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Soul Surfer is in the top 10 of my favorite faith-based movies. It
really is a tremendous uplifting film that leaves you in tears from the
very beginning to the very end. And it's all attributed to God. Kudos
to Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt for being in the film and giving
terrific performances! I give Soul Surfer a 10 out of 10
My top 10 faith-based movies of all time are: 1) Ben-Hur; 2) The Genius Club; 3) Soul Surfer; 4) Facing the Giants; 5) Chariots of Fire; 6) End of the Spear; 7) The Climb; 8) Gospel of John; 9) Time Changer; 10) Book of Matthew
You're missing out if you haven't seen these films!
Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a 13 year old competitive
surfer with big dreams and a courageous spirit. Coming from a family of
surfers, riding the waves is all Bethany can dream about. But her
dreams turn into a nightmare after a sudden shark attack takes her left
arm and her hopes of ever surfing again.
Soul Surfer is an inspirational film for the entire family about overcoming obstacles and turning tragedy into triumph.
Filmed entirely in Hawaii, it offers some gorgeous cinematography and wonderful surf-action shots and features an all-star cast including Helen Hunt, Denis Quaid, Craig T Nelson and AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany, the teen titan with a heart of gold.
Soul Surfer is a well produced film, that leans heavily on it's soul-lifting story, stellar acting and a rocking soundtrack on a moderate budget. It's encouraging to see such big Hollywood names doing such inspirational family fare without the inflated-sized salary demands.
Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid actually seem to be enjoying themselves alongside the rising talents of the young cast members, most notably AnnaSophia Robb, best remembered for her role in Bridge to Terabithia, Jumper and Because of Winn Dixie. AnnaSophia delivers a powerful and gripping performance that is sure to win your heart and leave you breathless as she struggles to overcome all odds. Carrie Underwood seems a bit misplaced as the youth pastor who comforts and encourages Bethany, but while her screen time is short, she proves that singing may not be her only talent.
For a film based on a true story, I got caught up in the action and well paced story-telling. I found myself entranced by and caring for each of the characters. When the shark attack scene unfolded, I found myself holding my breath and completely taken in by the film. A rare victory few films can achieve.
I admired the way the film presented Bethany's family and their Christian faith, being faithful to church and being such positive role models. But I was disappointed in the failed opportunity to present more biblical truth to a secular audience. Like many recent films being marketed to a Christian audience, the presented faith in Soul Surfer was played a bit too safe and generic to arouse any converts since it lacked in any gospel message, but if viewed with a Christan who knows how to use the film as a topic starter, it can be a great tool or ice breaker.
Another refreshing bonus was the lack of any profanity or sexuality, making it completely suitable and safe for viewing in a church or youth group setting.
I highly recommend this entertaining and uplifting film for the entire family.
I'm not often compelled to write movie reviews online, but after seeing some of the bad reviews this film got, I decided I would. This film is well worth your time and money. Granted, some of the scenes may feel cheap and I think my brother could create a better CGI shark. That's not the point. AnnaSophia Robb does a spectacular job of playing Bethany Hamilton, a 13 year-old girl determined to continue doing what she loves after losing an arm to a shark. Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid do an excellent job of portraying her supporting parents. The raw display of emotion from herself and the rest of the cast is mesmerizing. The character chemistry and development could not work better here. The film includes great cinematography and well-done surf scenes which add to the overall effect. If this movie does not inspire you, I don't know what will. The target audience is teenage girls, but the whole family can enjoy Soul Surfer. You will leave the theater feeling uplifted after viewing this great film. SEE THIS MOVIE! You will not be disappointed.
This film touched my heart in a way few ever have it was well done in every aspect. The acting was excellent, everyone in this very strong cast turned in excellent performances's but Annasophia Robb was a stand out, absolutely genuine in her performance, your heart breaks for her and soars with her. The cinematography was beautiful and the under water shots were very creative. The special effects are convincing. But the true star of this film is the story itself. It tells the remarkable story of Bethany Hamilton which can not help but challenge and inspire the viewer. I can not recommend it highly enough. Don't miss this one! It is family safe we went with 7 people ages 12 to 70 and everyone loved it. It inspired us all!
I went to support a family-valued film. But, I was touched and moved by
the honesty and the reality of the events as they occurred.
Some of the special effects with the surf were awesome, wish there had been more.
Anna Sophia Robb stole every scene she was in. Her performance was understated and real.
Soul Surfer is a tear jerker, with an upbeat message, and ultimately makes you feel triumphant. For the Christians, there is a hymn in an outdoor church and a few references to scripture and God.
Some short documentary clips before the end credits were a highlight. Like Bethany surfing, appearances on Late Night talk, and reporters interviews. Makes me think that a biographical documentary about the real heroine, Bethany Hamilton, would be terrific.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is such an amazing story that it's really hard to believe it actually happened! It's nearly unfathomable to think of any 13-year-old girl getting attacked by one of the largest and fiercest wild animals on the planet, having a limb ripped off, losing over 60% of her blood and being moments from death . . . and then having the fearless faith and determination to get back on the board less than a month later . . . going on to compete with power, grace, and dignity to accomplish more than anyone ever dreamed she would. She learned some of the most valuable lessons in life through this tragedy, and now her courage, her confidence, her smile, and her kindness has inspired countless people around the world who have disabilities, who have gone through equally traumatic tragedies, who have given up, and who have lost their faith. The truth is, Bethany Hamilton inspires us all to fight through the temptation to let our unfortunate circumstances bring us down to a place where we stop pursuing our dreams. Through her heart and her life story we see that God is good. Everyone, young and old and in between, in all walks of life, should see this movie and be moved to believe that they can do all things . . . and make their dreams come true.
