Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review: 90 Minutes in Heaven...Faith, Hope, Love

90 Minutes in Heaven the Movie


On January 18th, 1989 Baptist Pastor Don Piper died. He was headed home to lead a church service when he was hit head on by an 18-wheeler on a rural Houston bridge. He was 38 years old. But that's not the end of Don's story. It's the beginning....

Paramedics and police officers at the scene found no pulse and pronounced him deceased. They covered the car where his body lay mangled and trapped with a tarp and waited for the coroner for 90 minutes.  During that time fellow Pastor Dick Onerecker arrived and felt inspired to pray for Don.  He obeyed God's call, crawled into the wreckage and began to pray. As his prayers led to him singing a hymn, something miraculous happened....the dead guy started singing too.

What follows is the true story of Don Piper and where he was for those 90 minutes and his excruciatingly painful recovery. As his body lay beneath the tarp, he tells how he experienced all the joys of being in Heaven. Coming back from that became an endurance trial not only for him but for his wife Eva and their three children. It's a story of hope and learning to lean on God and others and finding your purpose.


90 Minutes in Heaven reminded me of classic family films of the past. Not the big blockbuster kind but the simple down home stories. Maybe it was the positive feeling I got when watching them but 90 Minutes in Heaven is like that. Director Michael Polish, who also wrote the screenplay based on the book, has made something familiar yet new and inspirational.

It's a film where people will see some of their own stories. Everyone has or knows someone who has experienced tragedy or long hours in an ICU waiting room or sat near the bed of a loved one for weeks, maybe months. Most people sitting with loved ones in the hospital know there is usually a MacDonald's or Burger King not far from every hospital where the drive through stays open late. It's a love story about a husband and wife going through difficult times and then a breakthrough. This is real life.

90 Minutes in Heaven is an earnest, reverent account of  Don Piper's story. Yes, the movie is long and seemingly drawn out to a fault but those wanting a faithful adaptation of the book will definitely be satisfied. Others wanting something inspirational will find a movie that flows like a meditation on life. They will find encouragement. Also, unheard of in Hollywood, this is a movie where all the profits will go to various charities.

Eva Piper is described by her husband as the hero of the story and she is. To her credit Kate Bosworth's Eva is a hero but never does the story shrink away from her stuggles, stress and fears which she portrays with just the right mix of vulnerability, gentle patience and determined focus. Bosworth's portrayal of heartbreak feels real. Once the Pipers were a couple totally in love but now separated by something inexplicable. Bosworth as Eva asks Don tearfully where does he go as he lays there just staring. Pleadingly she tells the love of her life she misses her husband only to be met by silence. Her husband can only think about one thing. He wants to go home....leave this suffering and go home to the heaven he visited when he died in the crash.


I always like watching a movie on opening weekend with a full audience to see who shows up and to hear the reactions. The audience I sat with was nearly a full house and a mix of teens, adults, young and old, men and women. There were a few who voiced their "yes" out loud to acknowledge something inspiring. They laughed in all the right places and at one point during the scene where the Pipers and Onereckers meet after church, there were gasps from the audience at a certain revelation about Don's story. Everyone was into what was happening.

There was a definite change in the audience when it came to the part when Don, at the encouragement of his friend David (Jason Kennedy), tells Eva about going to heaven. You could have heard a pin drop. Where before you could hear the occasional shifting of someone in their seat or popcorn bags crunching etc., no one and nothing was moving. Except for Don and Eva's voice, everything went very still in the theater. It made me look around to see if people were breathing.

Then there is this shining moment in the film. Previously, Hayden Christensen's scenes of a long torturous recovery and emotional and spiritual desolation were totally believable and well played. His hospital prayer asking "why" was heartwrenching. However, it is this scene of finally describing heaven to Eva and finally showing his appreciation of her that was artfully, skillfully acted and filmed.

As the camera closes in first on Don and then Eva we can see the many months of emotional separation between husband and wife begin to dissolve before our eyes in their faces. Christensen delivers the telling of Don's heaven experience with such assured yet understated passion that it feels genuine. Bosworth's response is soulful and true. The moment is completely compelling and powerful.

Whether you're a believer or someone in need of inspiration or someone looking for an entertaining drama about a family facing real life challenges, it's worth the trip to 90 Minutes in Heaven.

90 Minutes in Heaven is rated PG-13 for injury and hospital scenes and is produced by Giving Films and Emmett Furla Productions.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hayden Christensen in Beijing to announce new movie.

