I DID NOT REALIZE I HAD been observing the interactions in the checkout line, between the shopper and checker. Some shoppers I could tell were regulars based on the conversations I was able to hear. I had been shopping at this particular grocery store for several years, though at different times throughout the week. However, over this time frame I formed impressions of each checker. Some were friendly, some were not, several were rigid with the store’s rules while others worked around the system, so the consumer would not get delayed. One thing I had noticed was the way the checkers’ mood would change when a shopper came through the line while talking on their mobile phone. Let me just say it appeared the checkers were not as helpful as they could be. I decided I would put a big smile on my face when it was my turn to pay for my groceries. It was interesting to see how the checker’s mood quickly changed when they saw me smiling at them. As weeks went by I noticed past inconveniences that annoyed me, such as their rewards program not working with my purchase or an error in pricing, were being handled by the checkers instead of them asking for a price check or an override. I found this quite interesting since in the past these checkers would have gotten help; but now, they were essentially taking my word on the prices and rewards. MAYBE WHAT I HAVE BEEN TALKING about is something you have always done, smiling and being friendly. For me, I used to be selective in who I would show kindness. What can I say? Based on my past experiences I grew up being distrustful of people; it certainly has taken me a long time to let my guard down. It is true what they say about kindness; it is easier to show it instead of anger. What amazes me about acts of kindness is how they can last a lifetime. Recently I attended a school reunion and a woman came up to me who I did not recognize. She knew me right away. During our conversation she thanked me for helping her in school. I did not know what she was talking about but luckily, she mentioned how in study hall I used to help her with her math studies and she was able to pass the class. We are talking years ago and yet, she is still carrying this memory around with her. I was so surprised to hear it. I guess one never knows how an act of kindness can have a profound effect on someone. This drama can show you several examples. IF WILLIAN MWIZERWA, PLAYED BY Benjamin A. Onyango (Tears of the Sun, God’s Not Dead), wanted to keep his family alive as civil war was breaking out in his country, he would need an act of kindness. There was not much opportunity for it with violence spreading rapidly. With Scott William Winters (Good Will Hunting, The People vs. Larry Flynt) as Randy Hartley, Emily Hahn (Camp Cool Kids) as Andrea Hartley, Caitlin Nicol-Thomas (The Song, Rose from the Dead) as Darla Hartley and Michael W. Smith (90 Minutes in Heaven, Saving Faith) as Pastor Henry; the script which was based on a true story, did not do the story justice in my opinion. The story is incredible; I was riveted to the movie screen in the beginning but the sappy musical score, the poor directing and acting, along with the preachiness bored me. Though, I did want to know the outcomes. Having some knowledge of the Rwandan Civil War, this picture could have been an emotional roller coaster ride. The kindest thing I can say about this film is William’s story would be better served in book form.
1 ¾ stars
As I sat in the large banquet room, my confusion quickly melted away from the hot anger welling up inside of me. You see a couple of friends asked me to join them for an evening of dinner and entertainment. They said it was being funded by one of their business groups; free food and I would be there. After we walked in and were given name tags, I followed them into a room that was filled with rows of chairs, no tables. I thought maybe we were having entertainment first then moving to another room where we would be served dinner. It had better be a served meal because I avoid all buffets and salad bars. A speaker walked up to the podium where he introduced himself and thanked all of us for being there. He started talking about the past year’s accomplishments before venturing into the exciting products that would be coming out later in the year. From that point on I became suspicious that something was not right about the whole scene. With the surrounding audience eager to applaud at the speaker’s every word; his speech smoothly evolved into a sales pitch on how everyone in the audience could make more money by recruiting new associates. It was only a matter of seconds before I realized this whole event was a sales meeting for what people call a pyramid or ponzi scheme. For every new person you bring into the group you get a commission on their sales. To say I was livid would be an understatement as I glared towards my friends who were just realizing I was the wrong person to bring to this kind of event. DECEPTION would only lead one down a wrong path in life. Trying to come out from under his famous father’s shadow; singer/songwriter Jed King, played by Alan Powell (Charlie & Boots, Produce: Where Hope Grows), worked hard to show people he was not like his father. However, the more famous he became the more challenging it was to maintain his values. This movie was the last straw for me; I no longer can give money for this faith based films. If I wanted to be preached to I would have gone to a house of worship. This dramatic romance hammered its message at the viewers without any thought to making a decent film. Utterly predictable and ridiculous, I do not need to be told I have to have faith. Maybe it is me but I find faith and religion to be a private matter for each individual. With no original thought, no decent acting, only a couple of good songs; I felt just as deceived by this preachy propaganda pretending to be a movie as I had about that sales meeting. There was an extra scene at the end of the credits.
1 1/2 stars