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Entries in Christian Movie (93)

8:01AM

Risen - The Movie

I had the chance to see this film in the theater and both my wife and I really enjoyed it! Be sure to check the reviews below, but I do recommend this film!!

Risen is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

“RISEN is powerful and gripping! Masterfully done! To see the Easter story through the eyes of a Roman soldier left me in awe! Brilliant!”
Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times Best–Selling Author

"Risen is a breath of fresh air for moviegoers who have longed for a quality, biblical-themed movie that upholds the truth of Scripture rather than attacking it. Due to its unique approach, viewers get to experience the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ through the eyes of an unbeliever."

Read the full Answers in Genisis' review of the film.

"[T]he story here is one that may very well prompt many moviegoers to see the one called Yeshua through fresh eyes, just as Clavius does."

Read the full PluggedIn review.

RISEN - MOVIE WEBSITE

8:00AM

Winning Awards - Part 3 (Feature Films)

At this year's Christian Worldview Film Festival, I was excited to see awards given to several films that I have had the pleasure to help with!

"POLYCARP" // camera operator, 2nd unit DP, editor, colorist
Movie Website

(Polycarp also won "Best Editing" at the 2015 Pan Pacific Film Festival)

"BOUND" // editing consultant, assistant colorist
Movie Website

8:00AM

Polycarp - Review

Article by Melinda Ledman // ChristianCinema.com


It’s always refreshing to see a film that’s thin on dialogue, but dense with meaning. Polycarp took home the top prizes at the recent Christian Worldview Film Festival, which is no surprise given its frank treatment of first century persecution. A creeping concern among Christians today, persecution of the church in America is a fast-growing fear and slow-but-steady threat. So how can we find hope? 

Polycarp is based on the life of an early church father who studied under the apostle John. A missionary turned scribe in his old age, Polycarp was the anchor of the Christian community in Smyrna. As persecution from Rome encroached on their freedoms, Polycarp and other Christians in Smyrna had to decide whether they would pursue their work in the safety of another town or stand and fight in their local community. Polycarp’s story is viewed through the eyes of a slave girl who immediately receives her freedom after being purchased. 

Three things stood out to me about this film. First, I was intrigued by the dialogue of the Polycarp character. More often than not, he quoted Bible passages as though they were ordinary speech. He didn’t use a preachy, heavy handed, “Jesus said…” style, but simply spoke sacred words in the most natural contexts. This idea wasn’t too far-fetched since his sole occupation was copying the words of the apostles, ie. what would become the New Testament. These God-breathed ideas and phrases would have made their home in his subconscious after numerous transcripts, and he could have spoken them as naturally as you or I would talk about the weather. It intrigued me how Scripture gets into the soul today, even though our culture is now so far removed from “oral tradition.” Like Polycarp, those who memorize scripture often find the Holy Spirit opening doors of conversation with others, and sacred words come naturally in the right context. 

Second, the film challenges us to be brave and true. After watching the movie, my daughter asked me a pointed question: “Would you deny God in order to keep our family safe?” What a loaded question!! Prior to watching this film, I might have said yes. I’ll be honest. When I’ve imagined a world of religious persecution (like what would I have done if I was a Jew in World War II), it always seemed more reasonable to lie to corrupt authorities in order to continue the work of Christ underground. It seemed to me that surviving to preach another day made more sense than needless martyrdom. But this film made me think much harder about that scenario. It raised questions about the internal and external ramifications of denying God, even falsely denying him. I began to consider the bigger picture of “life,” which brings me to the third point…

