Soul Surfer [Blu-Ray] Sean McNamara

Soul Surfer [Blu-Ray] Sean McNamara
After winning a qualifying round of surfing for a championship competition, tizzy, optimistic Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) learns a valuable lesson of perspective at Sunday school from the perpetually grinning Carrie Underwood. "If something just isn't adding up, then you need to look at it a different way," she states, without acknowledging the irony of a Christian making such a remark, leading Bethany to cock her head to the side, smile and absorb this pearl of wisdom ― or did she? Foregoing a charity (propaganda) trip to Mexico to help starving kids, or something, she struggles with her decision to serve herself by practicing surfing moves instead of helping others. Of course, a shark bites off her arm, seemingly because God thought that was a kick-ass way to teach her about ― you guessed it ― perspective. In case anyone is confused about where such a peppy, sanitized, but ultimately harmless and fair enough film about supposed Christian values can go from here, Bethany eventually says to a reporter, when asked if she would give up her experience to regain her arm, "I can embrace more people now with one arm than I ever could with two." I'm not going to lie; I laughed my ass off when she said that. But the intended middle-America teen girl audience will most likely find security in her sense of self-confidence and ease, having overcome such an obstacle. Of course, aside from a couple of minor outbursts and a scene of frustrated sandwich making, we never get much of a sense of just how cumbersome living with one arm might be. But, again, this is a very bright and upbeat movie about a girl learning to make the most of a crappy situation. And in that sense, it's actually quite moving and sincere regardless of how unbelievably cornball and unintentionally campy it is. The Blu-Ray supplements are quite comprehensive, including a half-hour documentary about the actual Bethany Hamilton, along with some brief interviews with her on surfing. The "Making of" also has Dennis Quaid finding a polite way to say, "I signed onto the project without reading the script." Judging by his filmography of late, I'm guessing this isn't the first time he's done that. (Sony)