The Reviews Are In
About the Guest
Hear some reviews of FamilyLife's first full-length feature film, "Like Arrows," from noted film and radio professionals.
Hear some reviews of FamilyLife’s first full-length feature film, “Like Arrows,” from noted film and radio professionals.
The Reviews Are In
Bob: There may not be an official score for Like Arrows, on the Rotten Tomato’s website, but we did have some people offer their thoughts about the movie they saw.
Comment Man 1: You really need to go see Like Arrows. What it’s going to do for you is it’s going to give you hope.
Comment Woman 1: I thought Like Arrows was wonderful. Who does not need help with parenting?
Comment Man 2: You knowI actually heard it from Dennis Rainey. I said, “Hey, I’m really bad at remembering these things,” and so I got it tattooed on my arm.
Comment Woman 2: I felt like it really displayed the raw emotions within a family.
Comment Man 3: I would say you got to go see Like Arrows because it helps you to see where you are and where you could be in rearing your children and in your family life.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday May 2nd. Our host is Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.
So what are people thinking about FamilyLife’s debut movie, Like Arrows? It was in theaters last night. We’ll find out today. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Wednesday edition.
Dennis: How’s it feel, Bob, how’s it feel? Tell me the truth.
Bob: It was. It was pretty exciting!
Dennis: Did you walk down the red carpet?
Dennis: Tell the truth!
Bob: No, I—
Dennis: You and MaryAnn with the tux.
Bob: No we didn’t do that! It was kind of fun to see you and Barbara and Alex and Stephen Kendrick and me up on the Big Screen at the theater last night. Those of you who got to the movie theater early last night for our movie, Like Arrows, there was a pre-show with Dennis and Barbara, Alex and Stephen, and me. Then we had the show following.
It was a great evening. In fact again tomorrow night it’s going to be in theaters for the final showing. If you want to join us get to the theater early, at 6:30 for the pre-show and then the movie starts at 7. We wrap up at about 9 o’clock.
In fact, we’ve got a friend of ours, Rich Bott, who is on the line with us. Rich is the President of the Bott Radio network, which has more than 100 stations throughout the Midwest and into California. Bott Radio was a big part in helping to promote the film and getting folks out to the theater last night. Rich, you’ve just had a chance to see the film. Welcome to the program.
Rich: Thank you, Bob. I might say also that we’re a proud partner with FamilyLife Today and have been since the very beginning of the broadcast. God bless to you and Dennis Rainey.
Dennis: Rich, I just want you to know we are grateful to be a part of the Bott Radio Network line of programs. We saw a lot of your network listeners. I’m just wondering—you saw the movie. What did you think about it?
Rich: I did! I was very, very thrilled. The title, Like Arrows, I assume that you got that from the Bible and it refers to the verse that says: “Behold, children are an inheritance of the Lord, and like arrows in the hands of a warrior.” This film was very, very powerful and impactful.
It talks about the change that the gospel can make and the power of Jesus in the lives of these parents—young parents—raising their family. They come to Christ, commit their family to the Lord, and how that changes in the way that they’re interacting as a family, and raising their children. It talks about the grace of God and how it covers a multitude of sins, and how that influence can be passed on from one generation to the next.
Bob: I’ve had viewers ask me, people who have seen the film before it was in theaters, they said, “You didn’t show a conversion scene. We didn’t see either mom or dad come to faith.”
That was a conscious decision because a lot of people when they look back on their own testimony they can’t take you to a point in time. They just know the cumulative work of God’s grace in their life, they don’t know when it happened, they just know that it happened that they got serious about walking with Jesus.
Rich: They got serious walking with Jesus and maybe they went from becoming a nominal Christian to becoming a very committed Christian. Seeing how God’s Word properly applied in the life of a family can have a tremendous difference. It shows how even very, very sad decisions that are made can be restored and reclaimed ultimately through the grace of God.
It’s just that’s a powerful story, in a sense a little bit like the prodigal son. There’s so many other biblical applications, but let me give kudos to the production staff, this is not your typical Sunday school movie.
This has grit and reality and strength to it. It’s a film that’s very powerful, and impactful, very well done from a technical sense, and very biblical, too. I’m sure it will impact many families in the years ahead.
Bob: Rich, thanks for avoiding the spoilers and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the movie, Like Arrows. Again thanks to Bott Radio listeners throughout the Midwest for coming out to see the movie, last night. I know some of you are planning to come out tomorrow night to see it when it’s in theaters again.
Dennis: Herds of them!!
Bob: Your last chance to see it tomorrow night.