Polycarp reminds us that as Christians, we are part of something much larger than this temporal life. While most Christian movies today focus on the life we live right now, surviving the challenges and pitfalls of a frustrating existence on Earth, Polycarp reaches beyond the immediate. For one, it shows us that we are part of a much larger, historical story, one that reaches throughout the centuries. Many came before us and fought for the Gospel, and we too will play out our roles in the grand scale of God’s story with humanity. Second (and this is where my answer to the kids came in), our “lives” extend far beyond our time on this planet. We can’t make decisions based on the immediate ramifications of our choices. We have to look into the far, far future. What do our enemies threaten us with, death? Death is to be immediately in the presence of God. Torture? Even those who are being persecuted across the world today endure suffering with a supernatural kind of peace. The apostles of the Bible faced it with joy, singing, and even witnessing. If I am to be honest, I have only ever heard that God gives his people uncanny courage and peace when persecution comes. So, when the power-driven Quadratus fumes his greatest boast, “I wield the power of the gods in this place!” his greatest weakness is exposed. He does not understand God’s protection, provision, end-game or even the nature of the universe. And Quadratus’ threats weigh false on an eternal scale.

Perhaps that’s the vehicle of hope in this film. With today’s increasing religious restriction and a spreading dread of persecution, Polycarp argues the opposite of weakness and fear. It raises up pillars of Biblical truth instead. Quoting from the Bible, Polycarp describes how he deals with his own fear, “Perfect love casts out fear.” When he looks honestly at the God who loved and saved him in his sinful state, the God who walks with him every moment, and the God who will be waiting for him even if he should die, fear is an empty lie. Somehow we emerge from the film with a greater trust in God as our sovereign, protector, and trustworthy advocate. We emerge with gratitude for what Christ did for us, and a sense of belonging in God’s eternal story. We emerge with the courage to resist our own weakness and expose fear for the lie that it is.

Polycarp is available on DVD.
For more information about the film, visit www.polycarpmovie.com or stop by their church screening page.

8:00AM

The War Room - Theaters Aug. 28

Watch the teaser trailer for the new movie from the Kendrick Brothers (Fireproof & Courageous), WAR ROOM, which will be in theaters August 28.

warroomthemovie.com

8:00AM

The War Room - Heart of the Movie

Alex and Stephen Kendrick discuss the next film by the Kendrick Brothers!

warroomthemovie.com

11:32AM

Beyond the Mask - IN THEATERS JUNE 5TH

Beyond The Mask is now showing in theaters! Gather the troops (or at least your family and friends), find a theater, and enjoy this rollicking adventure! CLICK HERE

8:00AM

6 Ways to Stream Christian Films

DVDs are slowly phasing out and more content is being accessed online. If you are looking for ways to watch Christian films on the web, here are 5 website you should consider.

1. Christian Cinema

Christian Cinema has over 500 films to stream and also offers a DVD Subscription plan.

Pricing model: "Video-on-demand" and averages $3.99/movie.

2. Pure Flix

PureFlix offers over 2,000 films to choose from!

Pricing: 1) Annual Plan starting at $7.99/month or annual plan.
Also offers FREE month trial and the website includes a "Favorites" option to track movies you want to watch.

3. Good News Media Ministries

Good News Media Ministries is new on the scene and the film selection is growing!
If you are looking for great content for your family, this is one to look at.

Pricing: 1) Annual Plan starting at $17/month or 2) Pay-per-view $4/movie.

4. gMovies

gMovies library includes hundreds of classic titles as well as plenty of new releases.

Pricing: Starts at $4.99/month.
Enter code: FREETRIAL55 for a 2 Week FREE Trial.

5. Netflix

Netflix has a smaller selection of Christian films, but they do have some.

Pricing: Starts at $7.99/month.

6. Amazon

Amazon also has a decent selection of Faith-based content.

Pricing: 1) Some are FREE with AmazonPRIME 2) Pay-per-view averages $3.99/movie.

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If you have a favorite way to stream Christian films that isn't mentioned,
please let me know in the comments!

8:00AM

Twas The Week Before Christmas

An unexpected discovery leads a young boy to set out to honor the true King of Christmas! But will he be able to raise enough money, and will he find what he is looking for? A heart-warming short film about the true reason to celebrate Christmas!

