MOVIES: 5 good DVD movies that edify
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- Every so often I find a film that not only entertains but also enlightens. Occasionally one comes along that even contains biblical precepts (not so often).
Here are a few new-to-DVD movies I hope you'll find engaging and edifying.
-- "The Geneses Code." Kerry Wells (Kelsey Sanders), a college journalist and committed Christian, has been assigned to do a story on Blake Truman (Logan Bartholomew), the school's popular hockey superstar. As a relationship between them begins, Kerry finds that Blake is struggling through a difficult personal crisis, but he rebuffs her suggestion that prayer might ease his burden. Blake is convinced that modern science disproves the Bible, especially the opening verses of Genesis.
What's really fascinating about this production is the presentation of a theory that mixes both science and the creation together. This is a film every student should see. Just don't plan on seeing it at your local public school.
From American Epic Entertainment, "The Geneses Code" is rated PG. I found nothing objectionable.
-- "Escape." Doctors Paul and Kim Jordan are struggling to find peace in their lives after the tragic loss of their baby. Paul (C. Thomas Howell from 'The Outsiders,' 'The Amazing Spider Man,' 'ET') convinces Kim that they need to escape reality by flying off to the beautiful and mystic islands of Southeast Asia. But Paradise becomes a nightmare when Paul is kidnapped by human traffickers in need of a skilled surgeon.
Paul finds himself captive alongside the wealthy Malcolm Andrews (John Rhys-Davies from 'Indiana Jones,' 'Lord of the Rings'), and the two men bond as they attempt to escape their abductors.
Aided by strong performances by Howell and John Rhys-Davies, plus the exotic locales, this is an exciting, well-produced film. Not rated, there are several action sequences that also include some violence, including shootings and a stabbing. Like I said, it's an actioneer. But the makers of "Escape" have managed to blend their spiritual message into an exciting action drama. We get caught up in the writer's substantive script and the director's lively pacing, and find ourselves moved by the film's reality –- we do need Christ in our daily lives.
"Escape" is available from Pure Flix Entertainment.
-- "Monumental." Discouraged by the disregard for biblical principles in today's culture, Kirk Cameron produced this 90-minute look at the lives of the Pilgrims. It presents documented information seldom taught in today's schools about their sacrifices and how the Mayflower settlers structured the basis of our government, which included a reverence for God and a dependence upon their Creator.
This is another DVD every home and church library should contain. It can be viewed often. And should be.
It is rated PG, and I found nothing objectionable.
-- "October Baby" is a life-affirming drama about a 19-year-old woman whose life is upended when she learns she is adopted and the survivor of a failed abortion. Played by feature film newcomer Rachel Hendrix, Hannah sets out with her best friend to find her real mother and discover why she wasn't wanted. The story deals with forgiveness and the subject of abortion.
This is a powerful parable about healing, one that tenderly reveals the psychological aftermath created by abortion. It doesn't preach, nor does it accuse, it merely makes a valid point that should be considered.
Perhaps the most effective aspect of the production is how gently Christian teaching is intertwined within the narrative. As with the "Pay it Forward" philosophy, which suggests the need to pass on good deeds in order to turn our world from selfish narcissism to one dominated by kindness, the intent here is to propose the need for forgiving others in order to find true peace within.
Released on DVD and Blu-ray by Samuel Goldwin Films, the "October Baby" disc has several bonus features, including a commentary track. It's rated PG-13 for mature subject matter, but I caught no objectionable language or crudity.
An exception to the rule
"For Greater Glory" is rated R. Though I generally steer clear of that rating category when recommending a DVD, occasionally a film's spiritual profundity outweighs its objectionable content. Read on and you'll see why I was moved by this film.
An epic chronicle of the Cristeros War (1926-1929), which was touched off by a rebellion against the Mexican government's attempt to secularize the country, "For Greater Glory" concerns an impassioned group of men and women who each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country. A compelling, thoughtful homage to religious freedom, this action adventure has style and heart, and forthrightly depicts the need for faith. It stars Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria and Peter O'Toole.
It contains no objectionable language or exploitive sexual scenes. And although the violence (the reason for the rating) is sometimes difficult to view, especially when seen inflicted upon a child, here the brutality serves to stir our hearts and fortify the film's narrative. It's a motion picture that reminds us that a person's life is fulfilled only when he is willing to stand for a greater glory. For content details, visit http://www.previewonline.org/rev.php3?3782
Phil Boatwright is celebrating 25 years of writing about Hollywood from a Christian perspective. In addition to writing for Baptist Press, he reviews films for http://www.previewonline.org/. He is also a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In it," a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).