My preference is to wait until a movie has been out for a few weeks before going to see it in the theater. I’d rather not fight a crowd or risk getting stuck with a front row seat. Actually, I would stand in the back or to the side before I’d sit in the front row. Sitting that close to a big screen makes me nauseous.

That being said, I do find myself at movies on opening weekend in two instances—when my kids want to see something opening weekend or when I have friends that want to go opening weekend and it’s a movie I want to support. I do understand the importance of early box office sales to the longevity and success of a movie.

That’s how I found myself at a sold out 7:10 showing of Overcomer at the Chisholm Trail 8 in Newton last Friday night.

I met my friend and local DJ, Rockin’ Ron Corino at the theater at 6:30. He had already purchased my ticket, so a shout out to an awesome guy!

He had arranged with the manager to have a drawing before the movie. Ron handed out tickets in the lobby and then in the theater, then about ten minutes before the movie started he drew numbers and gave away a couple of CDs, four DVDs, and two gift cards for the winner to give to someone to come see Overcomer. I got to be his runner and deliver the prizes to people in their seats.

Since becoming an author I’ve been studying the art of storytelling. I can’t watching a movie or show or read a book without noticing elements of how the story was put together. That being said, I’ll provide brief thoughts on the movie from two perspectives—the inspirational and the structural. And I promise, no spoilers.

From a spiritual/inspiration/motivational perspective, Overcomer was a home run. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as it was written and produced by the Kendrick Brothers, the same pair that made Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and War Room.

Take plenty of Kleenex. It’s an awesome, emotional ride with strong themes of restored relationships, forgiveness, and of course, overcoming significant obstacles.

From a storytelling perspective, I had a couple of disappointments. One is typical—there were some small elements that were a bit far-fetched. Now, I tend to not hold that against a movie unless they’re glaringly obvious because all movies have moments they ask you to suspend reality and accept their truth.

In this case I’m sure it was done to keep the length of the movie reasonable, which is probably also the reason for my second complaint. I expected cross country to be more of a central part of the movie. Yes, the sophomore girl running cross country was central to the theme of the story, but they skipped much of her progression during the middle section of the movie. I needed to see more of the development of that particular plot.

That being said, the last 20-30 minutes of the movie was so well done and powerful that it made up for any shortcuts it took to get there. There were two brilliant twists I did not see coming that had me lying awake in bed that night thinking about them.

So go see Overcomer. Who couldn’t use a little inspiration in today’s world?

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