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DVD Reviews

View Full Version : "Passion of the Christ": the negative Reviews are coming out


Rivero
02-23-04, 10:07 AM
David Denby at The New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/critics/cinema/?040301crci_cinema


David Ansen at Newsweek:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4338528/


DVD Talk Review
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=9664

Spanky BananaPants
02-23-04, 10:08 AM
And here I thought it would be negative reviews of "Pirates of the Caribbean."

~~edit~~ Now I see you've fixed the thread title. Oh well.

Rivero
02-23-04, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Spanky BananaPants
And here I thought it would be negative reviews of "Pirates of the Caribbean."

hehe, yeah, POTC would be confusing so I changed the title

Groucho
02-23-04, 10:19 AM
I read the reviews. Both reviews are fair, IMHO. The main complaint was the graphic violence, and both caution against taking children to the film.

David Ansen states that he is not a Christian. I don't know the religious affiliation of David Denby.

DGibFen
02-23-04, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Spanky BananaPants
And here I thought it would be negative reviews of "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Yeah, Depp is great in POTC. Wait....

On Topic: Fox News had a woman (forgot her name) that works at In Touch Weekly and all she could harp on was that guys who loved bloody horror films would like this. Seriously.

Rivero
02-23-04, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by DGibFen
Yeah, Depp is great in POTC. Wait....
and all she could harp on was that guys who loved bloody horror films would like this. Seriously.

I heard a woman on the radio this morning who'd seen the film. She called Gibson a sadistic sadomasochist who gets off on gore, and said that the movie deliberately tries to punish the audience. She also said at her screening there were a few walk-outs.

DGibFen
02-23-04, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Rivero
I heard a woman on the radio this morning who'd seen the film. She called Gibson a sadistic sadomasochist who gets off on gore, and said that the movie deliberately tries to punish the audience. She also said at her screening there were a few walk-outs.

That's what I'm figuring the big reaction would be. Gibson even said he made the film a little more violent than the event might have been. Then again, the medical report on the effects of the crucifixion might prove otherwise.

The New Yorker reviewer is extremely biased, if you ask me. I get the feeling that he went in knowing he wouldn't like the film, then wrote accordingly.

Jackskeleton
02-23-04, 10:44 AM
So are the negative reviewers going to hell?

Groucho
02-23-04, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by Jackskeleton
So are the negative reviewers going to hell? Yes, but not because of this. All critics are doomed to hell.

Artman
02-23-04, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by Jackskeleton
So are the negative reviewers going to hell?

No. They're entitled to their opinion:)

Kal-El
02-23-04, 10:46 AM
I believe this is one of those films where one should not rely on other people's reviews regardless if they've agreed/disagreed with said reviewer in the past, and instead see it for themselves.

Giantrobo
02-23-04, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by Kal Jedi
I believe this is one of those films where one should not rely on other people's reviews regardless if they've agreed/disagreed with said reviewer in the past, and instead see it for themselves.


I agree. Based on the subject matter both Christians and Non-Christians are going to go in with biases and that's ok. But like any movie, I think people should go in and see it for themselves.


To be honest...

I haven't seen it yet but if there was movie that had a good reason to show GRAPHIC VIOLENCE in a proper context I would think it would be the story of Christ.

QuiGonJosh
02-23-04, 11:24 AM
the whole things just an excercise in gore...I think I'll just watch Evil Dead or Dead Alive again...

rushmore223
02-23-04, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Groucho
Yes, but not because of this. All critics are doomed to hell.

Yes and there they will be forced to watch all 7 Police Academy movies and House of the Dead in a eternal loop.

Rivero
02-23-04, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Giantrobo

I haven't seen it yet but if there was movie that had a good reason to show GRAPHIC VIOLENCE in a proper context I would think it would be the story of Christ.


that or if it's a Peter Jackson splatterhouse flick. :)

Rivero
02-23-04, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by rushmore223
Yes and there they will be forced to watch all 7 Police Academy movies

Soon to be 8 Police Academy movies!

BRIAN 1972
02-23-04, 11:59 AM
why does robocop get cut for violence, but this does not....maybe they should have called it "RoboChrist"?

Groucho
02-23-04, 12:02 PM
I would go see a movie called RoboChrist blind, with no questions asked, based on the title alone!

Dr. DVD
02-23-04, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Artman
No. They're entitled to their opinion:)


A lot of Christians would make you think otherwise. Been in a campus ministry, and they will try to tell it to you.

DonnachaOne
02-23-04, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Groucho
I would go see a movie called RoboChrist blind, with no questions asked, based on the title alone!

"He was taken down in the line of duty, but three days later he rose from the dead... as ROBOCHRIST!"

Follow the ten directives!

Villain: "haha, he'll never get us at our island base... WHAT? He's WALKING TOWARDS US!"

RoboChrist: "Repent thy sins! You have until the day of judgement to comply! Dead or alive, you're coming with thy shepherd!"

I'd buy that for thirty pieces...

Rivero
02-23-04, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by BRIAN 1972
why does robocop get cut for violence, but this does not....maybe they should have called it "RoboChrist"?

They woulda made several million more on the title alone

dawn_dead
02-23-04, 12:34 PM
Basically, to sum up the two article, The Passion of the Christ is anti-semetic.

Rivero
02-23-04, 12:38 PM
I think this better sums up both reviews:

"This ain't your parent's Jesus movie"

Groucho
02-23-04, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by dawn_dead
Basically, to sum up the two article, The Passion of the Christ is anti-semetic. Basically, to sum up dawn_dead's post, "I didn't read either article."

DonnachaOne
02-23-04, 01:00 PM
After reading Denby's review - he's definitely well-informed, but I wonder how much of his review is actually a review of the movie and not Gibson. Do we really need Jesus contrasted with Mad Max? Is it relevant?

Denby says little about the actors or the film itself, which I see as unfair. He does make a good point about the violence, though - and I'm with him on the idea of not bringing children. We've sold churches entire showings - and I don't like the idea of fifty eight-year-olds watching their God getting the shit beaten out of him.

BRIAN 1972
02-23-04, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by DonnachaOne
He does make a good point about the violence, though - and I'm with him on the idea of not bringing children. We've sold churches entire showings - and I don't like the idea of fifty eight-year-olds watching their God getting the shit beaten out of him.

I think that 58 year olds might be ok!! ;)

DonnachaOne
02-23-04, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by BRIAN 1972
I think that 58 year olds might be ok!! ;) I KNEW someone would launch on that...

BRIAN 1972
02-23-04, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by DonnachaOne
I KNEW someone would launch on that...

waka waka waka...

i'm here all week.

honk honk.

Patman
02-23-04, 01:17 PM
I wonder how many die-hard christians will be able to stomach the pain and suffering of Christ as depicted in the film. It will be telling.

BRIAN 1972
02-23-04, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Patman
I wonder how many die-hard christians will be able to stomach the pain and suffering of Christ as depicted in the film. It will be telling.

also, in the dark, silent theatre, how many candy bars you'll hear being opened, popcorn being crunched.

i felt bad eating during schindler's list!

Groucho
02-23-04, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by BRIAN 1972
i felt bad eating during schindler's list! As you should have! It really put a damper on my make-out session.

DonnachaOne
02-23-04, 01:25 PM
At the movie theater, we were joking about crossing out the word "Dasani" on the bottled water and writing "Holy" instead.
None of the moviegoers would argue over $3.33 for a bottle of HOLY water, would they?

Oddly enough, a medium drink and a pack of sno-caps rings up at $6.66.

veritasredux
02-23-04, 02:06 PM
His obsession with pain, disguised by religious feelings, has now reached a frightening apotheosis.

Example 1A of why the Denby review is full of shit. Par for the course with the New Yorker.

The Bible tells the story of the Christ with little detail: he came, he preached, he was crucified, he rose. Gibson makes a movie that explores the single most important facet of the man's life and is immediately hammered for failing to depict him as the "paragon of vitality and poetic assertion" that John F. Updike envisioned? Bullshit. Denby should go see "the Greatest Story Ever Told" and leave Gibson's film to those who are able to approach the material without a Bible-sized chip on their shoulders.

DGibFen
02-23-04, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Groucho
As you should have! It really put a damper on my make-out session.

rotfl - Nice Seinfeld reference.

DGibFen
02-23-04, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Patman
I wonder how many die-hard christians will be able to stomach the pain and suffering of Christ as depicted in the film. It will be telling.

Actually, I'm thinking the same thing. A lot of Christians don't really have a good grasp on the physical and spritual brutality that accompanied Christ on the cross.

movielib
02-23-04, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by DGibFen
...
The New Yorker reviewer is extremely biased, if you ask me. I get the feeling that he went in knowing he wouldn't like the film, then wrote accordingly. That may or may not be true.

But I found his review extremely well-informed on history from records outside the Bible and modern Biblical criticism (which the Biblical literalists reject).

It's definitely a different point of view than the literalists and whether one agrees or disagrees, those are long established (and IMO well established - but that's just me) positions of many scholars.

But then, he probably did know he would have these criticisms before going in because Mel made the film from the literalist perspective - everyone knew that as Mel had made it crystal clear.

If Mel had made "The Passion of the Christ According to an Amalgam of the Gospels" he would not be open to this type of criticism. But he seems to have proclaimed all along that he is filming "the true story."

Rivero
02-23-04, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by DGibFen
A lot of Christians don't really have a good grasp on the physical and spritual brutality that accompanied Christ on the cross.

And you do, Almighty DGibFen?

Mark McLeod
02-23-04, 03:27 PM
I just got back from seeing it and it's amazing. I'm not religious at all but it's amazing piece of work. All the scenes of brutality taken out on Christ really got to me. I can only imagine how hard it will be for some Christians to watch some scenes in this movie. I had to look away quite a bit and I'm not squeamish at all.

Look for my glowing review on Wednesday as I'm under an embargo until then.

Tyler_Durden
02-23-04, 03:48 PM
So you didn't think the graphic brutality didn't downplay the spirituality of Jesus's suffering, or of the film itself?

