Posts Tagged ‘Charlton Heston’

In Hollywood, where doth my help come from?

“Christian Movie.” It’s a phrase that has plagued both Hollywood and the Church for decades because the two sides don’t really talk, even if there was the awkward Thanksgiving dinner.

Separate: The two don’t have an inkling enough knowledge of the other to understand what the market demands. Together: Former “celebs” who get real with Christ are considered sellouts because the first that happens is TBN fawns all over them and gets them preaching.

So, what does it mean to be a “Christian Movie”? Is it focus on the “Greatest Story Ever Told,” because honestly, if you have seen the movie (aside from the meaning, people), it really is not the greatest. Not even Top 10.

The one that changed Christian film making was not “The Omega Code,” which looked like the IRS came and repossessed the movie set halfway into the film. No, it was “The Passion of the Christ.

Real. Violent. Authentic. Visceral.

And an A-list celeb created it, without the aforementioned megalomaniac drool from Paul and Jan. Then, of course, that A-list celeb went off the deep end and offending every Jew, black person and woman on the face of God’s planet. So much for his clout. Next?

Sure, Kirk Cameron made a nice swim through a resurrection (of his career) but that was short-lived, and short-marketed. “Fireproof” was nice, really nice, but it lacked the big Hollywood backing.

No one was really 'running' from the Church to catch this one

Recently, Disney saw a glimmer of hope in this once forgotten Christian market, and put out a movie that had all the makings of the next great “Christian Movie.” To use the introduction from a riveting BrandWeek article:

On the face of it, Disney’s feel-good drama Secretariat seemed to have all the makings of a hit with the God-fearing crowd: Its writer and director are devout Christians, it opens with a lengthy Bible quote, it uses an earnest spiritual tune at a key emotional moment and it’s uplifting. Then there was a specific marketing campaign to the faith-based audience, spearheaded by filmmaker Randall Wallace, who has legitimate street cred in those circles.

Quick show of hands for all the Christ followers who saw this flick? Yeah, me neither.

This is a movie that supposed to be the feel-good hit of the summer and Hollywood was counting on the Church. Only, it wasn’t marketed to the Church, so who knew?

Therein lies the rub.

The Church either goes one way or the other when it comes to movie selections:

  1. We are either incognito at Rated-R flicks – Groucho Marx glasses and all – and only be seen watching Pixar movies with the kids.
  2. Or, we go see any horror or drama made with a staunch “So what” to anyone in the Church that has an issue with your film-viewing pleasures.

Then there are those in-between who really want to see God show up in films outside of anything dealing with the crucifixion, resurrection or anything starring Charlton Heston.

Why? According to this story, Christians aren’t as naive and sheepish as Hollywood thinks:

Any movie that has a happy ending or a hopeful message gets peddled to Christian leaders and faith-based media. That crowd may be conservative, but they’re not dumb, said entertainment industry veteran and marketing consultant Mark Joseph.

“The traditionalist audience is far more savvy, post-‘Passion,’ and is tired of being told that ‘Polar Express’ or ‘Rocky VI’ are actually allegories about Christ,” said Joseph, also a film producer who’s worked on The Passion of the Christ and other marketing campaigns. “This group is suspicious of Hollywood.”

Not only is this group “suspicious” of Hollywood; they are also lazy to demand otherwise from it.

Yes, I paid good money to see “Inception”, “Iron Man 2” and “Robin Hood” this summer. And why? Because I am a child of God that can see a movie that doesn’t exalt Christ and still find pleasure in it. Sure, I wish it mentioned, alluded to or flat-out praised him, but if it doesn’t, I’ll go for a gripping storyline and stimulating writing any day.

And no, I didn’t pay a dime to see anything else from TBN studios, the “Veggie Tales” movie or “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.” Why? Just because the American Family Association gives it two crosses up doesn’t mean it’s good; it just means it’s sanctified.

Jesus made the ministrel of music. We should own it.

Amen!

It’s the same old problem that has plagued Christian music and fashion. We demand quality too.

When the world had old-school hip hop, the Church had D.C. Talk. (Sure, later came DII, SFC, PID and Freedom of Soul… but toby Mac and the guys pretty screwed that up for the rest of them). When the world had friendship pins, Swatch watches and Coca-Cola shirts, we had cheaply made Garanimals with an icthtus emblazoned on the crest.

Sigh.

In short, just because you have a fish on your business card, doesn’t guarantee me doing business with you. It only means I am leery of you because you expect a hand-out or a hand-up. We need to earn our keep in Hollywood, and not be afraid of the backlash just because we admit we love Jesus in public circles.

It’s happened with music (e.g. Hillsong, Mercy Me, David Crowder, anything alternative that has made the crossover, and on and on and on). Now, it’s time to stop trying to remake the Passion and just get passionate about evangelism with a great movie.

We need to vote with our dollars, in addition to our prayers. (And please, we do NOT do that).

So my definition of “Christian Movie”? It’s a great movie that happens to talk about Christ and sticks to the meaning of his message.

