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The Celestine Prophecy
The Celestine Prophecy
Actors: Matthew Settle, Thomas Kretschmann, Sarah Wayne Callies, Annabeth Gish, Hector Elizondo
Director: Armand Mastroianni
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
PG     2006     1hr 39min

Based on James Redfield's worldwide best-selling novel, The Celestine Prophecy is a spiritual adventure film chronicling the discovery of ancient scrolls in the rainforests of Peru. The prophecy and its nine key insights p...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Matthew Settle, Thomas Kretschmann, Sarah Wayne Callies, Annabeth Gish, Hector Elizondo
Director: Armand Mastroianni
Creators: Barnet Bain, Beverly J. Camhe, James Redfield, Salle Merrill Redfield, Dan Gordon
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/19/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 39min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Nancy W. from CHARLOTTE, NC
Reviewed on 1/14/2011...
If you enjoy new age and everything that goes with it; you'll like this concept. The book was good; the movie is good. Never under estimate the power of the mind.
Sherrye F. from HOUSTON, TX
Reviewed on 3/27/2010...
Definitely fiction, but the message that there is good in the world if we connect with one another and with God is a good one.
Colleen W. (ejgirl) from LANCASTER, PA
Reviewed on 9/8/2009...
Excellent movie. Loved the characters, the story and the message.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

What If Heaven and Earth Are the Same Place?
Janet Boyer | Pennsylvania | 12/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Trying to control isn't the answer. When we find the true `God Experience', the fight over whose religion is best--it fades. There's just one truth." - From the movie

A New York Times best-selling book published in 1993, The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield has sold 14 million copies and has been translated in over 45 languages. Written in novel form, The Celestine Prophecy describes the synchronistic adventures of John Woodson as he travels to Peru to find out more about an ancient prophecy that describes modern life in startling detail--as well as the future evolutionary path of humanity. While there, he meets up with Father Jose, guardian of the scrolls, as well as others who are dedicated to disseminating the transformative nine Insights found in the Celestine Prophecy.

Redfield had wanted to make a movie version of The Celestine Prophecy, but despite offers from several big studios, the timing didn't feel right. In the spirit of the book, which advocates following intuition and gut hunches towards a more aware, purposeful life, Redfield waited--and now the time has come for the film to be birthed into the world.

After seeing the Indigo movie debacle and the mediocre acting in What the Bleep Do We Know!?, I admit that I didn't hold much hope for the movie version of The Celestine Prophecy. However, after watching the film and its special features last night, I was surprised and delighted at the results.

The Celestine Prophecy was one of the first "New Age" books I read while in the process of coming out of organized religion as both an adherent and a minister. It's been years since I read it, but I remembered that the prose was a bit clunky and didactic, but the information on synchronicity, auras, and control dramas were spiritual gold. I was especially impressed with the types of relationship control dramas humans use to "steal" energy until they learn to tap into their own internal reservoir.

Because the novel was heavily instructional (as I recall), I figured that the movie would be more "telling" than "showing"--one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make. Yet, Redfield's screenplay was utterly elegant--translating the nine Insights into a compelling demonstration that both the characters and audience experience for themselves. For example, instead of explaining the types of control dramas, one scene shows John trying to coerce Marjorie into getting together with him. Through seamless special effects, we see his red aura extending and then encroaching upon Marjorie's shrinking blue aura. John is new to the world of energy, and through interactions with Father Sanchez, Wil, Julia and the other characters, he learns what it means to generate energy for himself through openness and awareness.

Another example of "showing" instead of telling occurs when the characters vibrate to such a level that they become invisible. Rather than explain to the viewers about vibration (in fact, I don't even think the word "vibration" is used in the movie!), we are shown how focused intent and awareness made them invisible to the violent Peruvian rebels and corrupt law enforcement agents.

