The Accidental Missionary (Movie Review)

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Plot Summary

DJ Miller is a spoiled movie actor who just wants to do as little as possible while still making as much money as possible. However, when DJ gets negative publicity for something he does, his agent suggests he take a vacation to let the bad press blow over. Nonetheless, on the way out of town, a bizarre mix-up forces DJ to go on a mission trip to Africa and take the place of a missionary who was supposed to be there. Will DJ be able to change his ways while he’s stuck in the wilderness?

Production Quality (0 points)

A common shortcoming of nearly every Rossetti film is low quality production, and The Accidental Missionary is no exception. From inconsistent lighting to cheap sets, locations, and props that don’t adequately represent what they’re supposed to portray, there’s little to no positive to note here. Camera angles are quite unusual, there are background echoes, and cringeworthy sound effects annoy the viewers. The soundtrack is too random to fit the mood, and there’s often stock footage included that doesn’t fit the mood. Further, the editing contains poor cuts and transitions as well as several continuity errors. Thus, no points can be awarded for this section.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-2 points)

Besides the fact that this plot’s premise is unrealistically contrived, the very obvious dialogue creates simplistic, one-dimensional characters. The narrative is based on stupid coincidences, such as the most ridiculous reason for why two people got mixed up in an airport. There’s no way anyone involved would realistically believe what happens in this story. What’s more, silly and off-putting conversations between the characters patronizes local African cultures and comes close to making fun of them. It’s all wrapped up in a save-the-mission-camp agenda and packaged with a forced romance that nobody can take seriously. Further, there seems to be a tendency to purposely create bizarre situations between some of the characters, including unnecessary levels of weirdness. Capping it off with wild character swings that lack realistic explanations, this section of the movie receives negative points for its offensive elements.

Acting Quality (1 point)

Surprisingly, the acting is the “best” aspect of The Accidental Missionary inasmuch as it’s not zero or less. This is due to somewhat average acting even though much of it seems overly practiced. Emotions tend to be wooden and too earnest. The lead actress posts the strongest performances of anyone, but other cast members don’t match the culture being portrayed. Costuming is also cheesy, and accents aren’t always correct. Further, painfully bad injury acting caps off this mediocre section.

Conclusion

Of all the past Rossetti offerings that are just bad, this one is awful. Tone deaf portrayals of cultures that obviously aren’t properly understood by the creators will almost always warrant negative points. There’s also really nothing to redeem The Accidental Missionary from this pitfall. Everything was all wrong from the get-go, so this idea was doomed from the start.

Final Rating: -1 out of 10 points

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Where Was God? [2014] (Movie Review)

Where Was God (2014) - IMDb

Plot Summary

Pastor Thompkins has a secret, but his life becomes even more complicated when a desperate man decides to hold him hostage in the pastor’s own home. During their standoff, the man asks Thompkins pressing questions about the problem of pain and life’s true purpose. Will either man come out of the situation alive?

Production Quality (1 point)

With such a low budget, it’s unclear why this production was put forth just for it to contain cheap sets and props, lack actual locations, and have inconsistent lighting throughout. As it’s basically people hanging around in a house, the camera work and video quality are fine, yet it all feels very cut-rate. The soundtrack is very generic, and all audio is quite hit-and-miss, including silly sound effects. There’s also no editing to speak of, which rounds out an overall poor effort that undermines this film’s existence.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

As a heavy character-based plot, Where Was God? needed some serious help in the narrative department for it to even have a chance, but with only wooden characters to speak of due to overly constructed, obvious dialogue, there’s really no hope for this movie. The entire premise, full of unrealistic circumstances, feels very contrived, and the storyline is an overused waste of time because it seeks to drag things out as long as possible. Dead time also fills gaps where substantial content could have gone. Instead of a real plot containing believable dialogue, the audience is only left with silly gender stereotypes and a strange endings that both instantly fixes all the problems and almost negates the entire situation at the same time. Due to all of these factors, no points can be awarded to this section.

