David vs. Goliath: Battle of Faith (Movie Review)

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Plot Summary

David going up against Goliath was the ultimate underdog story, but what could have happened before this face off? David was trained by both the Lord and those around him. What could have prepared him for the great battle? When David finally faced the giant, what occurred change Israel’s history forever.

Production Quality (1.5 points)

For the most part, this rendition of the famous biblical account has a fairly average production. This is due to some shaky cam despite great video and audio quality. Some scenes have poor lighting, but the sets, locations, and props are acceptable. One of the movie’s biggest detractors is its editing as some scenes are quite drawn out. Others are somewhat cut off, and this rounds out an overall middle-of-the-road effort.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

This plot is unnecessarily hampered by narration and by a fixation on extended fight scenes that go outside the biblical narrative. These issues also crowd out important sequences of dialogue and cause conversations to be unsubstantial. As such, the characters seem like play actors rather than actual people. Some audience will find there to be too much violence, which may be realistic but is unbalanced in this context. Elsewhere, the pace of the story is quite rushed and doesn’t allow an effective conclusion to develop. This causes a very hollow experience for the viewer even though there are some interesting ideas contained within this narrative, such as the possibility that Samuel trained David for battle and the psychological elements that are ascribed to David. Unfortunately, there are definitely something here, but the idea seemed too forced and rapidly presented. Slowing the process down a bit may have helped this screenplay to gain its footing.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

The costuming is actually one of the better aspects of this movie. However, the cast isn’t always culturally authentic. At times, the acting is acceptable, but other times, it’s a bit dramatic and theatrical. Emotions and line delivery are inconsistent: sometimes fine and sometimes not. Thus, this section rounds out an unfortunately underwhelming effort.

Conclusion

It seems like David vs. Goliath was made in haste just for the sake of making another Bible film that could have been popular. In doing this, a lot of corners were cut, which always shows up in the finished product. This formula of hacking together a recognizable inspirational title for a quick cash grab is very word out and has seemingly met its demise. In the future, new Christian creators will hopefully learn from the mistakes of the past and correctly apply their God-given talents to produce truly quality projects.

Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points

On Wings of Eagles [2016] (Movie Review)

Image result for on wings of eagles christian movie

Plot Summary

Eric Liddell was a Scottish Olympic gold medalist, an accomplished educator, and a dedicated family man who was called to take the Gospel to China in the 1930s and 1940s. He faced hardship and persecution from the Communist government, but he never gave up in his mission to run, to educate children, and to share the Gospel with whoever he came in contact with. Though he died in captivity, he left a lasting legacy with all who knew him and beyond.

Production Quality (2 points)

It’s apparent that good effort was put into making this production professional, which is evidenced by great video quality and camera work, as well as a good use of international sets and locations. The props are culturally authentic, and the soundtrack is very effective. However, this production is kept from being perfect because of some inconsistent audio quality and some fake-looking special effects that should have been better. Further, the editing is fairly poor as there are some awkward cuts and transitions and since there is a lot of content that is not handled very well. Even so, this is a good production that is above average.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

Due to taking on a large amount of content from the life of one person, this plot relies too heavily on time jumps and excessive, unnecessary narration that short-circuits any hope for actual character and plot development. While this is a great true story with a lot of potential to be an epic, we have a hard time understanding who the characters are beyond historical bios. Any hope of dialogue is mostly rushed and choppy due to the storyline jumping all over the place. There are also too many wasted and drawn-out scenes that could have been maximized to fuller potential, but they cause the story to not flow well at all. However, there is still a lot of good content here due to the fact of it being based on a real story, and the ending likely makes it worth a watch, even though it could have been much better.

Acting Quality (2 points)

As a whole, this cast is fairly culturally authentic and professional as each cast member does a good job assuming his or her respective character role. If they had more lines to work with, things would definitely be even better, even if there is some inconsistent line and emotional delivery in some places. Though there is some over-acting, this section is overall above average, which rounds out an average film that could have been much better.

Conclusion

On Wings of Eagles had so much going for it: a well-funded production, culturally accurate casting, and an excellent true story that had the makings of a real epic. Nevertheless, this great potential was seemingly forgotten as half-measures were settled for. Just fixing one of these elements listed would have likely qualified it for the Hall of Fame, but it unfortunately fell short of the mark. Even still, many audiences will still enjoy this film, and it can serve as a blueprint for how to take things one step further into greatness.

Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points