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Case Number 13168: Small Claims Court

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Crave

Lionsgate // 2007 // 42 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Daryl Loomis // March 11th, 2008

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All Rise...

What does Judge Daryl Loomis crave? Mostly, stuff that doesn't belong on a family Web site, so let's drop it.

The Charge

What do you crave?

The Case

Erwin Raphael McManus, lead pastor of the Mosaic Church and one of Churchreport.com's "50 most influential Christians in America," founded the Awaken group, a collection of artists, poets, and filmmakers driven to maximize the "divine potential" of every human being through the channeling of God's will in their art. In this case, their efforts culminate in the Crave Film Series, a collection of three short films with accompanying discussion presented by McManus. These shorts exemplify the universal things that all people crave and how the decisions we make take us away and draw us closer to the divine. Each film features a different "craving."

"Midnight Clear" (Crave: Destiny): While sitting down to dinner, a family's peace is disrupted by a home invader. Strangely kind and knowledgeable of the family, he does not seem like the escaped convict that he is. When the police come knocking, a secret is revealed that changes the family's life.

"Pop Star" (Crave: Intimacy): A self-important pop star is rushed to the hospital after a pyro mishap burns some of his hair. While resting and complaining, the precocious little girl in the next bed teaches him that, sometimes, people have problems greater than one's own.

"Nameless Moment" (Crave: Meaning): An intelligent, socially inept college student can get good grades but can't get the girl of his dreams. When an embarrassing chance encounter forces the two of them together, he gets the chance to finally speak to her and her sudden cry for help is heard.

With each film clocking in at just over 10 minutes, there isn't much time for the stories to flesh out. Had they more time to work with, there could have been deeper, but they feel shallow. Each gets its point across in a different ham-fist way, but the bookends with McManus giving discussion material, quoting Bible verses, and generally confusing the issues make the collection feel, as a total package, like Sunday School material. The Mosaic Church appears to be a modern Deconstructionist church that appeals to academics and artists. If this is truly the case, they really missed their mark on this. The films are too simplistic for academics and too corny for artists, so unless the collection goes to the already initiated, it will fall on deaf ears.

Oddly, the films on Lionsgate's release of the Crave Film Series are presented out of order. McManus's introduction to the entire collection comes between the first and second shorts, which is jarring and further confuses the points. The menu screen is in the wrong order, but there's no way to know this when you start. Otherwise, the DVD is acceptable. The image, though not anamorphic, is crisp and clear and the surround channels in the sound mix get a fair workout for such a small production. There are no extras on the disc.

If intellectuals and artists are the target audience for a film series, the entries must have considerably more depth than what is presented here. Crave Film Series is guilty of pandering to its audience. Case closed.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 65

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 42 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Drama
• Religious and Spiritual
• Short Films

Distinguishing Marks

• None








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