REVIEW: Unbroken

There is a conversation going on in Hollywood and on the film talk sites that there are not enough women directors making films.  I agree that this is a shame but it has lead to people being overly complimentary of any work that a woman has done in the director’s chair.  You will find praise for Lexi Alexander, even though I personally find no reason to give her praise at all for the films she has directed.  You will find praise for Catherine Hardwicke who I feel is a very subpar director.  I did enjoy The Nativity Story but I feel the first Twilight film had so many missteps that it really began the franchise on a poor note.  There are other female directors out there that do have promise but I had high hopes for Angelina Jolie.  The trailer for Unbroken looked fantastic! But when the critic reviews began to hit they where way below expected.  At one point the “rotten tomatoes” critic score went below 50%.  This means that only half of the movie critics out there actually liked the film.  This was disappointing to me and made me wonder if Angelina Jolie bit off more then she could chew with such a large story and huge movie.  It crossed my mind to just see this when it hit Redbox.  However, a few things happened since then.  One was, I began this blog and Unbroken certainly did have a faith aspect to it.  The main character, Louis Zamperini famously gave his life to Christ and began to do work for the Kingdom.  The second thing that happened became so confusing to me that I began to question these film critics who gave it a poor score.  It was nominated for Best Picture in the Critics Choice Awards.  Some of you may say “I don’t put much stock in awards, it’s all political.” But the Critics Choice Awards is voted on by the Critics, the same Critics that gave this movie a low score.  Other films where left off the list that got much higher scores. At this point my curiosity got the better of me and I had to go see how Jolie did.

REVIEW

I have wrestled around with adding some sort of “star rating” to my reviews but this always cause me problems.  First, I know 5 stars wouldn’t be enough because if I see 3 stars my mind should tell me that the film was above average, but that is not what my mind sees.  My mind sees a negative review.  The other problem I have is, depending on the day and how long ago I saw the movie my stars would change.  I have seen many movies that left me feeling like I hated the movie but as I sit and think about it I find I actually really liked it. I also have loved movies that I watched but over time my excitement for the film leaves and I find I didn’t like it as much.  So as for now, I don’t think I will be doing the star thing… maybe if I think it is a 5 Star or something… I don’t know, still thinking.

I will tell you that I was not disappointed at all with Jolie’s direction! I think the movie was beautiful! I think she pulled off a retro, throwback feel to the old classic WWII films I grew up loving and that feel was PERFECT for this story.  I will also make a bold statement that many might disagree with but I feel she pulled off a Ron Howard tone in her movie, like an early Ron Howard.  Obviously she does not Have the experience Ron Howard does and it showed slightly but I was very impressed with the look and feel of the film.

The story did seem to have a slow burn to it.  I have heard people describe it as slow or even boring.  I did not get this, I chose the words “slow burn” on purpose.  Again, to make the comparison to Ron Howard, I felt it had the slow burn of a movie like A Beautiful Mind or Cinderella Man, again.  Not that it was done as well as those but that is the feel I got from the flow of the story.  All these things together tell me that Jolie is a woman director to get honestly excited about.  Unlike some of the other ones who do not live up to their praise.  I would certainly welcome more from Jolie and am interested to see how she progresses as she hones her craft.

QUESTIONABLE CONTENT

As I am aware that some people reading this might want to know about the content of the movie because some people want to filter the things they watch and I am all for their right to do so.  Different things affect people differently and I have my lines I draw as to movies I refuse to see over certain content. Because your line might be different then mine I still encourage anyone to look over the exhaustive list of questionable content provided by Plugged In.  However I will quick give you a little right here.

The film is not devoid of foul or harsh language but I would contend that it is no more than you would hear as you would catch conversations while walking through the mall.  The movie has violence, he was in a concentration camp and torture is shown, although it was very much toned down from what he actually went through.  There is a scene of nudity as two prisoners are stripped down to be washed up in the concentration camp.

