Paul, Apostle of Christ

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Movies/Theatre

Imagine if you would, existing in a poorly lit, drafty sewer where rats and other vermin scurry about constantly.  A place that gets pitch black and just cold enough at night that you wouldn’t be able to sleep even there weren’t a million thoughts constantly keeping you awake, and clammy and stale during the day with air so rank you could probably chew it.  Then imagine that you can’t just run to the other end of that “sewer” to exit because you’re in the Mamertine Prison, a Subterranean Roman Dungeon said to be the place where Paul spent his last days in a solitary cell probably not much bigger than a toilet, and probably smelling just as badly. To make it worse, you are considered public enemy number one by the government and are subsisting on a few morsels of food and sips of water that a few compassionate guards risk their lives to sneak to you until your sentence of execution is carried out.

Now try to imagine that it not only doesn’t bother you, you are filled with gratitude and joy to be serving your Lord and Savior in any capacity; because while you do your best to remain the epitome of humility, you are in fact the Apostle Paul, and countless members of “The Way,” (followers of Christ) hang on every word you utter and thing you do.

On Thursday evening, February 8, 2018, I joined a gathering of around 150 individuals which included pastors, Bible students, housewives, members of the media, and lots more for a preview of Affirm Film’s movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ.”

I had thought that it would be a movie rendition of his life starting from when he was known with dreaded fear as Saul of Tarsus, when he went on a one man crusade to round up and heartlessly torture and kill as many members of “The Way,” as he could before Jesus revealed Himself resulting in “Saul’s” instant conversion on the Road to Damascus.  He was henceforth known as Paul and spent the rest of his life sharing the message of Christ with all who would listen; be they average men and women in the street, Roman Prefects or Centurions preparing to cut him down.  I also thought there might have been scenes depicting his extensive travels, shipwreck, the many beatings he endured, and a discussion of all of his letters to the churches which became most of the New Testament. 

Instead, except for depicting some underlying scenarios which could have played out among the members of the church in hiding within the city, the storyline focused on his last handful of days of this earthbound life, his time dictating a final letter to his close friend and confidante Luke for distribution to the churches, and his execution by beheading.

Every viewer will pick up on something different when seeing this movie; what struck me most was Paul’s complete focus on his never ending message to everyone he came into contact with about the Love and Grace of Jesus, his understanding of just how temporary this earthly life is for any of us, and that we all have a choice to make in this life concerning what our eternity will look like the moment we breathe our last. 

If a better movie about the life and story of Paul the Apostle has ever been made, I’m not aware of it and I recommend that all believers and non-believers alike see this movie and hear the message that Paul still speaks today from his letters to the original churches.

The Patriots Press gives “Paul, Apostle of Christ” five thumbs up for Scriptural accuracy, and as a learning opportunity. 

Opening nationwide at select theaters on March 28, 2018.  To learn how to buy out a movie showtime, bring the movie to your city, bring a group of 25 or more, or simply more information, please visit www.PaulMovie.com/Groups

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Dinesh D'Souza's "Hillary's America" A Must See Movie

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Movies/Theatre

Brilliant…!  That is the word that kept coming to my mind during and after seeing Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, “Hillary’s America” this evening.

From the very beginning of the movie, Dinesh carefully explains what he learned when sent to prison over a political donation.  The sentence was of course a political hit on him and an attempt to silence him; and I dare say those who set him up would have done the happy dance if he’d ‘accidentally’ been killed in prison.

He was not though and took the time to learn the tactics of gangs, small and large, and how they employ the same basic methods.  He then weaved this new found knowledge throughout the movie showing how Hillary and Bill Clinton, and the Democrat party have risen to power on the backs of the very people they have duped into believing they are helping.

There is nothing really “new” to be gleaned from the movie as everything has been right in front of all of us for generations; Dinesh has simply compiled all of the facts and information into a concise, easy to understand narrative which uncovers the deception.

That narrative begs me to make the following challenge to everyone, everywhere.  Before you decide to wave it off as some sort of ‘right wing propaganda,’ or anything else, and whether you love or hate Hillary Clinton, especially if you identify as any sort of minority; take some time over the next several days or so and see this movie.  Check the facts put forth by Mr. D’Souza.  Then ask yourself honestly if your ideology lines up with hers and her political party.  

My friends, this is the most critical election in the history of these United States.  There are two candidates to select from and it is incumbent upon every one of us to make sure the decision we make in November is a well-educated one.  The future of our way of life, our nation and our children rests on how we choose as a nation. 

Please visit this website for details about the movie and where it is playing in your area, and for advance tickets.

 

 

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War Room....A review

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Movies/Theatre

Spiritual Warfare.  It’s a term that is bandied about a lot these days. On one level or another, whether they completely understand it or not, most people can grasp the basic concept of it. Few understand that we are constantly caught in the middle of it and are the target of it.  Even less really know what they can do about it.

That’s where the Kendrick Brothers come in.  Known for inspirational Christian based movies such as Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and others, they pulled out all the stops once again in this powerful movie that builds on the only weapon we have to combat the spiritual warfare we face every day.

Whether that warfare presents itself in our marriages, dealing with our children, the workplace, our churches even, or anywhere else; the answer is prayer.  Sincere focused prayer…one on one and corporate discussions with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

And that is the solid message of War Room.  Without giving away the whole movie, War Room focuses on the struggles facing one family that on the outside have all the elements of success; great jobs, cars, beautiful home, beautiful daughter, etc.  

