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Monday, June 17, 2013

Movie Review - Ephraim's Rescue

 Ephraim’s Rescue  $$$


Starring: Darin Southam, Charley Boon, and Travis Eberhard.
Director: T. C. Christensen. 

            Most of my reviews are strictly about the movie; the seamless story given to us by the writer, the smoothly flowing scenes assembled by the director, and the charismatic performances of the actors. And in most cases these are the elements that make a film worth seeing. But not always.
            Saturday night, I took my wife to see Ephraim’s Rescue. I happened to be in a sour mood that evening. We drove to theater, took our seats, and waited for the film to start all without much conversation on my part. Then the movie started and five minutes into it I considered leaving. However, I knew my wife would prefer to stay for the entire film so I hunkered down and prepared to endure the experience.
            How fortunate for me that I did. By the time we left the theater my mind and even more importantly my mood had been changed. The pioneer stories that played out on the screen had buoyed my withered spirit. My day ended on a bright, smiley note because I took the time to catch this LDS themed film.
            Ephraim’s Rescue deals with the ill-faten Martin handcart company that lost many of its members on the trek to Salt Lake City. The story is based on true accounts that were recorded by the survivors. Ephraim Hanks (Darin Southam) brought supplies to the surviving members of the company as they attempted to battle through a snow storm. Once there, he assisted the Saints as much as possible and escorted them on the rest of their journey to Salt Lake 
            When I first heard that they were doing a movie about this event, I worried that it might be too gruesome for my tastes, but it wasn’t. Instead, the director managed to put together a touching story of the sacrifices made by these brave pioneers. I especially loved the scene with Albert (Travis Eberhard) of the Saints crossing an icy river. These emotional scenes were handled in artful style that allows you to appreciate the spirit and nature of events without being dragged down by the tragedy.
            Several of the early scenes dragged a bit, but I am glad that I stayed for the entire film. Otherwise I would have missed the tender moments that make this film a winner. I’m not sure how to rate the movie. If I give it a rating based on the wonderful feeling I had when I exited the theater then it easily deserves a full four Movie Bucks. But if I mainly focused on the scenes at the beginning of the film it would only rate two Movie Bucks. In my section of the country, I doubt this will make it to the discount theaters so if you want to support the LDS filmmakers as they strive to put out movies with greater soul to them, then you will want to catch this as a matinee while it is still in the first-run theaters. 

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.




  1. Replies
    1. Not surprising. I expect that this is a limited release that may only be showing in Arizona and Utah. I'd guess LDS themed films don't get distributed much beyond those two states.

  2. Thanks for the review Randy! I haven't heard of any others yet (admittedly, I haven't looked to hard for other reviews...). Glad you enjoyed the film and that it lifted your spirits. I'll have to check it out.

    1. Thanks. I hope you enjoy the film as much as I did.

  3. Glad it turned out to be worth your time, and that it improved your day :)

    1. Thank you. It's not very often I leave a theater feeling uplifted, but I did Saturday.