On April 19, On DVD Release reports that the movie “Risen,” even in pre-release, is the top-selling movie in the historical and mystery categories. It is also one of the best-selling movies in the drama category, along with “Miracles from Heaven,” even in pre-release. “War Room” remains a best-selling DVD in the African American category. “The Young Messiah” is also a best- selling DVD in the historical category even in pre-release. “Woodlawn” continues as a top-selling DVD in the sports category. These are all excellent redemptive family movies with the best of actors, outstanding cinematography, and substantive content. They are all excellent acquisitions for libraries and for home use. Other good choices for educational, public, and home libraries are the top-selling, animated, Disney DVDs “Zootopia” and “The Good Dinosaur.”
These movies have all done well at the box office and with ongoing forms of delivery. They are entertaining, while also being educational, enlightening, and edifying. They all have substantive, thought-provoking content and themes. “Risen” with its outstanding acting and cinematography deals with the historical Jesus Christ, the honest horrors of His death, and the factual evidence of His bodily resurrection, all from the point of view of a Roman officer.
In exclusive interviews with Austin Movie Examiner concerning “Miracles From Heaven,” Jennifer Garner, who performs the leading role of real-life Christy Beam, producers DeVon Franklin and Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kevin and the Beam daughters all share thought-provoking insights about the themes of “Miracles From Heaven.” These substantive themes relate to the challenging but positive human transformation that can develop in difficult times, as well as the miraculous healing of Anna Beam of an incurable and debilitating physical condition. This movie shows that challenges that require perseverance that can develop endurance, proven character, and ultimately hope. It displays the value of a child’s faith and how in weakness eternal strength can be found.
“War Room” has been a top box office movie as well as ongoing top-selling DVD. It concerns the power of prayer to save a marriage and family. “Woodlawn” is based on a true story about the influence of sports chaplain, Hank Erwin, in a Birmingham, Alabama high school on the football team that was caught up in racial conflict like the rest of the city. Hank leads most of the football team to personal commitment to Christ and to ongoing Christian growth. Then Hank’s team in turn leads their rival football team to the same kind of Christian commitment, growth, and unity. Out of these developments emerges real-life, star football player, Tony Nathan, who goes on to play college football with legendary Coach Bear Bryant, played by Jon Voight.
All of these top pick DVDs for the third week of April have timeless themes and universal appeal. “The Young Messiah” picturizes the young Jesus Christ in an accurately depicted Jewish and Roman cultural background. In an exclusive interview with Austin Movie Examiner, Cyrus Nowrasteh, writer and director of “The Young Messiah” addresses universal appeal and cultural depictions of the movie. He tells how the movie has broad and cross appeal to people of different faith backgrounds. He shares, for example, how Rabbis have responded enthusiastically to the movie because it authentically depicts a Jewish family. Cyrus explains how Jewish traditions are honored and how realistic and cinematographic locations are used. He also tells how this imagined story has broad appeal as it reflects the Bible, histories, and 2000-year-old stories that have come out of Egypt, especially Alexandria, after the Holy Family was there.
“Zootopia” challenges stereotypes and has substantive themes about the value of the following: perseverance, courage, forgiveness, service, truth, justice, and doing what is right. “The Good Dinosaur” has themes about the value of family, perseverance, and unconditional love.
In the continuing Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content, there are more and more outstanding movies for all ages in theaters and on DVD which are entertaining but also edifying, educational, and enlightening with the best of artistry and depth of content.