This is a short film that I made with my family back in 2006-2007! Enjoy!!

 

8:00AM

Why So Many Movies Fail

FAILURE FACTORS OF ASPIRING FILMMAKERS

(Article Source) By Larry W. Poland, Ph.D.

In more than thirty years working inside the entertainment business, I have had a steady stream of people contact me with a dream of making motion pictures. Some have a vision for producing one movie, some a slate of films, some building a studio, and some even a dream of a “second Hollywood” in Dallas, Atlanta, or (believe it or not) Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Only a small percentage (10%?) of these visionaries ever saw anything come from their efforts. Of those who did see a film get made, only a small percentage (30%?) ever got decent distribution. Most (85%?) lost money for their investors. A number even ended up in court or arbitration disputing over money. I have mediated two of those disputes.

I’m weary of watching such a high percentage of these independent filmmaking attempts implode and dash the dreams and efforts of often well-meaning and even faith-motivated people. Likewise, I am distressed by the many well-motivated investors who got burned by these efforts and, as a result, will never invest in a film again.

Thus, I decided to distill the mistaken notions and actions which contributed to the massive disappointment, financial failure, and collateral damage from these efforts. Below–in no particular priority order–are the common mistakes I have observed.

“FAILURE FACTORS”

1. Envisioning a project with an absurdly unrealistic production budget.

There is something about the vision of making a movie that eats like a cancer at the practical thinking of the visionary behind the project. Commonly, the visionary postulates a movie production in the tens of millions of dollars, if not more than one hundred million. The sheer lunacy of thinking that investors, however effectively “sold” they are, are going to be part of a multi-million dollar risk venture overseen by an inexperienced film team seems to escape them.

Likewise, it escapes them that hundred-year-old, billion-dollar studios that do make these expensive films commonly lose money on them. The independent visionaries tend to believe they are not bound by the laws that bind other studios or filmmakers. “This film is different,” is the toxic notion.

When I have suggested budgets of five to ten million (or less) for starters, the visionaries often seem insulted. It escapes them that the lower the upfront production costs, the higher the probability of breaking even or making a profit at the end. If a film is any good at all and has decent distribution, revenue from the five markets for a movie should cover a cost under seven million dollars.

Equally destructive is projecting an unrealistically low budget. Recently, a film investor was told that a complicated period story could be made for $750,000. Even cutting all the corners and getting talent and locations for peanuts, this figure was inadequate to get a quality product on the screen. This investor was being led astray by this representation, and the project would have collapsed.

2. Focusing on the process or product of the vision without factoring in the basic economics of the project.

Commonly, film venture leaders are strong on the nature of the story or the big names they have attached to the film rather than on how they will raise the production money, how they will sustain cash flow until revenue eventually comes in, or even how they will get sufficient revenue in the end to avoid a total disaster for the project.

If the right brain/left brain distinction applies here, the creatives need a team of steely-eyed money managers at their elbows from beginning to end to ask the hard questions, demand that there be a sound business plan, and enforce the plan so the visionary creatives play “in bounds.” These safeguards are, commonly, not in place. Often, the creatives don’t want them – it spoils the dream.

A missing element here is that every creative decision has a financial impact on the outcome, and every financial decision has a creative impact. The two go hand in hand—and must—for a successful result.

Finally, it is absolutely essential to remember the investors. Often, those who took the risk to invest in the film, and thereby made it possible, are forgotten in the pursuit of the dream of making the movie. This is lethal. Lawsuits are the least formidable consequences of a meltdown in which investors are ignored, investments are not repaid, and money is siphoned off for everything but investor repayment. Burned investors have long memories—especially family and friends—so treat them well and generously, and they will stand in line to invest in your next film . . . and the next.

3. Being preoccupied with getting a film made without thought for its distribution and marketing.

There are a multitude of films sitting in cans around the globe that were never shown in a theater, or, for that matter, even found successful DVD distribution.

