ridiculous and because it’s so easy to parody clichés from Christian and inspirational movies, not mention general disaster films.  With the level of absurdity displayed here, especially in the characters and the dialogue, not even to mention the laughable premise, you either have to laugh or cry.  There is no sense of understanding what’s happening in this story, and this is entirely by design.  As we’ve mentioned before, it’s too easy to disguise your parody film as a serious one and sell it in Christian bookstores because the so-called serious Christian films have set such a low standard.

Acting Quality (-1 points)

No parody cast is complete without Dale Midkiff, who found the pinnacle of his career with his unforgettable performance in this film.  He probably has a future in more parody films.  Elsewhere, this cast is just as ridiculous and absurd as the rest of the movie.

Conclusion

Hopefully new Christian film makers are building a market where these sorts of films can no longer be made due to rising standards.  Parodies and satires definitely have their place, but they need to have a point and not just be outright nonsense fests.  Maybe someday that elusive future parody Christian Movie will come out with an epic cast that will actually be remembered for being a true satire.

 

Final Rating: -3 out of 10 points

 

Advertisements

Countdown: Jerusalem {Countdown: Armageddon} (Movie Review)

Discount Natalie Grant

Plot Summary

A reporter is doing a regular live new report when the whole world starts falling apart!  Buildings begin crumbling to pieces and roads start cracking up.  The only answer is that everything points to Jerusalem and Armageddon.  The reporter suddenly realizes that her daughter and husband are missing, so she follows in their footsteps to find them again, meeting bizarre characters along the way.  Will she ever be able to find them before the world to irreparable pieces???

 

Production Quality (0 points)

The Asylum’s Faith Films venture boasts that hardly any money is spent on these parody films they make, and it definitely shows.  All the weird, crazy, and basically terrible special effects and sound effects used reflect both lack of funding and lack of care.  Most scenes look like they’re done in one take and just slapped together in every way.  It’s also likely that little post-production work was performed in these films.  The only reason to even highlight them at all is to show how the only reason films like this are able to be made is because there are hundreds of terrible Christian films that are supposedly serious.  Thus, The Asylum is able to hide among them and parody familiar titles.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)

Countdown: Jerusalem pretends like it’s from the makers of familiar apocalyptic titles by lifting the same old predictable apocalyptic elements and storylines and regurgitating them into a nonsensical movie.  Again, this is easy to do because Christian film makers have set the bar so low.  Everything about this movie is a total ripoff and a joke, but then again, this wasn’t the first or last time someone replicated the Left Behind concept and ‘rebranded’ it (see the Apocalypse saga, the new Left Behind, the other new Left Behind reboot, The Mark saga, The Moment After saga, Jerusalem Countdown, etc.).  This concept is so worn out that it’s almost worth making fun of at this point.

Acting Quality (1 point)

Though this cast is clearly not trying and is phoning in performances, they are not all bad, which saves this film from being negative.  But for the most part, they are overly dramatic and forced.  Thus, this rounds out a full-scale parody.

Conclusion

At this point, it’s hard to tell what the difference between a parody Christian film and a so-called serious Christian film is.  That’s why suspiciously-titled films like this one are so easy to put out: because the Christian film market is such a mess, nobody can tell who’s serious anymore.  If the Christian entertainment world raised the bar and didn’t just elevate anything that claims the name of Christ because ‘persecution’ or something, then these sorts of films wouldn’t exist.  But maybe some things are worth making fun of.

 

Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points

 

Sunday School Musical (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Two choirs have a shot at winning the all-important Christian choir competition of some sort, but one of them is motivated to save their school, of course.  But with their lead singer and leader moving away, will their group be able to put on an award-winning performance?  As the competition heats up, the participants will have to learn more about themselves and about their faith in order to succeed.

 

Production Quality (.5 point)

The ‘success’ of this film is that it was shot in roughly two weeks, but I’m not convinced this is something to celebrate.  The final result is random, all over the place camera work, even though the video quality is fine.  However, sets, locations, and props are below standard.  The most notable standout in this production is the amateur laughable soundtrack that includes constant ‘original’ songs and overdubs.  The editing is also very choppy and downright dizzying, thus reflecting what quick post-production job actually produces.  Basically, this is one of those Christian films that’s so bad it draws mockery from non-Christian sources.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-1.5 points)

With nearly every line sang by the characters like a blockbuster Hollywood musical about France that actually features tons of British people, Sunday School Musical is an unmitigated disaster.  Not only is the idea of a misfit singing group using their talent to save something copied from other quasi-inspirational films featuring Dolly Parton or Maggie Smith, but the way it’s gone about is so laughable that one has to wonder if it’s a satire.  Let’s go on the record by saying that singing dialogue and songs intended to be dialogue are never good ideas, EVER, to use in films.  Elsewhere, there is no real plot in this film and the characters feel like they stepped right out of a bad cartoon.  Needless to say, Sunday School Musical is an utter train wreck that should never be repeated in any fashion.

Acting Quality (0 points)

As if the rest of the film wasn’t bad enough, this cast is among the worst.  They are either unsure, juvenile, or way overplaying in some kind of attempt to get attention.  Of course, trying to singing most of the lines never works, even for professional actors and actresses (see Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, etc., etc., etc…).  In the end, this film was probably doomed from the start.

Conclusion

Sunday School Musical has the rare privilege of not only joining the ranks of Christian films to be made punch lines by mainstream reviewers (along with Saving Christmas and the new Left Behind), but it also has the opportunity to be classified among our negatively-rated movies.  These films find new and creative ways to be horrible and\or offensive, thus achieving this distinct status.  The only thing we can further say is that we hope more negative films (and films containing singing dialogue) are never made again in Christian circles.

 

Final Rating: -1 out of 10 points