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The Passion - DVD Talk's Review Discussion

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The Passion - DVD Talk's Review Discussion

Old 02-29-04, 02:34 AM
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Originally posted by badger1997

So can we stop with the bashing of people who did not like the film? Some people have stated their opinions and done so very eloquently, only to be bashed for daring to say anything negative about this film. I'm sorry, even with the topic of the film, I don't see this as any kind of "sacred cow" that it has to be treated with kid gloves. People are free to have whatever opinion they want on this film, just as they are with any other film. Period.
The only critique I, and I think many people, have had, of "not liking the film" for lack of a better term is in regard to the explanations given by critics. Those who recieved it poorly most often used two rationales:

1. It was too violent
2. It didn't show the goodness of Christ and his teachings, etc

But very often, the same critics will not lambaste films such as Kill Bill or Saving Private Ryan, which, at least in my book, employ equally artful and stark use of violent imagery. But in this film, somehow a line has been crossed. And very often, MANY(certainly not all) critics will not judge what a film coulda/woulda/shoulda and judge it on it's merits. Some certainly do choose to do a rewrite or re-edit in their head in films they percieve to be flawed, but many do not, and in amazing numbers, they chose to voice that complaint here.

This is not the best film I ever saw, not even in my top 50, probably not my favorite reliegous film, so I don't begrudge anyone who didn't love it. But I do find that logic to ring hollow and be disengenous from the leading critics.
Old 02-29-04, 02:53 AM
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to your post Nature Boy, I agree with you 110%

Last edited by Rivero; 02-29-04 at 03:46 AM.
Old 02-29-04, 03:22 AM
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Originally posted by Kerborus

I wonder, are there any among us who can truly view the film as it is?
Yes. As I've written in several other posts, I am not religious by any means. I don't go to church. I've never read the Bible completely. Don't plan to anytime soon. But I was deeply touched by this film, despite it's flaws. It was powerful and moving and Gibson's commitment to the material was evident in every scene.

Last edited by Rivero; 02-29-04 at 03:33 AM.
Old 02-29-04, 03:36 AM
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Originally posted by Kerborus
Hmm... since it is Jesus Christ, I am pretty sure there needs to be no set up in this country (USA) since our country is founded on Judeo-Christian theology and Christ is interwoven into the fabric of the American mindset.
I will start off by saying that I have not read this entire thread. It is late, and I want to get to sleep. If this particular statement has been addressed already, then I apologise. Until this one statement, I was fine with what most people were saying. But, I want to address Kerborus about this statement.

You are wrong. I did not connect with Jesus in this movie. I understand where the connection comes from, and I recognize that most Christians will feel that connection. Most of the audience, especially the women, in my showing were crying. I was not, which is odd because I tend to cry easily at movies. But I know the reasons. Gibson did not give me any reason to feel for Jesus. A very large portion of the audience automatically "love" Jesus. They have the connection built in, and they see him suffere and it pains them. Also, I did not know any of the backstories. The only reason I know that Jesus was a carpenter's son/carpenter is from Indiana Jones and Dogma. I have heard the name Mary Magdaline, but I did not know who she was. I saw the stoning scene and knew that Jesus saved her, but I did not know who she was, and I did not know why they were stoning her. I never knew the name of Simon who helped Jesus with the cross until reading a previous post on this site.

My point is this. Your statement is simply wrong. To me (and I am sure there are others) the movie is not complete. Not everyone was raised on the bible. Even if Gibson had made The Passion 1/2 hour longer to develop Jesus' character a little bit, perhaps I would have been moved by it. Of course then a large portion of people would be saying "why is he showing this? I know this already" Then again that could be said of the entire movie.

My overall opinion of the movie is this:

Technically this is not a great movie, the story is incomplete for those who don't have the background. Visually the movie is stunning with amazing performances by the actors and actresses, though I think Gibson should have gone with his idea to not use subtitles at all. This was definately not an entertaining movie, but it is not meant to be, so that is fine. Just a bit more character development and it would have been truly great.
Old 02-29-04, 03:43 AM
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Originally posted by C-Mart
Just a bit more character development and it would have been truly great.
Asking for some more "character development" in a film based on the final hours of Jesus Christ is probably the dumbest demand I've heard from posters on this forum since I've started frequenting this site.
Old 02-29-04, 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by Rivero
Asking for some more "character development" in a film based on the final hours of Jesus Christ is probably the dumbest demand I've heard from posters on this forum since I've started frequenting this site.
You know, I don't think your opinions on the movie are "dumb" even though I don't necessarily agree with them. Why must you resort to calling things dumb when you don't agree with them?

