Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Passion Of The Christ Review!

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Passion Of The Christ Review!

Old 02-19-04, 08:56 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 716
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Passion Of The Christ Review!

Man I cannot WAIT for this movie!


http://www.mixedreviews.net/maindish...onchrist.shtml

“No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”

These words are not merely spoken by Jesus in Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, but they also describe the view of the film itself. This hotly anticipated and breathtakingly mounted epic has become the most controversial film of our time, and now having seen it I doubt that will change. Concerned Jewish groups have cited moments they fear will inspire anti-Semitic feelings, even violence. If these moments are viewed in a vacuum, I might see their point. But what their concerns fail to consider—or communicate—is the entire picture.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Political sensitivities and cultural concerns (at least the ones causing the current controversy), while not necessarily invalid in their initial stage, are ones placed upon this movie—not within it. So we’ll get back to those in a bit; but first, the film.

The weight of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is like a physical force. From the opening Gethsemane moments, it hits us square in the chest. This burden is felt—quite literally—and only grows heavier in the soul as this unforgiving testament unfolds. Yet while it weighs heavy, its burden is also unique in that it leads to such humbling inspiration. This Man’s passion moves you. With throat-choking, eye-watering impact, the final hours of Christ’s life are re-created with an authenticity that can only be understood through enduring it.

That’s essentially what Gibson has created here: an endurance test. For one, that is the story of Christ’s dirge to the cross; physically, mentally, and spiritually, it’s a test of endurance. Likewise for the audience, it’s a test of what we’ll sit through. The R-rated violence of Christ’s physical torture and sacrifice is more graphic than any previous depiction, giving The Passion Of The Christ a wince-quotient that exceeds any film I’ve seen.

But quite frankly, anybody can stage violence. What Gibson brings to this retelling that none of his predecessors have is the spiritual dimension. From the unsettling androgynous Satan to unsuspecting (and horrifying) visions of demonic oppression, Gibson shows us what’s influencing the tangible, physical realm, and that this—not the humans who persecute Him—is really where Christ’s battle is taking place. Not only do we see this, but we feel it. We see Jesus manifestly take on the sin of the world—our sin, not any He possesses—and that’s where THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST packs its soul-wrenching power.

That power is the result of superior cinematic craftsmanship. Gibson achieves his vision through the marriage of its eerily executed parts. Images hypnotize. Edits shock. Music haunts. Locations transport. The aesthetic combination of them all greatly disturbs while, admittedly, engrossing the admiration of a cinephile’s eye

But it’s James Caviezel’s supreme commitment to the role of Christ that transcends the film from depressing tragedy to inspiring conviction. For as unjust as the murder of Christ is, it’s His love for humanity—that which makes this Innocent take on our judgment—that is the message and driving force of the story. Caviezel taps into something else entirely beyond The Method. It is nothing short of a spiritual experience for him and, subsequently, for us, not only in the scenes of torture but also (if not especially) in those that reveal Christ’s forgiveness, peace, and love.

In terms of the story, it is The Experience that drives this plot that is, essentially, more experience than plot. Devoid of a three-act structure or calculated narrative arc, The Passion Of The Christ is simply one long event. No major twists and turns occur (most know the nuts-and-bolts of it anyway) as Gibson just walks us through it, albeit with uncompromising realism. It’s not conventional, and while it may be one of the biggest hurdles for an audience to get over it’s also what makes the film an all-consuming force. It never stops for a breather. It never lets up.

But Gibson does mix it up as he inter-cuts the road to Golgotha with differing perspectives and insightful flashbacks. From fictionalized memories to direct re-enactments of Scripture, each diversion puts Christ’s passion—and the film—in context. They enhance His passion, bring understanding to it, and most importantly define it. By the end, we see this film fully for what it is—the story of The Son Of God who died for all humanity willfully, and loved and prayed for all who persecuted or rejected Him even as they did so. If that’s not a call to not persecute people but rather love them, then I don’t know what is. Indeed, as Gibson’s film highlights, he who is without sin can be the only ones to cast the first stone.

