Diamond in the Rough [2019] (Movie Review)

Diamond in the Rough (2019) - IMDb

Plot Summary

With both her parents struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues, a young teenager is struggling in her faith. At one point, she finds herself homeless, but her spiritually strong grandmother is able to help her. In time, several lives converge together in a way that only God could orchestrate.

Production Quality (.5 point)

For a number of reasons, this production is quite low-quality. One area of concern is the camera work, which includes tight shots. While video quality is acceptable and the soundtrack interesting, audio quality is generally inconsistent, revealing obvious background sounds and overdubs. Also, lighting is terrible in the cheap sets and locations. Further, the editing is quite choppy. Thus, with only a small amount of potential, only a meager score can be awarded here.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Because the scenes of this plot are all over the place, it’s hard to know what timeline is being shown to the viewer. One event happens after another, contributing to a vaguely meandering storyline that lacks focus and direction. Average dialogue and conversations that are full of Christian platitudes do nothing to deepen otherwise shallow characters. Random asides waste time and generally make no sense, and several mindless sequences and montages accomplish nothing. In general, there are too many useless and dead-end subplots, and there are some narrative continuity errors that are caused by the confusing time jumps and mixed timelines. Eventually, the film ends with a very abrupt conclusion that lacks warning. Thus, with no potential, this section cannot receive any points.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

Half of the cast members are acceptable in their performances while the other half is not. Some actors and actresses are overly dramatic, unnaturally forcing their lines. Certain scenes come off as overly staged. However, there is enough positive in this area of the screenplay to justify an average rating.

Conclusion

There might have been some good intentions in the creation of this movie, but the experience is too isolating for the audience. It’s unclear what the writers wanted to convey, so any otherwise interesting message was lost in translation. Perhaps, if this creative team is given another chance, they can do better.

Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points

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The Takeover [2013] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Jadin is an overconfident businessman (?) who trips all over himself and finds himself entangled with an eccentric ‘con artist’ who blackmails him into letting her stay with him.  She quickly takes over his house and invites a bunch of random people over.  All the while, Jadin is trying to please his mother and argue with the booming voice in the sky.  Will they ever be able to make sense of their lives?

 

Production Quality (.5 point)

Though this was a relatively well-funded production, only the video quality can be considered professional.  Camera work is far too shaky and includes odd camera angles and annoying close-ups.  Audio is unnecessarily overdriven at times and even overdubbed in some places.  The soundtrack is uninspiring.  Sets, locations, and props are fairly limited.  Finally, the editing is confusing and is likely nonexistent, thus making for a disorienting experience.  In the end, we are continually flabbergasted at the productions that are churned out by Strong Foundation Films.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-.5 point)

Compared to all of their other sad efforts to write stories, The Takeover is hands-down Strong Foundation’s most laughable and nonsensical story to date.  From start to finish, there is no way to know or understand what is happening from one moment to the next.  Random things keep happening, as if this is depicting a dream sequence.  Many of the elements included in this rambling diatribe either cause you to roll your eyes or double over laughing, including the absurd booming voice in the sky bit.  There is literally nothing good to say about any of this, and it’s so ridiculous that it warrants even a small amount of negative points just for being this way.  As far a screenwriting goes, you really can’t go much lower than this (unless you’re Kirk Cameron).

Acting Quality (-1 points)

Josiah David Warren posts his worst performance to date, as do the other typical cast members included here.  They are absurd, over the top, and sometimes whiny with their emotions, including far too much yelling.  Also, reminiscent of FaithHouse, there is a lot of terrible injury acting throughout this film.  Basically, there is really nothing good to say here.

Conclusion

Strong Foundation has been in a constant identity crisis from day one of their productions.  What do they really want to do in Christian film?  If they mean well and want to make a difference, then they need to take some serious strides to improve.  They need to find a way to spend their funding more wisely.  They need to hire a real screenwriter.  Finally, they need to either stop casting the same old actors and actresses (Josiah David Warren has worn out his welcome) or figure out how to invest in some coaching for them.  They are at a crossroads as a company and have some tough decisions to make.

 

Final Rating: -1 out of 10 points