Marry Me

Marry Me

Release Date: February 11, 2022

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Sarah Silverrman and Chloe Coleman

Director: Kat Coiro

Writers: John Rogers, Tami Sagher and Harper Dill

Synopsis: Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian had been unfaithful, she instead decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd.

This movie comes to us from the vision of Kat Coiro who has directed many things for tv and streaming and is also slated to direct the upcoming She Hulk series for Disney Plus. So let’s get into it and break this down a little. What are the pros to this 2022 RomCom? Well for one thing I think casting Owen Wilson opposite JLO was a strong choice for his every man’s man appeal and quirky subtle sense of humor. To be honest the chemistry between the two of them worked well for the most part. Especially the second half of the movie which was hands down better than the first half. But outside the chemistry between our two leads there isn’t much left for the audience to be entertained by in this self-indulgent glorified music video of a movie. The music is good, but did you expect less, it’s Jennifer Lopez.

 The plot revolves around a broken-hearted Kat Valdez who doesn’t do anything spontaneous or exciting. Her life is driven by teams of people who tell her where to be when to be there and what to wear. Not even kidding a section of this movie details quite literally that she has no idea how to do anything at all, like open a door, she must break through a window. Or even use a blender without the forethought of putting on the lid. Which is silly in most movies Chevy Chases- Man of the house, but here it makes her look as though if left on her own she would be dead in a matter of days. Owen Wilson plays Charlie a math teacher and single father just trying to get through life, being constantly reminded that he lost all the joy in his life after his divorce. And if I had to critic this element I would say it is “FINE” the dialogue between them is enjoyable enough to be passable for viewing. The unfortunate part is everything else. The cinematography and the choices they made in regard to the look and feel were deliberate in possibly the worst way. Kat Coiro has spent most of her directorial catalog in the realm of television, and this is something that is evident in this film. It feels like it deserves to be seen on Oxygen or ABC.  Quick cuts and many angles that look as though they are films from the perspective of cell phones. Unnecessary and overrated.

  There are many themes that I think distract from the plot of this movie. That is the modern concepts of wokeness. There was much intentionality in diversity of cast and character, which I have no problem with just to be clear. But the underlying theme of this woman being held back in the music industry and struggling in a male dominated industry was so overbearing I couldn’t get around it. Our lead is so popular and prominent that she gets whatever she wants even to the point of some random man being willing too legally marry her on stage. She wants for nothing except a man who will be wholly devoted to her. Then add to that, this character is played by one of the most prominent and powerful female artists of my lifetime. So even if it was a struggle to get to the top because CEO’s don’t want you there, you are there. In a position to create change for the future.

 So our desire too relate to this character doesn’t come from a very real place of being betrayed by those that we are supposed to trust but rather the “SYSTEM” and the “AGENDA” that is trying to hold you back from the things that you want. Even though I state again. You have everything you could ever want.

It’s time to ask the question. Do RomCom’s still work the way they did in 2001 (The Wedding Planner) or 2005 (Monster-in-Law). Back when all Matthew McConaughey had to do was take his shirt off as click bait in a trailer to get young people to flock to theaters. Let’s be honest, these movies were never intended to be something that was to have a lasting effect on their viewers. They were intended to have some semblance of relevancy to our lives. A dream. A love interest that doesn’t see you. And make you feel good as you walk out the theater thinking there is still a chance.

I would have to give MARRY ME a middling recommendation and a low expectation regarding return on investment. Even if that investment is simply your time. Or maybe just go back and watch Maid in Manhattan again.  


Independence Day and Independence Day: Resurgence


So a friend of mine asked me to pen my thoughts on a familiar classic called Independence Day starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, and Jeff Goldblum. This movie as well as its sequel were written and directed by Roland Emmerich, it was his original story. The first movie came out in 1996, it is rated PG-13 and has a 145 minute run time. This and so many movies like it in the mid to late ’90s are a special kind of movie. Their action is top-notch for their time, the caliber of actors they attracted were best in their class and the comedic timing is so on point and so on the nose that they can’t be taken too seriously. It cannot be denied that this movie is hilariously entertaining, and having not seen it, I wanted to watch the sequel and see if that magic in a bottle could be recreated. Independence Day: Resurgence came out in 2016 and is also rated PG-13 and it has a 120 minute run time. It has a cast of mixed faces, new characters and old favorites. The likes of whom are Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, Maika Monroe as well, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and Judd Hirsch reprise their respected roles. One of the main differences I noticed about this movie upfront before the viewing was that Roland Emmerich was not the only one to write this newer iteration, and it wasn’t just one or two, but five different writers, which is noticeable. So here is my review of not one but two Independence Day films. Do they hold up to our current day? Should they be remembered?

