New Hope (2012) Poster

(2012)

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8/10
I Actually Enjoyed This
doug_park200125 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Minister Alex Evans (denomination unidentified, but obviously mainline, fairly conservative Protestant) and his family move from Colorado to a small southern town that is still reeling from the suicide of high school basketball star Chase Green the year before. Michael, the minister's son, takes Chase's place on the team, begins a relationship with Chase's decidedly non-Christian girlfriend, Jasmine, and is antagonized by Chase's angry, grief-stricken, star center brother, Lucas.

NEW HOPE is, of course, from R-Squared Productions, a Christian film company, so there is little or no sex, gore, violence, profanity, etc. Not rated, but would almost certainly be a "PG": Tame stuff, but not completely Hallmark in all respects--it does show a condom in one scene. This film is certainly open to criticism for being sappy and cornballish in many spots, but it's not-so in many others. NEW HOPE honestly, originally, and often quite humorously addresses many pertinent issues: e.g., the well-behaved but still somewhat ambivalent Michael's observation, "It's not Christianity that's flawed: It's Christians." Though slow-moving, NEW HOPE's storyline is taut and focused, and there is some real tension here along with genuine elements of surprise in a number of places. Still, the transformations that take place toward the end are both predictable and unbelievable.

Some good acting and dialogue, as well as some that's quite lame. Interestingly enough, the teenagers' script is more realistic than the adults': I've seen better depictions of adolescent life, but I've also seen much worse. The interactions between Jasmine and Michael are particularly engaging and poignant. Also worthy of mention is Michael's little sister, Faith, about 10 and always being told to go get ready for bed: "Mom, don't take this the wrong way, but have you HEARD how boring you and Dad are?!" Unfortunately (since he's so central), NEW HOPE's most wooden character is the minister himself. It is, of course, hard to characterize a Fundamentalist preacher who, regardless of whether or not we all subscribe to his theology, is a decent fellow and neither a thundering lunatic nor a closet pervert; thus, many of Evans's lines are the usual "We ALL have our struggles," blah-blah-blah. Nevertheless, he does have his realer moments: "Hey, I'm a preacher! This 'God' stuff is all I know." Though many will find the patriarchal, mostly white, Middle American culture alienating, it's noteworthy that the moms in this film are far more convincing than the dads. Chase's grieving mother, finely played by Dodie Brown, is probably the most fully-realized character here.

NEW HOPE's mood and atmosphere remind me of the "After-School Specials" I used to watch as a boy back in the '70s and '80s. {That may sound insulting, but it's not so-intended}. Daryl Wolgemuth's fine soundtrack really enhances this production. Yes, a lot of it's "Christian rock," but it's some of the best that I've heard, and the use of subtle instrumentals is just fantastic. The general cinematography and use of scenery are also quite good.

This production will obviously resonate with many Christian audiences, and non-Christians with some tolerance for basic, unpoliticized Christian views should not find it too preachy or dogmatic. It's full of "lessons" about God and life, most of which are given via Pastor Evans, and there is an obvious intent to evangelize to the audience, but again, it's not too "in-yer-face" in these respects.
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7/10
Good for (older) family..
ronald-dasilva1 February 2014
Overall, good message and a complete cliché as a Christian movie. I like to see a balance of reality with Christian faith and this movie does a nice job being real with the characters. I say good for an "older" family because of the way a condom is integrated into the plot in a very pivotal way. Meaning, your pre-teens and younger youth might have a few questions after viewing about contraceptives.. the feedback on the parental content advisory of "student is tempted to have sex" is insufficient. The temptation and the character's response and behavior as a result is central to 5-10 minutes of the film. Hard to just casually play past it and not have unanswered questions for younger viewers.

Nevertheless, for a family of teenagers this will be a good discussion item as you can review the different characters, their behaviors, differences in values, etc.
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2/10
Watch Paint Dry
anoceanroars24 May 2014
Christians really know how to write boring films and find the worst actors to convey the message. How hard is it to write a great or even a good film? In the Christian world is is nearly impossible. The story sounds like a decent premise, but it just falls flat. The writing is mostly the blame. Many of the lines are ridiculous and are not used in natural speaking. i wonder who green- lighted this movie. The other problem is the wooden acting. Lines are recited as if they are being read and sometimes the next part of the sentence is on another page and they pause as if they need to turn the page. The lead actor, Samuel Davis, is the only one with a small potential to make it as an actor, but only on television or as a supporting actor. Ben Davis is another that is not terrible, but he will probably be stuck in Christian films the rest of his career. The worst acting award was a tie between Reginald Robinson, the coach and Julie Kendall as Olivia Evans. i highly recommend that you buy some paint, paint your living room and the watch it dry. It will turn out to be a better use of your time.
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7/10
Little Disappointing........at times! though Great New Actor
jaybs13 January 2013
R2 release another Christian movie which is ideal for teen and family viewing, great to see it in widescreen and with some great colour work, but watching on DVD as I have done some small problems with the sound at times.

The storyline of a preacher and his family moving to a new small town and the problems their older teen son has in his last year is great develops well, we see Samuel Davis star as the son and he steals the film with a stunning performance, closely matched by a R2 regular Ben Davies, but there were a few wooden performances.

R2 continue to develop and overall "New Hope" is another step forward though as I state a little disappointing in some aspects. I do feel that this will see the start of a great acting career for Samuel Davis a name to watch out for.
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3/10
Hope springs eternal
bkoganbing22 May 2016
A new preacher has come from Colorado to the Louisiana town of New Hope and they've got the usual problems of settling in the new place that we all have. Especially Samuel Davis who is a high school senior and not wanting to start all over again in a new place. Some families would have boarded their son with another family until the senior term was up.

But not this family because as it turns out he's got a destiny, that is to save New Hope's star athlete Ben Davies from an overpowering grief and lead the team to a state championship. Davies has never gotten over the suicide of his younger brother, feels he should have spotted something. That doesn't work in a lot of instances even when it is not a subject for a Christian film.

It also doesn't help that Davis is now taking up with Perry Frost who was the deceased brother's girlfriend. Most of the film Davies is having a chip on his shoulder.

I have to confess when I saw the title I thought this might be a gay film. Possibly the producers didn't know that New Hope, Pennsylvania is a popular gay tourist spot. Or maybe they thought they'd get a gay customer or two to watch the film and be saved.

Of course the fact that the kid brother who suicided might have been gay and not found a lot of support in this Bible belt town. Something I have never seen addressed in any Christian film, but it's the number one cause for suicide among teens.

And you sure won't see that issue brought up in New Hope.
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4/10
Lotta missed potential
Havan_IronOak26 March 2014
This is supposed to be the story of a preacher's kid and his family after they move into a small southern town where a local high school golden boy committed suicide a year ago. The preacher's kid joins the basketball team and immediately runs into problems with the dead teen's younger brother.

Despite having some attractive young talent, the story had a number of structural plot flaws and the low budget showed painfully much of the time. Much of the action revolved around scenes on the basketball court, both practices and games. Now I'm not much of a sports fan but having a high school basketball team with only eight players (and about 15 cheerleaders) seems a bit off to me.

Some of the awkward plot flaws included the preacher's kid meeting the dead teens ex-girlfriend in the woods. The dialogue somehow managed to be wooden and inorganic at the same time.

There was also a dinner party that was the worst conceived since Titus Andronicus.

I think that a movie about a Christian family moving into a town where there's been a teen suicide is a good idea. I'd still like to see a movie about that, just not this one.
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