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The Passion - DVD Talk's Review Discussion

Old 02-24-04, 06:38 PM
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The Passion - DVD Talk's Review Discussion

Here's a link to DVD Talk's review of The Passion:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=9664

Feel free to discuss this review and post your thoughts about the movie.
Old 02-24-04, 06:48 PM
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This seems to be in line with the other negative reviews I've been reading.
Old 02-24-04, 07:02 PM
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Very well-written. I have a question, however. In footnote 4, you write: Which comes from the quote released by the Vatican and then later retracted: "After consulting with the personal secretary of the Holy Father, His Excellency Mons. Stanislaw Dziwisz, I confirm that the Holy Father had the chance to view the film 'The Passion of the Christ'. The film is a cinemagraphic representation of the historical fact of the Passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel account." .

Is that the actual quote? I read a few articles about it, but sadly never read the actual quote. The articles that I read made it sound like the Pope himself said that the movie was accurate to the Gospels, but (IMO) the line "The film is a cinemagraphic representation of the historical fact of the Passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel account" is written by the person who released the statement, not the actual Pope. And saying that the film is a "cinemagraphic representation" is hardly the same as saying that it is a very "very accurate cinemagraphic representation".

The articles I read were portraying Mel as saying that the Pope himself said something like "That's the way it was".

I probably won't see this in the theatre because, with 16-month old twins, we don't get out to the movies much, but I look forward to seeing this on DVD when it comes out.
Old 02-24-04, 07:23 PM
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Cool, this is where I get to be critical of my "boss"!

Haven't seen the movie yet - so I may have more to say (or even some retractions to make) after I've watched the movie, but here goes:

"Unless going in you've got a strong personal connections with the characters in this film, there is no opportunity to get to know or even sympathize with the characters in The Passion.
This is a fair statement, but I'm guessing since millions of Christians consider Jesus to be their personal savior, the connection is already there. This is like saying "Return of the King" gives no opportunity to know or sympathize with the characters because there is no character development in the final movie. Just as the previous movies and Tolkein's books provided what fans needed going into ROTK, years of Sunday School classes and sermons will provide all that is necessary for MOST of America to view THE PASSION. Okay - the ROTK analogy was a poor one...but I hope I made my point.


In The Passion it's Pilate who seems to try time and again to save Jesus from the angry, bloodthirsty and unrelenting mob and who only finally relents out of a fear of an uprising more than anything else.
Once again, I'm going to have to see the movie to further comment on this - but Gibson used the Gospels as his source material. In the Gospels, Pliate did indeed try to save Jesus from the mob - even stating he could find no fault in the man. Gibson can't win here - if he makes Pilate less sympathetic, he goes against what is stated in the Gospels. If he follows the Gospels, he's seen as anti-semetic. This is from the book of John, who was Jewish, BTW:

4: Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
5: Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
6: When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
7: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. ST. JOHN 19:4-7
One final quote from my good pal, Geoff:

The Passion misses its mark. Gibson's myopic focus on the suffering of Jesus without any real context or character development ultimately undermines his attempts to connect the viewer with the emotional intensity on the screen.
But for Christians it WILL have context. Christians believe that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind - but no visual representation prior to this movie has shown the extent of the suffering and sacrifice he had to make. Gibson's sole purpose for this movie was to show the extent of that sacrifice and the fact that Jesus took the burden upon himself willingly - which makes the suffering he went through all the more moving and powerful.

Once again, it's important for me to state that I have yet to see THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, so it's possible that the review is totally right and I am totally wrong...I'll find out tomorrow night. However, I wanted to point out a few things that I thought were perhaps misinterpreted or misunderstood.
Old 02-24-04, 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by Peep
.

Is that the actual quote?
Yes... Here it is both in english and it's original Italian :


"After consulting with the personal secretary of the Holy Father, His Excellency Mons. Stanislaw Dziwisz, I confirm that the Holy Father had the chance to view the film 'The Passion of the Christ'. The film is a cinemagraphic representation of the historical fact of the Passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel account." -- It is as it was.

"Dopo essermi consultato con il Segretario personale del Santo Padre S.E. Mons. Stanislaw Dziwisz, confermo che il Santo Padre ha avuto l'opportunita di visionare il film "The Passion of the Christ". Il film e una trasposizione cinematografica del fatto storico della Passione di Gesu Cristo secondo il racconto evangelico."

Source:
http://archives.insidethevatican.com...howfile#070549
Old 02-24-04, 07:33 PM
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For an alternate opinion of the movie, I encourage everyone to read Roger Ebert's review of the film...not just because he loved the film, but because he addresses the concerns of those who DIDN'T love it:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/ebert...passion24.html
Old 02-24-04, 07:35 PM
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Well written review. I thought the film was great, but I do agree with the lack of character development. The tight focus of the film can be seen as either a strength or weakness i think.

The scene with Jesus building a table and joking with his mother was one of my favorites. I think that's the one scene where audiences may or may not be able to connect with him. A few more like it would've been great.

Obviously that wasnt enough for the reviewer. It was enough for me.
Old 02-24-04, 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by gkleinman
Yes... Here it is both in english and it's original Italian :


"After consulting with the personal secretary of the Holy Father, His Excellency Mons. Stanislaw Dziwisz, I confirm that the Holy Father had the chance to view the film 'The Passion of the Christ'. The film is a cinemagraphic representation of the historical fact of the Passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel account." -- It is as it was.

"Dopo essermi consultato con il Segretario personale del Santo Padre S.E. Mons. Stanislaw Dziwisz, confermo che il Santo Padre ha avuto l'opportunita di visionare il film "The Passion of the Christ". Il film e una trasposizione cinematografica del fatto storico della Passione di Gesu Cristo secondo il racconto evangelico."

Source:
http://archives.insidethevatican.com...howfile#070549
Thanks. The stories that I read had Mel or his people saying that the "It is as it was." quote came directly from the Pontiff (sp?). Reading this quote, I'm not so convinced.
Old 02-24-04, 07:41 PM
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Wait, after reading your link, I'm even more confused. I thought that footnote referred to the original quote that supposedly came from the Pope/Vatican. Now if sounds like your quote came from your clarification.

Does anybody have a link to what was supposedly said before the clarification?

PS. Geoff, if you feel that this line of questioning is inappropriate in this particular topic (re: review of the movie), let me know and I'll take it elsewhere...
Old 02-24-04, 07:42 PM
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Shannon Nutt, you just covered every single disagreement I had when reading his review. Very well said.
Old 02-24-04, 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by Shannon Nutt

...
Once again, I'm going to have to see the movie to further comment on this - but Gibson used the Gospels as his source material. In the Gospels, Pliate did indeed try to save Jesus from the mob - even stating he could find no fault in the man. Gibson can't win here - if he makes Pilate less sympathetic, he goes against what is stated in the Gospels. If he follows the Gospels, he's seen as anti-semetic. This is from the book of John, who was Jewish, BTW:
...
True, Gibson could either follow the Gospels or follow the records of Roman history which, as far as I understand, paints the picture of a completely bloodthirsty and ruthless tyrant who couldn't possibly have cared less about crucifying one more Jew. Even the Emperor Tiberius (one of the "bad" emperors) thought Pilate was extreme.

Of course you believe the Apostle John wrote that Gospel. But there is a large number of Biblical scholars, including many Christian ones, who believe the book was written around 100 CE, possibly as early as 90 CE or as late as 125 CE and not by the apostle but by unknown writer(s).

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_john.htm

Authors: according to conservative Christians: Apostle John

Authors: according to liberal Christians: 2 or more unknown authors

Last edited by movielib; 02-24-04 at 07:48 PM.
Old 02-24-04, 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by movielib
True, Gibson could either follow the Gospels or follow the records of Roman history which, as far as I understand, paints the picture of a completely bloodthirsty and ruthless tyrant who couldn't possibly have cared less about crucifying one more Jew. Even the Emperor Tiberius (one of the "bad" emperors) thought Pilate was extreme.

Of course you believe the Apostle John wrote that Gospel. But there is a large number of Biblical scholars, including many Christian ones, who believe the book was written around 100 CE, possibly as early as 90 CE or as late as 125 CE and not by the apostle but by unknown writer(s).

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_john.htm
Man, I knew this was going to be what you would say.

Personally, this isn't one I am going to see in the theater. If everything I have read on it is accurate, I would rather watch in privacy. Real men don't cry, and all that.

Interesting that Ebert said that this is without a doubt the most biolent movie he has ever seen.
Old 02-24-04, 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
Man, I knew this was going to be what you would say.

Personally, this isn't one I am going to see in the theater. If everything I have read on it is accurate, I would rather watch in privacy. Real men don't cry, and all that.
...
I'm seeing it Thursday. My wife and I have our tickets.
Old 02-24-04, 08:15 PM
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My church rented out a theater here in Bucks county PA, we saw "The Passion" yesterday.
I don't want to throw any spoilers so I'll be careful.

I didn't read the review, but from my point of view this is a GREAT movie! I had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion!
This is however the most bloody and graphic movie I ever saw. It was almost unbelievable how cruel people were to Jesus, but years of Bible study shows an accurate depiction of what really happened in those 15 hours.

I'm certain this movie will be critisized and talked about in all sorts of ways, both good and bad.

But again, from my education on the subject I would have to say GREAT JOB Mel Gibson!

There is some "Poetic artistic additions you wont read about in the bible"
Spoiler:
You will see an evil figure "satan" threwout the movie, I feel this symbolizes an evil presents threw these hours of Christ's suffering, and this evil figure will be seen holding a demon baby, with the attitude of "I would never do this to my child", but you can make your own judgements, also they put the nails threw Jesus hands, The bible reads the wrist, and the crusifiction is much more violent than the movie tells. As if its not bad enough. And there is a flash back of the woman who was to be stoned for adultry, well this movie portrays Mary Magdaline to be this woman, I dont recall this being accurate in the bible, but I might be wrong there? I'll have to read it again.
Other than those minor artistic inserts, this movie tells a true story, that I think most people will enjoy on a spiritual level, because this movie demonstrates how much Jesus loves us! The way he gave his life for us is the greatest gift of all time, we need to keep that fact in our minds before we beat down this movie, or its director.
This is a great way to get the message of Jesus out to the world, and I salute Mel Gibson for everything he did to provide this for us all.

God bless all of you, and remember what Jesus did for you and I.

Last edited by jasonnaper; 02-24-04 at 08:25 PM.
Old 02-24-04, 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by jasonnaper
My church rented out a theater here in Bucks county PA, we saw "The Passion" yesterday.
I don't want to throw any spoilers so I'll be careful.
That's okay, I think we know how it ends
Old 02-24-04, 08:26 PM
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I'll probably wait and watch this movie in the privacy of my home. I've been hearing a lot of talk about "The Passion"and would just like to say a couple of things. My understanding is that Pilate was as vicious and cruel as people believe, but his wife was a "seer" and begged him not to kill Christ. To pacify her, he allowed the crowd to choose between Christ and Barabus. The Jews were seeking a Messiah to lead them in overthrowing their cruel Roman overlords. Jesus was preaching love, tolerance, and understanding and that wasn't what they were looking for. Not so different from many Americans of today who see those seeking peace as weaklings.
Old 02-24-04, 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
That's okay, I think we know how it ends
Thats a good point. Thanks for the smile
Old 02-24-04, 08:32 PM
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Originally posted by Aisling
I'll probably wait and watch this movie in the privacy of my home. I've been hearing a lot of talk about "The Passion"and would just like to say a couple of things. My understanding is that Pilate was as vicious and cruel as people believe, but his wife was a "seer" and begged him not to kill Christ. To pacify her, he allowed the crowd to choose between Christ and Barabus. The Jews were seeking a Messiah to lead them in overthrowing their cruel Roman overlords. Jesus was preaching love, tolerance, and understanding and that wasn't what they were looking for. Not so different from many Americans of today who see those seeking peace as weaklings.
Pilate may have been a vicious man, but remember the bible says he found no wrong doing in Jesus, it was the people who started an uprising and insisted Jesus be crusified. Cesar warned Pilate, it would be Pilate's death if uprising continued there. Pilate said he was not responsible and washed his hands in front of the crown saying something like his blodd will not be on his hands. And gave the people what they wanted to end any further uprising.
Old 02-24-04, 08:45 PM
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As to the part about
Spoiler:
Jesus saving Mary Magdaline from being stoned for commiting adultry - There is a passage in the bible (John 8:1-11) about Jesus saving a woman from being stoned for adultry...however this woman is never mentioned by name. In fact, no passage in the Bible states that Mary Magdaline was a former prostitute - this is one of those assumptions that have always been made (like the idea that there were only three wise men...the Bible never states how many there were).
Old 02-24-04, 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Shannon Nutt
As to the part about
Spoiler:
Jesus saving Mary Magdaline from being stoned for commiting adultry - There is a passage in the bible (John 8:1-11) about Jesus saving a woman from being stoned for adultry...however this woman is never mentioned by name. In fact, no passage in the Bible states that Mary Magdaline was a former prostitute - this is one of those assumptions that have always been made (like the idea that there were only three wise men...the Bible never states how many there were).
Thank you for the verse. Your so much better at explaining it. Thats what I meant I was having a hard time finding it.
Have a great night.
Old 02-24-04, 09:48 PM
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In response to Shannon Nutt,