The first film takes place in 1996 and is the story of an alien invasion that intends on destroying the earth and everyone on it. It takes the actions of a ragtag group to save the human race from extinction. The second movie takes place 20 years after the first and is set in a world where since the aliens were defeated in the first movie and left technology behind on earth, mankind advanced quickly and united together as one people. But were unprepared for the return of those same aliens looking for revenge. These stories are basic, which is good for them. It leaves time for us to know more about the characters in them. One of which does a better job than the other.

 Let me quickly give a review for the first, then I’ll break down the second. I must admit that it has been quite a while since I have seen that first film. Probably over a year. Even though I revisit that speech every Fourth of July! “We will not go quietly into the night, we will” sorry I get distracted every time I think about it. As I shared off the top the mix of humor and action is in perfect balance in this movie, they seem to know right when to infuse character quirks and clever dialogue. It seems like all these actors are in some way just playing themselves in this movie which I think is awesome. The only thing that isn’t balanced as well, is the more dramatic moments that are less believable. But the chemistry between cast members makes up for those areas that lack emotion. I.E. the death of the president’s wife. I must say that watching it again this time I did not enjoy it as much as I have in the past. There are a lot of characters in this movie and it’s jumping around so much that we don’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked with some of the more interesting ones. It also makes the first half of the film drag some. There isn’t as much Will Smith in this as I thought I remembered. Maybe that’s because it was marketed as a Will Smith movie and the height of Will Smith entertainment. So the disparity because of lack of time is sad, but in turn that is why all the scenes where our characters are together interacting with each other are the best moments in the movie. A good example is Randy Quaid’s character, and for the first half of the movie I wished they would have just taken some of that out, it wasn’t until his interaction at the end that made that payoff worth the first half of the movie. Whereas almost the entire movie we had Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch together and their interactions propelled the story. All in all this was a fun movie to revisit and will always have a special place in my heart because of when it was released and growing up watching it. It is a perfect movie for its time, but not to be compared with movies that have come out in the last 10 years.

 Independence Day 2, on the other hand, is a completely different story, well that’s kind of a pun actually, this movie is a beat for beat retread of the first story. But anyways this movie picks up 20 years after the last. Literally taking place in 2016. It brings us old characters and new ones (the children of all our main characters). All of whom became important people in the new post alien invasion world. Our new characters are skin deep and some are carbon copies of characters who died in the previous film. There is a character in this movie that is supposed to be the reincarnated version of Harry Connick Jr.’s character in the first movie. Only he’s far more annoying than Harry was, and our returning cast of characters that we loved from the first, minus Will Smith because he was to busy to do this movie. Lets be honest he could smell how bad this script was before reading a page, not like that’s stopped him before though, After Earth.

Captain Steven Hiller’s son becomes an incredible pilot. President Whitmore’s daughter becomes a presidential aid and Jeff Goldblum becomes uninteresting. Something about this late 2000’s era of action films really substitute creativity for lazy writing thinking that it’s giving us new and cool ideas. I’m talking to you Jurassic World. All the new characters have nothing truly interesting to say and our old friends seemed to have regressed instead of lived lives between the last movie and this one, and if they had lived lives why do the writers choose not to tell us about it. A big question I have from this movie is about Margaret Colin’s character, where is she? Why has David completely moved on from her and interested in other women when in the first movie they go out of their way to express to us that she was the love of his life and he wanted no one else. Just seems outside of his character. And other than that we do not learn anything new about him. The most interesting people in this movie were Brent Spiner because they give us back story that we didn’t know in the previous movie and Liam Hemsworth, even though as I said, his character wasn’t given any depth. This screenplay thinks that all the viewers want to see is sci-fi action. Which was okay, but at the end of the day that is not enough to sustain an intriguing story. They opened up with the speech from the original movie, given by a man that we cared about, Bill Pullman. “We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore” sorry again. It’s such a good speech.

