Wednesday, 23 March 2016


It must be Easter.

I saw the movie Risen today. Jesus is a Kiwi.

No, really. Actor Cliff Curtis, star of Fear of the Walking Dead (how appropriate is that!) has moved from zombies to the Lord of Life. As a proud New Zealander, I don't want to say his portrayal is a bit vacuous, but...

It's Joseph Fiennes who adds the character with long, intense, meaningful looks; though it's doubtful that this will rank as his finest performance. He portrays Clavius, a Roman tribune who is present at the crucifixion and is given the job of finding the missing body.

Pilate is portrayed as a bit of an egg who was pressured by the Sanhedrin into doing the deed. Yup, all that modern scholarship to the contrary, the Jews are responsible. And then the shroud of Turin gets chucked in for good measure. Oh yeah, the disciples have all the edginess of the Seven Dwarves on happy pills.

As a biblical epic, this one doesn't really achieve lift off. As a swords and sandals costume drama it's not completely terrible.


  1. Gavin.

    I give you an 8 hour ultimatum to be more precise. Should I or should I not go? The big short is also playing at our theatre and I just thought I had made a decision on Risen. LOL LOL Dang you learned people. I was looking forward to see things from the "Roman perspective". Be advised I also enjoyed the latest "Exodus", despite the objections. Starring other actors from "the company of nations." LOL


    1. Anon

      You are obviously not busy doing anything productive?

    2. Oh most definitely go. For the entertainment alone. Popcorn optional ;-)

  2. Depends Tom.
    If Gavin instructs me on "The big short" then I'll be working during leisure....LOL
    Thnx for the admonishment though.

  3. Gavin, how is it as a science fiction piece -- you know, alternative world history and all that?

    And hey! Don't be too hard on Cliff Curtis. Sometimes it's the material and you can't really do much with it. Or maybe you are right -- and a really good actor could make the part sizzle. Nevertheless, New Zealand does have a proud legacy of great acting, particularly considering Xena Warrior Princess and Hercules, the Legendary Journeys. Wasn't there a movie... something about Rings?

  4. Even more relevant, in the movie The Nativity Story, NZ actress Keisha Castle-Hughes played Mary. Both Curtis and Keisha are of Maori descent, which is an interesting cultural aside.

  5. This Film made by a Japanese company! SONY
    Japan: a country smart enough to make money exploiting fantastical western beliefs!

  6. I waited to see who (if anyone) would be in the credits as textual/biblical consultant. Nothing. I suspected as much, since they went so blatantly with the debunked characterization of Mary Mag. as a prostitute. Aagh. But the music was decent and the twist that Pilate was under pressure b/c of an impending visit by the emperor was a nice touch. And if you are not too attached to a literal xianity, there are some useful devices that invite contemplation about just who/whether Jesus really is...

  7. I so want to see a movie made solely based on g. Mark. All that weirdness and messianic secret. And the ending...

    Women run away in fear. They tell nobody.
    Roll credits.

  8. Not to worry, "God Isn't Dead 2" (or is that II?) will be opening April 1st.

    Happy April Fool's Day.

    And it's about something that simply can't happen in the United States any more, since teachers ARE able to disclose Bible Scriptures in an historical setting. Ah... anything that serves the Christian Right through hyperbole is fair game....

    Some could view it as science fiction... without the science.