Generally Speaking: Overcomer worth the watch

By MARILYN TINNIN COLUMNIST,

Several weeks ago I posted a quite negative opinion on the new Lion King movie.

I have another movie review for you, but don’t worry — I am not going to launch my very own “Rotten Tomatoes” critique site. My visits to the theatre have become few and far between in recent years, and more for lack of interesting subject matter than anything else.

The skinny on this week’s column is this: Go see Overcomer, and enjoy a movie that entertains and inspires and reminds you of every good and noble thing you have ever believed and hoped to be true.

Oh, and if you have middle school grandchildren, take them with you!

The storyline involves a small town and a cast of characters whose lives feel very real.

When the largest factory in town announces its sudden shutdown, the entire town’s people are affected in significant ways.

What happens when every circumstance of one’s life turns upside down, and there is not one thing he can control that will turn it right side up again?

Why is it that the richest lessons are also the most painful but also the ones we cherish the most?

This is a movie about those questions.

On one recent morning Charles read the weekend movie guide out loud to me at the breakfast table.

Sometimes we old people actually like to sit in a dark theatre, eat popcorn and see something on the big screen.

Our options included more than 1 movie about demons, 1 movie with a “dark theme,” 2 animated cartoons, 1 horror film about the occult that was shown on 2 different screens a total of 21 times that day, and finally a single movie, Overcomer.

It was the only one with a description that had any appeal whatsoever to us. 

I strongly suggest we Baby Boomers pay attention to what is happening to our culture. And when I write those words, a part of me wants to apologize for sounding so negative. I struggle over that perception, but I am sure there is a balance somewhere between being a grumpy old grandmother and a savvy observer. I am looking for it.

Several years ago I interviewed Michael Catt, the pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. That church was the place where the now famous Kendrick brothers, who were members of Catt’s church, got their very modest start in the movie making industry.

A George Barna report in the early 2000’s had revealed that the impact of church came behind sports, movies and music. Should that have been a great shock? What part could Michael Catt and his friends play in changing the trajectory without changing the gospel message?

With a shoestring budget they gave us their first movie, Flywheel. It was not Hollywood caliber, but they kept trying. Each succeeding effort has been a bit better than the last, and to date they have given us Fireproof, Courageous, Facing the Giants, War Room, and now Overcomer. I am a fan, and recent box office gross figures prove that there is an enormous audience in America who feels the same way!

Sony Pictures division, Affirm Films, is now producing the Kendrick brothers’ work.

The Sony executives recognized a sweet moneymaking deal when they saw it!

As Catt said, “We made a radical decision at the time. We wanted to use entertainment to change lives. It was time to stop cursing the darkness and start turning on some lights. It’s easy to criticize Hollywood, but we decided to make an effort to have a voice in that culture. Cursing the culture doesn’t change it; showing the difference Christ can make in a person’s life will change it.”

And all God’s people said, “Amen.” Get involved and color outside the lines!

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