The Daniel Project

While browsing Amazon’s video service, I came across this free-to-watch documentary last night, and figured I’d give it a shot. A 2012 movie called “The Daniel Project” discusses about a couple dozen end-time prophecies, and presents them in a very clear, straightforward manner to the viewer.

Now, one thing that sets this documentary apart from others is that the narrator and person being focused on the most — some sort of European voice work actor — says right up front he’s not a Christian, and that he doesn’t believe, but is interested in the topic.

So, the filmmakers have given him things to read as they film him, with short summaries of events predicted and things that have already occurred. You can actually see and hear the narrator get caught off guard by how eerily accurate a book from 2,000+ years ago really is. By the end of the film, it’s pretty obvious that even though he only had a small dose of prophecy information, his brain was thinking differently, and not so immediately dismissive of Christianity’s end-time predictions. So it’s a good message and sign of hope.

The movie does have a few glaring issues though — for starters, Jesus Christ is pretty much ignored, and being saved is not even part of the discussion. Next, there are several clips of Obama speaking that hint the filmmakers were trying to say he was perhaps the Antichrist (which is absurd). Third, not all the prophecies are equally discussed or given weight — like water in the wilderness or Israel’s currency changes. Fourth, the 200 million Eastern (likely Chinese) army is quickly mentioned, but think of how no other nation on Earth has that potential size of military or 1+ billion population to draw from. Fifth, and most glaring to me — is that the Rapture isn’t mentioned at all. Not even once.

It’s not a bad documentary, but the Obama allusion and lack of Rapture parts keep me from wanting to recommend it to non-Christians.

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The Torah Codes

The Torah Codes is an interesting documentary that takes a very close look at the significance of hidden messages within the first five books of the Old Testament, and how they have been discovered in recent decades — some even discussing recent events.

The concealed words and phrases are found by modern Jewish scholars using a Cray supercomputer that looks for unique words in equal letter distance sequences, within small blocks of Ancient Hebrew text. The smaller the amount of text searched and more numerous equal letter distance words and phrases found, the more unlikely it is that these are just random occurrences of words, and were very likely purposely generated, by the author.

The film itself is interesting in that it jumps between talks with Jewish scholars to a military captain serving in Israel and with people in a town nearby anti-Israeli forces (whose enemies keep trying to blow their town up with rockets). While this is an interesting approach editing-wise, it’s pretty clear why this was done — there just isn’t enough code-specific material to warrant a full documentary run-time.

That said, the code parts are interesting, and certainly thought provoking. Unfortunately you do get the sense only Jewish scholars (focusing on Jewish things) are involved though, as not one clearly labeled/named Christian seems to be involved in the project.

The biggest weakness of the film though is its paltry 60-minute run-time. While the Captain part adds to the film in the end, the other non-code material seem to act as filler, and comprises probably 1/2 to 2/3 of its length. I would definitely give this a watch if you find it for cheap or free online, but the $14.99 price most places charge is way too high for the tiny amount of actual content received.

The Coming Convergence

This documentary’s creators also made “The Final Prophecies,” which I reviewed last year, and in that review I said this:

“…and the film, despite its focus on “prophecy” — barely seems to mention Jesus Christ’s saving grace and the fact that Satan truly exists, and wants to literally damn humanity to Hell. Prophecy is a nice subject, but if there’s no reason for people to believe (God’s love and compassion), that makes it a hard sell.”

Unfortunately, their new film misses the mark yet again. About 20-25% of the film is just a random pretty girl walking aimlessly (through what looks like Detroit), while she narrates confusing and cryptic dialogue to a bewildered audience. Basically, a massive chunk of the film’s total run-time is complete nonsense, and will only turn away non-Christians if they watch it.

And does the film cover Jesus Christ or Satan? Nope, not really. Yet again, the people making these films omit these two figures almost completely (this makes you wonder if the films’ creators simply want to avoid all talk of Jesus and Satan!).

Now, a few minor things like the increasing number of earthquakes and massive volcanoes being found in the ocean are neat, but when things like “No one knows the day or hour” is brought up, the film suggests an answer I have never heard before in my life. Even more bizarrely, the film doesn’t talk about the Rapture whatsoever, barely discusses the Antichrist and avoids all talk of the Tribulation. This feels like a generic prophecy film aimed at all audiences, by saying nothing of real value.

I rented this for $4.99 from Amazon and — even if it was free — I wouldn’t watch it again, and wouldn’t recommend it to other Christians … and definitely not nonbelievers.

The Theory Of Everything – Trey Smith

Wow — I just finished up my first, full-length documentary of Trey Smith’s … and it was great! The Theory Of Everything summarizes exactly what Trey practically attempts to cover — just about everything!

This film covers so many topics via Trey’s unique “vlogging-style” film-making approach (quick cuts and bits of information thrown at the viewer) it’s actually challenging to pinpoint exact talking points at specific times … but the overall topics covered include the complexity of life, DNA, evolution, metamorphosis, dinosaurs, the flood, etc.

In short, this very lengthy documentary covers about a hundred different talking points, at the very least.

In fact, if I had one criticism of the entire film, it’s that it is a very long movie (about 2 hrs. 45 min. long!) and there are no titles or indications as to where you are in the documentary or how much content is remaining. During the segment when Trey was describing things he wouldn’t hold against evolution in a hypothetical debate (“to make things fair”), I was convinced he simply had moved on to the next topic — but nope — about 15 minutes later he was back on track.

Still, Trey is great to watch, and you can see the improvement in style and approach over the original documentary he released (“Enoch: It’s Real”). I also liked how he spent a good deal of time talking about Jesus and what He did and how important He is to everything … when a lot of filmmakers would have skimmed over that topic (assuming watchers already knew about Jesus) and focused purely on the science-related content.

