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Left Behind (2014)

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Cuidon is pretty harsh about this film:

I will bold this next point so that readers now searching desperately for the vanished comments section can take note: Left Behind is not a Christian Movie, whatever Christian Moviecould even possibly mean.

 

 

An important preface to my comment--I have not seen the film, but...

I think this is ultimately an untenable position. I have no idea whether the film is any good or not...I have a hard time, based on the source material, figuring out how it could be, though there are plenty of good to great movies made from poor books. 

But i do think some segments of Christians in the arts (whether critics or artists themselves) spend so much time trying to dissolve or attack the category of "Christian movie" (for fear that some work they don't want link with the broader category be relegated to it?) that they fail to address/serve the parts of the readership (and the artists/production companies) that accept such labels and seek to operate within it. 

 

I also think/fear such pronouncement border on inferring to those who might claim that they are making a Christian movie (or trying to), whatever that means to them and their viewership, that the critic is judging their faith or challenging their self-identification rather than judging their art work. If a critic were to say, for example, that THE EQUALIZER is "not a Black [or African-American] movie, whatever that even means" or that PHILADELPHIA is "not a gay movie, whatever that even means" I think he/she would receive pushback on such a statement. If someone were to say that SERIOUS MAN or THE HUMBLING is "not a Jewish movie, whatever that even means" some might even take umbrage, asking why the critic gets to decide not whether the film is any good but whether or not the film (or filmmakers) deserve to be called Jewish.

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I can't believe you said "inferring" when you meant "implying", Ken.

 

I agree, though, that it seems odd that someone could argue a film does not fit within a certain category, if the someone in question openly says he has no idea how the category is even defined.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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An important preface to my comment--I have not seen the film, but...

I think this is ultimately an untenable position. I have no idea whether the film is any good or not...I have a hard time, based on the source material, figuring out how it could be, though there are plenty of good to great movies made from poor books. 

But i do think some segments of Christians in the arts (whether critics or artists themselves) spend so much time trying to dissolve or attack the category of "Christian movie" (for fear that some work they don't want link with the broader category be relegated to it?) that they fail to address/serve the parts of the readership (and the artists/production companies) that accept such labels and seek to operate within it. 

 

I also think/fear such pronouncement border on inferring to those who might claim that they are making a Christian movie (or trying to), whatever that means to them and their viewership, that the critic is judging their faith or challenging their self-identification rather than judging their art work. If a critic were to say, for example, that THE EQUALIZER is "not a Black [or African-American] movie, whatever that even means" or that PHILADELPHIA is "not a gay movie, whatever that even means" I think he/she would receive pushback on such a statement. If someone were to say that SERIOUS MAN or THE HUMBLING is "not a Jewish movie, whatever that even means" some might even take umbrage, asking why the critic gets to decide not whether the film is any good but whether or not the film (or filmmakers) deserve to be called Jewish.

 

All of this.

 

(Not sure about the whole "inferring"/"implying" thing, though.)

My review.

 

Can I go hide now?

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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TRISTAN!


More importantly, let's figure out who among us is most adept at supercutting, and when this movie is available in a digital format-- pirated or legit-- let's all get together somewhere for a weekend hangout and cut together a really great Nic Cage film, focusing mainly on this, the bad remake of THE WICKER MAN and BAD LOOEY: PORT OF N.O.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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I can't believe you said "inferring" when you meant "implying", Ken.

 

 

Hangs head in shame. 

I clearly don't deserve to be called Dr. Morefield...whatever that even means....

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Russ: You just made me wish that this film had a scene even half as good as "Step away from the bike!"

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Caught my eye that there's on "Fresh" review at RT! Gotta go see who that is.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Patheos' newest blogger Paul Asay reviews Left Behind:

 

If all good Christians in the world suddenly vanished in a blink of an eye — just like they always claimed they would — it seems that once you figured out they weren’t hiding under the table, some serious spiritual soul-searching would be in order. If you’re making a story about the Rapture, things get a little churchy.

 

Brett McCracken at Christianity Today:

 

The Rapture is a relatively recent idea in church history, as well as a minor theme in Scripture: Many Bible scholars argue that it's not there at all...

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Focus on the Family gives it four stars. "... you can't watch it without wondering what's up with your own spiritual condition."

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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"... you can't watch it without wondering what's up with your own spiritual condition."

 

Exactly my thoughts.  When I saw Leaving Las Vegas.


Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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Early box-office weekend estimate at Deadline:

 

And while Left Behind was expected to lag, it wasn’t by this much. Playing on less than 1,800 screens, it plucked a still-anemic $1.5-$2 million on Friday, putting the Freestyle Releasing pic on a trajectory of $4-$6 three-day million.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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"... you can't watch it without wondering what's up with your own spiritual condition."

 

I imagine I would agree with that, although not in the way Focus intended.


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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LaHaye wanted a movie that would be "true to the biblical storyline". That is just such a weird thing to hear in the context of this movie, which jettisons pretty much the *entire* dispensationalist storyline from the original novel (there's no Antichrist, fer cryin' out loud!) and keeps nothing but the Rapture itself, a momentary thing that everyone has to cope with but which doesn't really take place within any sort of larger dispensationalist context.

 

I know, I know -- they're saving all that for the sequels. Just like the James Bond and Star Trek reboots, the Left Behind reboot is going to stretch out its origin story over multiple films -- assuming those other films ever get made. But still.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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#1 on The Playlist's "20 Worst Films of 2014":

“After the last few years, we didn't even think it was possible for Nicolas Cage's career to reach a new nadir with the reboot of popular God-bother apocalypse series ‘Left Behind.’ More than one Christian-aimed movie made a surprising box office impact this year, with films like ‘Son Of God’ (recycled footage from ‘The Bible’ TV series), ‘God’s Not Dead’ and ‘Heaven Is For Real’ all making some hefty coin, and all were objectively terrible pieces of art. But even its target audience didn’t enjoy ‘Left Behind,’ which did pleasingly poorly at the box office. ‘The Leftovers’ proved this summer that the Rapture can make for strange and powerful cinematic material, but here, veteran stunt director Vic Armstrong has made a cheap, preachy and unpleasant disaster movie with budget effects, little weight narrative drive, and a Cage performance that’s dreadful even by his standards. Dull, flat and repulsive in its message (it’s notable that the entirely admirable Muslim character doesn’t go to heaven), it’s also just really, really badly made.”

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Now streaming at Netflix in the US.

 

So, I watched it. I expected some campy fun, maybe a few laughs at an outrageous Nic Cage performance, but this was dreadfully dull. Everything about the film feels tired and worn out. Especially its eschatology.

100% agree, although with the caveat that its eschatology seemed almost like an afterthought.

 

It was bad in a way that's hard to care about, much less enjoy. "Tired and worn out," like you said.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I watched it in theatres and thought it was also dull. On the other hand, yesterday I watched A Thief in the Night and that fulfilled my expectations for campy fun (also, it gets kudos for having a Larry Norman rendition featured in the opening credits).

Edited by winter shaker

He finds no mercy

And he's lost in the crowd

With an armoured heart of metal

He finds he's running out of odd-numbered daisies

From which to pull the petals

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I wasn't expecting anything really good, but I was expecting something more than "humorless remake of Airplane!"


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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I watched it in theatres and thought it was also dull. On the other hand, yesterday I watched A Thief in the Night and that fulfilled my expectations for campy fun (also, it gets kudos for having a Larry Norman rendition featured in the opening credits).

It's a Norman song, but it's performed by "Fishmarket Combo," whoever they were. 

 

Don't forget the car crash scene cribbed from Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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