Monday, March 02, 2009


Here's another Kirk Cameron movie that I'll never have to watch now. Thanks, Everything Else Atheist!

After a heroic rescue and doctor drama, Cameron's at home again, on the Internet looking at boats, an established hobby. An ad pops up - "wanna see? Click here!" Adblock plus and firefox will take care of that little annoyance, I tell you. I think it leads to porn, but since they dance around it and never say the word porn, it's a bit hard to tell. Maybe the sexy girl in the photo wants to show him her enormous Jenga collection, maybe it's a rickroll. We will never know, because he flips out, gets up and emotionally beats himself for thinking about clicking on that link. With the help of the advice book, he decides not only to not click the link, but to take his computer outside and destroy it with a baseball bat.

Honestly... who among us has psychological problems that can't be solved with a simple baseball bat?


  1. Let's see, by not clicking it, he flipped out and smashed the computer. What would have happened if he clicked it? Nuclear war?

  2. Thanks for the link. I've been curious about this stupid movie for a long time. Glad to know my initial suspicions turned out to be correct.

    Pure crap. I'll stick with Plan 9 From Outer Space.

  3. That's the movie where Kirk refused to kiss the actress playing his wife so they had to get Kirk's real wife to be stunt lips.

  4. "That's the movie where Kirk refused to kiss the actress playing his wife so they had to get Kirk's real wife to be stunt lips."

    And when he's kissing her, he's really imagining himself kissing Jesus...

    What this movie really needs to make it good is a MST3K riff track.

  5. According to the Christian worldview of the filmmakers, the answer to the problems of an emotionally abusive husband with a tendency towards violent outbursts is for him to turn his anger into self-loathing, and turn his violence towards "sinful" things? Yikes! In real life, this could end in murder, or murder/suicide.

  6. And when he's kissing her, he's really imagining himself kissing Jesus...

    No he is imagining Ray Comfort's sexy mustache pressing against him.

  7. While we're all chuckling, get this: Fireproof was the most successful independent movie of 2008, and one of the most profitable if not the most profitable movie of the year, costing only half a million to produce and taking in $33 million at the box office. By following the "market directly to churches" approach of Passion of the Christ, they really banked.

    Well, fine, I think it's great if Christians want to make movies for themselves that reflect their, ahem, values. What amuses me about the success of Fireproof is that TBN's Matthew Crouch, producer of such big-budget (by indie standards) flops as Megiddo ($22M budget, $13M B.O.) and One Night with the King ($20M budget, $14M B.O.), is probably as green as a leprechaun's left ball with envy and would doubtless be sticking pins in doll effigies of Fireproof's producers if he could find a way to justify it in a Christian context. Crouch has always fancied himself God's Producer, and has been very personally invested in being the Christian mogul who will bring Christian movies to the masses and reap huge box office rewards thereby. But while Matt's off on his company's website pleading with the public to help get his movies into theaters, along come the producers of Fireproof, who whip together their little movie with pocket change, score a distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn that eventually gets it out on almost 900 screens, and then sit back while the money rolls in. Poor Matt. More on his flailing attempts to be a Hollywood hotshot here, for your amusement.

  8. Martin, as I am sure you know, the only reason the budget was so low was because no one got paid for doing the movie.

  9. If there's anything more pathetic than the World's Stupidest Christian™, it's the World's Stupidest Christian's apprentice.

    Kirk and Chelsea are the poster kids for the argument against allowing fundamentalists to breed.

  10. So if you're marriage is in trouble, the answer seems to be:

    A) Embrace religion
    B) Treat your spouse with more respect.
    C) Reap the benefits of a better marriage.

    It's the classic "I took an aspirin and said a prayer and my headache went away, so prayer cures headaches" problem. Why not just treat your spouse with more respect without hauling in the baggage of religion into the mix?

  11. What I found to be pretty deplorable was his treatment of the wife. Nothing can justify that kind of behavior, and the fact that she stayed by his side says a lot more about their poisonous religion than it does about their relationship.

