Tag: Trisha LaFache

God’s Not Dead 2 (Real)

If you are reading this and feel confused, don’t be. Yes, I had the nerve to post a fake review. You can read it here, and should. And I did it before. I did a fake review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with fake spoilers. Those were good times, before I had the ability to even see movies early.

But no, now I will really review God’s Not Dead 2. I had to pay money to see this one though. I had to go to a Thursday night screening, and thanks to soccer practice, I had to wait for the 10 pm showing. I had to watch previews and spend like $10, it was terrible.

Why? Well, I wanted to have some integrity in my fake review. If I made a fake review with just the trailer, I would have missed side plots and subtleties and you would have seen right through it. So instead I had to give myself just 3 hours of sleep that day and write a silly review for a silly joke holiday. But don’t worry. This is the real one. This one will pull out all the stops.

Yeah, you might want to wipe that grin away from your face.

GND2 takes place not only after the first film, but in the same basic location. Which turns out is Houston? In a made up high school instead of a made up college. The exploits of the first guy were heard large and wide, but Christianity was still being shunned.

Enter happy go lucky Grace (Melissa Joan Hart). Nothing gets her down except for not being able to help her students. Like Brooke (Hayley Orrantia), from an atheist family. She lost her brother six months ago and her parents (Maria Canals-Barrera, Carey Scott) seemed to have already gotten over it and are harassing her to get into a good college. So she goes to Grace outside of school to ask for help and she talks about Jesus. This is fine of course. Brooke also finds a bible in her brother’s room. He was secretly religious!

Later on at school, Grace is teaching about non violent protesters, MLK and Gandhi, and Brooke asks if it is similar to what Jesus spoke about. Non violence stuff. Sure. Why not. Brooke says yes, cites her source, and moves on. Some nameless kid apparently complains because later Grace has to meet with the school board over preaching in class! She refuses to apologize to avoid punishment, and they don’t want to fire her over it, but they decide to let the ACLU take her to court. They apparently really really want this battle.

The ACLU lawyer (Ray Wise) actually goes to Brooke’s parents to get them to be the main plantiff. Brooke is a minor so she has no say. They agree, because it might help her get into college. And now the ACLU can make an example of Grace, take her for everything she has and get a precedent about any Jesus talk in the classroom.

Also in this movie. Paul Kwo returns as a Chinese atheist turned Christian with many questions. David A.R. White is still a pastor who refuses to give his sermons to the government and serves on the jury. Benjamin A. Onyango is back, because fuck it. And Trisha LaFache is back as a reporter, with her cancer gone because she found Jesus. She doesn’t really have a purpose in this film at all.

We also have Robin Givens as the principal, Jesse Metcalfe as Grace’s lawyer who doesn’t believe either, Pat Boone as Grace’s old dad, Ernie Hudson as the judge, and Sadie Robertson as Brooke’s best friend and the niece of Trisha’s character.

Letting God be your witness sounds nice, but doesn’t help you in the court.


What in the actual fuck. Let me first say that God’s Not Dead is the worse movie. It ends with one character homeless, abandoned by family (/beaten a little bit), but finding Jesus so its okay. A reporter getting Cancer despite finding Jesus, and the teacher losing, accepting everything, and still finding Jesus in time to get killed right away. It was a complete mess.

This film is also a complete mess, but with less death. Now, one obvious problem with this movie is that they take a normal teaching situation that in no way, anywhere, would there ever be an issue with it. That helps drive the point home I guess, because everyone watching it knows she is innocent and the trial becomes extremely ridiculous because of it. Of course we are on her side, the writers suck and are implying that this type of thing happens all the time. It almost makes every argument the movie tries to make invalid because they didn’t even try to present something plausible.

Like the first film.

They made the ACLU guy out to be some huge evil villain. He probably eats babies. He scowls and twirls his imaginary mustache when he tells the parents before the trial that they will “for once and all finally prove that GOD IS DEAD!” I had to imagine some lightning bolts in the background, it really helped.

