Fireproof

fireproofmovie

“Who says I have to stop?”

The creators of the inspiring football drama Facing the Giants create a strong drama/romance starring Kirk Cameron as a firefighter trying to repair his marriage. Cameron plays Caleb Holt and Erin Bethea, who also appeared in Facing the Giants, plays his wife Catherine. Ken Bevel makes his acting debut as Michael Simmons, Caleb’s hard working co-worker at the fire station. Caleb and Erin, a hospital administrator, reach a tense impasse in their marriage, which prompts Caleb’s parents, played by Harris and Phyllis Malcom, to advise and help Caleb who receives a special book.

The film has some touching moments, heroic fire rescues and some corny comedy, which produces a nice entertaining mix with some amazing messages. Fireproof, produced by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, centers on a firefighter’s marriage struggle. This strong drama/romance has a bumpy start, but quickly settles into an engaging plot with touching themes and character actions.

Filmmakers address relatable challenges, which can block love between a married couple, especially being consumed with Internet pornography. Fireproof has some memorable moments, heroic fire rescues and some corny comedy, which produces a nice entertaining mix amid the marriage themes and conflicts. Filmmakers temper the couple’s marriage tension with humor through their neighbor, Mr. Rudolph, played by Bill Stafford in his acting debut. Mr. Rudolph has a memorable impression as the active neighbor who constantly catches Caleb in heated moments where the awkward exchanges mix with humor. The “Fun With Mr. Rudolph” feature has more humor with this effective, “dead pan” style humor. The “Firegoofs/Jokes and Pranks” feature adds about seven more minutes of gags and outtakes.

Ken Bevel makes his acting debut as Michael Simmons, Caleb’s hard working co-worker at the fire station. Alex Kendrick wears many hats as director and writer of this film while also appearing in the film as Pastor Strauss. Kendrick provides the in-depth commentary track with his brother, writer/producer Stephen Kendrick. Alex Kendrick also provides optional commentary on several deleted scenes, which include an interesting comparison between God and Spider-Man.

Other special blu-ray features include a 23-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, more comedy bit with Stephen Dervan who plays Wayne Floyd, the related “Marriage Matters” featurette and the BD-Live function. The “Fireproof in 60” feature plays the film in fast speed while the best featurette, “Filming a Movie in 30 Days: ‘Fireproof’ Video Blog”, summarizes the detailed film making process in a 20 minute presentation.

This Blu-ray set also includes a mention on The Love Dare companion book, which initially only existed in the film when Caleb’s father gave it to him. After numerous requests, filmmakers wrote an actual book of the same name, which has already sold over 500,000 copies. Audio features include Dolby TrueHD 5.1 format with English, Portuguese and Spanish language options. The music video “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns also bolsters the strong music soundtrack. Recommended (*** out of four stars) and rated PG for thematic material and mild peril.

Fireproof was the highest grossing independent film of 2008, taking in more than $33,000,000 domestically. Fireproof is also available on DVD in the Faith-Based Three-Pack, which also includes Facing the Giants and Flywheel.

Alex Kendrick wears many hats as director and writer of this film and even appears in the film near the end as Pastor Strauss. Rated PG-13 for peril and thematic material.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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