Christian Retailing

DVD/Video
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.

 
Funny woman Anita Renfroe delivers high-seas laughs PDF Print E-mail
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 01:25 PM EDT

Latest comedy DVD recorded live during a cruise

ImNotHighMaintenanceBest-selling author and speaker Anita Renfroe offers her humorous observations on topics such as kids, vacations and accidental cell-phone dialing in her upcoming home-video release, I’m Not High Maintenance, Just Low Tolerance (622306019397, $14.99) available June 24 from Crown Entertainment.

The release was recorded live in a crowded theater on a cruise ship event, offering a unique setting, but also presenting its own particular circumstances. 

“Although the sea was calm during the first part of taping, occasionally, during the second half, I had to take a step back,” Renfroe told Christian Retailing. “You could see the curtains moving a bit.” 

The location provided a chance for Renfroe to discuss taking vacations with family and the difference in the way men and women pack for a trip. 

“Guys always talk about women packing, but we have a lot of different options to consider, like what color we might feel like on a given day,” she said. “Guys don’t pack emotionally.” 

Although not limited in her appeal to women, Renfroe admits her comedy is flavored from personal experiences. She hopes that all viewers will appreciate the observations she makes. 

“My comedy is female-slanted because I’m female,” she said. “I would rather people laugh because I’m talking about something familiar to them, not because they think I’m clever or hip or happening. I love the fact that laughter allows us to unite rather than highlight our differences.”

On the new release, Renfroe also offers an updated version of her hit “The Mom Song,” complete with rapping, and other songs about topics as diverse as fiber and the Psalms of David. 

The Psalms tune is “about this fictional company, House of David Publishing, where I talk about how David, when he wrote the psalms, didn’t realize he would be ripped off by all these worship leaders,” she said. 

Renfroe draws inspiration from her own life experiences, which she fleshes out before sharing with audiences. 

“Most of the time, a one-liner turns into five minutes of comedy when I think about it,” she said. “These are things that just keep happening in life. Humor is universal.” 

To order I’m Not High Maintenance, visit crownentertainment.us or call 866-791-0504.

 
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