Tag Archives: Cinema

The Case for Christ movie opens today in theaters

Finally, a movie about Lee Strobel’s investigation of Christianity.

NewsMax has an article about the new movie.

Excerpt:

A former reporter and atheist who set out to disprove the existence of God – and came to “quite a different conclusion” – said Monday it is “disconcerting” to see his tumultuous story portrayed in a new film.

The movie based on the book “The Case For Christ,” which opens Friday, has had encouraging feedback at test previews, author Lee Strobel told Newsmax TV host Miranda Khan on Monday’s “Newsmax Prime.”

“A lot of faith-based films tend to be, if we’re honest, a little cringeworthy, a little cheesy,” he said. “And there’s none of that in this movie. This is a movie that is so well done from a production standpoint, the acting, the script, that we really are convinced that Christians will go to it, they’ll be encouraged . . . to come and see this story about a marriage, a love story, about a father-son story, and be drawn into the evidence.”

The movie stars include Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, and Faye Dunaway.

Strobel said after his wife converted to Christianity, he was anxious what it would mean for his marriage and “decided to . . . use my journalism and legal training and investigate the resurrection of Jesus, because I figured if I could disprove that, then the whole thing collapses.”

He said he came to “quite a different conclusion.”

“The evidence of history, I think, points powerfully and persuasively toward the conclusion that the resurrection is an actual historical event,” he said. “So, I became convinced that it’s true. I ended up becoming a Christian, and our lives changed from there.”

“It’s a little disconcerting because it’s my story, and it’s not a pretty story at some points,” he added. “A lot of our private arguments that we had about faith, they’re very personal, they’re now on the big screen.

“But we felt like there’s a lot of people who are curious about faith and wonder whether there’s any real evidence that God exists and that Jesus is who he claimed to be, and we thought, you know, if it can help people come to some resolution of that or begin their own investigation, then it’s worth kind of putting ourselves out there that way.”

I know what you’re thinking. Is this going to suck like so many other happy-clappy Christian movies, e.g. – God’s Not Dead 1?

Apparently, it’s actually a good movie:

Last night when my wife and I came to an early preview of The Case for Christ movie we had high, but hesitant, hopes. Far too often we have seen a trailer for an upcoming Christian movie that looked pretty good, only to be disappointed when we saw the actual movie. I’ve often used the qualification for half-way decent Christian films, “That was pretty good for a faith based film.

No such qualification was necessary for The Case for Christ. It was well written and superbly acted. It triggered both cheers and tears. It was a good movie.

This film was as much of a love story and a mystery as it was an apologetic for the Christian faith. It was equally relational and relentless. It kept you locked in right up until the climactic and emotional finale.

I can’t think of a movie better suited for you and your spouse to invite an unreached couple out to enjoy than this one. Afterward you can unpack the powerful message of the movie together. I call it a “popcorn and coffee double date.” Invite a couple out for a movie night, buy them tickets and popcorn and enjoy the movie together. Then take them out for coffee afterwards and ask,“What did you think about the message of the movie?” From there just let the conversation flow.

I almost NEVER go see movies in the theater, but I’m going to see this one for sure. I’ve read every single one of Lee Strobel’s books. It’s hard to say that they changed my life, because I was already a well-grounded Christian at that point. But it certainly gave me thrills to think that a very broad audience was going to get an evidence-based look at Christianity from those books. I expect the movie to reach an even larger audience than the books.

Here’s a passage from the Bible that I think is suitable, although the historical context of the passage is admittedly not especially applicable to Lee.

Jeremiah 29:10-14:

10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

You can find out more about the movie here.

Review of October Baby, a pro-life movie opening today

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s a review from Jay Watts of the Life Training Institute, my favorite pro-life organization.

Excerpt:

This past weekend I was privileged to see an advanced screening of October Baby. You can read the promotional material for the film here.

