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God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness (2018) - DVD Review

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God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness

If you’re watching God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness, chances are you already believe in God. Like its two previous installments, God’s Not Dead 3 comes from family friendly studio Pure Flix and stars David A.R. White as Pastor Dave Hill, who had been introduced in the original. While its protagonist is an outspoken Christian, the film’s plot and subplots involve those of different or no faith who transcend stereotypes this time around.

"It would make a good ending to the series as a whole. So I hope Pure Flix will stop here"


The movie picks up at the end of God’s Not Dead 2, with Pastor Dave in jail for resisting a court order to turn over sermon transcripts. Although the authorities release him, he finds that St. James’ problems are just beginning. The church building is located on a college campus which is deemed a violation of church and state separation, so the university begins proceed-ings to shut it down. Then one night, someone throws a brick through a church window that (implausibly) starts a fire. Jude (Benjamin A. Onyango), Dave’s friend and fellow pastor, dies melodramatically in his arms.

Dave’s lawyer brother Pearce (John Corbett) comes to defend him in the case against the school. Surprisingly, irreligious Pearce comes across as sympathetic and likable. Even though they haven’t always gotten along, Pearce loves Dave and does his best to look out for him. Other characters include Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), the heroic former college student from the first God’s Not Dead, and Keaton (Samantha Boscarino), a young Christian struggling with her own questions and doubt.

It’s good that the “man of God” Dave is portrayed as flawed and human. He even commits assault, eliciting condemnation from the community. The drama plays out on national news outlets like the fictional Lion’s Den, as well as in YouTube videos. Real life NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch and Fox News analyst Judge Jeanine Pirro have cameos where they sound like the voice of reason. Jeanine declares, “Everybody’s yelling. Nobody’s listening.” God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness

I want to point out to Pure Flix that not every unbeliever is a disillusioned former Christian, like atheists Adam and Pearce. Some have intellectual reasons why they don’t share a supernatural worldview; they aren’t just angry at a God they secretly believe in or clinging to a supposedly sinful lifestyle. While this third movie marks progress in understanding other points of view, it does have the same persecution complex critics hated all along. (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the first two but have read countless reviews.) The paranoia has been toned down somewhat, but an “us versus them” mentality is still apparent. Even so, the movie ends on an encouraging note of unity and positivity. It would make a good ending to the series as a whole. So I hope Pure Flix will stop here, since I believe we’re all meant to “converse, not convert.”

2/5 stars

God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness

DVD

DVD Details:

Home Video Distributor: Pure Flix/Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray
- August 21, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH; Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: DVD Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette: “The Heart of God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness”
  • Rice Broocks Discusses the Film and Book
  • Newsboys United
  • Music Videos
  • Deleted Scenes

Scared Stiff (1987)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
105 mins
Director
: Michael Mason
Writer:
Michael Mason, Howard Klausner
Cast:
Megan Alexander, Adeeja Rochele Anderson, Carrlyn Bathe
Genre
: Drama
Tagline:
God's Not Dead 3.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Kind of weirde, somebody burns your church down, but you're OK."
Theatrical Distributor:
Pure Flix Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 30, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 21, 2018
Synopsis: Pastor Dave responds to the unimaginable tragedy of having his church, located on the grounds of the local university, burned down.

God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness

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