Monday, September 17, 2012
Salvation Boulevard on DVD
Salvation Boulevard has an all-star ensemble cast including Pierce Brosnan as mega pastor Reverend Dan Day, Greg Kinnear as newly converted Dead Head Carl Vanderveer and Jennifer Connelly, his wife and church devotee, Gwen. This movie, while far from perfect, offers some thought provoking insight into the world of religion and the way religion often misrepresents God and those dedicated to following him through their involvement in church. The film while well acted comes up somewhat short on direction and story. There is so much more that could be said and so many ways, the story could have been better developed. That doesn’t take away from some of the entertainment value but it does keep it from being a very good movie to being just an interesting and thought provoking movie.
In Salvation Boulevard we see an opening scene that looks like it could have come out of any number of American Mega Churches, churches where attendance is in the thousands. While not disrespectful, we see a debate between two scholars and authors, one a Pastor of the mega church, the other a prominent Atheist played by Ed. Harris. After the debate the two, along with a parishioner meet with the Atheist to discuss a possible new book. The Atheist is accidently shot and a massive cover-up takes place. The pastor and some of his congregation, expecting the Atheist to have died attempt to set up the innocent by stander and new convert, Carl Vanderveer. What transpires next is a comedic romp where Carl attempts to prove his innocence while at the same time, having his faith challenged by the actions he observes.
While this particular DVD has a very good cast, none of the characters are as well defined or developed as Carl Vanderveer. We actually see some of his conflicts and struggles. While the other characters including Pierce Brosnan do a good job, we just see little character development in them. It is one of the things that distracts from this particular film.
While Salvation Boulevard isn’t a great movie, it is okay, and it does raise some rather good questions worthy of discussion and thought. I was disappointed though, the DVD has no special features and there is really nothing exceptional about this film where I could encourage one purchase it. I could recommend one watch it via a cheap rental or queue on their streaming programming. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value, just not enough to justify a purchase of the product.
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