Category Archives: 0.5 pirate flags

The Second Chance

The Second Chance (2006): United States – directed by Steve Taylor

Rated PG-13 by the MPAA – contains some drug content, mature themes, and some mild language

It might be fairly obvious that The Second Chance is a Christian film.  There’s no denying that, though the religious content isn’t dramatically overt.  However, the film is also a not-so-bad drama, with some interesting characters.  The story involves some rich white people who have a fancy church in the suburbs.  Their pastor, Jeremiah Jenkins (J. Don Ferguson) has founded a church in the inner city, but is now lead pastor at a suburban mega-church.  The new pastor of the inner city church is Jake Sanders (Jeff Obafemi Carr).  Jake is black, grew up in the hood, and knows the streets.  Ethan Jenkins (Michael W. Smith), Jeremiah’s son, is the associate pastor of the mega-church, and he’s being groomed to take over when his father is ready to retire.

Ethan gets into trouble with the board when he ad libs a few lines one Sunday morning, deviating from their strict TV script for the services.  Ethan lets Jake say a few words about the donation the church is giving to the inner city church (called Second Chance), but this behavior crosses the line.  Jake is a bit of a loose canon, and after begging the rich folks to give their time to help out his church he tells the suburbanites to “keep their damn money.”  Ethan’s decision to give him the microphone convinces the board that he needs to spend some time away.  They send him to work at the inner city church.

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The Spy Next Door

The Spy Next Door (2010): United States – directed by Brian Levant

Rated PG by the MPAA – contains goofy action violence

The Spy Next Door is a children’s film, an important fact to remember when attempting to review it.  It is not a good children’s film, however, nor is it a good film by any definition of the word.  My advice would be to take the young ones to go see Where the Wild Things Are [review here] or Fantastic Mr. Fox [review here] in the dollar theater instead.  They can find this drivel on Saturday morning television shows; there is no need to go to the theater for a movie this poorly made.

Jackie Chan provides the only hook that might be of interest to audiences.  Unfortunately, this is definitely the worst Jackie Chan movie I have ever seen, worse even than Fantasy Mission Force.  He manages to retain some of his trademark charm, and some of the action sequences are mildly enjoyable, but this is a low step for the venerable action and comedy star.

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Guinea Pig: Devil’s Experiment

Guinea Pig: Devil’s Experiment (1985): Japan – directed by Satoru Ogura

Not rated by the MPAA – contains torture and nothing else

Note: This movie was absolutely worthless, and I fear that you would be wasting your time as much by reading this review as I was by watching the film.

There is only one possible reason that this film deserves any sort of recognition or review.  In the history of cinema, including the deepest, darkest underbelly, this perhaps holds a certain spot.  It is, I would venture to say, the very first torture porn.  And, since I am at least partially interested in all aspects of cinema, I thought I would briefly review this film.

This was definitely not the first exploitation movie, though it can hardly be considered one.  It’s also not the first alleged “snuff” film, though it most certainly tries to be a snuff film.  In fact, that’s the only reason this movie (or its many sequels) are of interest to anyone.  Charlie Sheen, seeing part of the second film, contacted the MPAA, which forwarded to the FBI his concerns that an actress was murdered onscreen.  The FBI investigated, but learned that Japanese authorities were already looking into the matter.  (Source and Wikipedia) It all turned out to be fake.

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A Trip to Mars

Himmelskibet (A Trip to Mars) (1918): Denmark – directed by Holger-Madsen

Not rated by the MPAA – contains a total lack of modern science

This is a science fiction movie before science was invented.  It’s an odd little treasure, a Danish movie about space travel even before airplanes were commonplace.  It was made in 1918 and recently restored by the Danish Film Institute.  Since it was made well before 1927 it is silent, though there is an excellent piano accompaniment.

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