But literally the trial isn’t about Jesus existing or not. The entire trial is a bad sham that flows in no logical way. First of all, Grace’s main defense is she did nothing wrong and wasn’t preaching in the classroom. They decide (half way through the trial) that their best defense is to prove a historical Jesus, which means she can mention Jesus in a history class. Makes sense. However, all of the uproar outside of the trial is about religion in the classroom and whether Christians can talk about Jesus in a religious way. Grace isn’t arguing she should be able to do that, she knows when it is appropriate and never suggested preaching should be in the classroom. Or mandatory school prayer. Or anything.

So guess what. She wins in the end. Not by proving the historic Jesus. But because of having a break down when her own lawyer verbally attacks her to talk about her faith. He goes super mean, making everyone feel bad and going to her side. That’s right, they don’t even try to win the trial in a good way. They do something that wouldn’t be allowed in a trial (because treating your witness as “hostile” doesn’t mean yelling and screaming a fit) and end it in the worst way. It is so damn stupid.

As a follow up, Brooke couldn’t talk to the teacher the whole time (because reasons?), and when she finally does, it is after the trial. Everyone is gone after the verdict, but she says no, go spread the word. Somehow Brooke gets out of the courthouse first, before eager reporters and everything, to scream out that “GOD’S NOT DEAD!” to hundreds of Christian supporters for a big party. They were there, silently protesting while atheist people yelled and called names the whole time. Of course, the trial didn’t conclude anything about the legitimacy of religion.

And if the religious people say it was a win for religions, then they missed the point of Grace’s defense and the fact that she did nothing wrong. So they are pretty hypocritical. Celebrating in that way seems to imply that Grace did preach in class and it is now allowed. It is all nonsensical.

I need another picture in here. My bad.

I think that is all I needed to rant about the trial. So here are other annoyances.

One side plot is Paul Kwo finding his new religion difficult to grasp. He doesn’t stop going to classes or anything, he just is also Christian. So we have a scene where his dad comes right off the plane from China, still in his business suit, to yell at him and tell him he has disappointed his family and not his son anymore. Because he became Christian without changing any other aspect of his life. It is ridiculous. A few scenes later, his character decides to become a pastor, which changes his future and would then warrant maybe a father coming to yell at his son for throwing his life away. But the events are all out of order here.

Trisha LaFache’s reporter is useless here. She is a bad spiritual guide or something. But what is strange about her involves Duck Dynasty. A show and cast that are real in this film. She interacted with them in the first film. So they decide to make Brooke’s BFF her niece as well, just to fit her in. And that girl is played by Sadie Robertson, a real life member of the Duck Dynasty clan, who is even on the show. That is both awkward given her plot, and bad given it breaks the immersion having a real person in the world as an actress playing someone new.

Finally, the pastor Dave plot line is all over the place. He gets sick, is super busy, has to be on the jury, but also has to give his sermons to the government for reasons. Why? They only really have one quick scene to explain it, and it is gone in the blink of an eye. A line is uttered that “they tried it in Houston!” to explain its relevance. However, we know that this movie also takes place in Houston, so…

Anyways, Dave refuses to turn in his sermons and instead turns in a letter. After that scene, the movie forgets about it and credits roll. It was a bad way to set up a future movie, again, based on a non real issue. However we did get a post credit scene of the pastor getting arrested for not turning in sermons. Ah, there it goes. God’s Not Dead 3, eventually. Setting up their cinematic universe.

This film has a lot of issues. It brings up real historians and lies about what they said about Jesus. It attempts in no way to actually prove anything through the trial, going for cheap entertainment and to make an echo chamber instead of actually producing any meaningful change.

0 out of 4.

God’s Not Dead 2

When God’s Not Dead came out in 2014, it was a complete joke. It was a very low budget Christian faith film. It was based on a shitty internet story, not any form of reality. It was supposed to be made and ignored but people flocked to see it so it became a wide release to get some of that sweet sweet money. It was a bad effort.

Needless to say, I and everyone else was extremely skeptical about news of a sequel. What would God’s Not Dead 2 be about? Would it be an unrelated different religious story or it would it be a direct follow up with our old main character destroying more professors? If it is a direct follow up, would it tie up any of the many loose ends of the first film?

Or would it just be a cash grab given the success of the first. The scariest option. More of the same. I shudder at the thought.

