The Encounter

A new direct-to-DVD Jesus movie, starring Bruce Marchiano, who’s an old hand at playing Jesus by now. Also starring Jaci Velasquez and Steve Borden.

Stranded in the middle of nowhere, five strangers take refuge in a deserted roadside diner. An arrogant businessman, a lonely woman, an estranged couple, and a teen runaway, they appear to have nothing in common. But the Christlike proprietor seems strangely all-knowing and offers more than temporal nourishment.

“Christlike”? His name badge says “Jesus.” He drops quotes from the NIV. This is the least subtle messiah figure you’re likely to meet.

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I had a hard time believing that the guy with the soul patch was Steve Borden, AKA the wrestler Sting. His old partner, Jim “The Ultimate Warrior” Hellwig, went off the deep end years ago. I hope Borden isn’t about to follow him.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    But the Christlike proprietor seems strangely all-knowing and offers more than temporal nourishment.

    Ugh. Does he offer to let them eat his body?

  • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

    How heavily invested do you have to be in pure bullshit would you have to be to actually enjoy this crap?!

  • RW

    White Jesus? check.
    Bitchy black woman and emasculated black man? check.
    Dippy white girls who have deep talks in the. bathroom. in. a. staccato. speech. pattern. holding guns to their heads and looking as if they’ve forgotten their lines? check.
    Ex-gay porn star “incognito” with annoying soul patch? check.

    Sounds like a winner to me!

  • http://lartanner.blogspot.com/ Larry Tanner

    Had the original Jesus owned a diner, I might have become a follower. But they made him a contractor instead.

    At any rate, the movie’s going to rake in the cash.

  • http://jingreed.typepad.com Jing-Reed

    Why, oh why, do Christian films have to be such consistently bad flicks? At least from the trailer it is not something I would even consider wasting my time on.

    • Brian M

      Well…this is true of everything modern American protestantism touches. Modern fundamentalist culture almost always equals TEH SUCK. Is there any musical format in the world worse than Christian Contemporary? (Stryper!) LOL

  • UrsaMinor

    They always take liberties when they turn a book into a movie.

  • Ty

    That’s the setup for a horror movie. Does Jesus murder them one by one and turn them into BBQ? If so, most awesome movie ever.

  • trj

    I hope the sequel will have more explosions.

  • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

    It’s all a bit Candy Man from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, isn’t it? “I will make eeeeverythinh okay, I will give you eeeeverything you want – You only need to follow mmmmeeeee….”

    Tres creepy!

  • http://messiestobjects.typepad.com messiestobjects

    Jesus, shut the fuck up and pour me some more goddammed coffee.

    • arrakis

      …and make those hashbrowns smothered, covered, diced, chunked, and topped.

      • http://messiestobjects.typepad.com messiestobjects

        …and I swear to GOD, if you try to sneak your flesh into my Canadian bacon one more time, I’m gonna fucking crucify you.

  • http://selfra.blogspot.com dantresomi

    I agree with Ty, it is a set up for a horror movie

    STING, all i can think of is Four Horsemen from back in the day.

  • Robster

    So, is the menu at this diner restricted to red wine and crackers? I’d suspect so…

  • Tee

    I’d watch it if Ric Flair hit Sting with a chair and there was a brawl in the diner.

  • ironflange

    The only way this could look any worse is if Kirk Cameron was starring.

    • Jabster

      … and was wearing stockings and suspenders.

      • UrsaMinor

        Argh! Now I’ve got this horrible image of ‘Rocky Horror meets The Encounter’ stuck in my head.

  • busterggi

    Wait a second – five people stuck at a diner in the middle of the night? This was a Twight Zone episode back in the ’60′s. Jesus is the Martian!

  • Kim

    I’m not a religious person, but this movie slapped me in the face and took my breath away. Bruce Marchiano’s portrayal of Jesus has got to be the best I’ve ever seen in a film. He gave the character such feeling and believability that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I normally shy away from religious movies, but this one wowed and mesmerized me. No matter what your religious beliefs are, you’ve got to see this movie. You will be unprepared for how Bruce Marchiano’s performance will affect you.

    • vorjack

      “I loved it. It was much better than cats. I’m going to see it again and again.”

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      *cough*LIARFORJEEEBUS*cough*

      • Bill

        “It was the feel good hit of the summer.”

