Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Sugar Creek Gang Swamp Robber|
Actors: Levi Bonilla, Kody Brown, Samuel Hodge, Lexi Johnson, Jacob Velcoff
Director: Owen Smith
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Mystery & Suspense
Genre: Family Rating: UN Release Date: 25-AUG-2009 Media Type: DVD
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A. Patel | 12/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was able to attend the world premiere of Swamp Robber at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA and get a sneak peek at the completed film. This is the first movie in the Sugar Creek Gang series.
In this installment we are introduced to the entire gang: Bill Collins, Poetry, Circus, Dragonfly, Big Jim, and Little Jim. We accompany them as they discover a secret map and eventually encounter a bank robber on a late night visit to the swamp. The locations used for filming are gorgeous: from the farms to the forests, rivers, and creeks. You can tell these kids must have had a blast making the movie!
In addition to reamaining faithful to the main story, the film expands the scope of the original book. We get to see a bit of the home life that some of these kids endure, and interesting details are laid out that appear to set the stage for a much larger story arc that will be completed in subsequent films. Also, the stage is set for upcoming confrontations with the town bullies (Bob and Tom Till).
I viewed this film with an audience of a few thousand ranging from young children to senior citizens. The response was quite positive and all ages seemed to really enjoy the movie.
I have the DVD and can tell you that it is packed with special features. There is a photo gallery of the production, a behind the scenes documentary, a blooper reel, deleted scenes, and a full length audio commentary with the creators.
Fans of the books and parents looking for safe, clean, and enjoyable family entertainment -- rejoice!"
Family friendly fun
K. Davis | 06/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kids of all ages will love following the Sugar Creek Gang as they venture out to solve a mystery in the "Swamp Robber". When Poetry finds a hidden disguise in the swamp, the gang investigates and discovers a map that leads them to more than just treasure. This movie is a gem-Kalon Media has done a great job capturing the heart of the book series on film. The cinematography is peaceful and colorful and the characters are earnestly portrayed. The films are very family friendly, though there is one brief scene where a husband and wife are arguing and the husband storms off in a fury, leaving his son running after him, yet the situation is handled gently. The movies seem to have a broad appeal, and my boys (ages 4 through 10) equally loved the DVD. These days, it's not easy to find a movie they can all agree upon, but they've watched it several times and never moved from their seats for the entire movie. Amazing! Whether you're a devoted reader of the Sugar Creek Gang series or never read them before, you are in for a treat. Thanks Kalon Media, for bringing to life these loveable kids from yesteryear to teach our children of today about the love of God, of loyalty to friends, and of commitment to family through wholesome, enjoyable and quality entertainment."
The NEW Sugar Creek Gang . . .
Artist & Author | Near Mt. Baker, WA | 06/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While these Sugar Creek Gang movies are not up to the quality of Michael Landon, Jr.'s movies, they do an amazing job with the talent and equipment they have to work with. While at times some of the adults seem to be 'acting,' the kids typically fall right into their roles as naturally as in their real-life pretending. One quality I appreciate in this series is that the kids are not so heavenly minded they are no earthly good at being kids. Too many Christian oriented movies seem to have all the characters think about is their religion, so much so it runs it into the ground. These kids are very much like virtually all children who grow up in Evangelical families. Yes, they think about God and want to be a good Christian, but 98% of their time is spent just being kids. [One reviewer complained that the Christian message was 'watered down.' I'd suggest to that person that they should buy videos of pastors giving their sermons and see how many times their kids ask to see it over and over again!]
While most of Paul Hutchen's Sugar Creek Gang books were written before I was old enough to read (The first one was in 1939.), I am old enough to remember watching for when a new one would come out to add to my little collection. I loved the books because they were real 'boys books' about activities that Christian boys could really relate to. And, there were no girls allowed in the gang. I can understand why the movies include a girl, to try to broaden their appeal; however, it seems a bit out of place to anyone who grew up reading about the original Sugar Creek Gang. It should be made clear to grandfathers who grew up with the original Sugar Creek Gang, and who might want these movies for their grandsons, that this series is based on the 'New Sugar Creek Gang,' authored by Pauline Hutches (Paul Hurchen's daughter). Also, the original Sugar Creek was in Indiana, but it seems that the movie's new gang is down in Georgia.
As for Christian movies, I'd say these are a step below the ones Michael Landon, Jr. makes, but they are a FAR step ahead of most Christian movies I've reviewed. Billy Graham's World Wide Pictures has often been condemned because they were done with largely professional actors and crews, but they were considered to be the best in Christian motion pictures when they were made. I'd say these Sugar Creek Gang movies equals or even exceeds the quality of the WWP movies.
I was even more amazed at how well they did when I watched one of 'the making of' bonus features and saw what they had to work. I worked for several years in the movie business, both in feature films and TV where it would take a small fleet of semi-trucks to haul all the gear and dressing rooms around. It looked to me like for these movies they could have gotten everything in a good-sized panel truck or two. But, like with a great artist, is isn't what you have for paints and brushes, but what you do with the ones you have, that makes great art.
The Bible says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. I've always believed that this was the example for all children, growing intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially. When any one area becomes too much the focus, it results in a person who is not well balanced. These movies show that example, likely without even realizing it. The kids are active physically, swimming, etc. Their interaction in the gang shows their social side. We have no doubt that they go to school, strengthening their intellects. And, of course, we see the Spiritual side as well. The quality I like about these Sugar Creek Gang movie is that it shows the kids as being well balanced in this way.
Finally, I would suggest that one buy all five movies as a set. Unfortunately, they are a bit on the high priced side. I would like to see the price cut in half because that would probably enable four to eight times as many people be able to buy them for their kids. And, I'd like to see as many kids as possible to be able to watch these movies, especially kids from Christian families and their friends, who likely could use the Sugar Creek Gang as examples for creating their own Christian kids's gang.
Finally, for the 'authoritative' web-site on the Sugar Creek Gang, both original and the new gang's books and movies, you can 'Google' Sugar Creek Gang and then click on the 'official website.' [...]"
Good family film, but...
crosstitchc | St. Johnsville, NY | 06/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"My daughter loved the first 5 books in the Sugar Creek Gang series, and we got this movie for my son's birthday. It is a good family film, and all of my children, ages 9, 8, and 5, have loved it. The film introduces the homelife of Dragonfly and Circus (why did they feel the need to make Circus a girl?), and maintains a lot of the innocence of the books. That being said, however, they also took out most of the Biblical truths, and references to the Gang's Christian walk that were so wonderful in the books. This was very disappointing, and makes it a watered down version of the original. The acting wasn't fantastic, but this seems to only bother me, not my kids."