Hayden Christensen and director Nick Powell were in Beijing today to officially announce Arclight and Easternlight Film's upcoming movie Outcast, an international co-production which will partly film in Yunnan, China. The movie about an exiled knight who finds his way east to China, also has Nicolas Cage in exclusive negotiations to co-star in the 12th century AD action adventure said to be "Game of Thrones" meets "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

The period action film tells the story of a disgraced knight from the Crusades who travels to China and is hired to protect a princess and prince who have run away after their father, the Emperor, is murdered. Hayden has been cast as the knight and casting is underway in China for the prince and princess.

Hayden is no stranger to costume and action films having starred in two of George Lucas' Star Wars Prequels in the role of Anakin Skywalker who eventually turns to the Dark Side to become Darth Vader in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

First time director Nick Powell has extensive experience in epic action films as a second unit director and stunt coordinator in such films as The Bourne Identity, X-Men 3: Last Stand, The Last Samurai and The Three Musketeers.

Filming is scheduled to begin in April 2013. Photo Source

Hayden will be bulking up for the role of a knight in Outcast and also letting his hair a beard grow for the role.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hayden Christensen - Runelords Poll Update

For the moment, Hayden Christensen has moved ahead in the Runelords Movie Poll. The voting isn't over yet and the voting has taken some wild jumps in the tally among the nominated actors in the last week. No one can claim victory just yet. Because of so much interest by the fans, this has become an amazing show of support for Hayden and the other actors nominated.

This is a reminder that if you haven't voted and plan to, please vote now. You are only allowed to vote once by the deadline which is January 31st. If you have voted ask others to vote. The poll organizers haven't given the exact time the poll will end so I'm not sure if it's midnight on Monday night or sometime on Tuesday or late Tuesday night so vote as soon as possible.

I am also asking international fans around the world to vote and spread the word and ask everyone to vote in your own language on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Below you will find all the information for the poll and the Runelords character of Gaborn. (Those who visit my site from countries like Australia, Philippines, Japan, Russia, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Canada, Mexico and all over South American spread the word.)

Character: Gaborn Synopsis

"In this big budget film, the part of Gaborn is endearing. He is an idealistic young man living an ideal life in a dark world until he starts to question the status quo, whether it is ethical to take away the strengths of others for your own whim. As his world is thrust into chaos, Gaborn struggles to live up to his own ideals and it gets him into an epic conflict that threatens the entire world." Source

Press Release

..."Prince Gaborn, a strong young idealist that falls head-over-heels in love with Princess Iome. He is a warrior, so he has to be lean and he's going to get some magical treatments that are created by brands on his body....

"Now we want to see what the fans have to say." Click here for full Press Release...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hayden Christensen Among Actors Nominated for RuneLords Movie Poll

Hayden Christensen is one of many actors nominated in the role of Gaborn in a poll by author and producer David Farland, whose novel is being developed into a feature film.

The role of Gaborn is one of the central characters in the Runelords fantasy series which was on the New York Times Best Seller List. The nominees were selected by David Farland Enterprises and The Runelords Movie Group for a vote by fans.

"Finally there was the part of Prince Gaborn, a strong young idealist that falls head-over-heels in love with Princess Iome. He is a warrior, so he has to be lean and he's going to get some magical treatments that are created by brands on his body. So he basically has to look good with his shirt off. There we boiled it down to Zak Efron, Hayden Christensen or Kellan Lutz. Now we want to see what the fans have to say."

Go here to vote:

Read the entire Press Release.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WIN A Signed Vanishing on 7th Street Poster and DVD Pak from Magnet Releasing

Hayden Christensen stars in Vanishing on 7th Street in select theaters on Friday, February 18. Magnet Releasing and Magnolia Pictures have a contest going on now. Win a signed Vanishing on 7th Street movie poster and Magnet DVD Pak.

In a world ruled by darkness, with no electricity what would you miss most?

Click to go to Magnet Releasing on Facebook and answer the question for a chance to win:

Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo, Jacob Latimore, Taylor Groothuis star in Vanishing on 7th Street directed by Brad Anderson.

Most of the population has vanished after a power black-out, leaving a few survivors searching for answers and an escape from increasing darkness, whispering voices and shadows that are closing in on them.

Video Clip from Vanishing on 7th Street.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hayden Christensen Interview, HUGO BOSS Show Berlin

Hayden Christensen at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin for the Hugo Boss Fashion Show.