DAY 10. Favourite Christmas movie or song?
In my family, our get-together time is at lunch. With my sister and her fiancee getting married next year, I don’t know how long before little kids are added and they are spending holidays away, so I am thankful they will be coming.
As seen on CinemaParadiso.
There was a time when religious movies ran abound. When Heaven was not a fairy-tale and the harsh world knew that peace was attainable. Then came the time when in order to talk about Jesus and Heaven, films needed to first focus on the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. Thank the Lord that time has passed. The resurgence of Christian films brings a smile to my face and so does Heaven is for Real.
Colton Burpo is three years old when his stomach flu suddenly turns into appendicitis. His parents rush him to the hospital, and are given the heartbreaking news that complications gave their son little-to-no chance of survival. The parents pray, a miracle occurs, and Colton recovers. Four months later, he begins speaking of things and people he could not possibly know. He reveals the moments of his near death experience, and describes Heaven and seeing Jesus. His father, a Pastor at the local church, wants to believe his son, but finds the growing pressure from the community and arriving horde of media almost too much to process. Did Colton truly visit Heaven? Watch this movie and decide for yourself.
Rarely will you find a book that translates well into a film, but this film actually does. Firstly, the cast are amazing, with Greg Kinnear excellently playing the struggling father, and the adorable newcomer Connor Corum. Secondly, we all know it might not be factually correct. We don’t know what the afterlife will look like, and it has also been noted that there was no evidence reported that Colton was clinically dead during his surgery. However, it’s the point of the film, to bring about hope and individual religious discovery. The same could be said for Field of Dreams (1989). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that deceased baseball players will attend your field if you build one, but it was about hearing God and having the faith and trust in him to follow his commands, regardless of your temporary understanding.
In terms of the technical aspects, Heaven is for Real is creatively beautiful. The scenery is breathtaking, with the wide shots of the open farmland expanse and the bright colours of nature popping with intensity. The unique camera angles and visual effects work seamlessly, complementing the story.
Of course, a film like this will still have those that attack it for its religious message. Many reviews have commended the film for both its script and cast, while criticising it for how ‘preachy’ it was.
Whether you are a religious person or not, this movie is a must-see. It does not matter if what Colton – in real life – experienced was a true afterlife, but what his testimony stands for. It is a beautiful and heart-warming story that does not revolve around car chases or vampires, and has the ability to get important conversations started. With the recent line of Christian movies hitting the cinemas, now is a good time to gather the family and enjoy the flicks!
As seen on CinemaParadiso.
The experienced Kevin Sorbo and newcomer Shane Harper face off in the most recent Christian-based film to hit the big screen, arguing the controversial question: Is God Dead? The film is a perfect mix of logic and emotion, that anyone and everyone will love.
The recent influx of Christian-based films and mini-series’ is a wonderful thing. Watching them not only gets people talking, but also shows how God’s thousand-year-old promises are still accessible to us today.
Josh Wheaton (Harper) does not know what he is in for when he signs up to the college philosophy course, run by Professor Radisson (Sorbo). The students are all offered an easy passing grade, if they simply write: ‘God is Dead’. Wheaton, a Christian, refuses. Radisson offers an opportunity for him to pass: prove God is not dead. Wheaton accepts, but struggles to find the right words. He knows God sent him there for this very reason. He cannot fail.
Sometimes it is hard to describe exactly why you love a movie, but others times, everything just works.
There are not many familiar faces in the cast, but I am sure we will be seeing many of them in leading roles in the future. Kevin Sorbo is not as we have seen him before. He is not a Greek hero. He does not show-off his rippling muscles. Instead, he plays the role of the antagonist perfectly, not only portraying a human obstacle the hero must overcome, but also allowing his own character to come to life. Shane Harper brilliantly takes on the pressure-filled leading role. Coming from a mainly dancing background, it is amazing to see the depth of acting-emotion he has – though he still has room for improvement. Special guest stars such as Willie and Korie Robertson, from Duck Dynasty also bring a more light-hearted feel to the film.
Christian music has been growing in popularity over the years, and the Christian pop-rock band Newsboys – whose songs feature in the film – are sure to gain more fans with their inspiring music.
Overall, the film gives a very important lesson to learn. Colleges and universities all over the world claim to want open-mindedness, but criticise and taunt when a Christian walks in. There are legitimate arguments proving God’s existence, and so-called intellectuals need to hear it. Films like these get people talking about Christianity and doing the research for themselves.
As can be expected, most online reviews are very unfavourable. Criticisms range from its general faith-based story, to how preachy it was, and even the camera techniques. Despite this, audiences are quickly filling the seats and proclaiming their approval.
Not everything in this film is perfect – such as their stand on evolution and the big bang theory – so it’s important to watch the film, but then go out and read the Bible. This film was shot in a total of twenty days and has already gained over thirty-times its production budget. There is a definite market for Christian-based films and it seems, for the meantime at least, they are here to stay.