It just pisses me off that some people say they didn't feel the connection to the film and felt it was too cold and they wanted some more back story of Jesus and then they are ridiculed more or less.

Listen, I am happy the film worked perfect for you. I liked it mostly myself. But some people just seem to feel there was a chance to go even further here and bring everybody into the connection with Jesus and make a truly moving film for everybody. Some of us feel Gibson fell just short of doing so. That is our opinion. Why must we be told that it's a dumb one?
Old 02-29-04, 09:18 AM
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I haven't read the entire thread either but I think C-Mart makes a very good point. From what I have read, Gibson wanted people to feel connected to Jesus and be "shocked" and devastated by how he suffered. If this effect was only occuring with the Christians in the audience, then he failed at what he was trying to accomplish with the film or at least only partially succeeded. Maybe more on Jesus character before the last hours would have been in order.
Old 02-29-04, 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by oldchuckles
Also, Mel, please bring back the identical "Satan" from the Jesus movie for use in the Little Big Horn and Alamo remakes. I think Mel's "Satan" is what gave "The Passion of the Christ" its highest credibility in historical and biblical accuracy.
oldchuckles, you are one heck of an orator!

Thank you for pointing out that portraying Satan under the guise of a woman and/or effeminate man (choose one) only suceeds in antagonizing the majority of human beings on this planet.
Old 02-29-04, 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by The Nature Boy
But very often, the same critics will not lambaste films such as Kill Bill or Saving Private Ryan, which, at least in my book, employ equally artful and stark use of violent imagery.
Well, I at least agree with you on that point. As you may or may not know from other threads, I am "violently" anti-gross violence and anti-Tarantino in particular, and I was simply appalled by Roger Ebert's double-standard in judging "Passion" as the most horrific film he has ever seen and calling for a NC-17 rating after giving his unqualified blessing to "Kill Bill" as great family entertainment, which to me represented a new low in bad taste, air-headedness and absence of humanity in an American film critic.

But using Tarantino's techniques to make a religious point - or any point for that matter - just because "the kids might like it" does not solve any problem as far as I'm concerned. It only compounds Gibson's incompetence and misdirection as a story-teller.

Last edited by baracine; 02-29-04 at 10:12 AM.
Old 02-29-04, 10:09 AM
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Thank you for pointing out that portraying Satan under the guise of a woman and/or effeminate man (choose one) only suceeds in antagonizing the majority of human beings on this planet.
I thought portraying Satan as a sexless being was brilliant.
Old 02-29-04, 10:14 AM
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I believe the term is "androgynous".
Old 02-29-04, 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by aroney
I thought portraying Satan as a sexless being was brilliant.
Nothing is ever neutral. Gibson did not make Satan "sexless", he made him "the wrong sex", "the evil sex", "the inferior, devious, weaker, sinful sex", he made him a woman! This is where it is useful to remember where Gibson, the ultra-rightist, ultra-conservative, homophobic, anti-feminist religious sectarian, is coming from.

Last edited by baracine; 02-29-04 at 10:21 AM.
Old 02-29-04, 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by The Nature Boy
Well, it's NEVER happened in America. What is anti-semetism to you? Negative Jewish feeling or the same feeling that manifests itself in some sort of physical action? Because it seems to me there is little difference between being anti-Jewish or anti-Christian, so long as it's held as a personal philosophy and outlook.
Anti-semitism HAS occured in America. Look at the KKK and Skinheads. Look to the many fraternal organizations, business and professional organizations that have had policies to exclude Jewish membership. Country clubs, gyms, etc. have also demonstrated anti-semitic agendas.

If your point was that anti-semitism in America has primarily been more subtle and less violent than in Europe, you'd be correct, but it has existed. And in isolated circumstances it has been equally violent.
Old 02-29-04, 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by aroney
I thought portraying Satan as a sexless being was brilliant.
Everybody (over 50 people were present) at our discussion gathering after the movie thought Satan was portrayed as female...
Old 02-29-04, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by jim_cook87
Anti-semitism HAS occured in America. Look at the KKK and Skinheads. Look to the many fraternal organizations, business and professional organizations that have had policies to exclude Jewish membership. Country clubs, gyms, etc. have also demonstrated anti-semitic agendas.

