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Reel Redemption

USA 2020
produced by
Reuben Evans, Bob Pritchett (executive) for Faithlife Films
directed by Tyler Smith
starring Tyler Smith (narration)
written by Tyler Smith, music by Amsi Hernandez

review by
Mike Haberfelner

The relationship between Hollywood and Christianity had been a rocky one from the get-go - sure, there had been Bible adaptations pandering Christians by playing up to their beliefs since the silence era, but over the years, Hollywood had also become (in the eyes of the Church) a cesspool of sin that eventually led to the iplementation of the Production Code in the 1930s, which essentially limited what could be shown and also told in a Hollywood picture rather massively - which also meant that if movies tried to question Christian belief as such, it had to be in a coded way, and maybe even with a forced ending that set things right for the Church (see 1955's Night of the Hunter for example). And it should also be pointed out that the Church stood firmly on the wrong side of history when it cames to the 1950s' Hollywood blacklist. On the other hand of course, also in the 1950s, Bible-based epics saw a resurgence, before over the next few decades, Christianity gradually lost its hold on Hollywood, also due to the replacement of the Production Code of old for a more differentiated rating system. And in 1988, with the release of Martin Scorsese's only superficially blasphemous masterpiece The Last Temptation of Christ, that relationship seems to have it its low. But the mega-success Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ from 2004 helped the rise of faith-based films - and even if pretty much all biblical adaptations after that movie flopped, and many faith-based flicks going the science fiction route aping much highter budgeted blockbusters soon became the stuff of ridicule, over the years more earth-bound (and with stories matching their budgets) fare like 2014's God's Not Dead found box office success - if almost exclusively among believers. And faith-based films eventually emerged as a genre, with an in-built audience for sure, but also all the challenges and shortcomings genre filmmaking brings with it (the film very correctly correlates this to the emergence to the slasher genre in the late 1970s/early 80s) ...

 

Now no matter what you think about faith-based cinema, about Christianity of whatever persuasion of even about religion as such, if you're at all interested in the film history as such, you're very likely to find this film immensely interesting, basically because it doesn't try to preach or paint a perfect picture but is based on research and views everything through a critical eye - to a point where it shows parodies of faith-based movies from The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live to point out both genre tropes and flaws, yet not as a point of ridicule but to portray it as a still emerging genre. And the film clips alone from the silent era to today's cinema show an indredible easily infectuous love to cinema as such, which really makes the story all the more engaging and also fascinating. So basically, it's really a documentary by and for film lovers, and one that, despite being genre-specific, celebrates cinema as such.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD