THE TRAIN: THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

PRODUCER: DAMILOLA MIKE-BAMILOYE
DIRECTORS: YEMI ADEPOJU & ISAAC FEMI-AKINTUNDE
CAST: SEUN ADEJUMOBI, OMOLARA AYOOLA, TOLULOPE MIKE-BAMILOYE
YEAR: 2020

REVIEWER: IFIOKABASI OKOP

The Mount Zion Film Productions (MZFP) has, in recent years, undergone a great transformation in the production of her films, with fresh, relatable stories, terrific acting and fantastic cinematography. Damilola Mike-Bamiloye took the Christian film industry in Nigeria beyond what his father started, thereby sparking the interest of many to watch their films and have their lives changed.

“The Train”, a biopic on the life of the founder of The Mount Zion Film Productions, Mike Bamiloye, was highly anticipated since the beginning of the year when Damilola made the announcement on his social media pages. It was released May 3, 2020 on Damilola’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGyPHwlkRV_Ai7aLRXpXJow) and has since generated testimonies, raves, reviews and trends all around the country.

The film chronicles the life of Mike Bamiloye from his childhood to the early years of his ministry. It is divided into different chapters depicting various stages of his life; his childhood, education, friendships, marriage, ministry and his absolute trust in God’s will for his life and calling. “The Train” is an enthralling story that holds your interest for its almost three-hour duration, soaking in every step of Mike’s journey, leaving you spell-bound.

The cast of the film is well put together and the acting effortlessly delivered. I would imagine the work put into that, given the fact that they portrayed real people, some of whom are still alive. Seun Adejumobi, who plays the older Mike-Bamiloye, was perfect for the role as his delivery of a wide range of emotions were realistic. You’ll root for him, cry with him, laugh at him and pause the movie to pray the times he takes those proverbial leaps of faith. The “Agbara Nla” herbalist scene is excellently recreated and it shows the level of dedication this actor put into his work. The child actor, Oluwasola Peter, who plays the younger Mike-Bamiloye, is a delight to watch; his mischievousness cracked me up and his childish innocence endeared many viewers to him. Omolara Ayoola is brilliant in her role as Mike’s older sister, living and breathing her character in each scene, bringing her A-game to make her performance memorable. Tolulope Mike-Bamiloye perfectly embodies the character of Gloria Bamiloye with apt genteelness and grace that made me fall in love with her character.

Other elements in the film have great attention paid to them. Set in the 1960s to 1990s, the film’s set designers, costumiers, makeup artists, location managers put in a lot of hard work and creativity into making sure it felt like a period film. The sets, costumes, hairstyles, props- TV, radio, currency, telephone, lanterns, cameras, kitchen plates- were all from the 90s. The Ilesa dialect of the Yoruba language Mike Bamiloye grew up speaking is used for a greater part of the film, showing the attention the filmmakers gave to the little details.

The cinematography is well-thought out. It does not just tell a person’s story, it uses the environment as a character, depicting its aesthetic in relation to a scene’s emotion or action. Music and sound is the heart of this film. Joshua Mike-Bamiloye channels his awesome creativity in highlighting the emotions in each scene through his choice of sound and, of course, there were scenes that moved me to tears. The music was largely responsible for that. The reworked version of “Oruko Jesu O Tobi” is superb and the theme song, “The Train”, done in collaboration with Lawrence Oyor is timely, provocative and contemplative.

“The Train” scores a high point by not being preachy but ends up passing across a great deal of messages through its casts’authentic, passionate performances. This film relentlessly opens you up to the truth that God’s will and way is the perfect path and that the bigger-than-life calling we have can be successful if we trust Him, foolishly. Mike’s ministry was an uncharted territory but he believed God for the strength needed for his journey.

“The Train” (WATCH HERE) is a classic that has set a new standard for the Christian film industry whose future productions certainly have big shoes to fill.

IfiokAbasi Okop
©2020

Explanation

How do you explain this action without insight?
Did I say rapture without revelation?
Did it say we were going to pay attention?
I mean I heard the towns criers will cry using a trumpet
It might be tragic like the climax of a movie, to some
Suspense shouldn’t befall -be for- us since summing up Gen to Rev
Has been to look for the x in the lifestyle of Christ
How would you explain this without Christ and the cross?

Adethatryts
© 2019

Clothes of an Idea

The corpse of an idea
A zombie in my mind
I aim far a head
My time slips by as I bid time
Calculating the different ways to save time
Constantly telling myself how I should be
chaste
While I think off the skirts that I could’ve
chased
Its like I let my potential just waste
While growing, adding, learning at no haste

Write, hand, write for you were made to.
My life feels like a movie part too.
I look to Jesus,
So when I’m down, I know I’m up next.

The Niel
© 2019

Confession

Bless me father for I have sinned,
It’s the…. First in a long time since my last confession.
I come to confess that I have no need for these confessions.
That two thousand years and counting, I accept the new profession.
I confess,
That I accept Jesus as Lord therefore I am no sinner.
I confess,
That sin is now locked up and I am it’s master.
I confess,
That I am blessed beyond a curse, and even on dark days I do not need you to bless me,
You see, Abraham’s blessings are mine.
Therefore I confess,
That I am light to shine in darkness, even in my hard times.
I confess,
That when I fall, I will take outstretched arms and rise again from empty tombs of fleshy desires.
I confess,
That when you fall, dear Padre, I will stretch my arms to hold you up and God help me,
I confess,
I am Christian and therefore in me shall the nations of the earth be blessed.