However, until the day when Elizabeth Jordan meets a new client named Clara, everything seems hopeless.  Clara is the prayer warrior that all prayer warriors can look up to.  She is at once hilarious, focused, and has the spirit filled ability to hear and see below the surface; and she takes Elizabeth under her wing, teaches her how to let go and let God do His work.  And Clara has a special secret.  A secret she shares with Elizabeth and a secret that the Kendrick Brothers share with all of us who understand and are willing to apply it in our own lives.  It’s a simple secret, but one you’ll have to see the movie to grasp and appreciate.

Elizabeth resists a bit at first, and then we see her recognizing how broken she really is, how she finds herself faced with the reality that when all you have left is Jesus, you realize that He is all you needed in the first place.  

We also get a look into Tony Jordan’s life.  Successful, goal oriented, and blind-sided by the many daily temptations that his career puts in his path, Tony also runs face to face with the reality that he is about to lose everything that is important.

Of course, the lives of everyone in this too short movie are put back together, however the real gist is this; all of us need to understand that, in spite of what the culture would have us believe, prayer works.  We sometimes don’t like His answer or His timing, but He has every jot and tittle under control.  Some of our prayers are answered only after we leave this temporary existence, and we just have to trust Him and have faith that He knows what is best.

War Room opens on August 28, 2015 in theaters everywhere.  To learn more and watch the trailer, CLICK HERE.

To learn more and be involved in hosting a screening, CLICK HERE.

Until then…consider these scriptures.  

”Pray without ceasing”…1 Thessalonians 5:17

and

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”… 2 Chronicles 7:14

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'Lend Me A Tenor'

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Movies/Theatre

Since I don’t get to live theatre very often, I tend to forget how much I really do prefer it to seeing a movie, not that I see that many movies really, but I digress.  

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to take in a little local theatre and saw 'Lend me a Tenor’ which could be sub-titled, 'a funny thing happened on the way to the opera,' performed by a troupe of very talented, and I would say Broadway bound, young people at the American Heritage School of Boca/Delray.  The first thing I noticed was the intimate size of the venue, which was a 'black box,’ and seated perhaps 100 or so.  

From the opening scene that prepares the audience for the entrance of 'World Famous Opera Singer Tito Merelli,’ the show was a laugh fest with more interwoven themes than a big basket full of little baskets.

We see Maggie, (played by Madison Spear) who is the not so faithful girlfriend of Max, (himself an aspiring Opera Singer, played by Joshua Lerner) swooning over the very thought of being in the same city, let alone the same room with Tito.  Then of course we are delighted by the conniving, used car salesman-like Mr. Saunders who is the GM of the Cleveland Opera House, and wants only to get the show over and done with and send 'Tito’ packing on the next out bound train.  From this comedic chaos comes one of the funniest lines in the show, when 'Julia,’ (Bridget Kelly) the Chair of the Opera Guild shows up in glittering formal array topped with a sparkling Tiara and 'Mr. Saunders’ suggests she resembles the Chrysler Building.  And there is yet another element added when 'Diana,’ a vampish soprano who is determined to have her way with Tito asks Max to deliver an undeliverable message to him via an impassioned kiss that would have made Burt Lancaster in 'From here to Eternity’ blush. 

Enter the 'Merelli’s,’ stage left!  'Tito,’ (Anthony Coons) enters the room feeling under the weather from the road and over-eating with hysterically near crazy, sex starved, and neurotic wife 'Maria,’ (Taylor Capizola) by his side.  When people wonder why he over-ate to the point of sickness, 'Maria’ informs us as animatedly as possible, "…because he wants to grow…bazzooms.”  When he spurns her advances in the next comedic moment, the audience, (especially those of us of Italian Heritage) just lost it in laughter.

From there, the show centers on the main theme of finding a replacement for the now 'dead’ Tito, Max and Mr. Saunders trying to hide the 'death,’ added to the mixed themes of Maggie and Diana both trying to figure how to be with Tito; Max and Mr. Saunders conspiring to have Max play Tito’s role; the 'Bell Hop,’ (Amos Jackson III) trying to figure it all out while getting Tito’s autograph; Maria confronting Diana when she finds her in the bedroom closet; and rumors of Tito running around town in a 'madman’ craze that includes punching a police officer while trying to get back into the show.  All of this brilliant chaos comes to a hilarious head when the cast catches up in the final scene and they all realize their own deceptions, how they intermingle, and how they play off of each other with no-one admitting the scam.

And then, just in case anyone missed anything, the entire performance is recreated during a very different encore in an 80 second, laugh out loud funny re-cap of the highlights of the show.

'Lend Me A Tenor’ was an unqualified triumph for the students, the school, and the staff of American Heritage, and not wanting this show to end, I cannot wait to see the next offering by this very talented group of one day theatrical stars.  

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5 Conservative Films to Watch and Share

Written by Daria DiGiovanni on . Posted in Movies/Theatre

First, a few caveats. This is merely a place to start, not an all-inclusive list. Building on my post about how to rescue pop culture from progressives, specifically #6 — Start Your Own Film Festival — I thought I’d follow up with some suggestions to help you get started. I’ve seen and/or reviewed all of them, which include three of the documentaries of Stephen K. Bannon, a Hallmark movie and a major motion picture.

So invite over some friends (especially the apolitical or misinformed ones), pop some popcorn, sit back and enjoy as you help them transform from low-information voters to defenders of the republic. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, organize a monthly “movie night” at your place of worship, local school auditorium or other public venue to reach as many people as possible in your community.

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