Thinking Out Loud

September 14, 2020

A Non-Moviegoer Reviews Three Films

Filed under: Christianity, media — Tags: , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:47 am

People think I’m kidding when I say that in 33 years of married life, we’ve been to the cinema about a dozen times. And two of those were lending some box office support to Veggie Tales.

Add to this that we don’t have cable, satellite, or a streaming service. And Blockbuster is long-closed. We’re simply not part of the movie culture common to so many including so many people who are in pastoral ministry.

So when someone offered us half-dozen unopened DVDs last month, we accepted with thanks. Add to that a title obtained a thrift store and next thing you know, we made a minor lifestyle adjustment which included a mini-NOOMA (Rob Bell) marathon on Saturday night.

I guess gathering in front of the giant screen in the evening is what normal people do, especially these days. We’re simply so busy doing other things.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A reporter is asked to write a 300-word profile on Fred Rogers and it turns into a 10,000 cover feature. Although people think of the film as “starring” Tom Hanks, the story-line is centered around that reporter and his wife, but that is all it takes to let the character of Mr. Rogers shine.

It makes you wonder how much of our lives are reflected in the people we’ve helped and served or perhaps even formally mentored.

Fred Rogers — both on the small screen and in real life — had a great influence on people from so many different walks of life and so many generations. That someone would even make this film speaks volumes about his life.

Overcomer

This is one of a seemingly endless series of movies from the producers of Courageous and Facing the Giants and Fireproof.

I have to give the producers credit that the sub-plot — or perhaps it was the major plot — about the family life of the young cross-country runner with asthma wasn’t included in the previews, which focused instead on the girl trying to better her running times to represent her school in a major competition.

In other words, you had an idea where the story was going, but then it introduced another element entirely. For that reason, I enjoyed that this had more than a one-dimensional storyline. The characters were stereotypical, but that goes with the genre.

Unplanned

The story of (now) anti-abortion crusader Abby Johnson was one I watched alone. To that end, my wife was right, it was rather gory; perhaps 20% more bloody than it needed to be. But this of course helps the film to make its point.

Unlike the two movies above, this one followed a somewhat predictable trajectory, especially as it is based on a true and well-documented story.  Johnson’s husband, while not supportive of his wife’s career, bides his time for many years waiting for her cathartic moment to occur. When it does, it’s presented realistically and vividly.

It’s evident early on why pro-choice advocates didn’t want this film to succeed. This would be painful to watch if someone has an abortion in their history, but for all others –including teenagers — it’s a cautionary tale.

 

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