28 March 2018

Paul, Apostle of Christ

PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST is a film about Paul of Tarsus. His Jewish name is Saul, and he persecuted the Christian church. The New Testament book Acts illustrates Saul experiencing a conversion. Later on the island of Cyprus he is called Paul. Paul is author of 13 out of 27 books in the New Testament.

The film chronicles Paul's (played by James Faulkner) later years in a Roman prison during Emperor Nero's reign. Paul is seen as a threat to the Roman Empire and will be executed. This is a very dark time for Christians, and many, such as Aquilla (John Lynch) and his wife Priscilla (Joanne Whalley), lived in hiding out of fear of being burned like candles. Writer and director Andrew Hyatt captures this extremely well, as most of the movie is dark with very little light. Hyatt's direction is excellent and the cast is phenomenal.

Saint Luke, a physician, is played by Jim Caviezel (who many will recognize as the actor who portrays Jesus in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST). Luke risks his life going inside Mamertine Prison to visit Paul. Christians view Paul as a highly respected apostle who is wise, and Luke writes his words, which later become the book of Acts. Paul's jailer, Mauritius (Olivier Martinez), is the one other person he communicates with, as Mauritius struggles to understand how Paul has such a powerful effect on so many people.

PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST is a relevant movie, because not only does it remind the audience that "where sin abounds, grace abounds more," the filmmakers dedicate it to Christians who are currently being persecuted in various parts of the world. PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST is currently playing in theatres. The official Web site is http://www.paulmovie.com/site/.

21 March 2018

A Wrinkle in Time

I looked forward to watching A WRINKLE IN TIME (2018), because I read the book by Madeleine L'Engle and taught it to sixth grade students. The novel helped students expand their vocabulary and discover the science fiction genre. They were also inspired by lessons the young characters learn in the story.

A WRINKLE IN TIME has a solid cast. Viewers see Oprah Winfrey (Mrs. Which) in a very different type of role from what she usually plays, and the young performers--Storm Reid (Meg), Levi Miller (Calvin), and Deric McCabe (Charles Wallace)--are outstanding. Reese Witherspoon is a good choice for the Mrs. Whatsit role, as Mindy Kaling is a good Mrs. Who.

Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell are the screenwriters who adapted the novel and focus on main points of the story: Meg is an awkward girl who other kids pick on at school. Her brother Charles Wallace is a precocious child. For the most part, both children are smart. Their parents (Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chris Pine) are scientists who discover a way to travel the universe by tesseract. It actually works, but their father is held captive and unable to return to earth. As a result, the children, with help from supernatural beings--Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who--travel by tesseract to bring their father back home. One of the noticeable differences is Meg's twin brothers, Dennys and Sandy, are not in the film. Also, planet Ixchel is not shown; therefore, the Aunt Beast character is not in this adaptation. However, the themes of good versus evil and triumph of love are in the movie.

Overall, director Ava DuVernay provides a vision of the characters' lives and the planets Camazotz and Uriel. While reading the novel, one must imagine how these characters and places appear.  A WRINKLE IN TIME is currently playing in theatres.  The official Web site is http://movies.disney.com/a-wrinkle-in-time.


My new novel, THE TWO SISTERS, is available for purchase:  The Two Sisters by Terri Dawn Arnold . The story has crime, drama, and mystery. L...