The Fault In Our Stars — 3 out of 5 stars

ONE WORD REVIEW: Sad

SUMMARY: A depressing ride to death through the lives of people with no hope to hold onto.

DETAILS: Sad… this film is sad on a couple of levels. Sad in that it deals with death and dying. Our main characters are on their way to the grave. But more sad in that no one in the film has a hope to hold onto… there is no afterlife, no heaven, no God, no hope. The brief glimpse of any Christian influence is done in a mocking manner of a cancer support group leader who makes a hook rug of Jesus and is portrayed in a very cheesy way. The part that I did like was the Willem Dafoe character… who really is the God character in the film. He is the author of book that our heroes love… but the book literally ends in the middle of the sentence. Our characters must travel across the sea to meet this author and ask him why and what really happened next. When they arrive they are sorely disappointed and they learn that “God doesn’t care about them or for them” or so they perceive. But in the end this God character comes to our heroine and leaves letter that she won’t read until later, a letter that brings an element of redemption. The farther I get from this movie, the more I like it… or at least parts of it. Or maybe I just like being far from it???

SCORE: 3 out of 5

RELEASE: 2014
RATING: PG-13

A Night In Old Mexico — 3 out of 5 stars

ONE WORD REVIEW: Duvall

SUMMARY: If you love Robert Duvall, watch and enjoy this movie… but don’t look for brilliance from him or the storyline.

DETAILS: Duvall… Robert… He’s one of my favorite actors. But the storyline of A Night In Old Mexico seems a little tired and worn. There are some good moments, but things are a bit unbelievable in a film that wants to be gritty and real. The story begins with Duvall’s character wanting to end his life when a grandson he’s never met shows up. Together they end up in the adventure of lifetime with bullets, money, bad guys, and a beautiful señorita…. yeah, she’s contributes to the unbelievable part. Not her performance (which I liked) but her falling for Duvall who happens to be getting up there in age. If you love Duvall, watch it. If not, skip it.

SCORE: 3 out of 5
RELEASE: 2014
RATING: NR

August: Osage County — 3.5 out of 5 stars

ONE WORD REVIEW: Dysfunction

SUMMARY: A depressing look at a depressing family… which makes What’s Eating Gilbert Grape look like happy, fun-filled, roll-on-the-floor comedy.

DETAILS: Dysfunction does not adequately describe the family in this film. A star-studded cast with great performers tell the story of a family brought back together around the suicide of the father, but nothing is strong enough to keep these people together. By the end of the film everyone will have left and the crazy, prescription-addicted mom will be all that’s remains in Osage County Oklahoma.

SCORE: 3.5 out of 5

RELEASE: 2013
RATING: R

Stained Glass Rainbows — 4.75 out of 5 stars

ORIGINAL POST: 13 MAY 2014
FINALLY! After nearly 7 years of working on this film I was able to watch the first assembly of the entire project… all 3 hours and 20 minutes. Now I need to cut it down to 90 minutes or less, add b-roll, music, clean up the audio, etc. etc. It was a great feeling to watch the final credits roll as Brian Healy of Dead Artist Syndrome sang “Angeline”. Wow… what a long time coming!
SCORE: 3.5 out of 5

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UPDATE: 20 JULY 2014

I was able to sit and watch the 1:46 version of SGR (v3) with Karen. It was great to watch it at this length and in a single sitting. Still too long, but heading in the right direction.
SCORE: 4 out of 5
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UPDATE: 22 JULY 2014
We had a private screening of this work-in-progress version (v3.1) of the film at the Paladin studio. It was very well received by the small gathering of friends. Chris & Missy Martin, Heather & Hambo Myers, Pete Kulenek, Will Musser, Dan Fellows, Whitney Henderson, my Mom, Karen, Chase, and I watched it. It’s great to get some encouraging feedback at this point. The disappointing part of it was I had sent out 26 invitations, mainly to pastors and NOT 1 pastor showed up to watch the film. Sigh…
SCORE 4 out of 5
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UPDATE: 9 AUG 2014
I watched my film again with the Klint family during the middle of the day. Remind me never to do this again. Constant interruptions from kids, distractions, etc. I’ve only had a couple of follow up conversations and people seemed to like it, but boy was it rough getting through it. Meanwhile, James Burgess is editing on the film right now and we’ll hopefully have a good cut of it in the next few weeks.
SCORE 4 out of 5
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UPDATE: 13 AUG 2014
Brad hosted a small screening of the film with Fred Jolly, John Moline, and Beck. There was some good conversation that followed, but unfortunately I had to step out early to do a radio interview with Keith Giles about the film for his blogtalk show Subversive Radio. Brad had some good ideas for trying to push each end of the spectrum toward dialogue about this topic.
SCORE: 4 out of 5
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UPDATE: 1 OCT 2014
Much tighter, but still dragged 3/4 the way through… more tightening to do. (the next day, James Burgess and I went through the entire film shot by shot and removed 6 minutes of footage… new running time 85 minutes).
SCORE: 4.5 out of 5
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UPDATE: 9 AUG 2014
The Film is done! Even tighter & better!
SCORE: 4.75 out of 5

RELEASE: 2015
RATING: NR
DOCUMENTARY