Christian Retailing

DVD/Video
Mother’s Day comedy with star power comes to DVD PDF Print E-mail
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Monday, 11 August 2014 10:57 AM EDT

‘The Middle’ actress Patricia Heaton’s role spotlights challenges of the pastor’s wife

MomsNightOut-sceneA night featuring a series of unfortunate events played to hilarious results is the basis for the faith-based comedy Mom’s Night Out, starring Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle); Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy); Sean Astin (The Goonies, “Lord of the Rings”); and country singer Trace Adkins.

Directed by the Erwin brothers (October Baby), the film from Affirm Films and Provident Films released to theaters in time for Mother’s Day and will be available for home viewing Sept. 2. The DVD is being promoted with a series of retailer exclusives, such as Blu-ray/DVD combo packs exclusive to Christian retail with bonus content such as blooper reels and special featurettes.

Heaton and her husband, David Hunt, served as executive producers of the film and offered script suggestions based on her research on the life of a pastor’s wife.

“When I did my research, one of the words that came up often to describe themselves is ‘lonely’,” she said. “It makes perfect sense because although they’re surrounded by people, they have to be careful about who they can confide in as a friend. So, we started finding places in the script to illustrate where we can spotlight pastor’s wife’s challenges.”

Heaton said the chance to “humanize” church goers was one of the concepts that drew her to the part of Sondra, the pastor’s wife.

“I think it was the first comedy in the faith-friendly area of movies,” she said. “I am a big believer in comedy. People talk about music breaking barriers and uniting people. I think comedy does the same thing. I was very excited that there was a comedy about people going to church. It makes them more human.”MomsNightOut

The actress, who admitted that of all the moms she’s played in her roles, she’s the most like her current television persona, Frankie Heck from ABC’s The Middle, believes the ability for the church to show its softer side is a really good thing.

“I think G.K. Chesterton said, ‘Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly,’ ” Heaton said. “We should be able to laugh at our own unfortunate attempts at living a pious life. I think the world needs to see Christians having fun and laughing at themselves.”

To order the Mom’s Night Out DVD, visit thep.com.

 
Updated prodigal son story targets today's fathers PDF Print E-mail
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Monday, 07 July 2014 02:26 PM EDT

Cast includes conservative commentator Sean Hannity and popular character actors

ALongWayOff-FamilyA naïve young son takes his father’s early inheritance in order to make a name for himself in the business world in A Long Way Off (818728010962, $11.99). Releasing Aug. 19 from Word Films and PRODIGALFILM, the movie is a modern retelling of the prodigal son parable.

Taken from Luke 15:11-32, but set in modern times, Jacob leaves the family farm, shunning his father’s religious and business ethics, to strike out on his own in the big city, poised to conquer the world in his own way—on his terms. Surprised that his father actually obliges his request for an early inheritance, Jacob sets out for his own idea of fortune and fame, and proceeds to spend millions of dollars living the high life—only to find it come crashing down and learning vital life lessons, coming back a humbled, appreciative son, finally ready to reconcile with both his earthly and heavenly Father.

ALongWayOff-HannityA Long Way Off features Jason Burkey (October Baby, Mom’s Night Out), Robert Davi (Die Hard, Goonies, License to Kill), John Diehl (Escape From New York, Stargate, Pearl Harbor), Edie McClurg (Frozen, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles), Robert Amaya (Courageous) and talk show host Sean Hannity. Produced and co-directed by Michael Davis (Destiny Road) and John Errington, A Long Way Off captures the timeless tale of a journey to humility, repentance and reconciliation with both a loving earthly father and a heavenly Father.

The home entertainment release also will include a music video by Christa Wells performing the title song, “A Long Way Off.”

The movie will be promoted with a Father’s Day television network special in June, church movie screenings across the country and talk show appearances from some of the cast, including Hannity, who said: “We need more great faith and family films like A Long Way Off.

In the film, the popular conservative talker plays a life trainer that Jacob’s father encourages him to speak with before Jacob receives his inheritance. Hannity appears alongside political pollster Scott Rasmussen and psychologist Dr. Bev Smallwood.

 To order A Long Way Off, call Word Distribution at 800-876-WORD (9673).

 
Exploring a musical legacy PDF Print E-mail
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 09:15 AM EDT

Ragamuffin-scene‘Awesome God’ singer-songwriter Rich Mullins’ life dramatized in new movie ‘Ragamuffin’

The music of singer-songwriter Rich Mullins continues to impact the world many years after his untimely death at age 41. Although already profiled in documentaries and books, The spiritual journey of the “Awesome God” songwriter and the Gospel Music Association’s Artist of the Year (1998) gets the big-screen treatment in Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins (Millennium Entertainment/Capitol Christian Distribution), which also will be available on DVD at Christian retail July 8.

RagamuffinActor David Leo Schultz, who co-wrote and directed the film, was one of the lives profoundly affected by Mullins’ music and philosophy. The idea for a full-length movie came to be in a meeting with Rich’s younger brother, David.

“I was merely an audience member to his life,” Schultz told Christian Retailing. “With the film, I want to give other people the opportunity for Rich to change their lives. [After I met David,] I started daydreaming about the movie, wondering what it would look like. I started imagining as I was listening to some of his music and old radio interviews.”

Schultz appears in a supporting role in the film, alongside Michael Koch as Rich. Schultz’s wife, Amy, also appears as singer Amy Grant. Also appearing are: Wolfgang Bodison as Bryan, James Kyson as Matt, Mel Fair as John Mullins (Rich’s father), Michelle Keller as Neva Mullins (Rich’s mother), Carson Aune as Justin, and Elizabeth Ann Roberts as Jess.

Being “honest” about the singer’s struggles with loneliness, alcohol and family issues was important, Schultz said, even though such portrayals may make some viewers uncomfortable.

“There’s this kind of thing in our storytelling, especially when it’s based on a true story, that says we shouldn’t talk about Christian struggles,” Schultz said. “But I thought that was the purpose of the testimony. For me, why would I not? Unless I was just trying to sell something to the Christian audience to make it more palatable. I think while it is a product that not only entertains, but challenges their faith, at the same time we had no desire to make something [that was] falsified to please the Christian audience.”

To promote the release, screenings of the film were held in churches across the country. Although Schultz was hopeful for positive responses, he said he was “overwhelmed” by the impact the film had on viewers.

“We didn’t expect the overwhelming positive response we’ve had,” he said. “There’s been a lot of cool God stories in people’s lives. We hoped for that, but we weren’t expecting that. God doesn’t need a movie, but we were really excited that He was using it to work in people’s hearts.”

To order, call 800-877-4443 or go to capitolchristiandistribution.com.

 
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