I have watched a lot of surfing movies over the years but nothing as captivating as Soul Surfer. The acting is terrific but the locales make you want to move to Hawaii. In most sports based movies you expect the star of the film to win. It is sort of a given. However, this movie expertly sets the viewer up for another kind of win. Not just a trophy or a magazine cover but a win that takes the viewer done the road in his or her personal struggles. There is a lot of talk about faith based film but this film isn't really about faith it is about how to get up when you are down and make a difference. I have always been a big fan of Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt especially her performance in Castaway with Tom Hanks but she plays the mom in this film with perfection and although I never though of Dennis as a surfer like Patrick Swayze he does his part as the girls father and couch perfectly. I went to the film expecting something good but I came away from the film having experienced something great.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Synopsis) This is the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a 13-year-old
female surfer who lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark. Instead
of giving up surfing over the loss of her arm, Bethany was determined
to get back on her board several weeks later and prove that she is
truly a soul surfer.
(My Comments) Soul Surfer is an inspirational film for the whole family and an amazing story about a young girl who overcomes overwhelming obstacles and turns a traumatic tragedy into an achievement and triumph. The movie presents Bethany's family and their Christian faith that caries them through this life altering event. Bethany has become a positive role model for others that have a disability and have lost their faith. AnnaSophia Robb delivers a powerful and riveting performance as Bethany that is sure to win your hearts. Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt's performances were very believable and real. You will actually begin to care for each of these characters, and the reason may be that you know that the story is based on real life events. You don't have to worry about the shark attack, because the scene was done quickly and not drawn out. Stay for the credits to see actual pictures. You will leave the movie feeling very good and upbeat. (Sony Pictures, Run Time 1:46, PG-13)(8/10)
I wanted to see Soul Surfer for many reasons, primarily because I
recently learned about Bethany Hamilton and wanted to see her
courageous story. I also heard it advertised on our local radio station
and thought it sounded like a good movie.
The movie clearly portrays the Hamilton family as a close group who walked through an extremely difficult tragedy with grace and courage.
The scene when Bethany is attacked by the whale is brief but the aftermath is bloody and somewhat difficult to watch so I would encourage parents to be mindful of this. I took my almost-10-year old daughter to see it with me, but I discussed ahead of time what the movie was about. I didn't know what to expect with the actual shark but I did remind her that shark attacks are very rare, that this young woman spent much of her time in the ocean, etc. I think my daughter was still a little haunted by the images, so please be mindful that younger kids could be traumatized.
Still, the movie is worth seeing, especially by teens and adults. This courageous young woman took a personal tragedy and made it something meaningful and positive. Bless her! The acting is solid, the action is quick, the script is realistic and keeps moving well. I liked everything about it and hope the movie does really well. We need more inspiring, uplifting messages today.
When a film is based upon such a widely known story it's a real
challenge for film makers to do justice to both the original story and
to an audience who expect to be entertained. I feel they delivered on
both counts. So, thank you.
Of course, the core of the story is the terrible shark attack that happened to Bethany Hamilton. That kind of thing is universally thought to be so horrific that merely surviving at all would be a triumph of human will. But Bethany Hamilton transcended that by leaps and bounds to become an international icon for what it means to be courageous in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. Her courage, strength, perseverance, dedication, work ethic, professionalism and just plain bare faith have become a model for success to a large number of people all over the world. She has justly earned every accolade, every compliment and every success that I feel sure she feels privileged to have received. Oh, and she's gorgeous too.
With that incredible young woman's story as the fodder for the film it was a walk in the park for the film makers. All they had to do was tell the truth and let the facts speak for themselves. But that is something Hollywood has a lot of trouble doing. But this simple formula seems to be what they did, and did masterfully. The setting for the film is one of the most breathtaking on earth, so that was easy to enjoy. The cinematography was excellent as was, of course, the special CGI effects. Makeup and costuming didn't have much of a stretch, letting the beauty of the islands, its people and the athleticism, beauty and youth of the principal actors deliver what artificiality never could.
The cast was well chosen with the petite AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton and Lorraine Nicholson as Bethany's lifelong friend Alana Blanchard. Much of the story centered on these two girls so it was a lot for them to carry. I can imagine how it must have been difficult for Robb to try to give credence to a part depicting someone who is so genuinely bigger than life - even legendary. I think she did a terrific job. I was taken in by watching her nuances of emotion throughout the film. She's no rookie but this was a real challenge that she met with talent and grace.
Nicholson was a perfect fit as Hamilton's friend; adding a few smiles to the tension we all certainly felt watching the story unfold. Real friendships should never be underplayed and she came across as a solid, loving friend to Bethany. Then Helen Hunt as Bethany's mother Cheri Hamilton and Dennis Quaid as her father Tom Hamilton both did outstanding work, but that's what I've come to expect from them. I think I'd be genuinely shocked if either of them ever did poorly in any role. They were ably backed by Kevin Sorbo as Alana's father Holt Blanchard and Craig T. Nelson as Dr. Rovinksy, Bethany's attending physician. All of them made the film that much better and I enjoyed every minute each was on screen. Perhaps the most interesting to me is watching Quaid. He's become quite a versatile and talented actor.
Last but not least was Carrie Underwood as Sarah Hill. This is the first time I've seen her do any acting and I can say she did a terrific job. I really liked her playing the part of someone who was so important to Bethany's success and she did so with genuine warmth and friendliness.
I was very well entertained as was everyone who attended the screening with me. I left the theater with the thought that I wish much success to the film - it's a masterful character tale for all young people the world over - and ever increasing success to Bethany Hamilton herself. She deserves no less.
By Bruce L. Jones http://webpages.charter.net/bruce.jones1/
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