Friday, September 30, 2011
Courageous Hits Theaters
Since I teach on film and media, I am often asked by my students what do I think of Facing the Giants and Fireproof. To be honest, I have mixed feelings. I think there are three questions you have to consider when you evaluate their movies. The first one is what is a Christian movie? Or maybe a better way to state it would be - Is there such a thing as a Christian movie?
Although Matthew was trying to be comical and have a little fun, there is a tremendous amount of truth in his ten commandments. He has hit on the very issue that plagues films like Fireproof and Facing The Giants. And I’m sure Courageous will follow the same pattern. Movies should be about entertaining audiences first and foremost, not about presenting a lesson. Movies like Fireproof are Christian because they follow a certain formula such as the ten commandments of Christian filmmaking. You can argue that objects and things such as movies, bumper stickers and books cannot be Christian because only people can be Christ-like or reflect the image of Christ. But for the sake of argument, we are going to call films that contain Christian content “Christian movies”.
In terms of evaluating the work of Alex and Stephen Kendrick, it certainly excels within the realm of Christian filmmaking. In fact, their work is probably at the top of what the Christian movie industry can offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Courageous will end up being the best Christian movie ever produced.
I admire what the Kendrick’s have accomplished. It’s an amazing story how a church in Albany, Georgia, Sherwood Baptist, developed their own production studio, Sherwood Pictures, and went into the movie business. That doesn’t happen every day. What the Kendrick’s have created is nothing short of a miracle. They have inspired a new generation of filmmakers.
Stephen Kendrick is quite comfortable in the deal making process. He understands the business end and what sells. The Kendricks’ choose their material wisely, picking subjects that matter to the Church such as marriage and fatherhood. The Kendricks believe in the power of media. I remember hearing Alex Kendrick talks about a study he read that said movies are more effective than Sunday morning sermons. This is the primary reason he went into filmmaking.
Look for Courageous at your local theater. For more information check out their website.