This movie was such a disappointment! I love the original movie and so I was excited to buy this movie even though I thought it was priced kind of high. I thought, oh with today technology it would be better then the first and my bad for assuming it would be done in today's world of 2016, I mean after all the only reason the original movie was done to the 70's was because, it was the 70's. The only thing worse than watching a movie from the 70's is one that is pretending to be the 70's. Total waste of my money and time watching it. I will stick with watching the original.
I really enjoyed this movie! I really liked that they followed the original idea pretty closely, with some original songs, but had some really beautiful new songs, and some unexpected humour. I went back and watched the original before posting this review. I did like the pre-existence in the original, because it was more simple and of course we would want to go to earth to learn more! This view of the pre-existence at the beginning appeared like an old school building. But the way they depicted coming to earth was better. I liked that the cast was new! It's more believable when you don't have the same actors that tend to be in most LDS movies. This movie also included some cameo appearances by some famous LDS singers/musicians, which was very subtle and didn't take away from the story. We watched this movie with all ages, LDS & non-LDS, and all seemed to enjoy it. Beautiful movie, definitely worth watching even if you haven't seen the original. I would recommend adding this one to your collection!
I look forward to seeing Saturday's Warrior in ANY version! The message of this film is needed now more than ever and the songs still touch hearts. The power of this musical:
In 1976, I graduated High School as a recent, "golden" convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My loving family of five fractured several ways, since I was a toddler and I'd grown up clueless as to what a "forever family" was. I remember the excitement and Spirit of the audience in L.A. The original cast of Saturday's Warrior performed LIVE! When I saw the complete family I'd been longing for, I cried. I also made earning a 4 yr. college degree and a Temple marriage my goal.
In 1980, I married in the L.A. Temple and graduated a year later. With the birth of our first child, I finally met my own loving, but absent parent. At Institute, I was inspired to do Family History &Temple work, and was blessed to obtain 7 generations, before computers and before my California Pioneer Grandparents passed on! We were also blessed with 3 more children. They excelled through all of the programs of the church. The boys served missions, all four put themselves through college and chose to be married in the Temple. (One marriage took place in The Newport Beach Temple; newly built in the same Ward, I'd been a member of when I was baptized, over 30 years prior!)
I even got to play the role of "Mom" in a Stake version of "Saturday's Warrior"! Sometimes, our children act like Jimmy, " I only wish they'd have a little more fun in life." And don't seem to appreciate what Pam said, "This family is their life!" Hopefully, as they have families of their own, (We are now blessed with 8 Grandchildren, under 8!) they'll understand, that each of us are different, but all are needed. We are an eternal family that is growing and changing, but thanks to the gospel, when facing adversities, "pulling together we can work it out!"
As for the "mundane choreography in the opening scene", mentioned in a previous comment, it IS reminiscent of the (Vietnam War) era: Large groups of people standing in circles, holding hands, just feeling the peace and love. I experienced it myself on a High School Choir Retreat. With music, the universal language, the walls between people and cliques just melted away. It was one of the highlights of our lives. The year? 1974!
We watched the film without hearing much about it and totally loved it! It stayed true to the original but made the story feel fresh. It felt like we were transported back to the 1970's to watch a big Mormon music family play out this classic story. The music was well done and the acting very professional. There is even a cameo appearance by the Piano Guys whom we love! There are some great talking points for families about personal choices and responsibilities, and supporting each other through thick and thin. If you want a fun family film, for Senior Primary kids and up, then I highly recommend this enjoyable, entertaining, and fun musical.
I loved the movie even more than the original. It made some positive changes but kept the old inspired songs. The preexistence scene could have been better but that was insignificant. This movie can literally change lives with a deeper knowledge of our responsibilities here on earth and the sacrifices we can make to bless others.
After all the advertisements for this, I was pumped to see this. Wow, I was HUGELY disappointed!
I grew up seeing the original play in the 1970's and as such, had a high expectation. The depiction of the pre-existence was such a letdown! I like Alex Boye a lot but his presence in this production left much to be desired! As for the depiction of the pre-existence to be brick walls and wood floors, I was rather disturbed actually. Why wasn't this done with more finesse and why wasn't it done more tastefully? If the pre-existence actually was as depicted, I can imagine I was happy to receive my body and be gone. I cannot and will not accept that as reality.
The songs were mostly the same as the original production but they added a couple of new ones, which I didn't object to. What I did object to was the very obvious fact that the actors playing the characters were lip syncing. That took away from what it could have been had they actually sung the songs right while the acting was being done.
It was a bit disappointing also to see such bad wigs on some of the actors. This is something that could have been better taken care of, again, even with a strict budget. It looked to me as if they were trying to save money to get this production done--almost as if someone had only a certain amount of money and had to stay within budget. Sad. This was such a beloved original play and soundtrack back in the '70's and to see it now, it just leaves a bad taste.
The only good thing I can say is that the calling of the pilot (captain) of the plane was pure genius. I really wanted to get on the Web and rant and rave about seeing this but I just feel so let down from what the original was. I am thinking that if you didn't grow up seeing the original, you may be quite happy with this. Just don't expect to be blown out of the water like I was when I saw Saturday's Warrior in 1976 and 1977. Cannot believe Lex de Azevedo would have let this go so far below the original.
From the first number I felt as though I may be watching yet another embarrassing LDS centric film. The first song, as performed by Alex Boyé and a choir, is out of sync from the recording that was added in post as the performers stomp and clap with mundane choreography in an unfortunate opening to what becomes a powerful and moving story.
When at last we leave the church that functions as the pre-mortal existence (somehow they still managed to find the fog machines) we are immersed in the 1970's and the story finds its foundation. With new dialogue that ties together the idea of "Zero Population" in a more concrete way, and seeing Jimmy playing lead in a band called Warrior you get immersed in the story and truthfulness portrayed by these fresh actors.
My favorite part of the movie was when the father attempted to get the children to sing what I always thought to be the worst part of the original production, the song "Daddy's Nose" gets the joke that it deserves and becomes a fun and great way to laugh at the early 80's production with with many of us grew up.
Overall, this movie is worth the watch even at its length of over two hours, filled with the nostalgia of the original production but with the addition of better dialogue, new arrangements, and new songs this becomes the penultimate version of the show.