War Room (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
December 8, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“War Room” is a film is an inspirational film that shows viewers the power of prayer. Reaffirming of what many Christians have talked about but possibly showing those who don’t believe or those who don’t pray as much, to look to God for answers and to go to him for the strategy of conquering those negative challenges in life. Another wonderful Christian film from the Kendrick brothers!
Image courtesy of © 2015 Faithstep Films, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: War Room
YEAR OF FILM: 2015
DURATION: 120 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Color, 2:40:1 Aspect Ratio, English & Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Description Audio, French, Spanish, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese and Spanish
COMPANY: Affirm Films/Tri Star/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: PG (Thematic Elements Throughout)
RELEASE DATE: December 22, 2015
Directed by Alex Kendrick
Written by Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick
Screenplay by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd
Story by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish
Based on the Marvel Comics Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Executive Producer: Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Michael Grillo, Stan Lee, Edgar Wright
Producer: Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick
Associate Producer: Aaron Burns, Larry Frenzel, Shannon Kendrick
Co-Producer: Gary Wheeler
Music by Paul Mills
Cinematography by Bob Scott
Edited by Steve Hullfish
Casting by Kimberly Helms Stewart
Production Design by Katherine Tucker
Art Direction by Cameron Beasley, Nigel Churcher, Jann K. Engel, David Lazan, Justin O’Neal Miller
Set Decoration by Leslie A. Pope
Costume Design by Sammy Sheldon
Priscilla C. Shirer as Elizabeth Jordan
T.C. Stallings as Tony Jordan
Karen Abercrombie as Miss Clara
Beth Moore as Mandy
Michael Jr. as Michael
Jadin Harris as Jennifer Stephen
Tenaea Downing as Veronica Drake
Alena Pitts as Danielle Jordan
Kathleen Dellinger as Melissa
From director/actor/writer Alex Kendrick and co-writer and producer Stephen Kendrick (“Flywheel”, “Facing the Giants”, “Fireproof”, “Courageous”) comes his fifth film titled “War Room”.
A Christian film that was a box office success (created with a budget of $3 million and would go on to earn $70 million in the box office), its title revolves around seeking God for the right strategy before taking on daily issues that people face in their lives.
“War Room” stars Priscilla C. Shirer (“Be Still”, “Marcus & Joni”), T.C. Stallings (“Courageous”, “Rumors of Wars”) and Karen Abercrombie (“Remnant”, “Trinity Goodheart”).
The film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in Dec. 2015 courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“War Room” revolves around the Jordan family. Tony (portrayed by T.C. Stallings) is a pharmaceutical salesman concerned only for making money, while his wife Elizabeth (portrayed by Priscilla Shirer) is a realtor who is just as busy as her husband, trying to maintain their lifestyle.
But while the family may look successful economically, in truth,, their marriage is strained. Their daughter Danielle has been doing well in school but her success is barely seen by her parents because they are busy with their careers. And things are pushed to the limit when Elizabeth wants to use their money to help her sibling out, which Tony is very much against.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth notices that her husband is often unhappy and angry at her and that he is looking at other women. Danielle notices that her family are often arguing.
One day, as Elizabeth goes to meet with a potential client, an elderly woman named Miss Clara (portrayed by Karen Abercrombie), in order to sell her house, Miss Clara notices that perhaps Elizabeth is in need of help.
Miss Clara is a devout Christian and has created a special close that she uses to dedicate herself to praying and calls it her “War Room” and tells Elizabeth that she must fight for her marriage and use the power of prayer and pray for her husband.
Knowing that she wants to save her husband, Elizabeth creates her own “War Room” at her home in hopes that she can save her family before it’s too late.
“War Room” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). Shot with a SONY Red camera, the digital picture quality features great detail, vibrant colors (which are further explained in the color grading special feature) and for the most part, the film looks wonderful in HD!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for the lossless audio, “War Room” is presented in English & Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Description Audio, French, Spanish, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital,
The lossless soundtrack is primarily dialogue and music-driven. There is not a whole lot of use with the surround channels except in outdoor sequences for ambiance, but dialogue and music are crystal clear.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese and Spanish.
“War Room” comes with the following special features:
- Commentary with Director Alex Kendrick and Producer Stephen Kendrick – Featuring audio commentary from the Kendrick brothers.
