The Passion Of The Christ: My review

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The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 11:15 AM

First off, for those that have no intention of seeing this and have already made up your minds: bully for you. We get the point, now go away and be miserable somewhere else.<br><br>For those of you who are interested in seeing the movie...<br><hr><br>What else can I say but wow! Very, very, very powerful. Very moving and very brutal. The movie begins abruptly with no previews. I was kind of taken aback by that, but then again, no big studio would distribute this film... so they get no advertisements.<br><br>The film featured superb cinematography and acting. I like that the dialog wasn't in English. Though, if he wanted to go all the way, I wish Mel would've avoided the stereotypical look of Christ and the props. The music was competent... it seems Peter Gabriel set the bar for what Christ scores should be with his Passion soundtrack.<br><br>As for the violence. Ouch, you get lots of it. There's a scene in which Jesus is flayed with a multi-tipped whip with sharp pieces of metal at the ends. Now, I'm a horror and special effects nut, but even this scene had me wincing. They show the sharp edges ripping away at his flesh.<br><br>Throughout the movie, a creepy, androgynous devil keeps hovering around Jesus. I jumped a few times when faces would turn into demons. There are some definitely frightening moments.<br><br>Unfortunately, there was one scene I didn't like. During the telling of the story, we're treated to flashbacks of things that are related to the events that are unfolding in the main timeline. One of those is Jesus as a carpenter making a table. It's sort of suggested that Jesus invented the bar stool. Uh, yeah. I also could've done with less slow-motion shots of Jesus falling to the ground. There were about six too many.<br><br>Basically, this movie is 2 hours depicting the brutality of Christ's death, and little else. Through flashbacks, we get a glimpse of life beyond this final day. We were glued to our seats for two hours. For an 11:30am showing, the place was packed. But after 120 minutes, you may feel a bit drained. When the credits rolled, the audience just sat there, sort of stunned. And let me tell you, there wasn't a dry eye in the place for the last 1/2 of the movie. Tip: bring Kleenex.<br><br>If you're Christian, regardless of denomination, I think you'll enjoy the film. Also, the movie assumes you already know the story of Jesus. It doesn't tell you who he is or where he came from or how he got where he is in the film. Just remember, it does get brutal. I wouldn't recommend taking children under, say, 15. If you think the whole idea is proposterous... uh, why are you still reading? I told you to go away. GO AWAY!<br><br>And if you're geeky like me, you'll notice the subtitle font is Optima. If they would've used Arial.... <br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Sam on 02/25/04 02:21 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Posted by: lislaz

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 11:19 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Now, I'm a horror and special effects nut, but even this scene had me wincing.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>If only for that, I'm already scared. Sounds good Sam. Even without your review, this movie is on my list.<br><br>
Posted by: sean

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 11:47 AM

I will likely rent it on DVD when the time comes, but i watched part of the making of Passion last night on PAX or something...the jesus character was a little odd...i couldn't tell if he was claiming to have had a real super natural experience or if he was claiming that he actually got struck by lightening when he was up on the cross...it was just odd and perhaps that's what i get for only watching part. anyway, they showed how they nailed the spikes into his hand...the palm was the only part of you saw that was fake (obviously it had to be). the arm was the actor's and he bent it into a hole right as it met the wrist. the fingers were another actor's fingers sticking up and the thumb was mechanical (okay, so it was fake as well). they then took the camera shot from the end of the hand to remove the issues related to things not being quite proportional. looked pretty real in the final shots. gibson had a quote where he talked about how amazed he was with the special effects because you couldn't even tell they were special effects. while the story doesn't interest me, it does sound like an cinematographic event worth viewing. <br><br>EDIT: i am not skipping passion at the theaters to make a point or anything. i just don't go to the theaters. <br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by sean on 02/25/04 03:03 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Posted by: Trog

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 11:56 AM

I'll watch it, I've been hearing more and more positive reviews about it.<br><br><br>I saw a great Jesus Christ Superstar production last night! Wow, its gonna be hard to top that! <br>
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 12:01 PM