If your point was that anti-semitism in America has primarily been more subtle and less violent than in Europe, you'd be correct, but it has existed. And in isolated circumstances it has been equally violent.
Of course anti-semetism goes on, my reference was in regard to the manifest of some sort of action following a Passion Play, which I can find no evidence has EVER happened in United States history.
Old 02-29-04, 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by The Nature Boy
But very often, the same critics will not lambaste films such as Kill Bill or Saving Private Ryan, which, at least in my book, employ equally artful and stark use of violent imagery.
Not to rub it in but... Once you accept as perfectly mainstream and acceptable the level of violence portrayed in, say, "Kill Bill", solely for the sado-masochistic gratification of teenagers who feel they have the God-given right to get their jollies from watching the dismemberment of female athletes, you shouldn't cry foul when a director comes along who uses the same gross-out techniques to push his sinister religious or political agenda on the masses. I refer you to that Nazi film classic, The Jew Süss. Am I calling for censorship? No, I just want Roger Ebert's head on a platter!
Old 02-29-04, 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by The Nature Boy
Of course anti-semetism goes on, my reference was in regard to the manifest of some sort of action following a Passion Play, which I can find no evidence has EVER happened in United States history.
D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) was the signal for at least three decades' worth of savage lynchings in the Southern States. The reason so many people are kicking about The Passion of the Christ right now is they want to make damn sure the same thing doesn't happen to Jews - among other groups - this time around. Capice?

Last edited by baracine; 02-29-04 at 11:30 AM.
Old 02-29-04, 11:27 AM
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Of course anti-semetism goes on, my reference was in regard to the manifest of some sort of action following a Passion Play, which I can find no evidence has EVER happened in United States history.
Give me a break. If you want to sit and talk about anti-semitic acts, all you have to do is sit around long enough and listen to people call modern day Jews "christ killers"

We don't have to have pogroms and people lynched and killed before it is a problem.

For reference, check out the NYTimes article I linked too. "At least we know who really killed Jesus" is what one woman said.

I have been pretty consistent on the subject - I don't think the movie is inherently anti-semitic but there is a history of using the story to hate people who had nothing to do with it.

Last edited by chanster; 02-29-04 at 11:32 AM.
Old 02-29-04, 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by baracine
D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) was the signal for at least three decades' worth of savage lynchings in the Southern States. The reason so many people are kicking about The Passion of the Christ right now is they want to make damn sure the same thing doesn't happen to Jews - among other groups - this time around. Capice?
No capice. What are you basing this on? I like to fancy myself a student of film history, and that's a new one to me. Not to say you're wrong, but I think that's a pretty big accusation to levy, considering the movie is based on the Klan who was already lynching people. The Klan wasn't invented as a result of BOAN.

And even if it's true, what does it have to do with this film? And would you finally answer the question as to whether or not you've seen this film baracine?
Old 02-29-04, 11:43 AM
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read below with sarcasm (for those who don't get it)

***********

I give up,

I guess the movie really is a misogynistic, homophobic call to kill jews - all under the guise of a "Christian" film.

I'm glad I can finally see the light.

As for that Times quote - maybe the words "...we did" were cut off. But then, that would be the first time a paper misquoted somebody or took words out of context, wouldn't it?

@$#!$
Old 02-29-04, 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by chanster
Give me a break. If you want to sit and talk about anti-semitic acts, all you have to do is sit around long enough and listen to people call modern day Jews "christ killers"

We don't have to have pogroms and people lynched and killed before it is a problem.

For reference, check out the NYTimes article I linked too. "At least we know who really killed Jesus" is what one woman said.

I have been pretty consistent on the subject - I don't think the movie is inherently anti-semitic but there is a history of using the story to hate people who had nothing to do with it.

I'm just trying to find the endgame here. I mean, if Jews were concerned about their physical well-being, as the original posters seemed to allude to in regard to violence connected with Passion Plays, and, hypotheticaly, if this movie presenting a largely unjust depiction of Christ(lets say actual Jews were crucifiing him rather than Romans) and his death, I'd share their fear and be the first to trash this one. And I didn't offer an opinion either way until I saw the finished product, but based on what's on screen, and not in Mel Gibson's dad's soundbyte, I don't see how someone could come out of this movie hating Jews if they didn't already going in.

