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This movie was a pleasant surprise. Let's get one thing out of the way. It has both quality acting and a driving plot. So, from the aspect of watching an entertaining movie it hits the mark. But, it moves far beyond that. It is difficult to put on the big screen a challenging topic on an issue nearly all of use hold a strong position. This movie will allow you to open your mind to how science and religion are not necessarily in conflict. It is easy to see how many people will either hat or love the movie, because it forces people to think and step out of their comfort zone. As I said, it will allow you to open your mind. The question is how many people will approach with an open mind.
I just saw The Genesis Code this afternoon after a friend told me about
it and it's one of my favorite movies of the past year. Anyone knows
going in this is not purely for entertainment: the movie has a message
that tackles some very difficult life decisions many of us suddenly
have to face, and also takes on some very loaded
religious/philosophical questions about where we come from.
When a movie has a message and tackles big subjects instead of claiming to be pure entertainment, of course it takes a big risk because there are bound to be people who strongly disagree with that message. A recent Gallup poll on God and evolution gave three choices and found 39% of Americans believe humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life but God guided the process, 40% believe God created human beings pretty much in their present form in the past 10,000 years or so, and 16% believe humans evolved over millions of years and God played no part. Needless to say, an overwhelming majority of the really negative reviews here come either from the 16% who believe God played no part, or else a handful of negative reviews from people who hate the movie because they take the position no "real" Christian could possibly believe that humans evolved over millions of years. The no-God and no-scientific evidence negative reviewers actually have a lot in common - both take a no-compromise position and pretend they can speak for all Christians and all Americans, when they don't. Thankfully we have The Genesis Code which is a movie for the rest of us who don't outright reject the Bible and don't outright reject scientific evidence either.
When I take a look at what's available to rent on red box it seems a third of the movies portray a world that offers convenient excuses to shoot at other people. An anthropologist from Mars who studied the U.S. based on our movies would think we get shot at every day on our way to work or checking out at the grocery store, but that cancer was extremely rare and unusual. Do any of these negative reviewers offer similarly scathing reviews of all these other movies for being superficial? Stacks of movies that cheapen human life aren't criticized - the stock answer is hey, if you don't want to watch violence don't rent them. But if someone comes out with just one new and refreshing movie that examines the inescapable pain and hard decisions that can be part of watching a loved one die, or the pressures to compromise your beliefs and ideals and values to advance your career, then people come out firing away with guns blazing. How sad.
Well, my answer to the negative reviewers of The Genesis Code is the same answer others offer for the stacks of movies with nothing but cheap violence. Hey, if you don't want to see a movie with Christian viewpoints on life's tragedies and a thought-provoking exploration of how much science and faith both agree on our origins, there's a simple answer: don't watch it! !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film attempts to tell many stories: a chaste college romance, the
tale of a son and his dying mother, a young man's struggle with faith,
and a specific attempt at a reconciliation of the Big Bang theory with
the story of Genesis (one that tries to avoid the pitfalls of other
UNFORTUNATELY, all of these attempts fail. The romance is flat and uninteresting, with no real passion between the leads. This is best exemplified by the horrifyingly-executed kiss towards the end (of course it's there).
The dying mother plot is worthy of a lifetime movie. Of course she wakes up from her cancer-coma at the end (I kid you not, cancer-coma.)
This being an unabashedly preachy Christian film, the young man finds his faith by the end of it.
Speaking of preachy, let's move on to the pet creation philosophy that has bigger holes than the wreck of the Titanic. In addition to requiring a literal interpretation of the bible and young-earth creationism, it completely neglects the concept of an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God. The theory goes on for at least twenty minutes explaining relativity, and attempting to use time dilation to explain why the six days of creation in Genesis are equivalent to the billions of years science tells us have passed since the Big Bang.
There are more problems here than I can expound on. As both a senior engineering major at a top 20 university and a devout Christian, I absolutely cannot accept this wholly ham-handed philosophy.
AS A FILM, the production is fairly varied in quality. Cinematography is largely monotonous, with 65%+ of shots being of a single individual from the waist up. There is a scene at a karaoke bar where there is NO MUSIC to accompany the singing. Many shots done in front of a green-screen have foreground lighting that doesn't match the background. The effect where a blurry-edged flashback shares the screen with a "thinking" character is used over a dozen times.
The writing leaves much to be desired. Casual dialogue has far too many rough spots, and would have benefited from better editing. The female lead is a horrifying, horrifying example of a Mary Sue.
One last gripe: there is a horrifying straw man of a liberal/elite/postmodern/New World Order character present that completely misunderstands and misrepresents the pressures of the modern world (as well as completely missing the boat on what postmodernism actually is). It just really ground my gears, and I had to specifically note my deep, deep hatred of it.
Despite this, I still found myself, on occasion, feeling like I was watching a real film with real production values. I found myself sympathizing with the characters at times. Despite having to force myself to watch this film at times, I could sometimes go for up to 10 minutes before something came up and made me want to gouge out my prefrontal cortex.