So, was it anti-Semitic or not? <br><br>
Posted by: sean

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 12:08 PM

i think i read that the line(s) in question was removed that said something about the blood of jesus being on the jews. and, i think it was focus groups that caused gibson to make the edit...all that effort to get details correct and then he succumbed to focus groups. <br><br>here it is:<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>The New York Times reports that in response to recent focus group results about his Christ movie, and probably in part due to protests by Jewish critics, Mel Gibson has decided to delete a controversial scene about Jews from his film "The Passion of the Christ". <br><br>A scene in the film in which the Jewish high priest Caiaphas seemingly places a curse on the Jewish people by declaring of the Crucifixion"His blood be on us and on our children" will not appear in the movie's final version said an anonymous associate of Gibson.<p><hr></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/04/movies/04PASS.html?hp">ny times article</a><br><br><br>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 12:22 PM

Sounds too Catholic, Sam <br><br>
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 01:15 PM

I'll probably see this...thanks for the review. <br><br>Hey JohnR:<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Throughout the movie, a creepy, ANDGROGYNOUS devil keeps hovering around Jesus<p><hr></blockquote><p>In a Mel Gibson film??? The antagonist portrayed as effeminate or gay???<br><br>Uhhh...Told Ya So.<br><br>===================<br><br>S3V3N<br>Washington, DC USA
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 01:33 PM

Are you talking about Gibson's directorial films or just the films he was in?<br><br>I don't remember any of the townspeople in 'Man Without a Face' as having a homoerotic edge to them...do you? <br><br>
Posted by: squareman

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 01:48 PM

Yeah, and those aliens in Signs were so flaming. <br><br>
Posted by: RubenC

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 01:48 PM

Thanks for the heads-up review Sam, very concise. I definitely plan to see this film.<br><br>
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 02:24 PM

Why is a non-gendered character considered gay? It's not a man, or a woman. In fact, it looks like Powder...<br><br><br><br>
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 02:25 PM

Very Catholic... that's why the images of Christ in this movie are so stylized.<br><br>
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 02:27 PM

"So, was it anti-Semitic or not?"<br><br>Extremely! At one point, three of the disciples are overheard singing "Springtime For Hitler" while they shave their heads.<br><br>(Geesh, do I really need a winky for this?)<br><br>
Posted by: LoveTheBomb

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 04:35 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>And if you're geeky like me, you'll notice the subtitle font is Optima<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>Awesome, that's my favorite font. My Adium buddy list is currently Optima.<br><br>-Matt<br><br>
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 04:39 PM

Liar.<br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 07:19 PM

@DM -<br>I'm speaking of the "epic" films he has directed. Braveheart and Patriot. And now this. Not Signs...that wasn't his movie.<br><br>@Sam - it was your review said the antagonist was creepy and androgynous. <br><br>That was my point. His villains always have to have that as part of their character. There's always some point where you look at his villains and go "oh..this guy is such a F*G!.."<br><br>Just pointing out the predictability is all...<br><br>===================<br><br>S3V3N<br>Washington, DC USA
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 07:27 PM

He didn't direct The Patriot. And that villian was gay or gay-like? How so? Maybe if he was singing "It's Raining Minutemen" or had a rainbow sticker on his horse....<br><br>I still can't figure out how creepy and androgynous = gay?? The demon was played by a woman, that I could see. But they made efforts to make it's gender non-descript.<br><br>Now, as far as SNL's "Pat".... That's one bit o' gay androgyny I'll give ya! <br><br>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 08:00 PM

Stylized or graphic? I haven't seen it yet, so I'm really curious. One thing that's true about Catholicism is that it depends on visual images. One thing that's true of non-Catholics is that they depend on auditory images--the ear rather than the eye is the source of salvation. There's a lot of iconoclasm, literally, during the Reformation! A lot of the visual iconography has become stylized, to be sure. I guess that that's ok with me--stylization to me means that it trades in tradition and is enriched by tradition. But if it's going to be a good movie too, I hope that something fresh happens to the iconography.<br><br>
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 08:34 PM

In the Patriot...there was a scene where, in the opening cut-to, the guy who plays the villain is shown being a little prissy in private...<br><br><br><br>===================<br><br>S3V3N<br>Washington, DC USA
Posted by: KateSorensen

