Somebody’s Child (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Though Constance is going through dialysis and is waiting for a kidney donor match, she knows that God has been good to her.  Her son Douglas always takes care of her and she loves her grandson.  However, she harbors a secret from her past that hardly anyone knows about.  Yet little does she know is that God is about to set into motion events that will reconcile the past and bring redemption to them all.

 

Production Quality (2.5 points)

Gary Wheeler is always reliable in crafting a professional production.  There are very few errors to speak of in the production of this film.  Video quality is excellent, as it camera work and audio quality.  The soundtrack is good, even if it’s a little pedestrian.  Sets, locations, and props are professional and appropriate for the film.  The only small error to point out here pertains to some minor editing issues that cause the plot to be confusing.  Yet in the end, as a made-for-television movie, this production is what it should be.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

Unfortunately, as a made-for-TV movie, Somebody’s Child lacks creativity in an attempt to be safe and marketable.  Though the idea behind it is interesting and though the circumstances the characters experience are realistic, this story is still too underdeveloped.  Dialogue is very generic, thus making the characters one-dimensional.  This is a character-based plot, which means we need deep characters, yet this is not the case here.  There is too much wasted time in this plot and not enough scenes that develop the characters—it feels like they are just swept along in the plot without any feeling.  Finally, the ending is very rushed and seemingly unfeeling.  Unfortunately, though this movie had everything going for it, the story fails to come through.

Acting Quality (2.5 points)

As a professional cast with obviously good coaching, there are very few errors to speak of here.  Sometimes emotions aren’t what they should be, but they mostly are.  Line delivery is always on point, even if the cast member doesn’t have a very good line to work with.  Overall, Somebody’s Child is a professional film that falls short of greatness.

Conclusion

Many audiences will enjoy this film, but we are always looking for films that take that next step out of mediocrity (even professional mediocrity) and become a great, difference-making film.  With this type of funding and platform, this was possible here, but the plot needs a lot of beefing up in order for this to be case with Somebody’s Child.  Hopefully in the future opportunities like this will no longer be wasted.

 

Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points

 

Prayer Never Fails (Movie Review)

Make a serious face Eric

Plot Summary

When Aiden Paul is fired from his job as a public school teacher and basketball coach, he feels like God wants him to hire a troubled agnostic lawyer to help him win a case against his former employer.  But the school district prepares to throw the book at Aiden and make an example out of him, so he soon finds he will have to fight for his rights and for the team that loves him.  Will he be able to prevail over the odds that are seemingly stacked against him?

 

Production Quality (1.5 points)

Prayer Never Fails begins as a very rough and raw production with very shaky camera work and strange camera angles.  The lighting also begins very poorly.  Audio quality is relatively stable throughout.  Moreover, sets and locations are consistently realistic throughout.  The good thing is that the camera work and angles do improve later in the film, if you make it far enough.  Yet the editing is confusing throughout and leaves too many dead sequences intact.  In the end, though the production ends up average, it’s a very rocky road to get there and certainly doesn’t help this film’s already-shaky cause.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

Though this story is very low-key and slow to develop at first, it is based on an absurdly unrealistic religious freedom premise that would never stand up in the real world.  This is combined with a typical downtrodden legal premise and several other confusing and disjointed subplots.  However, the agnostic lawyer character is one of the best we have ever seen in these sorts of films and should be transported to a different movie where his flawed characteristics can be more professionally explored.  Yet other characters are not nearly as well-developed, including the downtrodden lead and the strawman villain lawyer.  Furthermore, like certain other ‘persecution in the courtroom’ stories, this film fails the test of realism and boils down to an easily patched-up and fixed ending.  This story needs to be scrapped and started over with the agnostic lawyer character only.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

Though this is a semi-professional cast, they begin in a very underwhelming fashion.  The lead actor is especially unsure of himself and cannot carry the leading role.  However, there is potential here and the acting, especially the emotional delivery, does greatly improve in the second half of the film.  Overall, this rounds out a very roller coaster experience of a film.

Conclusion

It’s great to write a legal plot, but why does it automatically have to be about religious freedom and so-called persecution that’s not even believable in the real world?  Also, why leave production and acting to be so shoddy in the beginning?  It’s never worth just slapping a movie together just for the sake of having a movie, especially in the new era of Christian film that demands higher quality.  We’ll never begin to understand movies like this.

 

Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points

 

King’s Faith (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Brendan King has been everywhere and done nearly everything.  Mike and Vanessa are not the first foster parents he has had, but they have agreed to give him one last chance to help him finish high school and turn his life around for good.  Informed by his newfound faith, Brendan seeks to leave his checkered past behind and discover exactly what God wants him to do.  But he did not expect to get pulled into the troubled life of the local homecoming queen, be harassed by a suspicious detective friend of his new foster parents, or be visited by unwelcome characters from his criminal past.  In spite of the odds against him, Brendan must dig deep in his faith in order to navigate the turbulent waters ahead.

 

Production Quality (2.5 points)

King’s Faith may be an obscure Christian film, but it is certainly not to be overlooked.  The production quality is envied by many low budget independent movies.  Its camera work is great, as is the video and sound quality.  The editing puts many unique scenes together skillfully.  Diverse sets are used to film many different types of scenes, from action to soft.  The costuming and makeup work are good.  The only caveat here is that there seems to be a few filler scenes to lengthen the runtime.  Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about in the production of King’s Faith.  It sets a new standard for first-time independent Christian films.

Plot and Storyline Quality (2 points)

King’s Faith is based on true events, and the plot captures a sense of realism.  It is a semi-linear plot, and not completely non-linear.  The dialogue is authentic, thus building the characters well.  The intentions and personality traits of the characters are showcased well.  Issues that face juvenile ex-convicts are portrayed well.  The end is not what is usually expected of semi-inspirational plots.  However, as previously mentioned, there is some wasted time in the movie.  Another issue is the presence of unnecessary narration.  We suggest that more flashbacks to build the characters would have remedied both of these issues, thus creating a perfect plot score.  Nonetheless, King’s Faith is a great plot and an excellent starting point for future movies from this crew.

Acting Quality (3 points)

For a cast of little-known actors in an obscure movie, the acting is excellent.  Nothing is overplayed and emotions are displayed accurately.  This demonstrates the handiwork of great acting coaching.  Though the cast is modest in number, they carry the movie well and prove that it is possible to have great acting in a lesser-known independent film.

Conclusion

Re-integrating into society after concerted jail time is difficult for a juvenile offender.  Such a person needs a social safety net, accountability, and a purpose in life.  King’s Faith deals with all of these issues without being too obvious or preachy.  The Christian worldview is slightly understated, but it is not lacking.  Overall, King’s Faith demonstrates that there is no excuse to ever make a cheap Christian film.  Though it is not dynamic, it is profound and worth your time.

 

Final Rating: 7.5 out of 10 points