Apparently this documentary is still available on YouTube, so there’s no need to buy it on DVD (but buying does support the God in a Nutshell project). If you’d like a nice overall primer to what Christians believe in regards to many scientific areas or you just enjoy Trey’s work, be sure to check this out.

Enoch: It’s Real – Trey Smith

Trey Smith is an interesting Christian documentarian  to listen to — and he got popular thanks to his many YouTube videos on topics like Enoch, Nephilim, Noah and other “fringe” topics in Christianity.

I recently ordered his complete DVD package from his site godinanutshell.com, but unfortunately his first major documentary — Enoch: It’s Real — from 2011 was never released on DVD. An updated version was, but that will be covered later on. Before delving into those newer films, I wanted to see his first major documentary from 2011 (as stated by his About Trey Smith section of his website).

This documentary says it’s approximately 90 minutes long, but that’s misleading — the first 40 minutes is about Enoch, the next 20 minutes is about Trey’s 2011 book called Thieves and the last 30 minutes is just his video’s logo (back in 2011 when YouTube used a still shot for the thumbnail preview, this was the best way to guarantee it to show up as a thumbnail option).

The Enoch part was quite interesting, and well produced for what is basically a guy having Skype and phone conversations with other Christian researchers who are knowledgeable about the Book of Enoch. The background music played, along with interesting visual cuts and Trey’s distinct voice and personality make for an entertaining watch. Trey’s editing and speaking style may not be for everyone (it’s fairly fast paced, and some people might find the music volume a bit distracting during parts from the message), but the content is good, which is what matters. He genuinely tries to boil core talking points down.

I also like how after his section on Thieves, he makes it clear he’s not the same person anymore, and has learned from his so-so past. That’s good to know.

One thing in particular that I learned from this documentary that I want to seek out more information on is the Dr. Walt Brown section that talks about the way the flood occurred — from within the Earth — and how that caused the Earth’s crust to split apart (called “Hydroplate Theory”).

If you can, check out this preview of Trey’s content — he’s an interesting documentarian to watch and listen to, and for his earliest effort, you can see hints at the editing/narrative style he would later polish. This 2011 documentary can be found here: https://youtu.be/BZGN6EKjvAo

Inhuman: The Next And Final Phase Of Man Is Here

2017-02-26-inhumanInhuman is a pretty interesting documentary that covers the topic of Transhumanism — that is, the idea that humans can “transcend” the limitations of our current biological, intellectual and societal barriers and become a “better” form of life.

It’s a topic rarely discussed by the mainstream church, and can be enticing and exciting to younger and/or less-informed people … which can lead to over-enthusiasm about a subject that is frankly quite disturbing.

This two-disc, three-hour long documentary takes an in-depth look at the origins of Transhumanism, how science and politics is pushing it all over the world nowadays, its ties to eugenics (and the racial eradication attempts by Nazi Germany) and lastly, its connection to the Bible.

I will say that the first two-thirds of the documentary were quite boring to me, because I had heard much about this beforehand, and didn’t necessarily want another explanation of things relating to the Transhumanist movement origin and current agenda. But, luckily, the final act of the documentary ties the content to Biblical discussion, and that is where I feel the film is most effective in its messaging.

The guest speakers for the film from the Transhumanist side — namely Dr. Natasha Vita-More and Dr. James J. Hughes — are quite disturbing. Hughes, in his endorsement of messing with human biology — actually tries to make the case that humans should have cat whiskers if they want, just because it is possible. Meanwhile, Vita-More is visibly shaking (and almost looks possessed) as she talks in one segment about how God did a lousy job and we could do better. These key players in the Transhumanism movement are indeed against Jesus.

The most interesting speakers in the film were Wesley J. Smith (senior fellow at the conservative Discovery Center think tank) and Dr. William B. Hurlbut (a Neurobiology adjunct professor at Stanford) because they seemed to approach the subject from a Biblical perspective (in Smith’s case) and/or simply a “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” perspective (in Hurlbut’s case). They both understood the positives of tinkering with human potential, but were more concerned about the potential downsides.

I would say watch this movie if you can find it very cheap — my copy cost me $16.00, and I believe that is a bit too much, considering most of the film isn’t necessary if you have some knowledge of the subject matter.

KJB: The Book That Changed The World

2017-02-12-kjbKJB: The Book That Changed The World is an excellent documentary about the formation of the King James Version of the Bible, in England, during the time of the 1600s.

John Rhys-Davies does a terrific job of narrating and guiding the watcher through the complex tale of events that led up to the translation’s creation … and also helps break up what could have been a long series of still/static shots by having John walk through many real-world locations, describing things even further.

This documentary has a heavy emphasis on acted-out-segments, which means that while the narrator covers material in a general sense, the actual acted-out scenes show specific events in a more dramatized and realistic manner on-screen. The acted-out scenes were on-par with Hollywood productions about historical dramas, and were a pleasant surprise.

What I liked the most about the film was its dramatized segments — all of which feature very good acting, costumes, makeup, dialog and casting — because this is probably the closest we’ll ever get to having a legitimate Hollywood retelling of the true-life events surrounding the KJV translation’s creation.

If I had any complaints, it would likely be just one — I would have loved another 15-20 minutes detailing what books were accepted or left-out (and why exactly), and how the sources for the translation varied so much and created a different book from, say, the Catholic translation of the Bible.

Even with that one minor complaint, I would have to say KJB is one of the best Biblical educational films available. You can’t go wrong with this film, and can find it for cheap on eBay.