 This version follows the beats of the original movie which made it nothing but predictable. Unfortunately the speech given to us by William Fichtner who played someone with zero motivation in this movie, didn’t quite live up. Going back to the point I made off the top, having so many writers on the project it is obvious to see that this movie didn’t know what it wanted to be.

 So for the few small areas that Independence Day lacks in makes up for it in all other areas. Still an enjoyable action alien adventure that I will go back to. But its follow up I must say I will not. And unfortunately I paid money to watch it. It is just sad to think about how some of these more recent films are given to us on the premise that we might not be able to understand something deeper than the surface. I would still like to see interesting relate-able character growth even in these fantastical films. So yes REMEMBER THAT MOVIE, but if you can help it don’t waste your time on its lackluster follow-up.

As always thank you guys for reading. Please leave a comment, let me know what I left out. What is your favorite part of that first movie?

“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”  James 2:17-18

Rambo: Last Blood

Just a disclaimer of the top. This is not a review in a normal fashion that I’ve done it in the past. It’s more a dive into the story of Rambo and a breakdown of the most recent film. But SPOILERS for Rambo: Last Blood.

This movie is the final film in a five-movie franchise and after watching this newest installment it made me go back and think about and appreciate the original and its follow-ups. It made me remember why I liked the first movie so much and kept me connected to the series all this time. I guess, to be honest upfront I don’t remember two and three that much, I remember what the stories were and how they built on the character of John Rambo, but they are my least favorite to watch.

First blood (1982)

Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (1985)

Rambo 3 (1988)

Rambo (2008)

Rambo: Last Blood (2019)

Number one and number four for me showed us the most human side of the character, even if he was the size of a brick house in that 2008 movie. Haha, it is funny to see him get larger as the years go on. But while I watch those movies I buy-in that he is a man who attaches himself deeply to those that he cares about. First Blood especially is one that can bring me to tears by the end.

So going into this one I wasn’t sure what the approach would be, and after watching the trailer I’ll be honest it felt kind of like a money grab with a well-known property that people care about. Even though I believe that Sylvester Stallone wouldn’t do another one of these if he didn’t think that it did something new with the character and didn’t deviate from the type of person that he was. So let us get into it then. Rambo: Last Blood finds John Rambo living what seems to be a peaceful life on his farm that he returned to in the last movie. He is living with an old friend and her granddaughter that he cares for. They are a happy family, but after young Gabriela locates her father who abandoned her and her mother, she feels that she must go to Mexico to find him and confront him. Rambo tells her this is a bad idea and she goes anyway without their knowledge. Once she doesn’t return this leads Rambo on a mission south of the border.

The movie does its work early on to inform us that his days in the military still haunt him and its all he can do to keep these demons at bay. But he is not in the prime of his life anymore so that zeal that he once had is not so easy to come by anymore. He locates Gabriela who has been sold into sex slavery and makes an attempt to rescue her. Which doesn’t end well for him, he is beaten within an inch of his life and left for dead. At this point in the movie, it feels like Taken, not that that is a bad thing necessarily but the plot is very cookie cutter and predictable and if it were not for it being Stallone on screen I probably would have checked out. From here he goes home and recovers and prepares for another attempt at rescuing Gabriela, on that has a plan. Another thing to add here, this movie is brutal. Now if you’ve seen the fourth installment this will not surprise you. But it is a very graphic film, to its demise at times. Not that I cannot deal with a little blood. But Rambo killing a man, cutting his head off and dropping it out the window while driving away. That feels a little out of character for me.

On the second attempt, he threatens to kill many people and does kill many other people, but rescues Gabriela. In a twist, Gabriela dies of a heroin overdose on their way back to the ranch. This pushes John over the edge and he then leaves a message for the bad guys that it was him who stole her back and killed their friends, and since they kept his driver’s license after the beat him the first time we know that the climax of the film is going to take place on his turf, the family farm. From here we get a montage of Rambo setting up elaborate death traps throughout his farm and the tunnels underneath his property. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the tunnels earlier.

