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Keenan S (us) wrote: "There's no quit in family," states the quotes in both advertisements and on the DVD cover itself. You know what you should quit, Kirk Cameron? Making films, because every film of yours I've watched has been awful. Acting, because you are so awful that you make stars like Megan Fox, Tara Reid, and Steven Seagal look Oscar-worthy in their horrendous acting performances. And, hell, you should also quit preaching while you're at it, because you make Christianity look bad and give the actual good people who follow it a bad name because of your smug, narcissistic, holier-than-thou attitude you possess (Though that's a discussion for another time). And yet, here I am again, being the glutton for punishment for bad films, and watching yet ANOTHER horrid Kirk Cameron film.Yes, Mr. Cameron, I am fully aware that this film is a low budget production. It has been a big excuse made by you and the few fans of this film to defend its poor production quality and writing. I DO NOT CARE that this film is a low budget production. That is a half-assed excuse for it being a terrible piece of shit, and I find it to be an insulting excuse as someone who has enjoyed a number of independent films which are far superior in quality to this film.However, everyone has a right to defend themselves, and Kirk Cameron has certainly tried to do so when going on the offensive against his detractors. While looking up various reviews of the film online, I came across his response to a poster who said negative things about Mercy Rule in the comments section of Ellery Sadler's review of the film for Insideout Magazine's website. Sure, you could claim it to be someone pretending to be Cameron but I highly doubt it, as it reeks of his douchebaggery to the point of where I screen-capped the comment (Something I have never done before or since) just to preserve that moment of pure, smug, assholery and to use his words against him in my inevitable review of Mercy Rule.So, here are some little snippets from the comment he made, starting with this piece:"Someday I'd like to write a review about movie reviewers and the assumed standards they use to judge other people's creative work. Personally, I LOVE slo-mo, black and white, and interesting uses of color and lighting. All these were intentionally used and highlighted in my film because, well...it's a CAMFAM film."Yeah! Fuck you, quality film-making! And fuck the critics, too! Look, there are plenty of times that I have disagreed with critics (Mostly on films they hate), but when you make a film and distribute it to the public, you are opening yourself up to public scrutiny in the endless quagmire of debates about art. And guess what? Most people do not like it...and for good reasons, too. It's not an atheist or liberal conspiracy, Mr. Cameron. Mercy Rule quite simply, is terrible.I, too, enjoy experimentation in films, including all the things that you listed. The problem we have here, is that all of those things are abused and made for lousy, cheap-looking effects that are trying so desperately to subvert what you believe to be established film-making rules and be avant-garde so to speak. Avant-garde, you ain't.But I'm not done ripping apart his long-winded comment (Nor am I anywhere near done shredding this horrid film to pieces). Check out this gem that does him no favors for his reputation of being a smug bastard:"Dayton, if you ever decide to fund, write, direct, produce, edit, and/or act in a movie, I'd be honored if you'd send it to me to watch. I promise I'll encourage you."This is a comment directed at one of the posters that criticized the film for various reasons, and in response, Kirk Cameron used one of the biggest bullshit methods of defense directors, actors, and defenders of hated films use to defend said hated film. The dreaded, idiotic, "And how many movies have you made?" simpleton excuse.Well, Mr. Cameron. I am merely a wannabe amateur critic reviewing your film on this website. I have never made a film and probably never will make one. Hell, I will most likely never have any sort of career in the entertainment industry. And even if I ever did make a film or participate in making a film, I'm not doubting that it would probably be completely terrible.However, I have not done so. I have not made a bad film. I have not charged people money for said nonexistent bad film - thus conning them out of money for a bad product. I have also not slapped in a sorry excuse for faith messages to con a certain audience out of their money, which would make God face-palm himself in embarrassment knowing he was associated with this film. So therefore, go fuck yourself and your pitiful excuses for defending this miserable turd, along with any simpleton jackass who uses the same excuses.And finally, the cherry on top of the smug bastard cake comes this part of his comment, which he uses for shameless promotion of Saving Christmas (Which itself would go down infamy as one of the most hated films ever made, that I will watch when it comes out on DVD. Believe me, I'm not done with you Mr. Cameron. Not as long as you keep making films). Check this out:"As I shared with Ellery, my next film comes out this winter, called, "CHRISTMAS" and I'm really excited about it. You can be sure it will have LOTS of fun, crazy characters, poignant moments highlighted with more than enough slo-mo, and aggressive use of lighting and color! This is why I love being a filmmaker. :)"You smug bastard. You have no shame, do you? Wait. What