Friday, June 15, 2007

Yes, that's what I was thinking about Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty is set to be released in theaters in one week. I am amazed by the hub-bub (for now my definition of marketing hype) surrounding this film. Have you noticed the direct marketing to Christians? Click around at Christianity Today and I promise you'll see a banner ad for the film within 30 seconds. I think I even heard a "commercial" on a local listener supported radio station that plays Christian Music. Why in the world is this movie being categorized as Christian? Seriously!? Oh...because it talks about God (I forgot.)

Challies nails it about what to think regarding the upcoming Evan Almighty film. No wonder he is writing a book on discernment! should be a daily read for all blog readers.

These words from Challies summarize my own thoughts about whether I will see Evan Almighty or not:
And this is exactly why I will not go and watch Evan Almighty. If I go, I know I will laugh. I will laugh at things that are meant to be funny but which are actually dead serious. Only later will I realize what I've done. The genre of film will reduce my defenses and allow me to laugh at things that may be blasphemous or vulgar or otherwise unbiblical. So, like Bruce Almighty, I'll just stay away even though part of me really would love to see this one.


Christians are proving that they are ripe for the picking and that they will shell over money for just about any project deemed "Christian." Of course the film's official site has no mention of the programs they've developed for Christians (though they do provide links to environmental programs). The people marketing the film want to have it both ways: they want to market the film to Christians but don't want unbelievers to know they are doing this. They are taking advantage of this Christian market, trying to lure them in to see a film that looks anything but appropriate for Christians.


And when people walk away from Evan Almighty they will not love God more. I don't think they will have a greater understanding of the Bible. In fact, I suspect they'll see the biblical story of the flood as being as fictional as this movie--a quaint plot but completely unrealistic and implausible. Mere fiction. This movie will not and cannot bring anyone closer to God. Rather, it will necessarily project a false image of God, a false understanding of Him. And we're being told to watch this, to enjoy this, and to bring our families to see it so they can laugh with us.
So, I could see Evan Almighty because I like the lead actor and I know I would laugh a ton. But that is just not a good enough reason for me!

I hope my friend and owner of Nehring the Edge sees the movie first thing and delivers the lowdown asap. I can't wait to read his opening one-liner. I couldn't find a review of Bruce Almighty in his archives so perhaps he'll see both movies and give us a "double feature."


ron said...

The entertainment industry considers Christians as it does any other demographic - something to increase profits. Our love affair with the film industry produces some of the highest levels of self absorbed justification there is.

Jeff Burton said...

There is an odd juxtaposition in your post of admiration for Challies right along with anticipation of Nehring's review. Isn't Challie's anathema enough? And if Challies can review it without seeing it, shouldn't Nehring be able to do the same?

ron said...

I don't see a conflict between applauding Challies counsel, and expecting a review from Nehring. It is Nehring's choice to watch some films that knowingly are vulgar and blasphemous, and provide reviews.

The thought it seems to me is that Nehring has an understanding of what he's watching that allows him to better handle questionable material, and therefore could provide some insight to a film such as Evan Almighty which is either entertaining or informative.

Nehring admits that a majority of films he watches are not good for a variety of reasons. So you could find a juxtaposition between the need to review, and applying discernment to not watch something when it's clear that many films are a waste of time by watching a 2 minute trailer.

Nehring said...

Despite my love for make definitive judgements on things I know nothing about condemning a movie of this nature without seeing it seems to be a tad presumptive.

Personally, I'd rather wait and see the movie AND THEN cast it into the firey bowels of hell.

I put something up about Mr. Chellies and his painfully wrong conclusions soon.

Thanks for the kind words here guys. Its nice to know someone is still reading my stuff.

Brandy Dopkins said...

Ok, forgive me if I offend.

Relax. It's a MOVIE. Created by HOLLYWOOD. Not a scriptural rendering of the Truth.

Why are we not instead applauding any attempt at a MOVIE that is not chock full of sex, profanity, and violence? I say let such a thing turn a profit. Maybe this will help a cultural shift in what is offered in theatres.

If such a film were made of a Hindu legend, I can just see hackles go up about how even having this in the marketplace somehow legitimizes Hinduism, regardless of true the movie may or may not be to the actual legend.

Why not see how a movie about a biblical event, off base or not, yet warm and fuzzy, makes the bible a little less scary to some who hate it without ever having read it? I am happy with that.

I am looking forward to having a moment of lighthearted laughter with my brother, and maybe discussing with him which points were on base or not. I am also looking forward to seeing a movie in which I do not squirm during a sex scene.

Why do we Christians get all too cool for the room when we think we are being targeted as a "Market"? If you live and breathe in the western world and have income to spend you are a market. And in capitalism market forces have power.

I now yield the soapbox.

Nehring said...

Great point about the marketing, Brandy. What is it that we're complaining about exactly? Hey you marketers, stop paying attention to us and attempting to direct us to content you think we'll like! Go back to ignoring us so we can return to making movies that will only be seen in church basements!

The marketing is a good thing. It means we're making headway.