Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Christmas Candle (Movie Review)

The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the Christian movie "The Christmas Candle". Don't forget to stay to the end to take a shot at this review's "Best Ever" Challenge!

 

REVIEW TEXT:

You say Lacado I say Lacado, let’s call the whole thing off… Nothing like starting off with a joke a whole 3 people might get.
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“The Christmas Candle” is based on the Max Lucado book of the same name and follows an 1800s town in England where legend has it every 25 years a special candle is handed out that grants a miracle to its owner and what happens when a new pastor comes to town who doesn’t quite buy into the idea.
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So question… Do you know who Max (don’t call me lucahdo) Lucado is? If the answer is yes, have I got a movie for you! If the answer is no, well, we might have a little work to do here. Max Lucado is a Christian author (and yes this is an explicitly Christian movie) who has a way with using word pictures and metaphor to tell stories and impart wisdom. He’s a brilliant writer and thinker and I’ve truly enjoyed much of his work. But does his beautiful book the Christmas Candle translate to film? Actually, yeah, I think they did a decent job with this. I’ll start with what I think is the best thing which is the way the story even as it takes place in the 1800s deals with the concept of modernity versus miracles, or technology vs theology. It uses a fairy tale charm to present an issue that I believe most modern people of faith deal with. Does God still work through miracles? It also pleases me to mention that most of the acting in this movie is pretty good, which is certainly not usually the case in these kinds of flicks. Maybe it’s easier to act when its 1800s English, but I thought the cast conveyed these characters in very honest and believable manner. Even Susan Boyle, best known for her England’s Got Talent audition, and not any kind of acting career seemed to capture her character well. Still the movie’s not without some of the typical issues.
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Mainly the Pacing is just too methodical. It’s one thing to embrace a slow pace when the story can carry the momentum itself, but there is no purpose in how slowly one scene leads to the next in this. It’s unfortunate because this one thing takes what is generally a pretty interesting story and just makes it kinda boring. Especially in the second half I found myself often feeling like there was plenty of chaff left that the editors should have cut away.
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At the end of the day “The Christmas Candle” is a beautiful story that seems to be well acted and thematically engaging despite the unfortunate boredom that lingers throughout. I think I’m willing to go with a B-.
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