am I saying? He's a narcissist, so of course he doesn't.Now that I've torn his comments apart, let's get to the film itself, which starts off badly from the moment you spend time looking at the DVD cover and the discussion booklet this film comes with. There's Kirk Cameron holding a bat, looking as smug as ever, his wife, Chelsea, the two lead child actors, and a baseball. The quote, "There's no quit in family" is used on both the front and back of the cover, there's a glowing quote from Pastor Rex Holt which states, "Just as FIREPROOF restores marriages, MERCY RULE strengthens families!" (Fireproof sucked, too), an explanation as to why this film was made, and then at the bottom of the back of the box, instead of rating assigned by the MPAA, instead it says, "KC" which apparently means Kirk Cameron Approved, with a content description that reads, "This film contains material that will inspire your family".Really, your ego is that massive? It' not enough that you're on the cover (Both front and back) and wrote the description on the back of the DVD case? You also need your own rating just as a feeble attempt to give Hollywood the finger? Boy, we are just off to an awful start, aren't we?As mentioned a short while ago, yes, there's a discussion booklet meant for families, so the kids can answer questions about lessons to be learned from the film. Oh sure, you can totally discuss this with your family. That's assuming, however, that they haven't fallen asleep or don't completely hate you by the end of the film for putting it on.The film begins with an introduction from Kirk Cameron explaining why the film was made (The very same explanation on the back of the box), in which he talks about he and his family love movie night and are always on the lookout for something that will inspire them and builds their faith in God and strengthens their family...so they decided to make this film. Thus, we get this cinematic abortion.We then actually get to the film itself, which opens up at Dante Scrapyard, which is owned by John Miller (Kirk Cameron) and his brother, Ben (Tim Hawkins). The business was started 60 years ago by their father affectionately known as "Pops" who is now deceased. John and Ben are providing a tour to a man in a business suit named Evan Trufant who seems curious about the scrapyard business, but his questions seem odd, even off-putting to the brothers (Like asking if John would be willing to release the medical records of his employees), before eventually ending the interview and him leaving.During this opening, we are also introduced to his son, Cody, who wants to be the pitcher for his little league baseball team (And also serves as the film's narrator), Bea, the annoying daughter who for some reason feels the need to be commentator for everything like a really terrible sportscaster, and his wife, Maddie, who is well...his wife (Seriously, she has no other character traits outside of also being the mother). The family seems to be a loving family with little strife...at first.Things start going bad when despite asking repeatedly, Cody's coach (Who has the bizarre mannerisms of someone who is both mentally ill and high as shit on heavy, hallucinogenic drugs) refuses to let him play as the pitcher. Cody also has problems with humility and being a teammate which comes full circle, when during a baseball game, he throws the ball to the catcher at home base, when no one is there to catch it, and then throwing down his glove in a fit of anger when the rival player makes it to home base. Cody is then forced to sit out for his poor attitude.During the game, John receives distressing news from his brother in regards to Evan Trufant, who as it turns out is an eco-lobbyist who engages in very shady practices to take down businesses like scrapyards, causing them to either be shut down, or have majority ownership taken over by the government.Part of the scam that Trufant uses is subsidy bait, which makes the businesses admit that they're handling hazardous waste, which then lands them in hot water when soil samples are taken, new regulations regarding soil contamination levels are made, and then the samples exceed the maximum accepted levels of contaminated soil as stated in the regulations made by city councils.Despite pleas from his brother not to take the subsidy, it is already too late, as John long before this revelation had indeed applied for that subsidy, which puts his livelihood in jeopardy thanks the slimy tactics of the eco-lobbyist.Meanwhile, Cody is forced to learn what it is like to be a team player, rather than be out for himself, though it will be a long road ahead of him as he learns his lessons, in the wake of his family's potential ruin at the hands of the eco-lobbyist.Considering the premise of this film, would you guess that it was geared to families? There's a lot of discussions about corrupt environmental laws, corrupt lobbyists, and shady politics that take stabs at left-wing politics. What child would possibly find this interesting? For that matter, will the adult viewers even find these discussions interesting? I'm up for a good right-wing piece (It's been a LONG while since I've come across one), but the politics presented in the story are shallow, poorly argued, and drone on endlessly. It's a very boring, very stupid political piece that can't argue to save its soul. Say what you will about films with heavy, left-wing politics, but those films could still convey their messages in a way that was interesting. For whatever reason, right-wing films usually turn out