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 08:38 PM

Wonderfully written and expressed review. Thank you very much. <br><br>One thing I would change for myself would be to say "I think you'll enjoy the film" to "I think you'll appreciate the film".<br><br>That is what I've told others about Monster. It is not a film to enjoy but many things about it can be appreciated.<br><br>Great job Sam. Wish you'd copy/paste this review to that other forum. <br><br><br>KateMate
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 08:39 PM

I thought we established that Mel Gibson didn't actually direct the Patriot.<br><br>So even if we actually included that film, 2 is all the examples you've got? <br><br>
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 09:51 PM

Yeah Sam, thanks here too. I am familiar with the story of the suffering of JC, but I don't need to see this brutality on screen.<br><br>Interesting that is does come off as portraying the Jews as the ones responsible for his death. I wonder why Gibson chose to depict it that way when historically (from what I have been hearing) it was the Romans that were responsible. Ah well, the religious agenda of someone brought to life, I suppose. <br><br>Monster was an interesting film Kate, but too gritty for me. Amazing that they could make the gorgeous Charlize Theron look like they did. <br><br>
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 10:24 PM

Last night (25th), Discovery had a special about who killed Jesus. Of course, I'm just finding out about it now. I'll keep an eye out for future airings.<br><br>But I do remember watching a Discovery special about Jesus. It made clear that the temple authorities were quite corrupt at that time.<br><br>
Posted by: Trog

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/25/04 10:28 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>the temple authorities were quite corrupt at that time.<p><hr></blockquote><p>Ahh, at least some things never change. <br><br>
Posted by: iraszl

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 04:31 AM

thanks for the review, sounds exciting!<br><br><pre>PMG5/1.8Ghz/1GBRAM, PBG3/400Mhz/768MBRAM, AirportX</pre><p>
Posted by: sean

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 05:46 AM

why does it even matter who killed the guy? <br><br>jesus' death, biblically...was the will of god...<br><br>mark 8:31-33<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p><br>(31)He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. (32)He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.<br>(33)But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."<p><hr></blockquote><p>i think people debating who was ultimately responsible for jesus' death miss the point...just as peter did (assuming one believes the bible is an accurate representation of these events).<br><br>
Posted by: DaddyMac

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 06:40 AM

I kinda agree that it was destined to happen anyway..<br><br>If you know your Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah predicted all this stuff...<br><br>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 07:17 AM

I've just finished a section of a course that I'm teaching (on "mythology") in which, of the historical books of the Old Testament, we read Genesis, Exodus, Judges, and 1 and 2 Samuel. We read other OT books, then read in the New Testament we read the Gospels, Acts, and Revelations. So we got to read the alpha and the omega of human history <br><br>Anyway, my take on what happens in the Gospels (with teh exception of the Gospel of John) is that they reiterate the pattern of the OT. In the OT, regularly, Israel becomes apostate. God punishes Israel with exile, sometimes geographical as in the Babylonian captivity and sometimes political as in the Persian occupation. Eventually God recruits a judge or prophet who reminds Israel of its duty; Israel recovers its customs and faith; the people overthrow the invader; and God smiles on the nation once again.<br><br>The New Testament isn't explicit about the kind of apostasy that Israel has undergone, although it's not hard to understand from some of the actions Christ takes that it involves a radical secularization of the state (money lenders in the Temple, for instance). Seen from the persepective of the OT pattern, the Roman occupation is inevitable as God's punishment for the apostasy. Again from the pattern of the OT, Jesus's mission, like the mission of John the Baptist, is to recall the nation to its duty, just as any Judge or Prophet did in the OT.<br><br>What strikes me very forcibly in rereading the Gospels--the Gospel of John aside, which verges on anti-Judaism as it begins to establish a "new" theology--is that the Pharisees, along with the priesthood, are doing exactly the same thing that Jesus is. And they are doing it in ways that are much more like teh pattern of the OT than what Jesus does. They are very deliberately and carefully harking back to the practices defined in the OT law of Moses (the Mosaic or Talmudic Law) in order to change the apostasy of the people, just as Samuel, a Judge, does, for instance. Jesus is approaching the same task from a different angle, which from the perspective of 2000 years later begins to define the Christian dispensation, at least indirectly (except for the Gospel of John, which is theologically more developed and so different from the other three Gospels and radically so from the OT).<br><br>Again from the perspective of 2000 years later, with Christianity in the ascendancy in Europe and the Americas, it's easy enough to say that he Pharisees and the priests are dead wrong. But that's 20-20 theological hindsight, IMHO. The OT is also full of "types and figures of Christ," as they're called, who almost but not quite fulfill the role of Messiah--Samson is one case; so is David. If I were a faithful Israelite in the first century, trying to figure out how to liberate my nation from the abomination of Roman occupation, I would probably believe that the way to do it is to pay attention to the Pharisees, who affirm the old ways that have always worked to restore the nation.<br><br>
Posted by: sean

