When a church feels like they can’t appeal to the young people, the lead pastor blames their faithful adherence to only singing songs from the hymnal. As a solution, the pastor decides that it’s time to start a controversial praise band by hiring a young whippersnapper to teach them the newfangled worship songs that the kids might like. Will they be able to use music to bring the youth back to the church before it’s too late?
Production Quality (.5 points)
Praise Band is a strange experience, beginning with the production, which included weirdly blurry video quality and even odd sepia-like tones. Loud background noises distract the viewer as the soundtrack sometimes overpowers audio. Tight camera shots focus on cheap sets, locations, and props while strange lighting provides an annoying backdrop. When it comes to editing, there’s unexplained sequences of dead time that are punctuated by awkward fadeouts. In the end, despite very slight improvement with this section over time, it’s not enough to warrant a higher score.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 points)
The entire premise of Praise Band is that all a church needs to do to grow its numbers, especially among younger populations, is change its music style. While this does reflect an idea that was popular among churches at the time, it’s still silly to base a movie off of it. What’s more, generic and pedestrian dialogue creates vanilla characters that can’t be easily related to. Despite some slight potential in a half-hearted comedic exploration of how much certain churches refuse to change, the robotic nature of the characters takes the wind out of the sails. The humor is also too muted even though there’s hardly any actually content in this narrative. It lacks a core purpose and a centralized direction as random things happened until a sudden conclusion comes about. Overall, this story just seems like one of those vague, unfinished concepts that was forced to be a film without much thought put into it.
Acting Quality (1 point)
Surprisingly, the acting is actually the strongest area of this screenplay although it doesn’t get past the halfway mark. It’s not all bad or all good, but at times, the lines and emotions seem overly practiced. There’s also not a lot of positive to make up for the vanilla nature of the casting. Therefore, this nature rounds out a very poor effort.
Early in the modern era of Christian entertainment, films like Praise Band were nearly all there was for faith-based audiences to watch. Thus, the good thing is that now, there are more options for viewers in this genre. Current and future creators can learn from the mistakes of the past as we look toward the future.
Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points