I would also like to commend the fact that this movie advocates a personal view of faith; that faith cannot be dictated to us by our peers. Well, as long as that faith is some form of Christianity. (lol, inconsistency)
VERDICT: This is a dumb, dumb movie that will make you feel good if you like easy Christianity and don't know too much about science or literature, or don't ask too many questions. Anyone who takes seriously the philosophy proposed in this movie is a fool. Despite this, it has its moments. 3/10
"If God didn't want us to think, He wouldn't have given us deductive
reasoning." The one thing that this film does accomplish that no one
can argue is that it makes the viewer think. Personally, I believe the
movie is crafted in an extremely intelligent and engaging manner. It's
a fine character piece almost interrupted by a scientific/theological
presentation. You truly come to care for the characters. Then,
everything leading to the debate is put forth in as clear a manner as
possible. Unfortunately, the subject itself is not very easy to
understand. So, I can see the average viewer tuning out or even their
eyes glazing over by the presentation despite the best efforts of film
makers to make it relatable and interesting. One really needs to pay
attention to follow and if you're going to present this information,
you might as well make it complete and near incontrovertible. I applaud
the effort if not the actually execution. On a side note, one of my
favorite parts of the film was the scenes with the academic adviser. It
perfectly illustrates narrow-minded thinking and the often times
liberal yet ignorant indoctrination present in too many institutions of
"higher" learning. Wonderful presentation and writing in those scenes.
I'm Christian and I'm glad they included all points of view and rationally show positions some individuals do take. This is no "pie in the sky" movie. They legitimately discuss and reflect dissenting views and those that question the complete accuracy of the Bible. Going in to this film, I guess I would've put myself in the place of the lead character. Believing most information but having serious doubts about the factual validity of the book of Genesis. This film mostly changed that perception. One way or the other, it never was really crucial in my relationship with God but it's good to explore all aspects of Divinity and theology.
Paraphrasing another quote I remember from this film, "Those people that question how a person arrives at their personal relationship with God is either arrogant, (ignorant) or blasphemous." If this film adds anything to a person's belief system then more power to them. Why do non-believers and haters have a problem with that and when other people find peace? Could it be that something is lacking in their own life?
I guess I can't call this film "manipulative," because most people read
the plot before seeing it, and know it's a Christian movie that's going
to promote the religion. Although the appearance of a few old stars and
an Ultimate Fighting star in the cast make you wonder to what degree.
The female protagonist looks the part. She has a very wholesome persona. I believe her. The male looks like the quarterback of the football team, not a hockey player. He's too pretty. He looks almost exactly like a young Brat Pack Andrew McCarthy.
You've already read the plot. Two college students meet. One's a hockey star and one's writing for the school paper. She wants to do a bio on the athlete, but he's guarding his privacy. They have a little chemistry, but with both going through life crises simultaneously, they never get around to any real romance.
I didn't believe that part. Just because she is a Christian does not mean she would not kiss, cuddle, and whatever else. They were two gorgeous young folks in the prime of their life. Christians have relationships.
The film is used as a vehicle to either help young folks who are on the fence about their faith, reinforce the faith they already have, or to teach parents, teachers, and clergy how to minister to the "unchurched" or confused.
The central conflict is science vs. religion and the centerpiece is a way too long, yet mildly creative lecture done in a planetarium by a group of physics students who want to reconcile the story of creation with science. Why not just forget the movie, and have the whole thing be a youtube lecture? They would save a lot of money.
No one mentioned that C. Thomas Howell directed. I generally like him. I didn't know he was a Christian. Well, it was too slow and contrived. The actors while good, showed very little emotion. The worst aspect of the film was a role given to Catherine Hicks.She did show emotion and played an extremely awkward role well.
The film makers have contempt for the secular elitists who run the modern universities. So the Hicks character, a PhD academic adviser spews a monologue about the silliness of faith, and how it will block the way to our protagonist finding liberated bliss in the "post modern" world.
Even at liberal schools, which is virtually every one, she would probably get fired for that. The girl just sits and listens and doesn't fight back at all. Was she turning the other cheek? I didn't believe that she would remain silent.
They have the adviser say all the buzz words that characterize the type of liberal that conservative Christians can't stand. She expresses her excitement about serving the "New World Order," joining the "elite," and moral relativity. This scene was painfully forced. Even the dumbest university liberal egghead would have found a more nuanced way to say all that.
My favorite part that made me laugh, was placing a minister, a professor and a hockey player in a shooting range, while they discussed God. They managed to squeeze in God, Guns, Hockey, Weightlifting, Football, and contempt for elite academics in one movie. Ha ha.
The best aspect was the acting. Despite the lack of strong emotion, I did feel their pain at times. There is some genuinely good dialogue, but again I think they would have been better off just doing an interesting and informative youtube video, instead of forcing some contrived plot.
Or someone could do a video about how the early Christian fathers purposely mistranslated Hebrew in order to prove that the Torah was wrong and the Jews are evil. Read the scriptures. Those points are emphasized on every other page.
