Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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I Still Believe
** ½

I Still Believe, new on home video, is based on the true story of Contemporary Christian Music artist Jeremy Camp’s relationship with Melissa Henning. It is a story of sacrificial love, disappointment, suffering, loss and hope. The film was directed by the Erwin Brothers, Andrew and Jon (I Can Only Imagine, Mom’s Night Out, October Baby). The film was written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn (The Case for Christ).
The film opens at the Camp home in Lafayette, Indiana. Jeremy, played by K.J. Apa (Riverdale) is getting ready to leave for college, leaving behind his parents Tom, a pastor who drives a Pizza King car played by Oscar nominee Gary Sinese (Forrest Gump), and Terry, played by country music artist Shania Twain and his two younger brothers. They give him a beautiful new guitar just before he boards the bus for his California college.
On Jeremy’s first night on campus he attends a concert by Jean-Luc, played by Nathan Parsons (General Hospital). Jeremy sneaks backstage before the concert and introduces himself to the artist, and asks him for advice on how to “make it” in the music industry. This leads Jean-Luc to ask him to tune his guitar. That night, when bringing a guitar on stage, Jeremy sees Melissa Henning, played by Britt Robertson (TomorrowlandThe Space Between Us) in the audience. He seeks her out after the show. Continue reading

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Movie Review ~ Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland MovieTomorrowland, rated PG
** ½

This science fiction film is the latest film from Disney with a connection to their theme parks (Tomorrowland is one of the many themed lands featured at five Disney theme parks around the world); the film even includes a scene featuring the irritating “It’s a Small World” attraction. We saw the film at an IMAX theatre and found the film visually stunning and creative at times, but the story weak and the overlong film, well, rather boring. The film is directed by Brad Bird, who has a strong resume (Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), and who helped write the screenplay.

As the film starts we are introduced to a young Frank (Thomas Robinson), going to the 1964 World’s Fair with his back pack invention that doesn’t quite work. It is there he meets the freckle-faced Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and Nix (Hugh Laurie from House M.D).

We also meet Casey (Britt Robertson) who lives with her NASA engineer father (Tim McGraw) and younger brother. Casey is constantly told in her classes in school that the world is being polluted, destroyed and slowly ending. She never gets an answer to her question about what can be done about it. One day, she finds a mysterious pin which takes her to a futuristic world. She will eventually meet the adult Frank (George Clooney) and Athena.

A favorite scene (as we just returned from Paris and stood below the Eiffel Tower) was when Casey, Frank and Athena go to Paris and they launch something out of the middle of the Eiffel tower.

The film has messages – about what we are doing to our world (we see a clock counting down to the end of our world and video screens depicting all of the terrible things going on in the world), as well as optimism for a better world. Well, I think it does. After the movie Tammy and I had a good conversation about the film. It just didn’t come together for us.

The film is visually stunning and creative at times, but the story needed to be tightened up. The film was a good 30 minutes too long (I caught myself checking my watch). The film was also surprisingly violent for a PG rating, and there was some minor profanity included, along with the misuse of God’s name.

So like a Disney attraction, you may want to just see the story as supplemental as you enjoy the experience and the ride.