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 07:38 AM

I'd love to be in that class. I'd like to be in a bible book club to look at things objectively. i am still full of catholicism and their point of view (i even attended a catholic school for a spell while growing up). i haven't opened a bible in probably 15 years or more. the book i am reading about christian fundamentalists is raising some questions about many things that i always just assumed to be accurately represented/interpreted from the teachings of the catholic church with regard to the bible. i did a very poor job of questioning religious things while growing up. <br><br>--------------<br>"Question with boldness even the existence of a god."<br> A letter to Peter Carr, 10 August 1787 by Thomas Jefferson
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 07:54 AM

Well, we're not doing theology, which is why we didn't read the epistles. I think of mythology as something that establishes a pattern that then makes the stuff that happens in the world make sense. In the second half of the semester we're going to turn to Greek and Roman mythologies, which define a very different pattern to explain the way the world is organized. I think that nowadays the most powerful mythology is science--and believe me, that statement doesn't mean that I think science is not true.<br><br>
Posted by: JohnR

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 07:58 AM

But I thought the word "mythology" was meaning something fake..like a fake story. That's why it has "myth" in the beginning. Course I could be wrong...I'm not a linguist or anything.<br><br><br><br>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/26/04 09:43 AM

The Greek word that gives us "myth" means "story." In my field, myth ends up meaning the patterns formed by groups of narratives (and that's what the Bible is, by the way, a bunch of disparate stories brought together--how they fit together defines the pattern they form). And stories in that sense that have real power have it because the pattern they set up give meaning to people's experiences. For instance, the pattern that the Old Testament sets up--apostasy followed by punishment in the form of exile followed by recruitment by a prophet followed by return to the promise followed by God's favor--establishes a pretty clear meaning as it gets repeated over and over and over in a whole bunch of stories. But if you ignore the meaning established by the pattern, then what you end up with is a plain old history of national identity, territorial aggression, vengeance for the aggression, and so on. Applying the pattern to the history makes the history make sense--it gives it meaning beyond the mere fact of historical accident. Whether that meaning is true or false depends on how you take the pattern. If you live inside the pattern, the myth is true. If you live outside the pattern, the myth is false. The Book of Job is terrific for seeing how that works, by the way. Job's problem is that, because of what has happened to him, he can't make the pattern fit his life any more, so his whole universe falls apart around him. The resolution of the story comes when Job once more accepts the pattern. And, to complete the pattern once he does that, God rewards him with double of everything Job has lost.<br><br>
Posted by: JohnR

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/28/04 07:55 PM

Just saw this movie today. Wow...I was very impressed with the movie. Very well done. <br><br>
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/28/04 08:02 PM

You're evil, John. Don't you know how many books for crippled hungry children could've been bought with the money it took to buy all that popcorn!<br><br><br><br>
Posted by: JohnR

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/28/04 08:03 PM

I knew that so I didn't buy any popcorn!!<br><br><br>I just ate what was on the floor <br><br>
Posted by:

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/28/04 08:04 PM

That wasn't popcorn! Ewwwww! <br><br>
Posted by: JohnR

Re: The Passion Of The Christ: My review - 02/28/04 08:06 PM

Well, it did have this strange odor...and was..ok..wait..I'm going to hurl!!!!<br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by JohnR on 02/28/04 11:10 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>