Year Released: 2018
Directed by: Harold Cronk
Starring: Samuel Hunt, Merritt Patterson
(PG-13, 98 min.)
“Why is God silent when good men suffer?” Billy Graham
Go to see this wonderful film (or watch it on Vudu right now) just to rebel against the group think in Hollywood, where anything that reeks of Christianity is beneath contempt. That vitriol would never be tolerated against any other major religion.
In fact, Hollywood goes out of its way to present a “balanced” approach in most films dealing with other cultures and religions.
The critics’ separation from the movie going public is apparent in the skewed appraisals from professional reviewers and the audiences who attended the film, with only 33% of positive critical reviews for Unbroken: The Path to Redemption as compared to 86% positive from the movie going public.
Perhaps this synopsis of the film helps explain the dichotomy:
Based on Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling book, UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION begins where the hit movie Unbroken concludes, sharing the next amazing chapter of the unbelievable true story of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini. Haunted by nightmares of his torment, Louie sees himself as anything but a hero. Then, he meets Cynthia, a young woman who captures his eye-and his heart. Louie's wrathful quest for revenge drives him deeper into despair, putting the couple on the brink of divorce. Until Cynthia experiences Billy Graham's 1949 Los Angeles Crusade where she finds faith in God and a renewed commitment to her marriage and her husband. Now, her most fervent prayer is for God to help Louie find the peace and forgiveness he so desperately needs. UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION brings to life the rest of this powerful real-life story of forgiveness, redemption, and amazing grace.
Of course, those of us already savvy to Hollywood’s usual anti Christian bias should not be surprised at the professional reviews of Unbroken: The Path to Redemption. In fact, these reviews remind Different Drummer why she started this website.
Maybe you’re like me. You feel out of step with the current drumbeats in the movie review band. Some of the films they disdain you enjoy with guilty pleasure, and though you’d never admit it to your intellectual friends, the ones they rave about often leave you either cold, disgusted or both. –About Different Drummer
The Austin Chronicle did not even deign to review the new Unbroken film, but their seething contempt and condescension toward Christianity are palpable in their non review review:
Not reviewed at press time. Another cinematic preaching to the choir from Cronk (the director behind the God's Not Dead franchise), this time adapting Laura Hillenbrand's novelized life of how Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini was saved by Billy Graham.
Or the shorter version on the main page of their website:
“More evangelizing from the God’s Not Dead folks.”
One of my favorite parts of the old Paul Harvey radio shows were the segments called “The Rest of the Story,” wherein Paul Harvey recounted true stories of the famous and infamous.
But when Angelina Jolie directed 2014’s Unbroken, she did not give us the rest of the story.” In fact, perhaps because the Hollywood anti Christian mafia had grown so strong, Angelina Jolie, left out Zamperini’s entire post war struggle –the one that ended dramatically when he finally accepted Christ in 1949.
Or perhaps Jolie just wanted to milk the most melodramatic and action-filled sequences for her film. Struggles of faith do not necessarily make for compelling cinema, and the post war Zamperini is certainly not as sympathetic as the tortured Japanese prisoner holding out against great pain and deprivation.
Here is Billy Graham talking about the rest of the story, which is documented with complete accuracy and meticulous research in the Laura Hillenbrand’s novel, the part that Jolie completely omitted.
Different Drummer concludes this review with a personal story. I grew up in a very catholic neighborhood. My mother, raised a Catholic, had some qualms about the fairly dogmatic restrictions of the Church in the 1950s, so I did not go to Ascension, the neighborhood Catholic school, and for quite a while, not only did our family fail to attend mass: we actually joined a local Presbyterian Church. There for a short time my father was a deacon, giving a sermon one Sunday titled, “God is with us on Weak Days, Too.” Several of his fellow deacons told him he had missed his calling.
But my mother soon grew tired of the Presbyterians, whom she saw as lacking respect by calling their minister by his first name. Neither did she like what she saw as their humorless disposition.
“At least the Catholics have a glint in their eye,” she observed.
Thus, I was kind of a religious outcast growing up on the very Catholic 800 block of Highland Avenue in Oak Park, Illinois.
Puzzled by the fact that I did not go to the Catholic school like everyone else, one youngster asked the others, “What religion is Kathy?”
“She’s the Public religion,” they told him.
It is obvious, then, that I did not grow up hooked on organized religion. I was a doubting Thomas when those doubts were not particularly acceptable.
However, seeing religion, especially Christianity, so universally despised by the smug elites has made the rebel in me choose to defend them.
In fact, I plan to go out of my way to review more so-called Christian films, especially those as remarkable as the recent I Can Only Imagine. And I plan on somehow getting ahold of a copy of the old film God is my Co-Pilot to review as well.
Rebel with me and see Unbroken: The Path to Redemption today!
3 ½ Drums
I’m keeping things close to the neighborhood in today’s review with a recipe from a fellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Elementary School classmate, Guy Cesario, who happens to be a fabulous Italian cook.
He has agreed to share his recipe with us. His original name for his dish and the accompanying other sides, “Pan Seared Italian Style Chicken Dinner,” was too modest for me. So I have changed it to “Guy’s Fabulous Italian Style Chicken Dinner Recipe.”
What I like best about his recipe is the way it reminds me of my mother’s recipes – so conversational with little hints and ways to vary it. I feel like I am right there in the kitchen with Guy, smelling everything and having my mouth water.
Thank you, Guy.
Guy’s Fabulous Italian Style Chicken Dinner
Here’s a very simple chicken dinner, Italian Style:
Pan seared Italian Style chicken thighs—
• 1 Tablespoon Canola oil or Olive oil
• 4 chicken thighs (bone in and skin on)
About a half teaspoon of each of the following, mix together
• kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• granulated garlic or garlic powder
• dried oregano
• dried basil
• dried rosemary
. dried thyme
Pat the chicken thighs dry, then sprinkle the spices on both sides.
Use a cast iron pan (or non stick pan). Heat the oil at medium high and put the thighs in skin side down. Cook at medium heat for about 25 to 30 minutes without moving them, until the skin is very crisp and very brown.
Then turn over (if they stick, cook them more until they release easily) and cook an additional 20 minutes until cooked through. Do not cover the pan (don’t want them to steam). You may want to use a splatter screen. The thighs will be juicy and delicious and the smell while they are cooking will make your mouth water.
Yes, almost an hour to cook, but well worth the wait. While the chicken is cooking you can roast some fingerling potatoes in the oven on a sheet pan at 375 degrees. Cut potatoes in half, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and either oregano or rosemary (or both). Roast until crisp and brown with a creamy soft center (about 30 minutes). Sprinkle with a little lemon juice (optional) and serve with the chicken. For a low carb option, instead of potatoes serve chicken with your favorite vegetable. Add a side salad and you have a great dinner.