Monday, February 8, 2010

The Imposter: Your Words

I remember early in college working for a restaurant chain. I wish I had the exact study or numbers, but customer referral boiled down to this: Something like 8 out of 10 people who have a bad experience will tell others, and only 2 out of 10 who have a good experience will tell others. This runs true in my industry.

It's always very encouraging to get word back from someone that "The Imposter" has touched them or their group. Here's a message I received from the last church that bought the church license before PureFlix Entertainment took over:
Well, last night we showed The Imposter movie and the youth loved it!! And the parents that came loved it too. We also had another youth group join us and they enjoyed it so much that they asked for the poster we had by the door for their youth room at church. I also got to talk to some of them about Kerry's testimony, because even though only 13 they have heard of Kansas. lol... I praise God and pray he blesses you with even more great movie ideas.

Of course, not all words are complimentary, and that's fine too. I've gotten pretty used to be critiqued in public-- I've done five films now and I've read some very scathing stuff. I've read personal attacks on me. Some of the critique is right on. Some is downright silly. Some people love Kevin's Max's acting. Some don't. It's the same with Tom Hanks. Some people will post something like "Werst Movie Evar!". Some will talk about how much it has meant to them personally.

I'm hoping that as the movie hits the shelves on Feb 23 we start to hear more stories. If you've seen it, feel free to drop me a note. Here's some of the comments from IMDB (which please leave a USER COMMENT review):
Haven't seen too many Christian films that I wouldn't call: 1) heavy-handed, or 2) downright cheesy, but this is one of them.

"The Imposter" isn't really an evangelistic film for the non-believer, but instead asks an important question for "Christian" media, especially music, shining the light of Christ to the world, or is it simply reflecting what the world is already doing and just slapping the label "Christian" on it so it will appeal to a certain demographic? Are we really walking as Christ believers or are we just going through the motions, pretending to be something we're not? Production values are first rate. Filmmaker Daniel Millican shows a definite flair for directing music videos. In fact, I would have loved to see more videos interspersed through the whole production, especially the second act, which is the only part of the movie that seemed to bog down a bit for me.

Although the caliber of acting is usually a real shortcoming in most independent Christian films I've seen, "The Imposter" pleasantly surprised me again. Kevin Max is able to carry the film as Johnny C, the prodigal lead singer for the Christian band 'Grand Design.' Of course, being a big-time Kansas fan in high school, the real thrill for me was getting to see former band member Kerry Livgren in the film. I would have bought the film just for the new rendition of "Carry On My Wayward Son" at the end credits. Talk about a tingly feeling going up and down my leg!

And this one:
Normally I'm not a critical thinker when it comes to movies. I just like them or I don't. However, The Imposter caused be to think critically about film making and I found the film to be an amazing finished product.

Also, I really appreciated the challenge and message the film communicated. "Be real with yourself and those around you and that Jesus is the only way you will be able to be "real" at all." And yet this "realness" challenge comes across as so real, sometimes painful and leaves you with the unknown future. Real indeed.

I hope as many church members as possible watch the movie with their church, with leadership expecting to have hearts broken by God's Spirit and lives set on His path, through the movie's message. This is what I personally experienced.

For this movie, some of the more harsher critiques come from people outside the target group. I had one guy who visited the set and I got to talk to him some. I think I was too intense in our meeting, because later, his comments after seeing the movie just didn't make sense. When you start to hear the same comment from multiple sources, even I can spot patterns. But this guy's stuff came from left field. I think he thought the movie was made for a secular audience or something. And personally, I think this movie challenges people-- and if you're running from the issue this movie deals with, chances are, you're not going to like it.

So yes, this movie is for the person who claims to be a "Christian." I made it for you. I did not make it to be evangelical in the common sense of the word today.

I even thought about trying to delete "bad" reviews, but decided not to. If a person who is an obvious Imposter trashes the movie, then that tells me we're on the right track. So even if you don't like the movie, I hope you post your comments... even unfiltered.

Here's another one from IMDB:
It seems to me there are two main points to this movie...

First, this isn't really a movie to lead the unbeliever to Christ, it's more about pointing out to Christians perhaps the maim problem we often run into in trying reach out to the world, ourselves. We are all called to be Christ-like, but we all fall short and wind up being "Imposters" at some point.

Secondly, as the film points out, heavy handedly and repeatedly, the point at which the sinner comes to Christ is NOT the end of the journey, it's just the beginning. Many painful trials await.

I am to old school to be familiar with Kevin Max. He does a good job with the new version of "Carry on Wayward Son", and his acting is okay.

Kerry Livgren is way more my speed. He does a solid job as the "Proff", though the character isn't to much of a stretch from the man himself as I perceive him.

All in all I'd call it a decent DVD sermon with some random music videos thrown in, the one at the credits being the best. (Guess what? I'm old school biased!)

Nice to get all perspectives. The first quote above is coming from an audience of 13 year olds. The last comment from someone familiar with Kansas-- who's heyday was late seventies.

Please let us know what you think.

1 comment:

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