Sunday, July 30, 2017

Storytellers: An Evening with Colorful Characters offers wit and wisdom

Grade:  B

Rating:  PG, 67 minutes

In a Nutshell:  I admit it…the first time I tried to watch this movie, I fell asleep.  I was home on my comfy couch with a full belly at the end of a long day.  

The Millennials in the room with me turned to their cell phones within minutes.  That doesn’t bode well for movie sales, right?   I wanted to give it another try, especially because this won the 2017 LDS Film Festival for Best Picture!

The second time I watched this movie, I was delighted by the conversation between these three legendary men of the 19th Century.  Their meeting in the Utah territory is only fictional, but this charming depiction around a campfire could have easily gone down the way it’s depicted in the movie.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Challenges make life interesting – overcoming them makes life meaningful.” – Porter Rockwell (Jasen Wade).
  • “Start living your dreams instead of your nightmares.” – J. Golden Kimball (Cameron Asay).
  • Faith in God, faith in yourself, faith in others.

Things I liked:
  • I adore Jasen Wade.  He does a great job as Porter Rockwell, known as “the Destroying Angel.”  He’s wonderful in all of his movies.  He just recently starred in a movie that hit Utah theaters this month called, "Love Kennedy."
  • Joshua Michael French is an excellent Mark Twain.  With as colorful a character as Samuel Langhorne Clemens was, it’s surprising he’s not featured in more movies!
  • Cameron Asay actually looks like J. Golden Kimball.  They show pictures of these three real men at the end of the movie, making you appreciate the casting even more.
  • Beautiful landscape in the Utah mountains where the movie was filmed.  The colors and textures are captured very well in the beginning and end of the film.
  • There is respectful talk of women.  Golden exclaims, “Women are God’s finest creation.”
  • Most of us know a little bit about these men as they were older, so it’s fun to see them as younger men. 
  • Their conversation flows easily, as does their wisdom.

Things I didn’t like:
  • It feels like a stage play.
  • There isn’t any action.
  • Non-Mormons will only recognize Mark Twain, as the other two men were LDS. 
  • I could have used more stories!
  • It's a little slow-moving.
  • It seemed short for a feature film.

Funny lines:
  • “Virtue is a patience…or so I’m told.” – Mark Twain
  • “I never let school interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain
  • “If people think you’re crazy, they’ll never push their limits with you.” – Porter Rockwell
  • “My apologies.  I thought you were going to shoot me.” – Mark Twain
“It’s not over yet.” - Porter
  • “I think God has a sense of humor.” – Golden
“You think so?” – Mark Twain
“I hope so.  Otherwise, I’m going to hell.” – Golden
  • “I never killed anyone that didn’t deserve it.” – Porter
  • “Thank you Porter.” – Mark Twain
“For what?” – Porter
“For not shooting me.” – Mark Twain
“Life’s not over yet.” - Porter

Interesting lines:
  • “Not every book you read is truth.” – Mark Twain

Tips for parents: 
  • There is a string of profanity uttered by each of the men at various points in the movie; however, they are not real words.  Ha ha
  • Children will most likely not last the entire sitting.
  • There is some discussion about polygamy.

Movie Review Mom

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