Let me pause here and comment on the tunnels, now this is a personal opinion, and feel free to disagree and tell me. But the coolest part of the movie we see at the very beginning. The tunnels were the one thing that I looked forward to the most. And its not a bad sequence him fighting the cartel in the tunnels but they gave a lot away right at the beginning of the film. I feel that it could have benefited the movie had we not seen them but known they were there. So this highly trained spec ops group of cartel drug lords come to his home and pick a fight with John Rambo. I think you know how it ends. In the same form and fashion as the last movie. He lets the demons out and kills a whole lot of people that the audience cares nothing about and enjoys watching him butcher them. The traps are very reminiscent of the once from First Blood but instead of just harming innocent police officers he is mutilating sex traffickers. And it ends with him ripping the main bad guy’s heart out literally and riding off into the sunset.

I enjoyed the movie as much as I could for what it was. It also reminded me of the first movie at times, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But at the end of the day, I don’t think that it added anything new to the character. It is in a lot of ways was just another opportunity to watch Rambo go be Rambo. It continued the plotline that no matter how hard this man tries he just can’t seem to get away from the fight and no matter how hard he tries trouble will always find him. But is it worth the time to watch it to retread the same story arch? I would honestly say no. Go back and watch the first movie, go back and watch John struggle with the man that he is, the weapon that they made him into. Watch the pain in his eyes when he has no choice but to fight back. Sylvester Stallone is a really good actor in the right roles and intriguing to watch on screen. But there are better movies that show us his potential, examples of this are even the newest movies where he reprises his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed one and two. Thank you for reading my rant about this movie. It wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad either I would say that if you are looking for something new that was released recently this will meet the need. Remember That Movie if that is the case, but also remember the ones that came before it to make it possible.

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man comes to us from Blumhouse Production Company. The story and vision are from Leigh Whannell, who has brought us the likes of Saw, Upgrade and the Insidious franchise. When it comes to horror movies this man has great direction. We have Elisabeth Moss as the main character Cecilia Kass and opposite her is Oliver Jackson-Cohen as the invisible man himself Adrian Griffin. Along with the two of them, there is Harriet Dyer, Aldis Hodge, and Michael Dorman. This cast is superb and knows exactly what they are doing to bring this story to life. Elisabeth Moss is incredible as she stars as the character that we follow throughout the film. This movie is classified as a horror sci-fi, has a 124 minute run time and is rated R for strong bloody violence and language.
The story follows a young woman as she tries to get out of an abusive relationship and away from her overprotective, controlling boyfriend. After his untimely passing, she begins to become haunted by a ghost of his former self, but we later find out that it might not be what it seems. She chances down what she thinks is this invisible man while everyone around believes she is going mad.

This movie is tense from the opening scene as she sneaks out of his house in fear for her life. Elisabeth Moss does a phenomenal job as this character that is both terrified of her current situation while battling signs of PTSD. She goes above and beyond in her role and we are all the better because of it, at the same time every other character feels so real in their respective roles. This world feels lived in. It was intriguing to watch a movie about the invisible man and he is not the main character with a story arc. I know I mentioned it in my podcast but I want to bring it up here as well. When I thought about a movie about the invisible man my mind went straight to 2000 Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon. This is not that, and honestly, we can forget about that movie. This is the movie about this story we’ve been waiting for. The cinematography is impeccable in every scene. The lighting conveys the tone of the movie perfectly. They shot the scenes in a way that make you think that this man could always be in the room. Any shot that is of an empty hallway or just the front yard makes you wonder if he is watching her, and in some ways watching you, and when they do reveal that he IS in the scene it is done tastefully. By tastefully I mean that it isn’t done in a cheap run of the mill’s horror movie way. One of the main reasons I do not like horror movies is that in my opinion there are times that they sacrifice story substance for a quick scare, but movies like this earn the times that it reveals our antagonist in some simple yet frightening ways. Some of which are truly terrifying. In one scene Celcilia is outside and you see her breath, then behind her, you see breath. I think that shot was in the trailer, but it was so subtle and not trying too hard that it worked well. I don’t want to reveal all the jump scares though.

I appreciated how they modernized the story that seemed relevant. This movie is very creative and original. To explain a little, instead of a potion that someone drinks to turn him invisible, it is simply a tech genius that creates a suit that allows him to become invisible with the use of many micro cameras. Not unlike the tech Mysterio used in Spiderman Far from Home if I’m being honest. It works perfectly for the plot.

