In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 3, 2011 / 27 Adar I, 5771

Movie too real for Hollywood

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Filed under "Typical Media Bias Against Religion," the theatrical release last week of the cop drama "The Grace Card" garnered this one-line summary on the movie site Screenit.com: WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?

Those interested in the film's Christian themes and message might be interested. Otherwise, it doesn't seem too likely.

The site rates "The Grace Card" as "heavy" in violence, guns/weapons, frightening/tense scenes, and scary/tense music. It's "extreme" in disrespectful/bad attitudes and family tension; "moderate" in alcohol/drugs and blood/gore; and "mild" for profanity and sexual scenes.

Doesn't sound like your run-of-the-mill Christian flick.

Another new release, "Unknown," starring Liam Neeson, ranks similarly in most areas above but also is "heavy" in profanity and sexual scenes/situations. For that film, Screenit.com answers the question about kids' interest thusly: "Those who are fans of older-skewing action pics (such as 'Taken') may be interested, as might fans of anyone in the cast."

Huh. I guess action movies are more interesting when G0d is not in the cast.

"The Grace Card" is a typical Hollywood cop flick — except that in this film, one police officer is also a black Christian minister who preaches on the weekends and his partner is an angry white man who resents G0d and people of color.

In other words, in addition to the gritty, uncomfortable, sometimes violent issues facing law enforcement officers, these characters bring a realistic, spiritual dimension to their story, including the powerful experiences of redemption and forgiveness.

But rather than earn widespread praise for offering a compelling portrait of the human experience, "The Grace Card" is merely labeled a "Christian" film. And of course, only Christians would want to see a Christian film, right?

Maybe not. On its opening weekend in limited release, the film grossed more than $1 million playing on only 352 screens, earning a higher per-theater return than the Nicholas Cage action/stinkbomb, "Drive Angry."

As for the film's Christian message, "Grace Card" star Michael Joiner asserts that all movies carry a specific message intended by the director or producer. "You're getting preached to one way or the other," he says. "It's just that when Christians do it, they call it proselytizing. But Hollywood preaches all the time."

Mr. Joiner believes there is bias in Hollywood — "a bias for making money."

"You can make a movie with a good message as long as it's profitable," he says. "Christians have to realize that quality is vital."

A Christian and well-known "clean" comedian, Mr. Joiner says he went to Hollywood to become an actor, not to become a "Christian" actor.

"I want to make quality films," he says. "Even G0d wants no part of a bad movie."

Mr. Joiner also struggles with those who insist that a religiously themed movie must be overtly doctrinaire. "There are people who think this film isn't 'Christian' enough," he says. For example, some religious viewers have criticized the film because it never mentions the name of Jesus. Mr. Joiner, ever the comedian, jokes, "I tell them, you know, that's the same reason I won't read the Old Testament."

More important, Mr. Joiner says, is to make films that "plant seeds. You can't appeal to the unchurched if you hit them over the head." Better to make interesting, entertaining films that also infuse a thoughtful, inspiring message, he contends.

In a nation where more than 90 percent of citizens profess to believe in G0d and 83 percent say the G0d they believe in answers prayers, there ought to be a market for quality films with pro-religious messages. Yet where faith is concerned, if it's ever depicted, it typically is portrayed as a journey away from G0d, and certainly away from organized religion.

Perhaps "The Grace Card" will prove there's a role for G0d in movies after all.

He's the good guy.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks