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Last Temptation of Christ

Old 04-26-00, 04:31 AM
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Maybe I'm the only person in the world who'd never seen this movie, but I was blown away by the film itself AND the treatment Criterion gave it. I was never really able to see this movie because Blockbuster refused to carry it, and all of the mom-n-pop stores locally had an aversion to it as well. Until DVD came around, I never really purchased movies, so I'd heard plenty about LTOC but never seen it. I would have enjoyed it even if it were barebones, but the fact that it contains a Scorsese commentary track is icing on the cake. The transfer is insanely clean, and the sound keeps the earthen tone of the film the entire way through. They were small features, but the articles about the unearthed crucifixion victim were incredible... probably one of the more informative extras I've seen in awhile. I'm just kind of shocked that noone's even talked about this disc in the reviews forum. Did anyone even get it?

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"I got news for ya pal, you ain't leading but two things right now: Jack and Sh*t, and Jack left town."
Old 04-26-00, 05:07 AM
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i ordered it but i am waiting eagerly to receive my copy. i have only seen the movie once & that was a crummy VHS copy about a year ago. i thought the movie was great. i really did not understand what the fuss was about.

glad to see the Criterion is so good. i should have my copy in the next 2 days.
Old 04-26-00, 07:11 AM
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Still waiting to get mine. As I'm all the way across the Pacific, it will be a long wait.
Old 04-26-00, 12:56 PM
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I just got it in the mail yesterday. I probably won't be able to thoroughly devour it for a week or so but I'm really looking forward to it.

P.S. And Moogz, thanks to the tactics described by you that Blockbuster used, I'm quite sure you're not the only person who had never seen it. Blockbuster has not only the loathsome audacity to create a virtual monopoly, but they choose to abuse the power of said monopoly. Anyway, I guess I'd better get off my Blockbuster soapbox and go watch this great film.
Old 04-26-00, 03:43 PM
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*SPOILERS*

You know, I never understood what the big controversy about this movie was. So Jesus has sex with Mary Magdalene, so what? In the context of the movie, he is no longer Jesus Christ but just plain old Jesus, a man. It's simply a whatif scenario. Also, Jesus didn't have relations out of some salacious desire, but more because he loved her. Hell, they got married and had children. Isn't that the ideal life that every man yearns for? And yet at the end of this great film, Jesus gives up that wonderful lifestyle to sacrifice Himself for his fellow man. In the face of great suffering any one of would easily succumb to the temptation of a better life, which is why evil so easily triumphs over us. I see no blasphemy is Jesus momentarily giving in to temptation... He was not this unreachable deity... but a man like any one of us who not only defeated the evil inside Himself, but Death itself. This movie was not made by people who hate religion or want to tear it down. It was made by people who understand, nay, love Christ and what He really stands for. This film doesn't denounce religion, but reaffirms it.

P.S. I'm a Catholic ;-)

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"I don't mind tyranny... as long as I'm the tyrant."

- I said this


[This message has been edited by Tesiae (edited April 26, 2000).]
Old 04-26-00, 11:10 PM
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I had never seen the film either (many reasons, including a (now) ex-spouse who thought it wasn't 'proper', but now am a happy viewer (and owner) of the disc.

Wow!

What a beautiful film.

Not anti-religion or anti faith, or pro-homosexual, or any of that cr*p it has been accused of. Simply a story of faith and perceptions and might-have-beens.

No, he never had sex with Magdalene- because the whole thing was another temptaton (the 'Last' tempation of the title, natch) --it NEVER REALLY HAPPENED--but was a mind-trip laid on him by the devil...

Absolutely beautiful work by all inolved.

My couple o' cents...

Peace

(i'm Catholic too... FWIW)
Old 04-27-00, 02:10 AM
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Hey nick,


Even if the relation between Jesus and Magdalene had been real, it's not as if He had "bought" her as if she were a prostitute. They made love as a loving, married couple which is supposed to be one of cornerstones of religious morality. To me, the whole movie is a parable of how evil will do everything within its power to prevent good people from acting against it. If one was fated from birth to save all of humanity, to be alienated from friends and family, to be mocked and derided, and to ultimately suffer excruitiating pain and death, I'm sure that at the moment of greatest weakness, the prospect of stopping it all a living a quiet, peaceful, and healthy life with a loved one and children would be too much to refuse. How many times has this occured within the small secular sphere of man? How many times has it hapenned today?

Absoultely wonderful film... and I haven't even seen the DVD! ( it's on its way :-) )

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"I don't mind tyranny... as long as I'm the tyrant."

- I said this
Old 04-27-00, 02:21 AM
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I originally saw this movie in the early 90's on videotape by renting it from the only store in this area that would carry it. It was a movie that stayed with me a long time.

The second time I saw it was about a year ago on Bravo, but it had been chopped a bit. Even so, it reconfirmed by feeling from years before and made me realize that I would most likely place this as my favorite film of the 80's. Beautifully shot, wonderfully written and acted.

Now the DVD...what a great release. The extras may not be flashy (a lot of text pieces), but the information is as good as it gets and Scorcese's commentary is great.

This is a film that should be seen by everyone who can go in with an open mind and no preconceived notions such as those that were perpetuated by a bunch of zealots who, in most cases, had not even seen the movie before condemning it. This movie portrays the most human Jesus of any film treatment, one that had foibles, that was not always sure he wanted to be the son of God. This is where many of the complaints came...there were the vocal few who did not want to think that Jesus may have questioned his "destiny" and place in life.

In my opinion, a truly great film that would easily be in my Top 20 favorite and most admired films ever made.
Old 04-27-00, 03:36 AM
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Of all the spectacular features on this disc the greatest thing about it is the remastered sound. I never saw the film in the theater (not many people did with all the B.S.) so I had only seen the film on VHS before. On VHS Peter Gabriel's fantastic score is buried under the sound effects and dialogue. With the new 5.1 mix the music absolutely shines. It is a shame that the controversy surounding this film probably prevented it from recieving an Oscar nom because it is a truely inovative and origional film score that brought world music to the forefront. Oh well, the Oscar's don't usually award new or inovative sounds, they prefer classical film compositions in the spirit of Max Steiner.

Anyway, since receiving this film on tuesday I have watced the "King of the Jews" chapter (Palm Sunday) like five times. It is absolutely breathtaking. The music is amazing and sound is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!!! Very moving scene, one of many emotional high points of the film.
Old 04-27-00, 04:25 AM
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I have not seen this either. Can't wait to get my DVD. It shipped yesterday from Buy.com, but unfortunately I had to use my friends address as the shipping address for obvious reasons so I will have too wait a few days extra before I get it.

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Old 04-27-00, 05:04 AM
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cloud,


What obvious reasons?

------------------
"I don't mind tyranny... as long as I'm the tyrant."

- I said this
Old 04-27-00, 05:45 AM
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Tesiae,
I used a $20 off coupon for first time customers.

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MY SHORT BUT SLOWLY EXPANDING DVD LIST

[This message has been edited by cloud (edited April 27, 2000).]
Old 04-27-00, 04:12 PM
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cloud,


Oh I thought due to the film's "controversial" nature, your community would have broken down your door and burned you at the stake. ;-)
Old 04-27-00, 06:06 PM
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Obviously it's because USPS doesn't deliver to the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Duh!

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Old 04-27-00, 07:38 PM
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Tesiae-

You are correct in your observation...I just didn't take the time to follow the thought all the way through when I posted...

As his 'time of normality' went on, Jesus (DaFoe) slowly becomes aware that this isn't 'right'. If he wanted to avoid crucifiction, all he had to do was accept his 'life' and go ahead and die as an old man. Instead, he realized his mistake and drew from that the resolve to 'return' to the cross as his Father had asked him.

Peace all...
Old 04-28-00, 02:35 PM
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Tesiae, very funny. what is sad is that your post rings with some truth in the sarcasm.

i live in the South right below Alabama, & in this area, they went nuts when this film came out. (my Dad included b/c he is a baptist pastor) i have tried to get him to watch this amazing film many times but he refuses to watch it. (he is a big movie buff)

it kills me how many people put something down when they have never experience it. he just believes that it is sacreligious to show jesus as a man, having a normal life, etc even in a fantasy setting.

personally, i believe that it is a great fictional film on a interesting fictional character. just dont tell my dad i said that.


the movie is summed up best by a great man on television.... "mmmmmm.....sacrilicious....."

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Old 04-28-00, 04:43 PM
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You know, that's one of the funny things about Christianity: we're told continually to try to emulate Christ. But since we're incapable of possessing God-like faculties, all we have left is the Man to follow the
example of... but since fundamentalists can't cope with Christ as a Man, then what the hell are we supposed to follow? I prefer the flawed Christ as He appears in Last Temptation. He's not some distant deity with unattainable divinity, He was like us. In spite of our sins, we're fundamentally good in some way. He was capable of conquering His misdeeds, His temptations, why can't we?
I don't think Christ was ever meant to be "above" us, but more "with" us, as an equal.

I think that one of the worst things any religious body, dogma, or representative can do is suppress doubt. Every one of us is entitled to our right to question. That's why we were given free will in the first place. If those religious zealots who wanted this film destoyed were really secure in their own beliefs, then no word, work, or idea could be seen as an affront upon their concept of God, after all, what arrogant creatures are we to think that God needs us to defend Him/Her?

------------------
"I don't mind tyranny... as long as I'm the tyrant."

- I said this
Old 04-28-00, 10:39 PM
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Just checked out the DVD. One of the coolest things about it is that is the first (at least the first I know of) to use Pan and Scan on the fly. If you have your DVD player set to 4:3 LBX it plays letterbox, if you have it set to 4:3 P/S it plays Pan and Scan.

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Old 04-29-00, 12:34 AM
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Hmm, I've rented this movie many times from my local Blockbuster. It may be different for every region.
Old 04-29-00, 05:31 AM
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I agree that Christ as human is vastly ignored by most right-leaning Christians today, but I think LTOC goes a little TOO far in depicting it.

Jesus is a wimp in this movie. A whiny, insecure wimp. While it's obvious that he struggled with his humanity (see Gethsemane), it's also obvious that he was sure of his mission and his role as Messiah. LTOC is kind of a "knee-jerk" reaction to over-emphasis on Christ's divinity, IMHO. What we need to to find a place in-between.
Old 04-29-00, 04:30 PM
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I don't think it is obvious at all that he was as sure as you think he was. The only way you could know this is from the Bible. The Bible is a metaphorical story that can be useful and enlightening but is by no means completely accurate in its depictions of historical events. Moreover, the Bible was written by third-parties (with divine inspiration notwithstanding) that could not possibly know Jesus' internal mental state. Jesus, as a human, could have very likely be torn between life and the cross with the strong temptation of the devil working on him; and that is the possibility that this FICTIONAL story examines. What is important is that, in the end, Jesus did accept and accomplish his mission despite all of the devil's best attempts at temptation. Somehow, in their zeaolous rage over this brilliant movie, religious critics missed this important point. This is most probably because few of them ever bothered to watch the movie, instead relying on the word of their religious leaders (who also had not seen it)and following it blindly and unquestioningly. It is a shame really.

[This message has been edited by JM (edited April 29, 2000).]
Old 04-29-00, 11:36 PM
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Getting back to a dvd review:

The audio and video on the disc are simply stunning. The transfer is excellent, and Peter Gabriel's brillaint score is very well done. The .1 LFE channel is fairly active when the score is loud.

I watched the Peter Gabriel interview and the production footage. Pretty interesting stuff. Watched the first 10 minutes of commentary--seems pretty good.

Regarding the Pan/Scan feature: I tested out a couple of scenes with this, and all that happens is the disc simply zooms in on the left side of the screen. Not a very good way to watch the movie.

[This message has been edited by The Zizz (edited April 29, 2000).]
Old 04-29-00, 11:38 PM
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WOW, I got my Last Temptation and put it in and it went right to Pan and Scan, And in acuallity its worse than Pan and Scan!! My JVC has no option to switch to Widescreen, now Have to buy a new DVD player enable to enjoy this picture, errrrrrr

Mr. Keen
Old 04-30-00, 02:41 AM
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I look forward to seeing this release. It's a very well made film, I just disagree with it. But hey, I hate Leo and I still like Titanic, so that's OK.

BTW, "with divine inspiration notwithstanding" is really the key issue as far as I'm concerned. I personally believe the Bible was inspired and is more accurate that most people have been lead to believe. However, that's an issue of interpretation and really comes down to pure subjectivity--inspiriation can't be proved or disproved so the debate is fun, but ultimately endless.

I went to see the movie opening night, and across the street from the theater some friends of mine from the campus Christian group were protesting the film. They didn't see me, though. I can't figure out if that was a good thing or not.
Old 04-30-00, 03:13 AM
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The film is adapted from the book written by Nikos Kasanzakis. Dafoe has the perfect haunted face and Keitel is great as Judas.Each time I watch this film I ask myself different questions. There are so few films which elicit converstion or contemplative thought. This film is near perfection and never takes sides. We watch and must come to our own conclusions as to what Jesus/Religion is and to what purpose it/they serve.My seveteen year old son was relieved to see a portrayal so honest and human.My wife watched and felt her faith re-affirmed and I enjoyed the personal struggle for truth.This really is a human story for all humans to see and hopefully take a little something to heart.

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