    • Hopeful

      I agree with your review. We watched this last night on Netflix and although it is really different from other movies, this movie asks HARD questions, the big ones, like why did God let certain bad things happen. Why did He kill off people in the Old Testament. This movie is for people looking for answers and it deals with hard issues well. I question whether those who criticize it have watched it through to the end. It has definite value, even if it is not like the usual crap we are used to watching. :)

      • vorjack

        You folks do realize that this is an atheist site, right? We’re not likely to see this movie. Your shilling time would be better spent elsewhere.

      • Len

        Just out of interest (as I very much doubt that I’ll ever waste my time on this film), did any of those “hard questions” get answered? Other than “God moves in mysterious ways” (or similar non-answer) of course.

        • Sunny Day

          Or that all of humanity has some how committed a horrible crime against an all powerful(?) creature and we are all “Justly” deserving of eternal torture. This critter wants to forgive us but only if we profess a belief in him.

  • http://n/a Gary S. Kraft

    they got this thing… it’s called science… WTF?
    ps- I watched this movie far too long because the brunette is really cute. I hope she was just in it for the money.

  • http://n/a Gary S. Kraft

    ps- I would have like to see Ayn Rand enter the diner and give hey-seus a piece of her objective mind, as in, “Judge and PREPARE to be judged you penis collapsing messiah of mis-information.”

    pps- I added the penis collapsing part. Sorrreeee…

  • jeff

    Isaiah 41 bring forth your Idols did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. Spalms 115 and Spalms 135 their Idols are FALSE they can’t speak, hear, nor smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their Idol down like a scarecrow it can’t move, speak they must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON me
    n.
    John 10 Jesus Christ says his sheep HEAR HIS VOICE and if another person TRIES TO PREACH to them they WILL FLEE from him. Jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their OWN AUTHORITY what will you do when your judged my word is not INSIDE them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes BACK in TIME.
    Mathew 16 Jesus Christ claims to be the son of man. 1 cor 2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 14 says the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 states lying prophets of ISRAEL say GOD says GOD says but my word is not inside them. They wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. All of this is EASILY verifiable.
    Mathew 10 says you should hear an internal voice that defends you and tells you what to say when taken to court preached to by the holy ghost. Mathew 12 Jesus states he is preaching by the holy ghost. John 14 states holy ghost comes in future and is from someone else. Now refer back to John 10 about hearing from someone else and fleeing. John 5 states son of mans voice goes back in time. Mathew 16 Jesus claims to be the son of man.
    1 cor 2 holy ghost is familiar with the story about a man on cross from READING about it. Isaiah 65 written in front of me is listed here and also what is not written is hidden from my eyes therefore not familiar with it found in the same chapter. john 7 Jesus says if you knew scripture you’d know if its his word or GODS words. john 12 Jesus admits the voice heard is NOT his. John 10 people point out that Jesus tries to make himself appear to be GOD.

    • kholdom0790

      And we care about the bible because……

    • trj

      Spalm spalm spalm and spalm.

      • Mogg

        A new variation on facepalm?

        • trj

          A variation of psalm (see jeff’s post).

        • UrsaMinor

          Freudian typo?

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      Does anybody else FIND it really painful TRYING to read the writings of people WHO learned their grammar from the Bible, who RANDOMLY CAPITALISE words and PHRASES throughout?

      In other news, Jeff: As far as we’re concerned, the Bible is a book of mythology no more meaningful than (and nowhere near as well written as) Aesop’s Fables. Quoting it at us is meaningless. Silly troll.

    • Melody

      Beat it, troll.

  • http://n/a gary s. krafty

    …. and the #1 biblical era saying is….

    BRING OUT YER DEAD….

  • jesusfreak

    I don’t know about you, but I think any religious movie is good, because it’s not about the quality it’s about the message!!! and because of people like you . . . these movies does not get funded easily!!!!

    • UrsaMinor

      Or there’s very little market demand for them. If they made money reliably because lots of people went to see them, similar projects would have no trouble getting funded. Economics 101.

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      Wow. A Christian playing the victim card in defiance of reality. There’s a shock. And using half a dozen exclamation marks at once? De rigeur…

    • trj

      When “the message” is presented via a cheesy movie it does detract from it, like it or not.

      Anyway, it seems strange you blame the lack of funding of these movies on atheists. Seeing that the majority of Americans are Christian (to some degree) one should expect that funding, based on expected audience numbers, wouldn’t be much of a problem. That is, if the movie is actually worth watching.

      Maybe the Christian message just isn’t very exciting? Or maybe Christian audiences don’t like how these movies usually turn into ham-fisted caricatures of Christianity because the director wants to get “the message” across?