Acting Quality (0 points)

In nearly every facet of Where Was God?, the acting is extremely awkward, including wooden emotions and incredibly forced line delivery. The drama is also manufactured, and the cast is so small that even the smallest errors are very noticeable. Unfortunately, there’s just nothing positive to say about this category, which rounds out an overall basement-level offering.

Conclusion

What else is there to say? Where Was God? is just another in a long line of embarrassing Christian projects that will fade from memory as time goes on. There’s next to nothing that justifies its existence and no reason for it to be made. The only thing that can be gleaned from it is how not to produce Christian entertainment, but there are already too many examples of that.

Final Rating: 1 out of 10 points

Echo Rhyme (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Frank is a known counterfeiter and professional all-around criminal.  He has is hands in a lot of dirty businesses, but his fast and checkered lifestyle catches up with him finally, when he is faced with a medical complication he cannot overcome.  Thankfully, he is able to secure a heart donation to improve his medical condition, but this miracle sends him on a journey he never thought he would travel as he crosses paths with the family of the man whose heart he now has.  Will Frank be able to find redemption in the unlikeliest of places?

 

Production Quality (1 point)

From the studio that brought us 2 to Tangle and Time Collectors: Return of the Giants comes another poorly funded and poorly executed production mess.  However, Echo Rhyme surprisingly has the highest production of the group.  Still, this film has a lot of production problems, such as very obvious overdubbed lines, a loud and generic soundtrack, and sound effects that are not natural to the scenes they are stuck in.  Video quality is fine, but lighting and camera work are inconsistent throughout.  There are also some sequences of unnecessary slow-motion.  However, there is some improvement throughout as it seems like some parts of this film were better funded than others.  Even still, the editing is horrific, with very abrupt and choppy cuts and transitions in very awkward places.  Having a one-point production as your best achievement isn’t saying much.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Unlike the severely limited scopes of their previous two films, Son Films went all out with Echo Rhyme.  They attempt a level of plot complexity that even the audience cannot understand at times, as subplots are very disjointed and confusing, especially in the first thirty minutes.  As things unfold, the premise becomes more and more cheesy as it is fixated on the organ donation of the heart and how this affects all of the characters involved in the most far-fetched ways.  This story is based entirely on very juvenile coincidences and a childish outlook on life as content meanders along endlessly for over two hours.  Everything is too connected yet not rooted in reality as one chance encounter after the next prolongs this story far beyond its welcome.  This goes without mentioning the very thin dialogue and empty characters in this story.  Although this ‘unique’ plot structure had some potential, it did not manifest in this presentation.

Acting Quality (.5 point)

Son Films has put together some notoriously awkward casts, and this one isn’t much better, even though there are a few good moments that keep this section from being zero.  Nevertheless, this group needs some serious acting coaching, as they are very robotic and overly practiced.  As a whole, this movie needed a total redo, if it needed to be made at all.

Conclusion

Besides all of the other obvious issues with this film, what on earth does this title mean?  I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise coming from the studio that brought us 2 to Tangle and Time Collectors.  However, despite the myriad of problems in Echo Rhyme, there was actually a chance for a unique storyline here that was totally bungled.  Centering the plot around an organized crime character is a creative idea, but the sheer amount of coincidences and childish version of Christianity in this plot are just too much to bear.  Maybe somebody can responsibly reuse a portion of this idea in the future.

 

Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points

 

Homefront {The Things We Leave Behind} [2013] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

When three American soldiers are taken captive by the enemy and trapped in a dungeon awaiting their fate, their minds wander back to the lives their left behind in their home country.  As they share stories and regrets, one of them tries to help the others come to Christ before it’s too late.  Will they be able to leave behind their regrets and embrace a new future with Jesus before time runs out for them?

