MOVIE REVIEW: SON OF GOD (Christopher Spencer, 2014)


I learned more about the Bible watching those Sunday cartoons Superbook and The Flying House.

Before you start stoning me to death, here are my notes on Son of God:

1. Regardless of one’s faith (or lack thereof), The Bible is such a great source of inspirational stories. You can take any section and make an interesting movie out of it. You do not cram everything in a 2.5 hour film, though. It will just be a disaster.

2. The biggest problem in this movie was Jesus and the actor (Diogo Morgado) who portrayed him. I mean why was Jesus boastful, mocking, and defiant in this version? He was like, “Look at me, I’m performing miracles!” It was nothing short of blasphemous.

3. The original source was a 10-hour miniseries from the History Channel and it was obvious. The movie was just badly-edited and jumped from one important event to another. It ended up more like “The Best of The Bible”.

4. Anybody who came from a Catholic school could easily identify the inaccuracies here. And sometimes they were just too infuriating.

5. I didn’t even know that Pontius Pilate was having an oil massage while Jesus was being crucified. And there was even an earthquake immediately after Jesus died. We must have skipped over those in our Christian Living classes.

6. When the movie introduced Barabbas, I remembered Dely Atay-Atayan from John en Marsha. I never forgot the bad guys in the Bible because of her famous “Hudas, Barabbas, Estas!” expression.

7. What spoilers?!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published April 6, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE SHACK (Stuart Hazeldine, 2017)



My notes on The Shack:

1. Like with most Christian films (e.g. God’s Not Dead), my entire viewing experience felt like getting continuously whacked on the head by a Bible for two hours until I eventually started speaking in tongues. My dear blessed brothers and sisters, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not averse to movies with heavy religious themes. It only becomes a problem whenever it feels like these beliefs are shoved down our throats (“It’s in the Bible so it must be true!”) and anybody with a dissenting opinion gets tagged as a sinner, an atheist, or in need of prayer and guidance.

I’m sorry, but I don’t need a sermon. I already have my mother for that.

(Speaking of, one of her biggest disappointments was that she asked me to join our local parish’s Youth for Christ group and my only takeaway from the youth camp was that tinola tasted better with sayote instead of papaya. Susmaryosep!)

2. The story here was pretty much straightforward. It was a father’s (a flat Sam Worthington) spiritual journey in search of closure for the brutal murder of his youngest daughter. His healing trail included lessons on being less judgmental, acquiring wisdom through strength of faith, and finding actual forgiveness in his heart. I actually thought it could have been told more interestingly (and at a more reasonable thirty minutes) in an episode of Flying House (less the brutal murder, of course).

3. This entire Hallmark meets Lifetime movie wouldn’t have happened if he just drove properly and followed the Stop sign. In one scene, he also accidentally fell in the snow and hit his head on the pavement. Like what the late, great Inday Badiday said, “Careful, careful”.

4. I liked how the Holy Trinity was gender neutral and represented different ethnicities. God was played by Octavia Spencer (did her revised contract require a pie reference every single time?) while Jesus and the Holy Spirit (who collected tears) looked like a Middle Eastern man and an Asian lady respectively. I didn’t read the book so I wasn’t aware if they were written as such or if this was one of those progressive Hollywood castings.

5. Paradise (or was that the Garden of Eden?) lived up to its name with such a gorgeous set design that reminded me of those technicolor sceneries in What Dreams May Come.

6. I honestly felt a bit dizzy from all the spiritual life lessons that were spewed one after the other (“When all you see is your pain, you lose sight of Me”). Simple chores (hobbies?) like baking, fishing, and gardening suddenly turned into Sunday school lectures.

I didn’t break out in hives and there was no burning sensation after watching though so that was a good sign.

7. Wait, why was he even allowed in heaven if he killed his own father? Shouldn’t he have been partying with Lucy and the rest of the fallen angels instead? Cue God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