RISEN (and other movies)


I do not remember ever going to a cinema and watching a movie on its first day of its release. But I made it a point to view this new Christian film called RISEN on its premiere showing on February 19, 2016.  “Why not?” I asked myself, “the Christian spring holy days are so soon upon us.”

Some of you may have already seen this movie by the time of this posting, but because it is still so new and not on DVD, I am not going to be the spoiler and reveal much about the movie that has not already been advertised. Just in case, do not read any further if you do not want to know anything else about this film.

Overall, it’s a nice movie ….but…ah …  you know … ah … it’s Hollywood.

This motion picture is another one of Hollywood’s view of Scripture. It begins with the crucifixion of Christ and covers the forty days up to His ascension into heaven. Its characters include Peter, Bartholomew and the other nine disciples. Mary Magdalene has some big scenes. One of them has her running for her life! (Oops, I revealed a little too much here! Sorry.)

The risen Jesus Christ is shown several times talking and breaking bread with the disciples. Other biblical characters  presented are: Pontious Pilate (a major character), Caiaphas, Barabbas and there even is a good characterization of Joseph of Arimathea. But the main character in this movie is non biblical – one that you do not read about in Scripture – a Roman soldier of the tribune caliber. His rank is above that of a centurion which enables him to interrelate with the Roman and Jewish power figures where he was assigned.

It’s a nice movie, but, but …. it’s Hollywood, not the Bible. Do not expect concise, biblical historical accuracy from this film.

This movie falls into the same league as the classic epics such as: Barabbas (1961) (click here for trailer) starring Anthony Quinn and The Robe (1953) (click here for trailer) starring Richard Burton. If you have not seen these two films, please watch them. Anyway, RISEN portrays the same idea, at least that is how it came across to me.

Again, Hollywood is Hollywood. And it shows her interpretation of the Bible with much imagination thrown in.  I give it an A+ for imagination. I enjoy imagination. But, again, do not expect Bible accuracy. Hollywood is Hollywood. That being repeated, still watch this movie. Why?

Because I also give RISEN an A+ for scenery and location presentation:

a) It gave me a good possible glimpse of the housing of Jerusalem’s inhabitants.

b) It portrayed a great example of how the Roman military conquered much of the known world by how it easily was able to put down a rebellion in Jerusalem.

c) The fires of Gehenna that Jesus spoke about is dramatized in this motion picture. With the possible exception of Barabbas, I do not recall seeing a Bible-based movie that shows a burning refuse dump outside the walls of Jerusalem.

Other Movies to Watch – Yes and No

1) The Witch
Can you believe this?! Another movie that made its debut in this movie theater on February 19th, is The Witch. I am guessing it is more of a movie on the occult than anything. And I will not spend the time to watch it. I do not gamble, but I would bet this movie is more historically accurate than the movie RISEN. Just my thoughts here and who cares.

a) It is mostly, as I said, a horror or an occult movie of some kind.

b) If you are a Christian, it will take your mind off the light of the gospel and have you enmeshed in the ways of darkness – covens, witchcraft and Satanism.

c) If you are a follower of Christ, avoid this one.


Theatrical release poster

2) The Young Messiah
A movie to be shown later this month March, 2016 is The Young Messiah. Again, Hollywood is Hollywood, but I would definitely go and watch this movie. I called the theater and was told it will first be shown on Friday, March 11th. I have not decided whether to watch it on that day or about a week later. Now, why would I watch this movie knowing full well most of the plot will not be in the gospels?

a) It is being played just prior to the Easter season. Therefore, it is a good time of the year for viewing this sort of film. I probably would go watch it even if shown in December because of the word “Messiah” in its title.

b) It is more about Jesus Christ instead of another character who witnesses and is affected by Him.

c) It will, I am sure, stir up my imagination. That is me! Movies that engages the mind, such as science fiction, go over well with me.

3) Miracles From Heaven
I called my nearest cinema about this movie and was informed that there will be a one-day-only showing of this film this month. If this is the case elsewhere, that means that perhaps churches and other groups could later on rent it out and present it to their local congregations. I do not know. Would I watch it? I do not know, but….

a) After watching the trailer (see below), I saw more than enough to know what the movie is all about.

b) This movie was produced by the same producers of  Heaven Is For Real which left me asking more questions about how God is witnessing to the world. (Click here for my post).

c) Again, I must ask, “Are we Christians being misled to believe in the existence of God and heaven through a child’s “visions” rather than have faith in God through the pages of the Bible?” These are just my thoughts. Do not let them (my thoughts) stop you, however, from watching this film and forming your own conclusions.

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Trailer of RISEN:


Trailer of The Young Messiah:


Trailer of Miracles From Heaven:

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