Monday, September 27, 2010

The Least Among You (DVD)

Sorry, this movie was just not entertaining.  I'll admit, I had never even heard of the Watts riots before watching this movie, but I always am intrigued by movies "based on a true story."  This one stars a young man named Richard Kelly, who is facing prison time for his alleged part in these riots unless he accepts the plea bargain and enters the local seminary for one year.  Much to his mother's pleasure, he accepts the conditions, but is soon entrenched in fierce racial tensions within this school of which he is the lone black student among an entirely white campus.  Keeping his legal troubles a secret, he becomes a crusader.  The story continues to follow Richard's struggle both in the school and within his own heart as he sorts out his painful past.

I really thought the storyline had potential, however, the plot starts to get sort of hard to follow many times and characters are not developed as well as they should have been.  When you get to the pivotal point in the movie, it is confusing to pinpoint exactly what Richard is fighting for.  Add to this the fact that the movie is intense, with virtually no moments of comic relief.
As far as it being a Christian movie, it is worth mentioning that the seminary was not exactly exemplary (racist students/faculty, teacher states that Bible stories are not to be taken literally, corrupt/dishonest seminary leadership), but I think that was kind of part of the whole conflict.  Also, the message of the Gospel is presented in certain spots, but it is by no means an evangelistic movie.  It may have been clean, but of course this is not a movie for small children.
I will say, I thought the acting was very good, but still I would give it only 2 out of 5 stars.  I received a free copy of this DVD from the Booksneeze program for bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ted Dekker T-shirt Giveaway

To promote the release of Ted Dekker's newest book, Immanuel's Veins, Thomas Nelson gave me a free T-shirt to go with a review copy of the book.  Additionally, they will provide a T-shirt to one winner on this blog.  To enter, just leave a comment below stating what you thought about Ted Dekker's newest book or what you have thought about previous books he has written.  If you have never read anything by him- that's ok - just tell us your favorite Christian fiction author.  Be sure to leave your name and email address so I can contact one randomly selected winner!  Entries will be accepted until midnight (EST) on Friday, September 24th.  Thanks!

Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

Dekker’s newest work carried with it a powerful message, and contained graphic truth about the spiritual battle being waged in this world for the souls of men. His portrayal of the seductive power of evil was moving and intense.  I had a hard time putting the book down while reading; the story just grabs you and intensifies your desire to get to the ending and see how it concludes. My only critique would be that while Dekker does not include anything inappropriate, he does walk a fine line in some areas. However, as mentioned, there is nothing explicit or graphic, and Dekker does an excellent job, as usual. I would give Immanuel’s Veins 5 out of 5 stars.  I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

I found the first work in Lawhead’s new trilogy to be exciting and well written, and would highly recommend it to the avid reader. The only noticeable weaknesses were the sometimes snail’s pace of the actual storyline, and the way in which the reader feels “let down” at the end of the story. In most trilogies or sets, the reader has at least a few loose ends tied up, and the story reaches an almost temporary conclusion at the end of each volume, all the while building up to the grand finale. This work has the feeling of one that was written in its entirety, then chopped into three pieces at equal points. That being said, I had a hard time putting it down, and am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.