So does blank stare Sabrina.

Remember Martin (Paul Kwo), the Chinese student who had the nerve to learn about and believe in Jesus in the first film? Well he is back! So is Amy Ryan (Trisha LaFache) the liberal reporter who got the cancer, and of course Reverend Dave (David A.R. White) and Reverend Jude (Benjamin A. Onyango). But I won’t go into their back stories. Because we have a new hero.

Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan-Hart), an optimistic and great History teacher at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. High School (that’s relevant). In particular, she teachers AP History as well. One of her students, Brooke (Hayley Orrantia), has been having a hard time after her brother died six months ago. She cannot get over it and it is affecting her grades. Her parents (Carey Scott, Maria Canals-Barrera) have gotten over it however and it is because they are atheists. She isn’t Christian, she just doesn’t know. But she talks to Grace outside of school and finds out her brother had a bible. So she starts finding out about Jesus. Which is why during a lesson on MLK and Gandhi, Brooke asks (during class!) if it was the same non-violent approach mentioned by Jesus. And Grace answers. And everyone moves on.

Nope, just kidding. A student brings it up and a complaint is made. The principal (Robin Givens) can’t do anything about it, the school board just wants an apology, but Grace refuses because she does nothing wrong. There is nothing left to do but to go to trial over it then. Where the school board can watch and make decisions from it, because the ACLU has agreed to do this case because they want precedent to make sure God cannot be in schools ever again. Their lawyer (Ray Wise) is a bad bad dude.

So Grace gets a lawyer from her union, Tom (Jesse Metcalfe), a non religious man. And they have to argue that not only was she not preaching, but she was talking about the historical Jesus (and prove he existed) which is why he should be able to be mentioned in AP History. They just have to convince a very good jury who are out for blood.

Also featuring Pat Boone as Grace’s old father, Ernie Hudson as the judge, and Sadie Robertson as Brooke’s BFF.

The face you make when people are mean butts and you just want to not be there.

Harold Cronk, you beautiful genius. You drag us in with the first film by creating a phenomenon out of nowhere, just to build a fan base. Make that sweet sweet cash. He took all that money and wanted to build something bigger out of it. So for the sequel he has better cameras. Someone who knows the word cinematograhy. And better actors. Come on, Ernie Hudson as the judge is brilliant. And having Melissa Joan Hart, a person most well known for explaining things and being a witch, and making her become religious can only be described as genius. No one cared when Kevin Sorbo was an atheist professor, because that makes sense. He used to play a damn demi-god!

Not only are the cameras and cast better, but the script is better as well. The film brings back older characters to tie up the loose ends created in the first film. We now know why the Asian guy was initially afraid of Jesus. We know what happened to the reporter who got the cancer. We know that Duck Dynasty lived on to see another day. We don’t know what happened to the Muslim girl who became homeless due to changing religion, but eh, who cares, she used to be Muslim.

Last but not least, the court room drama. Never have I bit my nails so much. The tension was high as the two lawyers battled over jury dominance. Both sides argued so well, but the Jesus side argued much better. Everything they said was 100% right and factual. Based on the film, I can only hope that a case like this really does open up in the courts, because it would be a landslide victory for religion and its role in government. Fuck, it was so good I am basically a believer now.

Gods Not Dead 2 may be the most important film of the year and will change a lot of people’s minds about faith.

4 out of 4.

God’s Not Dead

God’s Not Dead may be the first movie ever based entirely on a spam/chain letter. After I watched the trailer many months ago, I couldn’t stop laughing. It was clearly a B-movie, looked like it was made for TV, extremely low quality. There are a lot of examples of the story they go over in here, but the most famous is the one involving Albert Einstein. All of them ridiculous. This is the movie version of it apparently.

This review is very likely going to be biased. Totally, totally biased.

Student's Name
Bias attacking bias. That’s the American way.

College is hard. Especially for Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), no relation to Joss Whedon. He is a big Christian taking his freshman classes and picks an intro Psych class with Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). The professor, after a 5 minute speech, wants the class to sign a paper saying “God Is Dead” to get past it as an argument throughout the semester, so they can discuss pure philosophy on its own.

