Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Last Descent will break your heart and give you hope at the same time

Movie Title: The Last Descent

Grade: A-

Rating:  PG, 105 minutes

In a Nutshell: Based on a true story of love and loss at the popular Nutty Putty cave, this film reveals faith, hope, and love in a film that is interesting for all ages.

Uplifting theme: 
  • The power of love and family can overcome anything, even death.
  • Love every moment you’re alive, because we never know when we are entering our last day of this mortal experience.
  • You never know all of the lives you touch.
  • “What good is a life if you’re just waiting to die?” – John
  • There’s no greater feeling in the world…love. - John

Things I liked:
  • I thought Chadwick Hopson, who plays John Jones, was absolutely fantastic.  I can’t wait to see more from him.
  • It’s impressive how director Isaac Halasima  was able to film in a dark cave without projecting camera lights all over the interior.  The lighting seems very realistic.
  • John, Josh (Jacob Omer), and Emily (Alexis Johnson) all seemed to have playful relationships.  We need more of that in this serious life.
  • You get to see live footage of the rescue attempts.
  • I was impressed with how diligently the rescue team worked.
  • Although the movie takes place in Utah and includes discussions about the Mormon church, you definitely don’t have to be Mormon to enjoy this film.  Religion doesn't hit you over the head, like in many Christian movies.  It is understated and powerful in this one.
  • I thought the sequences about John & Emily’s first meeting and first date were cute.
  • Emily went Study Abroad Spain.  So did I!  Que viva Espana!
  • I loved the opening and closing music by Matt Cropper, Kalai, and Isaac Halasima.
  • I loved the reveal of the mysterious person at the end of the movie.
  • A round of applause for Isaac Halasima, who directed and wrote the film, as well as did the cinematography, film editing, and music!  I’m sure this film was pretty low budget, especially when compared to Hollywood films, but I thought he did an excellent job.  He's a young guy with a bright future.

Things I didn’t like:
  • The title of the movie gives away the story.
  • I have no desire to crawl through tiny spaces in caves.  Too scary and cramped for my taste.  I mean, that didn’t even look fun to me.  If you get claustrophobic, you’re going to feel squeamish during this movie.
  • It was hard to see exactly how John was stuck.
  • The singing in the cave was pretty bad, but extremely touching.
  • This movie is soooooo heartbreaking.

Interesting lines:
  • “I really love it when you accidentally show your awesomeness.” – John
  • “You know, I’m only good at anything because I get pushed.” – John
  • “There’s no such thing as average.  Everybody’s got a story.” – Aaron (Landon Henneman)
  • “Let me save you first and then you can do your rescue on me.” – Aaron
  • “I guess I could never turn down an adventure.” – John
  • “You know it’s sad; you have to be on the edge of losing everything to really open your eyes, to see the beauty in the simple things.” – John
  • “It’s one thing to find a girl you who you want to marry and it’s something completely different to find a girl that you have to marry.” – John
  • “You want to know what it takes to be a real man?  Have a baby girl.” – John

Tips for parents: 
  • Surprisingly, there is some profanity.  Well, twice.
  • This movie should scare your kids from wanting to climb around in caves.
  • It’s a very serious, sad drama.
  • After watching the movie, you could talk to your children about life after death, as well as how we should live our lives.

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