Mo' Movies overview from Mo' Boy!
On one of my email lists, someone started talking about Mormon movies, and, of course, regretted it almost immediately. It made me think of all the shows I’ve seen, and which ones I liked the best. So, I listed them, and ranked them. I thought it was interesting to see just how many of them I have seen. That’s really quite a list. While I’m sure there are more, the only two that I’ve missed that I can think of are “Handcart” and “The Work and the Story”
I list these in order that I liked them. Now, I need to clarify that. What I mean is NOT “Which movie is the best crafted work of cinematic art?” What I mean IS “Which movies entertained me/made me think/made me laugh/made me feel the most?”
It’s also interesting to note that, on some level, I enjoyed almost all of them. Really all the way down through number 13, I had a good time at the shows. In fact, it got really hard to rank them from 9 to 13.
1. Brigham City – It helped me rethink the nature of forgiveness and the atonement. That makes it great art, in my book
2. Sons of Provo – It helped me remember why I make music for Mormons. And it made me laugh more than most Hollywood movies even do.
3. The Best Two Years – A great balance of smiles and testimony, in a package that wasn’t hokey.
4. Saints and Soldiers – This one made me rethink a lot of things, like the nature of war and enemies, self-forgiveness, and the purpose of life. Also great art.
5. The Singles Ward – Made me laugh a lot. A LOT!
6. God’s Army
7. The RM – A fun movie, and the best soundtrack album of all of them. Except maybe “Provo”…
8. Charly – I didn’t think I’d like this one, but I did. It was formula, but good formula.
9. The Other Side of Heaven – For all its big budget, I wasn’t as impressed. The big Hollywood boys that have been slamming the low budget mo’ movies took on a project and made a good movie that just wasn’t as fun or meaningful to me as what the little guys had done.
10. Out of Step – A sleeper that deserved more recognition than it got.
11. Baptists At Our Barbecue – The book was great, the movie was fun.
12. Pride and Prejudice – Pretty good for a chick flick.
13. The Home Teachers – A fun escapist movie that didn’t really hold up to repeat viewings like the other Halestorms.
14. The Work and the Glory – Meh
15. The Book of Mormon Movie – Not intended to be a comedy, but people in the theatre where I saw it were laughing anyway. I just felt sad.
I also heard it said once that there haven’t been any Mormon chick flicks. Hello! I beg to differ. Charly, Out of Step, Baptists at our Barbecue, and Pride and Prejudice all were, in my opinion, chick flicks, or at least good date movies. We don’t seem to have any Mormon action/adventure movies yet, and the horror genre also seems to be a little thin. I, personally, don’t like horror movies, so that’s not at all a problem for me.
It’s also interesting to me that a lot of people think that all of our movies are missionary-based, but on this list, there’s only 3. 4, if you count “The RM”.
When I got to go to the LDSBA show the other day, I saw promo swag for a whole bunch of new shows about to be released, and I’m very excited about them. “Mobsters and Mormons” (which is NOT a movie based on the “Mafia to Mormon” book) is one of them. Written and directed by John Moyer (who I got to meet!), the writer of “The RM” and “The Singles Ward”.
We’ve had a slower year so far this year. Not so many movies came out. There are quite a few set to drop over the next few months, so I’ll keep you posted.