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Monday, October 23, 2006

October Review Review Constantine

October Review Review

There are a lot of movies during this time of year that Christians love to hate. The sad truth is that many of those movies are movies that have tremendous spiritual commentary. The movie Constantine was one such movie. The movie is one of the reasons I love the season so much. Week after week, after week, we see the release of horror, and/or supernatural movies. All of these movies have some commentary on good and evil, God and the Devil, or faith and lack of faith.

Constantine is a movie staring Keanu Reeves that falls into this category. Reeves name in the movie, John Constantine, even gives him the same initials of another JC would come to earth in an effort to provide salvation for humanity by fighting against the forces of evil. That one JC maintained a relationship with the angel Gabriel just like John Constantine.

Halloween can be a lot of things, it can have a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people, one thing that can't be ignored for long though is the spiritual nature of the day. The concept of good verses evil and God going at it with Satan also provides prevalent reminders during the season. There is also the concept of forces all around us that we can't see, having influences on our lives. Constantine is a beautiful portrayal of those conflicts it is a movie I am glad to recommend and provide a review review of. Enjoy the original review following a couple of video clips.

-Trailers, Photos
-About this Film
pdf -Spiritual Connections

John Constantine, (JC,) is a character that is almost made to a perfect fit for Keanu Reeves. I can't recall him ever playing a character with more depth than JC. The complexity of the character is as complex as the themes addressed in the movie and without much thought; one could get lost and have issues with the movie Constantine. As for me, that was a whole other story.

I have made mention before and will make mention again, I review movies for a specific reason, I love to search for spiritual themes that can open doors to sharing my faith with others I come into contact with. Despite the massive amount of criticism I have received from "Christians." I find horror, especially with supernatural themes of good vs. evil to be amongst the best forms to open those doors. Last years Van Helsing was a wonderful movie that uses images of crosses, heaven and hell, demons and God, and faith and salvation among others as well as any movie I had seen. On parallel with keeping those and other religious themes as a backdrop, Constantine does as well and in some ways even better than Van Helsing. If crosses for example were litter, then Constantine would be the city dump for Los Angeles. Not that they are of course, but there is hardly a frame of this film that in some way does not feature or focus on the cross.

It is the faith of Christianity that is the central and primary backdrop of the spiritual struggle that JC faces. It is in reality the struggle in the life and hope of the planet. As one who has experienced Hell for two minutes in a near death episode that for JC was as an eternity, he understands the intent and struggle that exists between God and Satan. He also realizes and believes that he has no hope for Heaven but is hard pressed and set to see to it that he helps as many as possible escape the trappings of Hell and its demons. Working as a lay exorcist he is portrayed early on as being more effective than a catholic priest at delivering people from demon possession and sending the demons back to hell. Part of his ability to be effective has to do with his own ability to relate and understand the consequences of what those he is helping faces. This incarnation component of JC is something that resembles the ability to relate by another JC, Jesus Christ.

Mixing in devices similar to James Bond and Van Helsing, Constantine has the usual sidekicks that help keep the story somewhat fun and enlightening. We see the struggles of those characters in their own spiritual development and from taxi cab drivers who drive for the Angel Cab Company, to the angel Gabriel, we get a taste of the constant surroundings regarding spiritual things that Constantine is involved in. Not since The Punisher has there been better secondary parts and supporting roles in a movie than what exists here in Constantine. In each of those characters, we can find our own journey and ourselves. We can see the results of the actions we may take, the faith we may have, or in the case of some, may not have. We can also see the eternal consequences for that faith or lack thereof.

Is Constantine a perfect movie? Far from it, but for those seeking to find ways to discuss spiritual issues, especially related to Christianity, there hasn't been a better movie since Van Helsing to open up those doors. While the person of Jesus Christ is seldom mentioned, from the Cross, to the spear that was thrust into Jesus side, we hear about, and know about God's Son. The journey of discovering what the purpose is for each of us is a journey that we go on but can visualize that because the character of JC goes through that same journey. The things along the way that cause him to take the paths he takes are the very things we face in our own lives. We eventually find out the expectations that are involved and we see that in part played out by the characters on screen. Not in total of course, this is after all a Hollywood movie, but enough so that we can open up many doors of discussion and fill in the pieces to the puzzel.

Don't go expecting to see one thrill ride after another in Constantine, you won't get it. It is more of a thinking persons horror and supernatural film than Van Helsing to be sure, but it does make you think. Stay until the end of the credits, you will see a hepiloguej at the conclusion of the credits that is worth watching. It gives us some further insight into the character of Constantine as well as the eternity faced by one of the primary characters in the film. Enjoy the ride, think about the themes, and make your decision.

On a scale of 1 - 10, just a little better than the so-called perfect number, a satisfying 8.

-Trailers, Photos
-About this Film
pdf - Spiritual ConnectionsDownload Constantine Discussion Guideand Bible Study

Movie Trailer

A Fan video

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