    • blotonthelandscape

      Or to paraphrase Paul, even false witnesses witness to the glory of God…

      Or not. All movies like these do, is present a “ham-fisted caricature” (well said trj) of a particular kind of christianity; hence it alienates most christians, who find something wrong/insulting/off-putting about the caricature, and atheists like us, who aren’t interested in poorly produced proselytising.

      Sorry jesusfreak, but not all publicity is good publicity.

  • Connie Elmore

    Jesus is truth. This movie is proclaiming truth. In accordance to God’s Word. It answers some difficult questions concerning LIFE. The only Way to eternal Life with God….Jesus…absollute truth.!

    • Len

      Does it answer those questions in any way that’s related to the real world? Or just with more mumbo-jumbo religio-speak? That is, only believable if you already believe in the same fairy stories.

    • Sunny Day

      You’re offering a cure for a problem that you only have if you believe in religion in the first place. Its a classic snake oil salesman technique.

    • Yoav

      You should ask for a refund, apparently the dictionary you purchased has the definitions for “absolute truth” and “complete bullsh*t” mixed up.

    • A Kindred Spirit

      Hang in there, Connie. There’s no requirement for anyone who posts ugly stuff here to be a complete tool bag. Some people just can’t help themselves. The Lord said the world would hate you because it hated him first. There’s going to be fallout from the unsaved when you jump into hostile territory. As difficult as it may sound, pray for them to be saved. If there are any takers, they can thank you personally on the other side. See you there. :)

      • kholdom0790

        Wow. You arrogant “tool bag”. Passive-aggressive holier-than-thou bullshit? Check. Persecution complex? Check. Actually believe you’re awesome enough to go to heaven? Double check.

      • Connie Elmore

        Thank you dear friend for the kind comments. See you in heaven. I love this movie. The message is so strong. Jesus. Why are people offended by Him? He only teaches love to us. We are not robots programed to love Him. It is a choice. The choice was God’s way of loving us, not forcing us. But choices have consequences. The conseqences have eternal significance. Love to all. And May the King of Kings offer you the special order and you accept the gift.

        • kholdom0790

          Sorry, once you learn about Hell, it’s not a choice anymore.

      • Connie Elmore

        Thank you . Kindred Spirit. Tears for love and caring. I am encouraged and this New Years night I needed it. I was beginning to wonder how many people were left that followed Jesus. Love to you. Connie

        • Kodie

          Happy New Year, Connie. Maybe you need to think there’s a Jesus to feel alright, but it’s odd you look to an atheist blog to wonder if anyone at all besides you follows Jesus. Even if it’s only a figment of your imagination, and your wishful thinking, I suppose it matters to you that someone imaginary has a stake in whether or not you do well in the new year. If you sit and wait for that miracle, nothing will happen. If you do anything else, that’s all on you. If you still think that’s Jesus, well, go find another group to support that sort of imagination.

          • Sunny Day

            Happy New Year Kodie!

            • John C

              Happy New Year, Sunny!

            • Sunny Day

              Please don’t talk to me and Die in a Fire.

            • Kodie

              Happy New Year, Sunny Day!

          • Connie Elmore

            Kodie happy new year! All sights on the web are open to all. correct? I accidentally come upon this on due to the review of a Christian movie. What if you are wrong? Have you ever read the words of Jesus? Have you ever stopped to think about the Holy Bible a book written by men of a variety of backgrounds… 66 books written by 40 men over a period of 1500 years….written on 3 different continents and they all agree, no historical errors or contradictions…. Can you produce such a book? I have read the entire book. The Old testament written years before Jesus walked the earth….Read Plsam 22 Jesus lived out this prophecy….I suppose get on these sites to give out love….if you all had cancer and I had the cure would you not appreciate me giving it to you……Hell is worse than cancer it is a seperation from God….I believe that extrodinary book that has been a best seller for years. Happy New year to you too. I mean no harm only thinking because I turned to Him during cancer, and found a peace I would love to share will every person I meet… Why would an athestic watch this movie…..It is that spot in your heart that is empty ..searching…google Josh McDowel he hated Jesus for years and wanted to prove Jesus was a fairy tale….but he found truth and now is a believer and follower of Jesus. It is for real. Take care……

            • Yoav

              66 books written by 40 men over a period of 1500 years….written on 3 different continents and they all agree, no historical errors or contradictions…

              You clearly been reading a different bible then the rest of us since the regular one is loaded with historical error contradiction and more bullsh*t then a factory cattle ranch.

            • kholdom0790

              A lot of bibles have been sold in the past?!?! Oh my goodness, that must make it true!

