Gospel, The
PG
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: +2 1/2

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents THE GOSPEL, on DVD, UMD and VHS. Its a soulful, inspiring story from director Rob Hardy (Trois, Trois 2: Pandoras Box) about a young singer who turns his back on God and his fathers church when tragedy strikes, but soon learns new lessons of life and love that restore his faith, and bring him back home.

A semi-autobiographical film about the transformative power of faith and forgiveness, The Gospel is a contemporary drama packed with the soaring, soulful sounds of gospel music. Set in the impassioned world of the African-American church, The Gospel tells the story of David Taylor (Boris Kodjoe), a dynamic young R&B star whose chart-topping albums have earned him fame and wealth, but whose decadent lifestyle has estranged him from his father (Clifton Powell), the bishop of his hometown church. When David learns his father is ill and near death, he returns home to try to reconcile and discovers his former best friend, Charles (Idris Elba), is poised to become his fathers successor at the church and threatens to ruin everything Davids father worked so hard to achieve. Torn between his successful new life and the one he used to know, David has to decide whether he can give up his own desires to protect his fathers legacy and make peace with his family, his beliefs, and, ultimately, himself.

If a film has a strong story, if its about something, most movie lovers are willing to forgive a few clumsily directed scenes. This film opens with a wobbly moment or two, but then redeems itself due to itsIm searching for another word, but theres no better description than soul.The Gospel has plenty of that.

Far too often films start out with a strong premise, but slowly poop out by the third act. The Gospel, with its prodigal son scenario and theme of destructive pride, on the other hand, builds to a fulfilling conclusion. In the beginning its few shaky scenes, seemingly in need of more takes, made me wonder if this was another one of those well-intentioned Jesus movies whose filmmaker eased away from real-life situations in order to be acceptable viewing if it should end up in church sanctuaries. But as the film progressed, so did writer/director Rob Hardys ability to weave the productions elements smoothly and effectively together.

Uplifting, entertaining, gratifying, The Gospel was this years sleeper hit.

PG (thematic material, some drinking and mild language; the lead, having grown up in the church, becomes a rock star to emphasize this, there is a brief scene of him doing a music video surrounded by scantily clad female dancers gyrating to his music but the filmmaker is not attempting to exploit, but merely depict the world of secular entertainment; another scene has him in bed with a sleeping woman again this is done to show the lifestyle of an artist who considers sex without love as merely a perk of his career).

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Screen Gems

Summary
Crude Language: Few (3) times mild (hell 1, damn 2)
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Once moderate (G 1)
Violence: Few (1) times moderate (fistfight between two men in a nightclub)
Sexual Intercourse: Few (3) times mild (unmarried man and woman shown sleeping in bed with arms and legs draped over one another implying intercourse has occurred, husband and wife share passionate kisses in their bed, unmarried couple kiss fervently)
Nudity: Few (2) times mild (scantily clad women in nightclub dance and flirt during a concert, near nudity of man who slips out of bed and begins to freshen up)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few (3) times mild (references to undressing your man in the lyrics of a song, husband and wife banter back and forth regarding their lack of marital relations); moderate (bump-and-grind dancing between man and several women in nightclub)
Drug Abuse: Few (3) times mild (alcohol consumption in a nightclub scene, man goes on drinking binge after the loss of a loved one, man drives furiously down the road with a bottle of alcohol in his hand)
Other: Positive themes of redemption and reconciliation; portrays the church and its ministers from a down-to-earth viewpoint, forgiving the faults of man and applauding the work of the church in the community; encourages honesty in self-evaluation and forsaking pride and hypocrisy; depicts prayer in a positive and affirming light, implying Gods active intervention in the lives of people
Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens through Adults

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