Blue Like Jazz Is, Like, For Real, Man

randomlychad  —  April 9, 2012 — 21 Comments


This past Thursday evening, my wife and had the privilege of seeing Blue Like Jazz on the closing night of the Phoenix Film Festival. I have written before of the impact Donald Miller’s work has had on me: How Blue Like Jazz ‘Saved’ Me.

So to say I was anxious to see the finished film is an understatement roughly the size of Shatner’s ego.

I was psyched!

So how did they do?

1) The picture didn’t look like it was filmed on a shoestring budget. The colors were lush, the cinematography outstanding.

2) The acting was crisp, and believable. These were real people. Like life, the funny parts were funny, and dramatic parts powerful.

3) The crisis in you v Don’s life felt real. You will believe the inciting incident, for sure. (How many of us have been there?)

4) The screenplay–adapted from Miller’s book by himself, Steve Taylor, and Ben Pearson–captured the intersection of clashing cultures perfectly.

5) Taylor has grown immensely as a director since The Second Chance–he knows how to elicit the best performances from his actors.

6) As I learned in recovery several years ago, I need to “accept this sinful world as it is–as Jesus did–not as I would have it to be.” This seems to be the principal thesis of the film, namely what does it look like when a person of faith crashes down in a world whose problems (sins) are greater than merely being, say, an inattentive dad? How does that person relate, fit in–does he hide? Where is God in this?

7) The ending, without being mawkish, is one of the most poignant, and powerful, I’ve ever seen.

Truly the movie, like the book before it, is about the intersection of life and grace.

Blue Like Jazz is, like, for real, man.

When the movie comes out this Friday (April 13th), be there. Don’t hide your kids, wife, or your husband–go! (Well, maybe get a babysitter for the kids–this film earns its PG-13 rating).

What are you waiting for?





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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • I can’t wait to see it. Thanks for the great review, Chad!

    • Thank-you, Tony, for reading it!

  • I saw it March 21 and agree with you on all points. My review will appear on Burnside Writers tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, but you said it better than I did.

    • Very kind of you, James! Look forward to your review.

  • Thanks for the review, Chad, I can’t wait to see it myself. It looks like they just added a date near me, so I won’t have to drive hours to get to it. Which I would have done.

    • You’re welcome, man! Happy to!

      You won’t be disappointed.

  • I wish… It’s opening nowhere close to us.

    • Bummer. Don’t know where you’re at in Kansas, but I see that the film is opening in Leawood & Olathe next Friday (the 20th).

      Kansas City, MO also gets it on the 20th.

      There are 3 theaters in OK that get it opening day, but that might be too far.

      • Yeah, either way is at least a few hours for us. Dumb big ol’ Kansas.

  • Looking forward to seeing it.

    • Cool, Larry!

      Let’s go to different cinemas together.


  • Looks like it will be in Birmingham on the 20th. Thanks for the review other Chad

    • You bet! Happy to.

      We stayed through most of the credits (sadly I didn’t give enough for this honor myself); saw your names there in the right hand column: “Chad & Tricia Gibbs.”
      (Goes by pretty quick, and is alphabetized by first name).

      You go, Mr. Associate Producer!

      • I thought about asking if I could be listed as, but decided against it 🙂

  • Thanks for making me want to go see it even more. Checking screening dates now.

    • Happy to oblige, o bearded one. 🙂

  • My review of BLJ is now on Burnside:

  • I’ll have to catch it on DVD. No shows in NM.

    • Dude! Bummer!

    • Too bad Evan is so young, ’cause: “Roadtrip!”