Now let me comment on one aspect that I didn’t enjoy. And not that it took me out of the movie or ruined it for me. Just that I would have liked to see something else happen. But what do I know I am not a filmmaker. The movie ends with Celcilia getting revenge on the man who killed her loved ones and tormented her life. It isn’t the plot point that she kills him that bothers me, more how she handled it. The movie ends with her killing him, making it look like he committed suicide, but the part that I didn’t enjoy was the enjoyment she got from it. It went beyond a simple sigh of relief that her abuser was dead and she really seemed like she enjoyed killing him. Not to mention she left with an invisible suit. Making it seem to me like if there were ever a sequel she would be the one tormenting and killing someone else. It just seemed out of character to the person we had watched the whole movie.
It is rated R as I stated up top, obviously this is not a movie for the whole family. But even though it is rated R for bloody violence and language, it is not as bloody as I thought it would be and there isn’t as much language as I expected. This movie is rather clean which is a pleasant surprise. There are scenes where throats are cut and people are shot but they are not as frequent as one would expect in a movie like this, and as far as the language goes it uses some of the more abrasive language in alignment with films of this nature but again less frequent than I expected. There is also a scene with the main character in the shower but it is not used disrespectfully and moves on rather quickly. Scenes like this are still heavily debatable on whether they are needed or not but I digress.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this and it was well worth the renting price they were asking. I wish I had an opportunity to see this movie in theaters. Should you sit down with your significant other in a dark room and watch this movie? I say not only do that but REMEMBER THIS MOVIE. I even suggest movie your couch out a little bit so there is a path behind you just to add an extra layer of fear if there is someone behind you.

Thank you all for reading my review and please leave a comment on what you thought about this movie.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I Still Believe

I Still Believe is the true story of the marriage of Jeremy and Melissa Camp and the life they lived together. It was released in theater in march of 2020, but due to the recent events and the theaters shutting down this is one of the movies released early on streaming. You can find it to rent on most streaming platforms that rent movies (not Netflix).

 I need to admit something right up front on this review. Before viewing this movie I firmly held the perspective that I do not care for musician biopics about people who are still alive and have a large say in how the story is told. I personally prefer stories told from the perspective of people who were impacted by others who have come before. I’m specifically thinking about movies like 2019s Rocketman about Elton John. These type of films seem like an ego ride for the individual the movie was about. I shared this opinion with christian films as well like 2018s I Can Only Imagine, which isn’t a bad movie. And although I know it was made for a different purpose I couldn’t separate it for some reason. But I have to say that after watching this, I have changed my thinking on the subject. When looking at the way Christians go out and find new ways to share their testimonies and impact people I realized this is another way to do that, on an even larger scale. So I apologize to I Can Only Imagine (I know my opinion doesn’t matter that much). It is about the message the story is telling, not about the individual behind the story. On the contrast with a movie like that of Rocketman which is purely self-indulgent. It’s about spreading the message of Christ through film, quite well I might add.

 I Still Believe is about how Jeremy Camp met and fell in love with his wife Melissa Henning. It goes through their lives together dealing with sickness and loss while trusting in God, even in the hardest of times. I know its probably a pretty common story to those who know Jeremy Camps story, but for those who don’t know, I’m not going to go into to much detail with the plot, I do not want to spoil it for anyone. Go watch the Film. It was directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin, and the screenplay was written by Jon Gunn who is best known for his work on The Case For Christ and Do you Believe. The cast is comprised of Melissa Roxburgh, Shania Twain, Gary Sinise, KJ Apa and Britt Robertson as Jeremy and Melissa. Everyone does a really good job and portrays these people really well. Gary Sinise for the smaller role that he plays really shines, his acting chops are superb especially when you look at his filmography. KJ Apa as well does great, he’s from New Zealand by the way, and Britt Robertson is outstanding. She steals the screen time and tugs on your heartstrings.

 This is an emotional movie, the content is extreme. Which makes the outcome all the more encouraging and overwhelming. God’s ability to take so much pain and at times anger and turn it into a blessing is so convicting to watch. It also gives us all a view into their lives and lets us in a small way, know this woman and who she was and the God she loved.

 It was beautifully shot and filmed on incredible locations. The beaches and the mountains. The bedrooms and hospital rooms. The overall look of the movie was truly a spectacle to watch. As far as content goes it is rated PG and their is no questionable content to worry about in regards to small children. The hardest part is the dramatic material the film covers in terms of sickness and death.

