Hey, It's Jade!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Unconditional Book & Movie Review...

As I stated before, I was very excited about this film, especially when I found out that the writer and director was Brent McCorkle.  Or, as I know him, Brenton Scott.  Brent(on) was a local name in Christian rock in the days when I first started listening to "Power Mix" and then Power FM.  I know exactly where his CD is in the "local/indie" section of my music library, lol.  I knew he had gone on to become a "movie guy," and that he was a really talented director. It was very exciting to his name up there on the big screen, and in all the promo that's been going on for the movie too.


I was sent Unconditional: A Novel based on the movie and Brent's screenplay, written by Eva Marie Everson by BuzzPlant.  I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, but I managed to read the novel in two sittings just a few days before the movie released! Ms. Everson did a fantastic job writing in all the little details that helped me get a clear image in my mind of what was playing out in the story.  I could easily envision Sam's read hair and Samurai Joe's "pajamas." And as I later watched the movie, I was amused at how well the images matched what I had seen in my head!

The book and movie are based on the true story of "Papa Joe" Bradford, an extraordinary man who faced all kinds of obstacles in his life, but still spent his time inspiring young people to do their best.  Sam and Joe were friends as kids, but grew apart, only to meet up later in life while both were in the midst of personal trials and tribulations.  Their reunion serves to help both of them in one way or another.  Sam lost her husband in a tragic situation, and cannot get past her grief, but finds life again as she begins to pour love into the "Papa Joe's" kids.  Joe is fighting a terminal illness, living in the projects and trying to do his best to show those kids that they can be better than their situation.  It is a deeply inspirational and touching story, but what I loved about it is how true-to-life it really was.  It didn't feel fluffy or overly simplified.  It's cliche to say it, but there are parts that will make you laugh and there are definitely parts of this story that will make you cry.

In the story, Sam is a children's book writer, who is in the beginning stages of writing a book called Firebird.  When her husband is murdered, she doesn't want to write the book anymore, but is inspired in the end to finish it.  I love that they have actually created a Firebird book you can get.  It is beautifully illustrated (ok, not by Sam, but by artists who formally worked for Disney), and written just as you will read or hear in the novel or movie.  My kids enjoyed hearing the story, and thought the little bird was just "so cute!."  It's true, it is quite adorable.  It is, again, an inspiring story of a little bird who wants to know why God allows the storms to take away the sunshine, and he has to learn that despite the rain... the sun is ALWAYS shining.  I LOVE this message.  This is a fantastic book that answers that difficult question, "Where is God when bad things happen?"  This children's book is written by Bren McCorkle and Amy Parker.


I really, highly suggest you go see this movie while it's out in the theaters.  Please support a fantastic faith-based film with a strong message of Jesus.  You will not be disappointed.

[I was sent the two books from BuzzPlant, to help promote and review, however I was not further compensated and the statements posted here are my own, personal opinion.  There are AmazonAssociate links in the post, which means if you click on them and purchase something, I get compensated a small percentage at no extra cost to you. You are not required to do that, obviously, but if you choose to, thank you for helping to support my family!]

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