TFTM: The temptation of Buck Williams

Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, Part 5

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Earlier, in a faithful adaptation of a scene from the book, the filmmakers were no more successful than Jerry Jenkins had been in portraying a phone call to an unlisted number as a sign of the Antichrist’s terrifying power. In this next scene, director Bill Corcoran strays from the book significantly in an attempt to increase the creepy-Antichrist factor.

In the movie, it seems, Nicolae Carpathia can control elevators.

Cam-Cam presses the button for the ground floor and instead the elevator heads up — ignoring whatever buttons he presses to take him to the roof. There the door opens and two large men greet Buck by name, escorting him to where Nicolae is waiting.

That’s a far better entrance than any Nicolae makes in the book, and the rest of this scene is also an immense improvement over the material its adapted from. (Yes, that’s a low threshold, but still.) Corcoran condenses the action, which allows it to seem like action, rather than like the several chapters of treading water he squeezes down into this one scene. In the novel there were several more phone calls, leading up to Nicolae’s arranging for Buck to fly to New York for a meeting. Jenkins recounted every detail of that flight in excruciating detail before belatedly trying to inject some suspense into the story by having Buck fear that the limo driver was a hired assassin. That all took several dreadful chapters to unfold, none of which contributed to the readers’ sense of Nicolae’s menace.

Here, too, we can gratefully appreciate Corcoran’s wise decision to do away with the agonizingly drawn-out business in which Buck and Rayford wasted a hundred pages insisting that they would never, ever take a job working for Nicolae. In the film, both characters quickly decided not just to accept such jobs, but to pursue them. That saves us lots of time and makes the heroes appear more decisive. Oddly, though, in this scene it means that Buck and Nicolae both want the same thing.

Corcoran’s biggest advantage in this scene is that he has Gordon Currie playing Nicolae. Currie doesn’t seem interested in portraying the “young Robert Redford” described in the novel. He seems to be shooting more for a young Christopher Lee or a young Bela Lugosi. He attacks the part with an enthusiastic B-movie turn that sometimes borders on camp (and sometimes sets up camp in camp).

In this scene, Currie is actually a bit more restrained, playing up the persuasive, idealistic side of the character rather than the mustache-twirling, cackling villain he unleashes elsewhere.

The conversation between Buck and Nicolae diverges quite a bit from the book. It’s a condensation of the longer, less-focused discussion there, incorporating much of what both characters should have said.

Nicolae greets Buck and seems to quiz him to see if he remembers witnessing the double-homicide in the last film. Cam-Cam is awkward and evasive and wholly unconvincing.

This is why that name “Cam-Cam” is invaluable here in discussing Kirk Cameron’s portrayal of Cameron “Buck” Williams. When you watch this scene you’re aware that you’re not just watching Cameron Williams acting awkward, but that you’re watching Kirk Cameron acting awkwardly and you’re not sure where one stops and the other begins. (Somebody there on the roof isn’t sure what to say, how to say it, or what to do with his hands.)

Inexplicably satisfied by Buck’s non-responses, Nicolae moves on to his big proposal. He wants to hire Buck to work for him after the takeover of all major media by the U.N.’s new one-world government.

This proposal is indefensible, but — unlike in the book — both characters seem to realize that. “A free press is the cornerstone of a free world,” Cam-Cam says, nobly. And then he even explains why, saying that government control of the press means “leadership without accountability.”

His full line, unfortunately, is “Leadership without accountability does not sound very compelling” — the latter half of which, frankly, does not sound very compelling, and sounds even less compelling as delivered by Cam-Cam. (I’m picturing Cam-Cam in colonial Lexington: “Taxation without representation … does not sound very compelling.”)

For his part, Nicolae recognizes that a principled journalist will and should object to his scheme, so he makes the best possible case for it by appealing to a lofty-sounding higher purpose. Only through controlling the media, he argues, can his government keep the pain and trauma of the Event from turning into blame and conflict. He frames it as the idea of uniting truth and power to fight “fear and suspicion.”

Currie almost makes it sound like he actually believes this is a noble plan. It still doesn’t sound very compelling, but it’s more compelling than the pitch Nicolae makes in the book.