  • Lake

    The strangest thing about most of these comments is that they are almost entirely unreasoned and cynical attacks on faith contrary to the website’s supposed purpose of “reasonable thoughts on religion….”

    Then there is a poster who said that “we are atheists and not likely to have seen the movie” yet apparently are more than willing to attack it. Also unreasonable.

    Most of you are so busy making obscene and bitter comments that you don’t realize that you sound exactly like the stubborn, bitter and entirely unreasonable character in the movie who prefers to hold on to hate instead of accepting the love of God. So much so that at first I thought this was some sort of parody site.

    I will pray for you all and hope that you just open your hearts a little bit…your contempt and anger are clear from your words and it’s a sad thing. There is hope though just accept it:)

    • trj

      It’s pretty obvious that you hold a stereotype of atheists being bitter, angry and hateful people, and so you will find confirmation of this in everything we say. Sarcasm equals hate in your simplistic world.

    • Nzo

      What you’re experiencing is a common defense mechanism called “psychological projection”. You’re experiencing contempt, and anger, and are subconsciously seeing our comments as ‘obscene’ and ‘bitter’.

      It’s sad that you don’t possess the mental facilities to process anything said by an atheist as anything more than scum-babble. Your religion has poisoned your mind so much that you can’t even properly identify a comment as ‘reasonable’.

      **The more I reread your post, the more I’m convinced that the qualities you see in yourself are the ones you’re projecting onto atheists. It’s truly fascinating how far someone will go to hide their faults.

    • Melody

      A dollar for every time a fundagelical says “I’ll pray for you” to mean “Fuck you.”

    • blotonthelandscape

      Our minds are open; that’s a far cry from accepting drivel.

      Many of us do occasionally show anger and contempt. So would you, if you discovered you’d been living a lie, and if people continually tried to foist this lie or it’s implications on your life. But that isn’t the only emotion which guides our responses. Nor do they necessarily cause our responses to become unreasonable. I get the feeling that, rather than address us with reasonable apology or questions regarding our position, you would rather dismiss us. That’s fine, you’re under no obligation to engage with us, but do us a favour and don’t project your inadequacy onto us.

      This poster who says many won’t watch the movie doesn’t speak for everyone here. I regularly sit through the mind-numbing nonsense that filters through the evangelical media, and none of it attempts to engage my critical faculties. Most of the time it’s merely affirmative, aimed at like-minded christians (who, let’s face it, are the most likely to actually purchase it).

      It’s easy to confuse skepticism for stubbornness; when people refuse to accept emotional appeals, anecdotes, or ham-fisted justifications for the inconsistencies inherent to christianity, the cop-out response is that they’re “just being stubborn”. In reality, we are simply unwilling to submit to ideas which lack rigour and reason; we have a high standard for what we could call an “answer”, or “truth”, and the aforementioned conversion tactics fail to meet that standard. I know the paradigm of doubt can be hard to wrap your head around, especially when you’ve been conditioned to have faith, but we here believe that doubt is a virtue, and faith is a vice, so unless you can address our doubts without recourse to faith, you will be met with “stubborn” skepticism.

      If our comments are “obscene”, it’s because obscenity is a good way of communicating humourous intent, especially on the internet. Mockery is a common response toward this sort of evangelism, not least because it makes grandiose claims without showing it’s working, leaving nothing for us to dissect. Another reason, which you’ll see given often enough here, is that the specific claims have been addressed so frequently that after a while it becomes tiresome, so we resort to mockery rather than beat a dead horse.

      You should be aware that emotion doesn’t translate well in forum dialogue, so try to deal out judgement so hastily.

  • Gary S. Krafty

    In the beginning there was cheese. And it was good cheese. Not today’s store bought fromunda cheese. Fromundawhere you ask? Precisely said Bugs Bunny to the gremlin.. because you see brothers and sisters you gotta hold it jussssst right. So that aeons and parsecs later along came John… and then? He tied her up…. And then? He lit the fuse? And then? And then? And then?

    Scene two: Pan in on the “TightaZenUnNunsArseWell Diner”

    And then along came John. John 24:234 and he said, “Vell you see ze Tower of Babylon is representative of the hiding of the real truth… the truth of ze a priori source that dates back to himitomi kuni aka heaven country… zis ees vere ze GOD MEN had finally perfect the sound of manna”

    Yo J, Lemme get a fomunda cheese on rye.

    And what’s that claptrap about the manna.