DodgingCars
02-23-04, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by movielib
If Mel had made "The Passion of the Christ According to an Amalgam of the Gospels" he would not be open to this type of criticism. But he seems to have proclaimed all along that he is filming "the true story."

But what's wrong with that when he believes that it is? You know me well enough to know that I've studied the subject and that I've come to a different conclusion as you. In fact, I think most of the criticism of the historical accuracy of the Bible is downright ridiculas, yet its passed off as and accepted by many scholars as fact.

But you know as well as I do, that there are not facts in history. Yes, there is truth, but that truth is almost certainly unknowable. Basically all history comes down to what you believe based on the evidence. My beliefs side with the literalists. Yours do not.

DodgingCars
02-23-04, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Rivero
And you do, Almighty DGibFen?

Dude, chill. I think his statement was fair, there was no need to attack him.

Supermallet
02-23-04, 05:16 PM
I think the main point of these reviews is that the lingering shots of graphic torture, instead of making people realize the extent of his sacrifice, downplay the spirituality he's meant to represent. I think that's a fair criticism to make. It's not the gore in and of itself that bothers the critics, it's that the gore overshadows what should be the true emphasis of the film.

That being said, I'm going to go watch my Guinea Pig box set. Toodles!

movielib
02-23-04, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by DodgingCars
But what's wrong with that when he believes that it is?
Absolutely nothing. But there's also absolutely nothing wrong with a critic who thinks differently criticizing his film on that basis.
You know me well enough to know that I've studied the subject and that I've come to a different conclusion as you. In fact, I think most of the criticism of the historical accuracy of the Bible is downright ridiculas, yet its passed off as and accepted by many scholars as fact.
Of course I, and many scholars disagree. Of course they are going to say they think certain things are fact just as the literalists do. Certainly they are no more adamant in their fact claiming than the literalists who say we'll be tormented forever if we don't believe what they believe.
But you know as well as I do, that there are not facts in history. Yes, there is truth, but that truth is almost certainly unknowable. Basically all history comes down to what you believe based on the evidence. My beliefs side with the literalists. Yours do not.
Well, there are facts in history but knowing them for certain is impossible in many cases, especially before audio and video recordings (and even they can be faked). Otherwise, no argument.

scott shelton
02-23-04, 08:48 PM
Once again,

IMO, I wasn’t too thrilled with it.

Not that the film is anti-Semitic – IT ISN’T. But I was bothered how Pontius Pilate was a fully realized character, nursing a troubled mind over what to do with Jesus, and the Jewish temple leaders were pretty one-dimensional, calling for crucifixion without MUCH internal struggle. And the Romans are practically imagined as feces-throwing gorillas the way they stomp around. A little too broad for me.

And the bloodletting seemed to stop serving a point about halfway through. It became a little gratuitous, but I wasn’t horrified. I have a steady diet of Dario Argento film to thank for that. Damn numbness to violence…

The Jesus and Mary scenes are just beautiful, and I came out wishing there was more of an emotional core to the story, and not just Mel fetishizing the crucifixion. There are a handful of other complaints, but I definitely wasn’t blown away. Dare I say it, but I felt more spirituality coming from DOGMA than this film.

Outside of the faith and Mr. Gibson, I can’t imagine this appealing to too many people. And for heaven's sake, if you have kids who want to see this, JUST SAY NO. This is not a film for the family, which will be evident once the opening weekend dust clears, and the theater managers can settle their refunded tickets.

GeoffK
02-23-04, 08:55 PM
Saw it today :down: - Full Review up on the site Wednesday when reviews are supposed to be emargoed till.

DGibFen
02-23-04, 09:24 PM
Rotten Tomato's (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ThePassionoftheChrist-1129941/) Current Rating: 55% (Rotten)

Metacritic's Take (http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/passionofthechrist/) - Current score 45.

And Rivero, if you have a problem with me, there's an ignore list you can edit. Otherwise, tell me what the problem is and we'll deal with it.

Supermallet
02-23-04, 10:18 PM
Saw this on yahoo news (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=638&e=3&u=/nm/20040224/en_nm/life_jesus_film_dc):

Jesus Scholars Find Fault in Gibson's 'Passion'
By Megan Goldin

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Mel Gibson (news)'s portrayal of the final 12 hours of Jesus in his film "The Passion of the Christ" has been hailed as the gospel truth by some believers, but many scholars complain that it is riddled with historical errors.

Their complaints range from inaccuracies about hairstyles and clothes to a lack of gospel context in the film which has raised a furor among Jewish groups who fear its graphic depiction of the crucifixion will fan anti-Jewish violence.

Gibson, who has denied the film is anti-Semitic, has said he consulted scholars, theologians, priests and spiritual writers before scripting the film with the aim of making Jesus's agony during the crucifixion appear as realistic as possible.

Many Christians see the film as bringing them closer to their religion. Evangelical preacher Billy Graham called the film "a lifetime of sermons in one movie."

Gibson, a traditionalist Catholic, was so determined to make the $25 million film which he funded himself that he had his characters speak in Latin and Aramaic.

Experts say this was his first mistake as Greek was the language spoken in Jerusalem during Jesus's time, along with Aramaic and some Hebrew spoken by Jews.

"Jesus talking to (Pontius) Pilate and Pilate to Jesus in Latin!" exclaimed John Dominic Crossan, a professor of religious studies at the Chicago-based Roman Catholic De Paul University. "I mean in your dreams. It would have been Greek."

Latin was reserved for official decrees or used by the elite. Most Roman centurions in the Holy Land spoke Greek rather than Latin, historians and archaeologists told Reuters.

The mistakes, experts say, didn't stop with the wrong language, which Crossan -- who speaks Latin -- said was so badly pronounced in the film that it was almost incomprehensible.

"He has a long-haired Jesus...Jesus didn't have long hair," said physical anthropologist Joe Zias, who has studied hundreds of skeletons found in archaeological digs in Jerusalem. "Jewish men back in antiquity did not have long hair."

"The Jewish texts ridiculed long hair as something Roman or Greek," said New York University's Lawrence Schiffman.

Along with extensive writings from the period, experts also point to a frieze on Rome's Arch of Titus, erected after Jerusalem was captured in AD 70 to celebrate the victory, which shows Jewish men with short hair taken into captivity.

Erroneous depictions of Jesus in Western art have often misled film makers in their portrayal of Jesus, experts said.


JEWISH GROUPS VS GIBSON

For some scholars the errors go beyond language or hairstyles.

They say the heart of the problem is the film's script which interweaves the literal interpretation of four sometimes contradictory gospel accounts of Jesus' last 12 hours with the visions of a controversial 19th century nun.

"This is my version of what happened, according to the gospels and what I wanted to show," Gibson told the U.S. television network ABC this month.

But Crossan complained that the lack of historical context was the movie's "basic flaw."

The film begins not when Jesus enters Jerusalem to the exuberant welcome of thousands of Jews but rather at night in a garden on the eve of the crucifixion when he is arrested by the Romans after being betrayed by Judas.

"Why did they need a traitor? Why did they need the night? Why didn't they grab him in the daytime?" Crossan asked.

"Because they did not want a riot," he said, explaining that Jesus was immensely popular among his fellow Jews, which is why the high priests and Romans felt threatened by him.

Those details, Crossan said, were absent in the film.

"The lack of context is the most devastating thing for anyone who says it (the film) is faithful to the gospels because the gospels have the context," he told Reuters.

One of the most controversial aspects of the film is its portrayal of Pilate reluctantly sentencing Jesus to crucifixion under pressure from a bullying mob and conniving Jewish priests.

Scholars acknowledge the scene is faithful to the gospels, but some experts say a historical perspective is imperative.

"It is important to see the historical context. Not only for the sake of being true to history but for the sake of being true to the gospel passages themselves," said Father Michael McGarry, rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.

The gospels, he said, were written many years after the crucifixion at a time when the early Christians felt it would be politically wise to "soften Pontius Pilate as a way of placating" the Romans who ruled over them.

"Pontius Pilate was a very cruel and brutal man. And he wouldn't care two winks about executing another Jew. He had killed so many before him," said McGarry, who said he had not seen the film and was commenting only on the history of the time.


CRUCIFIXION WAS "STATE TERROR"

Crucifixion was a common punishment meted out by the Romans to rebellious Jews during Jesus's time. The Romans crucified so many Jews, said Zias, that "eventually they ran out of crosses and they ran out of space."

The depiction of the crucifixion was the part of the film most riddled with errors for Zias, who studied the skeleton of a crucified Jewish man from Jesus's time -- the only remains ever found of a crucified victim from antiquity.

Zias said Jesus would not have carried the entire cross to the crucifixion as vertical beams were kept permanently in place by the ever efficient Romans.

"Nobody was physically able to carry the thing (the entire cross).It weighed about 350 pounds," Zias said. "He (Jesus) carried the cross-beam, maximum."

Nor would Jesus have worn a loin-cloth in the crucifixion as did actor James Caviezel who portrayed him in the film.

"Crucifixion was a form of state terror. They humiliated the crucified victim. Everybody was naked. Men, women and children," Zias said.

Jesus, he added, would have been tied or nailed to the cross through the wrists, not the hands as shown in the film.

"You cannot crucify a person through the hands because there is nothing there but skin and muscle. It will tear."

Brushing off criticism of inaccuracies, Gibson has said he found contradictory opinions among the experts he consulted.

"Since the experts canceled each other out, I was thrown back on my own resources to weigh the different arguments and decide for myself," Gibson said in one interview.



This isn't the other forum, so I didn't feel the need for selective bolding. :)

caiman
02-23-04, 10:41 PM
Wait, you're saying that idiot Gibson gave Jesus shoulder length hair, when in reality it was only down to his neck?! I'm getting my ****ing money back!!

Giantrobo
02-23-04, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by BRIAN 1972
why does robocop get cut for violence, but this does not....maybe they should have called it "RoboChrist"?


Why did the FCC and the TV Networks allow SCHINDLER'S LIST to air pretty much un cut on TV? They showed nudity on network tv. How did that add to the story?