 

Production Quality (0 points)

Unfortunately, throughout his film career, Chip Rossetti has struggled with production quality.  Homefront is no exception.  Camera work is stationary and video quality is grainy.  Lighting is terrible in a lot of the scenes.  Audio quality is also bad and the soundtrack is basically nonexistent.  Sets and locations are severely limited.  Furthermore, editing is not what it should be, although there are some efforts to make it that way.  In the end, it’s unfortunate that the production quality of this film is so low because it had some potential.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

It is clear that this film was intended to be a big military epic, but it fell very short of expectations.  The story is very flat and boring, even though the dialogue has some potential.  Flashbacks barely keep the movie alive, but they need a lot more development, as do the characters.  There is a part of this film that is interesting and makes us want it to be better because we can see what Chip was trying to do here, but it just didn’t work.  As it is, Homefront does not have the stamina or powerful content to sustain a two-hour film.  Though it was intended to be an international suspense epic, this dream unfortunately did not come to fruition.  Thus, we are left wandering what could have been.

Acting Quality (1 point)

This cast, while they are not as bad as they could be, is very dry and cardboard in their emotions and in their line delivery.  Some lines are severely mumbled, yet sometimes they surprise you with a randomly good performance.  Since they were so underwhelming yet showed potential, they desperately needed some acting coaching.  With that, this section could have been improved.

Conclusion

Homefront is the bare bones skeleton of an idea that needs serious fleshing out and a huge production and casting upgrade.  It’s not like there’s not potential here—the potential is the one thing that keeps this film from being zero points.  But with a production this bad, a film can never succeed.  With a plot this understated and under-developed, there is no way a movie can make a difference.  Furthermore, when your cast does not reach its full potential, you are in for disappointment.  The good thing is that Chip Rossetti is making strides to improve his brand, and is having some success at this (see 94 Feet).  This is all we ask from Christian film makers.

 

Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points

 

Fathers [2012] (Movie Review)

Yup

Plot Summary

Michael was randomly abandoned by his wife while Rick’s wife and daughter died in a car wreck.  Rick hates God now but Michael is still a perfect role model for his son.  Rick has let his life fall into shambles, but Michael and his son reach out to Rick and his son and try to help them with stuff.  After hanging around the doing stuff for a while, tragedy suddenly strikes these characters and they will have to try to face it together.

 

Production Quality (0 points)

Seriously, this movie looks like it was filmed with a camcorder on the cloudiest days possible.  We’ve seen some doozies when it comes to bad productions, but Fathers really takes the cake.  There are absolutely no positive elements here as everything about this production is terrible and horrific in every possible way.  From blurry video quality to shaky camera work to horrible audio quality to a loud soundtrack to highly unprofessional sets, this film is unrivaled, except for unforgettable gems like Final: The Rapture or My Refuge.  As if it matters, there is also no editing.  Just when we think we’ve seen it all, along comes another medieval production.  How does this stuff get made?

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

With barely any plot or purpose to speak of, Fathers mindlessly slogs along until the time is up.  Full of meandering emptiness and utter pointlessness, there is no clear story here to speak of.  Whatever point is trying to be conveyed here is totally lost in the disaster that this film is.  The characters therein in are totally empty and laughable, burping out garbled dialogue here and there.  Though there is an attempt at a plot twist near the end of the story, it’s just too little too late.  Words can’t even begin to describe how inept this film is.

Acting Quality (0 points)

If the Rossetti’s team goal was to find and cast the most awkward white people Walmart has to offer, then they succeeded with flying colors.  They succeeded in mumbling at least half of their lines and demonstrating to most dorky emotions ever.  They constantly repeat phrases like ‘you know’ over and over again.  At this point, it must be considered how much those involved in this film actually cared about what it looked like in the end.

Conclusion

There is little else we can say.  If you want a good laugh, you simply have to see this one for yourself.  If you don’t laugh, then you have to cry at the fact that this kind of stuff is made in the name of Christian film.  Money was spent on this and somehow it was released as a feature length film.  The only thing we can ask is why.  Why, why, why, why, why, why, why.  Why.

 

Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points