Oliver Henry wonders what is really out there, beyond the stars in the night sky. Ever since the tragic death of his brother, his family has never been the same. But that has only made Oliver all the more curious about the true nature of reality. So when a mysterious man comes to town and reads to the local kids after school every day, Oliver finds himself drawn to the man’s unique outlook on life. Though his mother is skeptical of everything the strange man does, Oliver looks deeper and deeper into his claims and into how others view reality. What he finds is not what he expected, but is exactly what he was looking for.
Production Quality (2 points)
Echolight Studios is known for its quality productions, and Beyond the Heavens is no exception. The camera work is professional, as is the video quality. However, lighting is inconsistent throughout, with some scenes being too dark. Audio quality is fine but the soundtrack is uninspiring. There is an odd use of special effects and overlays in an attempt to make the movie mysterious. Unfortunately, this also contributes to the editing being confusing and isolating. Therefore, once again, Echolight has the potential to go all the way, but does not. Needless to say, this does not only apply to the production quality.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
Beyond the Heavens is a very ethereal and mystical experience, one unlike any other movie we have reviewed. However, this is not a good thing. The ‘plot’ is very unclear and murky, consisting of vague and meandering ideas and cryptic dialogue. It’s like Corbin Bernson is winking at the audience with every scene, waiting to reveal some great secret, but it’s never revealed. The whole has a very tip-of-the-tongue feel, like the characters know something you don’t but never intend to let you in on the secret. As the characters wax eloquent and philosophize about the true nature of reality, the viewer is left, in the end, with a more confusing view of reality than before. Is Bernson advocating for or against Darwinism? Is he a creationist? Does he really believe that angels come to earth on the tails of comets? Is Bernson suggesting that reality is not what it seems? If so, what is his view of reality? Only God knows the answers to these questions as Bernson spends 90 minutes toying with his ‘big reveal’ and dancing around whatever his philosophical worldview is. It’s basically just a waste of your time.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
This cast is mostly average in their delivery. Some acting coaching is present, but some cast behavior is head-scratching. There are too many unnecessary emotional swings. However, costuming is appropriate. Overall, this is just an average performance.
What is to be made of Corbin Bernsen? What is his place in Christian film? Is he trolling? Is he a great mind misunderstood? Whether it’s abstract musings like Beyond the Heavens or half-hearted satire like Christian Mingle or In-Lawfully Yours, Bernsen’s motivations for making Christian films are very unclear. It’s possible that he’s smarter than us all and doesn’t know how to show it. But it’s also possible that he’s just trying to make a quick buck off of Christian audiences. Reality is probably somewhere in between. Regardless, Beyond the Heavens really needed to be rethought before anyone spent money on it, because it falls flat and is unable to properly convey whatever message it is trying to present.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points