Miracles from Heaven (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 5, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Miracles from Heaven” is heartwarming, entertaining and enjoyable if you grew up with a Christian upbringing. Annabel’s experience is not easy to explain for those who believe in God, you can take this experience as you see fit. But through the kindness of others, as demonstrated throughout the film, it’s God’s way of showing a person a way of trying to reach out to others and show the true power of faith and love but also that miracles do exist. Recommended!
© 2016 Georgia Film Fund. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Miracles from Heaven
FILM RELEASE: 2016
DURATION: 109 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English, Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Audio Description Track, French, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital Subtitles: English, English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: PG (for Thematic Material, Including Accident and Medical Images)
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Directed by Patricia Riggin
Based on the Book by Christy Beam
Adaptation by Randy Brown
Produced by DeVon Franklin, T.D. Jakes, Joe Roth
Executive-Producer: Matthew Hirsch, Zack Roth, Derrick Williams
Cinematography by Checco Varese
Music by Carlo Silotto
Edited by Emma E. Hickox
Production Design: David Sandefur
Art Direction by Doug Fick
Set Decoration by Brana Rosenfeld
Costume Design by Mary Jane Fort
Jennifer Garner as Christy Beam
Kylie Rogers as Anna Beam
Martin Henderson as Kevin Beam
Brighton Sharbino as Abbie Beam
Courtney Fansler as Adelynn Beam
Queen Latifah as Angela
Eugenio Derbez as Dr. Nurko
Kelly Collins Lintz as Emmy
John Carroll Lynch as Pastor Scott
Brandon Spink as Billy Snyder
“Miracles From Heaven” is based on the incredible true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored, and their community inspired.
For those who knew Annabel Beam, many were in awe of how a young girl suffering from life-threatening digestive disorders and then to later fall 30 feet headfirst into a rotted trunk of a cottonwood tree would not only survive her injuries, but to be fully cured of her disorders.
During the time when Annabel was in the tree trunk, she talked about how God told her that she would be healed.
And the story of the Beam family and Annabel became the subject of a memoir titled “Miracles from Heaven” written by Cathy Beam.
The inspirational story would lead to a Christian drama film adaptation directed by Patricia Riggin (“The 33”, “Under the Same Moon”) and an adaptation by Randy Brown (“Trouble with the Curve”).
The film stars Jennifer Garner (“Alias”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “Juno”), Kylie Rogers (“Fathers and Daughters”, “Space Station 786”), Martin Henderson (“The Ring”, “Everest”, “Windtalkers”), Queen Latifah (“”Living Single”, “Chicago”, “Bringing Down the House”), Eugenio Derbez (“Instructions Not Included”, “Jack & Jill”), John Carroll Lynch (“Shutter Island”, “Grand Tornio”, “Zodiac”), Brighton Sarbino (“The Walking Dead”, “Growing Up Smith”) and Courtney Fansler.
And now, “Miracles from Heaven” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in Sept. 2015.
The film is set in Texas, Christy (portrayed by Jennifer Garner) and her husband Kevin (portrayed by Martin Henderson) are parents to three daughters, Abbie (portrayed by Brighton Sharbino), Annabel (portrayed by Kylie Rogers) and Adelynn (portrayed by Courtney Fansler).
The family are dedicated Christians but the family has been dealing with recent pains that their daughter Annabel has been going through. When they take her to the hospital, they are told that she has a problem with lactose intolerance.
But after bringing her home, her stomach has become distended and when they take her to ER after Annabel is experiencing a lot of pain, they tell her it’s acid reflux. Believing it is more than that, Christy demands that another doctor check on her.
It is revealed by the head pediatrics surgeon that Annabel suffers from a rare debilitating digestive disorder. Her body is unable to no longer take in food and that she will be in increasing pain. While the surgeon gives her names of doctors in the country who have helped children with the disorder, Annabel continues to get worse and the family tries their best to make sure they keep her comfortable and try to swear off food that Annabel is unable to eat.
But when Annabel’s condition worsens and Christy has contacted doctors with no response, she decides to make the decision to go to Boston with Annabel in hopes of talking to Dr. Nurko (portrayed by Eugenio Derbez).
As she tries, unfortunately she is unable to see him without an appointment.
While in Boston, she receives support from a waitress named Angela (portrayed by Queen Latifah) who helps both Christy and Annabel and as Dr. Nurko is able to get Annabel in, because of the severity of her disorder, the family must take on difficult emotional and financial challenges.
Meanwhile, Christy starts to doubt her faith when fellow parishioners at the church start to ask if she’s praying enough or something bad must have happened for bad things to happen to Annabel. Meanwhile, as the emotional toll starts to come upon the family, even greater challenges lie ahead for Annabel.
