The Green Grass (Movie Review)

The Green Grass' - A Secret Can Be a Dangerous Thing To Keep - Full, Free  Inspirational Movie - YouTube

Plot Summary

Shawn is a successful businessman, but his family is coming apart at the seams. He doesn’t even know his wife and children anymore, and he doesn’t even know how close he is to losing it all. While Shawn is chasing after the next big thing, will he forfeit his faith and family, or will he come back to God before it’s too late?

Production Quality (1 point)

Between loud background noises, echoes, and overdriven audio, this production leaves much to be desired. There is also barely any soundtrack. Camera work, video quality, and lighting are acceptable, as are the sets, locations, and props. However, at times, there are some tight shots that cut things off, and the editing is very choppy, including awkward cuts, poor transitions, and continuity errors between scenes. As a whole, this production gets worse as it goes, which leads to a low score.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

From the beginning, awkward narration is forced upon the viewer. There are also too many characters to focus on such that it’s unclear who the protagonist is. The narrative consists of random scenes about unrelated events, and there are no obvious themes other than a fixation on edgy content. Although realistic, the situations that characters find themselves in could be more tastefully presented. Dialogue is very robotic, and the plot is full of loose ends and tangential ideas that have no organization or purpose. There are too many ridiculously dramatic scenes where everybody shows up to reveal secrets like a soap opera, and constant emotional turmoil wears on the audience. Despite the characters’ imperfections, they need a lot of development. Near the end, all characters suddenly become instantly good for no good reason at all, and problems are easily solved without realistic consequences. As such, the character arcs are extremely steep. Though the Christian message is restrained at first, this quickly devolves into really obvious conversations that spoon-feed lessons to the viewers. Due to all these concerns, no points can be awarded here.

Acting Quality (1 point)

The acting of The Green Grass is incredibly stilted and wooden. Most of the scenes are overly rehearsed. Emotions are cardboard, and line delivery is mechanical. There are also instances of extreme yelling and screaming. Though some cast members are okay, this isn’t enough to prevent a low score for this section.

Conclusion

There’s really no point in making a film like The Green Grass. Between poor production quality, a plot with no potential, and low-quality acting, there was really no reason for this screenplay to be made. The only hope is that movies like this are no longer made in the future.

Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points

The God Cafe (Movie Review)

Amazon.com: the God café: Steve Brown, Joe Herrera, Jorge Diaz, Clint  Patterson

Plot Summary

When a worship pastor is facing a crisis in his marriage and his career, he feels like he’s at the end of his rope. The minister wonders if his faith is even real, which is why he’s suddenly visited by mysterious men who claim to be from history. They show the pastor what the true meaning of Christmas is, but the minister will have to decide for himself.

Production Quality (.5 point)

Starting off with odd lighting and tinted filtering, the production quality of The God Cafe is quite low. Cheap special effects and overlays clutter the viewing experience despite acceptable video quality. Sub-par audio is accompanied by a generic soundtrack. Limited sets, locations, and props are supplemented by embarrassing fake backgrounds, and some odd camera angles further contribute to this section’s problems. Additionally, the editing is marred by sudden and abrupt flashes and transitions, which disorients the audience. In the end, only a very meager score can be awarded here.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Despite the fact that this plot is centered around the inherent problems with celebrity worship pastors (a pertinent discussion that needs to be had), it’s unclear why certain apostles from church history have to visit the protagonist to clear things up. What’s more, the story is frequently interrupted with random, out-of-context songs just because it’s a Christmas musical, I guess. Dialogue is basically a general regurgitation of Bible reading, making the story a long informational diatribe. As such, character development is thrown out the window in favor of a constant stream of facts and references to offscreen content. In the end, besides being a an alternate redux of The Perfect Gift, The God Cafe accomplishes next to nothing, which is the reasoning for zero points in this section.

Acting Quality (1 point)

Between forceful line delivery and manufactured emotions, this section is overall subpar. It seems the cast members are trying to be too interesting, which just comes off as annoying. As a whole, the performances are too theatrical, but there are some bright spots that keep the acting from being a total loss. The amount of positive is enough to warrant a point in this area.

Conclusion

Films like The God Cafe don’t even begin with a sound plot structure, just a vague idea that could be interesting. This isn’t sufficient for a Christian movie, so it’s long past time for collaboration to be the norm in the field. No one can make a movie on their own, and everyone has different talents to bring to the table. If God wants you to make a screenplay, He’ll supply the team and the resources that you need, so you don’t have to try to force more films to happen that will likely fail.

Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points

Home of the Brave [2020] (Movie Review)

Amazon.com: Watch Home of the Brave | Prime Video

Plot Summary

Drew Thomas returns from active duty and wants to get back to normal, but he finds it difficult due to the trauma he experienced overseas. Nonetheless, he goes right back to working for a nonprofit he started with his brother and friends. Before they realize it, their paths are unintentionally crossing with group of local police officers who want to see change come to their city. They must all come to grips with how God wants them to act and react to the difficult circumstances they are placed in.

Production Quality (1.5 points)

Home of the Brave has some good and some bad aspects in its production. The video quality and camera work are acceptable, but audio is very poor at times, including loud background sounds and an inconsistent generic soundtrack. The sets, locations, and props are mostly average, however. Possibly one of this section’s worst aspects is the extremely choppy editing, which involves some weird fadeouts and abrupt transitions between scenes. Though this could be due to the large amount of content within the film, this rounds out an overall middle-of-the-road effort.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

At its very core, Home of the Brave is trying to do way too much at once. It feels like an entire season of a series was crammed into less than two hours as there are many, many characters who seem like they have potential yet crowd each other out due to the sheer number of them. The plot tries to cover too many topics at once, and in doing so, short-circuits any hope for meaningful themes even though there could have been some. Some of the dialogue is actually pretty good and shows a lot of potential, but the narrative is just a long string of scenes and sequences, some of which seem totally out of place and context. Certain circumstances that characters find themselves in seem very staged and contrived only to force the storyline to go in a certain direction that the writers wanted it to go. As such, characters are pawns in the plot, and many scenes are very unnecessary and waste time. There are far too many coincidences throughout the screenplay, and it all leads to a very rushed ending where mostly everything is fixed in unrealistic ways. In the end, although there was plenty of potential in this movie for a thought-provoking story, it got in its own way by biting off more than it could chew.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

For the most part, the acting in Home of the Brave is most okay. It could be a bit better than it is, but it’s not horrible. Emotions and line delivery are a bit forced in dramatic scenes, and many instances are fairly bland. Thus, the mixed aspect of the acting in this film makes this an average section.

Conclusion

This screenplay had a lot going for it, but it needed to be slowed down and planned in a more efficient way. The creators needed to strongly consider turning it into a miniseries so that the full weight of their ideas could have been felt. As such, a remake may be in order. In the end, Home of the Brave can be a learning experience for all movie makers: don’t try to do too much at once.

Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points

An Encounter With the Messiah (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

What if Jesus came in the modern day and ministered to everyday people and the circumstances they dealt with?  This is a different take on the story of Jesus that follows the lives of recast Biblical characters in a modern setting to show that Jesus can touch anyone and reach anyone, regardless of background or era.  He is still affecting people’s lives today.

 

Production Quality (1 point)

It’s really hard to understand how and why these sorts of productions are made.  When the budget is low, is it worth making a feature length film?  While video quality is mostly fine and the soundtrack is creative in this film, there are plenty of errors here.  Lighting and camera work are inconsistent and cheap, and the audio is sometimes too loud and disproportionate.  Flashbacks are black and white for no reason and sets, locations, and props are relatively cheap.  Finally, as usual, the editing is poor and allows the storyline to jump all over the place with no real continuity.  In the end, first-time productions are somewhat forgivable, but they’re still frustrating to watch.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

Creating modern takes on Bible stories is always a problematic idea because parallels and paraphrases are usually forced to fit and cause awkwardness, which is also the case in An Encounter with the Messiah.  It’s a commendable and understandable idea that has a lot of potential, but it’s not executed correctly and is too hard to follow.  There are too many confusing transitions and disconnected subplots as the story speeds along to hit the high points.  There are also too many characters and tons of wasted time; thus, it’s difficult for the story to hold the attention as it is very flat and isolating.  The one redeeming quality is the interesting ending but it’s hard to get to and doesn’t do enough to redeem the other issues.  In the end, this is a nice idea, but not good enough.

Acting Quality (1 point)

Though this cast sometimes puts in effort, they are often half-hearted or overly dramatic.  Line delivery and emotional delivery are all over the place.  There is some good here, but not enough to make a difference in this film.

Conclusion

Films like An Encounter with the Messiah so easily slip through the cracks of Christian film, and it’s a shame when the creators seem to mean well.  But when potentially interesting ideas are not packaged properly, it sends the film down a completely different trajectory.  It’s hard to make your film stand apart when so many typical issues plague it.  But perhaps there will be second chances for film makers that have trouble getting started.

 

Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points