Every year, movies and series are released, and cast members show off their talents. Writers and directors showcase their creativity. Films and series are separated into roughly three groups: the truly talented, the potentially great, and the others. At Box Office Revolution, we believe it is our prerogative to annually recognize those entertainment creators and players who have the ability to bring revolution to Christian entertainment.
Staff Choice Movie of the Year: The World We Make
Runners-Up: The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story, Heavenly Deposit
Reader’s Choice Movie of the Year: The World We Make
Runners-Up: Overcomer, Breakthrough, Unplanned
Staff Choice Season of the Year: The Chosen, Season 1
Staff Choice Actor of the Year: Jonathan Roumie
Runners-Up: Shahar Isaac, Paras Patel, Erick Avari, Caleb Castille, Kevin Sizemore, Sharman Joshi
Staff Choice Actress of the Year: Elizabeth “Liz” Tabish
Runners-Up: Lara Silva, Rose Reid, Ashley Bratcher
Staff Choice Director of the Year: Dallas Jenkins
Runners-Up: Brian Baugh, Aneesh Daniel
Staff Choice Writers of the Year: Ryan Swanson and Tyler Thompson
Runners-Up: Chris Dowling, George D. Escobar, Rose Reid, Andrew E. Matthews
Staff Choice Soundtrack of the Year: The Chosen, Season 1
Runners-Up: The World We Make, The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story
The Grove family has had their share of heartache over the past few years, but family friend Jordan Bishop has always been a constant support for them. However, the dynamics begin to shift when Jordan and Lee begin to develop a relationship after the grief seems to settle. Many discourage them from getting involved, and the small town seemingly works against their being together. Together, they experience unexpected prejudice and bias while discovering that they had more hiding below the surface than they previously realized.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
As a 2019 film, The World We Make is the type of respectable production we should be seeing time and again. There are very few flaws to point out here save for the slightly awkward editing near the end of the film (likely due to large story scope). Camera work, video quality, and audio quality are all basically flawless even though most scenes are filmed outdoors. The sets, locations, and props are extremely authentic and well-utilized; on-location shooting is definitely a big plus. Although the soundtrack could be a bit more than it is, this is a very high-level effort for a partially low-budget film, which goes to show what a little experience and proper collaboration can do for a movie.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Brian Baugh has always been committed to developing raw and real storylines based on accessible characters (I’m Not Ashamed). While The World We Make is one of his calmer tales, it’s nonetheless refreshing and believable. While the scope of this story may be a bit narrow, it’s nonetheless true-to-life and demonstrates great understanding of real people. The central romance is deeper than what we usually see in these types of films because it feels more believable and everyday. There are some very important themes explored, including grief avoidance, small town prejudice, and racial ostracizing. Characters make realistic decisions based on personality and motive rather than on plot necessity, and the storyline has a few slightly unexpected turns. As a whole, this is a very enjoyable plot to witness, and while it could have been a bit better since the ending is fairly rushed and somewhat cutoff, it’s still great as it is, which is enough to push this film over the top and onto the Hall of Fame.
Acting Quality (3 points)
There are virtually no flaws in the acting department. Caleb Castille owns another starring role, and Kevin Sizemore adapts a unique character that suits him. Gunnar Sizemore is a supporting role, but he could be a new rising star. Further, Gregory Alan Williams demonstrates a much more effective role than he’s played in the past. Overall, there is clear acting coaching present here as emotions and lines are authentically delivered, which rounds out a very commendable effort.
Although The World We Make could have been a bit more dynamic than this, it mostly reaches its fullest potential as a film. There are a few nitpicks, but in the grand scheme of things, Brian Baugh is continually setting himself apart as a master of characters, which seems to give him a better proclivity for series writing rather than movie writing. Indeed, not counting this year, we’ve had a longstanding drought in Christian series, so with new opportunities coming available (VidAngel), we may be poised to seeing a breakout in creators like Baugh directing their talents toward series rather than only films. Regardless of what happens, The World We Make is another good addition to the Hall of Fame and is one you’ll definitely want to make time for.
After experiencing the tragic death of his beloved mother, Caleb Burns just wants everything to stay the same. Everything does stay the same for a time, until Caleb’s father announces that they will be moving from Franklin, Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia after the summer is over. Thus, Caleb and his friend Blake launch a summer master plan to not only do the things they want to do before the move, but to also try to convince Caleb’s father to change his mind. Caleb and Blake also start a club dedicated to Caleb’s mom that does good deeds all around town. Over the course of the summer, they learn more about themselves than they anticipated and discover just how much of a difference one summer can make.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
In keeping with their past reputation, Echolight Studios, along with its partners Triple Horse Studios and Abington Ridge Films, is certainly dedicated to building high-quality Christian productions. Nearly every production element of Sweet Sweet Summertime is flawless. Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all highly professional. The original soundtrack suits this film. Sets, locations, and props are also very appropriate for this film and demonstrate quality. The only negative production element to raise is the editing, as there are one too many montages and the advancement of time is a bit too rapid. Yet, as always, this is a top-notch production that should be commonplace in all Christian films.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Also in keeping with past trends, Echolight and their team tend to leave much to be desired when it comes to their plots. Sweet Sweet Summertime is a fairly predictable and formulaic coming-of-age film that basically writes itself from beginning to end, yet the writers did the best they could with what they had, which is all we can ask. There is too much unnecessary and heavy-handed narration that stunts character development, yet there is also dialogue that assists in making the characters realistic and accessible. While this story has been done before, this rendition of it is certainly not as cheesy as it could have been and many audiences will find it enjoyable. The ending is very rushed and tidy, yet there are plenty of viewers who will like it. Overall, while we would have liked to see more creativity, at least this team put their best foot forward.
Acting Quality (3 points)
This is the sort of cast that we should see in every Christian film. They are highly professional and well-coached. Line delivery is flawless and emotions are very believable. It is rare that you see a film with no acting errors in it, but Sweet Sweet Summertime is one of those films.
Echolight has solidified themselves as a reliably professional studio when it comes to production quality. They also know how to assemble a respectable, error-free cast. Yet time and again, Echolight plots tend to leave something to be desired by choosing pre-written storylines that lack creativity. While films like Sweet Sweet Summertime will have some impact on its target audiences, it will unfortunately be easily forgotten in time. In order to have a lasting impact in film, the plot must be dynamic. The day that Echolight uses a dynamic plot will be the day that the Christian film world is turned upside down.