Monday, August 20, 2007

Christian Movie Reviews - The Simpsons Movie

The new Simpsons movie, based on the popular TV show, has been subject to many christian movie reviews.

Most people who responded to a recent poll comment that, based on the TV show, the simpsons movie is not appropriate for Christians.

"The world's largest Christian portal with twelve million monthly page loads, asked participants in a recent poll, "Is 'The Simpsons Movie' appropriate for Christians?" The majority of Christians polled had not seen the movie, but based their answers on their opinion of the TV show. According to Bill Cooper, President of ChristiaNet, "It is refreshing to see that the majority of Christians can discern when entertainment is crossing the line."

"Out of 570 Christians polled, 51% responded "No." As one participant said, "I have not seen the movie, but if it's like the TV show then no way." Based on comments from this group such as "crude humor", "derogatory", "disrespectful", "vulgar language", it seems they were offended by the show. While others had some practical advice for would-be viewers like "As Christians, we need to fill our minds with positive role models and positive examples of the family."

"Of those who participated, seventeen percent felt the Simpsons were appropriate for Christian viewers. The opinion of most people in this group portrayed the show as pure entertainment. Comments like "It's funny" or "It's not real, it's a just cartoon" justified their reasoning for watching what the majority of Christians believed was "vulgar" and "blasphemous."

"Lastly, thirty-two percent were "Unsure" about the appropriateness of the Simpsons. The comments from this group were unified in that these Christians had not seen show at all. Some have never watched the Simpsons while others have seen the TV show and have no desire to see the movie. As one Believer said, "I haven't seen it, but judging from the TV show, I doubt it's edifying."

"based on the comments about this program, it seems the Simpsons have crossed the entertainment line for the majority of Christians."

Click here to read the full article

Christian Movie Reviews delayed after actor is arrested for carrying a gun in public.

While shooting a trailer for the new movie, "Jesus Loves Kool-Aid", Christian movie reviews have been delayed following the arrest of Hugh Mclean being charged with "unlawful possession of a weapon"

Police were called to a downtown Richardson Street underground car park, following reports that a man was waving a gun around. There was indeed a man waving a gun around, a .357 magnum to be exact. When they arrived they found the gunman, but not how they expected. Instead of a lone man waving a gun around, they found actor Hugh Mclean with a gun tucked in his pants, with a film crew shooting the movie trailer.

Police officer Cpl. Jason Rampey said, "I think they could have obtained the same effect using a replica or toy or imitation weapon of some kind, and not a real .357 revolver."

The movie "Jesus Loves Kool-Aid" is aimed at keeping children away from guns, drugs and gangs. Ironically, Mclean was charged with the very crime he was trying to prevent.

Actor Hugh Mclean said "You know, I'm standing there going, 'Oh God, what is this going to do to my reputation?' You know, 'What are my grandkids going to think? What's my wife going to think?'"

Christian Movie Reviews on the Michael Landon Jr. interview with Christianity Today

In a recent interview with Christianity Today, Michael Landon Jr. made some splashed with many Christian Movie Reviews.

I found one answer to a question particularly interesting:

Q.Christians want truth in movies, but not always the depiction of reality.

A.Yes. With a Christian audience, sometimes there is hypocrisy. The same people who will see a secular PG-13 or R-rated movie have a different standard if there is violence or sexuality or bad language in a Christian film. I don't get that. How is anybody going to tell a really good urban story if these kids from the streets are saying, "Oh, gosh darn!"? Sometimes I think how cool it would be not to be a Christian and have no boundaries to telling a story. But that will never work with me. Never.

Now this is a very valid point, should movie classifications change to take religious values into consideration? Do we need special ratings on christian movies? Or do we take it one step further and form a movie rating panel of christian leaders who will apply their stamp of approval for christian audience on all main stream movies.

For instance, The Simpsons Movie is rated PG-13, but our christian leaders could add "Vulgar Language, crude humor, derogatory, disrespectful, sinful acts" etc.

Perhaps Christians on a whole are taking the movie industry a little too seriously. As language evolves, one might suggest a little leniency on content.

You can read the full interview here

Christian Movie Reviews urge Christians to watch "Amazing Grace"

The promoter of the movie "Amazing Grace" and Christian Movie Reviews are asking christian viewers to make an impact on Hollywood by seeing the new movie.