Dennis: Bunches of them!
Bob: And you know what was fun? We had the chance to catch up with people after the movie for their feedback on what they saw.
Here’s what they had to say:
A Man: You really need to go see Like Arrows. What it’s going to do for you is it’s going to give you hope at any point where you are in your children’s ages. Whether you have grown children with grandchildren or if you don’t have any children yet, it’s going to give you a point of reference that will remind you that God can use you at any point where you’re at in your parenting.
A Dad: I actually got tattooed on my arm the central verse which was Psalm(s) 127:4, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in your youth.” When we came here to Like Arrows, you know,I had actually heard it from Dennis Rainey, in a men’s series called Stepping Up®.
When I found out we were having a baby, I said, I’m really bad at remembering these things, I lose focus a lot, so I’ve got to get it tattooed on me—this verse—so I never forget it, so I focus on what God’s put me on this earth to do and that’s to raise up my child well and send him off.
A Mom: My husband and I, we have five kids, we’re a blended family and our kids are ranging from 12 to 9, so we have some older children that can be more difficult.
It’s sometimes easy to think, well, they’re almost out, we’re good. But to be intentional with them and to make sure that we are still pointing them in the direction they need to be and being that example for them to the Lord.
A Mom: I thought Like Arrows was wonderful. Who does not need help with parenting? Having four kids, we have had to glean from so many different people. And like parenting, there is so many things in there that you can glean for whatever age your kids are. Whether you’re young, or old, or even at grandparent stage, you’re going to love Like Arrows.
A Man: I thought Like Arrows, was a great movie. What I really like about it was the fact that it showed you that it’s never too late. It’s never too late for parenting, changing in your parenting. It’s never too late for redemption and God can work through you with your kids at any point. I really was an encouraging movie that I would really, really recommend that you see!
A Man: I would say you need to see Like Arrows because it helps you see where you are and where you could be in rearing your children and in your family life.
A Mom: It resonated with me because I am also dealing with a teenager. And being able to deal with those type of issues and being able to reach and relate to your teen. What I got from the movie and what I would hope to initiate in my own home with my child is redemption, being able to say I’m sorry for the mistakes that were made and then to start over and to know there is still time.
So that’s the part that I left with, the fact that no matter how old they get you still have time to make those things right.
A Mom: I’m a stay at home mom, and I felt like it really displayed the raw emotions within a family, different dynamics between each of your children because they are all different. They covered different needs and the movie itself was so encouraging. It really spoke to me the thread of redemption, was all the way through from the beginning through the end. It was just as it is in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, the story of redemption through Jesus Christ and how because of Him we can leave a legacy to the next generation.
Man: I thought Like Arrows was very impactful, idea of being intentional, being a student of your spouse and then of your children and then teaching them to walk with the Lord is just incredible. The idea of leaving a legacy is what we’ve got to be about; we’ve got to be on mission.
Bob: I think these folks were pretty positive—
Bob: —the movie that they had just seen.
Dennis: They were!
Bob: In fact, in some theaters I heard there was some applause as the movie came an end. So people seemed enthused about what they were seeing in theaters.
In fact, we have got somebody else joining us today. Bob Waliszewski, who is, well, he’s a film critic. Is that what you call yourself, a film critic?
Bob W: I do sometimes, I do sometimes.
I’m Director of Plugged In. We actually have five of us who are all fine film critics. I am privileged to be the Director of that department. I’ve been with Focus [On the Family] for 26 years!
Bob: Wow! I will tell you, I run into people all the time who tell me how much they appreciate, you do too, people who appreciate what you guys are doing with Plugged In. They check the movie reviews regularly. In fact they don’t go to the theater until they’ve checked to see what you guys have to say about any film that’s coming out.
I’m grateful for your 26 years of investment. You’ve seen a lot of movies, haven’t you?
Bob W: I have, I really have. I keep track of how many movies I’ve seen right here by my computer, in fact I’m looking at it right now. Last year I saw 143 movies and I’ve seen up to 150-something in a year. I did the math once; it’s like every 2.6 or every 2.7 days seeing a film on average. Yes, I do see a lot of movies, Bob.
Bob: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Right?
Bob W: Right! And I’m happy to say we’re talking about a good on this, today.
Dennis: Bob, We appreciate your words about Like Arrows. I’m curious, what was your overall impression of the movie?
Bob W: It was a film that didn’t present the family in a real neat, tie-up-all-the-bows type situation. Here was a relationship that actually started in some dysfunction. Then we have the first born that goes off the deep-end. I won’t say whether he comes around or not but let’s say that there’s some of great messages there. You guys did a great job.