But what happens to her is no doubt a miracle from Heaven.
“Miracles from Heaven” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). The film looks vibrant in outdoor scenes and close ups are full of detail. I didn’t notice any banding or artifacts during my viewing of the film. For the most part, picture quality for the film is great!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Miracles from Heaven” is presented in English, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English – Audio Description Track, French, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.
The film’s lossless soundtrack is primarily dialogue-driven but there are moments with music, which are also crystal clear. Surround channels are primarily utilized for crowd ambiance.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai.
“Miracles from Heaven” comes with the following special features:
- Commentary with Patricia Riggen and Randy Brown – Featuring an audio commentary by director Patricia Riggen and writer Randy Brown.
- Bearing Witness – (9:06) A visit with the Beam family at their home, what has happened to the tree on the property and more.
- Miracles Abound: The Making of Miracles from Heaven – (9:14) The cast discuss about working on the film and the cast meeting the real people in the film.
- Accounts from Annabel – (6:17) Annabel discusses the differences from the film and reality and how close she is with her mother.
- Deleted Scenes – (13:32) Featuring five deleted scenes.
- Your Words Montage – (3:47) A music video for “Your Words”
- Creating Heaven – Concept Art Exploration – (3:46) Director Patricia Reagan worked with Juan Pablo Garcia Tames who created the storyboards for the film.
“Miracles from Heaven” comes with a slipcover and UltraViolet Digital HD code.
There have been Christian films that have dealt with those who saw God and were brought back to life after what would appear to be a certain death.
And when it comes to these films, even with Christians, they are debated and also films that are subjective to the viewer.
I said that with the 2014 film “Heaven is for Real” which a little boy survives a near death experience and has vivid memories of meeting God and other loved ones who are in Heaven and took on the questions of what heaven should be. And what he saw in heaven.
For the 2016 film, “Miracles from Heaven”…. While a Christian film, unlike other Affirm Films that are deep in the Christian message, I am starting to notice films that feature well-known talent but also a storyline that is more accessible to the masses, whether or not they are Christian or not, but having them decide whether or not they believe or don’t.
“Miracles from Heaven” for the most part is a family dealing with a major crisis. A daughter who is suffering from a deadly digestive disorder and is in constant pain, a family who struggles to get the bills paid due to the mounting medical bills and the majority of the film focuses on a loving mother who wants to do all she can to be there for her daughter.
And also showing different Christian perspectives, as one woman criticizes the mother, Kathy Beam, of not being a good Christian because God has not healed their daughter. Someone must have sinned.
And with the few occasions of the family going to church or talking to their pastor, the film does not try to forcefeed Christianity on the viewer for the majority of the film. Probably within the last half hour of the film do we get to see the family change after a miracle happens with their daughter and the we see the Christian values being remembered by Kathy, who had lost her way but recognizes the kindness of others who were important to the family during their time of need.
While the story is based on the true story of the Beam family, there were a few things that were added to the film, but the premise of the story remains the same. How a girl who had a deadly disorder and suffered a near tragedy was not just able to survive, she was also able to rid of her disorder and during her time that she was out unconscious, she was talking to God.
Again, this is a film that is subjective to the viewer but as a Christian, I found “Miracles from Heaven” to be heartwarming. And while there are some who may question this film of why would this child survived and another didn’t, It’s not an easy topic of discussion. But If you are a Christian, one must believe that there was a reason and you pray for those who made and for those who didn’t. And there is indeed a spiritual message from the film.
As for the acting, Jennifer Garnder and young Kylie Rogers did a wonderful job with a mother and daughter who must go through emotional high and lows but through thick and thin, family must stick together and support each other, no matter how big the challenge or obstacles that are in front of them. You can’t help but be inspired.
As for the Blu-ray release, the picture quality of this film is magnificent and the lossless audio quality is what I expected from this film and it being heavily center and front-channel driven. There are a few special features included as well, especially with the actual Beam family and the real Annabel Beam.
“Miracles from Heaven” is a film that may not appeal to for everyone. There will be some who will be touched, there will be some who may have problems with the film but for those with an open mind and for those who are Christians will no doubt enjoy or become fascinated by the story of the Beam family and be touched by the film’s spiritual message.
Overall, “Miracles from Heaven” is heartwarming, entertaining and enjoyable if you grew up with a Christian upbringing. Annabel’s experience is not easy to explain for those who believe in God, you can take this experience as you see fit. But through the kindness of others, as demonstrated throughout the film, it’s God’s way of showing a person a way of trying to reach out to others and show the true power of faith and love but also that miracles do exist.
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