Last night I rented Extreme Days. It was free with a new release rental, so I figured what the heck. I was a bit leary, though. For those of you who don't know why, it's because this is kind of a "Christian" movie. It was made by Truth Soul Armor, a clothing company that makes "Christian" clothing (some of it is actually pretty cool looking). They also have some doings with extreme sports.
So the brief synopsis for those who don't know, is these 4 friends after graduating college decide to take a road trip across California and do all sorts of things like surfing, bmx, skateboarding, etc. Along the way they pick up a girl who happens to be one of the guys' cousin. Of course, another one of the guys thinks she's DDG and falls for her, thus romantic attempts are made, etc. etc. They end up learning "life lessons".
If it sounds somewhat corny, well, it was. I did enjoy it more than my expectations, though. The way the film was shot was good, it looked like a regular big-time movie, not something low budget or independent (though it was both). The acting was OK, nothing groundbreaking or Oscar-worthy. Haha.
I guess what I really didn't like was the poor attempt at weaving God through the story. It was subtle, never very preachy (which is fine), but.. it was just lacking. Take for example the character Brian: his little sister died of leukemia when she was 15. Some things go bad for him in the movie and he's bummed. He talks to a friend of his and basically gives a "hope is worthless" type monologue.. because he asked God often to take away his sister's suffering, and it never happened. His friend said some things to try to help him, suggesting he kind of let go of it, "Give God a break". Then he said "Don't you think it hurt God to see her suffer like that, too?"
There was a pause of serious thought on both their faces, then an interruption of a semi-funny voiceover by another character. Then the film comes back to these two guys, and the one who was upset about things kind of gave a nod and acknowledged what his friend said.. and they went on.
Being a Christian, I can understand where the train of thought was coming from. But from a non-Christian perspective, to say "Don't you think it hurt God...?" begs the question "Well yeah, so why didn't he do anything?! The jerk!" I don't know how they could have handled it better, but it just seemed too trite of a thing to be said and actually make this guy feel better.
Other than that, the movie was pretty good. It did seem to target a bit younger audience.. seemed a bit "youth-groupy", I guess (even though they were college-age adults). There was a very funny fight scene mimicing poorly dubbed Japanese movies, along with plenty of video game fight sounds and other humorous noises. It was hilarious.
It was a good job for a first-time director, though.