Category Archives: review

Is “WOODLAWN” the Next WAR ROOM? We’ll see…

This is the season for faith-based, explicitly Christian movies.  War Room was first in the box office one week (it’s second week, beating out Straight Outta Compton) and has now taken in over $60m (Check out how well Heaven Is For Real did)!  (And there are others:  Captive garnered about $2.5m and 90 Minutes in Heaven was nearly at $5m!)

Now we have Woodlawn – based on a true story – how Christian love can help heal racial divisions.  It places the South in a positive light, glorifies Jesus, and even has Bear Bryant (Jon Voight has the role of the legendary Alabama football coach) in a small part of the show.

Here is a review of the movie from The Hollywood Reporter – a very favorable review, if I might say:

The Erwin brothers, who have a personal stake in the material–their father, Hank Erwin, is the real-life chaplain played by Astin–lay on the religiosity on a bit thick, occasionally sacrificing credibility and coherence in the process. But the film largely succeeds in achieving its modest goals, delivering a feel-good, real-life inspirational story in a mostly engaging fashion. With its well-staged gridiron sequences and solid ensemble performances, Woodlawn may even manage to lure viewers away from their televised football games over the next couple of weeks.

I am not familiar with the Erwin brothers (Mom’s Night Out, October Baby) but their movies so far are Christian for sure. Here’s a early box office prediction:

That leaves one final new release vying for attention. Pure Flix will attempt to bring out the faith-based crowds who recently turned “War Room” into an unexpected smash, when they debut “Woodlawn” on 1,500 screens. The picture centers on a high school football team that makes an unlikely playoff run following a spiritual awakening among its players. It should do $4 million in its opening weekend. Pure Flix did not provide budget information.

Box Office Mojo’s analysis is a bit better:  Five million.  Did I hear six?  Or Seven?

Maybe people can get out and “scare” the Halloween fare away a bit with a nice surprising turnout for a believing movie!  I probably can’t do it this weekend or next but I’ll try (Lord willing) for the 31st.

I am pleased with the level and variety of faith-based movies today.  If I had a few million for a faith-based movie production, I’d do a movie about Ernest Manning (No not Peyton and Eli’s father – that’s Archie Manning!) the Premier of Alberta (think state governor in a parliamentary system) for 25 years and also preached on the radio every Sunday afternoon (Back to the Bible Hour Canada) how did such a guy get his start?  Well, I take you back to 1935 – the height of the Depression…


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

My Take on War Room: Hard to Improve on Steven Brodie Tucker!

I promised my readers (our readers) a review of War Room.  Here it is:

I would heartily agree with the review and encouragement that Steven Brodie Tucker said in his column at our blog.  Here it is!  Hard to add too much to it but there are a few thoughts:

  1.  I am not a technical film person.  But I know great movies and I know terrible ones.  As Justice Potter Stewart once said about obscenity:  I know it when I see it.  I do not know why.  And this movie is  a good movie – nothing stood out in a negative manner.  The actors did not appear to be actors but rather real people.  The only exception is the woman that Tony flirts with – she seems overdone or something.  Yes, very attractive.  But not a naughty girl.  Almost like a church girl in a role she is not comfortable with and trying her best at it.
  2. I would say – people can say:  Not every prayer is “answered”; as a good Wesleyan I can say the Holy Spirit can be resisted.  but I do believe in prevenient grace.  That grace sometimes keeps us out of trouble.  But we underestimate the power of God and the tools He has to get things done.  He won’t force us to be holy.  But He sure can work hard to get us there.  Better pray.
  3. I agree with Tucker that this film is not just about prayer.  It is about men and women and marriages and how to share your faith.

Finally I would say:  Invite someone to go to the movies with you this week or next week.  Even consider going again!  (The film has grossed over $3 million more since the weekend to nearly $14.4 million dollars as of Wednesday.)


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders