Two Movies, Two Myths

Occasionally I hear about some movie that’s just come into theaters and made a huge splash. Most of the time, they’re of the SciFi or Action/Adventure genre.

Like this past weekend, it looks like the new Spiderman move made $91.6 million dollars. It’s not a record opening by any means, but still pretty impressive. As I was browsing through the top twenty though there were two movies that caught my attention as to their earnings. The first one is the Russell Crowe “epic” (from the description) Noah. With all the pre-release media this movie had, both good and bad, I expected to see this movie a bit higher on the list. After six weeks, its earned $99 million.

Of course Noah took a lot of hits from the religious right. If you followed any of the media at all about this movie, a lot of religious groups came out against it, because the movie was not “true” to the biblical account, even though the story is entirely fictional. I haven’t seen the movie, but some of the trailers looked fantastic and to be honest, how do you take a really boring story of 8 people surviving “The Flood” and make it entertaining? Well, you have to add a little action to the script.

No, I probably won’t go see this in the theater; it seems to me one of those I’ll wait for until it comes out on Pay-Per-View.

The other movie I wanted to mention is Heaven Is for Real. In just 3 weeks, this film has made $65.5 million. You know what this movie is about, don’t you? It’s about a 4 year old boy that goes into the hospital and has a “near death experience”. He comes out of the hospital with “remarkable recollections” about his trip to heaven as well as – gasp! – Things he couldn’t possibly know about! Things that “happened before his birth”!

Well, we know why this is a popular movie in some quarters don’t we? It’s an affirmation of a belief in the afterlife – even though it comes from a 4 year old boy. Of course, anyone with any experience with children would be able say that kids have imaginations. I personally recall a dream I had at a young age that I would have sworn actually happened. It didn’t. My parents were patient enough to explain to me that what I thought was a real occurrence could not have happened.

So, let’s see: A movie that takes a few liberties with a myth to try and make it more interesting/exciting for viewers compared to a tale of a 4 year old visiting heaven. Of course people are going to want to see the movie about heaven. The title of the film itself confirms what many in America believe. They need to believe it. Just these basic numbers confirm for me how much of a crutch religion is for a lot of people. They become miffed because some myth in a 2,000 year old book is altered for entertainment value, but totally accept a modern day story that no one can confirm!

What does this say about us?

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