Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (Movie Review)

I’ve listened to a lot of Hillsong United music, especially through my teenager years and early 20’s (which unfortunately was quite a long time ago) so I was quite excited for a chance to check out this movie.

Well, the excitement didn’t last long. The movie starts at a slow pace, leaving you unsure of where it is heading. Time goes on, and, it’s still plodding, not really going anyways, not really saying too much, and I soon found myself wishing it were over. There’s just not much substance here, and the biggest drama is near the end of the movie the band is about to perform a huge concert and they haven’t finished writing the one song they need to play. If that sounds like a bad plot, it’s because it is. I’m not sure that having a plot was even really attempted

The movie just kind of dabbles here and there. There’s some reminiscing talk from the founding pastor of Hillsong, a bit of a look into the private family lives of some of the band, quite a bit of focus on how much the band loves Jesus, and a lot of the movie is spent with live footage from concerts and filling space playing some of their big songs.

Unfortunately I’m not sure what the purpose of this movie was. It doesn’t teach you much about how Hillsong grew from tiny to massive, it doesn’t give you many tips on how to grow a church, or how to have a great worship band, it doesn’t teach you a whole lot about the band members themselves, it doesn’t give you much of an inside look at how the band operates, it doesn’t teach you much about God or the Gospel, and it doesn’t give you a great live worship experience.

As unoriginal as it sounds, a live concert movie would’ve been better than this.  This is just too many different things cut and pasted together into one disjointed, boring piece.  It’s not a great way to experience their music, and it’s not a great way to learn about Hillsong’s history, their music, their people, or their methods. In my opinion, it just lacks much relevant content, and that’s pretty disappointing.

I received complimentary tickets to see this movie courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications.

2/5 Paper Movement Stars

Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (Movie Review)

Miracles from Heaven – Movie Review

The story in this movie really sucked me in and I was moved. So I’d have to say that this movie works. I fully entered into the story. As a father to 2 young children what the family was going through felt like something I care about because having your kids go through a horrible disease is almost unthinkable. I don’t consider myself a movie buff by any stretch of the imagination but I thought the acting was very well done, especially the little girl who was the main character. The camera work is good, and the script is solid. I’ve read other reviewer’s suggestions about improvements that could’ve been done to this movie, and while possibly valid, this movie is centred around a true story so I would tend to be more forgiving for the sake of staying true to the actual happenings. It does not feel like a cheesy, poorly executed Christian movie. I finished watching it thinking about the fragility of life and a gratitude for my family’s health.

The story is fairly dark, but they did a good job on inserting light-hearted moments – you have to love the doctor with the Elmo tie who’s there to brighten everybody’s day. It’s definitely not the type of movie I’d generally choose to watch because I don’t enjoy watching suffering and it hits me pretty hard, but I think it is good for myself to do from time to time.

And as for the actual happenings themselves, it’s pretty crazy, and the miracle is such a God thing – Him working in the craziest ways you would not dream up! The fact that the miracle seemingly happened though/as a result of such a traumatic and scary experience isn’t what I would expect. Definitely more worthwhile than so many movies out there!

Great job!

4/5 Paper Movement Stars.

I was able to screen this movie courtesy of Martin-Graf Communications.


Miracles from Heaven – Movie Review

The Drop Box Film – Documentary Review

The Drop Box is a heart-rending documentary filled with both beauty and horror. For myself, it’s the kind of movie I’d honestly rather just not see – not because it’s poorly done or boring, it’s hard to watch because the movie is about some pretty terrible things that shake you. This is not something you watch to be entertained. It’s something to watch to help you realize again how broken this world is and how desperately Christians need to get busy loving people.

Watch this documentary to be challenged by a man’s love for unwanted, unloved babies. Watch him live out his faith. Watch him give his faith legs and make it work. It’s an amazing story. It will make you uncomfortable. It should make you evaluate your own life and the level of sacrifice and selfishness which are manifesting themselves in your own life. For those coming from strong homes it will help you see once again how blessed you are.

The documentary is well done. The camera work is solid. Although the feel is very heavy, there thankfully are bright spots in the film. There are smiles.

The movie itself brings up the issue of concern with what Pastor Lee Jong-rak is doing. Is he enabling parents to just abandon their babies, or is he rescuing babies who would’ve otherwise need neglected to die on the street?

Most of the speaking is in Korean, so almost all of the conversation has to be read in the subtitles. You might get used to this, you might not. What this does is helps to give the film a in-the-trenches feel. The movie is raw and real. See it for yourself.

Very well done and highly recommended. Tremendous story.

5/5 Paper Movement Stars

I received a complimentary advance viewing of this film courtesy of Nuts About Books by Graf-Martin Communications.

The Drop Box Film – Documentary Review