25 December 2015

Quickie Movie Review: "Saul: Journey to Damascus"

Rated: Not Rated
Starring: Kyle Schmid, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Callum Blue, and Brittany Bristow
Released: 2014
Synopsis: Saul of Tarsus (Kyle Schmid) is the most feared man around.  Known as the "Butcher of Jerusalem," he persecutes and murders anyone who professes to be a follower of Jesus the Nazarene.  After giving approval to the stoning of Stephen, Saul and his crew are en route to Damascus, when they find a group of Christians at a wedding, and proceed to attack, even trampling the bride-to-be under his horse...when a powerful dust storm comes, and, with it, Saul sees a vision of Jesus that literally blinds him.  Shocked to the core, Saul soon realizes the error of his ways and begins to preach Jesus as the prophesied Messiah.  However, his old friends are still just as bent on killing Christians as they've ever been, and the Christians know of his notorious former life and are scared to death of him.  Will Saul succeed in spreading the Way, or will his newfound life be tragically cut short?
Based on the Biblical book of Acts.

My Review: I randomly came across this movie while shelving DVDs at the library; I had never heard of it before, but, on a whim, I decided to give it a chance...and I was floored.  The production values, the performances, the sets, even the English subtitles were fabulous.  While the ending was a bit abrupt, that would just encourage viewers to grab a Bible to read the rest of the story.  If you're tired of Christian films such as Hollow or C Me Dance that are horribly shoddy and painful to watch, this is a breath of fresh air.  I hope the production team behind this film will adapt other Bible stories into celluloid format, or, at the very least, make more Christian flicks with similar production values and talent.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: None. 5/5
  • Nudity: Some guys' outfits show off their chest hair. 4/5
  • Language: One profane usage of the word "hell," and two uses of the d-word, none of which are by Christian characters. 4/5
  • Violence: A man is stoned; a woman is trampled and eventually dies of her injuries; another man is stabbed and is seen coughing up blood and falling dead.  All of those scenes are a bit bloody, but not gory.  Also, a sandstorm leaves a man blind, and Jesus' crucifixion is discussed. 2/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the violence, which includes killing of multiple innocents, emotional intensity is present throughout, and some of the villains could be rather scary for some viewers. 2/5
  • Other: This film expands on the Biblical text, which may disturb some viewers. 4/5
Score: 5/5

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