“And if I refuse?” Buck says.

“I don’t think you can,” Nicolae responds, then quickly adds, “This is too important.”

They shake hands to seal the deal and, just like that, the Tribulation Force has its first secret agent in place. Success!

But it’s not clear if we viewers are supposed to be happy about this.

This is just  the arrangement that Buck was hoping for — it’s what he believes God wanted him to do. But it’s also just the arrangement that Nicolae was hoping for. The book was quite comfortable with those two things being identical — the will of God and the will of the Antichrist. Here in the movie, though, Corcoran seems more ambivalent. He zooms in tight on the handshake as the score strikes a sudden note of ominously Antichrist-y music.

There’s also the whole rooftop problem.

I don’t mean the logistical questions involving how Nicolae could have known when Buck would decide to leave his desk and head for the elevator. The whole Prince of the Power of the Air swooping down from above vibe is kind of spoiled if you imagine Nicolae standing around for half an hour, checking his watch and fiddling idly with his elevator remote-control as he waits for Buck to call it a night. So let’s just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume his uncanny timing is somehow related to his mind-reading mojo.

What I mean is that this rooftop setting is too much of an allusion to the temptation of Christ in the wilderness:

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”

If Corcoran didn’t intend that allusion here, Currie surely did, making sweeping gestures that all-but recite those verses from Luke’s Gospel.

So what just happened, then? Did we just witness Secret Agent Cam-Cam infiltrating the inner circles of the dark side? Or did we just witness Cam-Cam agreeing to bow before Satan in exchange for worldly authority?

Or both?

My take — which probably doesn’t correspond to what the filmmakers were thinking — is that this is a parable about the sorry state of modern journalism. Just listen to what Buck says just before he shakes hands with the Antichrist: “If I’m going to report the truth, I need access to it.”

Access. That’s what it’s all about for Buck — ensuring that he gains, and keeps, access to the highest levels of power. Without that, he says, it would be impossible to do his job, so whatever trade-offs he needs to make in the name of access he regards as necessary trade-offs. Even if it means becoming a bought-and-paid-for employee of The Powers That Be. That’s contemporary journalism in a nutshell.

Down on the street, Buck strides from the building, passing chairs randomly strewn about on the sidewalk as sirens blare in the distance of this dangerous, post-Rapture city. And there, on the mean streets of this chaotic, violent world, Buck’s motorcycle sits, undisturbed.

Steve Plank strolls up, displaying the same remarkable timing as his boss, and welcomes Buck aboard in the new one-world media. It’s a weird little tacked-on scene, but it makes another helpful change from the novel.

“The Ben-Judah announcement, that’s the event,” Steve tells Buck. “Believe me, it’ll be the biggest story of your career.”

In the book, Buck was the one who decided that a rabbi’s research findings was a higher priority story than the prophecy-fulfilling peace treaty in Israel or the abolition of every national government or a billion still-missing children. That seemed absurd and the authors never much bothered to defend it. But here, Corcoran has Steve — meaning Nicolae — steering Buck toward covering Tsion Ben-Judah’s messianic research.

That’s an intriguing difference, hinting that Nicolae is expecting the rabbi to conclude that he is the Messiah. The movie never bothers to explore that idea, but unlike the book it at least allows room for us to explore it, and to think how much more interesting this story might be if it turned out that Nicolae really believed he was the Christ instead of knowing full well that he is the Antichrist.

Now we take an abrupt turn from clandestine rooftop meetings to half-hearted romantic comedy.

Here is the front-porch farce from the novel, replayed rather faithfully. Again I’m grateful to Corcoran for sparing us the belabored build-up. The weird “flowers are in the trash” stuff is dispensed with, and rather than having Chloe stew for days, the conflict between her and Buck occurs the same day as her initial Not What It Looks Like misapprehension.

Just as in the book, she pleads with her father to chase Buck off the porch. And just as in the book, Rayford inexplicably sides with the 30-year-old man chasing his daughter. He does this despite having ample reason to believe, as Chloe does, that Buck is engaged to another woman. That’s far creepier than the remote-controlled elevator.

As in the book, Rayford actually lies to Chloe. It’s a minor little fib — he tells her he can’t chase Buck away because he’s in the shower, even though he isn’t. That doesn’t amount to much here in the movie. But this scene in the book comes just a few chapters after Buck and Bruce agonize over the possibility that Buck might be tempted to lie to the Antichrist in order to save lives. So lying to the devil to save lives is bad, but lying to your daughter to prod her into talking to the engaged older man on the porch is OK?

In the book, Jenkins set up his NWILL subplot so that we would see Buck as wrongly accused and take that as a close-enough approximation for his being good. That sets up Chloe to be the villain in this scene, but even though the filmmakers stick closely to the book, it doesn’t play out that way.

Cam-Cam takes a bit too much time to relish how confused Chloe seems to be. This makes him seem more condescending than innocent. And Chloe is finally straightforwardly aggressive here, a refreshing change from the passive-aggressive poutiness of her earlier scenes. Janaya Stephens leavens the humiliation and embarrassment of Jenkins’ scene with a relieved delight. It’s a small touch, but it’s enough to flip the scene around from the way it was written — to put the viewer’s sympathies on Chloe’s side, rather than against her. We wind up happy to see her happy.

“You can have all the time you want,” she tells Buck, hugging him warmly.

That’s an unfortunate choice of words considering this is the Great Tribulation, the final clock is ticking, etc. But still, it’s kind of a nice moment.

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  • Anonymous

    About a minute is missing from the end of last week’s Part 4 to the beginning of this week’s Part 5.  It shows Chloe telling her father that Buck is engaged and Rayford doesn’t believe her. Then Rayford takes the next call from Buck in front of Chloe; Cam-Cam asks if he can come over and Rayford agrees without Chloe being aware. * You can view the missing minute during this video (beginning at about 4:30.)

    * Cam-Cam: Is she standing right there?
    Rayford: Absolutely!

  • Daughter

    Ugh to that link, aunursa. Ray doesn’t even take the time to ask Chloe why she thinks Buck is engaged, he just assumes it can’t be true. Does he think his daughter just pulled that idea out of her head? And if he had taken the time to listen and still concluded that Buck wasn’t engaged, wouldn’t he, as an RTC father, still be concerned about Buck having another woman in his apartment?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Ha ha. You can have all the time you want.

    Well, six years and 9 months. Max.

    I like to think that he can control the elevator with his telekinesis. He does have that, right? You can’t be an effective Antichrist if you can’t move stuff with your mind.

    It’s interesting how, even though he’s burdened with a paper-thin character and a ridiculous vampire accent, Gordon Currie still manages to act rings around that other guy.

    “It feels as if, you haff been avoiding me!”

    “No, no, why would I do that.”

    “The UN has decided to take control of the world’s major media.”

    “What.”

    “Sounds like you don’t approve.”

    —-

    This guy doesn’t inflect. He doesn’t emote. He sounds like a bored high schooler being made to read aloud in class. I don’t think his voice moved even one octave during that entire evil seduction scene.

  • Anonymous

    The elevator trick is supposed to ratchet up the tension and even frighten a little bit, except Cam-Cam doesn’t look frightened. He looks annoyed! He rolls his eyes! I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but how it comes off is that instead of viewing Nicky as malignant and terrifying, Cam-Cam thinks he’s a little kid acting out.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    if this was intentional or not, but how it comes off is that instead of
    viewing Nicky as malignant and terrifying, Cam-Cam thinks he’s a little
    kid acting out.

    Sadly, given the self-absorbed way the book characters act, I’d say the film really is spot-on here. :| Hasn’t the way Buck acts in-series been sporked quite a few times?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Nicolae and Buck scene on the roof was, I thought, fairly effective. One interesting thing, though. I saw this website once that discussed the “psychology of handshakes”. I’m not real sure how legit that is, but one thing it pointed up was that the position of a person’s hand is a part of a power dynamic. Holding up your hand vertically is a handshake of equals. Turning your hand palm down is asserting yourself against the other person. Turning your palm up is a peace-making or supplicant gesture.

