The Resurrection of Gavin Stone Blu-ray Review
It’s a standard staple in Hollywood. A character has a fall from grace, is given the chance to redeem himself and then, just when everything looks like it will turn out fine, is forced to decide whether to return to his past or continue with his redemption. And while this is, basically, the plot of the film THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE, the story, and performances, are better than standard.
Gavin Stone (Dalton) is a former child-star whose bad-boy reputation has made him almost unemployable. A constant staple on TMZ, Stone is constantly heckled by former fans with his once famous “cute-kid” expression. Another standard Hollywood staple is that ALL former television child stars had a catchy line they dropped to thunderous applause each week, which I don’t really understand. I’ve been watching television since the mid-1960s and the only snappy kid line I can remember is “What’cha talking about, Willis?” I don’t count “DY-NO-MITE!” because Jimmy Walker was in his mid-20s during “Good Times.” But I digress. Stone has been arrested for trashing the hotel he had been staying in while visiting his home town. Sentenced to 200 hours of community service, he is given the choice of picking up trash or volunteering at the local church. He chooses church and immediately tries to BS the pastor. He also meets the very lovely Kelly (Johnson-Reyes). When he discovers that Kelly is directing the church’s upcoming Passion Play, he decides to audition, hoping to use the play as his community service. Of course, a sinner trying to live a Christian life isn’t as easy as you might think. But, as they say, the Lord works in mysterious ways!
While a lot of GAVIN STONE felt familiar (as in “I know I’ve seen this movie before”), I have to give it credit for its sweetness and believability. It wasn’t until I watched one of the disc extras that I learned the film was co-produced by a Pastor and I give the filmmakers credit for not putting out a heavy-handed religious message. Dalton is very believable as a man at the crossroads of his life and his pining for Kelly is also sincere, though he is told by a friend that, “she only has room for one man in her life and his name is Jesus.” Johnson-Reyes is very strong as a woman who must confront her feelings while trying to understand those of others. Flynn, who plays Mike Heck on television’s “The Middle” is very compassionate as Stone’s estranged dad. The supporting cast is equally good, with special mention merited by the performance of WWE Wrestler turned actor Shawn Michaels, who plays Doug, a compassionate parishioner and garage owner.
The film culminates in Gavin having to decide whether to head back to Hollywood, where he has been assured a job on a new series, or to stay and take part in what appears to be the very first multi-million dollar small church production, complete with birds, lightning and a rain-swept crucifixion. Guess people in this town tithe a lot more than 10%
Video: The film is presented in its original 1:85.1 aspect ratio and the colors are quite natural. The interior scenes, particularly those inside the church, are brightly lit.
Audio: The soundtrack is presented in DTS Master Audio 5.1 and is quite clean. “Inside” voices inside the church and during the presentation of the Passion Play are clearly mixed.
Deleted Scenes (2:35): “Kelly and Charlotte” and “Church Board Meeting” where, ironically, they discuss the cost of putting on the show.
Church Uniform Advice (1:25): Gavin Stone shows you how to dress for success…and Godl
Cast Interviews with James MacDonald: Pastor James MacDonald and his son Landon talk with the cast about their church going experiences.