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Movie Jail: This week's defendants are...Alex & Stephen Kendrick!

09.14.2015

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This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendants

War Room Alex Kendrick Stephen Kendrick

The Case

The Prosecution: War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Flywheel

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, brother-filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick are known for their faith-based Christian dramas, and while the duos' movies have performed well at the box office compared to their small budgets, they have mostly received negative reviews from mainstream critics. The prosecution isn't going after the Kendricks due to the fact that they write, produce and direct religious flicks, but because they just don't make good films.

It's no different than if the brothers made generic rom-coms, subpar horror movies or tedious white people problem films. Four of the Kendricks' movies have Rotten Tomatoes scores at or below 40%, and are usually described by critics as being bland and heavy-handed with the messages of the stories. Yes, there is a market for Christian-themed films and there's nothing wrong with telling an inspiring tale, but in the prosecution's opinion, they lack the talent to create quality movies.

The Kendricks may not deserve a lengthy sentence, however they have definitely earned a prison stay for their ham-fisted Christian movies.

Fireproof Kirk Cameron

The Defense: War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Flywheel

Ladies and gentlemen, although most critics haven't been high on my clients' movies, their films have struck a chord with Christian moviegoers.

Courageous received an almost unheard of A+ CinemaScore, and all five of their movies have RT audience scores over 80%. The defense knows there will be some who will scoff at those numbers and say that hardcore Christians will eat up anything that puts their religion in a good light, but the Kendricks made those movies with them in mind, not mainstream critics, and certainly not liberal media types.

Even though my clients' movies may hit you over the head with their messages of faith, the defense feels they have improved as filmmakers. Not saying the Kendricks are going to be up for Oscars anytime soon, but they aren't as lacking in talent as the prosecution claims, and since the brothers only have five films on their resume, we believe it's too early in their movie-making careers to throw them behind bars. You personally might not be a fan of the Kendricks' work, but that doesn't mean they belong in Movie Jail.

War Room Alex Kendrick Priscilla Shirer T.C. Stallings Karen Abercrombie

IN CLOSING...

It'll be interesting to see what jury members have to say about the Kendrick brothers. Do their negatively-received Christian films warrant a prison sentence, or we should just let them keep on keepin' on for God? Are Alex and Stephen Kendrick GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

Alex Kendrick Stephen Kendrick

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Simon Kinberg

Simon Kinberg was declared GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, and although some jury members had his back, most said we need to put the producer and screenwriter in prison for his weaker efforts. Mr. Kinberg has a few upcoming projects, and if it's clear that he has learned from his past mistakes, the court will consider putting him up for parole.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen, Dennis Dugan, Sharon Stone, Jessica Biel, Nick Swardson, Simon Kinberg

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Tarsem Singh, Reese Witherspoon, Burt Reynolds, Ed Helms, Sean Astin

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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1:00AM on 09/15/2015

who?

never heard of these guys, so how the hell can i give a verdict?
never heard of these guys, so how the hell can i give a verdict?
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4:44PM on 09/14/2015

Not guilty

Not Guilty
Not Guilty
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3:16PM on 09/14/2015
They're movies suck. Christian themed stories deserve better.
They're movies suck. Christian themed stories deserve better.
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2:35PM on 09/14/2015

GUILTY!

I have seen all their movies and they are all the same quality level as one another. Some of them could even fit in their own KBCU (Kendrick Brothers Cinematic Universe). Their best work has been "Courageous", but that's not saying a lot when an independent film critic rates each movie with a 1 or 1.5 stars out of 4. (Courageous got 2 stars BTW)
I have seen all their movies and they are all the same quality level as one another. Some of them could even fit in their own KBCU (Kendrick Brothers Cinematic Universe). Their best work has been "Courageous", but that's not saying a lot when an independent film critic rates each movie with a 1 or 1.5 stars out of 4. (Courageous got 2 stars BTW)
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1:09PM on 09/14/2015
You both said contradicting "facts" about their Rotten Tomatoes scores.

I have seen a couple of these because of visiting my mom. They are fucking terrible.
You both said contradicting "facts" about their Rotten Tomatoes scores.

I have seen a couple of these because of visiting my mom. They are fucking terrible.
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11:52AM on 09/14/2015
Guilty. Maybe I'm just not one of their target audiences. They know how to make movies to please Their audiences. I'm just not one of them.
Guilty. Maybe I'm just not one of their target audiences. They know how to make movies to please Their audiences. I'm just not one of them.
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11:02AM on 09/14/2015
They have niche audience and they know it. I haven't seen their movies because I am not part of their niche audience. However, it seems like they have a tendency of taking every cliche and upping the schmaltzy-emotional pandering shit that I have grown to absolutely hate. I had a former co-worker give me a copy of Fireproof last year a few months before my marriage and told me we needed to watch it. He was saying that it's about putting God in the center of your marriage which really bothered
They have niche audience and they know it. I haven't seen their movies because I am not part of their niche audience. However, it seems like they have a tendency of taking every cliche and upping the schmaltzy-emotional pandering shit that I have grown to absolutely hate. I had a former co-worker give me a copy of Fireproof last year a few months before my marriage and told me we needed to watch it. He was saying that it's about putting God in the center of your marriage which really bothered me, I think my wife and I should be at the center of our marriage. I will get off the soap box and just say these guys are guilty.
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5:04PM on 09/20/2015
Well, all I'll say is that if you don't believe in God and are not a Christian then I understand why you wouldn't want to put God in the center of your marriage. For those who are, though, it is necessary.
Well, all I'll say is that if you don't believe in God and are not a Christian then I understand why you wouldn't want to put God in the center of your marriage. For those who are, though, it is necessary.
10:46AM on 09/14/2015

Guilty!

