Jump to content

Witnesses: in theaters and more


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

You can see if you can get a showing in your town and if not, get a private screening btw.  Check on the website for info  

Trailer:


Website with info on theaters, private screenings, etc 

https://witnessesfilm.com

FB:

https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Movie/Witnesses-Film-466273653873596/

I am not a moviegoer, but thought some here might be interested. 
 

Older article:

https://www.deseret.com/faith/2021/1/29/22248819/film-recounts-story-of-three-witnesses-book-of-mormon-lds-joseph-smith-martin-harris-movie

Edited by Calm
  • Like 1
Link to post

Nice! I suppose it won't be coming to the UK, but eventually it will be available online or something.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

Nice! I suppose it won't be coming to the UK...

Checking to see. 

Link to post
14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Nice! I suppose it won't be coming to the UK, but eventually it will be available online or something.

I'm hoping there will be a download eventually. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Posted (edited)

I saw the film yesterday at a big screen Cinemark theater.  Lots of people there.

The director was Mark Goodman, writer Mitch Davis, and it is rated PG.

There was a lot of beautiful location filming, and valuable use of historical sites.  The actor playing Joseph Smith looked very much like photos and paintings we have seen, but perhaps not so imposing and physically as powerful as Joseph actually was.

Writer Mitch Davis, who did an excellent job on "The Other Side of Heaven" I & II, and who is an experienced writer-director, dropped the ball on this one.

Davis should have worked with a serious historian in order to come up with a better, more accurate script.

For example, in the scene in which Joseph returns to the forest to retrieve the plates from a hollow log, he should have wrapped them in a farmer's smock -- which would have been substantial -- rather than the light-weight shirt he appeared to use.  In another scene (below), Joseph and Martin are depicted with cloth divider between them.  The best information we have is that there was no such divider, and no reason for one.

Publicity_7.0.jpeg

In this same photo (in the monitor on the right) one can see Joseph holding a black hat.  Witnesses consistently describe the hat as white, and that Joseph placed his face into the hat in order to block out the light.  In this film, Joseph never puts his face in the hat, but dictates with his face, as shown here.

Joseph was primarily successful because he surrounded himself with men of strength and character.  In writing his pious script, Davis seemed to miss that aspect in each case:  Martin Harris was a substantial, successful farmer.  He did not get that way by being a bumbling fool and henpecked husband.  A scene with him on the road, consulting with experts in New York City and en route might have been helpful.  Oliver could have been depicted as he actually was, a very smart young man, who rightly thought of himself as far more sophisticated than Joseph.  David Whitmer was a powerful and opinionated character who thought that anything Joseph did after producing the Book of Mormon was heresy.  He was a distinctive influence on Restorationists through the time of his death and beyond.  All three witnesses were very independent minded, which makes their story all the more potentially interesting.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
19 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Oliver could have been depicted as he actually was, a very smart young man, who rightly thought of himself as far more sophisticated than Joseph.

Oliver appears to have thought of himself as being the backbone of the church.  If I remember my readings, he felt he had a tremendous following from the members (he seemed to be a very popular speaker) and that the church would fail if he was to leave the church.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post

Bob:

Thanks for your review, and for calling my attention to it.

We could, I suppose, debate whether the film's depictions of Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer are nuanced in precisely the correct way -- I'm personally happy with the portrayals -- but I'm fine with the fact that we view them differently.

Other than that, I'm quite serene if the filmmakers failed to accurately show the precise number of millimeters between the hat and Joseph's face or accidentally got the color of the hat wrong.  (I myself have argued in writing that the hat was used to exclude ambient light, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if, over the long daily hours of dictation, Joseph placed the hat -- and himself -- in various positions.)  Much bigger historical issues than those seem to be at stake here.

Incidentally, the film places a screen between Joseph and Martin, but not between Joseph and Oliver.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
4 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The actor playing Joseph Smith looked very much like photos we have seen,

I have always heard there are know actual photos of Joseph, only a death mask and sketches or possibly a painting, am I wrong about that Robert? 

Link to post
5 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

I have always heard there are know actual photos of Joseph, only a death mask and sketches or possibly a painting, am I wrong about that Robert? 

The photo question is controversial, but I should have said paintings and death mask also:  https://www.ldsliving.com/Do-Photographs-of-the-Prophet-Joseph-Smith-Exist/s/82207 

dots%2B-%2BJoseph%2BSmith.jpg&f=1&nofb=1            main-qimg-6a446caf9b31783f264ea28749932e

 

164092704abdea6439dfc22c3db9ceaa.jpg&f=1                    David%252BWhite%252BRogers1842.jpg&f=1&n

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post

If you have a chance to see the film, and if you like it, you should leave a positive review on Rotten Tomatoes. Dan Peterson reports on his blog that there is a nefarious campaign afoot on the part of villains who have never even seen the movie to log in with bogus IDs and “downvote” it, thereby to get it killed with negative publicity. These are people who hate the Church and hate Dr. Peterson. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
On 6/6/2021 at 7:42 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

I saw the film yesterday at a big screen Cinemark theater.  Lots of people there.