quite dull and stupid (Coming from someone whose politics lean more right than left), and this film is no exception.But what about the sports aspect of the film? You know, the part about being a team player? Surely there must be something to be found, both morally, and also just on a fun sports level, right? Nope. No fan of baseball will be interested in what is going on thanks to shoddy film-making techniques that render such sequences boring. While I'm not a sports fan, I am fully capable of enjoying a sports film, because with film-making it allows sports to be portrayed in a way that is exciting, thrilling, and suspenseful - rooting for the characters along the way. You won't find that here. Not even remotely.The writer of this film is a novelist by the name of N.D. Wilson, who usually seems to write fantasy stories. Though I have never heard of him, a brief check about him shows that his stories, while not particularly well known, enjoy many favorable reviews (With scores ranging from 3.5-5 star averages on Amazon) and a solid fan following. He is also a Christian writer, but a quick check about his work and his website, and his Facebook account, seem to suggest a Christian who is actually a sane person and nice person as well. He doesn't strike me as a fundie nutjob, especially as someone who has mocked the Left Behind franchise (Including a parody book called Right Behind). So why the hell did he get caught up in writing a script with fundie nutjobs?Then again, it's also an interesting fact to note that N.D. Wilson has made virtually no mention about Mercy Rule. I had to scrawl through his Facebook posts for a good 15-20 minutes to find any mention about it (And this was months ago, so it is now buried even further down). It was only a brief mention talking about its release. Nothing more. Did he disown it? Then again, considering that he is working with Kirk Cameron and director Darren Doane (Who would later direct the infamous Saving Christmas), I have a sneaking suspicion of the culprits who probably ruined the script to serve their own visions. Then again, he could have also just plain screwed up. However, I don't know. The writer doesn't talk about it. The people who made it barely talk about it. There's not even a "making of" featurette to give me an idea of what may have gone on. I'm just left with more questions than answers.The acting is bad, and unusually so. It is a melting pot of various bad acting styles, like a samples plate containing a variety of disgusting, terrible things to try. You've got the smug, near-emotionless/over-emoting (Kirk Cameron), the utterly bizarre (Bas Rutten as the coach who I swear is on some serious drugs combined with some sort of untreated mental illness and indeterminable accent), the annoying as fuck (Nicole Nealson as Bea. A character so annoying with her constant commentary that I wanted someone to punch her), the utterly bland and vacant (Chelsea Cameron as Maddie), the semi-amusing quirky character (Tim Hawkins as Ben), hollowness reminiscent of characters in one of David Cronenberg's weirder films like Crash and Cosmopolis (Jared Miller as Cody. This kid would be right at home in a Cronenberg-esque film with his hollow, clinical performance. However, with Cronenberg, such methods are intentional to lend to the themes and stylistic tonality of some of his films).The acting as a whole is a bizarre, fascinating rogues gallery of terrible acting methods acting schools could use to show students what not to do. I'm not kidding, it's that disjointed and poor.Much like the acting, the so-called entertainment aspects of the film are also rather bizarre in how it tries to splice political commentary with a sports film, a family drama, and Christian film, with disastrous results that will please neither children or adults.I've enjoyed a number of films in which their political commentaries were the equivalent to sledgehammer to the face, but I've also criticized a number of those films for those reasons when they get too heavy-handed at times. This is a case where things get too heavy-handed for their own good. Worse yet, it doesn't talk about these things in a way that is remotely interesting or even thought-provoking. A good political piece should make for a good think piece for the viewer. But even for someone who agrees with things talked about the film (I certainly don't like a lot of environmental regulations myself), they will still find it to be a very stupid film.For example, during one of the baseball games, John has a confrontation with Evan about his sleazy tactics in a long-winded discussion that lasts for a whopping 15 minutes while occasional footage of the baseball game is shown. The scene just drags on and on, and will bore both adults and children, pleasing nobody in its intended target audience outside of the most psychotic, raving, fundie nutjob right-wingers who are convinced everything liberals and secular people do are conspiracies to take down Christianity and America.But the crowning achievement in political idiocy comes during the climax of the film when John goes before the city council to plead his case. In that speech, he uses one of the oldest, worst bullshit political defenses, "Think about the children!" when discussing how the baseball team is basically breaking the law and selling so-called hazardous waste to buy equipment for their team and pay for league entry fees (Because in the subsidy papers, it lists such things like bottles and other innocuous recyclables as hazardous waste), followed then by spouting