Tag Archive: religious movies

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Starting earlier this year with the release of Son of God, it is being said that 2014 is the year of the biblical movie.

Just looking at a list of movies shows that there are at least four major motion pictures with biblical or faith-based themes to them.

Last week, an independent movie called God’s Not Dead starring Kevin Sorbo was released. The story is about a college student who feels pressured to give up his faith by an atheist professor. Instead of giving in, that kid played by Shane Harper (Spencer from Good Luck, Charlie), chooses to defend his beliefs and does so scientifically.

While the critics have not been kind, I am interested in seeing this movie. I want to see how they portray the conflict and how our main character, Josh, is able to defend his beliefs.

NoahThis week, the big production of Noah makes it to the big screen. Russell Crowe stars as the man who is given the task to build a boat that will save his family and many of the creatures of the earth. I became excited about the movie after watching several trailers showing water rushing down and the very human story of all those people being left behind.

It has been reported that the word “God” is not used in this movie. Instead other names are used, which actually is appropriate considering this is a story from a Jewish standpoint. In the Jewish tradition, you do not call “God” by his name because that word is so powerful. “Yaweh” is a more common term that is allowable. I also read that the director, Darren Aronofsky, has been wanting to make this film for years but it took his great success with Black Swan to make that possible.

In April, Heaven is For Real comes to the big screen starring Greg Kinnear as the father of a young boy who states he saw Jesus when the boy was very sick with appendicitis. Adapted from the book of the same title, I expect a very gentle telling of this story. I find Greg Kinnear can be very subtle and engaging, he is able to tell a story well. I wonder how they will deal with various parts of the book that show a family in crisis as well as the moments of joy.

This fall, Nicholas Cage stars in the remake of Left Behind. I wonder what kind of performance he will give knowing how intense this actor can be. Finally, we will go through Exodus starring Christian Bale (Batman series) as Moses and Ridley Scott in the director’s chair in the month of December.

Kelly Riley, Connor Corum, and Greg Kinnear in Heaven is For Real

Kelly Riley, Connor Corum, and Greg Kinnear in Heaven is For Real

What some might say is that Hollywood realizes there is some good money to be made by playing to Christian believers. But I believe these movies do not get made unless producers believe they will actually get their money back.

I also believe that there are people hungry for movies about faith and belief. Otherwise a movie such as Heaven is For Real may have never seen the light of day. Noah and Exodus are made for the spectacle they create. But movies like Heaven are made for us normal people to ponder.

Until next week, see you in the Rental Aisle.


Getting Ready for Easter

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


I have to admit I am a big Facebook fan.


I have connected with former classmates and friends with whom I have lost contact. I stay in touch with former co-workers and fellow writers.


Image from Everything Holiday

Image from Everything Holiday Facebook page

But I also get to see great room designs and recipes. In fact, this past weekend I saw a recipe for colored cookie-dough Easter baskets.  You take small scoops of the dough, dye it the colors you want and shape it into a basket that fits in a mini-muffin tins. Later you fill the baskets with jelly beans and other good stuff.


I saw another recipe for a ring bread that was covered with sprinkles. I am sure there will be plenty of recipes that look fun to try, and I cannot wait to see them all.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com


One of the programs I have been hearing about is The Bible on The History Channel. This is a five-part mini-series produced by Roma Downey (Touched by An Angel) and her husband Mark Burnett. I was able to see one 2-hour episode and enjoyed the story of Jesus’ birth.


Roma Downey played Mary as a 20-something. She was very beautiful and appropriate. The scene in which she gives birth to the baby is outstanding and heart warming as people came to the young couple’s aid. But nor did the producers shy away from the violence of the time period. Harrod’s demand that all baby boys be put to death and the very narrow escape of Mary and Joseph.


Sadly, I missed the final episode as I was in bed sick. But as of April 2nd, the series will be available on DVD. I am willing to bet that this will be a hot item since the show has been wildly popular on the History Channel. I do not know what that says to you but to me it shows a country that is wildly curious about the good book. People want to know.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Now when it comes to this time of year there are lots of religious movies from the past. I think about The Robe starring Richard Burton as a drunken tribune who wins Jesus’ robe during the crucifixion. He does his duty and takes the robe with him. But Marcellus is plagued by nightmares and visions, causing him to return to learn more about the last owner of the robe.


This 1953 movie won two Oscar awards for set design and costume design. It was also nominated for best actor in a leading role, best cinematography and best picture. It also won a Best Picture award from the Golden Globes. Now you are probably wondering who should see this movie. Because of the censorship laws at the time, there is not much that is objectionable but the context is meant for teens and adults.


Finally, I feel the need to mention The Passion of the Christ. This ‘R’ rated movie directed by Mel Gibson is a puzzle to me. It is incredibly violent and harsh. It is also filled with some beautiful re-enactments of famous art pieces.  I can only recommend it if you are fully aware that this movie is rated ‘R’ for prolonged violence and torture. I do not recommend this movie for children under the age of 10.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.