Friday, February 24, 2012

Seven Days in Utopia: A DVD and Book Review

About The Film:


SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA will be available on DVD at all major retailers on Nov. 29, 2011.  The G-Rated family-friendly movie about life, love and faith has been called “an inspirational movie about God’s mysterious ways . . . and how significance will always trump success!” by Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family.

Based on the best-selling book, Golf’s Sacred Journey, by David Cook, SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA stars Academy Award winners Robert Duvall (Best Actor, TENDER MERCIES) and Melissa Leo (Best Actress, THE FIGHTER).

SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA follows the story of Luke Chisolm (Lucas Black), a talented young golfer set on making the pro tour.  When his first big shot turns out to be a very public disaster, Luke escapes the pressures of the game and finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas, home to eccentric rancher Johnny Crawford (Robert Duvall).  But Johnny is more than meets the eye, and his profound ways of looking at life, love, and faith force Luke to question not only his past choices, but his direction for the future. 

“I was attracted to this because it’s a great tale about a man’s journey, and about how you survive life’s unexpected curve balls,” Duvall said.

SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA reunites Duvall and Black, previous co-stars in SLINGBLADE and GET LOW. The film also features True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll as Sarah Hawkins, a beautiful young citizen of Utopia who helps Luke get back in the game. Melissa Leo plays Woll’s mother, Lily, who once similarly helped Duvall’s character.

Shot in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (in part, in the real town of Utopia), SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA not only tells a story of faith in the face of life’s challenges, it delivers some of the most realistic golf scenes on film.  To accurately capture the game at the pro level was essential for Cook, the film’s executive producer and co-writer. Cook is a nationally recognized mental training coach, named a Top 10 Mental Game Expert by Golf Digest. He wrote Golf’s Sacred Journey—Seven Days at the Links of Utopia, the novel serving as the basis for the film.

Director Mathew Dean Russell, a creative visionary known for his visual effects on such films as NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, was equally fixed on sports accuracy.

“We were 100 percent committed to getting everything right,” said Russell, “from the arc of a pro swing to the language golfers really use.”

Besides the top-flight cast of Hollywood stars, SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA features PGA of America golf pros such as K.J. Choi and many other celebrity golfers.

In addition to outstanding Hollywood and PGA talent, the film features a new recording of the hit song “Born Again” by Third Day.  

The SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA DVD includes three bonus features:
n       Beyond the Game – A look at finding the “sweet spot” in golf . . . and life
n       PGA Certified PGA golfers on the quality of play depicted in the film
n       Who’s Your Johnny? – Professional athletes, sports commentators, actors and writers on the importance of mentors in their lives

“Life is never the same once you’ve been to Utopia.”




About The Book:

You never really know when you might meet someone who will change your life. Seven Days in Utopia is a story about a "chance" meeting between a fictitious golf professional and his unorthodox mentor. As the story unfolds, we—along with the pro—learn lessons about golf and life that we never expected to learn in places we never expected to learn them. Many have picked up Seven Days in Utopia looking for the secret to a better game but instead found the secret to a meaningful life.

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Robert Duvall and Lucas Black This book is about influence and inspiration and a deeper, more profound way of looking at life. The story is based on thousands of athletes who author and performance psychologist Dr. David Cook has counseled, and the great mentors and teachers from whom he has learned. Told through the lives of two characters—an eccentric rancher with a passion for teaching truth, and a young golf professional at the end of his rope looking to escape the pressures of the game—they represent each one of us in our various stages of growth. And through them we are reminded that, in life, we must be willing to coach and be coached. Life is never the same once you’ve been to Utopia. “Read it. Devour it. Keep it as a reference book. You’ll be glad you did. Golf’s Sacred Journey is a remarkable and encouraging story with an entirely different approach on how to succeed in your golf game.” —Zig Ziglar, leading motivational expert and bestselling author “This book is full of wisdom that will enhance your game and I believe it just may change your life.” —David Robinson, NBA MVP, 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist, Two Time World Champion

You can read an excerpt of Seven Days in Utopia here (in PDF format)

My Review:

Over the years I have had the opportunity to read a number of books that have eventually been turned into feature films. But never have I read a book and watched the movie almost simultaneously.  So this was a first for me, and a good first. 


I read the first book, as I usually prefer to do this, since movies tend to not stay true to the book. However, in the case of Seven Days in Utopia both were fantastic. The book was very well written, and is a fast read full of amazing thoughts and encouragement about priorities in your life. The author also gives a fantastic gospel presentation in the last part of the book, encouraging readers that have not begun a relationship with Christ, to do so.  


If you have a golf fan in your life, either the book or movie, or both, would be fantastic gift ideas for them. The movie was remarkable made and as a fan of Robert Duvall, this is one of my favorite characters of his. Your attention is kept through either book or movie, and was very encouraged and inspired to not give up on dreams and always keep God at the forefront of going for these dreams. 


A great message for all ages, and the movie is a fantastic family movie for all ages. The book is a great read for teens and older. 


I highly recommend both the book and movie. 

BUY IT: You can purchase Seven Days In Utopia DVD online through Amazon.com and Amazon.ca - you can also pick up the book at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

***I received a complimentary copy of the book, courtesy of Netgalley, and a complimentary copy of the DVD, courtesy of Lovell-Fairchild Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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