Well, Josh can’t do it. Nope, too Christian. So he has to argue the opposite point that “God Is Alive.” He gets the professor to agree to let the class decide at the end of his talks. He has three classes, the last 20 minutes of each, with minor interruptions by the professor to get it done. Everyone tells him not too. His friends, his parents, his girlfriend (who I want to link, she is in like, four scenes, but literally not even on the IMDB page…). But he does it anyways.

This movie also has a thousand side plots. Like Ayisha (Hadeel Sittu), a Muslim girl with a strict traditional father (Marco Khan), making her wear the headpiece, how dare he. Well, turns out she is secretly super Christian and hiding that from him too. When he finds out, he smacks her some few times and kicks her out of the house.

We have Amy Ryan (Trisha LaFache), a blogger for a “lefty” organization, who I guess also is super into PETA. We get to see her with a boyfriend who clearly doesn’t care, as she has a surprise interview with Willie Robertson and his wife Korie outside of their church, attacking the fact that they kill animals and are religious…? Well, she gets cancer and her boyfriend leaves her.

Also Reverend Dave (David A.R. White, from that terrible movie Me Again) is our local go to helper guy for some of the plot lines. He is welcoming in Reverend June (Benjamin Ochieng) from somewhere in Africa as a Missionary, but things keep going poorly to ruin their vacation. I guess.

We also have Paul Kwo playing a transfer student from China in the class, and as we all know, the Chinese are all athiests. Oh, and Cory Oliver, who plays the much younger girlfriend of Professor Radisson. Because she is a former student. But also a Christian. And has a mom with Dementia. And What? How does any of this part make sense?

You can practically see the straw flying out of Kevin Sorbo’s mouth.

I understand that Christians may not take anything I say in this review for a grain of salt. So here is a different actual Christian blog talking about how terrible the movie is. After watching the movie, everything in the trailer is basically true. So, I won’t repeat them, but yeah.

This movie has a bunch of subplots, some of which are loosely connected, and others that seem to just flicker out without resolution. The Muslim girl subplot was terrible. Let’s ignore the fact that the two religions are already really similar, but having an abusive father, and a Muslim girl switching to Christianity? I am not saying these don’t happen, but they just seem silly in this movie. That plot line after she gets kicked out? No resolution. Good, she has Jesus…and now is homeless I guess? I guess that is true. Religious parents definitely kick out their kids sometimes if they turn to another religion or no religion at all, I read about the latter a lot.

Same with the reporter. She finds Jesus by the end of the movie, after bad stuff happens to her. I thought they were just parodying the Duck Dynasty people but I guess that is one of the real guys with his actual wife. Why are they in the movie? Not sure. But they had a media fiasco that happened last year with people getting kicked off the show because they were anti-gay. But the news reporter attacks him for helping people kill ducks and being religious, not for the reasons they had controversy last year. So his speech he gave about God seemed pointless.

They made everyone in the movie that wasn’t Christian a complete asshole, so of course the Christian way shown is the right way. If they aren’t, they beat kids, assault students, and get cancer. But that doesn’t present a good version of reality. The professor almost physically assaulted the kid after his first talk, was dating a former student (who he asked to date after a midterm…?) making him super scummy. He constantly and clearly berated her, and then based his entire self as if he was warring with God. Yep, he was actually a hater cause of an event in his childhood, not through being an intellectual.

The rest of the review has some spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Then the fucking killed his character in a car accident as he was walking to find his former lady friend. What in the actual fuck. His death was juxtaposed with the concert, basically celebrating the fact that he “lost” the argument to the kid and how he and Jesus were awesome, and he sucked, as he was dead. Erm.

Speaking of concerts, this whole film felt like it was some strange advertisement for this band The Newsboys. A thousand references and posters for them, along with the film title I guess.

Terrible movie. It uses arguments that have been refuted in the past, but make the professor a strawman who can’t handle them while also having a tantrum. If it tried to actually use some better proofs are arguments, that would be something. But no. Also, there is a big Spartacus like scene at the end. Gah. This movie is just a fluff piece meant to pat people who agree with it on the back, without going any further or to any deep/significant level.

0 out of 4.