February 2008 – J.J. Jasper: I Hope I Break Even Tour
Looking for some good, clean entertainment? A new comedy DVD just released by Christian radio personality and comedian J.J. Jasper will leave you with laughter-induced side aches ... and an encouraged heart.
Jasper was born with a double-edged gift of laughter – a deep delight in having a good laugh himself and the ability to make others laugh. His latest DVD, I Hope I Break Even Tour, is full of personal stories and recorded before a live audience.
Jasper is co-host with Eric Faulds of the early morning drive show on American Family Radio at the 200-station network’s flagship station in Tupelo, Mississippi. He’s been doing Christian radio for about 20 years, and his humor bubbles out over the airwaves every morning.
But there’s depth to the funny man as well. He’ll never leave an audience without encouraging them, challenging them and making them feel like they’ve been loved and appreciated. Jasper’s Christian faith will rise to the surface every time, though always in a gentle way, never abrasive or confrontational. He’s a master communicator in serious mode as well as comic.
Learn more about J.J. Jasper at his Web site, www.jjjasper.com, or at www.afr.net. For a limited time, he’s donating half the purchase price of his I Hope I Break Even Tour DVD to AFA.
Review by Randall Murphree
MTI Home Video’s feature-length film 48 Angels has its positive moments, but it falls far short of what Christian families look for in a movie. Its strongest element is the mysterious but intriguing relationships among the three major characters.
The central figure, an Irish lad named Seamus, has a terminal illness, and he is searching for God. However, his ill-fated journey finds him on an island where James, a runaway teenager, and a wounded ex-con on the lam become his traveling companions.
This unlikely trio’s road trip is for the most part ominous and foreboding. Seamus perceives the ex-con as a Jesus figure, but James is a skeptic to the core, denigrating the Christian faith largely because his police father was murdered.
James steals a car for the trio to use, and the moral aspect of that act is never addressed. To say that the faith issue is never resolved is an understatement. Other objectionable elements include occasional offensive language including an Irish euphemism for the “f”-word. Some fairly graphic violence combines with the language problems to earn the film a PG-13 rating.
Review by Randall Murphree
Set in 1953, Her Majesty is about 13-year-old Elizabeth Wakefield who has one dream, and it is to meet her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. Elizabeth’s hometown of Middleton, New Zealand, is shocked when they find out the Queen will be stopping there as part of her Royal Tour. The frenzy begins as all of Middleton prepares for the big day.
Along the way, Elizabeth learns the importance of equality, truth, love, friendship and courage as she befriends the community’s outcast – an elderly Maori Indian woman named Hira. The unlikely friendship that develops between Elizabeth and Hira reveals a local history that has been tainted by racism and lies. This challenges Elizabeth to stand up for what she believes while risking her once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the queen.
The film contains questionable thematic elements and some mild language. There are nearly 10 mild profanities plus eight uses of God’s name in vain. Hell is referenced as a place, and violent bullying is seen throughout the movie. There are several references to cannibalism, magical powers and implied sexual content related to an affair. Demeaning comments are also made about Elizabeth’s body, and Hira may appear frightening to young children. Disrespect to parents is shown and never addressed through discipline.
Her Majesty is rated PG.
Review by Rebecca Grace
Demetrius and the Gladiators
The story in this 1954 film picks up where the critically-acclaimed movie, The Robe (1953), ends, following the martyrdom of two Christians, Diana and Marcellus.
Victor Mature plays the title role of Demetrius, a Christian slave who is given the task by the Apostle Peter of keeping the robe of Jesus after His crucifixion and resurrection. For assaulting a centurion, Demetrius is sentenced to become a gladiator.
The pressure on Christians to live right in a wrong world is impressively portrayed, as Demetrius abandons his faith after he believes God allowed the death of the woman he loved. His journey from bitterness to repentance is a believable and redemptive story.
Demetrius’ crisis of faith, however, includes implied fornication and adultery, along with idolatry and drunkenness. Although it is told in restrained fashion according to the morality of the 1950s, it is inappropriate for children. Of course, the violence in the gladiatorial arena is muted compared to modern films.
Demetrius and the Gladiators is not rated and is available on DVD.
Review by Ed Vitagliano