Soul Surfer – Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton


This is a film about a teenage Christian girl who loses an arm in a shark attack in Hawaii. There are some perilous moments, but they are handled well. The surfing sequences are excellent – and by the way, Helen Hunt (she plays the mom) did her own surfing scenes, and AnnaSophia Robb, who plays Bethany, took lessons from her and did her own surfing as well.

I thought the faith dimension was handled well; I cannot imagine what losing an arm to a shark would have done to me if I had wanted to  be a world class surfer and champion.

Because the family had so much video of Bethany from the time she was a baby, the filmmakers were able to strive for authenticity. Except for two rather “gooey” scenes, I think they made a fine film with lots to talk about – not the least of which is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Courage, faith, family, friends.

Here is my longer review for St. Anthony Messenger

Here is the Wikipedia entry for Bethany Hamilton

Here’s an interview with Bethany soon after the attack on October 31, 2003: NBC Insider

About the making of SOUL SURFER


Voyage of the Dawn Treader coming December 10

I had the opportunity to see the latest installment of the Chronicles of Narnia  yesterday and am happy to say that I liked it – quite a lot.

The 3D fantasy film is visually stunning and the narrative very close to the original story. If I said something like the seven deadly sins and their opposites in virtue, would I be revealing too much? Faith, reconciliation, love, and family? Oceans, islands, and mists, ah ha! A lion,  dragons, and mermaids, ah ha!

If I said that the return of the beloved talking mouse (Reepicheep) is the most entertaining example of anthropomorphism I have seen this year, what would you think?  And that the young actor (Will Poulter) chosen to play the irritating cousin Eustace was a brilliant casting choice?

Then let me jump ahead to the closing song “There’s a Place for Us”    sung by Carrie Underwood over the final credits backlit by original illustrations from the first print edition of the C.S. Lewis classic. Would you stay until the last credit rolled? I did.

Watch this space for a review on December 10, the film’s release date.

There’s a Place for Us