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ThePainefulTruth
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:00 pm  Reasonable movies about God Reply with quote

There are precious few movies, reasonably well made and in English anyway, which fit the category. There are many, particularly older titles, that deal with miracles, faith or revelation but that's mere hearsay. Atheism is OK as long as it isn't focused on anarchy or the like.

There are only 7 titles listed here. It isn't surprising that there are so few, and one of those is musical. As science progresses, presenting us with natural answers and evidence to questions that had previously been deemed to be the realm of religious faith, we tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater and reject God along with religion. We rush to judgement to get answers, so since God doesn't intervene, He/It must not exist. But science has yet to come up with the first bit of evidence that addresses the origin of the universe, pro- or con God. The least favorite thing for us as a species to do is to admit that we're clueless, and to have to live with doubt.

Please don't include movies that face the question and then just let it drop or fade into the background, like The Black Robe. It should offer some kind of insight.
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Inherit the Wind (1960)--The first and in many ways the most courageous, it's thinly fictional look at the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 brought teaching religion and suppressing science in the classroom to the forefront again. A classic with some outstanding performances.

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)--Another classic, this first major rock opera (based on the 1971 Broadway production, which itself followed the music album in 1970). It uses an outstanding Webber-Rice score telling the story of the Passion of Jesus, based on the gospels but without the supernatural elements. The lyrics of the title song at the end ask the questions we've been asking, often in hiding, ever since.

The Devil's Advocate (1997)--It's important to remember that most of the film is a dream sequence, with the Devil being, for the protagonist, a symbol for temptation. As he declares at the end, "Vanity is definitely my favorite sin", but on introspection we realize that it's actually the justification for all sin.

Doubt (2008)--The specific problems that are a consequence of the abuse of power of an authoritarian church, lead the parochial school principle/nun to question the divine source of that authority. Those questions, given her commitment to that divine authority, lead to her soul crushing doubt.

Creation (2009)--Well made but little known independent film about the events surrounding Darwin's publication of On the Origin of the Species. He struggles with it due to his wife, Emma, being very religious and insists that she agree to its publication (profound historical speculation?). The death of their sweet, favorite daughter, due possibly to their being close cousins, points to natural selection, while there's no explanation for God's non-intervention on her behalf.

The Tree of Life (2011)-- The opening quote sets the stage, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4,7". In other words, it isn't your concern, which is the only answer any revealed religion can give to man's continual question, echoed by Job, Why?

Her (2013)--The latest and my first ever all time favorite film, fits the topic due to how it skirts the subject of God. It's a science fiction movie that offers a possible scientific basis for a Hereafter. But since there is no reasonable evidence for God, it doesn't associate any such possible afterlife with God one way or the other or even bring up the subject. In fact, the subject is couched in artistic code. Some who've seen it are probably wondering what I'm talking about--but it is there. It almost always takes a second viewing. Ref: the line, "the space between the words".
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 11: Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:49 am
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I recently watched The Devil's Advocate. I thought it was pretty good. Obviously, Keanu Reeves isn't the world's greatest actor, but it was fun watching Al Paccino camp it up.

Didn't think it really revealed any great insight on morality, or the human condition, though. Just your standard Devil-in-disguise flick.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 12: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:49 am
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AllAboutLove wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by ThePainefulTruth]

I recently watched The Devil's Advocate. I thought it was pretty good. Obviously, Keanu Reeves isn't the world's greatest actor, but it was fun watching Al Paccino camp it up.

Didn't think it really revealed any great insight on morality, or the human condition, though. Just your standard Devil-in-disguise flick.



As I said in my blurb, the devil's declaration that "Vanity is definitely my favorite sin", translates to vanity being the justification for all sin. That was and remains one of the biggest epiphanies in my life. Think about it, what evil isn't the result of someone subverting the rights of another to his own ego/vanity. It thus follows that all sin, all evil, is a moral (and thus often a legal) double standard?

