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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Box-office forecast: How will Exodus: Gods and Kings perform theatrically compared to Noah?

exodus-scott-baleThe Hollywood Reporter says Exodus: Gods and Kings may gross between $25 million and $30 million when it opens in North America this weekend.

That would be slightly ahead of the $25.6 million that Son of God opened to in February, but considerably behind the $43.7 million that Noah opened to in March — but movies that open in December tend to stay afloat over the holidays, so Exodus could still be the year’s biggest Bible movie when all is said and done. (The Prince of Egypt, to cite one precedent, opened in December 1998 to only $14.5 million and still grossed $101.4 million in total — which is slightly more than Noah made in North America.)

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Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings opens behind Noah in Mexico and South Korea, beats it in Spain

vlcsnap-2014-11-10-10h40m49s174It doesn’t open in North America for another five days, but Exodus: Gods and Kings has been playing overseas for a few days now, and so far it seems to be off to a fairly healthy start for a Ridley Scott film — but it may not be doing as well as the other big Bible movie of the year, i.e. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.

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Horses fall to their doom in a new Exodus: Gods and Kings clip, and four other new videos

exodus-prince-convincedMy computer has been out of commission for the past few days, so I haven’t been able to keep up with the Exodus: Gods and Kings video clips as closely as I’d like, much less capture any of the new images, but I figured I might as well round up what’s out there. The new batch includes a clip from the film, three TV spots and a collection of soundbites from the film’s world premiere last Wednesday.

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Bible movies snubbed by the Oscars’ visual-effects branch (plus four new pictures of the Exodus plagues)


The Academy has released a list of the ten films that are still in the running for the Oscar for best visual effects this year, and neither of the year’s big Bible movies made the cut.

As Jeffrey Wells puts it, the Academy favoured “nine fantasy films about exotic creatures and monsters plus one serious, intensively researched sci-fi film (i.e., Chris Nolan’s Interstellar)” rather than the “novel and in some ways genre-expanding” effects in Noah and the “impressive” effects in Exodus: Gods and Kings.

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Watch: Egyptologists promote Exodus: Gods and Kings, plus new footage in ABC’s Nightline report about the movie

exodus-facebook-141202-vidWith all the grumbling these days about the biblical and historical accuracy of Exodus: Gods and Kings, it makes sense that the studio would release a new featurette in which Egyptologists discuss the historical basis for the film.

The Egyptologists in question — William Schniedewind, Lynn Swartz Dodd and Kara Cooney — don’t address any of the current controversies, though, nor do they stir up any new ones. Instead, they speak in broad strokes about the reign of Ramses, Egyptian empire-building, and the role of slaves in Egyptian society.

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