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Blue Like Jazz [Blu-ray]
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This movie moves at a nice pace. It is well directed and edited with a solid cast. As for the "Christian" part, it may not please the average Evangelical church goer but it could very well sucker punch many a non church goer who thinks they are just watching a gem of a movie that was overlooked by the mainstream machine. I went to the cinema hoping to like this film because I loved the book and because my daughter has a minor role (the Aqua Babe). I was also wondering how in the world they were going to handle certain parts especially the campus confessional. I left extremely satisfied. Aqua Babe was great. The confessional, while quite a departure from the book, was perfect. And this movie could very easily someday become a cult classis.
Beginning with a surreal (albeit) poorly paced opening of Donald Miller, played with reserve by Marshall Allman, Blue Like Jazz knows exactly where it needs to go. The film starts in Texas, at a fundamentalist church where Miller is content to simply exist without much rigorous thought. After a familial incident, Miller's perfect life is upended and he runs away into the godless Northwest United States to Reed College, where he experiences drinking, drugs, bi-curious girls and social justice. But, he cannot escape his background, or the Deity that seems to follow him.
Blue Like Jazz does not equate itself to being a Christian film. This does not suggest that Christians are not involved or that there is any lack of Christian themes in Blue Like Jazz, but the nature of the film is not sermonizing. Don's encounters with various students, from a dude dressed in a Pope outfit to a girl involved in Christo-centric social justice, showcase the turmoil of a man caught in the whirlpool of messy, post-conservative Christianity in a staunchly secular and hurting world. *For a discussion on "christian films."
I'll confess, I found this to be quite accurate in relation to my own spiritual journey. Having a personal conversation about God at midnight with an agnostic dressed as a beer can comes to mind. Blue Like Jazz touches on this sort of almost transcendental interaction, but also the failure of the church.Read more ›
But I also expected the movie to be terrible.
Most Christian filmmaking is very representative of our decidedly strange subculture. Blue Like Jazz is not. It's obvious that the primary goal here was to make a good film. To that end it is funny, touching, well shot and well paced. There's absolutely an indie aesthetic here, but it's appropriate.
This film exceeded my wildest dreams about what a film adaptation of the book could be.
When I was in college, I wrote a very short concept for a Blue Like Jazz film one day during screenwriting class. Later that same year, I found out that Steve Taylor had beaten me to it.
So when Blue Like Jazz finally made it to the big screen, I wanted to be there for opening weekend. Even if that meant a long road trip from the hills of Arkansas to someplace with skyscrapers.
If you want to read film reviews, there is a diverse selection of them available on your local internets. I'm not a critic, and have neither the ability nor the desire to write a proper film review. I'll leave that to the professionals. What I can tell you is that Blue Like Jazz is probably the most meaningful and important films I've seen in a long time. Because in Blue Like Jazz, I see myself.
From Don's nerdy hairdo and tucked-in polo shirts during his Baptist days to his realization that he's hid his faith because he was ashamed of Jesus, I felt like I was looking in some sort of a retrospective spiritual mirror. It's a story about how someone who had never had much experience outside the Evangelical sub-culture is stripped of all the extraneous trappings of his religion until he is forced to confront his own belief in Jesus and decide whether or not it's worth keeping. It challenges assumptions about how Christianity should be practiced, where we should stand in the "culture wars", and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It shows us the danger of ignoring how we represennt Jesus to our culture.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It followed the themes of the book nicely. Don't just watch the movie but also read the book!Published 3 months ago by Tony Herman
Good film. Would have given it four stars if we had not read the book first. The book is excellent, so maybe watch the movie first, or skip it and just get the book.Published 3 months ago by Jim S
Even though this departs greatly from the book's story, Still not bad... Well acted, witty and thoughtful story line... Read morePublished 5 months ago by CC4U
Awesome movie. Kind of an indie flick style. I read the book first, which made this much more enjoyable than if I had watched it first. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kate Johnson
The book is really good but this movie version is only, maybe, 10% close to the book.
If you've read and really love the book you may be disappointed.