Friday, March 16, 2012

Movie Review: One Hit From Home

It seems ever since Sherwood Pictures’ film Facing the Giants made it to the big screen, Christians outside of Hollywood have been inspired to create a Christian film. One Hit From Home is Intrigue Films’ debut film, though Dave Stone and Johnny Meier actually set out to make a horror film years ago before they were saved. Now, they take their expertise in filmmaking and deliver a riveting, Dove Approved film addressing the fact that often faith needs to come before our fleshly passions and desires.

At first I was a bit deterred by the fact that One Hit From Home was a sports film. I’ve seen enough films where a losing team’s coach is discouraged, and after something shocking happens to him, he gets his act together and the team wins, goes to playoffs, then the state, and wins a medal. They are usually heartwarming, but completely predictable and end without any real point, except that determination pays off. I was happy that One Hit From Home, though it was a sports film like that, has a different synopsis that addresses many modern-day struggles.

The story begins with pro-baseball star Jimmy Easton blowing out his knee. He returns home to his dark past at home, where alcohol addiction takes over. When a pair of kids teases Jimmy about his ex-pro status, Jimmy instinctively punches one of them in the face. When they decide to press charges, Jimmy’s uncle has a better idea – community service by coaching the local school’s baseball team. On the team is Brandon Elliot, the only real star of the team, but his bad attitude keeps him from winning any games. Jimmy is reluctant to join such a pathetic team, but to avoid jail time, he relents. It becomes clear that Jimmy’s addictions are keeping him from coaching the team, as are his nightmares. Something, unclear at the beginning of the film, is discouraging Jimmy from ever changing his life. But when his past girlfriend, who had married and divorced in ten long years since he last heard from her, shakes him and wakes him up, He is determined to change and help his team come to success. Not until He gives his burdens to the Lord does his life begin to change, and he sees everything around him in a different light.

There were many excellent elements from One Hit From Home, the main is, since both of the directors, Dave and Johnny, went through acting school, their acting was phenomenal! Several of the other characters did not appear very authentic but it was these two main characters that drove the film home. Especially convincing was one particular scene where Jimmy releases his fierce anger at God by speeding down the road, eventually screaming his frustration out, when he jumps out the vehicle and runs until he collapses of exhaustion. This was also the climax of the film, where Jimmy has a dream that changes his life. Until this point, he has been making good changes, but doesn’t surrender his life to Christ. When He does so, he finally is able to have peace and sleep soundly at night.

I also greatly enjoyed the message that the hurts we have in life shape us to be able to help others in the same position as we were. Throughout the film, bits and pieces of Jimmy’s nightmare are revealed, till his heart-rending past become obvious. At first, I thought it was a bit confusing to follow, but as the film progressed, it all made sense, and it becomes easy to see why Jimmy is so troubled. Then, when he is saved, he is able to help the failing baseball team star, Brandon, get his life back in order as well. I think the film’s ending had a somewhat predictable ending, though it was delightful, because though both Jimmy and Brandon’s problems didn’t get 100% better, they all worked out.

For those worried about family-friendliness, the film is just that mostly. It received the Dove Family-Approved Seal, as there is no swearing, no perversion, and no mature content. However, because of Jimmy’s depression and alcoholism, there is some mild content to represent this. Parents may wish to preview the film before showing it to younger audiences because of this, but I was delighted overall with its family-friendliness.

In all, One Hit From Home is a wonderful, Christian film. There are a few flaws, but I’m sure that these will work themselves out as Intrigue Films works on more films. One Hit From Home is a wonderful story that we can hang on to God even when all else fails. He will always be there guiding us back home and healing our hurts. This emotional film was definitely worth the watch.

Running time: 99 minutes
Release date: March 6, 2012

Official trailer:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVMmgfLvLnU?rel=0]

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