"Amazing Grace" tells the story of William Wilverforce, an influential productive christian leader and parliamentarian, who campaigned for 20 years to abolish slavery, succeeding in 1807 with slavery being prohibited throughout the commonwealth.

Movie promoters and church leaders say "Amazing Grace" is a "Golden outreach opportunity" to convert non-believers to the christian faith. gives the flick a 6.5/10, which is relatively high compared to End of the Spear, which received a 4.2/10

Amazing Grace deals with the early career of British abolitionist William Wilberforce. His was a life marrying politics and Christian faith, devoted to ridding late 18th Century Britain of the slave trade. It took 18 years and a new century for Wilberforce to effect this momentous change, in 1807."

"Mostly we get what we expect. The script ticks off the elements: A romance with wife-to-be Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai); friendship and political alliance with Prime Minister William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch); heart-to-heart talks with mentor and former slave trader John Newton (Albert Finney), who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace" to atone for his sins."

"Director Apted's career has been an interesting one, though uneven outside his marvelous ongoing "7 Up" documentary series. He and editor Rick Shaine have worked together several times, and somehow the results always end up in the middling range. Their work isn't stiff; on the contrary, if anything, the rhythms they establish are jumpy and unsteady, afraid of allowing a scene to breathe and flow naturally. If the script were more alive, these matters of visual technique would matter less. But not much less."

Please click here for the full review

Christian Movie Reviews of End of the Spear

I would like to compare Christian Movie Reviews of a movie I saw recently, "End of the Spear."

The story behind this movie has been told for 50 years since, in 1956, five missionaries in the Ecuadorian jungle were brutally murdered by the Waodani tribe who they were helping at the time. Following the brutal murders, the missionaries wives traveled to the jungle to continue their work. Long story short, the killers became Christians.

-Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an average rating of 4.2 out of 10

-Christianity Today Movies refrained from giving a rating and instead wrote "It's through the harrowing experience of two men as told in End of the Spear that moviegoers can learn the power of forgiveness and reconciliation."

-Greg Wright of wrote "The movie won't please all audiences, however. In spite of its visual artistry, outstanding lead performances and overall technical competency, it tells a true story that's just hard to fathom."

The most scathing review must have come from Allison Benedikt of the Chicago Tribune.

"That "End of the Spear" is a no-holds-barred Christian movie is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to consider when you're surfing Fandango.

"What is necessarily a bad thing is that "End of the Spear" is a childish and visually repetitive movie, ham-fisted, proselytizing and overtly simplified.

Click here for her full review

I find it interesting that reviews of christian movies vary so completely depending on the source. Rotten Tomatoes members are generally of other faiths, and gave the movie a mediocre review, Christianity Today Movies and Greg Wright prefered to comment on the movies message rather than pass judgement, and Allison Benedikt wrote an edgy and scathing piece pulling the film apart. So in this way its clear that when looking for christian movie reviews, you need to consider the source.

Christian Movie Reviews struggling to attract an audience.

I've always found christian movie reviews interesting, but I'm left wondering why christian movies under perform at the box office.

In the past, Hollywood didn't take christian movies seriously simply because evangelical leaders have long considered movies an enemy of christian values. This changed in 2004 with the release of "The Passion of the Christ" which portrayed the crucifixion of Jesus.

Christians felt "The Passion of the Christ" spoke to their beliefs and have since longed for more movies which embody their faith. While I agree that there should be more movies which related to Christians, to pass "the Hollywood test" and gross big figures at the box office, insuring future movies which speak to our faith, christian movies need to appeal to a larger audience.

Recently the movie "Evan Almighty" took the stage as the next big Christian faith movie. Evan Almighty did top the box office on its opening weekend, making $32 million, but this was far below predictions. Whats more, the movie received terrible reviews. While other movies haven't had perfect reviews, those who gave The Passion of the Christ good reviews, turned around on Evan Almighty.

Evan Almighty was the sequel to "Bruce Almighty" and this is where the movie went wrong. Bruce Almighty was a hilarious flick, bringing Christians and atheists alike to their knees. While not specifically targeted at a christian audience, Bruce Almighty did feature christian values. Those who had seen and loved Bruce Almighty, thought Evan Almighty fell far short of its predecessors comical value. Unfortunately christian values were put behind comedy in this case. Had Evan Almighty been produced as a movie not tied to its prequel, it may have received better christian movie reviews.