Risen (Pure Flix)

Risen tells the story of a Roman guard who is tasked with finding the body of Jesus after the Resurrection. His search leads him on a journey of self-discovery, and he begins questioning everything he has ever believed.

Risen stars Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, and Peter Firth. While well-acted, the plot moves slowly. One of the beginning scene of the Crucifixion may be disturbing for some viewers.

Running the Bases (PureFlix, Amazon, VUDU, iTunes)

Baseball was their dream. Until that dream is crushed by an untimely death and the diagnosis of a potentially fatal health condition. Now, with no plans and apparently no future, Luke feels lost until he modifies his dream. He may no longer be able to play baseball, but there is nothing stopping him from coaching it.

As a coach, Luke focuses on developing the whole person, not just their baseball skills, holding his team to high standards both on and off the field. His reputation as a coach lands him a job offer at a large, public school. Luke and his family make the decision to move and accept what they believe to be a God-given opportunity.

However, it is not long before this God-given opportunity turns into a nightmare as Luke’s values and methods are challenged by the school superintendent whose focus is on winning and not on building men of character. There is an underlying reason for the superintendent’s behavior, but that will be revealed in the course of the movie.

This movie is worth the watch, and I don’t say that about many Christina movies. The story has humor and heart; it has plot and character. Yes, there are Christian references, but they are believable (they come up naturally in the story). At no point in time do you feel like you are being preached at. This is by far one of the best Christian movies I’ve ever seen. Definitely worth the watch! I will be adding it to my “Favorites.”

Running the Bases is also available on VUDU, Amazon Prime, and iTunes.

The Lost City

The Lost City starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, and Daniel Radcliffe is a fun, lighthearted romantic adventure comedy.

A disillusioned romance novelist (Bullock) shocks readers with the announcement she plans to kill off the heartthrob (Tatum) in her novels. After hurriedly leaving the book tour, she is kidnapped by a wealthy business man (Radcliffe) intent on finding the Crown of Fire buried in a tomb on an isolated island. What occurs next is a humorous, Indiana Jones type adventure as Bullock’s writing team does their best to rescue her.

The Lost City is rated PG-13. There is one scene with partial male nudity (backside) that the movie could have done without. But overall, the movie is an enjoyable, relatively clean comedy for those looking for a temporary escape from reality.

The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (PureFlix)

The Girl Who Believes in Miracles is a surprisingly well written and well-acted Christian film. A young girl with the faith of a mustard seed discovers that she has been granted the ability to cure people. This tests the faith of her parents and certain people in the village. Unfortunately, her new found abilities come with a price; in one of her visions, she is told she will be going to heaven soon – a revelation her parents are unwilling to accept.

P.S. I also want to note that while the message of faith permeates the movie, this movie was surprisingly not “preachy”. The aspects of faith were addressed in ways that felt natural and appropriate and didn’t interrupt the storyline. This is one of the few Christian movies I’ve actually enjoyed.

Going Postal

Going Postal is a mini-series (two episodes) based off of Terry Pratchett’s book by the same name. The movie follows Moist Von Lipwig, an unscrupulous con man, who is given a second chance at life. All he has to do is revive the post office. Simple as it may sound, the post office is threatened by the notorious owner of the Clacks – Reacher Gilt – who will stop at nothing to see his competition annihilated.

Prior to watching Going Postal, I had never heard of Terry Pratchett. While the movie itself is strange, the story line is unique and intriguing. I was incredibly impressed with the caliber of acting and the quality of the dialogue/plot. Most movies these days rely more heavily on action scenes and less so on developing a solid story line. I think that is one of the reasons I enjoyed Going Postal so much; it had a plot.

If you can get past the initial oddity of the movie (especially the first 10-ish minutes), you will find a well-acted, well crafted, and entertaining story.

This is definitely getting added to my “Favorites” list.