Any veteran in the film business will tell you to secure tentative, but strong, distribution agreements before you begin production. The beginning filmmaker is sure that his film will be so compelling that distributors will line up to sign a distribution contract. In general, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Then, there is the crucial marketing aspect of a production. This is so critical that the audience for the film must be defined and a plan to market successfully to that audience should both be determined before production is ever begun. The marketing plan will depend on the audience. Every different audience is reached by somewhat different marketing strategies.

4. Becoming obsessed with building facilities and infrastructure rather than building a successful, money-making model.

I’ve seen way too many grand visions for building “state of the art” studio facilities with the latest technology, massive sound stages, and such with little thought for how these increasingly-obsolete-by-the-week albatrosses will be paid for, maintained, sustained, or utilized. While it may seem exciting to show off one’s new studio facilities, the reality is that they typically represent massive overhead that no start-up studio or production company can sustain.

Furthermore, in many cities—especially Hollywood and New York—there are already many under-utilized studios, sound stages, edit bays, mixing studios, etc. They can be rented when needed without the massive burden of debt service, maintenance and replacement in a year or two when they are obsolete.

A friend of mine says, “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.” If only producers with vision could get this fact of economic life mastered up-front., they would keep all overhead to a minimum and put every dollar only into what will increase the probability of getting a return on the end product.

Equally lethal is building a team of highly paid people on the front end of the project—and sucking dry millions of development funds in salaries—long before there is any money coming in to sustain the personnel costs. I would estimate that billions of dollars have been wasted and lost by independent production companies in bricks, mortar, and big salaries without a single movie getting made.

5. Focusing on image rather than on product.

Hollywood worships two deities, Mammon and Glitz. Way too often, when people get into filmmaking, they “go Hollywood” and lose all sense of who they really are. They begin to bow to money or image. This becomes a Failure Factor when they spend lavish amounts of money on pricey office space in ritzy locations, opulent offices, limousines, five-star hotels, splashy promotional advertising, and other accoutrements of the rich and famous.

The thinking is, I guess, that if you are going to be in the film business, you have to comport yourself like the icons of success whom you someday want to be. This is deadly thinking. You can hold meetings in nice hotels without dazzling folks with your own lavish, purchased-on- credit facilities with interest rates of 20 to 25 percent! There is an axiom about movie production companies: “The profitability of the company is in inverse relationship to the opulence of the front office.” Dazzle folks with the quality and power of your movies, not with the symbols of wealth you have rented.

Face it – you won’t be able to impress most of the big dogs in the film business anyway. They’ve seen it all.

6. Misunderstanding the varied roles played by film personnel and failing to coordinate their functions.

Production chaos commonly results because filmmakers do not understand the titles, job responsibilities, and lines of authority in a project and do not enforce them. For example, the role and function of the Executive Producer, the Producer, and the Director on a film must be understood. If this is not the case, conflict occurs, because people are trampling on each other’s organizational turf, making decisions outside the authority limits of their role, and allowing critical decisions to fall through the cracks. The management nightmare becomes even more chaotic with roles like Associate Producer, Associate Director, etc. Even if some of these titles are merely for the credit roll, titles, job descriptions, and lines of authority must be clear, mutually agreed upon, and policed to make sure the management of the production functions well.  Given the commonly huge egos and subjective artistic differences of film professionals, clearly defined roles, authority limits, and job responsibilities are absolutely necessary.

7. Forgetting that the single most important factor in a film is its story.

Filmland history is replete with anecdotes of gargantuan-budget movies that lost mucho millions because what ended up in the film can was a lousy story. It is said in various ways: “If it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage,” or “If it’s not in the script, it’s not on the screen.”