Sometimes important stories need to be told without censoring.

People have to understand that the violence inflicted on Jesus is important to the story. People usually only want the "happy love" side of Jesus...the bread and loaves pacifist Jesus...but according to the Bible, and even Kevin Smith's DOGMA, Jesus knew the pain that was coming and still did it because he loves all of us.

Giantrobo
02-23-04, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by Suprmallet
Saw this on yahoo news (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=638&e=3&u=/nm/20040224/en_nm/life_jesus_film_dc):




This isn't the other forum, so I didn't feel the need for selective bolding. :)


Well I guess we can pull the film now. :p

Supermallet
02-23-04, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by Giantrobo
Well I guess we can pull the film now. :p

I wasn't putting up the article as some kind of tell-all scandal that will ruin the film, I just figured it was worth putting up, especially since one of the reviewers mentions historical inaccuracy. Also, I think the lack of historical context is an important point to make.

As for the bit about Robocop, I think the point being made is that if the filmmaker sees fit to put in violence, they should be allowed to put it in, regardless of the subject matter. Why does Jesus get special dispensation? Or is it because it's Mel Gibson?

Also, I had a feeling the actors wouldn't be able to pronounce these dead languages. This article cemented that feeling. Not that it makes a difference, but it was a theory of mine.

And one last thing: I rewatched The Last Temptation of Christ and noticed that two of the things the scholars complain about in Passion, the carrying of the cross and the nails through the hands, are both dealt with correctly in Last Temptation. Jesus carries only the crossbeam to his crucifixion, and the nails are driven through his wrists. Obviously the film has a lot of things that run counter to the gospels, but it was nice to say they got some of the more historical aspects right. To me, a Jesus story is of intellectual interest only, so I would rather see a film take liberties with the gospels (which aren't entirely consistent among themselves) than with verifiable history.

gnradd21
02-23-04, 11:45 PM
Oh well, the film's not going away any time soon and the critics bashing it will just have to deal. It's obviously going to be a love-it-or-hate-it one. Either way, I have a feeling a lot of people will see it, if just for the curiosity factor.

Did anyone see the mom from Malcolm in the Middle commenting on the film on Entertainment Tonight? She sounded like she wanted to put Mel on the cross -screwy- Apparently she wanted the baby animal version of the Jesus story. I hate to say "it's just a movie", but in reality it is. It's Mel's version based on what he knows and believes, and I think the graphic violence was necessary to truly show the immense suffering Jesus went through.

Lara Means
02-24-04, 12:37 AM
Ebert and Roeper's review is now up

http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/ebertandroeper/today.html

Terrell
02-24-04, 12:51 AM
Well, it doesn't take many brain cells to know that this film will get quite a few negative reviews, and that those negative reviews will really have nothing to do with the quality of the movie. This film will get slammed simply because it's a movie about Jesus and the crucifixion, as well as a controversial film.

People, critics included can't review a religious film, much less one this controversial, in a fair manner. There's too much baggage.

Supermallet
02-24-04, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Terrell
Well, it doesn't take many brain cells to know that this film will get quite a few negative reviews, and that those negative reviews will really have nothing to do with the quality of the movie. This film will get slammed simply because it's a movie about Jesus and the crucifixion, as well as a controversial film.

I think it's quite unfair to say that every negative review will have nothing to do with the movie. There isn't objective quality in art, someone's art is someone else's trash. Some people may honestly not like this movie regardless of the controversy, or because it's about Jesus.

Personally, I thought at least first review offered up was fair in its assessment, and not reactionary.

Terrell
02-24-04, 12:56 AM
I think it's quite unfair to say that every negative review will have nothing to do with the movie.

Well, I overstated. Of course not every single review will have nothing to do with the quality of the film. But I've read most of the negative reviews, and most of them really focus on other things than how good the film really is. I mean, people bring too much of their own opinions to a film like this. For instance, most of the reviews slam the movie because of violence. Well no shit. Just because this depiction of Jesus' crucifixion isn't watered down to hell like most of the others, doesn't mean it's wrong. Jesus, who I happen to believe in, was beaten and tortured for hours. If you want to be accurate, that has to be depicted. Crucifixion is a nasty and terrible way to die.

Religion + controversy does not bode well for the reviews. Add violence into that and you really have something.

Supermallet
02-24-04, 12:59 AM
Originally posted by Terrell
I mean, people bring too much of their own opinions to a film like this.

What else is a review besides someone's opinion of the quality of a film? How would you write a review without using your opinion?

Giantrobo
02-24-04, 01:04 AM
Originally posted by Suprmallet
I wasn't putting up the article as some kind of tell-all scandal that will ruin the film,

I know. That's why I gave you the " :p "

Supermallet
02-24-04, 01:04 AM
Originally posted by Giantrobo
I know. That's why I gave you the " :p "

Yeah, I kind of figured. Still, someone may have thought that's why I put it up, so...

Artman
02-24-04, 01:09 AM
Saw it, thought it was great. The only downside is that the film is basically just a climax. Imagine watching only ROTK, with a few flashbacks to the previous films. Still, I cant wait to see it again. A life-changing experience? No. A well-crafted film? You bet.

And yes, i'm a follower of Christ!

A-

Dr. DVD
02-24-04, 08:09 AM
While I am reserving my opinion until I see the film, I will say this much about reviews from Christian groups, they tend to be very biased. While this film looks good, these are the same people that hailed The Omega Code.

What I'm trying to say is, and this is coming from an open-minded Christian if you believe in such a thing, reviews of a movie like this can be very polar and not that open to other opinions.

DGibFen
02-24-04, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by Dr. DVD
While I am reserving my opinion until I see the film, I will say this much about reviews from Christian groups, they tend to be very biased. While this film looks good, these are the same people that hailed The Omega Code.

What I'm trying to say is, and this is coming from an open-minded Christian if you believe in such a thing, reviews of a movie like this can be very polar and not that open to other opinions.

I might disagree. While a number of Christians have certainly jumped on the bandwagon (the idea of "any Christian reflection is good Christian reflection" seems to be in play there), there are several Christian reviewers I have talked to that agree with some of the issues that have been brought up (the excessive violence, some of the shots that are a bit on the cheesy side, etc.) In fact, Roger Ebert quotes from one of these reviewers in his review (http://www.suntimes.com/output/ebert1/cst-ftr-passion24.html) of the movie:

Pilate is seen going through his well-known doubts before finally washing his hands of the matter and turning Jesus over to the priests, but Caiaphas, who also had doubts, is not seen as sympathetically. The critic Steven D. Greydanus, in a useful analysis of the film, writes: "The film omits the canonical line from John's gospel in which Caiaphas argues that it is better for one man to die for the people [so] that the nation be saved.

"Had Gibson retained this line, perhaps giving Caiaphas a measure of the inner conflict he gave to Pilate, it could have underscored the similarities between Caiaphas and Pilate and helped defuse the issue of anti-Semitism."

So I would say with some reservation that all Christian critics are just jumping on the bandwagon. Besides, some of the ones I've talked to hated The Omega Code and Left Behind.

B.A.
02-24-04, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by Lara Means
Ebert and Roeper's review is now up

http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/ebertandroeper/today.html Lara - Thank you for the linky.l

covenant
02-24-04, 09:07 AM
"Maybe it's better if we just learn about Jesus in Sunday school."
"Left in the hands of Mel Gibson and his The Passion of the Christ, the basic message of Christianity - love your brother - is obscured under torrents of blood to the point of benumbing the audience."

Obviously a soft focus baby animal version of Jesus is more what these reviewers wanted. A bloodless Christianity.

See, my servant will act wisely ; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him - his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness

movielib
02-24-04, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by Terrell
Well, it doesn't take many brain cells to know that this film will get quite a few negative reviews, and that those negative reviews will really have nothing to do with the quality of the movie. This film will get slammed simply because it's a movie about Jesus and the crucifixion, as well as a controversial film.

People, critics included can't review a religious film, much less one this controversial, in a fair manner. There's too much baggage.
Some can, some can't. And it goes both ways.

Groucho
02-24-04, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by covenant
Obviously a soft focus baby animal version of Jesus is more what these reviewers wanted. A bloodless Christianity.You're creating a false dichotomy here, where a movie can either be a "soft focus baby animal" version of the story, or have extreme graphic violence. There is a middle ground.

Michael Corvin
02-24-04, 10:56 AM
I think with all the biases and different religions of the people the ONLY people that can honestly review this film will be atheists. And more than likely none of them will be attending.

DonnachaOne
02-24-04, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by Michael Corvin
I think with all the biases and different religions of the people the ONLY people that can honestly review this film will be atheists. And more than likely none of them will be attending. I disagree... wouldn't a lot of atheists automatically find the idea of a God-movie repugnant or just plain silly?

As with any film that deals with people's personal beliefs, I don't think we're going to be able to get a review without bias. Hell, it's hard to get a fair review of a comic book film, considering those who hate them and those who grew up reading comics... and this is based on THE BIBLE!

movielib
02-24-04, 11:11 AM
Here's a negative "review" I ran across that I think we can all agree is rather strange. No atheist could bash this movie as much as this guy.


http://www.letgodbetrue.com/TodaysWorld/passion.htm

Groucho
02-24-04, 11:17 AM
I can't figure out if that site is a joke or not.

movielib
02-24-04, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by Groucho
I can't figure out if that site is a joke or not.
I'm pretty sure it's serious.

BigPete
02-24-04, 11:28 AM
In reading the quips cut out for use in the Rotten Tomatoes summary, I was reminded of the negative comments that often surround films like A Clockwork Orange.

Sometimes a movie has very little to do with what you see on screen and everything to do with how you feel when you see it. I'm embarassed for the film critic who doesn't understand that.

DonnachaOne
02-24-04, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by movielib
Here's a negative "review" I ran across that I think we can all agree is rather strange. No atheist could bash this movie as much as this guy.


http://www.letgodbetrue.com/TodaysWorld/passion.htm He SO needs a Buddy Christ...

