Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002
The movie was great i loved it i hope you make more.
--- Mary Cundiff in Selverdal Wa
LEFT BEHIND IN THE UK (WILL IT HAPPEN)
Subject: Left Behind
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002
From: Cliff Oakley
Is there any way we in the UK will ever be able to purchase a PAL (UK TV System) version of Left Behind? I keep checking Amazon in the hope that a PAL version may appear but I am loosing hope....How come we in the UK have been 'left behind'. I do so want to watch this movie but I can't see myself flying to the U.S. to watch it!!
Cliff Oakley, Wigan, Lancashire, U.K.
IT WAS GREAT
Subject: the movie Left_Behind
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001
From: April Nebrask
I FINALLY saw the Left Behind movie,.. it was great. I have read the books and the way that the movie is made is soo how I pictured it. I think that it is just a great movie. I am sad that I was not here when it first came out .. (I was gone out of the country for one year) but I am soo glad that I now saw it! It is sooo good and I hope that there will be other movies for the rest of the books made!!!
BOOK VS MOVIE
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001
I love the idea that the Christian community is finally being able to put together a movie that is worthy of attention. I decided to read the book Left Behind before viewing the movie, already knowing that when you have a series of books that have such an insight to detail and emotions, that the movie usually is unable to reflect this the same way to the viewer. I liked the movie but there was just no way you can take all the information that the book contains and compact it into a standard time frame.
I do feel that the actors and actresses were a little held back from taking the story to it's full capacity. Meaning, the movie was directed to fit everything in, it seems like they were rushed through the plot.
I have one request for the future movie series, which I look forward to, is to stretch out the events. I expect to see Nicolae to be given the attention that "Indiana Jones" needed.
I find the movies to be a great starting point to teach unbelievers and "believers" exactly what Jesus is all about.
May God guide and bless them as we use these resources to help save souls.
MORE OF LEFT BEHIND SERIES?
Subject: Left Behind Movie Question
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001
hello. I dont know who else to ask this question! Will there be any more Left Behind movies? will they make Tribulation Force into a movie, and maybe Niolae, etc into movies? Or is that one going to be the last? if you know, please inform me ;)
Response: More are in the works. -David
SO SO MOVIE
Subject: Left Behind
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001
From: "Mike Furches"
A little over 4 years ago one of my nieces gave my wife the book Left Behind. Over the last few years my wife and daughter have been trying to get me to read the novel. I was quite reluctant to do so due to what I perceived to be poor theology and the retelling of a story that had been told hundreds of time before. When the movie came out I decided to cheat and purchase it before reading the novel. This of course was prior to the theatrical release which I have serious questions about in the way it took place and the timing. What I will say is that the video created enough interest for me to start reading the books. Now less than 4 months later, and into my 6th book I have decided to visit some of the comments. It continues to amaze me at the power some place on movies and /or books. One thing I have come to realize is that these tools only have the power to be used as we as individuals choose to use them. It's kind of like expecting the preacher in church to do all of the preaching and converting of our lost friends. It just aint the way it's supposed to be. We have our part to accomplish, kind of like inviting them there and sharing Christ with them through our lives. Movies and books are tools that can be used if we choose to use them.
With a few of those comments posted I will now comment on the movie. I have never been one that categorically believes that the book is always better than the movie. For example, sometimes movies are very much like the book. Silence of the Lambs, The Pelican Brief, Intensity and numerous other books hold very true to the book. Sometimes the movie is actually better than the book, the prime example of this is probably Forest Gump. However, Left Behind does not fit into either of these categories. The quality of the production is O.K. at best, and the retelling of the story is virtually inconsistent with the book, similar, for example to Jurassic Park which has very little in common with the book.
I actually found the movie to be untrue to the book so much that in some regards I believe Christians where upset to the point that they could not fully support the film. This being the case I believe the full potential of the movie was not obtained. Does this mean that I will continue to criticize the premise of the book or the possibility of it to reach others with the Gospel, absolutely not! This movie can be the starting point to discuss Christ with others. I recently had a discussion with a friend in Massachusetts about the book and had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him as a result his association of Left Behind with Stephen King's book The Stand. It was a tool, which enabled me to share the Gospel with an unbeliever. We also spoke about the movie and he did indicate that he would be willing to watch the video and that it would maybe ignite enough interest to read the books. We have also kept in touch via email discussing this over the last several months.
What makes the book so useful, in my opinion, is the clear Gospel message that is shared throughout. The message is clear despite what an individuals belief is on the end times. By the way, there are three prevalent thoughts on the end time, each with Biblical support. Left Behind presents only one of those. To my knowledge the authors have also stated numerous times that the books where intended to be tools not a dissertation on end times theology. Unfortunately the clarity of that message is not as prevalent in the movie unless there is someone there to give clarification to the viewer who is not aware of end times theology.
In regards to other attributes related to the movie. Personally, I don't think it was a very good screenplay, I was disappointed with the special effects and thought the casting was poor. Each of these things said the production should have been left for the video and not released on the big screen.
On a scale of 1 - 10 I would rate Left Behind with a 6. Worthwhile but nothing of special value that did not already exist in superior Christian and non Christian productions. If looking for a good story with better casting and acting on this subject see Tribulation, a surprising and good movie using the same end times approach.