Even though, as a consultant, I’ve never been in the business of making films, I’ve had countless scripts set before me to evaluate and innumerable stories pitched to me by enthusiastic writers and producers. I have a rule of thumb I use to predict a possibly successful story: it moves me to strong emotional responses. I had a comedy story sketched out for me by a successful comedy writer in the early eighties, and I laughed so hard, I cried. I laugh 25 years later thinking of it. I’ve been pitched stories of human heartbreak and cried hearing the summary. Good signs. Every great film has to move you emotionally in some manner. We pay money to go to theaters to see a story that thrills, frightens, angers, inspires, or makes us laugh or cry. We feel cheated leaving a theater with a “ho-hum” or “blah” response.

Crucial to the story’s success is determining the “take away” from the film. Film creators must determine what they want the viewer to take away from the two-hour experience. Is it to be a more loving parent, avoid behavior such as got the main character in trouble, be willing to die for freedom, sacrifice for the poor and downtrodden, get involved in a campaign for justice, or live life to the full, because life isn’t a dress rehearsal?

Big name actors, dazzling special effects, excellent production value, mind-boggling cinematography, and Oscar-winning musical scores all put together will still not compensate for a weak story.

8. Believing the pitches given you by people wanting to work on your film.

Most people in the film and TV business are out of work at any given time, and most have some level of desperation to get work. Mortgages, families, sustaining production company overhead, expensive lifestyles, etc. are all strong motivators to seek employment! Add to this the fact that a huge percentage of these professionals are willing to lie to get a job, and you have a trap that is easy to fall into and incredibly hard to escape.

Assume that nobody is telling you the truth, even if they talk “religious” speech. Assume that the resumes you are given are AT LEAST exaggerated, if not flat-out bogus. Assume that resume titles and references to their roles in the success of highly successful projects are wildly overblown. “Success,” it is said in Hollywood, “has many parents; failure is an orphan.”

Triple check EVERY CLAIM. Talk to people who have worked with the person and spend time checking out every line of a resume before you hire them. Do not rely on “good feelings” you get from them or their stories. Remember, entertainment industry folks are actors, story tellers, and masters of fiction!

9. Failing to identify and measure the audience for a film before making it.

I’ve had stories pitched to me that are set in the world of boat racing, motocross, fishing, and golf. None of the films made any money, if they got made. Unless the compelling nature of the story is so powerful that it overwhelms its setting, it will not succeed.

Even with a century of experience, sophisticated testing with focus groups, and scientific measurements, the big studios still lose money on most of their films. It is only the big hits that keep them afloat. Often, film failures result because producers miscalculated the audience for the film, overestimated the magnitude of the interest in the subject, produced a story that moved nobody in the theater, or told a good story poorly.

If testing via focus groups and other proven methods is not feasible, then doing a limited theater release focusing on the most likely cities to like the film is next best. One can always roll out a film with more prints in more cities if it takes off at the box office, or—as this is described—the film “has legs.”

Christian filmmakers commonly fail to test the receptivity of audiences to the faith factor in their films. Because they are so into their own faith, they assume that the general populace is as well. In an increasingly secular society, this is a deadly assumption. No matter what anyone tells you, the financial success of The Passion of the Christ was, for many reasons, an anomaly.

CONCLUSIONS

Even if you believe with all your heart that your vision came from God Himself, from some mystical experience, or a prophetic voice, don’t rationalize away the filmmaking experience and wisdom offered you. If you do, you will create one more in a long string of cinematic and financial disasters. Many will be hurt.
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(Article Source)

8:00AM

The 10 Commandments of Movie Viewing

(Article Source)
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(Editor’s note [and by "editor" I mean "me" (Josh Porter)]: Though the over-arching message of this rant is sincere, the curmudgeonliness and vitriol exist for comedic purposes only. In other words: I’m not actually angry. It’s supposed to be funny. Because this is the internet, I have to specify.)

10. Thou shalt leave thy phone at the door

As we will further illustrate along the way, a movie cannot be experienced if you are not watching it. If you are checking in on social media and drafting texts throughout the film, you are not watching the film.

