Monday, August 27, 2007

Moses, Moses....MOSES!!!!

Do you know what the world needs? What cinema needs? A movie version of the story of Moses! Boy, wouldn't that be a great movie! Imagine all the miracles, plagues, the epic story of a people rescued from bondage and taken to the Promised Land. All wrapped around the fascinating character of a Jew who was raised in Pharaoh's court, only to return to challenge Pharaoh himself in an epic power struggle between the gods of Egypt and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

Well, now you can get your wish. Promenade Pictures is starting a 12 part series titled "Epic Stories of The Bible." Naturally, you don't get much more epic than the Exodus, so their first film is The Ten Commandments. This story takes the unusual tactic of focusing on the relationship between Moses and his half-brother Ramesses and the film is almost unique in having an all-star cast of actors. Even more unusual, the film is animated! How crazy is that! Watch the trailer at the bottom of this post.

You may have noticed my sarcastic tone...not...uh...not again. Ok, I'm more than a bit skeptical about this film. It is being released in September 2007, supposedly in theatres, but most likely you'll see this on DVD. This is the 3rd film titled The Ten Commandments to be released in the past 2 years. The first and most famous is the 2006 tv-miniseries version starring Dougray Scott, entitled <The Ten Commandments (read the review over on Bible Films Blog(he also does a good job of overviewing most other Moses films recently) Also in 2006 was the supposedly awful The Ten Commandments: The Musical, starring Val Kilmer. This was basically just a DVD of the stage production.

So what does the new The Ten Commandments have that these others don't? How about really bad CGI(looks to be somewhere below Saturday morning cartoon CGI(think ReBoot and Beast Wars)? Or a has been actor phoning it in as Moses's voice(Christian Slater)? The best moments in the trailer simply remind me of the better stuff in films such as The Prince of Egypt(which is even name dropped in the trailer). The actors make a big deal in the trailer about how this film "humanizes" Moses, but that is the tactic taken by just about every adaptation of this story, from the The Ten Commandments (50th Anniversary Collection) all the way to the Moses (The Bible Collection) from 1997. This one just seems to be a cash-in by some studio looking to line it's pockets by simply rolling out another cheaply produced re-make. This actually reminds me quite a bit of what happened with Inspired By The Bible Experience: New Testament and The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio BIble (Tnew Testament Audio Bible). Pretty much identical products, with identical concepts. Why are there two? Because someone saw the first one( Inspired By The Bible Experience: New Testament in this case) and thought they could throw together a rip-off and cash in on customer confusion.

The story of Moses is really done to death. Even Battlestar Galactica did a version of it( Battlestar Galactica - Battlestar Galactica, Season 3 - Exodus, Pt. 1)! If you don't have anything new to say don't bother! At least stuff like The Decalogue and The Ten take a new tactic on this story by transferring it to a new setting. This film has a lot of work to do for me to like it.

Ok, on top of all its other obvious problems, I'm now mad that The Ten Commandments website is so bad. It has a link to embed the trailer but instead of just giving it to you it demands your name and email, and it has now been 45 minutes since I provided that and I still haven't received the embed code. So chalk up another victory for Christian movies with awful website design. You'll have to go there to see the trailer.

Since I can't embed that, I'll post this youtube video instead. Warning, it does feature one cuss word.

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