Second Chance [1953]

Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Faith can move mountains--and change men's lives. The inspirational tale in The Second Chance weaves the foundation of faith subtly but deeply through the lives of its characters, the Rev. Ethan Jenkins and the Rev. Jake Sanders. Though the two have known each other since they were kids, but their worlds are, well, worlds apart. Ethan (gospel-singing phenom Michael W. Smith) is on staff at the Rock, a wealthy suburban mega-church, and sees a bright future for himself as the head pastor there someday. But his real journey of faith begins when he starts working alongside Jake (an incredibly charismatic Jeff Obafemi Carr) at the Rock's sister church in the poor part of town. The stellar, grounded performances of both Smith and Carr, as well as the brisk direction and soul-stirring music, keep The Second Chance from being too predictable--even though when Ethan first appears in the 'hood, he makes a few rich-guy gaffes, like accidentally ordering a barbecue platter (at the God Almighty chicken restaurant!) that's way too spicy for his white-bread palate. But the film's full-on embrace of faith as a normal part of life makes it bracingly refreshing, and if you can see the characters' redemption coming, it doesn't make it any less uplifting. The DVD is absolutely packed with extras, including interviews with director Steve Taylor as well as stars Smith and Carr; a music video, All in the Serve, by Smith; director's commentary; deleted scenes; and more. --A.T. Hurley

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