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Book-based film opens at theaters

Feb. 2, 2001

By ZACK WIMPEE

Reporter

Highland Baptist Church is bringing the rapture to the big screen in Waco. The popular book series Left Behind was recently turned into a movie, and the church has sponsored it so that it can be shown in Waco.

Mark Wible, the associate pastor for Highland Baptist Church, said that Left Behind is a great avenue for thought provoking action with moral implications.

'It's not a doctoral statement,' Wible said. 'As a church, we are bringing this movie to entertain. But each time you see it, it raises new questions to the viewer about the rapture.'

The movie was originally made into a video and sold in Christian bookstores. It is also available to check out at some video rental stores. According to Wible, the hope was that people who read the book would go buy or rent the video.

These people would then be excited to take their friends to go see the movie when it was playing at the theater.

Laura West, a Woodlands junior, said that she thought the book's storyline was good. She said it was simple, easy to read, and the book could be finished in a couple of hours.

'I loved the way Nicolae Carpathia [the Antichrist] was developed,' West said. 'It was very interesting, and I think it is a great way to plant the seeds about Christianity.'

However, she did not like the movie.

'The movie was not good at all,' West said. 'It had a cheesy musical score and the acting was bad. I like the purpose of the movie, but if they want it to hit Hollywood, it needs major improvements.'

Damon Semmler, a Mesquite graduate student and employee of The Compass Christian Lifestyle Super Store, said that the book has been the fiction best seller for the last three months. The movie seems to be just as popular.

'We can't keep the video in the store,' Semmler said. 'We got 557 videos in, and they were gone quick.'

When you purchase the video, a free ticket to the movie theater is inside. This is to promote the buyers to take their friends to see the movie on the big screen, which opens today at Starplex Cinema.