There have been some that have refused to see the forest for the trees, and some will probably never stop viewing it through a fearful paradigm. That stance is as unfortunate as it is baffling. Take, for example, The Mona Lisa. While having a chin in the painting, it is not a painting about a chin. Neither is The Passion Of The Christ about Jews calling for Christ’s death. While those moments are present, the classic Passion story (and this film) is about the willful decision of The Son Of God to die sacrificially. It’s a story of choice, not victimization or murder. There is a guilty party, however, but it is humanity itself.

As the Scriptures made clear and THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST explicitly re-enacts, no man—Jew or otherwise—had the power to kill Christ. But even to the extent of some peoples’ involvement, Christ’s response to his persecutors remains not only one of the story’s most powerful themes, it is also the clearest moral response to assuage any concerns of violent anti-Semitic uprisings. For anyone who uses THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST as vindication for hatred and bigotry (anti-Semitic or otherwise) is as inexplicably—or willfully—obtuse to the film’s message as its critics seem to be.

A Christian who spews hate as a result of this film is an illegitimate, and stupid, one. Salvation is impossible without Christ’s death and resurrection, of which Christians are thankful for, not angry about. Most importantly, Christ’s response to those who enacted the crucifixion is not only contrary to bigotry and violence, it specifically forbids it.

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is no more anti-Jewish than World War II films are anti-German. Just as corrupt Nazis didn’t represent every German, neither do corrupt Jewish leaders represent an entire Jewish race. Rather than a “Jews vs. Jesus” framework, director Mel Gibson frames his story in the reality of the day, that Jesus—rather than being hated by all Jews—was a polarizing figure within the Jewish world. Some feared Him, even hated Him, but many others loved Him.

Gibson responsibly depicts this reality as we see Jews defending Christ before the Pharisees themselves, as well as other expressions of love for Christ by many other Jews. One of the film’s (and Gospels’) more fascinating perspectives is that corrupt Jewish leaders aren’t the only ones who deny Christ but some of His disciples do as well. There’s plenty of guilt to go around. A corrupt Jewish leadership may have called for an innocent Man’s death, but the Christian perspective is that they were simply doing our dirty work. And ultimately, it was Christ’s decision—not theirs, and not ours—that put Him there. It was His choice, but our guilt.

Through this perspective, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST elevates beyond a voyeuristic experience to that of an introspective one. The clear complicity of it all is personal and undeniable. The result is a film that no one will enjoy, nor forget. It’s as unentertaining as any film has been or can be. But it’s a rare achievement because it is so for all the right reasons. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST will make people feel horrible yet fill them with hope. It may even make them feel guilty, but this Christ and His passion reveal the true embodiment of Unconditional Love. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST will change lives, and its legacy—like its title Figure—will live on long after the criticisms.

-- Jeff Huston
Old 02-19-04, 08:59 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Posts: 22,224
Received 17 Likes on 13 Posts
Well written.
Old 02-19-04, 10:07 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Second Star on the right, and straight on til' morning...
Posts: 14,805
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Well written article.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and judging for myself.
Old 02-20-04, 12:01 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 6,535
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by Seeker
Well written article.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and judging for myself.

Ditto.
Old 02-20-04, 12:08 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm an athiest, I'm not a Mel-Gibson fan and I usually avoid movie's based on Christ. However, after reading that review and being a fan of films, I will have to see if my local art-house thearte is goin' to play it. If so, I'll check it out, as it sounds interesting at best.
Old 02-20-04, 01:22 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,610
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's showing in 2800 theatres...I'd say most regular theaters in your area will play it, not just art houses.
Old 02-20-04, 03:32 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,632
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great review, thanks. I'll definitely have to check this one out next weekend.
Old 02-20-04, 11:14 AM
  #8  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 2,730
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This guy might get in a whole heap of trouble.

Icon has a clamp down on early reviews - the likes of which I haven't seen since SPIDER-MAN...

