Christian critics tried their hands at biblical interpretation this week, prompting a wide range of responses to Harvey Keitel's role as a weakened Devil in Little Nicky, Mars astronauts' musings about God's existence in Red Planet, and the rapture of all Christians in the video release Left Behind.
What's Hot Although Adam Sandler's comedies have never catered to the intelligent crowd, his latest offering has the misfortune of being stupid and unfunny, say Christian critics. Little Nicky is "93 minutes of anguish," complains Christian Spotlight guest reviewer Curtis D. Smith, comparing the experience to "duct tape being peeled slowly away from dense arm hair. ... There are very few laughs to be had in this appalling film." The U.S. Catholic Conference agrees, saying Little Nicky "has minimal appeal with unfunny gags, stale special effects and limp performances." Other Christian critics focused on the theological errors of the plot, which features Sandler as the child of Satan and an angel he met at a heaven/hell mixer. "This story puts forth an extremely warped, blasphemous view of heaven and hell, good and evil, and the road to salvation," writes Movieguide. Bob Smithouser of Focus on the Family elaborates, objecting to the depiction of Christians as "marginalized fanatics, hypocrites or vessels for demon possession," concluding that "the film trivializes God and mocks people of faith." Preview's Mary Draughon was mortified that "angels in heaven are portrayed as silly, giggling teenagers," and that "Satan states his job is balancing good with evil—he's in control, but his strength is sapped when his evil sons run amuck." However, Hollywood Jesus located some spiritual truth in this aspect. "There has been a real tendency ...1
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