Hostage to the Devil (2016)

hostage-to-the-devilFather Malachi Martin is fighting for the soul of those who have been possessed.  In his battle, he encounters fake and real cases.  One of the latter is the one of a young girl he truly believes is possessed.  Hostage to the Devil tells the life story of Father Malachi Martin through interviews and videos of his work. Written by Rachel Lysaght and Marty Stalker with Stalker also directing, the film has a very even style with the interviews all shot about the same and the way they are shown with straight on interview style and overlays on photos and images gives the film a very straight forward feel.

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God’s Not Dead 2 (2016)

godsnotdead2“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

There’s a war on Christianity. Atheists are evil. Atheists lack hope. Atheists are atheist because they’re in a lot of pain. Atheists don’t want you to practice religion. It’s immoral to demand religion not be preached in public schools. “God’s Not Dead 2: Delusion Boogaloo” is the sequel to the painfully moronic surprise hit of 2014 where evangelical Christians bathed in the pools of their own martyrdom and victim complex for two hours. “God’s Not Dead 2” is another orgy of delusion and martyrdom that stretches the truth about evangelical Christianity, further depicting an alternate reality where evangelical Christianity is equivalent to being a Morlock. Evangelical followers of Christianity are misunderstood by a lost society littered with conniving atheists that just won’t let them say “Merry Christmas,” gosh darn it.

In one of many depictions of protests I could not help laughing at every time it popped up, Christian students of protagonist Grace silently sit outside the courtroom as a show of support. All the while a whole group of atheist protestors stand two feet away holding up signs and screaming at them. These atheist monsters are filmed with quick cuts and without sound, emphasizing how monstrous and evil they are for attacking young women displaying their right to protest. See? Complete alternate reality. Melissa Joan Hart plays Grace Wesley a well meaning history teacher who is chastised and crucified by her school for making a very quick literary comparison in class between Gandhi and Jesus Christ.

When she’s reported, the den of atheist vipers known as the PTA and ACLU begin to look for ways to strike her down for making a seemingly passive contrast of figures with similar ideals. When Grace won’t apologize for speaking he who shall not be named in a public school, she has to stand trial and put her faith to the test. “God’s Not Dead 2” is kind of a brilliantly manipulative movie that relies a lot on subliminal visual cues to sway their audience’s emotions. There are a ton of mentions of Salvation Army, there’s Jesse Metcalfe, who gives a piss poor performance as a young atheist lawyer assigned to defend Grace. When we first meet him, he’s disheveled, unshaven, and a bit slovenly.

And did I mention he’s a condescending ass? “You pitiful Christian maggot, I mock your value system and scoff in your direction conveying a sense of superiority. Pshaw.” But naturally as the film progresses he becomes more and more of a believer and by the time the film ends he’s a well dressed, clean shaven, and kept up lawyer. Ray Wise (known all over pop culture for playing slime balls on TV and film) plays the evil atheist/opportunist of the film who gazes deviously at everyone, considers every idea of morality as an opportunity to make money. He even wears a red tie most of the time. See… red is bad. Like devil, bad. Ray Wise played the devil once in a cult TV show, did I not mention that?

Not only is “God’s Not Dead 2” just stupid, but it’s providing its devout audience with information that could be potentially hazardous to their health. In easily the worst bit of nonsense depicted in the film, Amy, a character diagnosed with cancer in the first film finds out that she is in remission. She’s happy and the Christian rock band from the first film, are happy for her, because prayer helped. Forget the doctors, and medical science, but prayer helped ward her cancer away making her a true believer. So if it’s not made clearly enough in the film, if you or someone you love is dying from cancer, they’re just not a good enough Christian. You only have yourself to blame, all you small children in terminal wards across the world.

“God’s Not Dead 2” was released on April 1st, 2016. Without a hint of irony.

Spotlight (2015)

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One of the most important cinematic accounts of journalism changing corruption since “All the President’s Men,” director Thomas McCarthy’s “Spotlight” garners an understated brilliance in where it explores a long legacy of corruption that’s not only been widely under reported but somewhat accepted. McCarthy manages to draw immense thrills and paranoia from a film that’s very much the antithesis of sensationalism. “Spotlight” is a gut wrenching and mind blowing account of a group of reporters tasked with uncovering one of the largest scandals in world history, a scandal that’s left thousands of victims in its wake.

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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

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Surely, once you see “Going Clear” you’ll have no doubt that it’s a terrifying religion filled with a horrific history, but watched side by side with a film like “Jesus Camp,” and there’s not much a difference. Scientology is just an in vogue religion that’s managed to use its legal force and strong arms to keep the lid about its sordid history tight for many years. “Going Clear” is the really explosive expose of the church of Scientology, an institution that’s garnered considerable influence over the world since its inception.

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Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)

omenivO,While it can be a tad silly at times, I think “Omen IV” is very underrated. What you think is just a goofy reboot with a switching of genders for the anti-Christ ends up being something so much cleverer. Asia Veira plays the cute but deadly Delia, a young girl adopted by Gene and Karen York, two attorneys that have had a tough time conceiving. While Karen begins focusing on motherhood, Gene finds himself being pushed by his coworkers toward a political career that could become very beneficial to the family.

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The PC Thug: Superman Represents Everyone

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Superman once told villain Black Adam “I fight for people that can’t fight for themselves.” Unfortunately we don’t live in a world where there’s a Superman that can fight for the weak and speak for people without a voice. There are still plenty of Supermen and Superwomen out there, but it’s becoming so much tougher to find them these days.

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God’s Not Dead (2014)

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One thing you have to admire at least about “God’s Not Dead,” is that it wears its propaganda on its sleeve. Being Christian is depicted as noble and courageous, while the more pragmatic and atheist characters are subtly referred to as snakes, and tyrants. Kevin Sorbo (intent on alienating his remaining fans, apparently) plays the evil philosophy Professor Radisson who is up to no good, mainly because he dons a goatee, and asks his class to consider the idea of the lack of an existence in a God. Which is a shocking notion considering his class is peppered with a few absolutely devout Christians.

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Choosing Sides (2013)

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Director Lee Loechler’s comedy short is a hilarious and beautifully acted statement about the lengths parents will go through to bring their child over to their religion. And not as a sense of best intentions, but only for personal victory. As someone who spent his entire life being lured to Catholicism through any means necessary by many, “Choosing Sides” is a hilarious commentary on that moment where some parents begin trying to bring their children over to their faith.

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