Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings (dir. Ridley Scott, 2014)

exodus-DF-02770Early on in Exodus: Gods and Kings, there’s a scene in which Moses, who is still an Egyptian prince oblivious to his Hebrew heritage, confronts an Egyptian viceroy named Hegep, who is supposed to be building a new city for the Pharaoh but seems to have diverted some of the funds towards his own luxurious lifestyle. Hegep tries to deflect Moses’ attention by pointing to the troublesome Hebrew slaves, and says he needs more resources to deal with them. As proof of how rebellious these Hebrews are, Hegep says, “Do you know what ‘Israelite’ means in their own language? ‘He who fights with God’.” An annoyed Moses replies, “‘He who wrestles with God’. There’s a difference.”

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: new interviews and behind the scenes footage in the electronic press kit

vlcsnap-2014-11-26-12h41m27s105The electronic press kit for Exodus: Gods and Kings is here, and with it, some new behind-the-scenes footage that hints at things we have not yet seen in any of the ads or clips released so far. It also has lots of soundbites from key cast and crew members. Check it out below the jump.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: new posters, new photos!

exodusgodsandkings-poster1Exodus: Gods and Kings opens overseas in just a little over a month — the IMDb says South Korea will get it on December 3, which means it will be playing there when it’s still December 2 in North America — so it’s time for some new posters, to replace the somewhat tacky ones that were released back in July.

Total Film has also published a new set-visit report in their December 2014 issue, and it comes with a handful of new photos as well. The article mostly repeats what we’ve heard before — Christian Bale was very funny off-camera, Joel Edgerton wasn’t sure he was right for the part of Ramses at first, etc. — but it does include one new, potentially controversial statement from Bale, to add to the one I quoted yesterday: “[Moses is] a freedom fighter, absolutely. And he’s a terrorist as well. This is a man of absolute extremes.”

You can check out all the new images below the jump.

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Our first look at the Genesis-themed The Red Tent

redtent-ew-aThe Red Tent — the adaptation of the Anita Diamant novel that tells the biblical story of Jacob and Joseph from the perspective of Jacob’s wives and daughter Dinah — now has an airdate. Entertainment Weekly reports that the two-part miniseries will be shown on the Lifetime network December 7 and 8.

That’s right in the thick of the Exodus: Gods and Kings rollout (it opens overseas the week before that, and it opens in North America the week after that). And, as it happens, both films will feature Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass as a royal figure of some sort. In Exodus, she plays Bithiah, the Egyptian princess who adopts Moses, while in The Red Tent, she plays Re-Nefer, the queen of Shechem.

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Is Ridley Scott’s Exodus the first Bible epic to be shot in 3D?

The first big wave of 3D films came and went in the early 1950s, right around the time when Bible epics were surging in popularity — but to my knowledge, the two trends never met. No Bible films were made in 3D back then, nor have any Bible films been made in 3D since then.

Well, that all changes right now, because it turns out Ridley Scott is shooting his life-of-Moses movie Exodus in 3D, and doing so with the same cinematographer who produced such fantastic 3D images for him in last year’s Prometheus. We can only hope that the script they’re working with will be much, much better this time, but it seems a safe bet that Exodus will look great, at least. The IMDb has the details.

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Review: The Nativity Story (dir. Catherine Hardwicke, 2006)

The Passion of The Christ was an independent movie, paid for entirely out of Mel Gibson’s pocket. The Prince of Egypt was an animated film that emphasized the common ground between Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Last Temptation of Christ was a low-budget art-house flick based on a heretical novel.

You would have to go back at least as far as King David, the mid-1980s box-office flop starring Richard Gere, to find another live-action movie produced by a major Hollywood studio and based directly on the Bible. And you would have to go back even further — to the bathrobe epics of the 1960s, at least — to find a mainstream biblical movie that was as blatantly Christian as The Nativity Story.

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