Mike Furches email@example.com
CHRISTIAN ARTIST VIEW ON LEFT BEHIND?
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2001
Hey (especially Christian Artists), I've read most of the LB books and seen the movie. Right now I am writing a research paper on the Christian Artists' function, using Left Behind and the debates surrounding it as the center of my paper. I've noticed a lot of people on this BB saying that LB the movie is disappointing and rather than argue theologically, I want to question the artistic value of LB and what role it had for the Christian artist. Is LB too "preachy?" SHould all Christian Art be this way? What is the best way for a Christian to reach a secular audience? Was LB really good or do we just have this need to say it's good because we are Christians and we want to help our fellow brothers and sisters (the producers of the film) and also feel a need to evangelize? IS LB a powerful evangelizing tool? Does LB do more harm than it does help to the non-Christian? These are a few questions I am asking in my paper. I'd really appreciate responses directly to my e-mail by Christian artists-ie filmmakers, writers, painters, sculpters, musicians, etc (sorry if I left your art out). As a filmmaker and a Christian a year from graduating film school, this topic is of utmost importance to me and my verdict on what value the books and film have is still out. Thanks for all your help.
David, feel free to give out my e-mail!
In Christ, Melissa firstname.lastname@example.org
LOW CRINGE FACTOR
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001
I watched with my wife who is a fan of the books. Myself, I made it through the first book and approximately 20 pages of the second before deciding that life was too short to read novels with two-dimensional characters and such turgid, overblown plots. By the way, are there any characters who are genuine women in the books? All I saw were feminine-shaped, non-entities apparently placed there to either accessorize the men or serve as sources of emotional flamboyance.
I was less-than-optimistic about the movie. However, the production values, such as they are, did not detract from the story and I thought the actors acquitted themselves nicely. At the very least, they have nothing to be ashamed of. Kirk Cameron turns in what is probably the performance of his career. Unfortunately, he is woefully miscast as Buck Williams (I kid you not), in that he lacks sufficient physical presence and edginess, and thus his efforts are not enough to realize the worldliness and cynicism one would reasonably expect of an international broadcast jounalist. Brad Johnson as airline pilot Rayford Steele (no really, I kid you not this time either), does indeed possess a chin which looks as though it could open tin cans and he uses it to its full effect in portraying a rather egocentric, neglectful husband who only too late realizes the errors of his ways after his wife disappears. Janaya Stephens as Chloe, Rayford's daughter, is the most noteworth of all the performers. She is noteworthy because she is an actress who approaches her characterization straight on. Relying not on kitchy teenaged stereotypes or "wise beyond her years" attitudes, she simply portrays a young woman just reaching the end of adolescence. In other words, a guarded mixture of cynicism and hope. While she is on screen, the other actors may as well be cardboard cutouts, such is the authenticity of her performance. As the movie progresses, it becomes more obvious that she was the only one who didn't listen to the director.
One can complain about the source material, but even third-rate material can be transformed in the hands of a skilled director. And it is the director's lack which ultimately cripples this movie, particularly the pacing and plot exposition. Character developement and exploration, such as it is, is heavy-handed and trite. As for drama, one would expect rioting in the streets and mass chaos after such an event, but what we get is an unconvincing shot of a traffic jam and several scenes with mildly irritated crowds. Miraculous disappearances aside, people magically go from fields to bunkers seemingly at random with no explanation as to how, in the midst of all the chaos, they got from point A to point B. Apart from one scene in which Buck outbids a suprisingly docile herd of people for a seat on a plane, mass transit seems to continue and everyone gets to where they need to be, apparently because the script said so. Note to director: transition shots are vital to continuity. Then again, with the magnitude of such an event as the rapture, perhaps audience disorientation was a goal.
Having such low expectations going into the experience, I was pleasantly suprised to find my cringing in embarassment was confined to the previews of other Cloud 10 productions. Watching Mr. T first murder the english language and then defile its corpse was a particularly harrowing experience. I strongly recommend fast-fowarding through this lot.
As an evangelical tool, the movie's broken. It requires a huge suspension of disbelief from the viewer, a suspension which the less-than-intense characterization and flat-footed, laconic pacing completely fail to accomplish. For such a compelling and dramatic setup, this movie possesses all the urgency and suspense of a stunned cow.
LEFT BEHIND WASN'T THAT GREAT
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001
I've watched the video twice.
IMHO, the movie falls short of being useful for spread of the gospel.
LB encourages a paranoid view of the world. Christians are charged to be alert - not paranoid. The movie fuels the later rather than the former.
The movie also depends heavily upon a very specific interpretation of the tribulation and rapture - something that I find distracting and divisive. I'd rather see a film focusing on those things where there's little doubt in the Christian community.
Christ in his final days gave us a great commission and a great commandment. The commission tells us to go out making disciples. The Great commandment tells us to love the lord - and to love our neighbors as ourselves. So - where does LB fall with regard to those two? My opinion - it doesn't.
As a Christian and scholar, I don't find the movie useful for the purpose of the gospel. Morover, I don't even find it beneficial for Christianity, in general.
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