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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Watch: Two new Exodus: Gods and Kings videos highlight Ramses’ relationship with his father Seti and with Moses

exodus-ramses-03Another day, another featurette for Exodus: Gods and Kings — and this one, without quite saying so, draws perhaps the closest connection between this film and Gladiator of any video to date.

Note how it focuses on Ramses’ relationship with his father Seti, who thinks Moses would make a better Pharaoh in his place than Ramses, his own flesh and blood. That’s eerily reminiscent of how Marcus Aurelius wanted Maximus to succeed him as the Emperor of Rome rather than his own son Commodus, no?

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: lots of new photos and new plot details as the studio previews up to 45 minutes of footage

exodus-oct17-8The publicity campaign for Exodus: Gods and Kings is stepping up, just a month and a half before the film opens overseas (click here for the release dates).

20th Century Fox, which already screened about half-an-hour of footage for the media two weeks ago, screened even more footage for reporters in New York and Los Angeles yesterday, and plans to do the same in Washington DC next week. The footage may have also screened in Toronto, to go by a report that appeared in the Toronto Sun on Wednesday.

Various details have leaked out from those screenings, and the studio has added to the new information by releasing some new pictures, including photos of actors we had not yet seen in any of the official press materials. Check ’em out below the jump.

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The second Exodus: Gods and Kings trailer: a shot-by-shot analysis (lots of swords, a prophecy, and a family)

vlcsnap-2014-10-01-12h49m26s72The first full trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings came out today, and to judge by what we see here, the film will have bits of Gladiator, The Prince of Egypt, Schindler’s List and even The Matrix.

That’s right, The Matrix. Or at any rate, that’s what I am reminded of when Ben Kingsley shows up and goes all Morpheus on Christian Bale’s Moses, telling him that he’s always felt something was wrong, that he has been deceived his whole life, and that he is the fulfillment of a prophecy regarding a deliverer.

It’s tempting to think that this “prophecy” business is just another movie cliché — it’s certainly not there in the biblical version of Moses’ story — but the first-century historian Josephus actually mentions such a prophecy and says the Hebrew babies were drowned in the Nile around the time of Moses’ birth because of it.

Cecil B. DeMille included this prophecy (and its consequences) in the prologue to The Ten Commandments — and although other characters refer to it later, there is no scene in which anyone actually discusses the prophecy with Moses. So Exodus is unique in having a mentor introduce the hero to his destiny like this.

Apart from that, the trailer mostly sells action, action, action — if the teaser had lots of horses, this one has lots of swords — but it also touches on Moses’ relationships with his “brother” Ramses, his wife Zipporah and his sons Gershom and Eliezer.

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Will there be “naturalistic interpretations” of the Red Sea parting and other miracles in Exodus: Gods and Kings?

exodus-redsea-horseThe Exodus: Gods and Kings set-visit reports keep on coming!

Earlier today, I linked to reports that were posted today by the European websites Bad Taste, Total Film and MTV UK. Now there’s one at Yahoo! Movies UK, and unlike the others, it actually says a few new things about the film itself.

Among other things, it tells us that the battle in the film’s first act will be not just any skirmish between the Egyptians and the Hittites; it will be the Battle of Kadesh, the largest chariot battle ever fought. This, it seems, will be another of the movie’s anachronisms, since the historical battle was fought in 1274 BC, five years after the death of the Pharaoh Seti, but in the film it is Seti (played by John Turturro) who sends the Egyptians into battle under the leadership of Ramses and Moses.

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