Bob: Parenting is a moving theme. Any of us that have done it know that our emotions are all wrapped up in raising our kids. So, to try to bring some of those moments to a movie we knew that we were on holy ground and we had to do this in a way that people could look and say I’ve been there, I can relate to both the joys and some of the challenges.
Bob W: And that’s exactly why I like it so much, we have both of that—the joys and the challenges—because there’s not a person who would watch that can’t relate to both.
Bob W: Parenting is absolutely a joy, overall, but to get there and this movie does so well, in taking us through 50 years of Charlie and Alice’s life!! Then we realize they, like us, are facing challenges and have 50 years worth of challenges, and yet they—you know that if you could talk to them at the end of the film, reach out they’d say it was all so worth it.
Bob: Well, again, we appreciate the great work you do at Plugged In and everything that’s going on at Focus on the Family. This has a been a real service that Focus has provided for families for decades now and you’ve given leadership to it.
Bob, I appreciate you watching the film and appreciate your thoughts about it, and thanks for helping us cheer people on to come see the movie.
Bob W: thank you, Bob. It was great having seen it in film and add it to my list of what may be another 150 total films this year.
Bob: There’s a tick mark by your computer for Like Arrows, right?
Bob W: I’ve already put it down!
I’ve already do, it’s on my list, it was number 18!
Bob: Bob Waliszewski joining us from Plugged In Movie Reviews, and Focus on the Family. Bob, thanks for the time today.
We also had a number of listeners who joined us in theaters last night for Like Arrows, who are listeners to WAY-FM, a network of, I think it’s 38 radio stations in a dozen states across the country: in Florida, in Tennessee, in Colorado, in Kansas, in Alabama. We could go on and list them all.
John Skaggs, with WAY-FM, is on the line with us. John, thanks for helping get the word out about the movie to WAY-FM listeners.
John: Man, our pleasure, Bob, because I think the movie had a lot to offer.
Dennis: John, you had an opportunity t see the movie. What did you think about it?
John: Often times when you go to a movie, you go there for an escape. That’s okay. We look at our entertainment that way. This particular movie instead of an escape really caused me and my wife to sort of examine our lives and examine our parenting from a new perspective. With great acting, you know that you’re caught up in a movie when you pray with the actors and you forget for a moment that it’s fiction.
Bob: John, we didn’t have a lot of budget to work with, but I know as I stepped in to working with this movie, one of my main concerns was I didn’t want to do anything that would be cheesy or embarrassing from an acting standpoint, a scripting standpoint, because we’ve all seen those movies where we kind of cringe and go boy, I wouldn’t want to invite my friends to a movie like this.
I really felt like our actors came through for us, our director did a great job for us, and at the end of the day, sure I tweaked a few things but for the most part, I think this is a movie you can feel comfortable inviting your neighbors, even people who don’t know Christ. It’s an overtly Christian movie, but I don’t think folks are going to be wildly offended by anything they see in the movie. Do you?
John: To the opposite. I think everyone regardless in their orientation. I had a conversation after seeing the movie with a friend of mine that is Hindu. I just wanted to find out if that point is true, if you could talk about parenting in the context of, do you have all the answers, would you be looking for a resource. ‘
His name is “Berhen”. Berhen was absolutely receptive to the idea. He said, yes! I will go to the movie with you! I am going to go back to the movie because of that.
I also want to say this. I was benefitted growing up in a large metropolitan area. Unfortunately, I’m a snob when it comes to quality. When I evaluated it from a block and tackle, art and science of doing a movie, I’ve seen a few things and you have too, that sort of get in the way. In this particular case, the budget did not get in the way of the message.
I thought how you depict the future in the movie, how the movie focuses on character development, to where again I’m praying while the movie is praying,—I’m like, wait a minute, wait a minute, this is fiction! To be caught up like that tells me that all of that other stuff didn’t get in the way of the reality of what the movie was trying to convey which is, you know what? This is fictional but at the same time in your life, it’s not.
Bob: We just want to say thank you to get the word out through WAY-FM. You guys got a great network of stations. I’ve always loved the ministry that WAY-FM is all about. It was a thrill to see so many of your listeners coming out in states all across the country.
John: Our joy and again, I would urge everyone to take in this movie. You only have one more chance. The Art of Parenting series I think would be one, I wish I could turn back the clock, Bob, and enjoy this material. I can’t change that for me, but I would love to urge anyone that if they go and they don’t like it, I’d love them to find me on twitter and DM me and I’ll pay them back.