The director was Mark Goodman, writer Mitch Davis, and it is rated PG.

There was a lot of beautiful location filming, and valuable use of historical sites.  The actor playing Joseph Smith looked very much like photos and paintings we have seen, but perhaps not so imposing and physically as powerful as Joseph actually was.

Writer Mitch Davis, who did an excellent job on "The Other Side of Heaven" I & II, and who is an experienced writer-director, dropped the ball on this one.

Davis should have worked with a serious historian in order to come up with a better, more accurate script.

For example, in the scene in which Joseph returns to the forest to retrieve the plates from a hollow log, he should have wrapped them in a farmer's smock -- which would have been substantial -- rather than the light-weight shirt he appeared to use.  In another scene (below), Joseph and Martin are depicted with cloth divider between them.  The best information we have is that there was no such divider, and no reason for one.

Publicity_7.0.jpeg

In this same photo (in the monitor on the right) one can see Joseph holding a black hat.  Witnesses consistently describe the hat as white, and that Joseph placed his face into the hat in order to block out the light.  In this film, Joseph never puts his face in the hat, but dictates with his face, as shown here.

Joseph was primarily successful because he surrounded himself with men of strength and character.  In writing his pious script, Davis seemed to miss that aspect in each case:  Martin Harris was a substantial, successful farmer.  He did not get that way by being a bumbling fool and henpecked husband.  A scene with him on the road, consulting with experts in New York City and en route might have been helpful.  Oliver could have been depicted as he actually was, a very smart young man, who rightly thought of himself as far more sophisticated than Joseph.  David Whitmer was a powerful and opinionated character who thought that anything Joseph did after producing the Book of Mormon was heresy.  He was a distinctive influence on Restorationists through the time of his death and beyond.  All three witnesses were very independent minded, which makes their story all the more potentially interesting.

Robert, I just saw the movie and your criticism's are valid. I wanted to see more character development for the 3 witnesses. Their characters were undeveloped and shallow. In real life the witnesses were very complex and interesting individuals. I wanted to see real characters and not just shallow cardboard cutouts.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
16 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

If you have a chance to see the film, and if you like it, you should leave a positive review on Rotten Tomatoes. Dan Peterson reports on his blog that there is a nefarious campaign afoot on the part of villains who have never even seen the movie to log in with bogus IDs and “downvote” it, thereby to get it killed with negative publicity. These are people who hate the Church and hate Dr. Peterson. 

I noted the same problem with ill-wishers when Gov Cox last week asked for people of faith to pray for rain.  Brought some angry folks out of the woodwork.  Then on Saturday afternoon, just as I and a friend were leaving the Cinemark Theater in Orem, it was raining.  Who said prayer doesn't work?  Wasn't that also a problem on the evening of the 2004 Winter Olympics?  The day before the Olympics were to start, there wasn't enough snow.  Indians did a rain dance, or something, and that night it snowed real good.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
25 minutes ago, Peppermint Patty said:

Robert, I just saw the movie and your criticism's are valid. I wanted to see more character development for the 3 witnesses. Their characters were undeveloped and shallow. In real life the witnesses were very complex and interesting individuals. I wanted to see real characters and not just shallow cardboard cutouts.

@Daniel Petersonisn't too concerned, but I have concerns with blatant disregard for the actual story.  In Sunday School yesterday, for example, we were told how the Lord knows our weakneses and helps us through them, as he did for Moses, who was shy and had a speech impediment (which you would never know seeing DeMille's "Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston playing Moses).  The Lord's solution was to use Aaron as his spokesman/prophet.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Posted (edited)

"A nefarious campaign afoot on the part of villains..." - Sounds like it should be part of the opening crawl of a Star Wars movie.

Edited by ttribe
  • Haha 3
Link to post
8 minutes ago, ttribe said:

"A nefarious campaign afoot on the part of villains..." - Sounds like it should be part of the opening crawl of Star Wars movie.

If there is such a campaign "afoot," they haven't made much of a dent in its rating.

Link to post
23 hours ago, Daniel Peterson said:

...................

Other than that, I'm quite serene if the filmmakers failed to accurately show the precise number of millimeters between the hat and Joseph's face or accidentally got the color of the hat wrong.  (I myself have argued in writing that the hat was used to exclude ambient light, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if, over the long daily hours of dictation, Joseph placed the hat -- and himself -- in various positions.)  Much bigger historical issues than those seem to be at stake here.

Incidentally, the film places a screen between Joseph and Martin, but not between Joseph and Oliver.

