Movie Review – Courageous The Movie

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Courageous The Movie

A Sherwood Picture from the creators of Fireproof

Courageous The Movie Website

 

 

 

 

My Review:  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

I am blown away once again by another Sherwood Picture movie. This company that started in a church has proved you can make powerful pictures with a low budget.

While their first two films were awesome, Flywheel and Facing the Giants, the acting left a lot to be desired. It wasn’t surprising since they used members of their congregation as their actors. But even with the first two movies, the message was so powerful it was easy to overlook the acting. Then Fireproof came out. The acting stepped up a notch and combined with another powerful message, and the Christian music band, Casting Crowns, leant their support to make that movie great.

But Courageous surpasses them all. Casting Crowns has done a terrific job writing the theme song for this movie. The actors are believable and very good. Robert Amaya will have you holding your sides from laughing so hard without being cheesy or over the top. I won’t give any details away except be prepared to laugh and cry. Alex Kendrick has become an excellent actor and director. He’s always been top notch as a screen writer. The comedy mixed with tender moments and a powerful message is nothing less than brilliant. Unlike a few other Christian movies, Courageous is able to deliver it’s message while telling a compelling story without coming across as preachy. I highly recommend this film as a model all Christian movie makers should follow.

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The Devil Movie Review

The Devil

A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them.

Director:  John Erick Dowdle

Writers:  Brian Nelson (screenplay), M. Night Shyamalan (story)

Stars:  Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, and Bokeem Woodbine

My Review:  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

THE DEVIL, a M. Knight Shyamalon movie, is a sleeper that didn’t get that many great reviews at the box office. You might remember Shyamalon movies of the past like SIGNS, SIXTH SENSE, and THE VILLAGE. The movies he’s made over the last six years have not done well. This movie doesn’t have any big stars in it. The actors are all unknown.

So considering all that, why would I rate this horror flick so high? It’s because this movie surprised me. It had a Christian worldview of the devil that was more accurate than some of the Christian movies I’ve watched. There is so much to like about this movie.

First, the symbolism is great. A suicide gives enterance to the devil to come and torment a group of people bound for Hell before he kills them. The suicide victim falls on a “Bethel Bakery” truck. The building is located at 333 Locust. Then there’s the cop whose family was killed by a hit and run driver on Bethlehem Road. I’m sure I missed some of the symbolism. There’s a lot of it there. But I plan to watch it again, and I’ll keep my eyes open to it.

Next, there’s a lot of doctrinal truth in this movie. The movie begins with the Bible verse 1 Peter 5:8. The last line in the movie is brilliant. “If the devil exists, than so does God.” I also love that the way the devil gains access to a person is because that person decieves himself about how bad his sin really is. There’s no man is basically good garbage in this movie. While I don’t want to give it away, there is also a thread of redemption running through this movie.

I also loved that the movie was able to surprise me. It shouldn’t have. When it happened, I had a moment of “Of course”. But I got so involved in the movie, I didn’t see it coming. That doesn’t happen often, but M. Knight movies seem to be able to do that to me.

This movie is great for adults who don’t mind some violence and a little language (a couple of S words), but I wouldn’t recommend it for children or young teens.

Recommended Movie: Disney’s A Christmas Carol 3D

 
 Rated PG for scary sequences & scary images
 
Cast: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn, Cary Elwes
 
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 

 

Description:

Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of an old miser who must face Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come, as they help to bring kindness to his otherwise cold heart. The Ghosts remind him of the man he used to be, the hard truth of what the world is today, and what will happen if he does not strive to be a better man. Set around Christmas, the most joyous day of the year, Scrooge realizes the sharp contrast of his own personality. 

Jim Carrey plays four separate roles in this updated version of A Christmas Carol. Carrey portrays Scrooge, as well as the three ghosts (Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come). His dynamic character roles keep the four characters as diverse as being played by four actors. 

My Review:  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is my all time favorite Christmas story. I love to read it every year. I almost have it memorized. Because I love the original novel so much, I have never found a movie adaptation that does it justice. However this one comes close. The special effects are better that I imagined when I read the novel and are enough to recommend this movie. So is the great acting by Jim Carrey who played four characters so differently that I didn’t think it was the same actor until I saw the credits. But these things are not why I recommend this movie. 

One problem I’ve had with every “Christmas Carol” movie including the Patrick Stewart and George C. Scott versions (my favorites until this movie came out) is the drastic instantaneous change in Scrooge. That’s not how the book portrayed. In the book, Scrooge began to see the error of his ways almost immediately. The gradual realization, repentance, and change is what make the characterization in the story superb. But until now, every movie adaptation has had Scrooge fight with the ghosts until, at the end, he’s scared straight. This never cut it with me. 

The Disney version does a better job with this. Scrooge shed a tear when the first ghost reminds him of his past. He continues his reformation throughout the movie making the change more believable. I wish the movie had been longer, and they had shown more of the scenes from the novel. But they did remain true to the script. My favorite part was the panoramic view when Scrooge watched the people going to church while the camera focused in on the cross.  

A Christmas Carol truly is a story of repentance. I’m glad Disney filmed the movie this way. I recommend this movie.