Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jerusalem Countdown is a hidden gem of a movie

MOVIE REVIEW
I have struggled putting together a review of Jerusalem Countdown (JC). For one, I was awaiting its official release date, which came and went in August. As it turns out, JC, is traveling across the states at selected theatres and churches only, which is a shame since the movie turns out to be pretty good and many will miss it.
The second problem I wrestled with is that this faith-based movie, produced by Pure Flix Entertainment, is yet another “rapture” story which tend to not sit well with me. As a man of faith, I think it best to try to win others over with the good news, not scare the hell out of them. Fortunately, the rapture theme is secondary to the main storylines and doesn’t come off as depressing as one might think.
The marketing for this film is strange as well. I’m sure that many of you have never even heard of it, but for those who have will know that the posters proudly display the names of Lee Majors, Stacy Keach, Randy Travis and even Christian songstress Jaci Valesquez. However, each of them only gets a handful of minutes of screen time. The ones who do all the heavy lifting are fairly unknown actors: David A. R. White, Anna Zielinski, and Carey Scott.

The third reason is that JC is almost certainly the first chapter in a series of movies, so the ending doesn’t really feel like an ending. Some may be asking for more, but I think Hollywood should get back to the notion that each story/movie should be able to stand on its’ own merit. But that’s just me.
This story is adapted from a best selling book by Pastor John Haggee. I’m a movie critic not a theologian, so I have a hard time knowing when and if a “rapture” movie is biblically correct. So, I have judged this movie on its story telling, acting, camera work, and action – the things most of us are looking for in a movie anyhow.
The storyline in a nutshell is this: When nuclear weapons are smuggled into America, FBI Agent Shane Daughtry (White) is faced with an impossible task – find them before they are detonated. The only people who can help are a washed up arms dealer (Majors), a converted Israeli Mossad Agent (Keach) and a by-the-book CIA deputy director (Travis). However, the bulk of the story centers on Agent Shane and his partner, Eve (Zielinski) as they follow clues and dodge bullets. The production values of this film are surprisingly high for a low budget film. There is genuine suspense and tension throughout. The acting is also quite good. Although only in about 10 minutes of the movie, Velassquez is a spitfire of a character – who knew? White and Zielinski make a great pairing too. The biggest surprise is an extended scene with Carey Scott as a man suspicious of his neighbor across the street and finds him in a sticky situation. The scene plays like one found in the TV series 24.
Most of the lines are well written, but fall a little flat whenever “God” or “salvation” is mentioned, a problem found in many faith-based films. At least they aren’t too distracting.

To find a location where this film is playing, you’ll need to visit the official movie website. If you are so inclined, there is a form that you can fill out that to help bring the movie in your neighborhood.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let us know what you think!