I hope he doesn't get any heat for posting a review early.
Old 02-20-04, 11:17 AM
  #9  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,117
Received 43 Likes on 34 Posts
The first "approved" review from mainstream critics is going to be on the Ebert and Roeper show this weekend.
Old 02-20-04, 12:03 PM
  #10  
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germantown Maryland
Posts: 2,488
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by Groucho
The first "approved" review from mainstream critics is going to be on the Ebert and Roeper show this weekend.

The word's already out that they both give it "Two Big Thumbs Up".
Old 02-20-04, 02:39 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 14,383
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Does anyone know the length of the movie?
Old 02-20-04, 04:15 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 2,135
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by LivingINClip
I'm an athiest, I'm not a Mel-Gibson fan and I usually avoid movie's based on Christ. However, after reading that review and being a fan of films, I will have to see if my local art-house thearte is goin' to play it. If so, I'll check it out, as it sounds interesting at best.
I am so tired of this "I'm an atheist, but I'll go see it maybe" garbage being thrown around. Try looking at it from a different point of view other than a "religious movie". This isn't some myth that's been concocted. THis is a visual retelling of a historical event. We KNOW that Romans crucified people and we KNOW that there was a historical Jesus. I respect your religious views (or personal views, however you want to phrase), but to pass this off as "interesting at best" b/c "I'm an atheist" sounds really narrow. It's like saying "I'm a Republican" but I'll go see this new Sean Penn film "because it's getting good reviews".
Old 02-20-04, 04:37 PM
  #13  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 2,730
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by cdollaz
Does anyone know the length of the movie?
125 Minutes
Old 02-20-04, 04:42 PM
  #14  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 158
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That's a tremendous, well-written, and profound review. Thanks for posting it!
Old 02-20-04, 05:35 PM
  #15  
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by reubs82
I am so tired of this "I'm an atheist, but I'll go see it maybe" garbage being thrown around. Try looking at it from a different point of view other than a "religious movie". This isn't some myth that's been concocted. THis is a visual retelling of a historical event. We KNOW that Romans crucified people and we KNOW that there was a historical Jesus. I respect your religious views (or personal views, however you want to phrase), but to pass this off as "interesting at best" b/c "I'm an atheist" sounds really narrow. It's like saying "I'm a Republican" but I'll go see this new Sean Penn film "because it's getting good reviews".
You know, I'm tired of people of passing off opinion for fact with their claims for a historical Jesus, particularly when said evidence is flimsy and of dubious origins.

You do NOT KNOW that there was a historical Jesus. You THINK THERE was one. It's your BELIEF there was one.

Bottom line, this movie is nothing more then one man's interpretation of his beliefs.

It may be a great movie in and of itself, but is it some sort of accurate historical re-creation? Hardly.
Old 02-20-04, 05:42 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
slop101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 41,319
Received 69 Likes on 55 Posts
Originally posted by croaker24


You do NOT KNOW that there was a historical Jesus. You THINK THERE was one. It's your BELIEF there was one.

Umm... the Bible isn't the only account of Jesus' existence - regardless of if you believe he's God, or not, there are extensive historical documents and records of a man named Jesus who was curcified at that time. Saying he didn't exista AT ALL is sort of like saying Aristotle, or Plato didn't exist (FYI, there is far more concrete evidence to back up Jesus' existence, than either Aristotle's or Plato's).

Anyways, I don't really like that review, because it doesn't really say much about the movie itself.

I like this one better:

“The way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me.”

John Lennon may have sung those words in “The Ballad of John and Yoko” back in 1969, but these days, they could easily apply to Mel Gibson.

That’s because after months of heated debate among religious leaders, “The Passion of the Christ,” Gibson’s highly anticipated labor of love, which depicts the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus, hits more than 2,000 theaters on February 25 (that’s Ash Wednesday). It’s hard to recall a time when a film was shrouded in so much controversy, but moviegoers will finally be able to see what the fuss is all about. Is the film anti-Semitic (as some press reports have indicated), or is the over-hyped brouhaha much ado about nothing? Well, whatever the case, “The Passion of the Christ” is an engrossing, powerful film that’s sure to go down in history as one of the most talked-about movies of all time.