Look at the 7 deadly sins:
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Where's vanity? ALL of the seven, those that are actually issues of morality (gluttony immoral???), are sins because they were brought about by actions driven by vanity, by a moral double standard. That realization is earth shattering both for religion and government--which (supposedly) bases it's laws on morality, or exempts an elite class as being above morality. It untangles the Gordian Knot the priests and politicians have tied and told us to have faith in.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 13: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:59 am
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ThePainefulTruth wrote:

AllAboutLove wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by ThePainefulTruth]

I recently watched The Devil's Advocate. I thought it was pretty good. Obviously, Keanu Reeves isn't the world's greatest actor, but it was fun watching Al Paccino camp it up.

Didn't think it really revealed any great insight on morality, or the human condition, though. Just your standard Devil-in-disguise flick.



As I said in my blurb, the devil's declaration that "Vanity is definitely my favorite sin", translates to vanity being the justification for all sin. That was and remains one of the biggest epiphanies in my life. Think about it, what evil isn't the result of someone subverting the rights of another to his own ego/vanity. It thus follows that all sin, all evil, is a moral (and thus often a legal) double standard?

Look at the 7 deadly sins:
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Where's vanity? ALL of the seven, those that are actually issues of morality (gluttony immoral???), are sins because they were brought about by actions driven by vanity, by a moral double standard. That realization is earth shattering both for religion and government--which (supposedly) bases it's laws on morality, or exempts an elite class as being above morality. It untangles the Gordian Knot the priests and politicians have tied and told us to have faith in.

That's an interesting way to look at it. Never thought about it that way before, but pride DOES come before The Fall.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't think the movie was bad or anything. Just that it could've been a lot better, and it sort of became stretched-out in the final third.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 14: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:15 am
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AllAboutLove wrote:

ThePainefulTruth wrote:

AllAboutLove wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by ThePainefulTruth]

I recently watched The Devil's Advocate. I thought it was pretty good. Obviously, Keanu Reeves isn't the world's greatest actor, but it was fun watching Al Paccino camp it up.

Didn't think it really revealed any great insight on morality, or the human condition, though. Just your standard Devil-in-disguise flick.



As I said in my blurb, the devil's declaration that "Vanity is definitely my favorite sin", translates to vanity being the justification for all sin. That was and remains one of the biggest epiphanies in my life. Think about it, what evil isn't the result of someone subverting the rights of another to his own ego/vanity. It thus follows that all sin, all evil, is a moral (and thus often a legal) double standard?

Look at the 7 deadly sins:
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Where's vanity? ALL of the seven, those that are actually issues of morality (gluttony immoral???), are sins because they were brought about by actions driven by vanity, by a moral double standard. That realization is earth shattering both for religion and government--which (supposedly) bases it's laws on morality, or exempts an elite class as being above morality. It untangles the Gordian Knot the priests and politicians have tied and told us to have faith in.

That's an interesting way to look at it. Never thought about it that way before, but pride DOES come before The Fall.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't think the movie was bad or anything. Just that it could've been a lot better, and it sort of became stretched-out in the final third.


Yeah, and the monster faces were a little over-the-top, though it was a dream. The final "I'm a fan of man" scene was a classic. I was originally upset by the resolution until I reminded myself that it was a dream. And even at that, he blew his brains out for a good cause. That was the first modern mention (I think) of free will as a theme; which has been used by a lot of movies since, starting with Reeves next film The Matrix.

And oh yeah, Charlize Theron has never been hotter--during the first half anyway, before she went to pot.

And speaking of Reeves, it's worth checking out one of his recent independent efforts, Henry's Crime.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 15: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:52 am
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ThePainefulTruth wrote:

AllAboutLove wrote:

ThePainefulTruth wrote:

AllAboutLove wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by ThePainefulTruth]

I recently watched The Devil's Advocate. I thought it was pretty good. Obviously, Keanu Reeves isn't the world's greatest actor, but it was fun watching Al Paccino camp it up.

Didn't think it really revealed any great insight on morality, or the human condition, though. Just your standard Devil-in-disguise flick.



As I said in my blurb, the devil's declaration that "Vanity is definitely my favorite sin", translates to vanity being the justification for all sin. That was and remains one of the biggest epiphanies in my life. Think about it, what evil isn't the result of someone subverting the rights of another to his own ego/vanity. It thus follows that all sin, all evil, is a moral (and thus often a legal) double standard?

