X-Men: Apocalypse buzz: Is God the villain? Is Nightcrawler no longer a Catholic? Here’s why I’m not worried… yet.

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Two months ago, I linked to a couple of interviews with X-Men: Apocalypse star Oscar Isaac in which he said, among other things, that the villain he plays in that film will be “the embodiment of the second coming of the judgments of God”.

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Fantasia gets a Pixar homage and a Disney remake

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It’s been an interesting week for fans of Disney’s Fantasia.

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Timur Bekmambetov says the chariot race in his version of Ben-Hur will be inspired by YouTube videos

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Timur Bekmambetov is currently out there promoting the horror movie Unfriended, which he produced, and along the way he has been fielding questions about the remake of Ben-Hur, which he is currently shooting in Rome. And, just as Unfriended was inspired by Skype, Bekmambetov has revealed that his own version of Lew Wallace’s “tale of the Christ” will be influenced by social media too.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: the “faith-based” interviews

exodus-scott-bale-2Life got crazy busy around the time Exodus: Gods and Kings came out, and frankly I found the movie itself kind of dispiriting, so I haven’t been as up-to-date with the links and things as I would have liked to have been. But I hope to do a bit of catching up in the next little while, before the film fades entirely from view.

First up, some links to the interviews that director Ridley Scott and co-stars Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton did with the “faith-based” media. Exodus may be the first major Bible production since The Passion of the Christ for which I wasn’t able to snag an interview myself, but a few of my colleagues got to speak to the filmmakers after the film’s New York premiere.

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Should Bible movies be relegated to the Christian ghetto?

exodus-moses-ramses-2The soft opening for Exodus: Gods and Kings last week has prompted a number of think pieces, asking what Hollywood could do better the next time it turns to the Bible for source material.

One such piece appeared in Variety last Sunday, and it’s… problematic.

For starters, it almost seems to suggest that Hollywood should focus on making low-budget movies for the Christian ghetto, i.e. films like Son of God and God’s Not Dead, which cost very little to make and were thus profitable in the U.S. even though they earned almost nothing overseas.

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The silence, justice, mercy and love of God in Noah

Questions of personal taste aside, most of the problems that people have had with Darren Aronofsky’s Noah don’t stand up to all that much scrutiny. Does the film reflect a Gnostic theology? Not at all. Is the snakeskin worn by Adam and his descendants necessarily evil in the Jewish tradition? Not at all. Were the righteous people who lived before the Flood vegetarian? Actually, yes. And so on, and so on.

The one complaint that arguably does have some merit is the one that says God does not speak in this film. God talks a lot in the biblical version of this story, but in the film he is silent, communicating through visions and signs that are open to more than one interpretation, and leaving some pretty crucial decisions to Noah himself.

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