CHRISTIAN CONTROVERSY

While reading various reviews from some Christian Movie reviewers and some Facebook comments and such I began to see a little bit of a pattern.  It seemed many Christians and fans of the book where disappointed that more of his life as a Christian was not shown.  In fact, none of it was.  Only a line at the end that he eventually made good on his promise to God.  If you would humor me though, I would like to lay out a different approach to the film.  I find myself more and more trying to look for the good in films because I am very concerned that the big studios are going to eventually say “Well, we can’t seem to do anything right for Christians so why try!” after The Year of the Bible I am afraid this might be the case already.

So here is my alternative Christian response that I want to argue, you can take it or leave it. The movie was called Unbroken, what the writers and director and producers did was created a movie around that focus.  They attempted to show how he went through everything and didn’t break.  The film was already a long movie and some people already feel the movie didn’t do justice to the torment he went through.  So, the question becomes, do you remove the things that he went through to insert more of his life after the war? If you feel the answer is yes, then you run the risk of watering down even more his struggle which has already been lessened by the restraint shown by the film makers.

If you do this, and make it seem like he came home and gave his life directly to God and began serving God, you are not telling the truth and once again, you belittle some of what he went through.  After the war he did not become a Christian right away.  He went through so much more as a very broken man.  He got into many bar fights, he married (as the movie said) but began to beat his wife as a response to his post traumatic stress.  He was once caught shaking his baby because she was crying and he wanted her to stop. His wife eventually divorced him out of an attempt to gain some safety.  If you add these things to the movie suddenly you have a movie that feels like it should be called “Broken” instead of “Unbroken.”

The problem is not that the filmmakers tried to belittle the Christian aspect of his life.  I feel they were very clear that he was searching through all these events but if they were to add these things the focus of the film would have been much more scattered and the story would have become choppy as they try to fit too much in.  You would have had a film that would not do justice to any aspect of what he went through because you tried to fit it all in.

What I propose is watch the film like it is.  Don’t expect the Gospel to be shared. That isn’t this films job, it is yours as a follower of Christ.  Use it to begin a conversation, read up on Louis’ story.  Inform people on the rest of the story and don’t leave out the darkness because when the darkness is made lighter the light becomes dimmer.  Don’t be frustrated that the movie stopped short of the Christian message, to become a Christian Louis had to be broken, it wouldn’t have fit into this portion of his story.

Here is my hope, I hope that someone out there decides to make an unofficial sequel to Unbroken.  It would make for a perfect movie by World Wide Pictures (the film branch of Billy Graham Ministries.) If anyone does it, do it with quality! Make sure you secure a respectable budget for it! Call it “Broken” make it a love story at the beginning as he meets his wife.  Show how things spiral out of control and she realizes the horror she got herself into.  Show his obsession with plotting the murder of The Bird.  She him leaving in anger from the Billy Graham meeting.  Show his redemption! Build on what this movie had done! Those two films side by side would make for a great full story of Louis’ life! In this respect, you will find that this film didn’t cut anything out, it simply didn’t have the time to tell the entire story and still doing it justice! If you watch the movie after reading this, or even if you have seen it, I challenge you to view it like this, like it is not the entire story.  For now, the rest of the story is yours to tell family and friends.  To expect someone else to tell the story for you would rob you of the personal touch you can give the story.  It can be a time of good conversation and good fellowship.  Read up on it! Use his story! The story God wrote with Louis Zamperini as the pen!  Part of the story was told for you, finish it with friends! And World Wide Pictures…  feel free to contact me for pointers on how to proceed.

As always, to my friends family and any other readers I might have, grace and peace to you from our Heavenly Father!

