The Encounter (2010)
At a Crossroads Diner
I am willing to give you many good things, all you have to do is ask me - Jesus
It's a stormy night and five strangers find themselves having to take shelter in a roadside diner when the road is closed because of it being dangerous. These strangers meet the owner, a man by the name of Jesus (Bruce Marchiano), who has a pleasant nature and seems to know everything. Each of the strangers from the single Melissa (Jaci Velasquez) to the cynical businessman Nick (Steve Borden) find themselves confronted by their inner feelings and current issues from running away to feeling lonely.
Somehow I have found myself watching and reviewing a selection of Christian cinema recently and let me just say it has been an eye opening experience. No I am not saying I have had an epiphany but my eyes have been opened to what current Christian cinema is and it is very different to the few Christian movies I watched when I was a teenager. The acting is better, the production values are better, the preachy nature is more often than not better controlled and on whole they are a lot more entertaining and watchable, that is if you are willing to give them a try.
Now the thing about most Christian cinema is that it isn't aimed at the masses it is normally aimed at an already Christian audience and that is the case of "The Encounter" as it isn't subtle in delivering its message about having faith in God to provide what we need and the riches of heaven rather than what we think we want. It is the sort of unsubtle which those not willing to give a movie a chance will end up mocking and not realising that part of "The Encounter" is about being self aware. It is also about the charm, the charisma of Bruce Marchiano who gives this interpretation of Jesus and easy going nature.
Now I could go on and mention the acting which I will tell you now having been a fan of TNA wrestling took me aback when I realised that Steve Borden, aka Sting, was in this movie and is a born again Christian. But here is the biggest and most important thing I can say about "The Encounter" and it surpasses the various things which as a movie fan bugged me, it made me think. Whilst some who watch this might mock it there are a lot of aspects to this movie which are thought provoking and that really took me by surprise.
What this all boils down to is that Christian cinema is very different to how it use to be and whilst not perfect is much better than it once was. And "The Encounter" is a perfect example of this as it isn't perfect, it lacks subtlety and feels like it is made on a small budget for an already Christian audience to reaffirm their faith but when you give it a go it grabs your attention and makes you think.
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