    If all that's keeping his temper in check is faith...

    The only real actor in this film was Kirk, (everyone else was a church member) and none of them got paid for it. This also says a great deal about the alterior motives behind the film.

  12. Spajadigit, this is where I put on my ten-gallon movie-business-professional's hat and say, "Not so fast, hoss." To be perfectly factual, most low budget indie films are worked on by unpaid crews. I've probably had more non-paying jobs than paying jobs. On a 500K budget, you certainly aren't paying for top talent, and your crew is likely to consist of friends willing to comp you their time. For Fireproof, I suspect Cameron got whatever his rate his, probably not much more than a shade above SAG scale, and then most everyone else worked for free. And if they were members of the sponsoring church, I'm sure they didn't care they were working for free either. They were just excited to be making a movie.

    I can't see any ulterior (not "alterior") motives going on here. They just wanted to make the kind of movie they wanted to see. Free country, last I checked. As a nice bonus for them, they ended up making a pile of money off it. Hooray for them. So it's a lame-ass movie. And? Last I also checked, most Hollywood movies are too.

  13. Thanks for the tidbit about Cameron refusing to kiss an actress who was not his wife. Reminds me of this other movie, Pamela's Prayer that I've seen. That movie is just awful. I will probably blog about it some time in the future.

  14. I bet a lot of people who saw Fireproof in the theaters or rented it just assumed it would be a cool movie about firefighters only to find out they had been suckered into seeing a Christian propaganda film.

  15. Christian movies are always so terrible

  16. You're right of course, Martin.

    It's true that a lot of indie films don't pay the actors up front, and there are a lot of end-runs folks have done to get around the SAG for that. Sometimes there's even an understanding that if the film makes it mainstream, pay might be involved. My understanding was that no one got paid here, including Kirk.

    I wasn't knocking their right to make the film, or even participate in it. The ulterior motive to me seemed to be to use Fireproof as a really cheap inroad to mainstream theater distribution, and then crow about how Hollywood was out of touch based on its success.

    It's sort of like what the Blair Witch Project did for indie horror (substitute the internet for the church), or what Hoodwinked did for animation (substitute brilliant timing and marketing for the church).

    As someone who has worked on a number of terrible movies (and only a few good ones), I can say that it's just as hard to make a bad one as a good one, and more power to `em.

  17. Comments aren't working on the blogger's page. - cut

    You need to check out the latest 17 Kids and Counting episode. The Duggars go to the Fundy Christian Film Festival, all-the-while bashing the media (from which they make their living), and see Fireproof. The Duggars christen it the "BEST FILM EVAH!" and rank it up their with their other favorites: Sound of Music, a Veggie Tales Bio Pic (kidding), and some other films I've never heard of. The funniest thing, after reading your review, was thinking back to the fact that Ma and Pa Duggar go on-and-on about how "family friendly" this film was and that it was the first film many of their children (from zero to 19) had been allowed to see. I didn't realize spousal abuse was family friendly. :/

    The capper is that they get to meet Kirk Cameron himself. You'd think they were meeting Brad Pitt or Daniel Day Lewis. "Kirk Cameron is the best actor in the world and so personal. He's full of the spirit." In the episode of 17Kids, one of the children asks Kirk what it was like "before" he was a Christian. It's worth a gander just to see the gasp when he mentions his Cameron-esque atheism.

    Great review! - Pmomma

  18. It's true that a lot of indie films don't pay the actors up front, and there are a lot of end-runs folks have done to get around the SAG for that. Sometimes there's even an understanding that if the film makes it mainstream, pay might be involved. My understanding was that no one got paid here, including Kirk.