Kevin Spacey for next week!
Kevin Spacey for next week!
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+0
10:37AM on 09/14/2015
I was born and raised Catholic and I say guilty as sin. This is nothing more than Christian propaganda which only gets more and more mis-interpted by idiot religious nuts which leads to more problems just like the one with the city clerk in Kentucky.
I was born and raised Catholic and I say guilty as sin. This is nothing more than Christian propaganda which only gets more and more mis-interpted by idiot religious nuts which leads to more problems just like the one with the city clerk in Kentucky.
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3:14PM on 09/14/2015
Holding fast to what you dictate as sacred does not make you a "religious nut." And those passages from Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians and Timothy are hardly open for misinterpretation.
Holding fast to what you dictate as sacred does not make you a "religious nut." And those passages from Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians and Timothy are hardly open for misinterpretation.
+0
10:10AM on 09/14/2015

Who?

Can you really blame them for making films that appeal to a certain crowd?
Can you really blame them for making films that appeal to a certain crowd?
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10:25AM on 09/14/2015
Yes. That's also why movies made only for children and not their parents get bad reviews. Movies have to appeal to as many people as possible.
Yes. That's also why movies made only for children and not their parents get bad reviews. Movies have to appeal to as many people as possible.
9:30AM on 09/14/2015

Not Guilty

Give credit to film makers who know what their intended audience is looking for. Would we be putting up for trial a duo who wrote, produced and directed Horror Movies because they went over the top for being too scary or too gory? No, because they are making films for a targeted audience.
Give credit to film makers who know what their intended audience is looking for. Would we be putting up for trial a duo who wrote, produced and directed Horror Movies because they went over the top for being too scary or too gory? No, because they are making films for a targeted audience.
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10:24AM on 09/14/2015
Horror movies are supposed to be scary. Religious movies are supposed to convey faith-related messages, not to try to convert viewers through propaganda. Also, horror movies HAVE BEEN critized when they're too gory. That's part of why torture porn isn't popular anymore.
Horror movies are supposed to be scary. Religious movies are supposed to convey faith-related messages, not to try to convert viewers through propaganda. Also, horror movies HAVE BEEN critized when they're too gory. That's part of why torture porn isn't popular anymore.
+0
9:28AM on 09/14/2015

Pass.

I've only seen 2 of their movies. COURAGEOUS surprised me. It was preachy but the messages weren't contradictory, hypocritical nor harmful to society. And it was a well-made production where Alex's performance was the best. I can't say those things about FIREPROOF, but it's a masterpiece compared to most modern Christian movies.

Next week: Candice Bergen, Jason Blum, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Elisha Cuthbert, Danny DeVito, Matt Dillon, Brad Fuller, Kelsey Grammer, Melanie Griffith,
I've only seen 2 of their movies. COURAGEOUS surprised me. It was preachy but the messages weren't contradictory, hypocritical nor harmful to society. And it was a well-made production where Alex's performance was the best. I can't say those things about FIREPROOF, but it's a masterpiece compared to most modern Christian movies.

Next week: Candice Bergen, Jason Blum, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Elisha Cuthbert, Danny DeVito, Matt Dillon, Brad Fuller, Kelsey Grammer, Melanie Griffith, Raja Gosnell, Don Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Jamie Kennedy, Ben Kingsley, Brian Levant, Eugene Levy, Lucy Liu, Robert Luketic, James Marsden, Neal Moritz, Amanda Peet, Sean Penn, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Barry Sonnenfeld, Barbra Streisand or Patrick Warburton.
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8:25AM on 09/14/2015
Never heard of 'em. Guess it's an American thing.
Never heard of 'em. Guess it's an American thing.
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8:22AM on 09/14/2015

I'm not a religious person

I'm going to have to take a cue from HoyleHaw's decsion below, as I cannot make a fair decision with regards to the two film-makers above.
I'm going to have to take a cue from HoyleHaw's decsion below, as I cannot make a fair decision with regards to the two film-makers above.
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7:49AM on 09/14/2015
I'm going to abstain on the grounds I don't watch overtly faith-based movies. And it has nothing to do with the quality, or lack thereof. I am struck all their movies in the prosecution are also in the defense.
I'm going to abstain on the grounds I don't watch overtly faith-based movies. And it has nothing to do with the quality, or lack thereof. I am struck all their movies in the prosecution are also in the defense.
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