2015 – Biblical and Faith Based movies due out this coming year

2014 is coming to a close.  It was suppose to be the year that the Bible would rule the movie screens.  It was dubbed “The Year of the Bible.” I for one was excited, but unfortunately it didn’t pan out that way.  It seemed ok at first, independent Christian films did better in the boxoffice then they have ever done before.  Son of God and God’s Not Dead both grossed more than any other Christian film, if you don’t count The Passion of the Christ since that had Mel Gibson doing the pushing behind that, both had final numbers around $60 Million, not bad.  It was surly a greater feat for God’s Not Dead which was made for only $2 Million dollars.  Then came Heaven is For Real, just when you thought Christian movies couldn’t be topped this year, it goes and grosses over $91 Million! What did these films have in common? They were all made by people who believed in the message and theme of the movie.  Next came Hollywood’s attempt to make some money in this bracket.  Noah was certainly not a flop grossing a total of $362 Million worldwide.  Only $101 Million in the US which was disappointing to the studio, but money is money and they don’t care where it comes from.  Exodus, on the other hand is most certainly a flop, this big budget, big studio movie looks like it will have trouble topping God’s Not Dead and even if it does, it will register a significant financial loss for Fox.  With the way the Year of the Bible ended one might wonder if 2015 will see any Biblical or Christian entertainment.  Well, the answer is, yes! Below I will list what Bible or faith based entertainment we have to look forward to in 2015!

On TV

March 31, 2015 – Dovekeepers – This is a miniseries based on a book which is being produced by Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey, the producers of The Bible miniseries.

April 5, 2015 – A.D. : Beyond the Bible – Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are going to have a busy year in 2015 as they will bring the events after the death of Jesus to life in another 12 hour miniseries.  That’s not the last time we will see them on this list.

Films About Faith

March 20,  2015 – Do You Believe? –  From the independent studio and the writers that brought you God’s Not Dead and the director who brought you nothing… because this is his first time directing.  Pure Flix tries to recapture the success they had in God’s Not Dead.

February 27, 2015 – Little Boy – Also from producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, this is a film I am very excited for.  If you have not seen the trailer, look it up! This movie looks well done and it has Kevin James in it!  From what I can tell the film is going to focus on faith in general rather than focus on Christianity but it does look like the faith is set in a Christian context.

Biblical Films

April 2015 – Mary – This is being called the official prequel to The Passion of the Christ.  It was titled Mary: Mother of Christ but has since simplified its name.  One of the producers listed on the film is Joel Osteen and regardless of how you feel about him it does say that someone connected to the film believes in it.  I do not have near as high of hopes for this film as I did for The Passion of the Christ because few directors can match Mel Gibson’s eye and talent.

2015 – Clavius – This film does not have a specific release date and is not as far along as one might hope for an Easter release date but I still have hope.  This film was at one point called Resurrection.  It is about a Roman investigation into the disappearance of the Body of a religious leader, Jesus.  I think the premise sounds good and I can tell you that if you are concerned about how they will portray it I can tell you that it would not benefit them or even make for a good story if it ends with “Oh yeah, he really didn’t come back from the dead” so I am confident this movie will at least be tolerable in it’s portrayal of Jesus.  Another reason I am excited for this film, it is being directed by Kevin Reynolds, the director of my current favorite movie of all time The Count of Monte Cristo.

There may be more that I do not know about, and I will make sure to update any readers I might have if I hear of other films but the faith based movies will continue and I hope that they continue upward.  More movies are slated in 2016 and beyond, I will highlight those at another time.  Grace and Peace to you from our Heavenly Father.

EDITORIAL: Exodus, How did we get here and where do we go from here?

In my last blog post I shared my thoughts on the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings.  For better or worse Exodus is going to make a huge impact in the entertainment industry, it already has.  Is it the impact that we would like to see? That is what I will examine today.

EXODUS: HOW DID WE GET HERE

I think we should start with The Passion of the Christ back in 2004.  This movie, about a small segment of the Bible made big bucks at the box office.  How big? Well, domestically it made over $370 Million and if you add in worldwide numbers (Which has become more and more important over the past 10 years) you have a movie that made over $600 Million.  Take into consideration that only $30 Million was spent on the movie (about the cost of making an Adam Sandler Comedy).  This movie would have been considered a moderate success at $60 Million.  The message was heard loud and… semi-clear… well… it was heard! Movies with religious themes can make money.  In the years to follow we have The Passion of the Christ to thank for The Nativity Story and even The Chronicles of Narnia.  The Passion of the Christ was used as an example in the pitch to do a Narnia film.  Faith was no longer something that scared the industry; they saw that there is money to be made there.

