Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: Ashes of Eden

Not Rated; 106 minutes; $14.99
Christian films don't get a lot of marketing from the mainstream media unless it stars a big name Hollywood star or there is some sort of controversy behind the film. Your best chances of finding out about upcoming and recently released Christian DVDs is to search online for them.

Released last year to DVD from Lightworx Entertainment is the Christian crime-drama Ashes of Eden. Written & directed by Shane Hagedorn, the film stars Steven Sutherland, Melissa Anschutz and Michael Joiner.

Ashes of Eden centers on Red (played by Steven Sutherland), a teenager who has turned to a life of drugs and crime ever since his father had died. After being released from jail, Red quickly falls back into old habits and gets expelled from high school, even though he had only a short time left before graduation.

Being a disappointment to his police officer mother (played by Melissa Anchutz) and his younger brother Jake (played by Drew Wise), Red comes up with a way to help his family pay the bills. After finding a drug stash hidden at his girlfriend's (played by Mayra Leal) home, Red, along with his pal Vargas (played by Bello Pizzimenti) comes up with the plan to sell the drugs for a hefty profit.

Unfortunately, the drugs belong to Red girlfriend's brother Carlos (played by Carlucci Weyant), who seeks out revenge.

Final Thoughts: It's always a little difficult to review a low-budget independent film as there is no way I can compare it to any Hollywood movies. Ashes of Eden is crime-drama that gives a spin on the "Prodigal Son" story. In this film, a teenager, Red, has fallen into a world of drugs and theft, which leads him to being kicked out school and his home; of course eventually he tries to make things right.

While the cinematography is decent for this kind of film, the editing is horrible. The acting is a mixed bag, Steven Sutherland does a good job as the lead, but everyone else gives bland performances. For a Christian film, it does have a few violent scenes and some adult language; though the latter is bleeped out, you can still figure out what the characters are saying.

I felt that Ashes of Eden had way to many flaws against it, but I tried my best to shove most of that aside and judge the movie on its own merits. Overall, the film was just "okay" to me; I neither liked or hated it. If you can get pass the low-budget production values and cliched dialogue, there is a meaningful message of "redemption."

You can purchase the Ashes of Eden DVD and many other Christian titles on FishFlix.com. If you join their email list or text 5-GIFT to 44222, you'll get a $5 coupon.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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