The beautiful musical score supported gorgeous cinematography and first-rate acting. Next to the screenplay, perhaps this was the most surprising of all: the convincing performances by a fine set of actors. Annabeth Gish, resembling a young Sigourney Weaver, looked so familiar to me--and then my husband pointed out that we had just seen her in the holiday TV movie Candles on Bay Street. The actors who played Father Sanchez, Wil, and Jensen were especially compelling, and while watching the performance of Sarah Wayne Callies, I had the thought "Boy, she would have been a much better Lois Lane than Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns."

Perhaps one reason these actors were so amazing was because Redfield wanted, specifically, actors that were on a spiritual path that would "get" the gist of The Celestine Prophecy movie. (Needless to say, Hollywood would have royally botched this movie.) One by one, the players came to HIM, as we find out in the special features. Especially intriguing was how actor Thomas Kretschmann, who plays Wil, relied on intuition and hunches to escape East Germany as a youth. He felt to talk to someone on the street and this person happened to be a central cog in the underground railroad that smuggled individuals across the Iron Curtain into the West. Because Kretschmann "lives" by following intuition, his character was even more believable. In fact, in less deft hands, Wil could have come across as superior and preachy--but this fine actor portrays his character as humble, wise, and laissez faire.

On a personal note, I had three synchronistic events happen to me concerning The Celestine Prophecy movie:

1. A few days ago, I received in the mail The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart. Unaware of the book, I hadn't even requested a copy from the publisher. Yet, somehow, someone in the publicity department of a major publisher had my name and address--and sent me the book. I'm four chapters into this book and it's extraordinary: if you're scientifically minded and want "proof" for the Insights that Redfield writes about--especially the reality of energy, light, and consciousness in living organisms--you MUST get this book.

2. While watching the special features of this film, Redfield mentions that Barnet Baine produced the movie What Dreams May Come. I received only one DVD for Christmas (from my husband), and guess what it was?

3. Last night, I was taking a bath and was debating on watching The Celestine Prophecy (I had the film for a week, but couldn't bring myself to watch it just yet). I opened up my copy of New Age Retailer that I received in the mail that day, and guess what I turned to? A full-page ad for The Celestine Prophecy movie!

Several of the inspiring truths found in this movie include:

* Follow hunches!
* Instead of taking energy, give it.
* We are helped--we are not alone.
* Wonderment can be restored--and curious, fearless living opens unexpected doors.
* Powerful change is coming in the world--and the shift has already begun.
* "The guidance within evolves the world towards a heaven that is already here. To know this is to know our destiny."

In addition to serving as a wonderful reminder for those familiar with the book, The Celestine Prophecy movie provides a gentle, intriguing introduction to those unfamiliar with the subtle world of energy, "coincidences", and power/control. Bravo, Redfield and company, for doing such a fine job on this film!

(Note: This DVD includes both Widescreen and Full Screen versions and includes The Making of the Celestine Prophecy--interviews with Redfield, the actors, producers, etc. The movie is about 90 minutes long and is rated PG for violence. In my opinion, the violence/shooting is closer to PG-13, so you may want to watch it first before introducing it to young children.)

Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)"
"Pay Attention, Something Will Happen" ~ The Next Phase In
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 12/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Synopsis: John (Matthew Settle), a recently laid off history teacher from the United States, follows a series of synchronistic events which lead to a remote area in the Peruvian rainforest. Upon arrival he finds romance, adventure and a new way of perceiving reality based on 9 mystical insights that may bring to fruition the next step in mankind's spiritual evolution.

Based on the best selling novel by James Redfield, `The Celestine Prophecy' ('05) is an engaging film with some of the most beautiful scenic cinematography I've seen in quite some time. I was also impressed by the cast which delivers strong, heartfelt performances, doing their utmost best to provide an enjoyable evening of entertainment along with their spiritual message.