Now, what to do with that? Well, the movie studios tried to find a place in their studios for movies such as these and I think it was a valiant effort that went pretty much unnoticed by its target audience.  Fox started a division called “Fox Faith” which released solid movies such as The Ultimate Gift and One Night With the King (A well done movie about the story of Esther.) However, these movies did not make the kind of profit that Fox is used to.  Many of them made a profit but Fox figured they could make more money by putting their recourses elsewhere. They were probably right.  It was not an anti-Christian or anti-faith move, it was a business decision, risk and reward and stuff like that.  Also keep in mind that Fox did not develop any of these movies, they just distributed the films.  Other studios actually produced the movies and had help from Fox getting as wide of an audience as independent films of this nature can possibly get.

Later Sony Entertainment or the branch of Sony called Provident, which was created as a Christian music Label branched out with Provident films.  It is because of Provident films that we have such movies as Fireproof and Courageous.  They distributed the movies created by Sherwood Baptist Church way back with their first film, Flywheel.  Also, in a structure that I don’t really understand because I am not business minded, Sony also started Affirm Films which distributed When the Game Stands Tall, Soul Surfer, and the current reigning champion of Christian Films, Heaven is For Real.  Sony via their Affirm Films is having much better success in the faith based market and we have the success of The Passion of the Christ to thank for its beginning.

The next chapter in the story takes place in 2013. When The History Channel aired a mini-series called The Bible.  The ratings for this mini-series were through the roof.  Once again the entertainment industry was reminded that people do have interest in the Bible! Because of the hype that was already being stirred up just because of the anticipation of the miniseries many studios gave the green light to Bible based films that they had in the pipeline.  Some people were calling 2014 the year of the Bible and I was overjoyed.

The first up was Noah, marketing for this film was fantastic.  They utilized Christian Music Festivals and concerts to excite their main target audience.  The idea was, if you could excite the Christians it would spread.  The promo video had the director sharing about how he loved these Characters of faith, bits of the movie were pieced together so audiences saw familiar images of the story they knew and wanted.  Opening weekend was almost $44 Million, but large drop-offs showed that many Christians who saw the film did not speak favorably about it.  Add this to the Christians who didn’t speak favorably about it to begin with and you have a lot of negativity effecting sales in its second weekend.  When all was said and done, Noah was still profitable and in the eyes of investors The Year of the Bible was still alive!

Now, December rolls around and the release of Exodus: Gods and Kings, a movie I personally enjoyed more than Noah, gets its time to shine… and it doesn’t.  Opening weekend Exodus made half of what Noah made and dropped big from there.  It looks like Exodus is going to be Ridley Scott’s second worst grossing historical epic this side of Gladiator, second only to Kingdom of Heaven.  With a showing like that, and removing the cut for the theaters and the money for promotion, Fox is looking at losing a large amount of money on this venture into the Bible.

EXODUS: THE FALLOUT

Now, the question is, how will the entertainment industry view this? Will they look at it and say “Well, Exodus was a dud because it was poorly put together.” Or “So, the faith based community would like to see a more faithful interpretation of their beloved stories.” I can promise you that is not what will be heard and there is already proof.

Now is the time to reflect on the past year as it comes to a close.  Many sites are writing articles lake “Best movies of 2014.” One site, io9.com, wrote an article called “The Top 10 Harshest Lessons That 2014 Has Taught the Entertainment Industry.” #5 was “You can’t make a tentpole Bible movie that pulls in Christian audiences.”  I strongly disagree with this statement but I am confident that this is the message that is out there right now.  The Year of the Bible was not going to end in 2014.  Many projects that I will highlight in a later post are in the works, some of them are too far along to pull the plug now, and that is a good thing.  However, Studios are taking notice of Exodus.  They are seeing that Christians made up their mind before they even saw the film.  They are afraid that their films will suffer the same fate, being judged before even getting a chance.