    Glad you asked Sparky! So as I was saying the god men were the culmination of a civilization that spanned the world built on the kototama; the word spririt. It was the realization that the proper sounds came from a priori existence as vibrations that were perceived and voiced by the God Men. These sounds were the true language and spoke by Tuxedo clad God Men across the planet. With this direct pipeline to the big cheese truth and language were one and the same.

    Great pyramids and other technological feats were routine and penises remained hard and everybody’s tap dancing shoes hardly gained dust. But something was amiss in the land of fromunda bliss. Great unwashed barbaric hordes were JALOUSE of ze God Men & their superior tap dancing civilization. They wanted cheese but without the effort. For thousands of years the God Men continued tap dancing but there existed the current of consternation.

    The stinky barbarians did not understand a priori becowwwwz the could not SEE it. Not even with Joseph’s RayBan’s & two hits of OWSLEY. So what can a poor boy do ‘cept to try and buy hostess Big Wheel’s with wet food stamps? Well the God Men realized SCIENCE was the only way to let everyone see the a priori truth. So slowly the hid their civilization. From one language
    to many. So that one day when science had been totally perfected a 3rd civilization could unite man as god. And then the cheese would not nearly be as stinky as the inquisitor’s pinkie.

    And thus psychobabble was born 43-23-10 hut hut hike. He’s at the 20- the 10- OMG he slips…he slides and … WAR! What is it good for? Oil company stocks!

    Meanwhile back at the Pearly Gates Dr. Zhivago had just figured out how to clone bodies and harvest consciousness so that we could purchase off the rack bodies and change from one to another to suit our mood and geographical disposition. The matter creation machines were making Luis Vitton for all out of the eternal aether and Atlantis had been raised from the sea with a giant Tesla coil. Male and Female and been re-united in one large cosmogasm and a little boy asked his Daddy, “Father… Father?”

    Yes son?

    Is it true our ancestors were poor and at the government cheese?

    Son. It is true. And lo and behold I shall let go and get high.

    And now let’s put on our red shoes and dance the blues.

    Kraft 23:12 Song of the nightbird.

    And I still say the brunette was mighty cute.

    • kholdom0790

      What

    • Melody

      Ummm…what are you talking about?

    • Paul

      For a troll that I don’t get to rip into intellectually, or watch someone else rip into, Krafty is the most entertaining troll I’ve seen.

  • Lloyd

    AMazing movie.. very encouraging for me.. i’m so inlove with JESUS

    • kholdom0790

      Lol. It’s ok to be in love with a dude, long as he’s Jeeesus!

  • Michele

    Wake Up Call

    I loved the movie. As I began to watch I thought it was a low budget film and was not sure I should have been watching it but I have to say the message overrode the little money that may have gone into producing it.

    Viewer’s wake up before you die!

    • kholdom0790

      The film being low-budget made you wonder if you should be watching it?
      What.

      Anyway, Jesus isn’t looking (the tooth fairy told me), you don’t have to pretend you liked it!

  • BookGirl

    Hello everyone-
    I am new to this site, so just wanted to say hi and express appreciation for forums like this that allow for open discussion. The internet is a true gift for those of us who enjoy sharpening our ideas on the wet stone of amiable debate.
    I did recently watch this film, and not because I knew what it would be about (although the plot-such as it is- is painfully obvious from about 5 minutes in). I just randomly selected it on Netflix. It did run long, although we as a culture are so used to films that switch scenes often and are loaded with action and intrusive soundtracks that any film that is more like a stage play is likely to seem slow. Not award-winning acting, but as a believer, I found the intent satisfying and the overtly stereotypical characterization both mildly entertaining and somewhat disappointing. I also have a shallow, passionate affection for retro diners, and probably would have watched it just for the diner itself.
    I don’t think believers – Christians or Messianic Jews – should ever feel that they must suspend their reason, aesthetic appreciation or critical thinking. It seems to happen a lot. The modern church often strikes me as almost Sesame-Street-ish. Oversimplified, dumbed-down and weirdly cheerful about it. A direct contrast to the hard thinking and deliberate intellectual exploration that HaShem expects from rational man. I have met painfully few Christians who can clearly articulate why they believe what they believe, let alone defend it. “Childlike” faith should not equal childish intellectual rigor or endurance. Baby-Christian films like this, despite their good intentions, do little to promote the faith except, perhaps, among people who are very new to the message AND who don’t care about the artistic nadir that a large number of faith-based films present.

    Give me The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe any day. :)

    • Elemenope

      Welcome!

      • BookGirl

        Thank you! Shalom! :)


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