when i was twelve and i was getting my pre-baptism lessons (again), one of the elder boys asked me what my fave stories from the bible were and i said moses. they asked why and i had to be like “i dunno, he just has the best stories”
cuz i didn’t wanna tell ‘em it was mainly cuz i love the prince of egypt
Could you recommend me valid biblical movies/series?
I love the unironic usage of the word “valid” that discourse and the internet has given us.
I haven’t watched a ton and I generally dislike them BUT I have three favorites that aren’t peachy or unimaginative.
The Prince of Egypt: This is honestly one of the greatest works of art ever made, both in terms of visuals and the musical score. It’s the Exodus story, rendered lovingly and cleverly and in a source-accurate way with actual Moral Dilemmas and Historically Accurate People of Color and a deep, trembling, complex love for the flight from Egypt which just seeps out of the film. All the voice actors do a bang-up job, and the cast list is star-studded.
The Nativity Story: A beautiful, slow paced, but emotionally tense take on the birth of Jesus that focuses on the characters of Joseph and Mary. It stars Keisha Castle-Hughes and Oscar Issac (which is EXCELLENT casting) and captures the delicate, unsure, frightened love blossoming between the young couple. It also gives Joseph his own emotional arc, which plenty of nativity stories don’t.
One Night with the King: This one is a little campy but it is GORGEOUS and it makes my heart sing. It’s slightly romanticized, lavish retelling of the story of Esther, but Tiffany Dupont as Esther is clever and brave and kind, not to mention absolutely beautiful in all of her elaborate Persian dresses. Luke Goss (whom you may recognize as Prince Nuada from Hellboy 2) is regal and emotive and charming. The movie takes liberties turning the political marriage between Haddasah/Esther and the Persian King into a nuanced love story in which Esther has agency (she seduces the king my telling him Bible stories Scheherazade style). I still cry every time I watch it.
Now that Exodus and Gods of Egypt are total flops, does that mean that Hollywood learns that the audience doesn’t like this stupid as fuck whitewashed epics? That all the big names and big budgets don’t mean anything if they fail to have just the slightest bit of respect to the source material and the persons it depicts?
A Partial List of Actors Who Are of Middle Eastern and/or North African Descent (plus a bonus Lupita Nyong'o for Tzipporah*), All of Whom Could Have Been Cast in a Movie About The Exodus Instead of a Bunch of White People:
James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was. But now Sony is suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Britain, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is and I know it’s racist to probably point this out. We’ve had 50 years of white Bonds because Bond is white. Bond was never Black. Ian Fleming never created a Black Brit to play James Bond.
Rush Limbaugh talking about Idris Elba as the possible next James Bond.
“After explaining Bond’s roots as a fictional character, Limbaugh tried to compare casting Elba in that role to enlisting white actors to play actual Black people. He then tried to imagine white people playing Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela, Condolezza Rice, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.”
Because white people always seem to have the “that character is white, they just are,” when referring to FICTIONAL characters like Annie and James Bond. And always seem to compare that to REAL LIFE BLACK PEOPLE being played by white folks in some hypothetical scenario. But then a POC fictional character being whitewashed is “maybe they were just the best person for the job,” or “maybe no POC tried out for that role.” And it’s also okay to whitewash Biblical movies, and other historical type movies where POC should be cast.
The glass is shattered. The Dark Knight himself, Batman (Ben Affleck) rises from the ground surrounded by shards of glass. He stumbles over to his enemy, the man with “the red cape,” Superman (Henry Cavill). Batman decked out in a grey, and black protective body armour, more high-tech than his ordinary costume, beats the living daylights out of the Man of Steel. The lighting, a continuously flashing white and blue, reminiscent of purity, and water. Batman, a mere mortal, is delivering a colossal smackdown to a God. Like man desires to destroy God, we also aspire to walk side by side him. With that interesting thought in mind, Zack Snyder’s superhero epic, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice delivers a massive punch in the superhero game. However, is it as successful as we hoped?
In case the trailers have not mapped out an idea of the film for you (or you have not read the title of the picture), here is a brief synopsis: Batman believes Superman is responsible for the destruction of Metropolis and has to be “destroyed.” There you go, pretty simple right? Right?? Well, like most films in this genre, Batman V Superman does not stop at being Batman V Superman, it goes up and beyond what is necessarily required, and this is not a problem. The film, a colossal two hours and thirty-one minutes, packs a lot in, almost like an overflowing lunch box. However, with the caring hands of a Mother (in this instance, Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio) the film is perfectly balanced, providing sufficient screen time for every important character (as well as a few not-so-surprise cameos).
