Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: David Strathairn, Barbara Hershey
Genres: Drama, Television
Enter the world of Bobby Paradise, a former astronaut who discovered God during a crisis in space and upon his return became a prominent minister. His power and success are jeopardized when he finds his family at the cente... more »
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The Corruption Within: Televangelism Scrutinized
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Frank Pierson continues to create films that are controversial and thought-provoking ('Soldier's Girl', 'Dirty Pictures', 'Truman', 'Conspiracy', 'Citizen Cohn', etc). In PARADISE he examines the workings of a 'showbiz evangelist' family and in doing so opens doors and windows to inspect not only the backstage shennaigans that are gaining more media coverage of late, but also the the very important family values and human frailties that make people support this brand of 'religion'.
With a blistering screenplay by Norman Steinberg and Richard Christian Matheson. PARADISE relates the story of one Bobby Paradise (David Strathairn), a past astronaut who apparently believes he spoke with God upon re-entry into earth's atmosphere while crashing into the Indian Ocean, and has been driven to tell his story and spread the gospel with his wife Elizabeth (Barbara Hershey), his lawyer daughter (Vivienne Benesch) who has a penchant for shady behavior and who is having an affair with a boxer (Kirk Acevedo), his business manager son Matthew (James LeGros) and wife, and his alcoholic mother Isabella (Elaine Strich).
Bobby is haunted by his own demons and feels he is at the breaking point, but his wife and family encourage him to continue is financially successful business (palatial mansion, jets, money to burn and to keep everyone out of trouble, etc). But the media begins to pry and slowly we watch the family power tend to disintegrate as we discover Bobby has a son newly released from a prison term (apparently for justifiable homicide), the boxer's wife and child are 'bought out' so that the daughter can marry, etc.
The film works well primarily because of the quality of performances by Strathairn, Hershey, Srtitch, and all of the cast. Just when the story appears to be going over the top, the understated characters of Bobby and Elizabeth keep it grounded in reality and the possibility that this sort of family CAN exist. Too many questions are left unanswered, as though this movie for Showtime was being considered as a series for TV, but for a dissection of TV Evangelism it is a tasty investigation. Grady Harp, April 05"
A total mess
James Drummond | Nevada | 07/12/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"What a waste of good actors. One has to wonder if most of the film was left on the cutting room floor. The plot, such as it is, is disjointed and fails to make any sense of the points brought up early on. When the movie ended, my wife and I both said, "That's it? Where is the rest of the movie?" Not worth the time or money."