Be forewarned, this film is first and foremost an instructional tool for New Age teachings on the nature of spirituality and the method of reconnecting with divine energy. So if you're not sympathetic or open to the message you probably won't stick it out to the end. I recommend you give it a chance, you might learn something."
There was an opportunity here to make a fabulous movie, but
Wayne C. Rogers | Las Vegas, Nevada United States | 01/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield started off in book format back around 1992/1993. It was a self-published novel with an action background that dealt with certain insights into spirituality. These insights weren't new, but Mr. Redfield did use an intriguing method for bringing them together and presenting them to the reading public. To sell the book, Mr. Redfield drove all over the United States, getting the small, self-help bookstores to carry his novel. A store that I'd worked at was one of the places that began to carry The Celestine Prophecy. Gradually, through word of mouth, the novel began to sell. Eventually, Warner Books picked up the novel and did some major publicity, and the book became an international bestseller. This was around 1994. Because the book gained such popularity, the big Hollywood studios attempted to purchase the film rights to The Celestine Prophecy, but Mr. Redfield wouldn't sell them. He didn't want to take the chance of Hollywood ruining the movie, plus he wanted to have some control over the situation. What happened is that he waited and waited and waited until he felt the time was right to make the movie. Then, he enlisted the aid of Barnet Bain, who'd produced What Dreams May Come and Somewhere in Time. They got a cast of relatively unknown actors to play many of the central roles with backup from a few strong character actors such as Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman), Jurgen Prochnow (Body of Evidence) and Joaqum De Almeda (A Clear and Present Danger). The director of the movie was Amando Mastroanni, who is someone that I'm not familiar with. James Redfield and his wife, Salle, assumed the roles of Executive Producer and Producer and Screenwriter. In trying to stay true to his novel and to maintain control of the film, Mr. Redfield made a movie that probably won't be seen by very many people. Unlike the book, I don't think favorable word of mouth is going to spread about this film. Though not a bad movie, it isn't one that you want to immediately see again. You also don't walk away from it feeling as thought you've just discovered a major insight (pun intended) about life and the way to live it. This movie was a disappointment to me because I enjoyed the novel so much and wanted to be moved by the film. I wanted to come away from it, feeling alive and full of hope for the future. It just didn't happen for me. True, there's a wonderful message within the movie about synchronicity, how everything is made up of the same energy and how we're all interconnected, the power of love, and the evolution of man to a higher form of consciousness; yet, it could've been presented more clearly and in a more entertaining format.

The movie deals with John Woodson (played by Mathew Settle), who has just been laid off from his teaching position. He meets an old friend, who tells him about these mysterious scrolls that have just been found in Peru. The scrolls are supposed to offer a revelation for mankind on how to live one's life. John's friend encourages him to fly down to Peru and to check it out. When John arrives there, he suddenly discovers to his dismay that both the Catholic Church and the Peruvian Government are trying to suppress the information that's in the scrolls out of fear that society's traditions might break down. Through a set of coincidences, the right people immediately come into John's life, sending him on a journey through the jungles of Peru in search of the scrolls and the fabled Ninth Insight. People are being killed left and right in a futile effort to squelch the information in the scrolls, but John finds himself unable to turn back in the face of danger. He's compelled to keep going until he finally has the answers to what The Celestine Prophecy actually is.

What this film reminded me of in many ways is a made-for-television movie. I don't think it was ever theatrically released, but rather went straight to video (or DVD in this case). Though the young actors try hard to breathe life into their characters, it simply doesn't work for the most part. In other words, you never find yourself immersed within the movie, identifying with the characters and their struggles. The directing could've been better, not to mention the special affects. Not a lot of money was put into the special affects, and it shows. I think Mr. Redfield inadvertently ended up with the kind of movie that he was afraid the big studios would make. In hindsight, it probably would've been better if a major studio had tackled the novel and invested a large chunk of money into it and had hired a polished director who could have brought the movie to life in a way that would've attracted people into the theater to see it. True, Hollywood often does a terrible adaptation of a successful novel, but occasionally Hollywood gets it right, too. It would've been great if Kevin Costner, or Tom Hanks, could have played the role of John Woodson and Frank Darabont could've directed it. I wish I had a ton of positive things to say about this film. I also wish that I'd rented the movie, instead of purchasing it for my film library. No one ever sets out to make a bad movie, but it happens just the same, no matter how hard you try to stay true to your vision.
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