Friday, March 27, 2015

Beyond the Mask: My Thoughts

I am a big supporter of independent Christian films, and I try to do my best to see as many as possible either from DVD or in the theater.  I love being able to see a film that supports my beliefs, and I am hopeful that more and more movies that support family values and character and truth are made and appreciated in our culture.

A few months ago I received an email about the upcoming movie, Beyond the Mask.  I was compelled to learn more about a group of home educated cousins who decided to make movies. 

Then I watched the trailer and learned who was behind the scenes making this happen:  Paul McCusker, an Adventures in Odyssey writer (we LOVE AiO), and co-writer Stephen Kendrick, one of the Kendrick brothers from Albany, GA who began making films with their church family (first one was Flywheel, followed by Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and most recently Courageous). Our family has also enjoyed all the Kendrick films, so right from the start, I was excited to see this movie.

In past movies, I have always felt that Christian movie makers had sacrificed some production quality to make a movie with a redemptive theme.  Even the most recent God's Not Dead Christian film lacked a certain something in its quality.

I think Beyond the Mask (rated PG) will shock you in its high quality filmmaking.

The movie is set in the Colonial period of the 1770s. Here's the story synopsis from the website:
The leading mercenary for the British East India Company, Will Reynolds has just been double-crossed and now is on the run in the American Colonies. Working to redeem his name and win back the affections of the woman with whom he's never been fully truthful, Will now hides behind a new mask in hopes of thwarting his former employer. As his past life closes in on him, Will must somehow gain the trust and the help of his beloved Charlotte - as well as Ben Franklin - while he races against time to defuse a plot of historical proportions. Coming to theaters Spring, 2015, Beyond the Mask is a revolutionary new family film that brings history to life in a faith-filled adventure celebrating grace, liberty, and the true freedom that can only be found in Christ. 
The movie is definitely an action-packed adventure.

The first thing that I noticed when I logged on for my "theatre captain only" screening was how beautiful the movie was!  If you watched the trailer above, you'll see how much the producers and directors used green screens and a sound stage.  Honestly, you will not be able to tell once the movie starts -- it really does look like Will is ziplining onto a 1700s shipping vessel.

Of course, just the glimmer of a sword or muzzle of a revolver will excite my young boys, and this movie had that and more.  Explosions, sword play, intrigue -- the whole action adventure package with British accents to boot!  (I have a 12yo who is going through a British/ Scottish/ Australia accent stage.)  Yes, there is a love story, but it didn't make my boys gag or leave the couch.  *grin*  It protrays an innocent, upper crust courtship-type relationship between Charlotte and Will.  Charlotte is a strong female character who does not waver from her convictions or beliefs:

Not only was I impressed by the production quality of the movie and the script of the movie but I was also impressed by the acting in the movie.  I mean who doesn't like John Rhys-Davies:

I appreciate that Burns Family Studio did not shy away from presenting the Gospel message.  Some might find it too strong, that it will push people away.  And it might, but more than likely it will be a seed planted into someone's heart -- perhaps one of many that they've collected into their souls over the course of life or perhaps one of the first.  Or maybe, God is lining up people to see this movie that need just one more reminder of his amazing grace.  I personally know how persistent God is and how he is amazing at bring The Right People into your life at The Right Time and setting circumstances just so. He will move mountains and allow circumstances of life to align so that those who do not walk with God will have the opportunity to allow God to reshape, retool and redeem their lives.

Here's another video clip of some movers-and-shakers in the Christian world who provided commentary on the film:

So this is my advice:  GO SEE THIS MOVIE.  It is been seen beginning in April at select private screenings around the U.S.  You will need to purchase a ticket online to gain entrance.  Gathr is a company that works with movie theaters across the US to bring movies to communities and groups. Because of that, the tickets are more pricey, but this movie is worth it. Supporting the Burns Family Studios is worth it.

I can hardly wait to see what comes next.

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