Every year, movies and series are released, and cast members show off their talents. Writers and directors showcase their creativity. Films and series are separated into roughly three groups: the truly talented, the potentially great, and the others. At Box Office Revolution, we believe it is our prerogative to annually recognize those entertainment creators and players who have the ability to bring revolution to Christian entertainment.
Staff Choice Movie of the Year: The World We Make
Runners-Up: The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story, Heavenly Deposit
Reader’s Choice Movie of the Year: The World We Make
Runners-Up: Overcomer, Breakthrough, Unplanned
Staff Choice Season of the Year: The Chosen, Season 1
Staff Choice Actor of the Year: Jonathan Roumie
Runners-Up: Shahar Isaac, Paras Patel, Erick Avari, Caleb Castille, Kevin Sizemore, Sharman Joshi
Staff Choice Actress of the Year: Elizabeth “Liz” Tabish
Runners-Up: Lara Silva, Rose Reid, Ashley Bratcher
Staff Choice Director of the Year: Dallas Jenkins
Runners-Up: Brian Baugh, Aneesh Daniel
Staff Choice Writers of the Year: Ryan Swanson and Tyler Thompson
Runners-Up: Chris Dowling, George D. Escobar, Rose Reid, Andrew E. Matthews
Staff Choice Soundtrack of the Year: The Chosen, Season 1
Runners-Up: The World We Make, The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story
When the great movie producer Chester Mayer threatens the famous screenwriter Stewart Harvey to give him a script or else, aspiring intern Chip Leninskovich steps in to help Stewart, whom he has always looked up to. Together, they begrudgingly agree to write a script in 24 hours in order to satisfy the hard-nosed producer. But in the midst of their furious writing, the two men discover they have more in common than they thought.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
It’s clear that the Advent Film Group team put their fullest effort into crafting historically authentic surroundings for this film. Props and the few sets that there are speak to a commitment to being very authentic. Even the black and white video is effective. The soundtrack is also reminiscent of the era that is portrayed. Camera work is professional as well. There are very few errors to point out here, and they only pertain to editing, as some scenes are too long, while others are too short. There are also too many montages that try to fill time. But in the end, this production effort is a job well done—we can’t wait to see it applied to a bigger scale.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Unfortunately, the simplistic plot structure of The Screenwriters holds it back from being all that it could be. The scope of the story is too limited to one room with a handful of people coming and going from it and talking about the past and what they want to do. Flashbacks would have been helpful to get outside of that room. Besides this, the plot follows a predictable progression—we actually like the plot the characters were writing better than the actual plot. We would have loved to see it replicated alongside the main storyline. Finally, some of the characters in this film are intriguing while some are cheesy. Effort is put into developing their backstories, but we would have liked to see more. In short, this plot needed to be more dynamic so that this movie could be all that it could have been.
Acting Quality (2.5 points)
This casting job is surprisingly respectable, considering who the cast includes. This is perhaps Richard Swingle’s best acting performance to date. Jason Burkey is better than usual, and Jenn Gotzon is just herself. The only issues to raise here is some silly emotional delivery and ‘goofy’ elements. But in the end, this casting is a breath of fresh air.
Advent Film Group is on the verge of something great. They have assembled the necessary tools to craft a high quality production. They know how to cast a film and coach the cast members. All that’s missing now is a dynamic plot. Like many other almost-there film makers, once Advent solves the plot puzzle, they will be a force to be reckoned with. We anticipate their next release.
Final Rating: 6 out of 10 points
Full disclosure: We were provided by the creator with a copy of this film in exchange for a fair and honest review
Caleb Hogan has always been torn between his parents and their differing belief systems. He finally convinces his lawyer mother to fund a semester at Patrick Henry College for him, even though they hold beliefs contrary to hers. Interested in law himself, Caleb joins the mock trial team and begins working with Rachel Morton, a somewhat stodgy girl whom he likes but cannot date right away due to her standards. They begin to have a conflict over the moot court topic: overturning Roe vs. Wade. Caleb is unsure of the college’s insistence on full overturn, especially as he and Rachel work as interns at his mother’s firm while they take on an abortion case in real life. In the end, one worldview must win out in Caleb’s mind and heart.
Production Quality (.5 point)
Come What May is obviously an amateur film, but it didn’t have to be this bad. While the video quality is okay, there is really nothing else good to say, unfortunately. The makeup jobs on each actor are poor. The camera work is stock, and the lighting and sound quality are very inconsistent. The sets are quite limited, which can be expected, but the outdoor scenes rarely have sound. Finally, the editing is poor—some scenes are very confusing and others last too long. However, this may also be due to a lack of good content. Overall, it is hard to justify this movie’s existence if for the production alone.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Patrick Henry College is supposed to be an expert on winning moot court championships, and make sure to not let the audience forget their greatness in their own brand of product placements throughout the movie. However, if they are so good, then they should at least get their facts straight. They do not. There are multiple moot court championship inaccuracies and untrue facts, including having a former Supreme Court justice judge the final round. It is great to have a pro-life message, but it comes off very abrasive and preachy, like the creators are trying to force things down your throat. Some arguments used for the pro-life worldview are so off-the-wall that Box Office Revolution does not support them. As previously mentioned, there are plenty of unnecessary scenes, and offbeat amateurish dialogue litters the film. To top things off, this movie reinforces negative Christian stereotypes by purporting strange views of the roles of women in society. The ‘bad’ characters are caricatures, with the exception of one character, who has an interesting enough arc to save this plot from garnering zero points. In short, while we need more pro-life films on the market, Come What May only hurts the cause.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
This cast must be given a break since they are all mostly inexperienced. It is great to find new actors for Christian films instead of using the same ones over and over again, but coaching needs to be provided. There is poor emotional delivery and wooden acting throughout this film. In short, though these was some potential, the acting only serves to further hurt this movie’s case.
Overall, Come What May is a very bad presentation of the otherwise important pro-life issue. It would have been one thing to have average production and average acting combined with a strong plot, but none of this happened. The creators manipulated reality to suit their own means, filled the movie with their bizarre brand of Christianity, and generally did everything possible to force this movie to happen without thinking about the overarching consequences. Social issues need to be showcased in Christian films, but Come What May only serves as an example of how not to go about it.