Shortly after the Last Supper, Jesus of Nazareth (Jim Caviezel) is arrested in the Garden of Olives after being betrayed by Judas (Luca Lionello). He is taken within the walls of Jerusalem to face Caiaphas (Mattia Sbragia), the leader of the Pharisees, who charges “the Son of God” with blasphemy. After listening to the accusations, Pontius Pilate (Hristo Shopov), the Roman Governor of Palestine, is left to ponder the matter of how to handle his persecution. Rather than aggravate the intense political situation, Pilate gives into the wishes of the angry crowd and orders the punishment of Jesus through to his crucifixion. After being whipped, beaten and tortured, a weakened Jesus carries the cross through the streets of Jerusalem and up to Golgotha, where he is nailed to it and left to hang there until his death.

Gibson’s film is based on the writings of the four Gospels, who implied that the Jews were responsible for Jesus' passion. Four decades ago, the Second Vatican Council rejected this implication, and therein lies the focal point of all the controversy. There is no subtlety here, and if the film is to be taken at face value, then the Jewish high priests were ignorant, brutal and sadistic politicians, while the Roman Governor was a noble, conflicted and respected ruler. If anything, he offers to actually spare Jesus’ life and only orders his death after further protests from the angry mob. As a result, the film suggests that while Jesus died at the hands of the Romans, the Jews pushed for it to happen. Does that make the film anti-Semitic, or simply a one-sided version of the story? You be the judge…

On a purely cinematic level, “The Passion of the Christ” is a punishing film to behold. After setting the standard for bloody realism in “Braveheart,” Gibson pushes it to the next level in his third film as a director. From the moment the first whip is cracked until the final nail of his crucifixion, every effort is made to capture the brutality of Jesus’ torture. Watching this extended process (which feels like it was shot in real time), one can’t help but wonder how anybody – even the Messiah – could endure so much pain. The problem is that after a while, the horror diminishes to a more numbing effect, and you can’t help but feel like you’ve been beaten over the head by an over-abundance of graphic violence.

There’s no doubt that Jim Caviezel was put through the ringer here, and he gives a spiritual performance that’s offset by the physical ordeal he had to endure during the torture scenes and the crucifixion. Maia Morgenstern is also devastating as Jesus’ mother, who can only watch helplessly as her son is beaten and killed, while Rosalonda Celentano gives a haunting turn as Satan. On the other hand, Mattia Sbragia gives a far too one-note performance as the Jewish high priest, and Hristo Shopov is far too sympathetic as the Roman leader who caves into pressure.

Given that Gibson – a devout Roman Catholic – directed, co-produced, co-wrote and paid for the budget of this $25 million passion project, he has the right to make any film he wants. There’s no denying that “The Passion of the Christ” is a well-made film (thanks to the help of Caleb Deschanel’s amazing cinematography), but if it’s going to inspire debate, let it be for a good reason. After all, the film is ultimately about loving and praying for everyone – your friends and your enemies. These days, isn’t that the more important message we should all be passionate about?

If that’s the case, then perhaps John Lennon said it best when he sang…

“All you need is love!”

Last edited by slop101; 02-20-04 at 05:51 PM.
Old 02-20-04, 05:43 PM
  #17  
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,220
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by reubs82
I am so tired of this "I'm an atheist, but I'll go see it maybe" garbage being thrown around. Try looking at it from a different point of view other than a "religious movie". This isn't some myth that's been concocted. THis is a visual retelling of a historical event. We KNOW that Romans crucified people and we KNOW that there was a historical Jesus. I respect your religious views (or personal views, however you want to phrase), but to pass this off as "interesting at best" b/c "I'm an atheist" sounds really narrow. It's like saying "I'm a Republican" but I'll go see this new Sean Penn film "because it's getting good reviews".
Its a religious film...if you cant get that then...well...I dont know...

and the whole book is just that...a book...theres no proof either way...has Carl Sagan once wrote the bible is "half barbarian history, half fairy tale." I'm inclined to agree 100%!