Is your attention span so horrifically decrepit that dedicating an hour and a half to flashing images and loud noises is simply too much to bear? Is one screen simply not enough to satisfy your insatiable lust for media? Or has your life shriveled to such a depressing state of emptiness that the running time of a movie is unendurable without a peek at Instagram or Facebook?

Turn your phone off and put it down! Any life and death matter that can only come to you via your smartphone will be there when you turn it back on. It can wait a couple of hours. If you expect that your phone may absolutely demand your attention, what are you doing watching a movie?

A film is often a complicated and nuanced thing, even a lot of the bad ones. The fifteen seconds you spend staring down at twitter may provide a pivotal glimpse into the plot that drastically alters the trajectory of the entire story, but you just missed it because you needed to see a photo of your friend’s latté? You don’t care about this movie. Why are you watching it?

Not to mention the fact that your glowing screen and the twitching blur of your thumbs is distracting me. Now I can’t enjoy the movie. I’m no longer fully immersed because of your carelessness! Turn off your phone!

09. Thou shalt not commentate

I bypassed the commentary track from the director himself, why in the world do I need a running commentary from you? Virtually all the information in the world is available to me (after the movie) via this thing called the Internet. I don’t care how exciting it is for you to possess the inside knowledge, I don’t want director cameos pointed out by you, I don’t need to hear the urban myth about the light that fell on the grip, I don’t want to know about how it’s different from the book, I just want to watch the dang movie.

My suspension of disbelief is upheld by a magical—albeit fragile—thread when I come before the silver screen. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I probably indulge in pointless movie trivia more than a dozen of the average joes, but I don’t do it while the movie is playing.

Be quiet! There’s a movie on!

And for the love of God, don’t recite your favorite lines in tandem with the actors.

08. Thou shalt not critique

I don’t even care what professional critics have to say in major publications about movies, why should I hear from you? Every time you point out how fake a visual effect looks, every time you groan and grunt at what you perceive to be holes in the plot, every time you laugh at scenes intended to scare, you shatter the illusion the movie is meant to create!

I know it’s not real dangit. I’m trying to, in a sense, pretend like it is in order to immerse myself in the movie’s story. I want to be scared when the movie wants me to be scared and I want to be caught up in the plot when the movie aims to make it so. That’s what enjoying fiction is all about! I’m almost thirty years old, it’s hard enough to get my mode going good enough to believe the Avengers can communicate with one another when there are clearly no comm devices in their ears, I sure as heck can’t pretend when you sigh dramatically and point it out to me.

07. Thou shalt not forsake the viewing

Oh, you have to pee? Really? You didn’t realize this when we hit play? You can’t possibly last another half hour? Please, by all means, get up and walk past me at the most dramatic, crucial and/or terrifying moment in the film. And wait, what’s that? You don’t want us to pause it for you? Why the heck not? Because you don’t care about movies.

Use the bathroom, changeover your laundry, get a glass of water, etc. before or after the movie has ended but never during it. If you don’t watch the movie, you don’t watch the movie. I know you aren’t answering your phone, because you turned it off before the movie started, right?

06. Thou shalt not conversate

Shut up. Both of you. The movie requires silence to cast its wonderful illusory magic spell on us. Your audible conversation reminds me that it is not actually a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It’s actually here and now, next to two yahoos talking about where they’re going for dinner.

05. Thou shalt not divide thy focus

I thought mentioning the phone would be enough, but clearly it was not. If you are reading a book, poking around on your laptop, thumbing through a magazine or doing anything other than watching the movie, then you are—by definition—not watching the movie. And if you’re not watching the movie, what the heck are you doing here?

04. Thou shalt react respectfully

That scene was funny, so go ahead and laugh. And yes, this scene is terrifying, so a gasp is appropriate. You know what, I appreciate that you’re invested in the movie. Okay… That’s enough. Wait, what did that character just say? I couldn’t hear because the chump next to me is still laughing.

