3 January 2006 | woodyteegra-1
Top Notch Gospel
Its saddening that a lot of people have just voted '1' just to ruin the rating of this film on IMDb. I doubt if anyone really believes it is that bad as there are very few films (that I have chosen to watch) I would give ratings below 2. Equally a few people have given it 10 to counteract the 1's sadly they are out numbered. I have rated it 7 as I believe it had its highlights but also a few shortcomings.
I don't think you need to be a Christian to watch the film and not even black (I can remember seeing only one white character that spent more than two seconds on screen, what a change). One requirement might be to enjoy music though.
The film starts with a very good mass choir rendition of a popular gospel tune 'Our God is an Awesome God' (has about 5 minutes of screen time over the opening credits) and later there are at least 2 other performances of equal duration. Sadly the performance by Fred Hammmond of Commissioned fame was interspersed with acting. There was also singing from Yolanda Adams and Tamyra Grey (former American idol contestant).
As the story opens, Pastor Fred Taylor has a thriving church in Atlanta which his son David is leading in praise and worship. David's mother dies and he blames Fred for never being there for them. David leaves the church and 15 years later becomes a successful R&B Singer with a hit on the charts called "Let Me Undress You." David's friend, Rev Charles Frank (Idris Elba)who was also in youth ministry stays behind at the church becomes an associate minister and is now in line to take over the church which happens to now be having financial problems.
Pastor Fred develops cancer and David returns home to be with his dad and the rest of the film focuses on his internal dilemma whether he should focus on his music career or the church and the leadership battle between Frank - who has now developed a great ego - and Associate Pastor Terrance Hunter (Donnie McClurkin).
Boris Kodjoe (once voted as one of the 50 most beautiful people on the planet) was very good in the lead role as David Taylor however there were a few areas where his acting came across as being stiff when he was out of his comfort zone. I was impressed by his acting when he was leading the choir. Omar Gooding was also excellent as the Manager/sidekick. Other members of the cast were very good including Idris Elba, Clifton Powell and Donnie McClurkin.
The movie attempted to explore church politics in a very realistic way, however I was a bit disappointed at the sudden reversal of Frank. (Perhaps it will be explored further in the deleted scenes on the DVD. (And to the reviewer from earlier - yes some of us do want to see the deleted scenes).
I must admit I don't see links to the fighting temptations as that was mainly a comedy and this was a powerful drama.
My main criticism is that they tried too hard to give the film a happy ending that would please all but it didn't strike me as being very realistic. Overall though a very good film worth watching.