- Deleted Scenes – (10:51) Deleted scenes for “War Room”
- Bloopers & Outtakes – (6:00) Outtakes from “War Room”.
- War Room in 60 Seconds – (8:40) Featuring eight deleted and extended scenes with optional audio commentary from Director Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd.
- The Heart of War Room – (6:06) Cast talk about working in the Kendrick brothers latest film and behind-the-scenes footage.
- The Making of War Room – (11:13) A featurette about shooting in different locations and working with a region of churches.
- From Auditioning to Acting – (8:19) A featurette about shooting in different locations and working with a region of churches.
- The Art of Jumping Rope – (2:34) How double dutch was incorporated into the film.
- A Pastor’s Call to Prayer – (2:31) Alex and Stephen Kendrick and pastors talking about the power of prayer.
- Behind the Scenes: Color Grading – (4:13) How color grading was done on “War Room” by senior colorist, Keith Roush (of Roush Media).
- The Church on Its Knees – (7:53) The Kendrick brothers and pastors discussing the power of prayer.
- Molly Bruno: Modern Day Miss Clara – (7:50) A featurette about prayer warrior, 91-year-old Molly Bruno.
- Investing in the Next Generation – (3:11) A featurette about how the Kendrick brothers invested in the next generation of filmmakers and volunteers from various Christian colleges and giving them the experience on a movie set.
- “Warrior” Music Video by Steven Curtis Champion – (4:34)
“War Room” comes with a slipcover and an Ultraviolet code.
When it comes to films by the Kendrick’s, so far I have been entertained by the quality and how their films, being Christian films, maintain a quality that many Christian films tend to miss out on.
I also enjoy the Kendrick films because it’s a family affair, when I say this, I mean family as in the people who have volunteered to work on the films and attend the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia.
Alex and brother, Stephen Kendrick have been on a role with their films. The 2011 film was a Christian drama was a film that I gave positive reviews for not overly being aggressive with the Christian message, but enough to get a point across in showing the importance of God but also how good people can lose their way.
“War Room” is rather interesting because its message is clear, it’s a Christian film in which prayer is a major point of its overall story and it garnered negative reviews because of its Christian message. But despite the critical reviews towards the film, the Kendricks’ fifth film was a box office success.
And I am not at all surprised.
There are people who are Christians in need for a storyline that showcases the power of prayer but maintaining the consistency of Kendrick’s previous films of quality production, good acting but also showing that there is hope, no matter how bad things may go for a film’s primary characters. And “War Room” not only gives people hope and inspiration but for Christians, it’s a wonderful story on the power of prayer and why it’s important for Christian’s to pray, especially when they are having a difficult time in their lives.
And because of that, non-Christians watching the film, I can only hope there are those who are inspired by this film are led to prayer, but at the same time, I know there are people who aren’t Christian, will bash this film for its continuous message about praying to God, denouncing satan and using prayer during times of need and showing how miracles do happen.
There is no convincing critics if they don’t believe in God or prayer, and happen to not be religious. When watching this film, as a Christian, you can see why the Kendrick’s chose to go this route and in tough times or especially times of uncertainty, many Christians are big advocates of prayer, some who have seen the power of prayer but when you make a film about it, you have one side who is grateful for the positive and inspiring message, while another will bash on the film for being smothered by the message and not what they want to see in the film.
So, depending on the person, the film is subjective. But because I am a Christian man who has seen the positives of prayer in my life and blessed with what God has given me, I actually a proud to see the Kendrick brothers taking on a subject matter, when many Christian films are trying to find a balance of entertaining non-Christians with films that have a message of the importance of God and prayer, but not going too overboard.
With “War Room”, the film is entirely based on a couple having difficult, a family that is fractured but are able to heal thanks to prayer. Hopefully people with an open mind who are not Christians can give the film a try, but those who are closed-minded on religion or prayer, this film is not going to be for them.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is fantastic, dialogue features crisp and clear dialogue and music and as for special features, there’s a good number of them included on this Blu-ray release.
Overall, “War Room” is a film is an inspirational film that shows viewers the power of prayer. Reaffirming of what many Christians have talked about but possibly showing those who don’t believe or those who don’t pray as much, to look to God for answers and to go to him for the strategy of conquering those negative challenges in life. Another wonderful Christian film from the Kendrick brothers!
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