Good point.  However, Emma and the others who were there have said that there was no divider between Joseph & scribe (Emma also acting as scribe), and Emma’s brother-in-law, Michael Morse, knew Joseph in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and saw him translating on several occasions.  He later recalled that Joseph would place

Quote

the Seer Stone in the crown of a hat, then putting his face into the hat, so as to entirely cover his face, resting his elbows upon his knees, and then dictating, word after word, while the scribes – Emma, John Whitmer, O. Cowdery, or some other, wrote it down.  W. W. Blair letter, May 22, 1879, Sandwich, Illinois, to Saints’ Herald, 26 (June 15, 1879):190-191.

This makes sense in the context of Joseph's friend Joseph Knight Sr's description of the translating technique:

Quote

Now the way he translated was he put the urim and thummim into his hat and Darkened his Eyes then he would take a sentance and it would apper in Brite Roman Letters.  Then he would tell the writer and he would write it.  Then that would go away the next sentance would Come and so on.  But if it was not Spelt rite it would not go away till it was rite, so we see it was marvelous.  Thus was the hol translated.  BYU Studies, 17:35, thus leaving us with the impression of the seer-stone as a crystalline virtual-state transducer with a light-emitting diode (LED) display, i.e., a semi-conductor which emits visible electromagnetic radiation in response to stimulating voltage.  An LED display is best read in the dark.

Link to post
28 minutes ago, ttribe said:

"A nefarious campaign afoot on the part of villains..." - Sounds like it should be part of the opening crawl of Star Wars movie.

Star Wars Episode X: The Infamy of the Apostates

  • Haha 1
Link to post
47 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

If there is such a campaign "afoot," they haven't made much of a dent in its rating.

It’s not hard to spot, but I’d say the campaign is two sided. Almost all the reviews are first time reviewers and it’s either a gushing five star review from a member or .5 star review from a critic…

  • Like 1
Link to post
36 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

It’s not hard to spot, but I’d say the campaign is two sided. Almost all the reviews are first time reviewers and it’s either a gushing five star review from a member or .5 star review from a critic…

Such things are not surprising. Kind of makes it difficult to get an accurate sense of whether a movie is any good.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

Star Wars Episode X: The Infamy of the Apostates

This sounds like a horrible premise. Sadly, it will still probably be better than two-thirds of the other installments. ;)

 

Link to post
49 minutes ago, Amulek said:

This sounds like a horrible premise. Sadly, it will still probably be better than two-thirds of the other installments. ;)

 

I think some people here would be more interested in the sequel: Episode XI: The Righteous Indignation of the Apologists. 😂

  • Haha 4
Link to post
Just now, jkwilliams said:

I think some people here would be more interested in the sequel: Episode XI: The Righteous Indignation of the Apologists. 😂

And it's your namesake - John Williams - who scored the 9 movie saga, as well as the Indiana Jones movies and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T. and Jaws.  I think there's a connection.  You're trying to drum up more business for your secret relative!  What's your cut?! SPILL IT!

Link to post
On 6/6/2021 at 6:42 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

I saw the film yesterday at a big screen Cinemark theater.  Lots of people there.

The director was Mark Goodman, writer Mitch Davis, and it is rated PG.

There was a lot of beautiful location filming, and valuable use of historical sites.  The actor playing Joseph Smith looked very much like photos and paintings we have seen, but perhaps not so imposing and physically as powerful as Joseph actually was.

Writer Mitch Davis, who did an excellent job on "The Other Side of Heaven" I & II, and who is an experienced writer-director, dropped the ball on this one.

Davis should have worked with a serious historian in order to come up with a better, more accurate script.

For example, in the scene in which Joseph returns to the forest to retrieve the plates from a hollow log, he should have wrapped them in a farmer's smock -- which would have been substantial -- rather than the light-weight shirt he appeared to use.  In another scene (below), Joseph and Martin are depicted with cloth divider between them.  The best information we have is that there was no such divider, and no reason for one.

Publicity_7.0.jpeg

In this same photo (in the monitor on the right) one can see Joseph holding a black hat.  Witnesses consistently describe the hat as white, and that Joseph placed his face into the hat in order to block out the light.  In this film, Joseph never puts his face in the hat, but dictates with his face, as shown here.

Joseph was primarily successful because he surrounded himself with men of strength and character.  In writing his pious script, Davis seemed to miss that aspect in each case:  Martin Harris was a substantial, successful farmer.  He did not get that way by being a bumbling fool and henpecked husband.  A scene with him on the road, consulting with experts in New York City and en route might have been helpful.  Oliver could have been depicted as he actually was, a very smart young man, who rightly thought of himself as far more sophisticated than Joseph.  David Whitmer was a powerful and opinionated character who thought that anything Joseph did after producing the Book of Mormon was heresy.  He was a distinctive influence on Restorationists through the time of his death and beyond.  All three witnesses were very independent minded, which makes their story all the more potentially interesting.

Agree that it has its flaws.

There needed to be more character development, and to me all the characters looked alike, I had trouble at first sorting out who was whom, between say who played "young" David Whitmer vs "old" David Whitmer. Multiply that by all the characters, with different actors playing each character at different life stages, for me, it was confusing.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...