Revival Town Podcast

Thank you for visiting!
I’ve known both Chuck and Andy for many years, so it was an honor to follow a number of friends and people I greatly respect as a guest on their REVIVAL TOWN PODCAST.

We could have talked about a LOT – from meat to cake decorating training – but we kept it (mostly) on topic!

We pray that this episode will help many of you connect with Christian films! (Click to listen)

Please take a moment and see if there is a CMC near you … and follow them on Facebook.
(Not one near you? Let’s talk – email me to get the discussion started!)

Loved the unique style, perspective and questions – ESPECIALLY about films I felt were overlooked, so here are the 3 I mentioned, plus a bonus fourth film!

Revival Town Podcast

1. Beyond the Farthest Star – PUREFLIX
Darker than most Christian films, but my favorite as it connects with so many struggles in life, and then getting Beauty from Ashes.

2. Faith, Hope, & Love – NETFLIX
A great romance film, showing a widower overcoming the loss of his wife, even as his daughter seeks to set him up with her dance teacher. Humor, emotional, and a couple surprise supporting roles from Corbin Bernsen, Ed Asner, and Michael Richards (yes, Seinfeld Michael Richards.)

3. Small Group – Amazon Prime ($)
A filmmaker is paid to infiltrate a church to show the negative underbelly – and the focus quickly becomes what happens in a small group. While first and foremost a comedy, this film is powerful in showing the danger of inaccurate first impressions, and when one of the couples goes through a tragedy that is more common than most people know, this “comedy” portrays the stress and processing of that grief better than perhaps any other film I can imagine.

4 Church People – Amazon Prime ($)
Comedian Thor Ramsey is an up-and-coming youth pastor (the original working title) who is gaining fame through national tours, but is struggling with the lights and glamour of what he sees with both his tour and his home megachurch. As Easter approaches, he realizes his Senior Pastor is looking at perhaps the biggest “event” they have ever considered… you may not look at crucifixion the same after the final minutes of this film.

Revival Town Podcast

Following the release of the podcast, we were asked by a listener on Facebook for additional suggestions. My son and I discussed while driving home from Christmas in Indy and have added these following 6.

NOTE: We intentionally wanted to avoid the handful of films that have large marketing budgets and broad awareness through churches and the broader cultures, so our list does not include films like Passion of the Christ, the Kendrick Brothers (Overcomer, Courageous, Facing the Giants) or most of the Erwin Brothers (American Underdog, I Can Only Imagine – but made an exception!)

  1. The Grace Card – Amazon Prime ($)
    A powerful film of a police officer struggling at work… and with his family at home.
  2. October Baby – PUREFLIX
    The exception to the “not Kendricks or Erwins” noted above, October Baby is the first film made by the Erwin Brothers. A young lady heading to college takes a road trip that includes learning more about his past… and the truth about her ongoing health problems.
  1. The Ultimate Gift – PUREFLIX, Amazon Prime
    Following the death of a family’s patriarch (played by James Garner), family members come together to get “their share,” only to find out that most were terribly disappointed as the focus seems to be on the black sheet of the family – a grandson through a son lost in a tragic accident – who appears to be given “The Ultimate Gift.”
    (There are two more films in this series – The Ultimate Life, and The Ultimate Legacy, but in my opinion neither of these rise to the level of the first, in part because of the change in the lead character, but I also think the overall storylines of the next two are not as strong.)
  1. Gimme Shelter – NETFLIX, Amazon Prime($)
    When a pregnant teenager from the wrong side of the tracks runs away from home to meet her biological father, the journey includes finding herself pregnant, an appointment at an abortion clinic, and making new friends at a women’s shelter for pregnant teens. The film stars Vanessa Hudgens (most incredible role I’ve ever seen her in), Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, and James Earl Jones (yes, THAT James Earl Jones!)
  1. Seven Days in Utopia – Amazon Prime
    A professional golfer who has lived with impossible expectations all his life has a high profile meltdown, leading him to run away from anything related to gold, only to find himself in Utopia, Texas, meeting up with a wise older man who teaches him a lot about life…. and…. (yeah, you know it was coming….) golf.

10. What If… (2010 – don’t mistake it with other films with the title) – PUREFLIX
Kevin Sorbo’s first Christian film (of many!), in this film he is a successful businessman who after a car crash finds out what if he had followed his original calling as a small town pastor and his girlfriend, instead of seeking success in the city. Also starring Kristy Swanson, John Ratzenburger (CHEERS, Toy Story), and Debby Ryan (Disney shows).
(This film was made by Dallas Jenkins, currently riding an incredible wave with the success of his multi-season television show on the life of Jesus Christ, The Chosen – which has recently fully funded season 3!)

Speaking of The Chosen, this groundbreaking series came about after the most recent film Dallas made, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (NETFLIX), fell flat commercially.  Many have loved the film, it just commercially didn’t meet expectations, but Dallas has had far more impact with The Chosen (Over 334 MILLION views) than he likely would have had with follow-up films.