 You can just tell watching this movie that everyone involved knew exactly the story they wanted to tell.

They didn’t try to add to many factors or conveys to many messages. From beginning to end they were in control and its all the better because of it. My one critique, especially having grown up listening to Jeremy Camp, KJ Apa for as good as a performance he gives doesn’t sound like Jeremy Camp while he was singing. But that is all personal and doesn’t effect the movie in any way.

 So. Should you watch this movie? Should you pay the $19.99 to rent this movie? Yes rent it, support it. These are the types of movies we should be promoting, and since it can not go into theaters (where the majority of movies make most of their money) we need to show as much monetary support as possible. You would have spent that much and more with concessions to see it in theaters. Watch it and REMEMBER THAT MOVIE!

Thank you all for subscribing and reading my reviews of these movies. My wife and I have also started a podcast called REMEMBER THAT MOVIE and can be found wherever you listen to podcasts.   

Philippians 3:14

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”

God’s not Dead

God’s not dead came out in March of 2014. It is brought to us by Pureflix Production and was written by Hunter Dennis, Chuck Konzelman and Carey Solomon, and watching this movie you can see the collaboration behind it. Directed by Harold Cronk who brought us God’s not Dead 2 and God bless the Broken Road, provides the vision of the story and presents it in a clear and concise way that is a stable for the movies he has made. Especially considering the budget restraints that these lower tier christian films work with, it is very impressive. This film was made for a little over two million dollars, which may seem like a lot by most standards! but in the movie industry this isn’t much at all. Looking at a films overall gross is a good way to tell the popularity of a film, God’s not Dead made over nine million dollars on opening weekend and a gross worldwide of 64 million dollars. So at the end of the day this movie did okay for itself. Rightfully so, I cannot say enough about how well made this movie is, and how well it still holds up today six years later. It stars Kevin Sorbo, Dean Cain and David A.R. White.

 The story revolves around a young man, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) arriving at college. From the beginning he is faced with a dilemma of publicly pronouncing his Biblical worldview and his faith in Christ, in the form of his philosophy professor played by Kevin Sorbo. He is forced to choose between saying that God is dead so that the class can move forward with real, human philosophy without dealing with the weak idea that God is the reason for why we live our lives, or choosing the position that says he cannot deny God. He is forced to go into a debate with the professor over the existence and belief of God. The main character sees his life change in ways that he never thought it would, do to the decision he makes. There are also numerous side plots that revolve around the idea of whether God is important and central or a fools belief. There is a pastor struggling with being faithful to the mission God called him to and a young Muslim woman finding Christ and dealing with the familial fallout from that decision. All of which culminate in a tense and heartwarming ending.

Kevin Sorbo does a really good job playing, Professor Radisson, the movies main antagonist; and gives one of the best performances of any in the film. That’s not really fair considering his experience over a lot of the other cast members but looking at it objectively from a film perspective this is one area where the movie lacks. Not bashing anyone. Its just obvious at times when Kevin Sorbo, Dean Cain and some are acting opposite younger talent, it stands out at times. None the less, everyone conveys the message their characters were created so believably, any small acting issues that my inexperienced mind finds are truly inconsequentially. The story is a powerful one to anyone open to the points being made whether a believer or not.

This description is brief, there is a lot going on in this movie. Again, all of which the film maker handles really well. The score, as well as the actual music are utilized greatly to drive home the emotions of the scenes. And the dialogue, for the most part is realistic and not cheesy (like some christian movies have a tendency to be). one of the only issues I had with the movie, and not really an issue but just took me out of it a little. Being a christian movie, using film to convey a certain message (No different than any movie by the way!) the lens in which they painted the non-believers, people who are not Christians, is one that is specific and dare I say, extreme. Very cynical. One thought that kept coming back to me was that not all non-Christians are that cynical and overt. I understand that the movie has a limited amount of time to complete that story. So they need their characters to do certain things that will progress that story. But watching it this time it was something that stood out more than any other viewing. To be clear it does not take away from the moral of the movie or alter the points that the movie makes, nor is it disrespectful towards any group of people. I think my problem is just more the writing and what they had those characters say, that seemed out of place.  