               WB had a project in the works called Pontius Pilate, it was to star Brad Pitt as Pilate.  Within hours of the numbers coming in on how Exodus was doing Brad Pitt dropped out of the movie.  Within hours of that news it was reported that WB had dropped the whole project.  I am sure that this is not the last of the bible films to be dropped.  I am sure that we will hear very soon that the King David project that Ridley Scott was producing will be dropped as well. 

                You might be tempted to say “So what! It is better to not have any Bible films than to have Bible films that twist scripture.” And I would like to argue a different point.  Wouldn’t it be best to risk unbiblical interpretations so that we might have a chance for an accurate movie to come out and spread truth.  You see, I am not afraid of lies.  The Bible has stood the test of time.  It has outlasted lie after lie.  God is larger than mans attempts to twist him.  He is greater than the father of lies.  I served with a Pastor who said, almost every day, Scripture will never come back void.  After Noah, The Bible app saw a spike in searches for Noah by over 300%.  An unbiblical movie lead to 300% more people reading scripture then before.  Yes, you can say some damage was done, but I have faith that light shines in darkness.  I will go see five inaccurate movies in hopes of seeing even one more faithful and well done scriptural movie.

 

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

Well, the Entertainment business is gun shy again,  Pulling plugs on projects.  For movies already too far in development to stop, I am sure money is being pulled for promotion and even for post production which will lead to some films becoming less quality because there is no money to finish the directors original vision.  But all is not lost! It is not the end! We will still have more chances to redeem the Biblical movie.  There is still the possibility of films that we as Christians can rally around. What do I recommend moving forward? Well, here are my recommendations:

  1. Don’t be jaded against “Hollywood” – Hollywood is a business, it is a machine made up of many parts. There are Bible Believing Christians working in this industry.  Let us root for their opinions to become more valuable in production.
  2. Let’s give movies a chance. – to buy a ticket to see a movie that may or may not be biblical is not giving money to Satan. Your ticket money is like voting, the more people that vote, the more valuable your opinion becomes.  They want you to like their movie so much that you will see it again in theaters then buy the DVD, giving them a chance is not guaranteeing more inaccurate movies are coming, it is letting them know you are willing to vote with your money.
  3. Use an inaccurate movie as a gateway to real scripture and to begin conversations about God, the Bible, faith.
  4. STOP SPITTING VENOM! When movies based on the Bible come out, Christians have the spotlight. When someone, Christian or Non-Christian, likes the film do not cry “evil” or “sinner” simply because they saw redemption when you did not.  We are to show love.  Voice why you did not like it.  Look for redeeming qualities in a film that you can focus on.  Remember, God is bigger than you, he doesn’t need you to defend him.  Stand for truth but also stand for love.
  5. And finally, in the future, if you see a biblical film that you enjoy. If you want to send a message that you want more films like this.  You MUST see it in theaters more than once.  I know, it is expensive, and I have not always done this either because of finances but if you can at all swing it, do it! See it again! Bring friends! If you are well off enough, pay for your friend! Buy the DVD or Blu-Ray! This is how we vote! If you don’t like it, just see it the one time.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and let me know some of your thoughts in the comment section below!   Grace and peace to you from our Heavenly Father!

My Exodus:Gods and Kings Review

Exodus Gods and Kings Moses

 

I think it is only fitting that my first blog post would be a review of the Ridley Scott directed movie Exodus: Gods and Kings after all, I have only been saying this should happen for over a decade now.  I have wanted to see a return to the epic films that Hollywood used to make back in the days of The Ten Commandments, The Robe, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Ben-Hur.  After seeing Gladiator for the first time back in 2000 (it was the first movie I ever saw multiple times in theaters) I knew that the time had come! And I knew I wanted Ridley Scott to lead the way! And I waited… and waited… and waited… I watched him do Blackhawk Down, I watched him do Kingdome of Heaven, I watched Robin Hood, I watched him hit everything else except what I wanted! I wanted to see grand stories of the Bible come to life in a way that I thought only Ridley Scott could do.  So when I heard that he was going to be doing a movie called at the time, simply, Exodus, I was over the moon.  I began to see a trend in movies going into development that the Bible was finally in! Movie studios where finally seeing the potential in these stories.

Then came Noah.  I had very high hopes for Noah and to spite all the negativity surrounding the movie I still had high hopes. They were smashed as a sat and watched, not just a biblically inaccurate movie (which I was expecting) but a boring one at that.  But all was not lost, Ridley Scott is one of my favorite directors, there are only a hand full of Directors that I like enough to see any movie they put out and Ridley Scott is at the top of that very short list.  I felt like there was enough time that they could learn from Noah.

Let me start by answering this very basic but important question.  Did I like the film? I warn you that when it comes to Ridley Scott I seem to have a blind spot.  Scott seems to be the only director that consistently does this to me.  Many times I will see a Ridley Scott film and like it or even love it, then I realize I am in the minority.  I really enjoyed Robin Hood, I enjoyed Kingdom of Heaven, Prometheus is one of my favorite sci-fi films, all these movies I enjoyed while most did not.  With that warning, I answer, did I like Exodus: Gods and Kings? The Answer is yes! I did.  I am aware that many critics did not.  I heard there criticism and began to wonder if they were biased against it because of its topic, The Bible, but Christians began to share the same views as the critics.  It became clear to me that I might have watched this movie with my Ridley Scott loving glasses on.  So I put off writing this review until I could chew over the movie some more.  After much thought, some aspects of the film I enjoyed even more after thinking about them and some I enjoyed less.  Let me break them down for you.

SOURCE MATERIAL

Was this movie biblically faithful? You see, I understand that in order to put together a good movie, sometimes you need to take liberties.  I am of the firm opinion that when it comes to Biblical adaptations that it should be easier than some people make it out to be.  For example, Genesis gives us an outline of events to make a Noah film .  What would I have enjoyed seeing? I wanted a movie that hits the points of the outline while creating a human story within those points.  What did I get? I got a story that messed with the points of the outline, rearranged them, inserting a message the director wanted to get out that really seemed forced.  To the point that if the role was reversed and this was a secular story that a Christian Director played with to tell a Christian message people would have accused him of being “preachy.” I felt like Aronofsky had a message he wanted to tell and he used a story he never intended to take seriously to further his message.

So, did Exodus hit the points of the “outline” in the Bible.  Not even close! If you go into the film expecting a faithful or even semi-faithful telling of Exodus you will be very disappointed.

THE STORY

So now, the question then needs to become, was the story they told good? Since a director would say that they take liberties to tell a good story.  Well, this is a more difficult question.  Here is how I would answer it, the story was good, but poorly told.  This is the aspect that I needed to take of my Ridley Scott glasses to see.  If I judge the story of the movie removing from my mind the story from the Bible I would say that the story had some good ideas.  Some ideas that I think could have worked well even within the outline already provided but it was told in a rushed and choppy way.

For example, the potential was there for a great epic romance between Moses and his wife Zipporah. Instead, they flirt at a watering well, cut scene, they are married. Even with my Ridley Scott loving glasses on in the theater I remember it was jarring.

One of the things I was most excited about seeing was the plagues.  If anything in this story lends itself to the unique eye that Scott brings it is the plagues but, they felt rushed.  It was such a short segment of the film, they did in fact look great but I wanted them more spread out.  Peppered throughout the story.  Instead you will most likely  see on the blu-ray a chapter called “The Plagues.”

Would you like to see the show down between Moses and Pharaohs magicians? Too bad.  It is not there. Moses staff? Nope. Burning bush? Well… yes… kind of, maybe… in a scene that is left up to the viewer to interpret the burning bush scene could have been a vision or it could have been physical.

SO WHY DID YOU LIKE IT?

After all these things, you might ask me why I still say I enjoyed the movie.  Well, I will try to convey to you way:

  1. First, I honestly tell you it is because there is something about a Ridley Scott film that resonates with me like no other director can. I can’t put my finger on it.  I know part of it is that his movies are just so beautiful that I wish all movies would look as fantastic as his.  Exodus certainly would be proof of that.
  2. The Second reason, there was nothing that seemed anti-religion.
  3. The Third, the story was taken seriously. There was no attempt to make it seem like a myth.  It was not set in a fantasy world, it was set in our world.