Snyder is no stranger to controversy, and its quite funny that the film opens with you guessed it, controversy. A reimagining of the climax of Man Of Steel, however, this time, told from the perspective of Bruce Wayne, played by a brilliant Ben Affleck. The scene is powerful, the lighting, sound and costume add to the sense of horror being displayed on the screen. The scene has a very 9/11 feel to it, and may come as a bit of a shock to audience members, but this was what this film needed. The second I witnessed the scene, especially when Bruce asks a little girl “where is your Mum?” only to be directed to a burning and destroyed building, I knew the film would be something more than your typical superhero films. From the get go, Snyder and his comrades attempt to right the wrongs of Man Of Steel, and they succeed wholeheartedly. This film does not suffer from wasteful dialogue, or crappy, made-for-TV scenarios. The film is rough. When critics say the film is dark, believe me, it is indeed bleak. But that does not mean there is no fun to be had. I saw the film with my twelve-year-old brother, a kid who is obsessed with DC Comics, and I have never seen him more emotional in my entire life. Happy, sad, confusion, shock and utter excitement, all adjectives that describe my brother and my own experiences watching this film.
The film’s casting is seriously perfect, akin to Man Of Steel. The Bruce Wayne/Alfred dynamic is as vibrant as ever, with Jeremy Irons owning the role of the latter. The performance will remind Batman fans of the animated Batman series in the 90s; as their relationship is extremely similar to that. The funny thing is, despite having an amazing trilogy with Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan, I cannot help but feel like Ben Affleck is the Batman. He is dark, brooding, humorous and just brutal. If you are a fan of Frank Miller’s work in The Dark Knight Returns and All-Star Batman & Robin, you will thoroughly enjoy this interpretation of Batman. In fact, everyone in this film is expertly cast, especially Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. A casting that had everyone scratching their heads honestly made a huge impact on me. Eisenberg adds a real sense of bizarreness and comic book pop to this film and delves into the deranged mindset someone like Luthor would have. A scene in the movie which stuck with me happens towards the end, in which Superman and Luthor come face to face, and Lex reveals that his Father used to beat him, and he states how there was no Superman to save him. The relationship, the idea that Lex wanted God to be with him, saying that “God cannot be good and fair,” actually develops why he has such an intense hatred for Superman and everything the character believes in. Henry Cavill portrays Superman once more, and despite criticism being delved in his corner for being “stale” and “boring,” I quite adored his performance. Cavill plays Superman in ways I do not think anyone else would have; he is broken. He does not understand who or what humanity wants him to be, and this is reflected in his performance. Gal Gadot provides a (get ready for a wicked pun here) wonderful performances as Wonder Woman. She is smart, funny, strong and sexy. In fact, Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL have developed the coolest sounding score for her character, an incredible guitar riff, leading into a bombastic orchestra.
The film portrays Superman as this Messiah figure, akin to Jesus Christ, and in doing this, the movie allows itself many incredible sequences. Without revealing too much, the film’s final hour is some of the best Biblical-allusions I have ever seen, mainly dealing with the Trinity. While many found this a huge problem with Man Of Steel, I found it one of a the most unique parts of that film. The parallels are continued in this movie. The Biblical allusions are carried over into the film’s soundtrack, as Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL deliver the definitive DC Comics soundtrack with their score. Perhaps this is the coolest part of the picture, as it genuinely adds a lot to the characters existing in this world, and dealing with the consequences of these actions. I will discuss a spoiler here, so be warned. Towards the end of the film, Superman is killed by Doomsday. This entire sequence is ripped straight from the pages of the classic Superman story arc, The Death Of Superman. The scene, accompanied by ‘This Is My World’ from the soundtrack, is soul-crushing. Beautiful, but absolutely crushing. The Biblical comparisons are exemplified here, as we see Superman being carried on Batman’s shoulders like Jesus was carried down from the cross. The final shot of Lois Lane (Amy Adams) crying over Superman’s body was ripped straight from the comics, and featured two crosses in the background, reassuring the idea that Superman is a Messiah, as Jesus died surrounded by two other crucifixions. If you are into film techniques, there is visual foreshadowing of Superman’s fate at the start of the film, as he flies to Mexico to save a girl from a burning building during The Day Of The Dead. Women, children and men are all decked out in skull costumes, and they all desire to touch Superman, looking like they want to drag him down to death. In case you have not noticed, the film is quite smart.
All in all, Batman V Superman is a huge success. If you love these characters, you will love this movie. If you go to this picture wanting it to suck and be awful, you will probably find the movie to suck and be completely awful. However, who the hell wants to live like that? If this movie has taught me anything, it is that life is precious. The people we love will help us define who we are, and who we are meant to be. In doing so, Zack Snyder has brought a God, down to mortal level, and into the stratosphere of Superman’s personal conflict. The film not only makes humanity understand a God, but it also develops the understanding that everyone feels pain, even Gods.