Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
Gospel of Intolerance - Excerpts of "God Loves Uganda", a feature documentary directed and produced by filmmaker Roger Ross Williams is having its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film explains how money donated by American evangelicals directly finances the violent antigay movement in Uganda.
Jake Cole of the film blog Not Just Movies discusses the semi-legendary hour-long debate about Monty Python's Life of Brian on the BBC Four program Friday Night, Saturday Morning. The debate features Pythons John Cleese and Michael Palin on one side and opposite them broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood, the Bishop of Southwark.
(MAJOR SPOILERS EVERYWHERE) [Michael Tolkin's The Rapture] is one of the most radical, infuriating, engrossing, challenging movies I've ever seen. There are people who love it and many who hate it, but few who can remain on the sidelines. ... Movies are often so timid. They try so little, and are content with small achievements. "The Rapture" is an imperfect and sometimes enraging film, but it challenges us with the biggest idea it can think of, the notion that our individual human lives do have actual meaning on the plane of the infinite. - Roger Ebert
"In other words, Judah Maccabee, his father, and his brothers, are like the heroes of every Mel Gibson movie."
Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas have announced their latest, Warner Bros.-backed epic: a film about 'legendary Jewish warrior' Judah Maccabee. American Jewish leaders are plotzing. Rumors about a Maccabee movie were raised in 2004, but nothing ever came of them. Back then, at Christopher Hitchens' direction, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic met with Gibson to (sorta, but not really) talk him out of it. [more inside]
The Producer Cites Religious Controversy. The Director points to a recessionary trend against "serious" movies. A new film about Charles Darwin's life ("Creation") is reportedly having difficulty finding a US distributor. ( Creation: IMDB / Official Site / Trailer / Spoiler-laden review from Roger Ebert / LA Times review // Darwin: Previously on MeFi).
The Carry On films have been a much-loved part of British life for the last 50 years, and they may even be making a new one. This give a quick feel of what you might of missed (slightly NSFW) And though it does have its knockers, one person liked them so much he made a religion out of them, literally.
Children of God film to premiere September 6 on HBO. Filmmaker Noah Thomson goes in search of the young adults who have made a life for themselves outside of the controversial Christian cult "The Children of God." [previously] Many children of this cult have failed to thrive in the outside world and committed suicide, unable to adjust to life in a society indifferent to their abuse as children. Premieres Thursday September 6 on HBO. Link to trailer (sound is low). Jane Magazine has an article on the group and Noah Thompson in its June/July issue. [link to text and PDF scans].
Doug TenNapel reviews "The God Who Wasn't There" in three parts: [1,2,3]. (Religion not your thing? He also does comics. And video games.)
It's not quite fresh, according to mainstream reviewers polled by Rotten Tomatoes. But Christian Bloggers feel very differently. As one reports, I went into the movie expecting to be moved, but never to the extent that I actually was. But both sides seems to agree the R rating should be taken very seriously.
Police Boycott "Harry Potter" Police in Penryn, PA (near Harrisburg) have refused to direct traffic at a YMCA event. The police claim that because the YMCA reads "Harry Potter" to local children that they are promoting witchcraft. Fire Police Capt. Robert Fichthorn says "I don't feel right taking our children's minds and teaching them (witchcraft). As long as we don't stand up, it won't stop. It's unfortunate that this is the way it has to be."
There are some new cops out on the street. Yes. Its Eric Stoltz starring in "Jesus & Hutch". Just in time for Christmas. *Warning* This is a movie so if you are on a dialup like I am, sorry.
As Harry Potter tops all box office records, it seems that some parents don't want their kids to watch the film because some think it promotes witchcraft. Are separation of church and state arguments valid here, or are the parents a bunch of wet blankets?
It's official: Jedi can't, and never could have been, an official religion. There were emails going around New Zealand and the UK claiming if there were enough who listed it as a religion, it could be official, but that's not the case.
THE Pope will host the European premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm guessing my thoughts on 2001 aren't all that different from the pope's, but I'm mostly an atheist. How do you view the monolith? And also, here's a list of pope's favorite films. Andrei Rublev is my overall 4th favorite film, the Sacrifice and Decalogue are in my 20's.
Just saw Dogma and I know the rest of the world saw it before me. I waited. All my friends said, "you got to see this movie Zach cuz the way you've talked about religion all your life this is IT!" And I thought that was pretty sour, that Hollywood could ever get my idea of religion right, but Kevin Smith's not Hollywood and I saw it and it was good. It's close. It doesn't quite take it to eleven though. What I find more interesting is seeing Kevin Smith's take on other Hollywood projects. I feel for Kevin. He's like Daniel in the Lion's Den..