Help Me jayson1017
02-24-04, 12:15 PM
Roger Ebert gave the movie *. Same with Richard Roeper. I'm not watching it.

covenant
02-24-04, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by Groucho
You're creating a false dichotomy here, where a movie can either be a "soft focus baby animal" version of the story, or have extreme graphic violence. There is a middle ground.

The biblical account is graphically violent not soft focus, therefore a realistic treatment of the subject matter must be violent.

The sunday school version glosses over the suffering and abuse of Jesus.

DodgingCars
02-24-04, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by BigPete
In reading the quips cut out for use in the Rotten Tomatoes summary, I was reminded of the negative comments that often surround films like A Clockwork Orange.

Sometimes a movie has very little to do with what you see on screen and everything to do with how you feel when you see it. I'm embarassed for the film critic who doesn't understand that.

I kind of agree. I haven't seen the movie, but it seems like some critics are complaining that its difficult to watch. Isn't that the point?

scott shelton
02-24-04, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by BigPete
Sometimes a movie has very little to do with what you see on screen and everything to do with how you feel when you see it. I'm embarassed for the film critic who doesn't understand that.

What happens if you understand that, but feel nothing when you watch THE PASSION? What then?

Hokeyboy
02-24-04, 01:30 PM
That Mulholland Drive is a pretty good movie, no?

DGibFen
02-24-04, 01:45 PM
Here's a Christian movie critic and his take on it: (http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/02-28-04/cover_2.asp)

No mere martyr
REVIEW: The self-consciously limited focus of The Passion of the Christ is both a strength and a weakness of the landmark film
By Andrew Coffin
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST IS not the gospel. The movie is one man's meditation on and interpretation of one particular aspect of the gospel: the 12-hour period commonly referred to as Christ's Passion, His suffering and crucifixion.

It just so happens that this man, Mel Gibson, believes that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, that the events described by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John really happened, and that Christ is who He claimed to be. Mr. Gibson is also a talented and passionate filmmaker, and the combination of firmly held belief and artistic capability means that this film will resonate with many (perhaps most) Christians, despite some very real weaknesses and a singular, limiting focus.

But unlike the gospel itself, acceptance of this movie isn't an either/or proposition. Viewers can appreciate its artistry, its impact, its potential to communicate powerful truths while still looking critically at both art and message.

Brutal Violence


Two elements DEFINED PRErelease public perception of The Passion of the Christ: the film's brutal violence and alleged anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitism charge doesn't really have much to do with this film itself. Mr. Gibson's Passion play can no more be accused of anti-Semitism than the Gospels themselves. In fact, Mr. Gibson dropped a line straight from Scripture (Matthew 27:25: "His blood be on us and on our children") because of its potential to offend.

While The Passion may not be anti-Semitic, it is undoubtedly violent. Brutally, unrelentingly violent. Reports of the film's unflinching depiction of Christ's suffering have not been exaggerated, and the film is well deserving of its R-rating. Mr. Gibson's clear intent is to shock ("I wanted it to be shocking, I wanted it to be extreme, I wanted to push the viewer over the edge," he told Diane Sawyer). Parents, particularly, should be cautious when considering whether their children are ready to have these images burned into their young imaginations.

Although much of the violence may be historically accurate, Mr. Gibson's depiction of Christ's suffering certainly diverges from biblical accounts in this regard. All four Gospels pass quickly over the particulars of Christ's suffering and execution, more urgently focusing on the meaning of these events.

To focus so heavily on Christ's physical suffering verges on a distortion of what was really happening in these events. Christ died not, ultimately, at the hand of Romans or Jews, but according to the will of His heavenly Father. For the sins of believers, He willingly bore the Father's just and holy wrath—a far worse prospect—upon His shoulders, completing a spiritual task that is represented, but not exhausted, by the physical suffering of the cross. He was no mere martyr.

To be fair, Mr. Gibson does strongly suggest that there is spiritual, supernatural significance in these events, through the appearance of Satan personified in the visage of a woman and in the earth-shaking destruction that comes at the moment of Christ's death. The problem, if there is one, is a matter of emphasis.

(Mr. Gibson's choice of emphasis is perhaps the strongest indicator of his Catholicism—Jesus' repeated stumbling during the long road to Calvary perfectly matches the Via Dolorosa, or the stations of the cross, found in many Catholic churches. His depiction of Mary, on the other hand, will not be as problematic for Protestants.)


An Incomplete Story

But however one interprets Mr. Gibson's exegetical choices, The Passion makes for powerful, emotionally wrenching viewing. This is partially due to Mr. Gibson's self-consciously limited focus, which can be understood as a strength of the film as long as it is also acknowledged as a limitation.

It may be best to liken The Passion to a painting of Christ by one of the old masters. Rendered in vivid detail, these works of art focus the mind and imagination on one aspect of Christ's life (very often the crucifixion), but lack the context and completeness to be anything more than one piece of the whole.

Similarly, Mr. Gibson's film lacks context. But his avoidance of the clumsy moralizing and tract-like artifice that characterizes so many other attempts at filming Christ's life adds significantly to the film's emotional (and even intellectual) impact. There's no clean resolution here. Most audiences, Christians and non-Christians alike, may well be provoked by the film to seek out the true context of these brutal events.

The film's limited focus does create a few artistic problems. The film lacks a narrative structure in any traditional sense. The images onscreen simply dramatize the events that occur over a 12-hour period, from Jesus' arrest by the chief priests to His death on the cross. There's quite a bit of repetitive imagery over the course of the two-hour movie. Time and again we see shots of laughing Roman guards, a fallen and beaten Christ, a sad-eyed Mary. The lack of a strong narrative arc also makes for a sometimes numbing viewing experience. The Passion gets so violent so quickly, and is so unrelenting, that viewers may find themselves somewhat desensitized to Christ's suffering before He even reaches the cross.


Imagining Christ

One issue that has been almost completely ignored in the midst of the controversies surrounding the movie is that some Protestant Christians have been at best uncomfortable with visual depictions of Christ in principle, graphic or not. Far fewer Christians today share that concern, yet the dangers of blasphemy, idolatry, or simple misinterpretation are certainly worth considering. To the degree that Christians treat this movie as a definitive or authoritative "incarnation" of the gospel, these issues can become especially troubling.

Part of the problem is that any depiction of Christ on film is by necessity lopsided. An actor can dig deeply in Christ's human nature, but how can he communicate the divine? This can affect the narrative on several practical levels. The scattered flashbacks to earlier periods of Christ's life are some of the most effective scenes in the film (minus one odd interlude of comic relief involving a high-legged table), but they place in Christ's mind, as He faces His death, thoughts that we have no evidence to suggest were present. A man may well revisit the events of his life as he faces his own mortality, but would Christ's thoughts not have instead been on the mission given to Him by His Father in heaven, as suggested particularly in the Gospel of John?

But while admitting that the dangers here are manifold, even "rigid" theologians of old recognized the importance of acknowledging and understanding Christ as truly incarnate. For instance (and to step back further than most reviewers of this movie are likely to do), 17th-century English theologian Richard Baxter, in his Christian Directory, noted (while at the same time strongly arguing against any and all images of God in worship) that "the making and using of the images of Christ, as born, living, preaching, walking, dying ... rising, ascending, is not unlawful in itself ... as Christ was a man like one of us, so He may be pictured as a man."

The best understanding of The Passion is that it is Mel Gibson's very personal expression of a deeply rooted faith, in the best way he knows how: on film. Christ's Passion is a narrative with which Mr. Gibson connected. He felt burdened to tell it, and to tell it in a way that resonated most closely with his own experience.

However, what Mr. Gibson chooses to accentuate, what he leaves in, what he leaves out—all of these are choices that reflect his artistic sensibility and his personal experience, and are layers on top of the story. It is important to distinguish between this as Mr. Gibson's interpretation of the Gospels and God's Word itself.

Baxter continued his discourse on images of Christ by making the important point that "it is a great part of a believer's work, to have Christ's image very much ... upon his mind ... that a crucified Savior being still as it were before our eyes, we may remember the price of our redemption, and the example we have to imitate." It is something of this image, it seems, that so profoundly affected Mr. Gibson's life, and that he has boldly endeavored to share using the best tools of his art.

The challenge The Passion of the Christ issues to Christians is to place these images into the larger context of God's redemptive plan, and to help unbelievers to do the same.

veritasredux
02-24-04, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by covenant
The biblical account is graphically violent not soft focus, therefore a realistic treatment of the subject matter must be violent.

The sunday school version glosses over the suffering and abuse of Jesus.

The Gospels cover the crucifixion in virtually no detail: "then they crucified him"; "and they crucified him"; "there they crucified him"; "where they crucified him." The NT's attention was not on graphic detail, but on the significance of the act and the attitudes of those who committed the crime.

It took several hundred years before the Catholic church implemented the cross as the ultimate theme of Christianity.

eXcentris
02-24-04, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by DonnachaOne
I disagree... wouldn't a lot of atheists automatically find the idea of a God-movie repugnant or just plain silly?

As with any film that deals with people's personal beliefs, I don't think we're going to be able to get a review without bias. Hell, it's hard to get a fair review of a comic book film, considering those who hate them and those who grew up reading comics... and this is based on THE BIBLE!

Well I'm an atheist but first I'm a film lover so I certainly won't approach this with a "this is about God so it will suck" attitude. I haven't read any reviews, followed the film's development, debates, controversies or anything in that regard. I'm going to go and see this film because it sounds like it could be an interesting film. I coudn't care less if it's about God, the tooth fairy, or the three stooges, I'm going to treat it like any other film.

DonnachaOne
02-24-04, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by eXcentris
Well I'm an atheist but first I'm a film lover so I certainly won't approach this with a "this is about God so it will suck" attitude. I haven't read any reviews, followed the film's development, debates, controversies or anything in that regard. I'm going to go and see this film because it sounds like it could be an interesting film. I coudn't care less if it's about God, the tooth fairy, or the three stooges, I'm going to treat it like any other film. Hence me saying "a lot of atheists", certainly not all or even most of them.

eXcentris
02-24-04, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by DonnachaOne
Hence me saying "a lot of atheists", certainly not all or even most of them.