Now that I write those out it seem like a shorter list than what was originally in my head but let me expand on my second point.  You see, as a Pastor viewing the film, I very much felt like I was sitting next to Ridley Scott as he honestly tried to wrestle with scripture.  He tried to figure out why people believe, maybe what would help him believe.  It seemed he approached the story by asking himself “If this is indeed real, how might it have looked?” I felt like Ridley Scott was sitting there wanting to have a biblical conversation about the story and he wanted to have that conversation with me.  I wanted to say “Ok, Ridley, let’s go get some coffee and talk this over.”

I felt quite the opposite from how I felt when I left Noah.  When I left Noah I felt preached at.  I felt like Darran Aronofsky would have rolled his eyes at me and said “You don’t actually want me to take this story seriously, do you?” I felt like he took Noah and said “Well, since this story is so outdates and no one could possibly believe it, I will tell a fantasy story and insert my environmental views in it while also showing you images of how things really went down as the fanciful main character tells his myth.” Aronofsky’s approach was much less honest, respectful and shall I even say, conversational.  When I say conversational, I mean that felt like we wouldn’t have been able to have a conversation because it would have become a shouting match as he rolls his eyes at me and scoffs at everything I say.

But back to Exodus.  If felt that it was told by an atheist, not an anti-theist.  Let me explain why I felt this way.  Some people have mentioned that they hated the fact that the conversations with God (or the boy playing God who was not really suppose to be God but rather a messenger named Malak, which is Hebrew for Angle or Messenger) seemed like hallucinations. Well, sometimes in life, as Christians we can have times that we are confident God is speaking to us, then people will begin to talk us out of it and we begin to doubt ourselves.  I personally really related to this and did not view this as Scott making a statement that God was a hallucination.  The proof of this is that things happened when the “hallucination” acted.  The plagues began when Malak nodded, Moses had inside knowledge of coming events.  Hallucinations can’t make things happen and they certainly can’t predict the future.

Also, one line in the movie really hit me had.  I loved it so much it might have helped improve my view of the movie simply by being in the movie.  Moses was given the warning that the plague of death was coming.  He was given instructions on how to keep people from falling victim by sacrificing a lamb and putting the blood around your doors.  The Israelites had the question of “How can we believe you?” Moses answers “If I am wrong pity the lamb, but if I am right, the lamb bless us forever!” It was in my opinion the greatest part of the movie.

Glenn Beck mentioned that when Moses got to the Red Sea he becomes frustrated and throws his sword into the water in anger.  Though I like to hear Glenn Beck’s take on things, sometimes I agree, sometimes I do not, this is one time I think Beck completely misunderstood the situation. Moses does not throw his sword in frustration at God, the sword was the last thing he was holding onto from his Egyptian life.  Moses throws that away.  Symbolically showing that Moses was embracing his Hebrew self and leaving his Egyptian self behind.  It was this relinquishing that begins the, albeit very slow, parting of the sea.  In life we often say we are giving God everything but we seem to like to try to find a way to hold on to our old life to but when we finally let go of that last part God will do great things in our lives.

CONCLUSION

Did I like the film? Yes.  Will everyone like the film? No. Is that ok? Yes.  The movie hit me in a certain way that it might not hit other people, that is fine, it is the wonderful thing about movies but with that in mind, I would ask that you leave room for those who do like it.  They can like it and still love Jesus.  To like this film is not to disrespect the Bible.  I would have preferred they went a different direction.  If I was sitting next to Ridley Scott while making the film there would have been many times I would have voiced my dislike of aspects of his film but I was not there.  This movie was made, I liked some things, I didn’t like others.  Everyone needs to find something to do with that.  For me, I am going to look at the good things in it.  I will use the movie to bring up conversations about “that lamb that bless us forever.” Just like I would have done if I found any enjoyment in the Noah movie.  Which I did not.

Grace and Peace to all of you from God our Father!