I confess, dear Sir,
I am not alone,
There is an army of us rising!
So forgive me padre for I have sinned,
This is my first confession in a long time,
I haven’t confessed my confession of Jesus to you till now.

Father, forgive me for I have sinned
I have spat on your face
I have lied, cheated
I have killed myself so many times
The only movie I see is the Edge of tomorrow
The robe you once gave me
I have torn into pieces
A Louie rag I now put on
To slay the daughters of the world
As I feed on the crumbs of their flesh
And quench my thirst with their desires
I have spilled the blood
Of new born babies all over hands
And i have stoned You with my acts of imperfection
And crowned You with my thorns of Mistake
I hope You can forgive me for all these sins,
Cause now, i find myself
Right in the tomb you called me out of….
I hope that came out right,
For i have lost it all

Olaoye Adeleye
St. Davnique
© 2019

Movie Review: GOD is not Dead- By Egwu Nnanna .E

God is not dead

Okay, if you’ve not watched the film “God’s not dead” raise your hand! One, Two …Okay!

I will do a synopsis; kindly pardon me to come from two points of view “As a Christian” and “As a Lover of Good movies”

AS A CHRISTIAN: I enjoyed and learnt from the movie, the fact that it talks about a controversial being and creator God, and features characters of Atheists and a Muslim family is brave. I loved the synopsis and trailer. Now I also liked the school setting. Enough? Not yet! I liked the… Okay! Enough.

STORY-LINE:

Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo).

Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh finds himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write “God Is Dead” and put the whole incident behind him? GOD’S NOT DEAD weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a dramatic call to action. The film will educate, entertain, and inspire moviegoers to explore what they really believe about God, igniting important conversations and life-changing decisions. –(C) Official Site

Rating: PG (for thematic material, brief violence and an accident scene)

Genre:  Drama, Comedy, Christian

Directed By:        Harold Cronk

Written By:         Hunter Dennis, Chuck Konzelman, Cary Solomon

US Box Office:   $60.8M

Runtime:             1 hr. 53 min.

Pure Flix Entertainment – Official SiteGenre:      Drama, Comedy

Directed By:        Harold Cronk

Written By:         Hunter Dennis, Chuck Konzelman, Cary Solomon

US Box Office:   $60.8M

Runtime:             1 hr. 53 min.

Pure Flix Entertainment – Official Site

AS A LOVER OF GOOD MOVIES:

Disclaimer: No one film/movie in the world can fully explore a subject.

“If you were to be charged/prosecuted for being a Christian, would there be enough evidences to charge you guilty?”

The film should have considered some factors;

Theme: “God’s not dead” is a great title, but irrespective of how great it is, the major antagonist in the movie “An Atheist” believes that God never existed, doesn’t exist and will not exist. Secondly, the other religion that was looked into also has a “god” that they believe is also alive. So what was the point? I personally think that “God is” with a direct central theme on “Jesus” would have been a better title.

Environment: The USA I believe is so policy driven, that an educationist there has no legal base for threatening a student with failure on the basis of his personal beliefs.

Audience and Casting: Some fallacies and generalizations were done. E.g The Muslim father represented gives an impression that all Muslim fathers are cruel and domestically violent. It was too Christocentrically biased, but why shouldn’t it be? It is Christian production after all.

There were some coincidences, and for me it was still a good production. Greater works can come out of the Christian Movie Industry. I believe.

What you stand to learn: Bravery, Witnessing, Faith, Perseverance, Love and GOD.

A must watch! My rating?

C’mon go and watch it.

Have a lovely Year.

FACING THE GIANTS – The Review!

A movie is many things to as many that see it!
This movie opens us up to the life of Coach Grant Taylor who’s obviously not having a field day with his career, family and life in general. As a good christian, he takes his misfortune in good faith but at the time we could get a peep into his life the problems in his life were definitely mounting to a fatal peak which would in the course of the film define the course of his life in the nearest future.
Coach Taylor’s character I believe represents all the millions of believing christians struggling in their lives. Sadly, most have come to their unfortunate end whilst still in this position. This I’ve come to agree is synonymous to the verse in th bible:
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” 2 Tim 3:5a
However in this wonderful motion picture we watch how Coach Taylor and any in His shoes can get out of the valley of depression and the burdensome cares of this world and rise to the heights of God’s grace and a limitless problem free life of joy and peace which in reality is HIS promise for us from the beginning!
The movie also reveals the word of God as a manual for life. With several manifestations of God’s miracle working power and a careful study and obedience of the word, we watch as lives transform and the most amazing testimonies abound! The place of prayer is in no way undermined in the character of Mr. Bridges who practically prays a revival to the school and also serves as an encouragement source for Coach Taylor. The amount of wonder that can be wrought by the word of God and prayer could never be understood and a glimpse into the beauty is what this film portrays.
With a cast well loaded with talent this amazing story produced into a motion picture by SHERWOOD PICTURES might as well be referred to as an epic tale but I guess I’ll hold my horses awhile. The message contained in the scenes are beautifully and intelligently portrayed with very laudable graphic, dramatic and artistic perfection.
The movie is directed by Alex Kendrick and stars Alex Kendrick, Tracy Goode, James Blackwell, Shannen Fields, Bailey Cave amongst others. The story on which the movie is based was written by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. The movie also contains some songs from a personal favorite – Casting Crowns. In general the film is an absolute masterpiece meant for every man, woman and family. The lessons that could be learnt from this movie are beyond words. So I’ll just let you go get a peep, then possibly we could do a chat or something on what we learnt! Lol
Have a blessed day!

-by Ezeonyeka Godswill