The Christian Critic

It recently struck me as I continue to delve into the past, uncovering the almost forgotten stories involving my ancestors, that I have my own stories that one day will be in danger of being lost to time. As I approach the 66th anniversary of my birth, I find myself reflecting on some of the experiences I’ve had over the years. I would have to say that the stories of mine that may be most at risk of fading from public memory would be the ones that occurred in the ten year period where I was known by a different name.

From 1998 to 2008, I ran a website called Movie Parables, and was known in the online community as Michael Elliott, The Christian Critic. (Elliott, for the record, is my middle name.) It all started with watching The Man In The Iron Mask starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and becoming aware of a number of biblical truths that were reflected in this secular movie. I found this to be interesting and decided to write my observations down. For fun, I did so within the framework of a movie review. I then challenged myself to see if I could do something similar for the next movie I watched… and the one after that. 

After I collected a few, I decided to share them online. That snowballed into a number of opportunities that came my way: acceptance into the Online Film Critics Society, syndication in a handful of papers around the US, being added to the PR press junket list where I’d be flown to LA to interview the actors and directors of upcoming films, a contract with Tyndale Publishing, and the release of two books. It was a fun and exciting time.

I still believe in the premise that led to the creation of those reviews:  While art does indeed imitate life… God was the one who created it, so any art form must borrow from God’s creation. Therefore, there must be evidence of His handiwork in every movie we watch – whether it is placed there intentionally or not. All it takes are the spiritual eyes to see it. As well as the will to look for it. And once we become practiced at spotting the invisible spiritual realities, we’ll start to see those truths all around us because they were always there. And still are.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

The Christian Critic


Michael is still attending the Advanced Training for Home Video Studio owners but will be blogging from the field while he is gone. Subscribe to his blog to have them delivered directly to your email.

Many of us took a break from the classroom and technical learning we’ve been engaged in and decided to let our hair down last night by going out to a movie. We chose for our evening’s entertainment the newest superhero film to hit the silver screen, Black Panther.

Just the act of going to a movie reminded me that it has been a while since I’ve visited a movie house to watch a new release. Lately all I’ve been doing is streaming to my TV or watching movies on DVD.  There was a time when I could be found at the theatre 3 or 4 times per week.  For ten years of my life I served as a film critic and reviewed nearly every mainstream movie that was released (between 1998 and 2008).

I published my reviews under the name of Michael Elliott (Elliott being my middle name) and was known as The Christian Critic. The name of my website was Movie Parables because the underlying purpose of my reviews was not to say whether the films were good or bad. Instead I looked for and always found a biblical truth that was reflected in the film I was watching. And I wrote about that. Some were immediately evident, others required some deep thought and study. But it was always there. As my mantra was back then: Art imitates life… but the Word of God IS life. Therefore, art must reflect God’s handiwork, either consciously or subconsciously, if art is going to be true to its own self.

The Movie Parables website is no longer in existence. But I did grow as a result of building it. Hopefully I managed to bless a few people along the way. And, as they say, old habits die hard. After coming back from last night’s film, I started thinking about how I would structure my review of it if I were still writing for the website. For what it’s worth, here’s my biblical perspective on The Black Panther:

The scripture that ran through my head as I was leaving the film was Proverbs 29:2

When the righteous are in authority and become great, the people rejoice; But when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.  Pro 29:2 (Amplified Bible)

Righteousness, for me, has always been explained as following the standards of truth established by our creator. Wickedness would be the opposite; the ignoring or disregarding of those standards.

The time structure of the movie gave audiences the opportunity to see three different kings on the throne. One was a good but flawed man whose mistakes brought harm upon his village. Another was a man who could have been good had he not been driven by perceived wrongs done to him and people like him.  His actions were taken to further his individual agenda without regard to the consequences it would bring to the people his position called him to lead. The third was a man who saw the flaws of the first king and the dangers presented by the other. His goal was to right the wrongs he saw, protect the people he led, and assist his global neighbors as he could.

The latter sounds pretty righteous to me.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit