Saturday, April 2, 2011

Soul Surfer - Movie Preview Review

A week ago this past Thursday night, Tim, me, and our friend Annemarie went to our favorite movie theatre for a special movie preview of Soul Surfer. Annemarie is a youth small group leader at her gigantico mega-church and had two extra tickets to go to the preview {her hubby Brandon was in class}. We were really excited to go with her although we weren't entirely sure what to expect. 

Soul Surfer is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton. She grew up in Hawaii and was an incredible competitive surfer, who in 2003 at the age of 13 was attacked by a shark. Her left arm was bitten off and she barely survived. Now thriving and back into competitive surfing, she's been an inspiration to millions. 

The movie was really good and entertaining!!!! As far as a family-friendly, faith-based movie, it definitely had some weaknesses, but from the Hollywood standpoint of being pretty clean, it was. It could be along the lines of The Blind Side with the way it impacts people and is inspirational {and based on a true story about faith & determination}. The weaknesses are: only 1 Bible verse is referenced and it's put in kind of awkwardly, all the faith-stuff is surfacey nothing deep, and all the girls are in bikinis with several distasteful close-up shots. But the strong points are: the family that stands behind Bethany, the faith and talk about God & Jesus that is shown, and the very minimal shark attack scene that we were uber thankful didn't show too much. It's definitely an impacting, inspirational, moving film that brings you to tears and laughs. 

I do recommend it to those who aren't sensitive to women in bikinis ~ if that sort of thing bothers you {like I know it will my mom and did me to a certain extent}, then you won't want to watch it. It will definitely spark conversations! It's clean otherwise with no swearing or profanity.

They had an interesting Q & A after the preview with one of the VP's from Sony Pictures who lives and works in the Chicagoland area out of her home. She works for them on faith-based films. I asked about the bikini stuff and her response was they wanted to keep it close to the true story, and that's how they dress in Hawaii, it's just considered part of their culture, and that's how Bethany really dresses. So if they hadn't done it that way, it would have looked off based for the people of that area. Everyone dresses like that in Hawaii for surfing and such. For a Hollywood movie, that's not surprising. But it irritates me a bit that they would call it family-friendly, and faith-based and have that stuff in there. Not just that they are dressed that way, but the tight shots, some slightly provocative scenes, etc. For this type of movie, it's disappointing. But at the same time, it will spark conversations about what's appropriate and not, etc. I don't personally think it's appropriate and definitely think it could have had a further reach and impact if they'd been in tasteful one piece suits without the tight, close-up shots on their bodies.

It opens in 2,000 theatres across the country next Friday, April 8th. If you go see it, please let me know what you think!

Soul Surfer Movie Website


Kimberly said...

I was wondering about that movie. Thanks for the review:)

Christina T said...

I've seen one other movie about surfer girls (Blue Crush-I don't recommend it) and compared to that, I bet I'd find Soul Surfer to be pretty tame content wise.

I might watch this when it is released on DVD. I am glad they made a movie about Bethany. I know that there are even fiction books for teens based on her life story. I read about her in a magazine but don't really know the full story. I hope that the movie will be a success. Thanks for sharing your review!

Watch Soul Surfer online said...

Thanks for the review. I was also wondering about this movie. I love Carrie in the lead, and the fact that it's based on a true story is really emotional to me.