Amen. ;)

clappj
02-24-04, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by eXcentris
Well I'm an atheist but first I'm a film lover...

At least you have your priorities straight! ;)

covenant
02-24-04, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by veritasredux
The Gospels cover the crucifixion in virtually no detail:

But the realities of scouraging and crucifiction are violent and bloody. To depict the acts on film realistically they have to appear abhorrent and to our modern sensitivities: over the top.

caiman
02-24-04, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by covenant
But the realities of scouraging and crucifiction are violent and bloody. To depict the acts on film realistically they have to appear abhorrent and to our modern sensitivities: over the top.

Exactly. It's easy to say the word "crucify," but I don't think people have ever really understood just how ****ed up the process is. I saw many of those "Passion" plays as a kid, and it was always just a guy with a little whip hitting Jesus' shoulder, and a trickle of blood down his face. This movie will show what it's really like.

covenant
02-24-04, 04:48 PM
The instrument used for scourging is a short whip called a flagrum or flagellum to which was attached several braided leather thongs of variable lengths. Knots were tied in the ends of each thong, and sheep bone or iron balls were inserted into the knots at the end of each thong.

The object of the scourging was to weaken the victim to a state of collapse and bring them as near to death as possible without killing them. Many did not survive this punishment and it was given the name "half death." The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross.

Gdrlv
02-24-04, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by Terrell
Well, it doesn't take many brain cells to know that this film will get quite a few negative reviews, and that those negative reviews will really have nothing to do with the quality of the movie.

Crappy art based on religion is still crappy art.

Note that I haven't seen the film and am not judging the film, just the validity of your statement. I'm getting tired of people acting like this film is above criticism just because of its subject matter.

DodgingCars
02-24-04, 05:06 PM
Ebert's review:


THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST / **** (R)

February 24, 2004






Jesus, the Christ: James Caviezel
Mary: Maia Morgenstern
Mary Magdalene: Monica Bellucci
Pontius Pilate: Hristo Shopov
Caiaphas: Mattia Sbragia
Judas: Luca Lionello
Claudia: Claudia Gerini
Gesmas: Francesco Cabras
Satan Rosalinda Celentano


Newmarket Films presents a film directed by Mel Gibson. Written by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald. Running time: 126 minutes. Rated R (for sequences of graphic violence). Opening Wednesday at local theaters, but selected locations will start screening the movie at midnight Tuesday.


BY ROGER EBERT FILM CRITIC


If ever there was a film with the correct title, that film is Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." Although the word passion has become mixed up with romance, its Latin origins refer to suffering and pain; later Christian theology broadened that to include Christ's love for mankind, which made him willing to suffer and die for us.

The movie is 126 minutes long, and I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned specifically and graphically with the details of the torture and death of Jesus. This is the most violent film I have ever seen.

I prefer to evaluate a film on the basis of what it intends to do, not on what I think it should have done. It is clear that Mel Gibson wanted to make graphic and inescapable the price that Jesus paid (as Christians believe) when he died for our sins. Anyone raised as a Catholic will be familiar with the stops along the way; the screenplay is inspired not so much by the Gospels as by the 14 Stations of the Cross. As an altar boy, serving during the Stations on Friday nights in Lent, I was encouraged to meditate on Christ's suffering, and I remember the chants as the priest led the way from one station to another:


At the Cross, her station keeping ...

Stood the mournful Mother weeping ...

Close to Jesus to the last.


For we altar boys, this was not necessarily a deep spiritual experience. Christ suffered, Christ died, Christ rose again, we were redeemed, and let's hope we can get home in time to watch the Illinois basketball game on TV. What Gibson has provided for me, for the first time in my life, is a visceral idea of what the Passion consisted of. That his film is superficial in terms of the surrounding message -- that we get only a few passing references to the teachings of Jesus -- is, I suppose, not the point. This is not a sermon or a homily, but a visualization of the central event in the Christian religion. Take it or leave it.

David Ansen, a critic I respect, finds in Newsweek that Gibson has gone too far. "The relentless gore is self-defeating," he writes. "Instead of being moved by Christ's suffering or awed by his sacrifice, I felt abused by a filmmaker intent on punishing an audience, for who knows what sins."

This is a completely valid response to the film, and I quote Ansen because I suspect he speaks for many audience members, who will enter the theater in a devout or spiritual mood and emerge deeply disturbed. You must be prepared for whippings, flayings, beatings, the crunch of bones, the agony of screams, the cruelty of the sadistic centurions, the rivulets of blood that crisscross every inch of Jesus' body. Some will leave before the end.

This is not a Passion like any other ever filmed. Perhaps that is the best reason for it. I grew up on those pious Hollywood biblical epics of the 1950s, which looked like holy cards brought to life. I remember my grin when Time magazine noted that Jeffrey Hunter, starring as Christ in "King of Kings" (1961), had shaved his armpits. (Not Hunter's fault; the film's Crucifixion scene had to be re-shot because preview audiences objected to Jesus' hairy chest.)

If it does nothing else, Gibson's film will break the tradition of turning Jesus and his disciples into neat, clean, well-barbered middle-class businessmen. They were poor men in a poor land. I debated Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" with commentator Michael Medved before an audience from a Christian college, and was told by an audience member that the characters were filthy and needed haircuts.

The Middle East in biblical times was a Jewish community occupied against its will by the Roman Empire, and the message of Jesus was equally threatening to both sides: to the Romans, because he was a revolutionary, and to the establishment of Jewish priests, because he preached a new covenant and threatened the status quo.

In the movie's scenes showing Jesus being condemned to death, the two main players are Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest. Both men want to keep the lid on, and while neither is especially eager to see Jesus crucified, they live in a harsh time when such a man is dangerous.

Pilate is seen going through his well-known doubts before finally washing his hands of the matter and turning Jesus over to the priests, but Caiaphas, who also had doubts, is not seen as sympathetically. The critic Steven D. Greydanus, in a useful analysis of the film, writes: "The film omits the canonical line from John's gospel in which Caiaphas argues that it is better for one man to die for the people [so] that the nation be saved.

"Had Gibson retained this line, perhaps giving Caiaphas a measure of the inner conflict he gave to Pilate, it could have underscored the similarities between Caiaphas and Pilate and helped defuse the issue of anti-Semitism."

This scene and others might justifiably be cited by anyone concerned that the movie contains anti-Semitism. My own feeling is that Gibson's film is not anti-Semitic, but reflects a range of behavior on the part of its Jewish characters, on balance favorably. The Jews who seem to desire Jesus' death are in the priesthood, and have political as well as theological reasons for acting; like today's Catholic bishops who were slow to condemn abusive priests, Protestant TV preachers who confuse religion with politics, or Muslim clerics who are silent on terrorism, they have an investment in their positions and authority. The other Jews seen in the film are viewed positively; Simon helps Jesus to carry the cross, Veronica brings a cloth to wipe his face, Jews in the crowd cry out against his torture.

A reasonable person, I believe, will reflect that in this story set in a Jewish land, there are many characters with many motives, some good, some not, each one representing himself, none representing his religion. The story involves a Jew who tried no less than to replace the established religion and set himself up as the Messiah. He was understandably greeted with a jaundiced eye by the Jewish establishment while at the same time finding his support, his disciples and the founders of his church entirely among his fellow Jews. The libel that the Jews "killed Christ" involves a willful misreading of testament and teaching: Jesus was made man and came to Earth in order to suffer and die in reparation for our sins. No race, no man, no priest, no governor, no executioner killed Jesus; he died by God's will to fulfill his purpose, and with our sins we all killed him. That some Christian churches have historically been guilty of the sin of anti-Semitism is undeniable, but in committing it they violated their own beliefs.

This discussion will seem beside the point for readers who want to know about the movie, not the theology. But "The Passion of the Christ," more than any other film I can recall, depends upon theological considerations. Gibson has not made a movie that anyone would call "commercial," and if it grosses millions, that will not be because anyone was entertained. It is a personal message movie of the most radical kind, attempting to re-create events of personal urgency to Gibson. The filmmaker has put his artistry and fortune at the service of his conviction and belief, and that doesn't happen often.

Is the film "good" or "great?" I imagine each person's reaction (visceral, theological, artistic) will differ. I was moved by the depth of feeling, by the skill of the actors and technicians, by their desire to see this project through no matter what. To discuss individual performances, such as James Caviezel's heroic depiction of the ordeal, is almost beside the point. This isn't a movie about performances, although it has powerful ones, or about technique, although it is awesome, or about cinematography (although Caleb Deschanel paints with an artist's eye), or music (although John Debney supports the content without distracting from it).

It is a film about an idea. An idea that it is necessary to fully comprehend the Passion if Christianity is to make any sense. Gibson has communicated his idea with a singleminded urgency. Many will disagree. Some will agree, but be horrified by the graphic treatment. I myself am no longer religious in the sense that a long-ago altar boy thought he should be, but I can respond to the power of belief whether I agree or not, and when I find it in a film, I must respect it.



Note: I said the film is the most violent I have ever seen. It will probably be the most violent you have ever seen. This is not a criticism but an observation; the film is unsuitable for younger viewers, but works powerfully for those who can endure it. The MPAA's R rating is definitive proof that the organization either will never give the NC-17 rating for violence alone, or was intimidated by the subject matter. If it had been anyone other than Jesus up on that cross, I have a feeling that NC-17 would have been automatic.

caiman
02-24-04, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by Gdrlv
Crappy art based on religion is still crappy art.

Note that I haven't seen the film and am not judging the film, just the validity of your statement. I'm getting tired of people acting like this film is above criticism just because of its subject matter.

The thing is though, all the negative reviews I've read have praised the movie on a technical level. Great acting, direction, music, cinematography - everyone seems to agree on this. Most even agree that the film is very moving. So it seems reviewers are in fact holding this movie to a higher standard, expecting it to be something it isn't. This is no fault of the film. It is what it is, and no one should expect it to be anything more.