All that being said, I am personally a Christian, movie lover. So I was gripped by the story and what it was trying to say. I also love movies that create an environment where discourse can be had. I would love to talk to anyone about the underlying themes of this movie. Movies like Prisoners (Huge Jackman) or Million Dollar Baby (Hillary Shwank) are some that come to mind regarding discussion starters. Maybe I’ll do these movies someday soon.

God’s Not Dead, Remember that movie! It’s encouraging and challenging all at the same time. It will leave you asking, “Where do I stand on the questions posed?”

James 1:12

 “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The Way Back

The Way Back stars Ben Affleck as a man battling alcoholism and a failing marriage. In an attempt to straighten up he is asked to coach a high school basketball team because of his talents while in high school himself.

 It was released on March 6, 2020 and has a roughly One hour and Fifty minute run time. It comes from the visionary direction of Gavin O’Connor who directed the likes of The Accountant (2011)(also starring Ben Affleck) and Warrior (2016). Both of which are very good movies. Ben Affleck gives one of his most compelling acting performances of his career while he is supported by a cast of talented actors and actresses most of which are not mainstream, at least at this point in there careers. Most of the cast do a lot of work on TV. Which could change after this comes out. Nothing against TV, I just don’t watch many shows on television. Janina Gavankar plays Affleck’s wife who does an incredible job, she is most known for her TV work.


 Jack Cunningham had amazing talent in high school basketball. But after turning down scholarships and having his life spiral out of control through drugs and alcohol. We find Jack, middle aged and battling with an alcohol addiction. Learning about his life and marital problems we watch him as he is falling apart, only to be turned around by his priest offering him a position to coach the basketball team at the high school he used to attend, in the sport he used to dominate. It works well until old old wounds, the death of his son primarily, works their way back into his life challenging the decisions he makes and where he will go from there.

 To say that Ben goes above and beyond in this role is an understatement. I think its common knowledge at this point that Ben Affleck has had some extreme battles of his own with alcohol, and it comes through in his performance. I don’t know what it is. But there is something about him that is so down to earth. He conveys the every man’s man. I buy him as this guy. Where with some other actors, Matt Damon to name one, sorry Matt, its harder for me to disconnect. The whole time I watched The Martian I couldn’t help but think that’s Matt Damon. But a really compelling aspect of this movie is that everyone feels real. I appreciate as well, that its not about the time or place in which the movie takes place. It was probably half way through that it occurred to me I didn’t know where we were in the country. As well the characters didn’t necessarily give off one distinct area demographic. Any of those details could have been changed and it wouldn’t have effected the main characters in any way.

 All the actors do a good job with the roles they are given. The chemistry between Ben and Jenina is very convincing as they play a couple who are dealing with loss. The boys who make up the basketball team are good, but are definitively the weakest part of the film. Aside from one or two boys, specifically Brandon Wilson and Melvin Gregg, the others are more cookie cutter characters from any sports related movie. It doesn’t take away from the movie just an simple analysis.

 To comment on one other thing, is this a sports movie or a character drama? To be fair IMDB lists it as a sports drama. But this isn’t Glory Road or Remember The Titans. Watching Jack Cunningham wake up and the first thing he does is take a drink. The last thing he does before passing out is drunkenly walk home from the bar aided by an old friend. It isn’t easy to watch, every sip is painful to see. But it makes the ending all the more rewarding, even if what we get at the end isn’t what we expected. Not necessarily in a bad way. This is a drama, the sports scenes more often than not cut away from the action to focus on our character. I can’t say it enough though, everything done is in the best way possibly. I just think the marketing was a little misleading.

 To give a content advisory, this movie is rated R for language throughout including sexual references. It is full of language. Almost every scene contains explicit language. The main character deals with anger and is constantly unable to watch his mouth even as the Catholic priest that travels with the team is giving him the stink eye.

 To end on a positive note, if you can look past the pervasive language, this is an extremely well made movie, with outstanding acting from our main characters. Ben Affleck is in a league of his own when compared to some of his other performances in the past. Boy he seems to get better with age. And the redemptive message that permeates the film is one that warms the heart to its core.

 At the end of the day I say Remember that Movie! The story of this man struggling with life is relateable, even if you aren’t dealing with the same battle that our character Jack Cunningham is. But his story will bring tears to your eyes.