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All Saints (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 17, 2017 by  



Steve Gomer’s “All Saints” is a film that shows us the power of faith but also a community coming together for those less fortunate and also a pastor who chose to listen to God to help the Karen people, despite going against his board of Bishops. It’s a heartfelt story based on a true story that will no doubt entertain and inspire viewers. Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2017 Sony Pictures Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: All Saints

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2017

DURATION: 109 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p (2:38:1 Aspect Ratio), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Audio Description Track, French, Polish VD 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Croation, Cech, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish and Thai.

COMPANY: Affirm Films/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG

RELEASE DATE: December 12, 2017


Directed by Steve Gomer

Written by Steve Armour

Produced by Marc Bienstock, Martha W. Chang, Steve Gomer

Co-Produced by Barrett J. Leigh, Jimmy Sprague

Cinematographer: Eduardo Enrique Mayen

Casting by Avy Kaufman, Leeba Zakharov

Production design by Suzette Ervin

Set Decoration by Diana Rice, Tyler Stein

Costume Design by Robbie McKeithan


Starring:

John Corbett as Michael Spurlock

Nelson Lee as Ye Win

Cara Buono as Aimee Spurlock

Barry Corbin as Forrest

David Keith as Boyd

Gregory Alan Williams as Bishop Eldon Thompson

Chonda Pierce as Ruth

Patrick Johnson as Father Jeffers


ALL SAINTS is based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.


From filmmaker Steve Gomer (“Sunset Park”, “Sweet Lorraine”) and writer Steve Armour (“Losing Gracie”) comes the Christian film “All Saints”.

Starring John Corbett (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, “Northern Exposure”, “Raising Helen”), Nelson Lee (“Ten Days in the Valley”, “Traffic”, “Blade: The Series”), Cara Buono (“Stranger Things”, “Mad Men”, “Person of Interest”), Barry Corbin (“No Country for Old Men”, “Northern Exposure”, “WarGames”), Gregory Alan Williams (“Remember the Titans”), Chonda Pierce (“Selfie Dad”, “Come to the Garden”) and David Keith (“Daredevil”, “Behind Enemy Lines”, “An Officer and a Gentlemen”).

And now the film will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Affirm Films/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film revolves around a small-town preacher named Michael Spurlock (portrayed by John Corbett), who accepts a job as a former salesman turned preacher, who moves with his wife Aimee (portrayed by Cara Buono) and his son Atticus (portrayed by Myles Moore) to Tennessee to become the new preacher at the Episcopal church, All Saints.

Unfortunately, the church is not doing well and Michael and the family is expecting the church to close due to the lack of people and money.

Meanwhile, Ye Win (portrayed by Nelson Lee) is trying to help his family and other refugee Karen families who were caught in the civil war in Myanmar (then known as Burma).  Many migrated to Thailand to escape the war, as many of their people were killed.  And as 140,000 Karen refugees are living in camps in Thailand, around 50,000 Karen refugees have been resettled in different countries around the world including America.

In Smyrna, Tennessee, Ye Win and 69 others were relocated to the area.

With no work, no food, no clothes, Ye Win fears for his people’s families, as there is no way for them to get help.

One night, Ye Win and two others arrive on the porch of Michael Spurlock’s home.  He comes to the church for help and explains that they are Christians and Michael appeals to the bishop for help.  When Michael and his wife go to church, they realize that there the three families that Ye Win has brought is many.  Many who have no shoes and some are unable to read or speak English.

As Michael reads about the Karen refugee crisis and the genocide of the Karen people and how the Civil War in Myanmar still continues (as it is the world’s longest civil war), because there are many people, Ye Win asks if they can plant vegetables around the church, since there is good ground and it would help their people.

Michael knows that the Karen people need help and he begins to appeal to the business community.

Meanwhile, commercial developers are planning to knock the church down for the property in the following week to build a convenience store.  While it would be good for the community and the sale of the property would make money for the owners, Michael decides to block the sale of the church because he knows the Karen people need him.

With things not looking so good, Michael goes out and while looking around the church, it begins to rain and and he believes that God spoke to him to build a farm around the church.

The crops would help the Karen farmers, use excess crop to pay for the church.

While Bishop Eldon Thompson (portrayed by Gregory Alan Williams) is a bit upset that Michael didn’t listen to him to sell the church, the Bishop remembers his work of helping the poor in Africa and gives Michael and Karen people to prove themselves.

