Julie Reviews "Risen"
Grade: A (2016)
This movie depicts the crucifixion of Jesus and what transpired after he had risen from the dead. The thing that makes this movie different than others I have seen is that it is written from the perspective of a Roman Tribune. His position is a Roman military commander under Pilate (the Roman governor). The Roman Centurion we see in scripture would probably have been under his command. Although Pilate and the Roman Centurion are mentioned specifically in the gospels during the crucifixion of Christ, the Roman Tribune is not (but according to Roman military ranks, a Roman Tribune would have existed).
This Tribune, who the filmmakers have named Clavius, is charged by Pilate to find the body of Christ that was “stolen” from the grave on the third day in order to prevent an uprising of the people claiming that He is risen. In the quest to complete his mission, this unbeliever is desperately searching for truth in the matter. This film is the story of what he finds along the way on his journey.
I think the filmmakers did an excellent job of inserting a fictitious character (whose position would have militarily existed) into the Biblical accounts to give us the viewpoint of an unbeliever seeing the events unfold before his eyes. This film does show the crucifixion scene, various dead bodies, and also has a battle scene in the beginning which would be too gruesome for small children. However, that being said, the military prowess of the Roman army with them locking together as one unit with their shields out to advance upon their enemy while thoroughly protecting their own was as impressive to see as it was hard to watch seeing that their “enemy” was an insurrection of Jewish people. All in all, I would recommend this movie as one worth watching.
Pastor Ken Reviews "Heaven is for Real"
Grade: A+ (2014)
This movie claims to be the true story of a boy who went to heaven. I do not doubt it for a minute. With the exception of one bonehead comment from the boy’s dad, the movie is theologically sound and wonderfully inspirational
Heaven is Real is a complete pleasure to watch from start to finish. Your children over age 8 will love it and so will you. Don’t expect lots of special effects. What makes this movie an A+ rated movie is the way the boy reveals facts about his trip that could only be known by a real visit to heaven. Don’t miss this film, out on DVD shortly.
Pastor Ken Reviews "Noah"
Grade: C- (2014)
Recently, I went to go see the movie “Noah” starring Russell Crowe and would like to offer my insights. It is not often that Hollywood spends $100 million to retell a biblical story. The truth is that this movie is not a retelling of the biblical story. It is the producers’ fanciful creation, loosely based on the biblical account.
There are certain things in the movie which were very well done. The appearance of the ark, the animals coming to Noah, the idea of hibernation while the animals were on the ark, and the great special effects of the storm waters of above and the flood waters from below were stunning.
Everything the Bible says about Noah can be read in a matter of twenty minutes. Therefore, we have to assume that a movie of this kind will be filled with much conjecture. This is an expected part of artistic license. The problem with this movie is that much of the conjecture is not only outside of the biblical narrative but is contrary to the biblical narrative.
The movie features living rock people, a strong twenty-first century environmental theme, and completely ignores man’s sinful condition as being the reason for the worldwide flood. There is more attention given to ancient Jewish mythology than the book of Genesis. In fact, God is nowhere to be found in this movie. The word “God” is never used, not once. Noah (Russell Crowe) speaks of The Creator. How can you make a movie about Noah without God’s involvement?
It is the absence of God in this story that is its greatest shortcoming.
I would not take my children to this movie because the many factual inaccuracies would bring too much confusion. Noah is depicted as mentally unstable, and at one point contemplates the execution of his children and family.
The bottom line is, the book is a lot more rewarding than the movie.