    Considering that SAG is just about the most easygoing Hollywood union to deal with if you're an independent producer (for the very sensible reason that they like to see their member actors working), any indie producer who feels he has to do an "end run" around them has got to be a sheer incompetent, and probably isn't producing anything releasable anyway. Hell, there's a whole branch of SAG whose sole purpose is to help out the indies, and their various low budget agreements are tailor made to help indie filmmakers get professional acting talent at rates that are amenable to both actor and producer. Indeed, the Ultra Low Budget Agreement for sub-200K budgets allows for deferred payment. So what kind of fool producer would think he could hire SAG talent while needing to skirt SAG, I can't imagine.

    500K may not get you much, but it will get you an actor like Kirk Cameron, who I'm quite sure was at the very least paid the weekly $933 that the Modified Low Budget agreement requires. I suspect the remaining budget was mostly spent on equipment rental and post-production, with crew members made up of unpaid enthusiastic church members.

    The ulterior motive to me seemed to be to use Fireproof as a really cheap inroad to mainstream theater distribution, and then crow about how Hollywood was out of touch based on its success.

    Well, the "ulterior motive" of every filmmaker who ever picked up a cheap camera has been to find a way to get mainstream distribution for their movie. And considering how successful Fireproof was (outgrossing such studio fare as Drillbit Taylor, The Love Guru, and the Oscar-feted Doubt), they could probably make a very good case that Christian-themed movies for Christian audiences is a market niche Hollywood has dropped the ball in covering. A long half-century has passed since the studios produced such balls-to-the-wall Biblical epics as Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments. And their recent attempts to cater to the faith crowd have been as half-hearted as anything else. Word has come in that Disney has pulled the plug on the Narnia franchise, and pre-production on what was to be the third movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has been cancelled. Because by studio standards, Prince Caspian (which took in $141M, only half the gross of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, on a grossly inflated $200M budget) underperformed.

    But hey, that's what independent movies are all about: serving those niche audiences that the Hollywood studio machine can't be bothered with. One rude awakening that all newbies to the business have is that Hollywood is not in the business of making movies, it's in the business of selling movies. And like any other assembly line, they're extremely risk averse. All the dreamers making movies are doing it indie.

  19. Martin,

    I'm saddened by the news that the Narnia series is canceled. I didn't really care for Prince Caspian myself, but then I thought the book was clearly the worst of the series (except for, possibly, The Horse and his Boy). Even so, I like Dawn Treader, and Silver Chair is likely my favorite book of all... so I think it's a shame that it's aborted over "Caspian."

  20. Kirk Cameron is the best actor in the world

    I mean, seriously - theology aside, how baseline retarded do you have to be to make a statement like that?

    Those people encapsulate pretty much every reason I can think of for why humanity doesn't deserve to survive - and there are thousands, perhaps millions, of people for whom they represent the hope for the future.

    Pretty much every hateful, fascist thing I generally think in the course of a day about fundies, their right to vote, even their right to procreate, is running through my head right now. I just... aaargh.

  21. I saw "Doubt" last weekend! I thought it was a fantastic film.

  22. I actually enjoyed The Horse and His Boy; thought it was one of the more light-hearted and witty entries in the series. But I agree Caspian is the weakest book, and Silver Chair is one of the best.

  23. While Disney dropped the Narnia franchise, I heard some other studio picked it up. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Dawn Treader voyaging fairly soon.

    I just hope they don't insert new Christian propaganda like they did in the last film. It's C.S. Lewis; do you really need to add apologetics?

  24. (Checks out IMDb...) You're right, the third Narnia movie is back on for 12/10. Fox is doing it now. Michael Apted as director is an interesting choice.

  25. I was at Wal-Mart earlier today, browsing the new release DVD racks to see if there was anything worth picking up, as I vaguely remembered something coming out recently that I had wanted to buy.

    I never did remember what it was I thought I should get, but in trying to do so I looked at the title tags on all of the empty racks, just in case it might jog my memory.

    How disappointed I was, then, when I came to two racks, side by side, both completely empty, looked to see what had previously inhabited them, and saw that both had held "Fireproof," until someone had bought every single copy.

    Thanks, Wal-Mart.


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