You are correct that for many, many people a connection with Jesus will already be present before the film begins. However, to deny that connection to people who aren't religious, Mel loses a portion of his audience who could have enjoyed the film just as much on its artistic rather than religious merits. And, yes, the Return of the King analogy was a bad one, because nobody I know who hadn't seen The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers would go to see The Return of the King.

If Mel only made this for other Christians, fine. Show it in Churches. If he made it to be a good movie regardless of the audience, it's his duty as a storyteller to provide the audience with a connection to the characters, or find some other way of letting the audience into the story.
Old 02-24-04, 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by Suprmallet
In response to Shannon Nutt,

And, yes, the Return of the King analogy was a bad one, because nobody I know who hadn't seen The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers would go to see The Return of the King.

I think the analogy was fine. What you're saying is that anyone who hasn't read the Bible wouldn't go see The Passion then right? So what would be the point of character development if it's not needed?
Old 02-24-04, 11:46 PM
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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.

The movie is not about the life of Jesus, rather the final 12 hours of his life - the sacrifice. I think Gibson was wise to 'cut to the chase' as this was the nexus of the story he wanted to present. I think there are enough cultural sources of information to give even the most non-christian the gist of what Jesus was about.

That being said, if one thinks that the excessive violence detracts from the film, then they in fact miss the point. The point of the film is to show the true unrelenting horror of the choice by Christ to endure the sins of all mankind in the inhuman brutalization he goes through. This is the point of the movie and those who are seeking poetic narrative, dialogue, and character development do not understand the intention of the movie.

It is one thing to review movies as film, but it's hard to respect a review that compares this very serious movie with 'Unbreakable' and then points out how M. Night prevailed where Gibson failed (remember most people hate that movie, even though it's one of my personal favorites). Obviously both movies had two different intentions, so this comparison leaves me a little cold. A reviewer should not only view film as 'entertainment' but also allow for films as art, statements, commentaries etc.
Old 02-25-04, 12:06 AM
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"One of the real saving graces for The Passion is the strong work done by Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel. The Passion has a striking look and Deschanel always seems to know exactly where to put his camera."

This is one thing that pisses me off about critics: they don't know the nuts and bolts of filmmaking.

While some DPs may suggest camera placement, the director is the one who calls the shots, the DP lights the shot suggested by the director.
Old 02-25-04, 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by kemptonm

This is one thing that pisses me off about critics: they don't know the nuts and bolts of filmmaking.

While some DPs may suggest camera placement, the director is the one who calls the shots, the DP lights the shot suggested by the director.
Actually traditionally it's the DP who is responsible for the camera and the director who is responsible for the actors. This of course verys from Director to Director and film to film. But ultimately it's a collabrative effort and in the case of The Passion the imagery clearly has the mark of this DP.

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