But with the lack of farming skill or even the necessary technology, what challenges are in store for Michael and Ye Win?  Also, how will Michael’s wife Aimee be able to help the children in the church and to get them involved and to stay out of trouble?


VIDEO:

“All Saints” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:38:1 aspect ratio).  The film shows great detail on closeups and low-light situations are presented well.  Colors are natural and for the most part, the film looks good in HD.  The film utilizes a lot of natural lighting.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“All Saints” is presented in English, Portuguese Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA and English – Audio Description track.  French, Polish VO 5.1 Dolby Digital.

The film is primarily dialogue-driven.  Surround channels are more for ambiance and storms but for the most part, dialogue and music is crystal clear.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Croation, Cech, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish and Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“All Saints” comes with following special features:

  • Deleted Scenes – (2:15) Featuring three deleted scenes.
  • Act of Faith – (5:23) The cast and crew talk about the true story that inspired “All Saints”.
  • All Saints: Cast & Community– (5:06) The true people that inspired the real-life characters.
  • Ye Win and the Karen – (4:37) A featurette about Ye Win and the Karen people who escaped the Thailand refugee camps.
  • On Location in Tennessee – (3:55) Cast and crew discuss shooting the film in Tennessee.
  • The Pastors of All Saints – (5:32) Michael Spurlock discusses working for a heavily indebted church with no money, his first assignment out of school and Randy Hoover Dempsey who took over after Spurlock left the church.

EXTRAS:

“All Saints” comes with an UltraViolet Digital HD code.


“All Saints” is a film based on a true story of how a first time pastor, Michael Spurlock, who relocated to a Tennessee to run a fledgling church for the short term and is meant to be sold to commercial developers.  Just stick to the plan that the Bishop council has in place and continue to give sermons to those still attending All Saints church.

But it all changes when Ye Win and families from the Karen people go to Michael and his family for help.

Ye win and the Karen people were former refugees in Thailand, whose people were caught in between a long-standing, still ongoing, civil war in Myanmar and has seen many of their people killed.  And as one of the people given a chance at a new life in America, there is not much help with the food stamps, as they have no jobs, no home, no clothing.  All they have is their Christian faith (The British once occupied Myanmar, then known as Burma, which the British brought Christianity to the land.  In 1948, the British and Japanese gave up control of the land, which led to a civil war in the country between the people in the country) and their farming skills.

Michael decides that in his heart and with God’s plan, to help the Karen people by building a farm around the church, blocking the sale of the church to the land developers and providing homes, money and food for the children.

And “All Saints” is a film about the journey that Michael and his family, Ye Win and his family and the Karen people had to face.  Challenges when it came to farming, the limited resources they had, but how fellow Christians in the community or surrounding community came together to help Michael and the Karen people.

“All Saints” is no doubt a heartfelt film that displays the awesome capability and possibility among Christians, who are there to help others in need.

The film shows that it wasn’t easy for pastor Michael Spurlock.  For one, previous pastors up and left, the community expected the same to him.

We see through Michael’s interaction with local farmer, Forrest, who attends the church to be rocky because Forrest knows the hardships of farming and has a hard time believing that Michael was told by God to build a farm.

The film also shows how people can accept people of different cultures, especially those who don’t have much.

The film also goes into how Michael’s wife Aimee, would help the children and the solitude that their son Atticus had to go through, due to moving all the time and the lack of friends.  But Aimee found her mission in life at All Saints by becoming the music teacher to the children, while Atticus would find friendship with the Karen people his age.

And for the most part, showing what brought these people together is their faith in God and when they believe in God’s love, miracles do happen.

By no means easy, but they were able to turn things around.

It’s a different type of film that we are used to seeing from Affirm Films but at the same time, a film that has a message about belief in God and overcoming adversity and coming together as Christians and to show what belief in God can do to an individual, a community and the magnificent things that do happen.

The film does not preach about Christianity and it’s one of the things that I have loved about Christian films in the last 10-15 years of the shift of tone of becoming films that show Christianity, and God’s message without alienating the viewer, especially those who may or may not be Christians.  Being accessible and entertaining but yet leaving one feel enlightened.

Overall, Steve Gomer’s “All Saints” is a film that shows us the power of faith but also a community coming together for those less fortunate and also a pastor who chose to listen to God to help the Karen people, despite going against his board of Bishops.  It’s a heartfelt story based on a true story that will no doubt entertain and inspire viewers.  Recommended!






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