That’s a great offer. John Skaggs from WAY-FM. John, thanks for being with us today.
John: My joy, my friend.
Bob: We’ve got one other friend who is joining us today. In fact, I thought if we’re going to talk about our movie, we should go straight to Hollywood. We’ve got Terry Faye. Terry gives leadership to KKLA Radio in Los Angeles. Of course, FamilyLife Today is heard on KKLA at 8:30 in the morning so a lot of you are listening here this morning.
We had a lot of KKLA listeners out at the theaters last night throughout Southern California.
Terry, you had a chance to see the film. First of all, welcome to the program.
Terry: Thank you Bob. It’s good to be here.
Bob: I’m just curious you get a chance to—because of where you live you see a lot of movies, and you meet a lot of people who are involved in the film and television business. Are you seeing God at work in that community? In your backyard?
Terry: Yes, I sure am! I’m thinking about a couple years ago there was a whole spate of films that even if you didn’t go to the movies you just see the marquees that said, God Is Not Dead, Moses. You know it’s hard to miss the point. So yes, there have been a lot of movies that have come across our desk and for us to see. I’m excited about it, I think God is using them in a powerful way.
Dennis: Terry, we, well, Bob didn’t set out to make a movie out of this, but people are resonating with the message of Like Arrows.
Terry: Yes, they sure are! What I love about this project is the follow-thru and the whole [FamilyLife’s} Art of Parenting series that’s going to go along with that. That’s what got me very excited. I liked the movie a lot but what I really liked was hearing about the video series that will follow up.
Bob: One of the themes of the Art of Parenting video series is helping you as parents understand your child’s identity, know what has God created your child to do and be, what is their gifting, helping your child understand his or her identity as a child of God, and as a man or as a woman.
We tried to illustrate this in the Like Arrows movie by having a dad who has a son who takes an interest in cooking. Dad is at first a little uncomfortable that his son wants to be a cook rather than be a football player or something.
Yet the dad recognizes this is not about my vision for my child’s life, it’s about God’s vision for my child’s life.
Terry: Amen! That’s exactly right. Dennis I remember you and I talking about the Google search from a couple of years back. They did a study of the most Googled word of the year and the word was “Identity.” If we can cooperate with God in helping our kids find their identity that He has planted in them.
I don’t know if there is a greater thing we can do for our kids because that is the challenge of our day. It’s people have lost identity which is why they are going back and forth and looking at all these weird options as far as I am concerned. So this is real central and core to raising kids.
Bob: Terry, again, thanks for helping us get the word out to listeners throughout Southern California. Thanks for the great work that KKLA does, day in and day out.
I have met people in Southern California who tell me that they depend on KKLA
as a lifeline spiritually for them in that community. I am so grateful for the partnership we’ve had since 1992 and for your leadership there at KKLA.
Terry: Absolutely! Bob, it’s great working with you and I’m very excited about this project. You guys never cease to amaze me on what’s next!! To me this is really, really critical and when you say this is the most pivotal project you guys are involved with, it’s like, that’s saying a whole lot! And I tend to agree with that for sure.
Bob: Terry, thanks for your support. Terry, again, General Manager of KKLA in Los Angeles. So when the reviews come in from Hollywood, and they are good, that’s a good sign there.
Dennis: It is a good sign. I appreciate the partnership we have with KKLA and other Salem stations across the country. I’m just excited, Bob, about the showing of the first movie FamilyLife has produced, Like Arrows, and the response, most importantly, the response of people and how they are encouraged by this message.
Bob: One more chance to see the movie and that’s tomorrow night. It’s in about 800+ theaters across the country. You can go to the website, LikeArrowsmovie.com and order tickets in advance. You might want to do that because again, we’ve had theaters already sold out for tomorrow night. I know theaters are opening additional screens. So here’s your last chance to go see the movie Like Arrows.
Go to LikeArrowsmovie.com to order tickets or to see the trailer. If you saw the movie last night, share about it on social media,—Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram,—tell your friends to get out and see this film again in its final showing tomorrow night.
Check out the information about FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting video series™. It’s now available as an online course and you can order the DVD series for small groups or for church use. Find out more about FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Again the website is FamilyLifeToday.com.
Or call if you have any questions, 1-800-FLTODAY. 1-800-358-6329.
Now tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer and we’ve got the Chairman of the National Day of Prayer, Pastor Ronnie Floyd, who’s going to be joining us tomorrow. We will talk about praying for our nation, and praying for our kids, praying for us as parents. That comes up tomorrow. Hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. Have a great day; we’ll see you tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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