31 January 2013

Quickie Movie Review: "The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith"

Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Sherry Morris, Carman, and Eleese Lester
Studio: Pure Flix
Released: December 15, 2009   
Synopsis: Young David just doesn't feel like he can "cut the mustard." Though he believes in God, he is simply unsure that He can help him through the challenges of life.  To show him God's power, David's grandfather Obed shares with him a story: the story of Ruth, Obed's mother, which is recorded in the Biblical book of Ruth.  It starts out with Ruth and Orpah, who are both married to one of Naomi's sons and childless.  First Naomi's husband dies, then Ruth's and Orpah's soon after, which leaves all the remaining family members very shaken.  Naomi then decides to go back to Israel, her homeland, and, despite Naomi's pleas, Ruth insists on following her, saying that line we often hear at weddings: "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried." However, Ruth doesn't know anyone in Israel, and she is disliked for being a foreigner.  Will God work things out for good? Will Ruth ever marry and have children?
(Most of you reading this probably already know the answer, because you've read the Biblical account.)

Review: I found this DVD at my local LifeWay Christian Store on sale for five bucks, and bought it along with some other items so I could use my "$5 off a purchase of $20 or more" coupon.  Now, I wish I had bought something else and just borrowed The Book of Ruth from the library.  The film has its good moments; the death scenes at the beginning are appropriately heart-wrenching, and the oft-quoted line mentioned above is tearfully delivered, which is really how it should be.  However, the starkness of the film (why the lack of background music in many of the scenes?)and an overall lackluster feel, along with tiny, lagging SDHs (if you have hearing problems, either turn the volume way up or have an ASL interpreter ready!) and poor production values (one sunset looks like a gradient created in AppleWorks!) ruined this for me.  If you're a church librarian, you might want to watch this to decide whether or not to add it to your church's library, but everyone else other than Ruth fanatics should probably skip this one.  If you're looking for a good Biblically-themed drama, check out Apostle Peter and the Last Supper, the three-hour telefilm In the Beginning, or any of the Visual Bible flicks, especially The Gospel of John.   Ruth's story is such a good one, but, unfortunately, this one doesn't do it justice.

Score: 1.75/5

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