Revival: The Gospel Of Soul (movie review)

 

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Revival: The Gospel Of Soul
Director: Danny Green
Writers: Harry Lennix and Holly Carter
Starring: Mali Music, Dawnn Lewis, Roland Buck III, Anthony Azizi, Paula Newsome, Chaka Khan, T’Keyah Crystal Keymah, Wend Raquel Robinson, Harry Lennix, Michelle Williams
Theater release: December 2018
DVD release: TriCoast Entertainment will release REVIVAL onto various digital & DVD platforms March 3 (Amazon, iTunes, FLIXFLING, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, FANDANGO, Google Play), Walmart, Target and Best Buy. **For more information, please visit: https://revivalthemovie.com/

I was given the opportunity to review the movie  Revival right before the release to DVD. This movie was originally released through the theaters in December 2018, though I have never heard of it until now.

It is the work of Harry Lennix, who has been an actor since 1989 in many different movies and television shows.

Harry Lennix himself

Harry Lennix

Revival is a musical retelling of the gospel story of Jesus. The format of the movie is very different from any movie I have seen in the past. It is partially done on stage and primarily done on locations or with CGI graphics.

Without giving the entire story away, Harry Lennix as Pontius Pilate comes out on a stage talking about meeting someone who will change your life. He says that with meeting this person you will have a revival.

Harry LennixHarry Lennix as Pontius Pilate

Most of this story is seen as flashbacks as told through the eyes of the two walking on the road to Emmaus talking to Jesus. It flashes to scenes of the life of Jesus doing various acts that are recorded in the Bible. It does show the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in the end. I really enjoyed this connection in the story as seen as a testimony of who Jesus was and is.

While the story does stay true to the gospels for the most part, there are some deviations. One is that the person who appeared in the movie to be the head priest, either Sadducee or Pharisee was a woman. The name of the character is Reba, played by T’Keyah Crystal Keymah. In ancient Jewish culture this would never have been allowed.

T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh

T’Keyah Crystal Keymah as Reba

Another is that the disciples use about three to four curse words in their speaking in one scene. It is the only cursing in the entire movie. It is a scene where the disciples are discussing whether Jesus is the real thing or not and whether they will continue to follow Him or not. The arguments that they had may or may not have occurred and the language may or may not have occurred, but I do not feel it needed to be in the movie. It did not add to the story line anything of value.

The other scene that appeared to deviate some was when Jesus was being tempted by the devil. The devil appears as a woman trying to seduce Him to bow down to him/her. Again this does take some liberty as the bible does not portray the devil as a woman in any spot.

The cast in this movie is a list of many accomplished singers who also do an excellent job at acting. It does include a diverse group of actors of various nationalities, although the majority may have been of African-American descent. Jesus, played by Mali Music, does an excellent job. The music is wonderful and the songs go along with the story line and do not detract from the story.

Mali Music

Mali Music as Jesus

The costumes of the story were very interesting. In most scenes Jesus and the disciples were dressed in traditional ancient Jewish clothing of robes. However, there are several scenes in which they are dressed in modern clothes, including suits and ties. There does not appear to be any rhyme or reason for the change in clothing, while the setting is still in ancient Israel. There is also one scene with the disciples that they are in modern clothing, sitting around a modern table, with a modern building next to them.

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There are a couple of scenes in which woman are portrayed as scantily dressed, although not revealing anything directly vulgar. It does a great job at portraying what those women may have been like in real life.

One thing that did amaze me was the seamless use of CGI graphics and live video. Most of the movie appeared real. The only scene that was fake looking was the scene of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. It is seen on a stage with people holding blue sheets waving them like waves upon the water. This was definitely a stage scene and not a live, real scene. I think that this could have been done better, though it did show what was occurring.

Chaka

Chaka Khan as Herodius

Probably the best point of this movie is that meeting Jesus will cause a revival. He will change the lives of everyone who comes in contact with Him.

Although I cannot highly recommend this movie, I do recommend it. It is not the best telling of the gospel of Jesus, but it is a long ways from the worst that I have seen. If you get the opportunity to see this movie, do so. It will help open your eyes in a new way to what may have occurred in the scenes in the Bible. However, do be aware there is some language and sensual scenes.

(disclaimer: all pictures used are used with permission)

Harriet (movie review)

Harriet movie poster

Movie: Harriet
Opening: November 2019
Rating: PG

The movie ‘Harriet‘ is a movie about the life and work of Harriet Tubman. She was a black lady who was raised as a slave in the early to mid-1800’s. She was injured by an accident and was unable to be reliable help on the plantation where she was a slave. As a result, the slave owner chose to sell and remove her from her husband. Instead of being allowed to be sold, she chose to run away to freedom.

After successfully escaping by traveling on foot for about 90 miles, she chose to go back and rescue her family. No one would support her, but she put her trust in God to give her strength and favor. Over time she had been credited for going back multiple times and rescuing about 100 people from slavery.

The movie does show some of the violence against slavery. It makes it very clear the dangers of a slave running away. There is some violence in the movie, but not extreme and no extreme graphics are shown. One thing that I caution on is that there is some foul language in this film and a lot of language used against the black people, showing the prejudices of the people.

One thing that I found great in the movie was showing how Harriet had trusted in God. She would be traveling with some escaped slaves in the wild, planning to head a certain direction. Suddenly she would get dizzy and have a vision from God as to what to do. She often felt God turn her to a new direction. She would go that way, though often it did not make sense at the moment. In the process of doing that she had avoided getting caught many times.

For me this was a challenge in my belief and trust in God. As a believer, we are to fully trust God’s leading at all times. He said that He would never leave us and that His Holy Spirit would always be there to guide us on our path in this life.

Every believer needs to keep his heart open to hearing from God and obeying His every command. It may not always make sense as to why God has us move the direction He has us move, but we can know that it is for our best interests. This movie has challenged me to learn to step out in faith and trust God’s leading more in my life.

I do recommend this movie, but with caution. There is the language and his movie is not suitable for younger children. It is a great movie for middle school and up children and can lead to great discussions about slavery and following God.

May your trust in God increase as you walk with Him.

Breakthrough (movie review)

Breakthrough movie

I have chosen to write a short review of the movie ‘Breakthrough’ that has just recently been released in theaters.

This movie is based off of a true story about a boy who had fallen through some ice on a lake. He and two other boys were playing on the ice, when the ice cracked and all three fell into the water. One of the boys, John Smith (14 years old), was not able to be rescued before going under.

The emergency team was able to find his body, but there was no signs of life in him. He has been under water for over 15 minutes. In the hospital, the doctor had given up. His mother prayed to God for a miracle and John’s heart started beating again.

Over the next 72 hours, the doctor’s did not expect him to survive, and if he did, there he would be unable to use his brain or do anything. His mother kept the faith believing for a miracle. In the end, John came through with absolutely no physical problems in his body.

One of the things that I really liked about this movie, is that it had nothing to do with what John experienced when he was dead. There was no light or Jesus experience, he was just dead, in the water one moment, in hospital bed the next.

It also showed the pain that his parents were feeling. The father, knowing God could heal John, but not really expecting it. The mother, holding on in faith, but also being very selfish about it. She did not want to release John into God’s hands regardless of what happened. Later she does, trusting God completely.

This story is not filled with all kinds of Christian clichés or fancy words. It is down to earth regular speaking. It shows anger and love, disrespect and respect, pain and joy.

It will bring tears to the eyes of most people, seeing the pain and suffering the parents are feeling. In the end John says that he knows God kept him for a purpose.

It is an encouraging movie to trust God and believe in miracles, despite what the circumstances look like.

The movie does have once or twice were a bad word is spoken, but not at anyone directly. This may be a heavy movie for young children to watch, but it is clean with a good message. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you have the chance.