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Fireproof
DVD disk
02.18.2009 By: Sturdy
Fireproof order
Director:
Alex Kendrick

Actors:
Kirk Cameron
Erin Bethea
Ken Bevel

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A fireman and his wife are growing apart and on the brink of divorce. Distraught with what to do, he turns to his father for advice. He soon finds himself on an emotional journey that leads him to apply firefighting lessons in his own marriage.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
25:03. That’s the mark where you will first here the words “Jesus”, “God” and “Lord” mentioned in the same sentence. After that, it’s an onslaught of Christian values and lessons that dominate the film. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think people should be aware of what they’re watching before they go into it. Think of this as half a movie and half a sermon.

It’s tough to review this film like a traditional film. I always believe that movies should be judged partially on how well they reach their target audience. You can’t compare a slapstick comedy to a historical epic. So in some sense, you have to realize that this film was designed to teach a lesson and help out married Christians. That’s a specific, niche audience, but when you put it into context, I think the film succeeds with what it’s trying to accomplish.

However, that doesn’t change the fact the film is essentially an after school special. The production is on a tight budget and the acting will make you cringe in your seat. Each plot point is wrapped around a Biblical verse or a Christian lesson, so the driving factor in the film isn’t their marriage or him fighting fires, it’s the goal of preaching Christian values. I think they would have done better telling a story first, that just happened to have wholesome, Christian values. Sometimes Christian based films beat you over the head with what they’re trying to say and a little subtlety would go a long way, especially if you want the message to transcend religions.

The movie was billed as “the #1 inspirational movie in America”. I don’t know if I’d call it inspirational, but I do think that it will make married couples think about their relationship and how they treat one another. Even non-Christians want a happy and successful marriage (otherwise, why get married?) and any film that will encourage couples to communicate and work out their problems is okay in my book.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary with Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick: These guys are super excited about their film and seem to love talking about it and the impact they hope it will have on people. They had to pull a lot of strings to make the film and they went into detail on how they saved money and got the community to help them put it together. They’re Bible-thumpers, so expect a lot of preaching, but they give enough information to make it okay. One interesting thing was that during the kissing scene, they switched actresses with Cameron’s real-life wife because he won’t kiss anyone but his wife.

Deleted Scenes (15:09): I was expecting the worst, but these weren’t actually that bad. They’re more of the same, but I’d put them on the same level with what was in the film. I think all of them could have been in the film without the film missing a beat.

Firegoofs/Jokes and Pranks (7:42): This is probably the highlight of the DVD and we actually get a glimpse of Michael Seaver. It runs a little long, but if you sat through the movie, you might as well watch this to get a few laughs.

Fireproof: Behind the Scenes (22:50): This is your basic behind the scenes featurette with a religious twist. Well, not really a twist, but the featurette is all about the religion and how much it played a part in the film. It made the film look like church camp.

Marriage Matters (7:23): Marriage is obviously the focus of the film and this featurette looks at why they chose to make a film about marriage and their views on the subject. It has a lot of movie scenes and doesn’t focus a whole lot on the film.

Fireproof in 60 (1:34): This is what it says it is; the entire film in 60 seconds, with an intro by the director.

Wayne on Wayne (3:21): One of the characters in the film jokes about his supporting cast in a mock-interview. He was pretty good in the film and is moderately funny here.

Love Dare Promo (5:50): The Love Dare book was a big feature in the film and this featurette tries to get you to buy that very book. I think if you watch the film and get a lot out of it, you’ll probably want the book.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
FIREPROOF is a great movie for married, Christian families. I can already see churches all across America showing this on “Saturday movie night” or something. But people uncomfortable with religious based films may not get anything out of this.
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