Writer(s): Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Jon Gunn, Scott LeRette, Susy Flory
Director(s): Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Jon Gunn
Producer(s): Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Jerilyn Esquibel, Kevin Downes, Peter Facinelli, Meredith Wieck, Chelsea Kujawa
Starring: Zachary Levi, Jacob Laval, Meghann Fahy, Peter Facinelli, Drew Powell, Pilot Bunch, Patricia Heaton
Plot Synopsis: “The Unbreakable Boy” centers on a teenager with autism who also has a rare brittle bone disease. Described as “told in the charmingly unpredictable voice” of the teen, the film is billed as “a funny and inspiring true story of a young couple stumbling through parenthood, who find constant inspiration from the joy and optimism of their spectacularly unique son.” The film also is described as in “the spirit of ‘Wonder’ and ‘Peanut Butter Falcon,’ with a dash of ‘JoJo Rabbit.'” It will be based on the true story of Iowan Austin LeRette, whose father, Scott, candidly chronicled his son’s life, struggles and faith in God in the book “The Unbreakable Boy,” co-written with New York Times best-selling author Susy Flory.
Jeremy Camp didn’t grow up with much, but he always had the love of his family, which is why they supported him in his dream to pursue a music career. When he attended a Christian college to fulfill this goal, Jeremy unexpectedly met Melissa Henning, who he quickly fell in love with. However, as Jeremy and Melissa grew closer together, they embarked on a harrowing and arduous journey into the unknown as Melissa battled cancer. Through the twists and turns, they discovered that God is always present in the midst of suffering and that there’s always a purpose to pain.
Production Quality (3 points)
It’s no surprise that, after the success of I Can Only Imagine, the Erwin brothers and their team have crafted yet another perfect production. I Still Believe hits all the right notes in every aspect of production, including video quality, camera work, audio quality, sets, locations, and props. Many camera angles are creatively artistic, and the soundtrack is a huge plus as it enhances the audience experience in all portions of the film and seamlessly integrates Camp’s music without turning it into a product placement. Further, the editing professional handles a story that is obviously difficult to properly present due to its scope. In short, there is nothing negative to note in this section.
Plot and Storyline Quality (3 points)
The Erwin Brothers, along with Jon Gunn, have no doubt mastered the art of the biopic as they have wisely chosen to focus their movie-making efforts on adapting real life stories into feature films. Though I Still Believe is a slight departure from the traditional Erwin brand since it zeroes in on a very small collection of characters, there are still no concerns with this storytelling adjustment. This narrative may signal a new era of Erwin creations, but it’s still another installment in their history of reliably quality offerings. In many ways, I Still Believe is almost two different movies as the first and second halves are quite different in tone, but these talented screenwriters correctly applied their God-given skills to weave the source material into a life-changing plot that will resound with many viewers from diverse backgrounds. Based off of real people, the characters therein are very poignant and relatable via realistic and profound dialogue that brings the story to life. Musical montages are responsibly used and don’t encroach upon important conversations that build characters; similarly, creative overlays effectively aid the complex plot presentation. Further, there are clear themes that are used throughout the film and serve to tie the major points together. Essentially, there are no issues to note in this section either.
Acting Quality (2 points)
Once again, in I Still Believe, the Erwin collective proves that they take great care in their casting and acting coaching work. Even though some of the cast members don’t entirely represent the real people they are portraying (which is one of the movie’s only flaws), every performance is professional. Line delivery and emotional delivery are very good as the audience is able to easily experience the characters’ feelings. Though this is a relatively small cast compared to previous Erwin projects and could have been a bit more dynamic, it still shines nonetheless and rounds out another blockbuster hit for the brothers.
Jeremy Camp’s compelling backstory was absolutely worth bringing to the big screen and will no doubt lead to further success for Kingdom Story Company. Despite some slight acting missteps, many viewers will enjoy this film, and it’s likely to leave lasting impact on the Christian entertainment market. However, no matter what, we still highly recommend this film for all Christians and always look forward to future Erwin productions.
Producer(s): Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Kurt Warner, Brenda Warner, Mark Ciardi, Kevin Downes
Starring: Zachary Levi, Anna Paquin, Dennis Quaid, Virginia Madsen, Ser’Darius Blain, Adam Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Danny Vinson, Chance Kelly, Hayden Zaller
Plot Synopsis: This film tells the true story of how Kurt Warner went from a grocery store employee to becoming a star NFL quarterback. The plot is based on Warner’s memoir, All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football and the First Miracle Season.