And I do think this will be a good movie if nothing else for the beautiful photography and Jim's performance and to a lesser extent a gore show...

Last edited by QuiGonJosh; 02-20-04 at 05:45 PM.
Old 02-20-04, 07:40 PM
  #18  
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germantown Maryland
Posts: 2,488
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by croaker24


You do NOT KNOW that there was a historical Jesus. You THINK THERE was one. It's your BELIEF there was one.

Um, no croaker....there actually was a Jesus. Jesus' name, as it was known during his lifetime, was "Yeshua bar Josef." (Translated to English, this name is "Joshua son of Joseph.")
When the name Yeshua was translated into Greek, the initial "Y" became an "I," and the letter "S" was added to the end, because in Greek only feminine names end in a vowel -- thus rendering the name "Iesus." In the gothic script of the medieval period, the "I" became a "J," and the name became "Jesus." In combination with the Greek translation of the title "Messiah," or "Christus," this name takes on its best-known form: "Jesus Christ."

There was a historical Jesus. That is a FACT. Was he the Son of God? Did he perform miracles? Make people walk? Cure the blind? I don't know. But you can't deny that he existed.
Old 02-20-04, 07:47 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 2,135
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, I understand that it is a religious film, and as mentioned before there is evidence (extra-biblical) of a historical Jesus. All I am saying is that I am damn tired of this "I'm atheist, but I'm gonna see it" and "I'm Christian, and I am moved to see this film" and all this other bull crap surrounding it. Wait until the damn movie comes out, then make your decision. Sure, your belief structure will play into how someone views the film, but I'm sure a great majority of the people both on this board and off really aren't that concerned with other people's motives for going to see this film.

But that's just me...

EDIT: Rivero, thank you. You said much more eloquently what I wanted to say but wasn't sure how to. In short, go see the movie with an open mind, and let your faith/personal beliefs help you form an opinion afterwards.

Last edited by reubs82; 02-20-04 at 07:51 PM.
Old 02-20-04, 08:05 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally posted by slop101
Umm... the Bible isn't the only account of Jesus' existence - regardless of if you believe he's God, or not, there are extensive historical documents and records of a man named Jesus who was curcified at that time...
Actually, there is precious little record of Jesus outside the New Testament. And what secular record there is is highly dubious.

http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...er/hojfaq.html

http://home.freeuk.com/jesusmyth/page8.htm

Last edited by movielib; 02-20-04 at 08:57 PM.
Old 02-20-04, 08:46 PM
  #21  
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by movielib
Actually, there is precious little record of Jesus outside the New Testament. And what secular record there is is highly dubious.

http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...er/hojfaq.html

I've been waiting for over 30 years for someone to provide some degree of quality empirical evidence toward the historical existence of Jesus. Unfortunately, such evidence has not been forthcoming, and I strongly doubt that it will ever be.

Strangely enough, I personally do believe there was such an actual person, but it's only a belief; and I also think that this person's teachings were more closely aligned with buddhist tenets.
Old 02-20-04, 08:54 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: The L.A.
Posts: 18,122
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by movielib
Actually, there is precious little record of Jesus outside the New Testament. And what secular record there is is highly dubious.

http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...er/hojfaq.html
Do you have that as a macro now? Do you just CTRL-F10?
Old 02-20-04, 08:58 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally posted by DodgingCars
Do you have that as a macro now? Do you just CTRL-F10?
I'm not smart enough to figure out those things. They're in my favorites and I go find 'em.
Old 02-20-04, 10:00 PM
  #24  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 2,730
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Um. Er...

*distracts thread*

Monica Bellucci is hot.
Old 02-21-04, 06:01 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 4,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by scott shelton
Um. Er...

*distracts thread*

Monica Bellucci is hot.
Oh God. Stop it!


PS. I'm an atheist, but can't wait to see this movie.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.