You'll notice that there are two versions of the poster above. One has been labeled secular and the other "Christian". You may recall, I had some less than enthusiastic words to say about the first poster for Machine Gun Preacher that was released. (And I wasn't alone, but that's neither here nor there.) Well, much to my surprise, I like the so-called "Christian" one better. Despite the presence of the cross, it's less stylized than the other version. There's much less obvious photoshop and manipulation of images. Mainly though, while there is no machine gun present in the "Christian" version, it doesn't pull its religious punches either and I like that. Let's not be coy about this: Sam Childers is an ordained minister who felt called by God to go to Africa and save those children. God and religion are at the heart of his story. It doesn't matter what you or I believe, it's what Sam believes. This is Sam's story and if you're going to tell it or watch it being told, God is going to be a big part of it. Having said all of that, I do understand that having the two posters was a business decision, an effort to appeal to the widest audience possible and I don't care whether it's the cross or the gun that gets the butts in the seats.
Okay, I've gone off on another tangent. (And I know you're shocked!) The good news is that I can hear the diesel engine of the publicity machine cranking to life for this movie, Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher starring Gerard Butler (don't pretend you didn't know that already), Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon and Kathy Baker. Thank you, Mr. Kavanaugh! (*waves* Hope the honeymoon was swell!)
There's a first clip from the film out there on the wide world of web. Entertainment Weekly has it at their site. It's an exclusive and they mean to keep it that way (for now.) But you really should see it so, by all means, go over there: http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/08/30/machine-gun-preacher-gerard-butler-exclusive-clip/ and watch it. In it, Gerard Butler's Sam Childers is having a rather heated discussion with his friendly neighborhood banker, trying to get him to come around to the notion that he really needs to give Sam the money for a truck. I don't think I'd argue with Sam or Gerard Butler when they get that angry. I can almost hear the mouths of the critics starting to slam shut every time I watch it. And those hating on Butler's American accent need to accept that our boy's been putting in the work. His accent is pure heartland in this clip, with nary a trace of the Highlands.
This new clip, I can (finally) show you. It has Sam coming face to face with the problem of the orphaned and refuge children for the first time. (It's powerful stuff, but I do confess to getting a little frisson of delight watching the Patented Butler Pimp Stride. It's been too long, ya know?).
Relativity released a song from the soundtrack, an original by Chris Cornell called "The Keeper." I really like the song and I especially like that they released it one day early before it went to iTunes and the proceeds from any purchase made on that day went to help Sam Childers' "Angels of East Africa" foundation. If you haven't heard it, take a listen:
Asche & Spencer, who scored most of Marc Forster's other films, is responsible for the soundtrack. Here's a bit from Stay (with Ryan Gosling and Ewan MacGregor)It's pretty cool stuff.
I can't wait to hear the Machine Gun Preacher soundtrack in its entirety. By the way, just so you know, If this next song,"One Man's War" by Australian singer-songwriter Aaron Hendra, makes it onto the soundtrack, I am starting, here and now, a campaign to get it nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture. Watch this video, listen to this song and I defy you not to be moved:
..and here's an accoustic version:
Who's with me?
Machine Gun Preacher opens in limited release in the US on September 23.