off one of the worst speeches ever given in the history of cinema that is a shameless rip-off of the classic, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, when Jefferson Smith makes his impassioned speech to the Senate (A great scene in a great film by a great actor). This is heresy. Mercy Rule, and especially Kirk Cameron, are not worthy of referencing Mr. Smith Goes To Washington or going anywhere near James Stewart's legendary, timeless performance. James Stewart, you ain't, Kirk Cameron. In fact, a new commandment should be added to the Bible: "Kirk Cameron shall not reference James Stewart or any of his films. For such a deed is heresy, punishable by an eternity in hellfire."Like I said before, sports fans will be unable to derive any sort of entertainment value from Mercy Rule. Even when the film breaks from political commentary, the sports sequences are a mess of excessive slo-mo (I'm pretty sure that Zack Snyder's entire filmography combined has less slo-mo than this one film. In Pajiba's review of the film, the reviewer and his wife estimated that 50% of the film is slo-mo. While I wouldn't go that far, I'd estimate that at least 30-40% is slo-mo), shaky cam, blurred imagery, lens flair, and overall bad editing. Though such scenes are short, they are a total mess devoid of excitement and largely of coherency. Even when it tries to add tension and build-up (Like when Cody compares his preparation for the final game in the film by comparing it to when his grandfather stormed Omaha Beach during World War II. For fuck's sake, you're playing baseball, not fighting in World War II), you still won't care and you won't be excited whatsoever.How does it fair as a family drama? Even worse. I never cared about any of these characters or their problems. This is especially problematic to me, as my favorite film genre ever is drama. I love getting sucked into a film, no matter how dark it may get, and feel like I'm right alongside the characters as they struggle through their situations. Some dramas have made me cry, and some have been utterly devastating, emotionally. Some are even uplifting and joyous and filled me with such tremendous hope and joy. But when I don't care about what's going on, none of what is portrayed on screen ultimately matters. I've seen many great family dramas. This film sure as hell isn't one of them.As a Christian film? It's messages are very flimsy, and strangely enough, despite having the involvement of Kirk Cameron, they are largely missing despite claims that they are a big part of the film. Even with what little spirituality there is, none of it is satisfying or engaging.To top off all these awful entertainment elements comes terrible direction. The direction feels like a slapdash mess of the worst traits of bad music videos, bad art house films, and bad indie films all rolled into one baffling, terrible mess of a film. There's shaky cam, lens flair, excessive slo-mo (Including breakfast-making and eating in slo-mo), a near endless amount of montages (I swear, this damn film has more montages than all six Rocky films combined!), blurred images, bad lighting, an unnecessary use of black and white imagery (With war sounds during Cody's World War II comparison), and some other bad stylistic choices. It's stylistically and aesthetically reprehensible to behold. Granted, I have seen much worse, but I'm picking this apart so viciously because Kirk Cameron seems to be under the delusion that these film-making methods that were slapped together are an avant-garde style of film-making. They aren't. It just looks like shit.Also, bizarrely, I must mention the music score. I will say that it is one of the only things that I liked about the film, but it felt like a strange combination of things. Sometimes the music feels like it belongs in a gritty crime thriller, a western, there's a couple moments of violin screeching (or glass screeching together) like something from The Exorcist soundtrack, there's a brief moment of music that reminds me of Asian dramas, there's a moment that sounds like catchy electronic music, and there are even some songs thrown in. It's a weird collection of music pieces, but I actually enjoyed the music of the film, even though it didn't really fit into the film. It had a very interesting, experimental quality to it. Too bad it didn't go to an interesting, experimental, actual avant-garde type of film.And finally, as this film is part comedy, I must dedicate a certain section to the comedic aspects. I will say that there were a couple of genuinely funny moments thanks to Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins. Some of his comments were actually kind of funny. Not laugh-out-loud, mind you, but considering the film he finds himself trapped in, he does manage to actually squeeze a little bit of humor from such a joyless film. Plus, Bas Rutten's peculiar performance certainly made for some fun moments for the viewer to make fun of because it is utterly bizarre. He would be a great choice to play a character who is high on serious drugs in some other film, perhaps.Mercy Rule in the end is a dull, joyless, stupid, poorly acted, poorly written, poorly directed mess of a film. It's certainly one of the more memorable bad films I've seen, but only because its badness is unusual in both the number of ways it manages to fail, and also in how it fails at all these things. It's definitely a bad film I won't forget for a long time, if not ever. But, if you're looking for some film for you and your family to enjoy, you won't find it here.
