Monday, April 21, 2014

Heaven is for Real Review

Heaven is for Real Poster
     During the previews of my recent viewing of God's Not Dead, I watched what was the trailer for Heaven is for Real. I was completely unaware that this was coming out (and that's a strange thing, since I know about nearly every movie that comes out).
     Here is the basis of the story:
Colton Burpo, a young boy of four, suffers from a near-death experience. Father Todd, Mother Sonja, and Sister Cassy, start seeing noticeable differences in Colton after his recovery. He begins telling everyone that he has visited Heaven and has met Jesus. Todd and family don't know what to make of this and neither does anyone else. Is Colton making this stuff up? Or did he really visit Heaven?
This story was actually based on a true story and book written by the real Todd Burpo.

The Good:
     This movie has some good aspects in it. The Nebraska scenery is gorgeous! They show a lot of scenes in which there are long lengths of huge corn fields and lots of country side. The cinematography is very stylized and really captures the true tone of this film. Also, the boy that plays Colton (Connor Corum) is actually surprisingly good for this being his first film and shows a lot of promise for future roles. But I'm sad to say that that was just about it on the positive side.

The Bad:
     This movie was just...bad. The pacing of this film was horrible! The scenes that needed to be drawn out were not drawn out enough and the scenes that didn't need to be drawn out were drawn out WAY! too much. In the story there are around four important scenes that are really supposed to be big in the plot and help the story along, but they only spent about five (or less!) minutes on each one of them!
      I found myself wishing the movie was over and thinking "How long has this movie been on? It's taking FOREVER!" It was just really boring, and this is coming from someone that is never bored of any movie. The purpose of movies is to entertain and this film did not even try.
     When reading the plot or just the title of this film you would think it is primarily for the Christian audience, but it has next to nothing do with Jesus! Let me explain. Yes, you have Colton having a near-death exsperiecne and sees Heaven and everything, but the story of this film is mainly about the dad coping with this. I am a Christian, and yes, I enjoy Christian themed movies. And this movie wasn't one. It was trying too much to appeal to a broader audience. Which isn't a bad thing, Christina movies need to try and reach everyone. But they tried so hard it ended up not being one at all.  And this is sad seeing that there are not that many Christian films that come out each year.
     The basis of the story should actually go like this:
Todd Burpo, local busy-body of the town Imperial, Nebraska, finds himself in a pickle when he hurts his leg while playing baseball and also has kidney stones. Not only that but they have no money and are constantly having to talk about their money problems because it is apparently a very important thing to talk about. He is then confronted with a even worse happenstance when his son turns ill and almost dies. Weeks later, his son starts talking about "heaven" and "Jesus" and scares everyone. Todd and his very very very lovely wife have to cope with this tragedy and find a way to get back to their normal lives while making a quick buck along the way.  
    This is the sad truth. All they can talk about in this movie is money problems, show how much Todd and Sonja love each other, and how really weird everyone thinks this kid is! The story just doesn't work at all.
    This movie was WAY too dramatic. Yes, these are some very dramatic things that are happening, but really? They make teenage girls look subtle.
     Not only that, but the characters are awful! Todd (Greg Kinnear) is not convincing as a preacher of any sort. In my opinion, to play a convincing Christian you have to be a Christian. And OH the wife! She is the most awkward and annoying thing I've seen put on screen. It's almost like she is daydreaming the entire time, like she isn't even paying attention to what is happening around her. I know that a wife is supposed to love their husbands, but this woman acts like a ten-year-old who has a crush on the boy next door. She is constantly looking at him like he is the most gorgeous thing on the planet! And like I said, I know wives are supposed to act that way toward their husbands, but do you really have to show it on screen the whole time!?Also, they kept on showing her singing like she was a good singer or something and she wasn't! That only added to her annoyingness.

     This movie was trying too hard to be a drama.
     You know what worked about God's Not Dead? It was convicting. If a lost person were to watch  God's Not Dead, I could see a chance of them getting saved. But I would definitely not recommend this film to non-Christians or even Christians.
     Their message really didn't have a message. Though, it had a very subtle one. Everyone can go to heaven. That's basically what they were teaching here, because they were for sure not teaching anything else.
     I just hated this movie. It really disappoints me a lot that such a good story could be messed up like this. It really didn't even need a movie! If you are a Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Buddist, Hindu, whatever! don't watch this film, it definitely will not help you at all. It was just badly made. If your looking for a good Christian film, go watch God's Not Dead.

Here's is my review of God's Not Dead in case you were thinking of seeing it- God's Not Dead Review

                                                                                                                     -The Filosopher



  2. I watched the video in the link above. How sad that John McArthur would choose to bash the Burpos with absolutely no knowledge of the story. He dismisses it as heresy and an attempt to circumvent the scripture. The story never tries to supersede scripture. But McArthur himself in the video promoted his book on Heaven as the Word of God. Can you say "Kettle and Pot"? That video has now put me off of all things John McArthur

    1. I didn't think MacArthur was bashing them (though I was very mad at whoever uploaded the video for adding the comment about the woman being simple-minded). However, I think that his use of scripture (or lack thereof) concerning people going to heaven and returning was good. There is no Biblical precedence for it! I certainly wouldn't want to come back to earth after going to heaven and like the Bible says, it is appointed to man once, only once to die. Everyone who's recommended the book to me says it's "so convincing" or it "gave me real hope." Personally, my hope is found only in God and His Word. I don't think this is a terrible movie, I just think that people shouldn't place the 'evidence' found therein as more important that the Bible. Sorry if I ruined your day by sharing the video! :(

    2. Well, thank you all for sharing your opinion. I would like to make it apparent that I was basing my opinion of the movie on the movie itself, not of whether I believe the boy went to heaven or not. There is not way to really prove that he did, his parents could have easily made up those things. But then again, they could be telling the truth and he really did go to heaven. And like you said, if it gives people hope then, okay. I just think this movie could have been made a lot better, and I wish it had been.

    3. Sorry we kinda hijacked your post :) I usually don't bother getting into this stuff over the internet but the whole premise for movies like these is unbiblical and I feel like this is something fellow believers should be aware of. Jesus says in John 3:13, "No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man." Seems pretty clear to me. I promise I'll leave it here. Thanks for running this blog!

    4. Not problem! Thanks for sharing your opinion :D