03. Remember the viewing atmosphere, to keep it holy

Ahhh the movie atmopshere. What a wonderful thing. The lights go down, all distractions are put away, the volume is turned up, and everyone sits still and stops talking while we venture into the fictional world that the movie creates.

If only it were always so.

When you get up, walk around, fidget, make a sandwich in the kitchen, switch on a lamp, etc. you destroy the magic. You destroy it. And maybe the magic isn’t important to you, buster, but it sure as heck is important to me.

02. If the movie has not been properly viewed, thou waiveth thy right to any opinion on said movie

So you didn’t like the movie? Is that what you’re saying? I’m curious about this assessment, because, if I recall, while the movie was playing you were looking at your phone, conversing with your friends and getting up to pee. Why, you didn’t really see the movie at all. As such, you are allowed no opinion about the movie whatsoever.

After all, the film’s important twist was revealed while you were staring down at Instagram. You missed the funniest line because you were talking over it, and you didn’t see that one guy die because you were in the bathroom. You didn’t see the movie.

Oh, you saw most of it, you say? You got the gist, you say? Hilarious. I’d like to see you skim a handful of chapters from Crime and Punishment and then pass a test on it.

01. All thoughts on the movie from someone who has seen the movie are spoilers. THOU SHALT NEVER EVER SPEAK SPOILERS.

“The ending blew my mind!”

“It was actually really sad.”

“I didn’t like the way it ended.”

I am perpetually flabbergasted by not only the lack of sensitivity so many folks have toward what we call “spoilers”—informative tidbits that spoil the plot and/or experience of a film—but also the understanding of what constitutes a spoiler in the first place. There are two types: direct and indirect. A direct spoiler is obvious, “The protagonist dies at the end.” An indirect spoiler however, is much broader, “It was actually really sad.” If you tell me the movie is “actually really sad” then I enter into the experience anticipating something tragic, the movie can’t possibly surprise me with it. As a result, the emotional reaction the movie intends to evoke is forever lost.

“Oh come on!” they groan. “I didn’t say anything!” they whine.

“You’ll never see the ending coming!” Actually, now I will. I’ll sit through the entire movie fully prepared for some twist, fighting the urge to unravel it in my mind as it approaches, and the surprise falls flat. A twist ending depends on the impact, not just the ramifications of the impact. If I’m told that the ending is a surprise, even if the contents of said surprise are not thoroughly unpacked, the surprise ceases to be a surprise at all. It becomes an inevitability.

Imagine, if you will, that I’m attending a wedding ceremony. The mood is thick. The lighting, decor, ambience are all perfectly in place. Just as the vows are about to be exchanged, I stand up and begin to shout gibberish at the top of my lungs for about fifteen seconds. After the initial shock begins to fade, the ceremony continues. That specific moment in time and what it means for everyone involved will be forever marked by the idiot who stood up and shouted for no good reason. They could hold another ceremony if they so desired, but it’s really too late, that important occasion can never be recreated. Now, imagine that when the offended parties approach me in regards to my strange behavior I simply say, “So what? You still got married. After all, it’s just a party, it’s not like it’s the end of the world.”

Not every movie is magical, but even bad movies require a certain level of investment to even allow for the possibility of magic to take place. Most people think of themselves as movie fans, but in reality, they treat movies the way most casual listeners treat music: as something to be enjoyed in passing, perhaps even in the background, with no serious commitment. After all, they think, it’s just a movie. So who in the world are you to care so much if they don’t?

For others, movies are an incredible doorway to inspiration, humanity, philosophy, theology, art, culture… Movies, though only stories created with actors and cameras, can offer a once in a lifetime experience that may resonate with us for as long as we live. We realize that life doesn’t begin and end with movies. We could live without them. We don’t get our identity from movies, we just like them a lot. They matter to us.

And they matter to all who keep these commandments.
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(Article Source)