David L (ag) wrote: At times the substance abuse & the destructive nature of their relationship can seem to grate on our nerves but the last 10 minutes was moving and affirms the strengths of both actors playing perhaps the most enduring love epic of our lifetime....Taylor to Burton, "you forget, Boy-o, who the star of this show really is," Priceless.
Ca H (au) wrote: Really funny at times and less funny at others, but overall I found this to be really enjoyable! The main character Stephen is so well done and easy to empathise with: the performances are generally all really good. The direction was cute and interesting, as was the music, and I found the whole film to be strangely sad! Definitely not what I expected.
Monica J (ru) wrote: This Movie Is HORRIFYINGLY GREAT!I Wish Jennifer & I Would Have Been Able To Watch This Together...Maybe It Would Have Scared Us Straight!
Antonio M (it) wrote: Add a review (optional)...
Jlio A (us) wrote: A anos queria ver este filme, quando finalmente consigo assistir, no gostei.As atuaes so fantsticas, mas o roteiro no consegue segurar absolutamente nada. Filmes loucos j vi um monte, f de David Lynch e Gillian, mas loucura por loucura, faa bem feito, chega a ser tedioso passar mais de 15 minutos acordado vendo este filme. Devo ter assistido em 3 dias no todo. Chato demais.
Private U (ag) wrote: This is one of the best films of the early 1990's. A forgotten gem. You may be interested in knowing that it is made by the same person who created Scrubs. You all should see it
Kalvi R (kr) wrote: Another divine performance from fab Miss D. Bette Midler just does it right and she will blow you away with her talent.
Jerry J (ag) wrote: crappy dialog, weak plot, bad acting. can't stand it. Just like Indonesian's Sinetron (Soap Opera)
Mike C (us) wrote: Good original film but not a movie I'd watch twice in a hurry
Cory T (au) wrote: The Amish community is one of clandestine rituals and Rumspringa alone could be converted into a feasible horror film. On the other hand, Deadly Blessing scrutinizes the borderline cult aspects of the luddite lifestyle as if it were a pagan subculture summoning the arrival of the incubus. With that in mind, I could corroborate the furor the Amish might expectorate on this with precious images of Hittite field tilling and diurnal chores over ominous Gregorian chants. Without the additives of demonic makeup, Michael Berryman and Ernest Borgnine are already accursed, spectral voices of doom. One moment of surprisingly subtle despair from Berryman is when he peeping on Martha (Maren Jensen) in her negligee and he looks genuinely crestfallen over his sheltered existence. The subtext about proselytizing from the ascetic community to a more "worldly" relationship with a woman is vapidly skimmed with intermittent scenes of Isaiah (Borgnine) scolding his kin not to "covet" tractors and the other luxuries of their infidel neighbors. In lieu of that incendiary topic, Deadly Blessing is mostly tethered to an overblown slasher film. Sharon Stone's nightmare about a salacious killer who preys on her spider phobia might be Wes Craven's epiphany for dream stalker Freddy Krueger. Also bridging the gap between this and A Nightmare on Elm Street is the POV of a snake slithering between Martha's legs in the tub. Those who avidly anticipate an underrated installment from the late Craven will be sorely dispirited that Deadly Blessing is a torpid, rustic 'Sleepaway Camp' clone. The car explosion is decently suspenseful though.
Amanda G (us) wrote: I thought this movie was really good, I really like the main actress she is really good. There were alot of unexpected twists that kept it interesting.
Raymond C (ca) wrote: Does anyone know where you can get the harmonica heavy version of Rolling Stones "Like a Rolling Stone"??? It plays in the closing credits.
Dana M (fr) wrote: Great funny horror movie
Kathleen W (us) wrote: You don't really want to be anyone in this movie because they all kind of suck, but it's about hope and about being willing to have really big dreams and most of us don't have that, so to be honest at the end we'd all probably swap places with Darius (Plaza). Only partially because of all of her good jokes. I wish I could tell good jokes.