You know, rather than a lukewarm message of love and hate, right and wrong with a crappy script, a couple of has-been actors and something that goes straight to DVD cloaked as a movie.

Think about it people. When we demand more, we will get more. Peace.

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It’s been a while, and since summer ir looming, why not? Time for another list. Huzzah!

Only this one may surprise you a skosh. No thanks to ChristianColleges.com, we discover the “100 All-time Best Movies for Christians.”

(Yes… no thanks. You’ll see.)

So, you would think big players would be overtly Jesus-esque films like “The Passion of the Christ.” And then there’s the movies about God’s generals like “The 10 Commandments” and its sister film “The Prince of Egypt.” Biblical tenet flicks have to make the list for those who enjoyed the recent “Fireproof” and perhaps the not-so-recent “End of the Spear.”

However, I’ll give you a blank check if you can name the #1 Christian movie of all time. G’head, I’ll wait. Time’s wasting. Tick-tock.

Thank God for this movie, I guess.

Thank God for this movie, I guess.

That sound you hear is the pervasiveness of crickets… in a church, no less.

Survey Says: Iron Will. HUH?!

I mean any flick about puppies has to be cute. Use the uh, challenged kid from the Facts of Life and I’ll give you a straight-to-DVD adventure.

So, immediately I would venture to say the validity of this cockamamie list is in question if Mackenzie Astin can whoop up on Sir Charlton Heston and any fart-and-fall-down movie TBN has cranked out.

But, this collection of misfit flicks is, if anything, diverse. Evidently, Rudy’s kid brother needs to challenge the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences about getting duped on all those “Best Actors” awards they hand out annually.You see, the Dog Whisperer here has beat out some of Hollywood’s elite.

Now, I love Jesus but this is ridiculous. Those slammed by the acting savvy of this entertainment wunderkind are:

  • #4 – Chariots of Fire. Followed by…
  • #5 – Woman, Thou Art Loosed. Um, I’m pretty sure “Chariots” soundtrack outsold this epic
  • #13 – Dead Man Walking. Because riding a dog slams what Sean Penn did in this dopey movie
  • #21 – The Matrix. Sounds like the authors of this list took the blue pill
  • #41 – Ben-Hur. Astin was an Iditarod gladiator, somewhat
  • #46 – Schindler’s List. Holocaust. Sad Puppies. Sure, I would sway one way over the other for sure
  • #51 – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Which beat out…
  • #54 – The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Well, it was a golden ticket. Come on.
  • #59 – The Passion of the Christ. Yeah, I thought this cheeseball movie sucked too.
  • #95 – It’s a Wonderful Life. You realize, my eyes are full of tears of laughter now
  • #100 – The Muppet Christmas Carol. Blasphemous, ain’t it?

You know, I am anonymous for legal reasons but suffice to say, my name is not Roger Ebert, Leonard Maltin or some ne’er-do-well staffer from Rotten Tomatoes. But even I would have done a better job than this half-baked, without sleep and possibly illiterate. I’m just saying.

Whoever thought this would be an ice breaker? Well, it is… so any guesses?

  1. Both can seriously rock the Roman toga look?
  2. They each have been known to say a prayer every now and then?
  3. That silver hair gives them a regal appeal with the ladies?
  4. High Google searches?

Sorry, all those are incorrect. Think Bible, as in those nice Christmas box sets you buy folk that need a lil’ more of Jesus during the holidays? Charlton Heston lent his raspy, beloved pipes to a famed narration of the Bible in the late 90s. Now, we can add the thick, convoluted accent of Joseph Ratzinger to the mix, as he wil be next to read the Bible.

And it’s a first from the Vatican, Jesus fans, according to this story from Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Evidently, with the pomp and circumstance associated with the Pope – leader of a religious movement and all – you would think someone in that Holy See would have read the Bible on TV. Alas, voice over talent was never a sought after need on a papal resume.

But hey, Mazel Tov, Papa. Maybe this post will help create a buzz for more downloads of iTunes? Good on ya’, B16.

I have played three presidents, two saints and two genuises – that’s enough for any man

– Charlton Heston

Moses or HestonIt’s official. A man known largely for being a Roman chariot racer, a leader of half-grown monkeys, the last man on the earth (yeah, it wasn’t Will Smith) and the leader of God’s chosen nation, has left us in a cloud of glory. Charlton Heston, 83, died last weekend of Alzheimer’s and the media obituary abounds.

His Shakespearean-trained, gravely voice will be missed, but in case you need a refresher, buy this. Heston was truly a renaissance man. On one hand, he portrayed El Cid and marched arm-in-arm with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in protest – of the theater premiering his own movie. On the other hand, he further cemented his place in my Dad’s heart as a gun-totin’ man’s man, president of the NRA.

Not a better man has done more in Hollywood and received less acclaim for how he was able to bridge the gap of humanity and get both “sides” talking to one another. Why? Because he was there. Regardless the argument, he was there. Kinda’ reminds you of someone, eh?