Commentary: Waiting to See Faith Film Little Boy
I like going to the movies. I just don’t do it nearly as often as I did when I was young. I did see American Sniper earlier this year and thought it well worth the ticket price. While I was disappointed it didn’t win Best Picture at the Academy Awards I can’t complain because I didn’t see the competition. Not for a lack of time. Instead my tastes in movies has greatly changed since I was a younger man and of course especially from when I was a child. It’s not like men in their 50s would be thrilled by Bambi or Jungle Book. Much of what I currently like are historical biography or films portraying historical eras well. In the 1990s I saw many of the Merchant and Ivory films and for the most part skipped the comedies I favored in the 1980s.
I’m not saying I won’t go to the cinema for other options and enjoy stories with serious character development. I cited Gran Torino in a post a few weeks ago. Wonderful story with a much overlooked Christian theme. Reviewers may have missed the latter aspect because the main character is a foul-mouthed cantankerous old man, although. The film ends with his redemption through sacrifice.
On weekend afternoons when it rains or snows I enjoy Steven Seagal and James Bond reruns. At home. I don’t leave the house. These are pure fun and simple morality tales. The good guys always win and always get the girls. I like the butt whooping the bad guys get and the gadgets. I’m not much interested in movies where the sole plot involves boom-boom-boom.
Many of my current friends rely on faith-based ratings systems before ever paying to see a movie. Some of these pictures adhere closely to faith and scripture but suffer for a lack of funding. A good message gets lost in bad production. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the high-cost Hollywood biblical epics of recent vintage which clearly miss the message. It would be like me trying to produce a film about China without ever looking at a map, reading any Chinese history and without having ever met any Chinese.
One movie I would very much like to see is called Little Boy. While there isn’t much scripture quoted it’s a movie about faith. More specifically lessons about faith. There are positive reviews as you can see here and here. And then you have reviews such as this one from liberal naysayers. The latter is apparently appalled by what I believe is the distant witness of an atomic explosion being portrayed as revelatory. I won’t know until I see it for myself. It would be similar to a scene in a splendid film from the 1980s named Empire of the Sun, a flick produced by a leading Hollywood leftist. One movie is criticized while the other I’m sure is praised all because of differing philosophical approaches. The nasty reviewer intends to define faith for us. “Here, faith is not a tool for self-improvement or a route to inner peace, but a kind of magic ticket, making all dreams come true,” it reads. Whoa, don’t confuse Werner Erhard with Christian faith. “Self-improvement” and “inner peace?” Someone hasn’t looked at his maps.
Speaking of maps the only real hurdle for me in seeing Little Boy is my local cinema is a little slow on booking films with possible Christian messages. I may require a long drive if I plan to watch it this weekend. Eventually, when I see the movie, I’ll pass along my own review.