Christians, Please View! Tolkin Takes You Seriously!
Chris Ward | Costa Rica | 12/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Several reviewers below knock this film's low budget (undeniable) and some committed Christian believers are shocked by Tolkin's protagonist's final word on "The Rapture." BUT SEE THIS AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF! Writer/director Tolkin does you the not insignificant favor of treating "The Rapture" as something REAL- he doesn't mock it or water down its significance. And for that you should be grateful. This is a film about IDEAS and not for those who can't think for themselves. It is, however, a film for adults, as early scenes show major characters adrift and leading abundantly "sinful" lives.
See this movie and discuss it with those you love. If you're an agnostic or atheist, it's a fascinating window into another world, with a first-class script and sterling performances. If you're a Christian, especially one who believes in "The Rapture," there's much here to both challenge and confirm your thinking. Don't look for a big Steven Spielberg ending-- the budget is too low for that. But the IDEAS found here are worth any amount of Hollywood flash.... An excellent film."
QUESTIONS OF FAITH....
Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 11/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sharon (Mimi Rogers) is a phone operator who leads a hedonistic lifestyle of swinging sex. But she's empty and tired inside. She discovers a religious sect who follow the prophecies of a child ("...and a child shall lead them...") about the rapture, the second coming of Christ and judgement day. She is hesitant at first, but after a near suicide, she crosses over and becomes "saved". She marries an old boyfriend from her past (David Duchovney) and has a little girl. When tragedy strikes and she's troubled by an apparent vision, she steadfastly believes the rapture is here and takes to the desert with her child to await God. There, her faith will be put to the ultimate test. While some may find this film arty, far-fetched or even pretentious, I found it excellent and quite unlike anything I've ever seen. Rogers is marvelous as Sharon and believable as a modern woman who has questions about faith and God. Duchovney is also good as Randy who sticks by Sharon because he loves her. The film has shocking moments to be sure but it has a dream like quality which gives the subject matter an eerie edge. There are times when it even approaches spellbinding. For those who enjoy challenging films that leave you talking about it later, this is one to watch. Even if you don't like it, you'll think about it. "The Rapture" is not a religious film nor is it preachy. It takes no stand on anything really but it does leave you wondering about faith and what heaven is. The DVD has interviews with Rogers and others involved in the film. Recommended and very watchable."
Great film, not so great dvd
The Joker | The World | 12/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Movie: One of the boldest and most interesting films of the early 90's, and one that deserved far more acclaim and attention than it ultimately recieved, this is a smartly written and beautifully acted film that should be seen by any cinemaphile with an open mind. And despite the whining from some, usually hardline Christian, corners, it's not anti-christian at all. What it is is simply great, imaginative and clever film making, and a superbly done character piece centered around a magnificent performance from Mimi Rogers, ably supported by the likes of David Duchovny, Will Patton and Patrick Bauchau.
I'm not going to go into it too deeply simply because it's one of those films that should be seen and experienced with as little up front knowledge as possible.
(Please note that I'm not attacking Christians or Christianity above, just a small, but, as usual, vocal closed minded minority that always gets up in arms about any film that dares tackle any such subject with any degree of honesty instead of going down the traditional biblical fawning path. People who will instantly hate a film like this just "on principle" and then proclaim to all that they should avoid "such trash". You know exactly the kind of people I'm talking about. They're a minority, they just happen to be a very vocal and closed minded one. And none of that has anything to do with their christianity as much as it has to do with their absolute closed mindedness and their fear of anything that dares stray from a certain comfortable path.)
The DVD: The good news, this film is finally on dvd, and with a pretty decent audio commetary to boot. The bad news, the movie has been badly misframed, which is something that becomes obvious in a couple of key scenes especially. I'm not sure whether this was done as a form of censorship (as the misframing of one scene does effectively nullify a sequence of any real nudity that it once had) or whether it was just a botched transfer, but it is clearly misframed regardless as I saw this film twice on it's theatrical run and the framing is different now than it was then. Plus the misframing is quite obvious anyway, and on the audio commentary you can even hear remarks about the film pertaining to parts of the print that are no longer visible due to said misframing (so clearly they were watching the film in it's proper framing).
Unfortunately this doesn't appear to be available anywhere else on dvd, so if you want the film on dvd right now this is your only option, just be aware going in, and hope for a better release somewhere down the track. Apart from the framing issue the sound and audio quality are perfectly fine, and the only other notable extra is the film's trailer.
The bottom line: A really good, bold, interesting film on a disappointing and variable quality dvd.
Sex, God, And the End Of The World--A Challenging, Uncomprom
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 12/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Rapture" is a film that I have treasured for many years, and yet it has failed to become well-known. I was dragging people to see this film in the theater and have introduced dozens of others to the video and DVD versions. Released in 1991, "The Rapture" is a bold and uncompromising picture--one that deserves to be recognized as a classic. Rarely will you see a film tackle the subject of religion so fearlessly, so relentlessly, and so literally. I suppose that's why some people have stayed away. Religion is not a very fashionable topic. Some people stay away for fear of being preached to, while many religious supporters get offended if the film is anything less than pious. Now, you will see many one star reviews claiming this to be Anti-Christian heresy--but I have many Christian friends who have embraced this film as an intelligent and powerful study of faith and commitment.
"The Rapture" starts out with Mimi Rogers living a life of emptiness and boredom. By day, she's a telephone operator and by night she fills her time with promiscuous sexual adventures. In a gritty and brave depiction, this is a lurid world, to be sure--but all she has to "connect" with others. Seeking more, seeking better--she enters into a decidedly spiritual world. Relinquishing her past, she embarks on a monogamous relationship with David Duchovney and attempts to fill the void in her life by spreading the word. She becomes a woman transformed by the church. When an unexpected tragedy strikes, she now has faith to console her. Her support group, led by a prophet, believe in the Second Coming. With supreme and unerring devotion, Rogers embraces a religious fervor and offers herself and her daughter up to God. Her faith borders on a mania, but she never wavers.
The challenging film never backs down from here on out. God, of course, does not respond as she might have envisioned which results in yet another tragedy. Rogers has gone from an empty vessel to a devout churchgoer to a state of dementia--and now faces her biggest challenge yet. The END OF THE WORLD is here. With horsemen, trumpets and other attendant signs of the Apocalypse--Rogers faces the ultimate decision. Will she embrace the God again who she feels has betrayed her commitment? In an ending unlike any other feature film I've ever seen, Rogers stays true to her character. This film lets no one off the hook--it's daring, audacious, and so ambitious.
Rogers has never been better. I've always felt this was her "Sophie's Choice." While perhaps not an actress with the greatest range, she really taps into something primal here. It's as brave and open as you're likely to see an actress--emotionally and physically. It should have been her Oscar nomination. But the secondary star is "The Rapture"'s screenplay. Powerful and thought-provoking, this is a rare and ultra-serious work for adults.
I don't pretend that everyone will love this movie. It definitely pushes buttons and provokes debate. But anyone who out-of-hand dismisses it, they are being unjust. I want films to challenge, move, and engage me. Far from bashing Christianity, "The Rapture" is a major work studying faith in the modern world. It may not always be a pretty picture, but it is a relevant one. An unqualified success, to me, at every level--I'm proud "The Rapture" was able to be made in an era when the least bit of controversy threatens to scuttle adult, intelligent filmmaking. KGHarris, 12/06."