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Monday, February 6, 2012

Facing The Giants - Movie Review and More

Many New England Patriot fans probably wish they’d never faced the Giants.
I mention this only, ‘cos I’m about to review a movie called Facing the Giants, but didn’t want anyone thinking I’m ragging on the Patriots.
(When it’s Boston, I always think “Big Papi” rather than “Tom Brady.” Congrats to the team from New York, but seriously, good luck to the Red Sox Patriots next year :)
Originally released in the fall of 2006, (I won’t win any awards for “Breaking News” movie reviews) Facing the Giants is a family-friendly drama about a high school football coach who draws up a new game plan for his team … but only after he decides to make a major change in the way he lives his life.

(General Synopsis – or watch the clip :)

In his six years at Shiloh Academy, head football coach Grant Taylor has come close, but has yet to have a winning season.
A new year means a new season, but when the best player on his Shiloh Eagles – the guy who scored a third of the points last year – decides to transfer schools, all seems lost.
Combined with the pressures at home, (he and his wife struggle with infertility; the family car is dying and various unexpected repairs are needed in the couple’s small home,) it’s easy to see how Coach Taylor loses hope in his battle against fear and failure.
(And then he discovers a group of fathers plotting for a replacement after the Eagles lose the first three games of the season.)
Good Grief, Charlie Brown....
However, an unexpected challenge helps Coach Taylor find a purpose bigger than just victories. Daring to trust God to do the impossible, he and the Eagles soar up to discover how faith plays out on the field … and off.
The Eagles work to turn things around and make a run for the playoffs, but disaster strikes and the defending champs, the Richland Giants, now seem unstoppable as they march toward their fourth successive state championship.

Facing the Giants was made by Sherwood Pictures, a decidedly unique film making ministry at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Sherwood pictures is also home to the new movie, Courageous, which I recently reviewed here.
(They also made Flywheel and Fireproof – and I plan to review both in the next two weeks.)

If you liked Rocky, Remember the Titans, Rudy, Radio or The Rookie,
(and apparently any sports movie that begins with “R,”)
you'll love this great underdog story that shows the power of faith and prayer in dealing with life’s problems.

Moms, this *is* a great family movie, but just make sure Dad has a secret box of Kleenex hidden behind his popcorn:)
On a personal note, my wife and I struggled with infertility for several years. To anyone currently walking that rocky road of monthly hopes raised and dreams dashed, I would say please watch this movie and do so with an open heart – and, if you are so inclined, have the prayer warriors at your church pray over you.
(We did in the late summer of 2006 – just as this film was released – and a friend, April, prophesied that we “would be pregnant by the end of the year.”)
September - Zilch.
October - Nada.
And November rolled around, but no second line adorned any of the myriad of pregnancy tests we tried.
In December, April came to visit on the day when my wife said she didn't want to take the last test of the year. We'd taken November as a "month off" and we hadn't really tried - for various reasons.
Sure, and didn’t this prayer warrior pray, and then some more while the test lay hidden under a towel sitting on our white kitchen island.
And then it was time.
My wife and I looked at each other, and with another, seemingly endless sigh of dashed hopes, I uncovered the test.
Which had TWO lines.
Instead of our “normal” one.
No. Way……
Really, Papa? Another Photo :)
Much screaming and crying (but not from me, I just had pepper in my eyes) later, the news sunk in: The Lord has blessed us with a baby in the womb.
The womb-baby later became No. 1 Son. (Here is our "Big Boy." He will be five in July, and to God be the glory.)
Sorry for getting off-track with the movie review, but all of a sudden, I realized I could – and wanted to – share a true, positive and personal message about Facing the Giants :)

I give this movie 4.5 broken crayons out of a possible five broken crayons. (Recycling stuff is fun :)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Need to go back and watch it - been a while since I saw that movie.

Leigh Covington said...

Awww - the movie sounds fabulous and your true story, even more so. I love that you share this stuff. :)

Sarah Tokeley said...

Mark, I did the whole IVF thing so I whole-heartedly endorse your message of hope :-)

Suze said...

My husband really liked 'Fireproof.'

Morgan said...

Ohhhh... I'm all sentimental gooey right now! Thanks for sharing, Mark. You always have such great posts ;)

ali cross said...

You know, we love these feel-good movies, but we haven't seen this one! I'll queue it up!

And Mark .... ((big hugs)) for your faith and endurance. Yep, I've BTDT too, and totally know that monthly rollercoaster ride because I was on it for 9 years. NINE YEARS!!!

We were finally blessed with our twins after 7 miscarriages (2 more came after them). And man, they were worth the wait! And we are certainly better people and parents for it.

Your little man, your NUMBER ONE SON, is a beautiful boy. Congrats to you and your wife!

M.J. Fifield said...

Yep. I'm one of those Pats fans who wished we played anyone BUT the Giants Sunday night. =)

Love the broken crayon rating system.

Mark Koopmans said...

@ Ali: Wow.... That is *amazing* wow... I am (nearly) speechless. Thanks so much for sharing such a personal story and God bless you guys for never, ever giving up :)

@ Sarah: Wow... thanks for sharing, too:)

Am so glad it all worked out for you, too :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Hey Mark.

Yea...I think adventure writes is a little bit of history. I wanted my name as my web address so in the future people could find me better. So kudos to you for using your name right off. Now I have to tell everyone that it's changed.

I like your badge too. :)

I'm glad that you have so much faith, and that the Lord has blessed you with your adorable children. You are a lucky family. :)

Susan Fields said...

Thanks for sharing your pregnancy story - I love to hear happy stories like that! And I've seen this movie - it is a good one!

Nicole said...

Mark, this sounds like a fantastic movie! I'm a fan of several of those "Sports movies starting with R," so I'm sure I'd love this one.

As others have mentioned, thanks for sharing your personal story as well. I know several friends who have gone through this (or are in the midst of it), and this is a wonderful reminder of the power of faith.

Nancy Thompson said...

I think it's sweet the way you turned this post into a personal story. that was my favorite part!! Congrats on your blessing!

Jo Schaffer Layton said...

I'm picky about my sports movies...
Hoosiers is still my fave. And I admit I loved the Rocky movies. Blush!

Doreen McGettigan said...

I love this post. It is nice to meet you I am stopping by from the campaign to say hello!

Mark Koopmans said...


Thanks so very much for your words of support, encouragement AND for sharing - y'all are RockStars :)

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