The first Jesus movie of Sage and Gabe’s vlogging career. It’s certainly no Noah.
Some general stuff from a more religious perspective. If you want a
bible story version of Jesus done right you need to go back to the old
historical epic days of Hollywood in the late 50s early 60s. Ben-Hur and
King of Kings are damn good at what they do. Which coincidentally the
story of a Roman gradually being converted to Christianity sounds a lot
like Ben-hur though in that movie the whole setup is basically the Roman
being run through why Roman society is terrible first.
As for the centurion praying to YHWH, that wouldn’t actually be odd. I
admittedly haven’t seen the film so they could have flubbed it bad, but
the Roman cults were not exclusive religions. So long as you held
Jupiter to be the best god worshiping other gods whenever their domain
came up was expected, and it was actually encouraged for soldiers to
pick up local faiths to help integrate with conquered peoples. So here
if the scene is meant to make sense he’s praying to YHWH as simply “the
god of the Jews” and doing him a solid by tracking down a heretical
sect.Now the Jewish religion would see this itself as sacrilege because
even back then they denied the existence of foreign gods, but it’s him
trying his best coming from a Roman point of view. This is of course
assuming the scene isn’t just terrible, which given your description it
might well be.
Also Mary Magdalene being a whore isn’t canon by
any faith, aside from perhaps weird ass Protestant sects. The idea of
her being a prostitute was sorta added to pop culture by medieval texts
specifically trying to devalue and remove women from biblical history.
It’s about the same time her and Mary mother of Jesus stop being
included in lists of the apostles or otherwise important followers.
As for child-teenage Jesus you’d need to basically count on either a
Mormon movie or someone adapting biblical apocrypha in the infancy
gospels. Neither of which will ever really happen in America because
Protestants, who make up the majority of the religious right, hate
nothing more than Mormons and Apocrypha. So you’d either need a fairly
liberal Catholic in a Catholic nation, a Mormon completely unconcerned
with making money, or a non-religious person who found those books
interesting and also didn’t care about money. Like I’d be game as a
Catholic to make a movie chronicling all of Pseudo-Matthew for you, so
long as someone else provided the budget to include the dragon(s).
Speaking as a Christian myself who grew up watching animated Bible stories, the New Testament doesn’t lend itself well for feature-length films. The best version I’ve seen of the story of Jesus wasn’t a film following Jesus himself, but others talking about him and providing a clip-show highlights reel. Speaking of which, it was WAY better to watch a half-hour Sunday school animated special than slog through two hours of the tale dragging its heels, padded out with nonsense.
Honestly, what bothers me the most about these big religious films is that, barring the Exodus story, they never seem to do the particularly INTERESTING narratives from the Bible. Seriously, why has nobody ever done an epic about David? Start with Goliath – maybe a little earlier to include some shepherd-vs-lion action – include the conflicts with Saul, and conclude with the Uriah incident. Or how about the story of Samson? Who DOESN’T want to see an extended 1000 to 1 donkey jawbone beatdown? What about Daniel, and/or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They’re peers, so fitting them into the same film shouldn’t be a problem. Elijah’s another possibility…
Just saying, there are more narratives to explore than redoing Exodus and Jesus for the umpteenth time.
As a Jew I concur, most of the perfect for cinema material is in the Torah/Old Testament/Pentatuech.
There’s so much intrigue, action and moments of epic godly intervention that it would seem tailor made.
The disdain Gabe has for people of faith is palatable.
My malapropism sense is tingling. Do you mean to say his disdain is tasty or did you mean ‘palpable.’
Well that is embarrassing 😉
But the latter obviously.
The Passion of the Christ is still a great movie, not from the perspective of “It conveys my religious conviction or beliefs, therefore it’s ‘good'” (it doesn’t, I’m a Jew), but because its wonderfully filmed, acted, edited and scored.
Most of the hate for that movie is either disingenuous sanctimony about how violent the picture is (coming from that squeaky clean generation that grew up loving John Carpenter’s The Thing, Robocop, Goodfellas, Casino and Starship Troopers) or dislike for Mel Gibson’s public persona being projected by the viewer onto the film.
At the same time I loathe every religious film that’s given a pass by Christian audiences or viewers solely based on its good intentions or pandering. Most movies with overtly Christian themes or source material usually end up being amateurish, boring shit.
As for Mel, I think if anyone in Hollywood deserves a comeback its him. He’s the reason we have a Robert Downey Jr. for fuck’s sake. Whatever his personal demons are or were, Hollywood’s forgiven much, much worse for less reason (Roman Polanski, Jeffrey Jones, Victor Salva).