'Overcomer' [Blu-ray Combo Pack]
(Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, Aryn Wright-Thompson, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / PG / 2019 / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) after he loses his basketball team and is challenged by the school's principal, Olivia (Priscilla Shirer), to coach a new sport he doesn't know or like.
As John questions his own worth, he dares to help the least likely runner take on the biggest race of the year.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, humor and heart, this inspirational story will have you on the edge of your seat.
Blu-ray Verdict: Well, I have to admit right from the off that if you are not connected to any Faith or religion, the message here is most likely going to be lost on you (the message being one of Christianity, which is always nice to get a refresher course in, of course).
'Overcomer' starts off with a high school basketball coach named John Harrison, whose team has high hopes for a championship the following season, but is decimated when their small town's major manufacturing plant shuts down.
John reluctantly agrees to coach cross-country, a sport he knows little about and does not enjoy. The other focal point of the movie is Hannah Scott, the sole student running cross country for the high school, who runs carrying an inhaler to deal with asthma issues, and also engages in compulsive small thefts.
As the movie progresses, John meets a man dying in the hospital who has a surprising link to others in town, and who ends up becoming part of transforming both John and Hannah's lives.
The movie is the sixth one produced by the Kendrick's, but the first of theirs I have seen in many years. The production values have improved greatly and while not up to those of a high budget Hollywood movie, it was amazingly well done given that the budget for the movie was a relatively small five million or so.
Early on some of the acting, particularly one scene between John and his wife Amy (who also teaches in the same school) was a bit distracting, being not quite as well done as I am used to seeing on the big screen.
However, the acting either got better as time went on, or more likely the story gripped me enough that I stopped dwelling on such minor flaws.
Some people who watched it before me actually "complained" that the movie seems to portray the message that drawing near to or praying to God as the answer to every problem.
Knowing that, I was prepared for a movie that was overly simplistic, perhaps portraying faith in Jesus as something that automatically leads to an easy and perfect life, something the Bible itself does not claim, and that real life does not demonstrate.
But instead of the overly simplistic approach I had feared, I found that even after a character had a life changing encounter with God she still struggled, had to work very hard toward her goals, and experienced both joys and sorrows, which is a more realistic take on life.
Yes, there are several scenes that involve Prayer, and people are affected by their beliefs in a loving and forgiving God in a way that motivates them to love and forgive others, but this was done in a way that for the most part was believable.
In closing, and as aforementioned, not everyone will like this movie, but as a father, as well as someone who has watched others, as well as myself, struggle with the consequences of past poor life choices, I found this movie very moving.
I do not often cry during movies, but the last thirty minutes of this one had my eyes moist with tears, trust me! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
BLU-RAY AND DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE BONUS MATERIALS:
• The Heart of Overcomer: See how the heart of Overcomer is grounded in personal growth, faith and identity.
• Creating the Opening Drone Shot: See how the stunning opening drone shot of the film was realized with a lot of ingenuity and a well-organized crew.
• Working with the Kendricks: Watch how Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick found their path to filmmaking through authenticity and faith.
• Looks Behind-the-Scenes of: Editing, Composing, Coloring and Sound Design
• “Enough” (Lyric Video) Featuring Koryn Hawthorne
• Don’t Mess with the Editors: Check out what the editors of Overcomer created on the side for a little fun.
BONUS FEATURES AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY, DVD AND DIGITAL:
• Feature Audio Commentary with Director Alex Kendrick and Producer Stephen Kendrick
• Bloopers & Outtakes
• 10 Minutes of Additional Scenes with an introduction from the Kendrick Brothers.
• The Making of Overcomer: Learn about how the crew worked together with faith and prayer to create this incredible film.
• The Theme of Identity: In this piece the cast and crew discuss what the theme of identity means to them.
• The Power of Forgiveness: Describes why forgiveness is such an important theme of this film.
• “Overcomer” (Lip Sync Music Video) Featuring Mandisa
• Overcomer in 60 Seconds: a quick fun film recap.
• Overcomer Resources Video: Learn more about accompanying resources to help you grow in faith.
Award-winning director Alex Kendrick (WAR ROOM, COURAGEOUS) delivers an inspirational, edge-of-your-seat experience in the family-friendly sports drama 'Overcomer' debuting on digital November 26th and coming to Blu-ray™ and DVD December 17th, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, AFFIRM Films and Provident Films.
Amazon 'Overcomer' Blu-ray Combo Pack Purchase Link
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