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Beyond the Mask Blu Ray DVD; Beyond the Mask Soundtrack CD; The Official Illustrated Movie Guide (book) Review by Jennifer King

Sara & Shannon Burns

My family loves a good movie! I on the other hand love something that is rich and educational. It can be tricky to find something that makes all of us happy on family movie nights. So of course I was more than happy to have the chance to review Beyond the Mask, as a Blu Ray DVD.  Included in the bundle was also the CD soundtrack for Beyond the Mask and The Official Illustrated Movie Guide (books make me happy!).

Beyond the Mask is a historical, Christian film full of action and adventure, amazing special effects and a storyline that leaves you on the edge of your seat. This film takes place in 1775, in England.  The mercenary, played by Andrew Cheney, is on the run in the American Colonies after he decides to turn in his resignation to his employers, the British East India Company. Needless to say when his employer attempts to kill him, he knows he needs to go into hiding. He spends some time as a “vicar” in a village; it is when he meets Charlotte that he truly begins to seek and see his need for God. This is such a great story of redemption - also a reminder that the truth is best because the past still matters - God is always in the details! There was the message of “redemption, not revenge” and the reminder throughout this film that “there is only one who can make you new.” I do appreciate how there are such powerful lessons woven into this story; at the same time it is not so deep that only certain audiences can enjoy this. I do believe this is a film that everyone could not only enjoy but truly be inspired by. There was action and excitement, a love story (my boys thought was gross! Lol) along with some humor and lots of lessons in character and faith. In this one film there really is something for everyone.

We also received a CD of the soundtrack by Jurgen Beck, from Beyond the Mask. This is truly a masterpiece, in my opinion. I love how the music truly enhances the movie yet can also be thoroughly enjoyed separately. I can easily listen to this soundtrack all day long, every day. Such beautiful and powerful music; it brings the story to life!

We also received a copy of The Official Illustrated Movie Guide Beyond the Mask, by Sara and Shannon Burns. This is a beautifully bound book; the pages are full of lovely design and amazing details that really enhance the opportunities for learning within this movie. Being very fond of history myself, I really appreciated this book and how it provided so many details in regards to various aspects of the movie. There are maps which show the East Indies and the routes taken by trading ships around the world. There is a section that speaks about the account of the assassination attempt from Washington himself. My oldest loved the pages that referenced Windmill Island ~ fact or fiction ~ and its role in the making of the movie.  From notes regarding the wardrobe and hair styles; these were all so very appropriate to the times. As we read through this book we were truly amazed at the details that were covered, in keeping with the times, for this film. Even colonial style desserts were present for the filming of this. Just amazing, the historical accuracy within every aspect of this story.

Since my oldest so is fascinated with movies and the making of said movies he really enjoyed reading about the challenges that came along with the making of Beyond the Mask. It was also very eye opening for him to learn about the various jobs that are all a part of movie production. Fire effects wrangling and catering are two examples. Full of amazing imagery the pages of this book easily kept my children, every one of them, enamored. Its definitely fun to have the chance to see behind the scenes like this. For any that are aspiring movie makers what a fun way to learn about the challenges and see the rewards that come from just one movie. A great way for others to see too how important it is for everyone to work together whether a costume designer, caterer, or producer every role is so very important to the success of a film. This book really helps to show just that too!

Guess what the best part of this movie was? I had no idea when I first agreed to review any of this that it was produced by two cousins, who were homeschoolers themselves! How inspiring is that? Seeing as my oldest son is really taken by the idea of movie making, it’s so great for him to be able to see a movie that is done so well, with such great historical detail, yet also clean and fun, produced by homeschoolers!

-Product review by Jennifer King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2016