Let's go to the movies! The power of the cinematic media should never be overlooked. At its best, and even at its worst, it can mirror society, bring issues to awareness, and make us reflect on ourselves personally.
Reflections for Movie Lovers by Matthew Kinne takes this influence to a new level. Consisting of 365 devotions, this book uses movies as its springboard for spiritual lessons and reflections. But beware, if you're an avid movie fan, as I am, your "to see" list will grow!
Each devotion starts with two short Scripture readings, a paragraph summary of the movie's storyline, then moves into the spiritual application and reflection for our "real" lives. I used Reflections for Movie Lovers as part of my personal devotions, but this could also be used in family devotions, small group study, and in youth groups. The movie devotions are broken down into a particular topic/genre per week. Every genre is included so there's something for everyone.
This book would be beneficial for young believers who love movies. Kinne does a great job at explaining the Bible lesson in a complete, simple, and concise way. You don't have to have a theological degree to understand the lesson. For example, Kinne retells the story of Israel's exodus from Egypt in 76 words, yet you understand what took place. If you want more information, the Bible reference is part of the scripture reading for the day.
Kinne does a superb job at summarizing the movie storyline. I read the book before reading anything about the author, and based on his skill at condensing a two-hour movie into one paragraph, Kinne's involvement with the movie industry was obvious. His resume is impressive: a freelance writer and film/video producer. He served as a development director for Messenger Films, as the East Coast editor of Movieguide Magazine, written several screenplays, interviewed Hollywood stars, and consulted for film production companies.
While some of the movies Kinne focuses on are R-rated, he states that it "doesn't mean I endorse it or agree with every little thing about it. Like all humanity, all movies portray sinners, usually depicting their sins. This doesn't mean I recommend that all Christians see all R-rated movies, as I believe that some people shouldn't see any at all. Your choice of viewing is between you and God – and your parents if you are under 17." The benefit of this book is that you can get the story and lesson without having to see what you don't want to.
Included in the heading of each devotion is the American Film Institute rating, the Academy Awards nominations and winners, the Motion Picture Association of American rating, and the year the movie was made.
Some of the devotionals seemed a bit of a stretch, but the author himself admits that not every movie will resonate in the same fashion for all readers. Even so, Reflections for Movie Lovers is definitely a worthwhile read. -- Leilani Wells, Christian Book Previews.com
Let’s go to the movies! First-time author Matt Kinne raises this battle cry in his new book, Reflections for Movie Lovers. Truly unique in its approach, the book contains 365 devotionals that compare and contrast movie plots and themes with biblical stories and truths. Written by a true movie buff, Reflections for Movie Lovers will inspire all types of readers to make spiritual connections with the movies they are watching.
In Reflections for Movie Lovers, devotions are cleverly grouped by weekly “Film Fests” according to genre—romantic comedies, action pictures, fantasy films, classic comedy, foreign films, modern comedy, war films, etc. In this easy and fun devotional, readers will find that these “Film Fests” are even seasonal and holiday appropriate, making them perfect not only for individual study, but also for small groups. Readers will love the author’s enthusiasm as Reflections for Movie Lovers showcases some of their favorite movies—classics old and new, such as Jaws, Toy Story, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. No movie is immune to Kinne’s devotional message, which is why Reflections for Movie Lovers offers an amazing opportunity for a new kind of devotional experience, one that is both unique and relevant to today’s culture and grounded in biblical truth. It is also a relevant reference guide for pastors and youth leaders who want sermon illustrations that relate to movies.