Tuesday, September 26, 2006

LDS Film update

To: <ldsfilm@baggaleymusic.com
From: "Thomas C. Baggaley" <thomas@baggaleymusic.com>

In one week (on May 3rd), "The Work and the Glory" will be released on
video and DVD. Preorders are already being accepted at various stores
where LDS products are available.=20

Other upcoming video/DVD releases of films involving LDS film
professionals include Pooh's Heffalump Movie which stars Bro. Ken Sansom
as the voice of Rabbit (May 24th release) and Saints and Soldiers which
involves a bunch of LDS film professionals and was (by our counting) the
16th LDS Cinema film released. (Saints and Soldiers is scheduled to be
released on DVD on May 31st.)


"The Work and the Glory" has been ranked as high as #24 on the box
office charts nationally and as of last weekend had grossed over $3.3
million in theaters. This current box office total already places it #2
among all LDS Cinema films, with only "The Other Side of Heaven" having
grossed more during its theatrical runs than "The Work and the Glory".
While these are amazing numbers, "The Work and the Glory" also has the
highest production budget of any LDS Cinema film to date, costing a
reported $7.5 million to make. Recently it was announced that two
sequels to the film will be going into production at the same time, both
of which are to be directed by award-winning LDS director/producer and
co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival Sterling Van Wagenen.

This first installment is directed by Russ Holt ("How Rare a
Possession", "Lamb of God", etc.) and produced by Scott Swofford
("Mysteries of Egypt", "Testaments", "Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure",
etc.) The cinemtographers are Gordon C. Lonsdale ("The Best Two Years")
and T.C. Christensen ("Down and Derby"; "Texas: The Big Picture.") Utah
JAZZ NBA owner Larry H. Miller is the principle investor in the
production. Many of the actors are not LDS but have quite a bit of
acting experience, including Brenda Strong (from ABC's hit show
"Desperate Housewives") as the Steed matriarch and Jonathan Scarfe (who
played Jesus in the ABC movie "Judas") as LDS Church founder Joseph

It was mostly shot in Vermont and Tennessee.

Early reviews of the film when it was released in Utah were mixed, with
positive comments about the cinematography and music, although reviewers
have generally been disappointed with the script and acting. Reviewers
have said that fans of the books will probably enjoy it, although most
doubt whether it is good enough and accessible enough for nonmembers to
be able to attract much of a crossover audience to help make back
large-for-LDS-Cinema production investment. The highest acting
accolades have been given to Jonathan Scarfe who reviewers say is really
on the nose with his portrayal of Joseph Smith.

Nationally, 11 reviews of the film have been recorded at
rottentomatoes.com, only one of which is rated as positive, giving the
film a "freshness" rating of only 9%. (A freshness rating of 60% of
better is considered good or rather "fresh" by the site's webmasters.)

RottenTomatoes.com summary page -

Here are the URLs to several reviews and articles about the film when it
was released in Utah:

Jeff Vice (Deseret Morning News) -
Sean Means (Salt Lake Tribune) - http://www.sltrib.com/food/ci_2472243=20
Eric Snider (EricDSnider.com) -
SL Tribune article - http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2472368=20

Basic plot: Recently moved to upstate New York from the comfort of their
Vermont homestead, the Benjamin Steed family makes their way into the
established social structure of Palmyra. In their attempt to settle
peacefully into the new community, they find that the help they have
hired to clear their land (Joseph and Hyrum Smith) is at the center of a
religious controversy -- a controversy that threatens to tear the family

Two of the Steed brothers contend for the favor of a wealthy merchant's
daughter, and they find themselves on opposite sides of the religious
question. As the family struggles to smooth the contention, they find
themselves twisted into deeper issues of family loyalty and the pursuit
of truth.

The Work and the Glory is rated PG for some mild thematic elements and

Screenit.com has not yet posted a content review for this film.=20

More information about the film, including links to various reviews can
be found at: http://www.ldsfilm.com/WatG/WorkAndGlory.html=20

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