Look at the 7 deadly sins:
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Where's vanity? ALL of the seven, those that are actually issues of morality (gluttony immoral???), are sins because they were brought about by actions driven by vanity, by a moral double standard. That realization is earth shattering both for religion and government--which (supposedly) bases it's laws on morality, or exempts an elite class as being above morality. It untangles the Gordian Knot the priests and politicians have tied and told us to have faith in.

That's an interesting way to look at it. Never thought about it that way before, but pride DOES come before The Fall.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't think the movie was bad or anything. Just that it could've been a lot better, and it sort of became stretched-out in the final third.


Yeah, and the monster faces were a little over-the-top, though it was a dream. The final "I'm a fan of man" scene was a classic. I was originally upset by the resolution until I reminded myself that it was a dream. And even at that, he blew his brains out for a good cause. That was the first modern mention (I think) of free will as a theme; which has been used by a lot of movies since, starting with Reeves next film The Matrix.

And oh yeah, Charlize Theron has never been hotter--during the first half anyway, before she went to pot.

And speaking of Reeves, it's worth checking out one of his recent independent efforts, Henry's Crime.

Thanks for the hint. I'll loom into Henry's Crime. Keanu might not be the world's best actor, but he sure does have a knack for picking interesting movies! Whistle

The Paccino line about God being an "absentee landLord" I thought was an exceptionally clever use of wordplay: It had the word "Lord" & evoked the film's legal theme & evoked the Biblical precept of responsibility..... real good. This was one of those movies that when it was "on" it was really, really good. It's just too bad that it also had long stretches of being "off".

You can't go wrong with Paccino as the Devil though! You could tell he was having fun with the part. Other than maybe Jack Nicholson, Paccino was the perfect man for the part.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 16: Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:10 pm
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Yeah, and being a deist, the absentee landlord comment fit right in, albeit from the Devil's point of view, since God can't shirk a responsibility that doesn't exist. He was made for that part; Godfather, Devil, mox/nix.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 17: Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:29 am
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I enjoyed Devil's Advocate (saw it at the cinema) but I recall it being heavy-handed with references to Paradise Lost (I think the law firm was called Milton, or something?). Enjoyable nonetheless. I didn't actually expect the resolution, but it did make me grin.

As for Keanu Reeves, my favourite films of his tend to feature him as a side character. For some reason he seems to act better than in main roles: Something's Gotta Give, The Gift, River's Edge, My Own Private Idaho, etc.

As for god films, I really liked Dogma. Sure it was silly in places, but that opening scene of a fallen angel successfully persuading a nun to become an atheist, despite his having been in the presence of god, was sheer genius.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 18: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:55 am
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Pazuzu bin Hanbi wrote:

I enjoyed Devil's Advocate (saw it at the cinema) but I recall it being heavy-handed with references to Paradise Lost (I think the law firm was called Milton, or something?). Enjoyable nonetheless. I didn't actually expect the resolution, but it did make me grin.

As for Keanu Reeves, my favourite films of his tend to feature him as a side character. For some reason he seems to act better than in main roles: Something's Gotta Give, The Gift, River's Edge, My Own Private Idaho, etc.

As for god films, I really liked Dogma. Sure it was silly in places, but that opening scene of a fallen angel successfully persuading a nun to become an atheist, despite his having been in the presence of god, was sheer genius.


Yeah, I particularly liked Carlin and Rickman..and maybe the best statue in cinema history.


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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 19: Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:09 pm
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He has a very bad potty mouth but I always liked George Carlin too! I watched an HBO comedy concert that he gave and he ended the show with a routine about "There Is No God." He said he wrote it just a short while after his wife died. I always thought that was sad. Sad

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 20: Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:06 pm
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AllAboutLove wrote:

[Replying to ThePainefulTruth]

He has a very bad potty mouth but I always liked George Carlin too! I watched an HBO comedy concert that he gave and he ended the show with a routine about "There Is No God." He said he wrote it just a short while after his wife died. I always thought that was sad. Sad


Yes, and i don't say this to be judgemental, as I've said elsewhere I think atheism and deism are the only two reasonable positions on God, but I think atheism is ultimately very depressingly sad--in this life anyway.

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