ONE WOMAN now sums up the whole of American Christianity and her one backwardass statement? I mean, we don't worry about people POSSIBLY having negative feelings toward Christ or the church based on the last decade of pop culutre in America. No one was particularly concerned with Jesus depictions on South Park, but now there is a film that could, if wildly misinterpeted, foster some negative feeling toward Jews and the world must stop? This I do not understand.
Old 02-29-04, 12:02 PM
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I'm just trying to find the endgame here. I mean, if Jews were concerned about their physical well-being, as the original posters seemed to allude to in regard to violence connected with Passion Plays, and, hypotheticaly, if this movie presenting a largely unjust depiction of Christ(lets say actual Jews were crucifiing him rather than Romans) and his death, I'd share their fear and be the first to trash this one. And I didn't offer an opinion either way until I saw the finished product, but based on what's on screen, and not in Mel Gibson's dad's soundbyte, I don't see how someone could come out of this movie hating Jews if they didn't already going in.

ONE WOMAN now sums up the whole of American Christianity and her one backwardass statement?
First off, no one here has been claiming that Jews were in physical nature because of the movie. I don't even think the ADL was saying that there would be massive outbursts of violence against Jews.

Historical events are by their nature "physical acts". These are the events that were spelled out and are concrete examples of one group's feeling towards another.

History in the broader sense also records the thoughts and feelings of people. There is plenty of records through people's writing that they viewed Jews as historically responsible for Christs death, and that they deserve harassment because of this. That was the very nature of Vatican II - that in order to bring the church into relatively modern age and say that Jews do not carry a collective guilt for the death of Christ.

Gibson has been open in his rejection of Vatican II, so it is fair game to talk about this and how it fits into the Passion. I don't really care about Mel's dad - he is a bigot and an idiot, but it has nothing to do with this movie.

Secondly, I never claimed that "ONE WOMAN now sums up the whole of American Christianity" That is a very big leap on your part to imply that. But it does indicate that there are people out there not so open-minded than you nature boy.
Old 02-29-04, 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by The Nature Boy
No capice. What are you basing this on? I like to fancy myself a student of film history, and that's a new one to me. Not to say you're wrong, but I think that's a pretty big accusation to levy, considering the movie is based on the Klan who was already lynching people. The Klan wasn't invented as a result of BOAN.
Quite right. The film only glorified the Klan and revealed its existence to the general public (it was a secret society). From that day on, every small-town biggot in every one-horse-town in the Southern States began to have dreams of also becoming a saintly Knight fighting for justice and lynchings were transformed overnight from unusual political events staged by the Klan to a grassroots movement sparked by the slightest provocation. Such was - and still is - the power of the cinema. (Look it up.) Griffith felt compelled to produce his next epic Intolerance as reparation. He was obviously too late. I wonder what Mel will do for an encore?

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Old 02-29-04, 12:56 PM
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baracine, according to you, Roger Ebert's opinion should be supressed, but yours shouldn't.

Not very fair, is it?
Old 02-29-04, 01:02 PM
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Re: Who cares? I don't

Originally posted by rrrob
So much fuss over a movie about some person that led some cult 2000 years ago. Tons of people everyday face more torture than the main character in this movie did, and it is usually done by dictators that your tax dollars pay for, thanks to our wonderful government. If jesus was really some supreme being, then who cares what he went through? He frickin brought it on himself! And all these devout "christians" who claim to be so horrified by what he allegedly went through, wouldn't even have some made up person to worship in a sick and twisted way unless he did get tortured. Nothing in the movie is historically accurate because nobody knows what really happened. The bible is some mishmash of stories written years to decades after jesus' death primarily by people who never knew him, and learned the information 10th or 100th hand. All any sane person has to do to realize what a load on nonsense relying on the bible or any religious text for that matter as "the word of god" is think about that game where you whisper a phrase in the ear of the person next to you, and they do the same. it goes around in a circle, and by the time it gets back to the first person, it's totally different than what was said in the first place. Most of us learn this in, what, 3rd grade? Common sense people. All you religious blind faith people are lemmings.
Again - from which side on our popular culture does hate really come from?

Both. But this case, and many others show clearly, that hate from the left is excepted while hate from the right is scorned.

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