'I Still Believe'

Britt Robertson and KJ Apa in “I Still Believe.”

I STILL BELIEVE

Future contemporary Christian music recording artist Jeremy Camp (KJ Apa) left his home in Indiana in the 1990s to study music and theology at a Christian college in California.

On campus, when he tried to date a pretty blonde named Melissa (Britt Robertson), Jeremy learned that she felt committed to another musician and singer, Jean Luc (Nathan Parsons), and she didn’t want to hurt that guy’s feelings.

Jeremy conceded to his mentor and rival Jean Luc and began to perform his own songs at the college and for church groups.

  Eventually, Britt agreed to go out with Jeremy, and their romance blossomed in the entertaining and inspiring “I Still Believe,” which was directed by Andrew and John Erwin (“I Can Only Imagine”) with MercyMe’s Bart Millard as the executive producer. (This winter and spring, the 5-time Dove Award-winning star Jeremy Camp is touring with MercyMe).

  An involving love story touched by misfortune, the film depicts the tragic event which spurred Jeremy to write the song, “I Still Believe.” While struggling with his faith, the brokenhearted Jeremy questions why bad things happen to good people.

  It is New Zealander Apa on the soundtrack singing Jeremy’s hits in the film. Very busy actress  Robertson (“A Dog’s Purpose,” ”The Space Between Us” and 3 recent TV series) continues to impress. Other cast members include Gary Sinise and Shania Twain as Jeremy’s parents, Tom and Terry Camp.

    Rated PG  3 Stars  

THE HUNT

 Postponed from its planned August  2019 release because of the shootings in El Paso and Dayton and because of its perceived controversial political slant, the blood and guts-heavy scenario offers a compelling tale very loosely based on Richard Connell’s 1924 classic “The Most Dangerous Game.” With an overabundance of darkly comic gross-outs, the rather clever scenario for “The Hunt” gets lost in the gore.

 The film resembles a sort of low budget “Hunger Games” as a group of 12 strangers awaken in an unknown place and discover an arsenal of weapons. Although they take the arms, the strangers don’t have many chances against attackers wielding grenades.

 The highlight of the violence fest shows Crystal (the excellent Betty Gilpin) and Athena (double Oscar winner Hilary Swank in hand to hand combat.

  Rated R  3 Stars

COMING ATTRACTIONS

EMPEROR

During the Civil War, escaped slave Shields “Emperor” Green (Dayo Okeniyi) travels north where he meets Frederick Douglass (Harry Lennix) and John Brown (James Cromwell) in a drama directed and cowritten by Mark Arwin.

PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY

  Peter’s mischievous out-of-the-garden adventures continue  in this blend of live action and computer-generated animation directed by Will Gluck. The live action cast includes Domhnall Gleason as Thomas McGregor, Rose Byrne as Bea and David Oyelowo as Percy McGregor. James Corden voices Peter Rabbit.

THE NEW MUTANTS

In a twist on the “X-Men” franchise, “The New Mutants” fits into the horror genre. Five mutants struggle to escape from a secret facility. Charlie Heaton is Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, and Anya Taylor-Joy is Illyana Rasputin/Magik. Alice Braga plays mutant mentor Cecilia Reyes.   

Alice Reese is a member of the Dallas Fort Worth Film Critics Association. She reviews movies, arts and  entertainment for the Herald-Banner and for

KETR Commerce.

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