Facing the Giants: GO SEE IT!

Okay, okay, I'll admit it here and now:

I'm not much of a "movie" person. I have to really, really be interested in the "subject matter" or one of my absolute favorite actors has to be starring in it. I've never been diagnozed as ADHD--but that can be a very good "cop out" for me, if I don't want to sit through two hours of something or another on the big screen.

But Facing the Giants was well the time..and the effort. The website www.facingthegiants.com will give you all details about this terrific film.

I can't remember when I've seen a clearer presentation of the power of Jesus Christ than what I saw in this movie.

My good buddy Larry Ohannes and I drove more than 60 miles (round trip) out to the "burbs" just to see this movie. I'm glad we did.

None of the cast were "big name" actors per se, but the story they told was riveting and inspiring. It made me rejoice more than once.

Strengths of the movie:

Great presentation of the gospel. Great reminder of what "life" used to look like. The rural Georgia setting (and all the Southern accents) were amusing.

Alot of humor that was used well in this film. I laughed out loud more than once.

Weaknesses of the movie:

It was a "low budget" film. I read somewhere the budget was less than $250K. I'm not surprised...and the producers should have spent alot more on the film. No need to present the "gospel" in a cheap fashion. The world will notice that--and we believers should too.

"All well that ends well"--and that's not always the fact in real life. While the leading character (Coach Grant Taylor) got everything he wanted--after a battle in his mind and soul--real life doesn't always play out that way. Sometimes God does leave the "question marks" in place in our life. That's when we have to trust Him the most--even if the "?" never goes away.

I would encourage folks to see this film.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,
I saw your post about "Giants" on Actscellerate and enjoyed your review here. I agree with your observations, both favorable and critical. I also posted a couple of comments on Actscellerate before the film opend, encouraging church folks to go see the film. Your comment about the producers needing to spend more money on the production of the project so as not to "represent the Gospel in a cheap way" is a valid point. Having spent dozens of hours in post production of this film with the writer/producer/director/lead character Alex Kendricks, I think I could safely say that he would agree with you. However, the way this thing came to be in theaters at all, precluded the possibility of removing the "amature" look and feel of this film. And, in my opinion the whole process was somewhat of a miracle in itself. The local church raised the $80K to hire in the professional cinematographers and gear to shoot the film. All of the "tallent" were local voulenteer church folk. ( my daughter is one of the cheerleaders and the lead characters wife, who is is the secretary at the AG church we attend, is seen wearing a bunch of my wife's clothes in the film ) Totally lo budget/no budget!!! The movie was edited completely on a Macintosh G5 computer in the office at the church using "Finall Cut Pro software! I did all of the audio mixing in a project recording studio over my garage. The film's cheap look was "finished" before Sony even looked at it. Alex really wanted to use a song by the Christian group "Third Day" in the film, so he contacted Provident Music in Nashville which is owned by Sony entertainment, to get permission. They wanted $30K for the rights to use the song in the film and said they would have to preview the film first. ( a brush off... but probably a good idea ). Alex sent them a DVD of the almost finished version we had been working on, and the presidient promptly tossed it aside to deal with more pressing issues. When the head of Sony entertainment from New York called him a few days later to tell him that they wanted Provident to get into the Christian film market, he balked, not knowing much about film, being a music guy. Sony persisted. Alex calles Provident a week later to follow up on the song usage, and the President begrudginly tells his secretary to set aside 10 minutes at lunch to "screen" the film. Two hours later he is booking a flight to Albany to talk to Alex about buying the movie for distribution. He felt that strongly about the film. They agreed to distribute the film in a 400 theater national opening. Sony did do some post production on the film such as color correction, dialog cleanup and general audio enhancement, that helped the look and sound a lot. I understand that it was 12th in opening weekend tickets sold, openning against other films that opend on 4000 screens! Wow.
When Alex started shooting the film 3 years ago I think he thought it might have a shot at limited regional DVD release, like the first project ( Flywheel) he did 5 years ago. He was stunned when Sony expressed an interest in buying it. Had Sony financed the project from the start, I am sure it would look a lot more "polished", but might have lost some of it's folksy charm.
Thanks for encouraging others to see it and for taking the time to mention it on your blog.
Nathan Lawson