October Baby tells the story of young woman – Hannah, played by Rachel Hendrix – who finds out that there is an explanation for her lifetime severe physical and emotional struggles. She was adopted by her parents after she survived a botched abortion. With the help of her best friend – Jason played by Jason Burkey- they set out on a road trip to search out her birth mother and the full story of Hannah’s past.

Whatever concerns I had about the quality of the film I was screening were quickly allayed.October Baby is not an amateur production. The filmmakers, Andrew and Jon Erwin, understand how to make a movie. Anytime you watch an independent film you know that the producers sacrifice some elements of larger productions – usually film quality and acting – in order to tell a more personal and intimate story. The Erwin’s seem to understand the limits of a production at this level and use their unusual skill to mitigate the weaker elements of small films, or – more simply put – they shot an independent film that looks great.

My only concern about movies about abortion is that they will bash the men and make the women out to be innocent victims. I did a little digging and it seems to be that this movie does not do that. I’m not sure, but I think it takes a subtle shot at feminism – something I read seemed to indicate that.

It’s endorsed by Fathers.comThis interview with the actor who plays the adoptive father says this:

NCF: The character you play, the father in this film, has his own journey through the film. Describe his journey and maybe what you saw as some of the mistakes he made and some of the things he did right and some of the things he learned through this journey that’s portrayed in the film.

JS: Well, my guy, he did a very right thing when his wife and he lost their twins, miscarried their twins, when his wife came to him and said, “There are twins up for adoption that would have been born around the same time our twins would have been born.” Obviously he supported that and they went and adopted these two little babies even though one of them was horrifically disfigured and not likely to make it out of the hospital—and the other one had health issues as well. So this is a guy who supported his wife’s desire to have twins, he supported her faith that there was a reason why she was made aware of these twins. So, he did that right.

The only thing as far as I can see … there’s a wonderful line of dialogue in there where the daughter says, “Why didn’t you tell me?” And basically, without saying this exact line, he said that, “I was always going to, but life kind of got away from us. We were working and …” he was at that point trying to become a doctor, he was going to school, and they had financial trouble, and it just kind of got away from him. It didn’t slip his mind, but the perfect time to have that conversation never really appeared. So he had to do it under duress. He had to do it in a doctor’s office when she was wondering why she was always so sick. So if he did anything wrong, that was it. Because he’s very protective of his daughter with her friend….

I love that about the movie too—the platonic, wonderful, buddy relationship between my daughter and her pal in his movie is so real. And as a movie-goer, you think, Okay these two have got to get together somehow. But it just is so wonderfully real. So my character, the dad in this movie, does a great job, I think, of protecting her against a teenage boy’s stupidity [laughs] … his judgment, from an eighteen-year-old boy’s perspective.

And I’ve said this to my kids many times. I haven’t said it recently, but … “One of the biggest differences between me and you is that I’ve been seventeen, and you have not been fifty. So your perspective is very narrow, very short. It is your perspective, and I’m not going to discount it, but my job as a dad is … if I’ve sat on a stove that you’re about to hike your butt up onto, my responsibility is to let you know it’s hot. I’m not going to keep you from sitting on it, but I’m going to let you know that it’s going to hurt when you do.” I think there’s that in this film as well, and I like that.

As far as what he learns, I think he learns in this movie that the resiliency of a seventeen-year-old girl is more than he thought, that a young person can actually handle more emotional information, more potentially hurtful information than you think they can. So there’s that wonderful scene where he tells her the whole thing about her brother, and it’s so moving. He’s a dad, and it pains fathers when their children go through that “Dad is an idiot” stage. It really pains them. It’s not just confusing, it’s hurtful. But the good news, dad, is that it does have a shelf life. They do love their dads through all that stuff too, they just don’t let you know it. But later on they do. I used to tell friends of mine, “Don’t worry. They turn back into people just as magically as they turned into aliens.”

I think it’s safe for us men to watch this – we won’t be blamed and bashed. The father character is strong and good. I have seen the trailer posted on men’s rights blogs AND pro-life blogs, so it looks like it’s worth a shot.

Please post comments below if you go see the movie.