Friday, March 29, 2013
978. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Running Time: 126 minutes
Directed By: Mel Gibson
Written By: Mel Gibson, Benedict Fitzgerald
Main Cast: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci, Rosalinda Celentano, Francesco DeVito
Click here to view the trailer
With Good Friday falling today and Easter this Sunday, I figured there was really no better time to get to "The Passion of the Christ" - a Mel Gibson directed film and the highest grossing independent film of all-time.
I think we all know the story of Jesus by now, but for the folks who have been living under rocks, I'll do a quick synopsis. The film traces the final twelve hours of Jesus' life, beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane. There, Jesus prays to God, asking him "if at all possible, let this cup pass me by. If this cup cannot pass me by, your will be done." From there, Jesus is arrested and brought before Pontius Pilate. Pilate, not wanting to condemn him, sends him to be judged by Herod. However, not finding any crimes that Jesus has committed, Herod sends Jesus away. From there, Christ is taken back to Pilate, who, after much pressure from Caiaphas (Jewish High Priest) and the crowd, condemns Jesus. First, Christ is only scourged - beaten with whips, chains and mocked with a crown of thorns. Later, after much more pleading from the crowd and Caiaphas, Jesus is condemned to be crucified. He is forced to carry his own cross to the mountain of Golgotha, but can barely do so, having just been nearly beaten to death.
Look, I don't want this to turn into a sermon or anything and I certainly don't want to start any religious debates. Yes, I believe in God and Jesus Christ and that Jesus died for our us, but I'm also aware that many do not and I have no problem with that. In fact, if I may share, I really can't stand people ("bible bangers" some call them) who feel that it is their duty to convert non-believers. It is my belief that each man must answer for his own actions. If you don't believe, that's your business, you will have to pay the piper someday, but it is certainly not my duty to try and change your mind, just as I wouldn't appreciate non-believers trying to talk me out of my beliefs.
To the non-believers, however, I ask (as I did in my "Gospel According to St. Matthew" review) can you at least take "The Passion of the Christ" as a good story. Obviously, to you it's only a story, but I ask, is it at least a good one? Even though you're non-believers, is there any part of you that says "Well I guess this is POSSIBLE"? For example, if someone runs from outside and tells me that giant sequoia's are falling from the sky, I wouldn't believe them, but my mind (maybe for a second or two) would imagine the prospect of this actually happening. If your mind can at least flirt with the idea of this being possible, would you feel sympathy for an innocent man being treated like this? If in that same instant of flirting with the idea of this being real, would you be grateful to a man who went through all of this for you? I'm just curious.
Okay, I've certainly said enough about religion and I said I wasn't going to. Let's talk about "The Passion of the Christ" - the movie. Cinematically", I had few problems with this one. If I was forced to nitpick, I'd say that there were far too many slow motion takes and a few scenes that really should've been left on the cutting room floor. For example, (and THE BOOK even notes this one) the scene where Jesus is depicted practicing his carpentry, making a table for a rich man. It wasn't needed in the slightest. This film should have been 100% uncomfortable, sad and heart wrenching, but it was the inclusion of unnecessary scenes like that, that only made it 98% heart wrenching. Everything else I'd say was fine. The music was just perfect and the acting was fine. In other news, what on Earth happened to Jim Caviezel? He sort of fell of the face of the Earth after this movie. Actually, now that I think of it, I think he's on some TV show...but I'm not sure what and don't really care enough to go looking it up.
RATING: 8.5/10 Great stuff here and another strong candidate for the TOP 20 list. I hope all who celebrate have a Happy and safe Easter.
MOVIES WATCHED: 648
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 353
March 29, 2013 2:00am
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