Tuesday, June 21, 2011


On Thursday, Diane and I had the opportunity to attend a screening of the new Sherwood Pictures movie, "Courageous".

This movie, set to be released in September of this year, is from the creators of the movies "Fireproof" and "Facing the Giants". For those of you unfamiliar with these movies, they are produced by a Church in Georgia that believed they could reach the world from where they were. The result of this idea was Sherwood Pictures.

The last film, 'Fireproof" starred Kirk Cameron and focused on a firefighter trying to "fireproof" his failing marriage. This movie focused on cops and being a "courageous" father.

I enjoyed this movie, thought it was great that I got to be in on a special pre-screening and I thought the message was powerful and effectively presented. And, as a special treat, one of the main actors from the movie, Robert Amaya, joined us for the screening.

Since this is a review, I will throw out some criticisms of the movie first, since I am sure everyone wants to know what they are. Here ya go.

Cop Stuff
Since I am a Law Enforcement Officer, it is probably a little easier for me to be bothered by the cop stuff than other people might be. But there were a few things that rubbed me wrong. You will be happy to know that I decided to set them aside and enjoy the show, so I might have missed some things that would bug other cops. But here are a few:

-The officers decided to barge into a house while looking for two guys with warrants. This was questionable and quite possibly a fourth amendment violation, since it was unclear whose house they were entering.

-One of the deputies had his finger on the trigger at one point when they were clearing the house. this is a big no no, because it lends itself to what is called a sympathetic response. When the other hand squeezes a door knob or a loud noise is heard, the trigger finger can, unconsciously, squeeze off a round. The other cop was very good about having his finger indexed along the side of the gun.

- While they are clearing the house, another "rookie" deputy stands around like a dolt that doesn't realize they re looking for dangerous felons and is subsequently taken by surprise.

- None of these guys wear vests. I know (all too well) that it is hotter and you don't look as good on film, but if these guys really want to be good dads,they would have a better chance of being one if they weren't lung punched in a shootout.

- I did learn a new technique, called the "slingshot". When you are chasing someone on foot in your car, and then it is time for the passenger to jump out and start running after the guy you are chasing, you yell, "Slingshot!" If your partner is a veteran, he will know that when you put your car into a side-slide, he should jump out and use the momentum of the slide to help "slingshot" him into the bad guy. Even though I am a driving instructor, I have never learned this cool move. Maybe if I was a driving/foot chasing instructor.

Other Stuff
- The movie had a plethora of heavy themes. At times it seemed a bit much. The themes included Gangs, Drugs, Death of a Child, Job loss, Spending time with kids, Ethical and Moral failure, Making up for past mistakes, the Need for salvation and more.

-It was also very emotional. Dealing with the themes above all came with a very high emotional price. I know that many will say it was powerful, and it was. But, it was a little hard to keep facing one deep emotional issue after the next. If you don't usually cry at movies, or weddings, or graduations, or sporting events, or funerals, be ready to find yourself shedding a few tears. If you are a crier already, you will be done.

Ok, that is enough of the criticism. Here is some things that I liked, and maybe you will too.

The Good Stuff
- I appreciate that they are not afraid to release a major motion picture that portrays believers in a positive light, and shows them having major issues, and major mistakes, to deal with.

- They do a good job of bringing to light the fact that many of the woes we have in society have a good deal to do with children growing up without Dad.

- The acting is not so bad. Those of you that did not like Fireproof because of the acting or their brand of humor may have the same issues with this one. But they are constantly improving in their craft and, while they might be a bit over the top at times, they do a good job of making the characters believable and natural.

- They have some genuinely funny scenes. You gotta love that.

- It is not populated by just a bunch of white people. While they don't go out of their way to make sure every ethnic group is properly and politically correctly represented, they do show that their really is diversity in the ethnicity of believers.

- The message for Fathers (And parents in general) is powerful and made an impact on me as a Father. This movie really will change lives.

- I like a movie that has cops as the heroes. Sure, everyone loves firemen. They have the best show muscles, they help out everyone and they have all that cool gear and equipment. They may not look as good in calendars, but I am partial to cops.

This movie hits the screen on September 30th. In spite of my criticisms, I would definitely recommend you grab a group of friends and check it out. It will challenge you to be a better Dad, better parent, better person in general. And this can have an incredible effect on your life and the life of those around you.



Jeremy said...

Good review James! I'm excited to see it now!

Agent Pipes said...

Where's the "like" button?