GeoffK
02-24-04, 05:35 PM
Heres the review from DVDTalk:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=9664

DodgingCars
02-24-04, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by gkleinman
Heres the review from DVDTalk:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=9664

Not having seeing the movie, I can't really comment on some of the issues you address, but I was disappointed you pulled out the "race" card, much like the ADL. While I still haven't seen the movie, it appears to me, that Mel hasn't drifted far from the Gospel's accounts of the "event" and I'm wondering if you would find the NT as equally anti-semitic?

scott shelton
02-24-04, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by caiman
The thing is though, all the negative reviews I've read have praised the movie on a technical level. Great acting, direction, music, cinematography - everyone seems to agree on this. Most even agree that the film is very moving. So it seems reviewers are in fact holding this movie to a higher standard, expecting it to be something it isn't. This is no fault of the film. It is what it is, and no one should expect it to be anything more.



I reviewed films that are stellar on a tech level, but fail dramatically. It happens all the time. That doesn't necessarily translate to holding the film to a higher standard.

The upcoming HIDALGO is a perfect example of a film that’s gorgeous, but is a narrative shambles.

veritasredux
02-24-04, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by covenant
But the realities of scouraging and crucifiction are violent and bloody. To depict the acts on film realistically they have to appear abhorrent and to our modern sensitivities: over the top.

I agree, but it's good to note that this film's perspective on the Christ's death is totally different from that of the Gospel authors. The creators can claim all the authenticity in the world, but I'll be viewing this one in exactly the same light as Scorcese's take on the Jesus story.

I wish Pat Robertson would do the same and save the silent majority a lot of bad press.

poetic_power
02-24-04, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by covenant
The instrument used for scourging is a short whip called a flagrum or flagellum to which was attached several braided leather thongs of variable lengths. Knots were tied in the ends of each thong, and sheep bone or iron balls were inserted into the knots at the end of each thong.

The object of the scourging was to weaken the victim to a state of collapse and bring them as near to death as possible without killing them. Many did not survive this punishment and it was given the name "half death." The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross.

Well put.

Those whips were also nicknamed: cat-o-nine-tails - a whip having nine knotted cords fastened to a handle often with bone or stone fastened on the ends of each cord. This types of whips were suppose to literally tear your flesh off your back. Pretty gruesome.

poetic_power
02-24-04, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by caiman
The thing is though, all the negative reviews I've read have praised the movie on a technical level. Great acting, direction, music, cinematography - everyone seems to agree on this. Most even agree that the film is very moving. So it seems reviewers are in fact holding this movie to a higher standard, expecting it to be something it isn't. This is no fault of the film. It is what it is, and no one should expect it to be anything more.

You're right . . . it is, what it is.

Being a believer, I credit Gibson on making this film because it gets us talking about the Gospels, about Jesus (who he really was and what it took to die on the cross), despite the negative reviews (which is absolutely O.K.) the main important factor here is that we're talking about it. Sharing what it meant to us and how we felt about it. Who knows maybe a nonbeliever might crack open the Bible just to get another take on it. Isn't that the idea?

Mark McLeod
02-25-04, 02:33 AM
My review is up

http://www.moviecontests.com/reviews/passionofthechrist2.html

syphon00
02-25-04, 07:49 AM
I just don't get all the idiots that objects with showing realistic violence in movie
what the hell do u expect to see when someone gets whipped with spiked whips or gets cruxified?

and I doubt this movie is aimed at young kids, so it'll be the parents' fault if their kids get traumatized for life

Groucho
02-25-04, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by Gdrlv
Crappy art based on religion is still crappy art.

Note that I haven't seen the film and am not judging the film, just the validity of your statement. I'm getting tired of people acting like this film is above criticism just because of its subject matter. Excellent point. I read a quote from a minister who spoke at a pre-screening of the film. He cautioned that there will be people who don't like the movie because they think it's a bad movie, and he cautioned those in the audience that they shouldn't be quick to jump all over them as "evil" just because they didn't like the film.

Patman
02-25-04, 08:57 AM
In some respects, this is shock therapy for christians, a wake-up call for many of whom who take for granted the sacrifice, the pain, the suffering, the burden of all human sin that Jesus had to endure to become the conduit for christians to gain eternal life. The level of brutality depicted in the film brings home the level of sacrifice required to assume that burden.

Is it disturbing? Yes. Is it needed? That's depends on each and every viewer or probable viewer of the film. Are they ready to come to grips to such brutality wrought upon Christ in his last hours? Also, it's a personal question with no universal answer. I expect this film to mean so many different things to each and every viewer because no one is at the same point on each person's spiritual journey and their appreciation for Christ's sacrifice.

Gibson's film confronts viewers with the prospect that personal sacrifice is required for life everlasting. To each person's sacrifice, it's deeply personal, and individual to each and every person. It's universal and individual at the same time, a duality not unlike Christ himself.

Am I bothered that some reviewers/critics didn't get the sunday school context they so craved to "balance" out the film? No, not really, it's what they thought they needed for the understanding of Christ's sacrifice, but for them the film overwhelms their capacity to "jump right into the action" so to speak, and produces very uncomfortable feelings, and it should, regardless of how much religious context each person brings to the film.

B.A.
02-25-04, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by Mark McLeod
My review is up

http://www.moviecontests.com/reviews/passionofthechrist2.html very well written, Mark. :up:

wlmowery
02-25-04, 10:37 AM
My problem with most of the negative reviews is that they seem, uniformly, to claim that the film missed its most pertinent message....

However, I think Mel has been as forthcoming as possible in describing in detail the purpose and message of this film. While the reviewers may have desired X, what Mel intended was Y. Is it wrong to review the movie for failing to provide what the director specifically elected to omit?

Mel has stated repeatedly that this is a reflection on the sacrifice, not a reflection on the entire gospel message. As one person said earlier, even Christians often forget the actual cost in terms of pain, anguish and suffering to Jesus sacrifice. And that is this movie's point. As a Christian, it is entirely too easy for me to say that my sin led to the whip, to the beatings, to the nails, and to the thorns, and to the spear.... It is my hope that the visual images from this film will make my realization of that fact more complete.

chanster
02-25-04, 10:45 AM
However, I think Mel has been as forthcoming as possible in describing in detail the purpose and message of this film. While the reviewers may have desired X, what Mel intended was Y. Is it wrong to review the movie for failing to provide what the director specifically elected to omit?

Mel has stated repeatedly that this is a reflection on the sacrifice, not a reflection on the entire gospel message.

You know what? I really don't care what the director has said is the meaning of his own movie. A director puts out a product and I take ideas from that. How he sees the movie versus what I take from the movie are 2 different things.

Its kinda related to the Star Wars:SE vs. Star Wars: Original. George Lucas is adamant that the SE is his vision, but I prefer the older cut.

On the flip side, I also couldn't care less what critics have to say is the supposed meaning.

chanster
02-25-04, 10:49 AM
To depict the acts on film realistically they have to appear abhorrent and to our modern sensitivities: over the top.

No they don't. I am sorry but Goya's Crucifixication probably holds as much powers as the ultra-violent movie

If you see this painting up close and in real-life, it is just overpowering, even if you are not that religious.

http://eeweems.com/goya/crucifixion_350.jpg

tdilia
02-25-04, 11:28 AM
Your right Chanster it is powerful and also a little haunting.

Dead
02-25-04, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by chanster
No they don't. I am sorry but Goya's Crucifixication probably holds as much powers as the ultra-violent movie

If you see this painting up close and in real-life, it is just overpowering, even if you are not that religious.

http://eeweems.com/goya/crucifixion_350.jpg


Isn't is interesting though that many of those offering harsh reviews of the movie would do so for this depiction too? Yes, it lacks the violence... but many of the other concerns that are being voiced exist in Goya's image.

covenant
02-25-04, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by tdilia
Your right Chanster it is powerful and also a little haunting.

Unrealistic and bloodless. No blood from the nails, no blood from the crown of thorns, no spear wound in his side. No residual blood from the scouraging.

Once again: to be realistic the crucifiction must be bloody.

There is a portion that find the whole blood-thing distasteful and attempt to remove it from Biblical Christianity.

Ephesians 1:7 says we have redemption through His blood.

Revelation 1:5 also says "by his blood".

In John 19:30, Jesus said tetelestai, which is a Greek accounting term meaning "paid in full".

testify to the truth Jn 18:37; atoning sacrifice 1 Jn 3:8;4:10

Hebrews 10:14-20 says there was only one sacrifice.
Hebrews 10:19-20 says this was by the blood of Jesus, through the curtain that is His body.

In Acts 20:28, Jesus bought the church with His own blood.

In summary, a bloodless Christianity is not true to God’s Word in the Bible.

Jeez! Why am I arguing this point? I quit going to church 5 years ago and I feel nothing but disdain for the fundamentalist types that usually toe this line....:hscratch:

DouglasRobert
02-25-04, 12:04 PM
I, myself, have no desire or need to see this film. Even if all the reviews were 100% good, I will never view this film.

I don't like preachy movies, and this is one of those.

It just seems that so far the only people that have been interviewed on TV and giving rave reviews are what I consider, religious nuts. Crying and such and praising God and speaking Bible verses. If I want to be preached to I'll go to a church, I am not going to spend money on this film even when it comes out on DVD.

I think it will probably open big in the Bible belt, but I can't see it open big in larger cities. Couple of things against it are No major stars, Storyline will turn off non-Christians or athiests. Majority of people are Christian in this country, but very few are actually practicing, church going types. R Rating, very violent and gory for families. The only reason this got made is because Mel Gibson used his clout in Hollywood to get it made.

If it does open big, probably around 45 Million I think it will fall off very quickly and probably gross around 80 to 100 Million total.

My 2 cents, and I don't mean to offend any one with my opinion, but it's a free country and I can voice my thoughts on this film and spend my money as I see fit. And I won't give Mel Gibson one cent of my money to see this film.

