Some brief notes from all over:
States of Grace now has an official release date: Nov. 4. Also, Richard Dutcher is releasing a 2-disk deluxe edition of God’s Army. Just in time for Christmas, kids.
The Work and the Glory: American Zion is opening in an unprecedented 200 theaters this Friday. For reference, I think Mobsters and Mormons opened in 32. The first Work and the Glory reached 117 and The Other Side of Heaven eventually reached 306. But 200 is by far the widest opening. I’ve also noticed a remarkable advertising campaign for American Zion ““ I’ve seen advertisements on Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango and other sites around the web. It looks like this one has a good shot at “breaking out” into a mainstream audience and could possibly be the highest grossing LDS film yet.
A trailer for the upcoming Church Ball is up. Hey, if they’ve got Fred Willard, it can’t be that bad.
American Mormon was successful enough to spur a sequel, currently in progress in Europe. They now have a blog on which they will post podcasts, the first is up already. It’s nothing too interesting, just an introduction to the project really.
Speaking of podcasts, John Moyer, who directed Mobsters and Mormons, and Nathan Smith Jones, who directed The Work and the Story, did a three part podcast on LDS film. There are a few interesting tidbits, but there’s a lot of inanity and wasted time.
One point I did think kind of funny was John’s mention that, in its opening weekend, Mobsters and Mormons was the number two film in Provo theaters ““ second to The Exorcism of Emily Rose. He expresses some frustration that Mormons are always saying that they want clean, wholesome films, and then go to Exorcism instead. But I’m not sure that the two films share the same audience, even if both audiences are Mormon. I mean, I can’t imagine too many people were looking at the selection and asking “Well, should we see Mobsters and Mormons or The Exorcism of Emily Rose tonight?”
The last half of the third part is a review of Eric D. Snider’s review of Mobsters and Mormons, wherein they spend as much time making personal insults toward Snider as talking about the review. The whole thing sounded to me like some bitter kids who had been criticized and had to find some childish way to get back. There’s nothing wrong with defending your film, but Moyer was just hitting back. At an AML conference last year Eric Samuelsen said that the number one thing standing in the way of better Mormon stories and films was writers’ inability to accept criticism and suggestions of revision. It seems to me that these guys are just proving him right.