Posts Tagged ‘movie review’

Heaven is For Real

June 19, 2014

I recently watched the movie Heaven is For Real.  I had heard a lot of good things about it.  After viewing the movie I have a mixed response.  The movie is good in that it helps people to believe in a life beyond the grave.  It gives credible support to the existence of an afterlife.  That is a good thing.  Unfortunately, one could easily come away from the movie with the belief that everyone goes to heaven.  I am told that the book did a better job of presenting that a life in heaven came as a result of faith in Jesus Christ.  The idea that everyone goes to heaven is a belief called universalism and is a very dangerous belief.  No repentance, no faith is necessary.  A loving God simply welcomes everyone home to heaven.  That is not biblical truth.  There is a line in the movie where the minister states “What if we truly believed that heaven is real?  Wouldn’t we live differently?”  (This quote may not be exact, but it is close.)  I would suggest a different question “What if we truly believe that both heaven and hell are real?  Wouldn’t we live differently?”  The Bible tells us in Revelation 20:15

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

If we truly believe this to be true, would we live any different?  If only heaven is real, that is one thing, but if both heaven and hell are real, how should we live?

 

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Eat, Pray, Love (movie review)

September 7, 2010

The film “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts is not so much a love story as it is a life story.  Roberts plays a writer who takes a year off to get her life in order.

The first four months she spends in Italy, basically eating and spending time with friends.  This time period represents the need to find enjoyment in the simple, material, things in life.  It also points out the need to slow down, and the value of doing nothing. Tasting life, you might say.

The next four months are spent in India learning the value of prayer, meditation and forgiveness.  This time period helps her to connect with the spiritual aspect of life.  Her earlier existence had been without spiritual influence.  There is a brief prayer in the beginning where she states that she had never talked to God before that point, so this is very new, and difficult for her to learn.

The next four months she spends in Bali.  During this period she rediscovers the importance of human relationships, and yes, love.   Also, she is taught the  importance  of balance.  Balancing the various aspects of life is the final lesson.

So “Eat, Pray, Love” is a story about appreciating, practicing, and balancing;  the material, spiritual and relational aspects of life.  In some ways, it teaches some very valid principles.  Unfortunately, these principles are discovered by pursuing non-Christian religious paths.  The movie could easily be used to encourage individuals to find meaning for their lives through various Eastern religions.

The only true and lasting meaning for life is to be found in Jesus Christ who said that “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6) and “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)

2012 (movie review)

April 6, 2010

A couple of days ago I watched the movie 2012.  I was interested in how they would present the material.  I first heard about the prophecies regarding 2012 a few years ago when a student wanted to do a paper on the information that she had been gathering from various sources.  It appears that in a number of religious traditions, the year 2012 has been suggested as the apocalyptic end of the world.

The movie was ok.  It was filled with the expected action, and special effects that one would expect in this genre.  I was glad that I did not pay to see it in a theatre, but waited for it to come out on dvd because it was not that good.

I noticed that they treated the religious predictions respectfully.  Christianity played only a small role.  I suspect that it was out of respect for various religious traditions that played a major role in the movie presentation.

There was an unexpected benefit.  For all practical purposes, a scenario which could result in a world-wide flood, was presented.  This provides some support for the flood story in Genesis.  In fact, the vessels that are used to preserve humanity in the movie are called arks.  Obviously a reference to Noah’s ark.  So overall, I came away with a small sense of support for religious traditions, which is a good thing.

Avatar

March 1, 2010

The movie Avatar finally came to our local theatre and my wife and I went to see it last Friday.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and will try to get to see it again when it is in a nearby IMAX.  I am sure that it will be highly entertaining.

It should be noted that it presents, in a very favorable light, a philosophical view called “deep ecology”.   This view suggests a very stong, living, connection between all things on the planet, especially living things.  It is a common feature of nature-based religions.  The native religion plays a major role in the movie, and so, even though the movie is obviously fictional, the similarities between the religion in the movie, and actually practiced religions, can result in an increased interest in nature based religions.

That is good news if you are seeking to promote nature based religions such as Daoism, Native American Spirituality, and Wicca.

Not so good, if you are seeking to promote Christianity.

“All About Steve” a commentary

January 14, 2010

The movie All About Steve starring Sandra Bullock was very different from The Proposal or The Blind Side, all of which came out this past year.  Basically it is the story of a women who creates crossword puzzles for the local paper for  a living.  She loves what she does, but does not make much money, still lives at home, (with a cover story of her apartment being fumigated) and is not in a relationship.  Still, she appears happy with who she is, and her life in general.

One day, after a particularly disastrous appearance at a local schools career day, she literally throws herself at Steve on their first date, which had been set up by both of their parents.  She writes a crossword focussed on him, loses her job and chases him around the country.

At first, I thought the movie was pretty stupid, but then I realized that they were trying to make a point.

Be happy with who you are, don’t let other peoples’ expectations guide your life. 

I like that.  Once I realized that the movie was not just a silly spoof, but a social commentary on how pointless it is to try to fulfill other peoples’ expectations it became much more enjoyable.