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SATURDAY’S WARRIOR v GOD’S NOT DEAD 2

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, April 1, 2016

A pair of independently produced faith films lead new movies opening this weekend — an adaptation of a beloved Mormon musical and a sequel to a 2014 Christian movie.

“Saturday’s Warrior” (PG). Doug Stewart and Lex de Azevedo’s 1970s Mormon musical is adapted as a film, telling its story of spirit children making promises to each other before they are born to earthly parents, then, in mortality, forgetting those promises because everything in the pre-earth life is forgotten as they grow up and wade through the world’s temptations.

“God’s Not Dead 2” (PG). Melissa Joan Hart stars in this faith-film sequel as a high school teacher who is asked a question in her class about Jesus, so she answers honestly and forthrightly, which leads to parents calling for her dismissal. After the ACLU becomes involved, she must defend herself in court. Co-stars include Fred Dalton Thompson, Robin Givens, Ray Wise, Ernie Hudson, and in his first live-action acting role since “The Cross and the Switchblade” in 1970, Pat Boone.

“I Saw the Light” (R). Biographical musical drama about country singer-songwriter Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston), whose rapid rise to fame exacerbated his demons, leading to alcoholism and prescription-drug abuse. He died at 29. Co-stars include Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, Bradley Whitford and David Krumholtz.

“City of Gold” (R). Documentary about L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold, the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for writing columns that eschew high-class establishments in favor of mom-and-pop eateries, all while exploring cultural diversity. (Exclusively at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)

“Rescue Dogs” (PG). Juvenile comedy about a chef whose beachside cafe goes downhill after his rescue dog Charger (whose thoughts we hear as a voiceover device) is kicked out of the kitchen by a health inspector. But it’s actually an evil realtor’s manipulative plan so he can tear down the restaurant and build a golf course. (Exclusively at the Megaplex District Theaters.)

“Meet the Blacks” (R). Spoof of horror movies, and specifically the “Purge” franchise, as a new family moves into a neighborhood on the day that all crime is declared legal for 12 hours. Mike Epps stars, with George Lopez, Perez Hilton and Mike Tyson in support.