MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Photo By 20th Century Fox
On Blu-ray and DVD, Video on Demand, Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Google Play and other streaming services.
Directed by Christopher Spencer. Starring Roma Downey, Diogo Morgado
I really wanted to like Son of God. Whenever a movie about Jesus Christ is released, I know that there are religious convictions from the filmmakers. Husband and wife producers Roma Downey (who plays Mary, the mother of Jesus) and Mark Burnett (whose TV miniseries The Bible was the source for this spinoff) are active in their Roman Catholic faith and were sincere in their intentions to create something of value. Any film depicting the life of Jesus is going to be a mixed bag. The story is so big and spiritual and personal, it would be hard to make a perfect film.
But Son of God not only fails to be inspiring; it is often incomprehensible. Its depiction of the character of Jesus (Morgado) lacks passion and focus. A nonbeliever who is not familiar with the Bible story would wonder what all the fuss was about. Most Christians familiar with the story of Jesus from the Bible would find many things baffling. My personal list includes:
I never watched the miniseries “The Bible” when it was broadcast on The History Channel. Perhaps the Jesus sections of the miniseries made more sense and were more inspiring.
But, for the time being, Son of God ranks dead last in my list of Jesus movies. Because you are probably wondering, my top three Jesus films are: The Visual Bible: Gospel of John (2003), Jesus of Nazareth (1977) and Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew) (1964). I can think of at least a dozen more to add to this list.
I still prefer the Gospel Story in the Bible. Those are four good books!
Two halos: The Ronco Veg-a-Matic of Jesus films, sliced and diced beyond recognition; I would have given it one halo, but added one because Jesus is in it.
Two pitchforks: Gratuitous scenes of violence before the Crucifixion; basic Biblical illiteracy.
I am not sorry now that I missed the flick, "Son of God"!
Ah, movie makers mess up the Biblical narrative so often!
One my favorite Bible movie goofs is a scene in "The Greatest Story Ever Told (poorly)". Andrew is introducing Jesus to his brother Simon, and says, "Jesus, I'd like you to to meet my brother Peter."
I think I laughed out loud in the theater, wondering if they forgot to study the Gospels.
- Bill Norman
Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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