I saw Genesis Code in Grand Rapids. Bravo! I didn't expect the story within the story of Blake's heartache regarding his mom. I used tissue at least twice during the movie. Reconciling faith with disappointment, and unanswered prayer can be a bigger deal than the science issue. Blake's acting was superb and realistic as he dealt with what life was throwing at him. I really enjoyed how typical stereotypes weren't used of believers and non-believers. We also recommended it to our adult children and many friends at our church. I found it quite interesting that in conversation how many times I referenced The Genesis Code in the days that followed watching it. The students were endearing, especially Shane and Tyler. Story and lines were not predictable as in many Christian movies. I highly recommend this movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a fairly decent movie. Not great but OK.
I like the college student actors...Thought the school advisor's dialogue and "Conform to the New World Postmodern Order" lecture was too predictable (the actor playing them is fine--have seen her do well in other roles).
The film could be edited down just a bit...took awhile to get going.
But the scene where the students attempt to explain (partly by acting out and partly by interesting visuals "Time Dilation" which concerns the billions of year old universe and the apparent contradiction with a Six Day Genesis account is quite good. It raises my ratings.
Does the Time Dilation Scene work? Not quite, but it really makes me want to hunt down any Time Dilation explanations I (a non scientist) can find!
View the film for yourself.
If you read the attached reviews...Count on the predictable sometimes too-positive Christian reviews (from many of us) and the also predictable too-negative reviews from most who are not Christian.
But the film does attempt to "go where few have gone" (to paraphrase a famous sci-fi show)...and the Science Team acting out...the Time Dilation is a valiant effort worth a view!
PS The late great Ernest Borgnine has a too small role in this movie...as the caring and tormented grandfather.
If you want an intelligent worldview of creation and the Christian faith, forget this and see the following for why: creation.com/genesis-code-review Sadly too many professing Christians are as ignorant and gullible as unbelievers concerning the truth and authority of the Bible, God's Word, in the scientific realm, unlike days gone by when people were literate and so took the Bible seriously (vs. today's illiterates). It's sad how those who deny absolute truth are so blind to their own bigotry & self-refutation seen in being absolutely sure of it! Those who know true history vs today's useful idiot propaganda know creation (e.g. that held by Newton, Pasteur, Galileo, Copernicus, Keplar, the Curies, NASA's Von Braun, and many others) is the basis for true science, vs how evolution is the basis for bigoted anti-Christian religion, usually following apostate Anglican clergyman Darwin, masquerading as science, really rather mere nonsense that any good creationist can refute easily (e.g. evolution's inability to explain the low rate of oceanic salinization and sedimentation rates in view of present processes at present rates). Since most are largely illiterate in most fields, evolutionists continue to get away with their attacks, rightly banking on the current lawless, fascist degeneracy people prefer to civilized behavior as the world tragically descends into mindless, lawless, fascist, bigoted, egotistical cultural and intellectual decadence and depravity like that C.S. Lewis ably depicted in his 1940s Space Trilogy, especially vol. 3. God save us.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"You seem like an intelligent girl, you don't really believe in that religious hokey-pokey do you?" Blake (Bartholomew) is the star hockey player at his college and is the subject of Kerry's (Sanders) new article. What begins as a simple interview turns into something much much more. Blake's mother is in the hospital and when Kerry mentions prayer she finds out Blake's stance on religion. She turns to her brother in an attempt to prove God is real. I again need to start by saying that I am not a big fan of faith based movies. It's not that I'm not religious it's just that 99% of them are way too cheesy and unbelievable. This one is easily the best one that I have seen. It doesn't force it down your throat but maintains the religious feel through out which is hard to do. JFK is one of my favorite movies for many reasons, but at it's core it is Oliver Stone letting everyone know how he felt. I bring that up because this movie seems like the writers way of letting everyone know how he feels about the religious vs science debate. While there is some hockey scenes in this (which really aren't needed) the meat of the movie takes place in a museum in what is about a half hour of how science can prove the Book Of Genesis is true. As boring as that sounds that scene is the most riveting part of the movie as well as the most exciting lecture I've ever been a part of. Religious or not this is a good movie, but like all faith movies the ending is a little unbelievable which takes a little away from it but still very much worth seeing. Overall, the best of this type of movie I have seen. I give it a B+.
Well written and thought provoking story. Presents the case between science and Biblical truth in a way that is easy to understand. HIghly recommended. Kudos to the film makers for tackling this difficult subject matter. This is an important film that the Christian community should support. I look forward to it being at theaters across the country, and then available on DVD. This film is a real step up in Christian film making and is a quality production. Very impressed with the quality of actors in this film. Glad to see that Ernest Borgnine is still making movies! Great film for small group studies on how the Biblical account and science are harmonious in the origin of life. Want to see more quality Christian films being made. I hope this production company plans to make more films of this nature. I plan to purchase a copy when the DVD is released to use in small groups at my home. Excellent information.
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