One of the things that people like about movies is the hope they bring or the fulfillment of a hope. Superheroes beat the villains, the guy gets the girl, the suave thieves getaway…we all watch with hope of a desired outcome!
And today is all about hope!
Every Easter, or Resurrection Sunday as I love to refer to it as, is special to me because it is a day that now is widely used to acknowledge and celebrate the fact (yes, I did say “Fact”) that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, rose again from the grave after giving His life for you…and me…and the entire world so that we can live with hope and have eternal life after our physical life ceases.
John 3:15-17 “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Because of the gift of His love, death, burial, resurrection and promise of return we can live with HOPE!
I realize that this may not be the belief of everyone reading this. I implore you to consider the message here…that being that with Christ’s resurrection comes the faith and hope of our own and eternal life with Him. There’s more to life after life.
I live with that hope inside of my heart and it gives me joy! I recently sat down to watch the released film God’s Not Dead that hit theaters appropriately during this time of year and opted to post my review for it on Resurrection Sunday. Below is my mini-review:
Plot: “Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future…GOD’S NOT DEAD weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a dramatic call to action.”
Starring: Shane Harper (High School Musical 2), Kevin Sorbo (Andromeda), Dean Cain (Lois &Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), David A.R. White (Revelation Road) and more.
Review: Most Christian films such as these (Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants) share the same look and feel along with a certain tone of importance to the message of the story told. They, unfortunately, also share the same level of character development and acting that is, at best, described as tolerable. That being said…and out of the way…the overall message of the film and its portrayal is the major point of the film and is not to be overlooked. The main focus of this film is the way in which God can be evident in people’s lives and that he is NOT dead.
I liked this film. Truly. Interestingly, the characters’ stories interweave and help show a common thread and struggle among them all. Will this film satisfy the mental checklists of all moviegoers looking for that perfect film and wanting to put a check next to each sought after rating category (i.e. Acting, Story, Comedy, Cinematography, Soundtrack, Visual Effects, Action, Drama, Romance, Conflict, etc)? The answer here is “no.” It will, however, inspire or intrigue its viewers while entertaining with a couple of comedic stories along the way.
At first, I wasn’t going to review this film but I decided to simply because I grew tired of seeing so many terrible reviews blasting this film when it isn’t as terrible as they make it out to be. I tend to think that when we (as humans) are pre-disposed to not like something then it gets graded even harsher (and vice-versa) and I find that to be no more evident than in the case of films dealing with Christianity.
The film, is by no means, an epic but it does have its moments. It is a story (based on a mix of several actual similar cases) about defending one’s beliefs and not conforming for sake of convenience. Expecting nothing more than classroom debate, God’s Not Dead brings in more (perhaps too much) that ties it together and makes it more interesting than a dramatized debate similar to Ken Hamm and Bill Nye’s from earlier this year. It does present familiar arguments with rebuttals on both sides and does a decent job in guiding audiences’ feelings towards the characters and their individual struggles.
Some (on both sides of the coin) will view the film as nothing more than propaganda, others may view it as only a promoter for further sales of the Newsboys’ music album “God’s Not Dead,” while others will view it as the best film defense of Christianity since The Passion of the Christ. I saw it as neither extreme and came away wanting more people to see it. Perhaps no one will change their position from just this one film, but it does possibly accomplish its two-fold goal: inspire Christians to share their faith unashamedly and intrigue non-believers to consider the existence of God.
-T, The Focused Filmographer