Sunday, April 10, 2011

Soul Surfer Movie Review (well, sort of review)

I watched the Soul Surfer movie last night with my daughter and love it!  When I came home, I was curious to find out what others are saying so I Googled "Soul Surfer Reviews",. I saw the Rotten Tomatoes review page.  Interesting how the movie critics there gave it an average rating of 51% while the viewers gave it 87%.  

Many of the critics think the movie is bland.  They think it lacks excitement.  One of them said that the shark biting scene wasn't "scary" like that of Jaws.   But this movie is not really about the shark, is it?

Another interesting critic comment is that Bethany is almost eerie in her optimism.  Here's the quote:

The flaw in the storytelling strategy of "Soul Surfer" is that it doesn't make Bethany easy to identify with. She's almost eerie in her optimism. Her religious faith is so unshaken, it feels taken for granted. The film feels more like an inspirational parable than a harrowing story of personal tragedy.  - Roger Ebert review

Reading R. Ebert's comment reminded me of the Phil 4:7 verse in the Bible when it says  ".. and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus".  I think, that almost eerie optimism is that "peace that passeth all understanding". It's hard to understand, but that is what is it, that is what happened, and that is what they portrayed.  Oh I am sure there were many times of struggles and crying and agony, but the real heart of it ll is trusting their God in this difficult circumstances. 

I love how the movie is bold about sharing Bethany's faith in God and yet it is done in a subtle way, not a "believe or go to burn in hell" kind of way.   I love how their family was portrayed, how they are all so supportive to each other.  I love that the movie does not have provocative sex scenes and does not have too much gory violent scene; I love that the language use are decent and does not contain a lotsof F word that is so common in most movies nowadays.  I love that  "loving others" was emphasized; I love that  the "not giving up in times of hardship" is taught.  This is the kind of movie I want my kids to watch and it's hard to find movies like this nowadays.  Even the Disney animated movies these days are so full of sarcastic jokes that kids  learn to be too sarcastic instead of using courteous and kind words.  Ahhh, maybe I am just an old fashion mama, but this is how I feel, and since I have a blog I thought I might as well give my 2 cents worth of review of this film.  If you have not seen the movie yet, go see it.  It really is a simple movie that is worth watching.  Don't  expect spectacular, expect a good.  And since most review pages give star and points, I might as well give it a 5 starts out of 5.   :)   


Mike Neal said...

Well said, Liza!

Rebecca Owen said...

I know the Hamilton family and was actually in Noah's wedding 2 years ago. This movie has consumed their lives these past 2 years, in a good way. I found it extremely true to how their family functions. They are so supportive of one another. Bethany's faith is just like how she was portrayed, but even more "eerie." She doesn't waver one bit and has an amazing innocence to her. She actually is a small bit unrelatable in person, and I'm glad they caught that in the script. To her, there are no other options except faith in the Lord. Thanks for reviewing it Liza!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your review of the movie! We saw it last night and walked away totally inspired! You hit on all of the major points that are great about the movie. There are action packed movies that are created to entertain and this movie was made to tell a story of courage, faith, and love. I am so thankful that they did not drag out the attack scene and I cringed the whole way through that part. I am a critical care nurse and I understand the fact that her surviving the attack is a complete miracle. Bethany's act of faith should inspire us all to dig deeper into our own walk with God. Mahalo and Aloha!

Unknown said...

Liza, I did not see the movie but my Oldest Daughter did here is what she said: Inspiring, emotional, full of faith, a MUST see movie!!! One of the best movies i've ever seen!!! Very well done:):) Bethany Hamilton is officially one of my heroes!!!!

Also one of my Grandaughers saw it, she is 13:That was the best movie i have EVER seen!!!!!!!! i ♥ soul surfer!....."I didnt come here to win, i came here to surf.

I think you did a great job of reviewing

Ray Mains

ajjakea said...

Love that Bethany is such a role model for SO many....and now more and more. I could use an ounce of the kind of courage she has. The movie portrays her as the real life hero she is.

FootPrints said...

People who have never experienced HIS peace wont get it