Patman
02-25-04, 12:16 PM
Mel Gibson used his own frikkin' money (over $25 million) to get this film made. Hollywood has nothing to do with this film. It was tough for him to get Newmarket to distribute it.

chanster
02-25-04, 12:17 PM
Unrealistic and bloodless. No blood from the nails, no blood from the crown of thorns, no spear wound in his side. No residual blood from the scouraging.

Once again: to be realistic the crucifiction must be bloody.

There is a portion that find the whole blood-thing distasteful and attempt to remove it from Biblical Christianity.

Ephesians 1:7 says we have redemption through His blood.

Revelation 1:5 also says "by his blood".

In John 19:30, Jesus said tetelestai, which is a Greek accounting term meaning "paid in full".

testify to the truth Jn 18:37; atoning sacrifice 1 Jn 3:8;4:10

Hebrews 10:14-20 says there was only one sacrifice.
Hebrews 10:19-20 says this was by the blood of Jesus, through the curtain that is His body.

In Acts 20:28, Jesus bought the church with His own blood.

In summary, a bloodless Christianity is not true to God’s Word in the Bible.

Give me a break. First off, the Bible did not spell out how it happened. It says there was blood. Oh really! Good job. It did not give a step-by-step crucifiixation training manual. Anything else is just an interpretation, just like Mel Gibsons or Goyas. Just because Mel's version is more graphic, does not make it anymore "true"

Most scholars say it people did not carry the entire cross, just the crossbeam (as noted in Last Temptation of Christ) Does that make Scoresese's version better than Gibsons or Goyas?

Goya isn't a conspirator to make a "bloodless" Christianity. His work is a masterpiece, and it will probably be remembered and studied longer than Gibson's version. But thats just my opnion.

EDIT: Most historians say that people that were crucified were stripped naked. So Goya and Gibson I guiess are part of the "anti-naked Christians" who wanted to remove nakedness from Christianity.

chanster
02-25-04, 12:29 PM
Isn't is interesting though that many of those offering harsh reviews of the movie would do so for this depiction too? Yes, it lacks the violence... but many of the other concerns that are being voiced exist in Goya's image.

Dead...can you please elaborate...thanks Dan

Dead
02-25-04, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by chanster
Dead...can you please elaborate...thanks Dan


First off, his skin tone is wrong. After that, his hair wouldn't seem to fit with an actual Jewish man of the times. Many of the scholars are complaining also that Gibson depicts the nails in the wrong place... which happens to be the same location used by Goya. Goya, like Gibson, also elected to place a loincloth on Jesus which would appear to be inaccurate by both the scholars and the Bible.


So, the reviewers who are complaining that Gibson's display is inaccurate would, or at least should, feel the same about Goya's.

[Edited to add - I just thought of it, but his "clean" death could also be a point of issue. Gibson's focus could be said to be too much on the violence, but Goya's would almost certainly be a representation that is missing the blood and minimizes the extent of the physical injuries Jesus would have had.]

slop101
02-25-04, 12:51 PM
Just saw it.

It had too much "HOW" and not enough "WHY".

But I guess that's the point... right?

chanster
02-25-04, 01:06 PM
[Edited to add - I just thought of it, but his "clean" death could also be a point of issue. Gibson's focus could be said to be too much on the violence, but Goya's would almost certainly be a representation that is missing the blood and minimizes the extent of the physical injuries Jesus would have had.]

Hmm. I guess this is my main problem with the "clean" versus "dirty" death. It almost seems like some segments of Christianity are so gung-ho about their faith(and I am not saying this is a bad thing) believe that watching this movie and experiencing all the grisly moments "prove" their devotion to the faith.

Why do people have to think that the more violent, more graphic representation is the way of proving your faith? Is it the society we live in today? Where seeing how gross you can handle is a test of your faith aka a "Christian Fear Factor" - lets see who can outlast watching 1 hour of beatings and whippings and become a true Christian!

Goya's work is an interpretation, just like Gibson's. There is no definitive answer to how this event "went down" Ok. The Bible talks about blood - you can either take that as literal or figuratively (either interpretation is valid)

Goya's Jesus has nails in his feet and hands. But I guess because Mel has decided to show all kinds of blood and guts, that makes it more "true"

Thats a sham in my book.

chanster
02-25-04, 01:12 PM
BTW: Goya is one my favorite artists out there. It is interesting to note his Christ with other Christ-like figures in his work. Here we go with one of my favorite piece of work:
http://faculty.evansville.edu/rl29/art105/img/goya_may3rd.jpg

Note the Christ like figure in the center. Again no blood, but he is surrounded with others who are bloody. Dpes that take away from the power of this work or its meaning? Probably not.

Kal-El
02-25-04, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by chanster
Hmm. I guess this is my main problem with the "clean" versus "dirty" death. It almost seems like some segments of Christianity are so gung-ho about their faith(and I am not saying this is a bad thing) believe that watching this movie and experiencing all the grisly moments "prove" their devotion to the faith.

Why do people have to think that the more violent, more graphic representation is the way of proving your faith? Is it the society we live in today? Where seeing how gross you can handle is a test of your faith aka a "Christian Fear Factor" - lets see who can outlast watching 1 hour of beatings and whippings and become a true Christian!


I don't think that anybody's stated anywhere in this discussion or in any discussion I've read for that matter that people--most notably Catholics--are going into this to "test their endurance". It's a wake up call because for the past hundred or so years, the Passion has been "glazed over" so to speak and thus has been taken for granted. I don't think it's about "Let's see how much of this you can take" but rather, "See what He had to go thru to save all of us?"

Goya's Jesus has nails in his feet and hands. But I guess because Mel has decided to show all kinds of blood and guts, that makes it more "true"

I'm guessing--cuz I sure as heck not gonna try it--that if someone were to pierce my palms with nails, blood would come out. I don't want to get into a semantic debate here, but no, it doesn't make it more "true", it makes it more "real".

chanster
02-25-04, 01:29 PM
Kal-

Most of my posts on this page have been due to the comment

In summary, a bloodless Christianity is not true to God’s Word in the Bible.

I am not saying that I am for "bloodless Christianity" but responding to Goya's work as "not true" to God's Word, whereas Gibson's work is closer to "God's word" is just plain wrong in my book.

Mutley Hyde
02-25-04, 02:51 PM
Of course, here's my personal favorite Goya...

http://www.mold-if.com/monologue/image/goya.saturn-son.jpg

:consume:

natesfortune
02-25-04, 03:01 PM
We know the event was as brutal as portrayed not as much from the Bible as we do from actual history. These things were just as brutal as shown, and Christ probably got it worse than most, as a person claiming to be "The Son of God". So a few of the details, like the hands/versus the wrists are wrong - this version is still much accurate to the spirit of what happened than any other shown on film.

And in terms of the "How" versus the "Why" - a criticism I've seen quite a bit - well... going back to first year film class - signficance of the title - the movie IS called "The Passion of the Christ" - Passion being old latin for "suffering". That's what this is about - there are many movies out there about Jesus and his teachings. None have yet gotten across the horrendous sacrifice He made as the ultimate expression of His being here. That was what Gibson chose to be the focus of this film - getting that across.

And I don't see anything wrong with that. To criticise a movie for not being about what you want it to be about over what it intended to be about seems pretty bizarre, in my opinion.

veloce
02-25-04, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by eXcentris
Well I'm an atheist but first I'm a film lover so I certainly won't approach this with a "this is about God so it will suck" attitude. I haven't read any reviews, followed the film's development, debates, controversies or anything in that regard. I'm going to go and see this film because it sounds like it could be an interesting film. I coudn't care less if it's about God, the tooth fairy, or the three stooges, I'm going to treat it like any other film.

I saw that Tooth Fairy movie -- DARKNESS FALLS, was it? That sure sucked!

wlmowery
02-25-04, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by natesfortune

And in terms of the "How" versus the "Why" - a criticism I've seen quite a bit - well... going back to first year film class - signficance of the title - the movie IS called "The Passion of the Christ" - Passion being old latin for "suffering". That's what this is about - there are many movies out there about Jesus and his teachings. None have yet gotten across the horrendous sacrifice He made as the ultimate expression of His being here. That was what Gibson chose to be the focus of this film - getting that across.

And I don't see anything wrong with that. To criticise a movie for not being about what you want it to be about over what it intended to be about seems pretty bizarre, in my opinion.

This is exactly correct. Most negative reviews claim to base their decision/opinion on the alleged failure of the film to deal with the reason for the sacrifice or Jesus' teachings or the full message of the gospel... etc....

But that tries to make the film into something it was not designed to be. All Mel Gibson sought to accomplish was to meditate on the physical sufferings of Jesus Christ. It is a visual poem on a single point, the cost of scarifice. To denigrate the film for being focused on its only goal to the exclusion of what a third party may wish to see instead is disingenious.

