Raj Krishna is a fantastic director, one who has promise to bring audiences entertainment with substance. While I’m never a big fan of films about religion and affirming religion, it’s a good change of pace to see a film like “Padmavyuha” that explore the complex and unique dimensions of Hinduism and how a man struggles with his core beliefs and his all encompassing faith.
“The Reliant” is that movie you watch when you thought that 1984’s “Red Dawn” wasn’t jingoistic enough and well–just didn’t preach enough about the love for guns and God, dagnabit. What we get is post-apocalyptic clap trap where a group of wholesome, blonde, upper class, white kids and their guns survive an economic collapse as they are relentlessly hunted by evil, gun toting atheists. “The Reliant” is based on a book that is perfect fodder for Kevin Sorbo and his increasing library of movies that preach about Christianity, and the danger of not being Christian.
At this point in time, Kevin Sorbo had better learn to direct a movie and quickly, because the only tools he has in his disposal are the fact he was in the show about the bare chested demigod. No, not that one. You know—uh—the one that began the even better show “Xena”? It even spawned a prequel with Ryan Gosling who is ten times the actor Sorbo ever was. Right, that one! Anyway, Kevin Sorbo continues sapping what little star power he has left, alongside other hardcore Christian in what is essentially yet another chapter in the ongoing film series “Atheists and Muslims are evil, Christians are Wonderful.”
I like what “Goodnight Gracie” has to say about blind faith being pointless, but I wish it was just a better movie. At four minutes, “Goodnight Gracie” doesn’t tell a story but just unfolds events. This happens, and then this happens, and blind faith is dumb! Roll credits. I don’t mind a movie insisting that most times it takes more than faith to get out of a bad situation. Pretty much every time, faith isn’t enough. It’s also about getting up off your ass and doing something about your predicament that can help you or someone else next to you. Director Stellan Kendrick has a lot of ideas about the futility of blind faith, it’s just “Goodnight Gracie” never quite comes together as a cohesive narrative.
Written by Jamie Hannigan and directed by Brendan Muldowney, Pilgrimage is a period piece peppered with action sequences that make logical sense within the confines of its story. Here the monks are working with knights and others to battle enemies and bring the sacred relic their guard to a higher Catholic Church power. The story is simple at its based, but the characters added, including a mute stranger helping the monks, create a mystery and help the tension along with the twists that take their time to come and be revealed. This way of developing the story works well with the time period its set in and the group of characters involved. The characters created here have some background in terms of their archetypes, but not that much information on who they are as people and where they come from or what their goals are besides keeping the relic safe or obtaining the relic.
“I’m Not Ashamed” is a movie in desperate search of a martyr. Brian Baugh’s “I’m Not Ashamed” takes the true story of Rachel Joy Scott and completely sidesteps facts in favor of a sickeningly exaggerated tale of faith, and persecuted Christians in America. Rachel Joy Scott was the first victim of the Columbine massacre, and drew particular attention for a piece of art she made before the massacre that centered on two tear soaked eyes and their thirteen tears. Allegedly it was prophetic of what occurred in Columbine and represented the thirteen lives lost on that day. “I’m Not Ashamed” works over time to turn Rachel in to a female Jesus Christ who literally sacrificed herself during the Columbine massacre for some kind of holy purpose we will never understand. The writers turn Rachel in to a potential prophet taken down before her prime, and by turning the entire day in to a case of angry atheists taking their anger out on others rather than turning to God.
As always with these lists remember this is not gospel or definitive opinion, so by all means feel free to disagree, and share your own candidates for the worst films of 2016, below. It’s been a year filled with very good films and very bad films, and thankfully it wasn’t very hard to compile this list. There weren’t very many movies I’d call awful this year, but these are ten of easily the worst films studios released to audiences
Bad Movies in 2016 that almost made the list includes the silly Lauren Cohan starring horror drama The Boy, the insanely vapid The Angry Birds Movie, the painfully stupid animated film Batman: The Killing Joke, the tedious and lazy X-Men: Apocalypse, the pointless and scare free The Night Before Halloween, the pointless remakes of Cabin Fever, and Gasper Noe’s Martyrs, the Rob Schneider starring animated comedy Norm of the North, the continued murdering of Robert Deniro’s career known as Dirty Grandpa, the sickly sugary and obnoxious Trolls, the half baked sitcom My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the empty sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, the moronic and mean spirited Clown, and the insanely awful anthology Holidays.
Now on to the Top 10…
One of the many aspects that I love about Ray Comfort’s mercifully short documentary about challenging the views of atheists is that Comfort just eventually gives up. Mid-way through his hour long masturbatory self-promotion fest that doubles as an ego shining for Comfort, he just outright gives up trying to convince his interview subjects and spends about five minutes badgering them in to submission. He relentlessly bugs them in to admitting begrudgingly that they believe in a God, and that they are simply in denial. Ray Comfort is beyond the capacity of accepting that atheists exist, and spends at least a good stretch of the final half of the film insisting: “Come on, you know God exists. Admit it. Admit it. You know it in your heart. You just like to sin, that’s it. Admit it. Do it. Do it!”