Faith.Hope.Love. [2021] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

When six college students are invited to a mysterious getaway in the snowy mountains of Utah, they have no idea what’s in store for them. What begins as a retreat of self-discovery quickly becomes a life-changing experience that many of them will not soon forget. How will they apply the changes that they have experienced to their everyday lives?

Production Quality (2.5 points)

Faith.Hope.Love. has a good production with very few errors. One of these mistakes is the existence of background sounds. The set is fairly limited but well-utilized. As a whole, the production gets better with time, including high-quality video and camera work. The editing is acceptable, which rounds out a section that warrants a high score.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

At the beginning of this story, the premise seems very trumped-up. The conversations are awkward and stiff, sometimes cutting off without warning. In the first half of the narrative, the dialogue feels very strained, forced, and unnatural. Many things are said without actually developing the characters, and there’s a tendency for the writers to be fixated on edgy and provocative content. However, the plot tends to get better as it goes as the characters improve due to more natural conversations. The second half of the film presents real people rather than characters representing social issues, but the initial presentation may discourage viewers from proceeding. The backstories of the characters become very strong if you wait long enough, even if the dialogue sometimes steers the screenplay in the direction that the writers want it to go, including some slight elements of propaganda. This is a testament to how strong characters can make up for other shortcomings. The conclusion is bit rushed, and the twist ending isn’t all that shocking. Thus, one point is awarded here.

Acting Quality (3 points)

For the most part, the acting is likely the strongest area of Faith.Hope.Love. Despite lacking a dynamic quality in the first half of the movie, this aspect of the film improves with time. The performances grow stronger by the second half, including believable line delivery and emotions. Thus, this rounds out an overall encouraging effort.


This creative team has demonstrated plenty of potential for the future, so it will be interesting to see what they produce next. With tighter storytelling and better messaging, they have nowhere to go but up. Hopefully, screenplays like this one represent a new positive trend in the Christian entertainment industry.

Final Rating: 6.5 out of 10 points


The Last Straw [2014] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

The McDonald family is full of screaming kids, and now they have taken on a trouble making relative for the holidays whose family doesn’t care about her.  As the kids perform all of their silly escapades, the shunned relative tries to fit into the neighborhood and meets a random boy next door whom she automatically likes, of course.  Then Mrs. McDonald, at the end of her rope, decides to institute a contest to see who can do the most deeds so they can put straw in their nativity manger.  It’s just another holiday tale.


Production Quality (2 points)

For the most part, Rob Diamond and his team know how to put together a respectable production.  Video quality and audio quality are what they should be, even though the soundtrack is fairly generic.  There are some random moments of shaky cam, however.  Yet sets, locations, and props are fine, albeit somewhat limited.  There are also some minor editing concerns, but there are really no glaring errors.  On the whole, this is an above average effort.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the plot.  Besides being an extremely limited idea full of silly asides and manufactured drama, it is mostly eccentric.  The characters tend to be overdone yet not well developed, even though they spend a lot of time sitting around and talking.  With no clear purpose or direction, sometimes it seems like this story is a joke.  The ‘struggles’ of the characters are impossible to appreciate.  There is also a cheesy forced romance.  Overall, this is really not a complete enough idea to make a full-length film; the priorities of this film needed to be reevaluated.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

Besides being very awkward at times, the cast members have a tendency to be overly happy and loud in most scenes.  Emotions are very plastic and laughably fake.  There is far too much shouting and yelling throughout, especially from the child cast members.  However, there are plenty of good moments, as well as improvement throughout, which saves this section from being zero.


In summary, it’s very hard to justify the making of this film.  It is based on a very thin idea, and it seems like it was rushed into being made without stopping to think about where this plot was even going.  Stories like this need to be seriously slowed down and evaluated for necessity and quality.  Until this happens on a consistent basis, we will keep having films like this put out.


Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points


Heaven is Waiting {Midway to Heaven} (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Ned Stevens has been a rich bachelor living in a small Utah town ever since his wife died and his daughter went off to college.  But everything changes one day when his daughter surprises him by coming home…with her boyfriend, whom she is very serious with.  Ned immediately sets off to make her boyfriend look bad and to dig up some kind of dirt on him.  All the while, he continues to carry on imaginary conversations with his dead wife and his daughter is trying to get him to date a woman his age who lives in the area.  Torn in multiple directions, Ned must find a way to reckon with himself and move on from the past.


Production Quality (2.5 points)

Production is the only strong point of Heaven is Waiting, formerly known as Midway to Heaven.  The video and sound quality are both clear.  The camera work is passable and the editing is pretty good.  Despite their absurdity, the imaginary conversations are produced and edited well.  One problem to bring up is that the sets are limited and seem low quality.  Another issue is the makeup and costuming—the few characters within seem unrealistic and vain.  Otherwise, there are no issues where production is concerned.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Okay, so the entire premise of this movie is absurd.  While we do not have an issue with psychological self-conversation within characters, it is not clear whether or not Ned’s wife is in his head or if she is some kind of spirit guide.  Besides this, a dead wife trying to convince her husband to marry another woman is totally ridiculous.  This plot is very limited and rests entirely on Ned’s imaginary conversations.  The few characters contained in the plot are haphazardly cheesy; their dialogue belongs in a parody.  Once the movie has accomplished a certain amount of ‘comedy’, it digresses into cheap musical montages.  A lot of events take place off screen and there is unnecessary narration throughout.  In short, there is really no plot content here that is worth anything.

Acting Quality (.5 point)

In an attempt to be funny, most of the acting comes off as juvenile.  There is really no acting coaching for this very small cast, which is a problem since these few actors carry the entire movie.  As previously mentioned, a lot of the characters seem vain and unrealistic in their appearances.  Unfortunately, the only good thing to say here is that the acting could have been worse.


Heaven is Waiting, also known as Midway to Heaven, seemed like it started out as a good idea that never materialized.  There is a small amount of potential, but the film needs a complete rework.  I think that most sensible women would agree that a dead wife would never constantly ask her husband to marry another woman, even if that were possible for them to communicate.  Another conclusion to draw is that Ned was using his dead wife’s memories as an excuse to get married again, which is even more ridiculous.  In short, this movie should have been sent back to the creators in the early stages for a re-write.


Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points