A film dealing with faith and another with vampires are among this week’s new entertainment options.
“Jesus Revolution” Grade B-: The ‘70s were a time of great religious awakening by many of the same group in what became known as a Jesus Movement. That embrace of the teachings of Jesus spread across the country in such a massive wave that Time Magazine dubbed it the “Jesus Revolution.” Writer/director Jon Erwin and co-writer Jon Gunn examine this moment in history with the new film “Jesus Revolution.” Their film is based on a true story.
Their examination is done through three key storylines. Kelsey Grammer turns in one of the strongest performances of his career playing Chuck Smith. The pastor of a small Southern California church desperately has been trying to maintain his faith but it has been shaken by the lack of parishioners in his pews.
Director Jon Erwin has shown with his past work – from “I Can Only Imagine” to “I Still Believe” – that he understands the best way to present a faith-based film is with a subtle touch. He doesn’t have to worry about the converted as they have already embraced the message.
What Erwin does so well is deliver his message in a way that is more accessible to the masses. This is the kind of film that needs to get to a broader audience and Erwin has structured this film to be welcoming.
The problem is it may be a little too much. The “Jesus Revolution” tends to turn the other cheek too often when it comes to the history of this movement in the ‘70s. This was certainly a time of spiritual awakening but the devastation and pain caused by the drug culture of the time was just as powerful. This film tends to shy away from such issues.
“Blood Relatives” Grade B-: Victoria Moroles plays Jane, a teenager who tracks down Francis (Noah Segan), a 115-year-old Yiddish vampire who has been roaming American backroads in his beat-up muscle car for decades.
It seems one stop on his roaming resulted in his being Jane’s father. Jane – who is half human, half vampire – wants him to teach her how to use her powers. He prefers the solo life.
The film – that is “Paper Moon” meets “Twilight” – has plenty of horror moments but there are also moments where Moroles gets to deal with some comedy.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of April 25
“His Dark Materials: The Complete Third Season”: Cable series that deals with a young woman from another world uncovers a sinister plot that involves stolen children.
“Fear”: Friends gather at a remote and historic hotel where one by one, each guest faces their own worst fear.
“The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek”: The 11-episode documentary examines the popular science fiction franchise.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3”: Set includes all 10 episodes from the latest season plus exclusive audio commentaries from cast and crew.
“Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal: The Complete Second Season”: Features all 10 episodes from the second season of the masterfully animated series plus a behind-the-scenes featurette.
“Justice League X RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen: Part One ”: Members of the Justice League find themselves in a strange world where they are transformed into teenagers.
“Kompromat”: French public servant finds himself in conflict with one of the modern era’s most powerful and dangerous forces: Russia’s FSB.
“Moonlight Wives” and “Naked Fog”: These two films by Joe Sarno are being released on one DVD and Blu-ray.
“Invitation to a Murder”: An amateur detective finds herself caught up in a real-life whodunit.
“A Handful of Water”: A cranky old man and desperate young girl come together.
Available through digital platforms
“The Tank”: Ben and his family accidentally unleash an ancient, long-dormant creature that terrorized the entire region for generations.