Dr. DVD
02-25-04, 09:34 PM
Saw it. Let me get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, it was very violent. Yes, Jews do come off in a negative light. But most important, yes, it is very moving and powerful.
Please allow me to address the "controversial" issues one at a time. The violence is bad, but it is not as relentless or without meaning as some would lead you to believe. Some reviews argue that all Gibson did was make a movie about a man's torture and death. What they fail to emphasize is that the gruesome images are intercut with moments from Jesus' past, including the Sermon on the Mount and The Last Supper. While the scourging is and most likely was brutal, a lot of the shots cut away to the Romans administering the torture and rely on shots of Christ's bloodied body in the aftermath to convey the message. I am not saying it is not brutal, because it very much is such. Just not relentless and certainly not sadomasochistic as the popular negative blurbs might communicate.
Next is the issue of Anti-Semitism. Such is the case with most controversies, this one lies within the eye of the beholder. True, Caiaphas and the Pharisees do call for the death of Jesus. True, they come across as smug villains. Also, Pontius Pilate comes across as unsure as to what actions he should take and that the Jews are pressuring him. However, the people making the claims of Anti-Semitism neglect the fact that while Jesus is being taken to Golgotha and is unable to carry his cross, he receives help from a Jewish man. While the man is forced to help him initially, he cannot bare Christs suffering and actually refuses to carry the cross unless the Romans stop beating him mercilessly. What is interesting is that detractors bring up the Pharisees conspiracy, but barely mention the brutality of the Romans nor the pleasure they seem to take in tormenting Christ. In terms of the alleged sympathetic view of Pilate, I really cannot argue that he isn't given humanity. However, if one reads the Bible, he indeed does "find no fault with" Christ. Historians argue that Pilate was ruthless and feared by the Jews, and I do not doubt that at all. The best way to look at the Pilate situation is that it boils down to Biblical history vs. Scholarly history, and that is something that will never find true resolution. One could argue that the film doesn't show Christ "suffering under Pontius Pilate", but that is all about the wording. One could argue that our nation's economy suffered under George Bush, which it certainly has, but that doesn't mean Bush personally drove to all of the corporations and plants to hand people their pink slips and cut jobs. Christ suffered under Pilate's rule, how Pilate actually viewed Christ and what he really said outside of the gospels is anyone's guess.
In terms of Gibson accomplishing what he wanted, I authentically believe him successful. Gibson wanted to make this a proclamation of his faith and a tool of ministry, and he achieves this in a very clever manner. While many gospel films try to beat one over the head with how great Jesus was with this and that, Gibson seems to take the back door approach. While Gibson shows lots of brutal imagery, he also shows Jesus preaching messages of love and acceptance. While Jesus takes a beating, he is also shown in flashback drawing a line in the sand standing over a fallen Mary Magdeline with such a look in his eye that no one would dare mess with him. Gibson intercuts scenes of Jesus being nailed to the cross with his message at the last supper to "love one another as you love me." Basically, having Christ take the beatings he does and letting the audience know what a nonjudgmental individual he was drives someone to the conclusion: "That is a respectable man. I would like to know him better." In short, Gibson arouses interest in Jesus from the viewer, which is allegedly what he wanted to accomplish.
While some may not see things they way I do, I will say that for somone to just look at this movie and not be moved in any way whatsoever, well, they must be really numb to a lot of things in life. Hope this was helpful in some way.

I also hope this is the official review thread for Passion as I could not tell from the many other threads about this movie.

Jackskeleton
02-25-04, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by Patman
Mel Gibson used his own frikkin' money (over $25 million) to get this film made. Hollywood has nothing to do with this film. It was tough for him to get Newmarket to distribute it.

Odd, when Lucas does the same thing and spills over his cash to make his movie, everyone pretty much bust out the crucifixtion kits and goes to town on him. ;)

In either case. I heard an interview with people who just saw this. I think a lot of blind faith is really going to push the film.

"(crying)It's historicilly accurate, In a time of war I think this film will make a difference and bring peace around the world"

:lol: I'm sorry if I don't share the same vision but this is a film.. Just a film.. more so just a bloody film. Should we broadcast live excutions out of texas since this seems to be what it was. Lacking in characters and motives Gibson felt the need that everyone already knew what jesus was all about, so why not just show him in pain for a good hour and a half. Way to get a message across. I often say this for films that shoot for that extended gore scene..

More Blood does not = Better film.

Breakfast with Girls
02-25-04, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by BRIAN 1972
also, in the dark, silent theatre, how many candy bars you'll hear being opened, popcorn being crunched.

For some reason, the idea of Christ screaming out in utter agony being followed by a pause and then someone slurping the last few drops of soda through a straw at an inappropriate volume just cracks me up.

whynotsmile
02-25-04, 10:35 PM
yes, we had trailers and ads. When the first trailer showed and there was that card that said "the follwering trailer has been rated for all audiences by the mpaa" some dude shouted "no in this theater!"



Overall I would give it an A-/B+

everything in this movie was amazing. Beautiful, hautning score, great acting, great cinematography, great makeup, etc etc etc.

If all gibson wanted to do was make a movie about the last few hours of Chirist's life, he has suceeded greatly. If he wanted to tell the story and passion of Jesus, he has failed misserably. Passion of the christ? should be death of the christ. can't fault hte movie if he wanted to do that, but as my mormon friend I saw it with said "that just didn't go far enough"


First of all, if you dont know the story of Jesus, brush up on it a bit. I knew nothing of his story and the movie doesn't tell much at all. I left with a shitload of questions and would have had more, but those were answered in reviews I had read prior.

Satan was interesting. Loved the look of it, but hated the scene in hell and what the **** was up with the son of satan and the devil kids? Very odd, and if my friend is right, is no where to be found in the bible.

the fim is very intense, but i think it was over hyped. yes, very bloody and graphic but not "people running out of the theater" intense. Still, you hear, see and practicly feel every single wound jesus suffers. Amazingly detailed scenes of tourture.


was the film anti semetic? no. Yes, there were mean and "villanious" jews but there were also jews who objected. Also, the jews were not being malicous, they were only doing what they truely felt. The romans were the ones who came off bad. Exluding the govenor and his wife, every roman in this movie was a wild animal.

This is a great, powerful film. Its impossible to knock a movie cause you want more, but I really wish Mel had padded it out for people who were unfamilar with the story. We get nearly no introduction and no conclusion, cept for a brief scene (more of a shot) that shows jesus resurected.

I wanted more, but what i got was great. Shit, i might actually pick up this bible thing to read.

Frank TJ Mackey
02-25-04, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by DouglasRobert
I, myself, have no desire or need to see this film. Even if all the reviews were 100% good, I will never view this film.

I don't like preachy movies, and this is one of those.

It just seems that so far the only people that have been interviewed on TV and giving rave reviews are what I consider, religious nuts. Crying and such and praising God and speaking Bible verses. If I want to be preached to I'll go to a church, I am not going to spend money on this film even when it comes out on DVD.

I think it will probably open big in the Bible belt, but I can't see it open big in larger cities. Couple of things against it are No major stars, Storyline will turn off non-Christians or athiests. Majority of people are Christian in this country, but very few are actually practicing, church going types. R Rating, very violent and gory for families. The only reason this got made is because Mel Gibson used his clout in Hollywood to get it made.

If it does open big, probably around 45 Million I think it will fall off very quickly and probably gross around 80 to 100 Million total.

My 2 cents, and I don't mean to offend any one with my opinion, but it's a free country and I can voice my thoughts on this film and spend my money as I see fit. And I won't give Mel Gibson one cent of my money to see this film.

I am not a religious fanatic, or even a normal church goer, but this film is definitely not preachy.

It's very simple in fact, it's basically a procession of Christ making his way toward the cross, with a lot of flashbacks of his and other people's memories when he sees them across the way.

I thought it would be preachy as well. There is not even that much dialogue spoken in the film. What is said is very slowly and sometimes subtitles stay on the screen 10 seconds or more.

I believe that quite a few people, regardless of religion, would find this interesting.

But that's just my two cents.

Big Quasimodo
02-25-04, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by wlmowery
This is exactly correct. Most negative reviews claim to base their decision/opinion on the alleged failure of the film to deal with the reason for the sacrifice or Jesus' teachings or the full message of the gospel... etc....

But that tries to make the film into something it was not designed to be. All Mel Gibson sought to accomplish was to meditate on the physical sufferings of Jesus Christ. It is a visual poem on a single point, the cost of scarifice. To denigrate the film for being focused on its only goal to the exclusion of what a third party may wish to see instead is disingenious.

This needs to be said again and again, IMHO.

Frank TJ Mackey
02-25-04, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Big Quasimodo
This needs to be said again and again, IMHO.


Agreed. It would sound odd if it were titled
"The Suffering of Christ" but that it was what the title of this
film means.

It doesn't refer to Jesus' passion for people, love or whatever everyone who doesn't like it seems to think it should be about.

Dead
02-26-04, 07:20 AM
Originally posted by whynotsmile
If he wanted to tell the story and passion of Jesus, he has failed misserably. Passion of the christ? should be death of the christ.


I would say that the "Passion of Christ" was acurately portrayed, as "Passion" here means suffering.

BRIAN 1972
02-26-04, 08:18 AM
thought i'd post this since i was told in a previous thread that "there would be no protesters".

they were all over the 86th street threatre in NYC. my favorite sign:

"HITLER GIVES PASSION THUMBS UP"

natesfortune
02-26-04, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by whynotsmile
Overall I would give it an A-/B+

everything in this movie was amazing. Beautiful, hautning score, great acting, great cinematography, great makeup, etc etc etc.

If all gibson wanted to do was make a movie about the last few hours of Chirist's life, he has suceeded greatly. If he wanted to tell the story and passion of Jesus, he has failed misserably. Passion of the christ? should be death of the christ. can't fault hte movie if he wanted to do that, but as my mormon friend I saw it with said "that just didn't go far enough"

The term "Passion" means "suffering" in old Latin, and has been traditionally used to describe Jesus' sacrifice. That's why the title is completely appropriate for the film - it's describing exactly what the movie is going to show us.

I think it was a very interesting choice, because I have never seen a movie about Jesus that focused solely on this aspect and truly got it across. This film clearly did. And it was amazing to behold. Especially, when intercut with bits of Jesus' message, which clearly, in the world of humans you view at the time, was completely opposite of what the pervailing view would have been - a completely new idea - It used to be "an eye for an eye" - but Jesus said "Love your enemies as your friends", etc. These ideas were radical and "new", but so "right" when they were heard, obviously.

This intercut with what he had to willingly go through, a man claiming to be the Son of God, and completely blameless, without sin - he would have been able to stop it at any time. To come down from the cross, to end his torture, etc. But through that entire horrible day, he never gave in to that temptation.

The film was a very enlightening experience for me in terms of what Christianity is - and it did make me want to read the Gospels. I have not done so in many many years.

creekdipper
02-26-04, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by BRIAN 1972
thought i'd post this since i was told in a previous thread that "there would be no protesters".

they were all over the 86th street threatre in NYC. my favorite sign:

"HITLER GIVES PASSION THUMBS UP"


As the son of a (Protestant) WWII vet who fought to liberate Europe and those in the death camps, I think anyone who held up those signs should thank God...if that person believes in the One True God...that those horrible "Christians" were around to lay down their lives to defeat Hitler. Shame on those who ignore history to fuel their own anti-Christian animosity!!