    Take a look at the attached picture, and notice that Nicolae has his hand extended to Buck with his palm facing up.

    If you believe that psychology of handshakes thing, here’s the Antichrist attempting to manipulate Buck by appearing as the reasonable party with an offer no one could refuse, and part of it is appearing to be requesting rather than demanding.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Movie sign! We’ve got movie-sign!

    Nicolae: “Since vat day, it veels like you’ve been awoiding me.”
    Cam-Cam: “No. No. Why would I do that?”
    Crow T. Robot: “Well, it would trigger memories of witnessing horrible violence…”

    Nicolae: “Dats why de U.N. has decided to assume control of the vorld’s major media.”
    Cam-Cam: “What?”
    Nicolae: “Zounds like you don’t approve?”
    Tom Servo: “No, it I don’t understand. What you said makes no sense. And that’s assuming you said what I think you said…”

    Cam-Cam: “And if I refuse?”
    Mike Nelson: “Well, he did bring you up to the roof with two goons…”

    Nicolae: “Vuck Bvwilliams… I velcome ze acound nobility”
    The Bots: “Is he even speaking English anymore?”

    Mike: Woohoo! Spotted the generic uniformed security guards!

    Chloe: “Daddy! Buck’s here, and he won’t leave!”
    Crow T. Robot: “So? Get the shotgun we keep next to the door and give him a good ‘peppering’ and he’ll go.”

    Chloe: “Mrs. Ivy Williams. Cute.”
    Tom Servo: “In what sense of the word?”

  • Tricksterson

    Oh what I would give for an MST3K version of these movies!  Or Rifftracks.

  • Matri

    First thought that came to my mind when I saw the YouTube preview shot: What’s Palpatine doing in this movie?

  • JonT

    From your description Cam-Cam and Chloe sound like Edward and Bella.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Corcoran condenses the action,

    If he stuck to the source material, and used every scene that moved the plot forward, this movie would be 5 minutes long…

  • Anonymous

    Oh, that wascally Antichrist, always with the elevator tricks. Hey! Get off’n the roof, ya hooligans!

  • Anonymous

    You know, I’ve been thinking it over, and I think Little Nicky should have been played by Tim Curry instead.  He even already has experience with horrible Romanian accents into the bargain.

  • Anonymous

    I’m picturing Buck stepping out of the elevator, and Nicky and all of his minions are on the roof, doing the Time Warp again.

    I’d watch that movie.

  • http://profiles.google.com/vlowe7294 Vaughn Lowe

    Dammit phoenix!  Now I can’t shake the picture of Nicky hanging from a grandfather clock singing… “It’s astounding… time is fleeting…”

  • Anonymous

    No no! Now I cant think of Nicolae except in leather drag outfits

  • Anonymous

    “Leadership without accountability does not sound very compelling”

    Are you kidding me? That sounds fucking amazing. 
    Assuming I’m the one in charge, of course. Which, thank goodness, I’m not.

    trying to inject some suspense into the story by having Buck fear that the limo driver was a hired assassin

    I had this image, when I read that, of Buck getting facepalmed out of the way by the elite assassin who’s moving in to kill the important person.

  • Tricksterson

    I have an image of his looming menacingly over Buck and then…giving him a noogie.

  • Dmoore970

    Several comments here:

    (1) Am I the only one going nuts over the horrible lip syncing in this version?  It’s really distracting.

    (2) Aunursa, thanks for the other link.  It is good to see a version with their lips matching their words.  Also, I notice that in this version Rayford lies yet again, this time to Buck about not knowing why Chloe is upset.  Apparently lying to matchmake is OK.

    (3)  I agree with the people who think the meeting on the rooftop is a strong implied threat.

  • FangsFirst

    That’s far creepier than the remote-controlled elevator.

    Word.

  • Vardulon

    What I found especially odd was how Buck, rather than seeming like an innocent man, was acting like a liar carefully trying to figure out how much of the truth he was going to have to tell.

    “There was a woman in your apartment.” ‘Okay.’ “Brunette.” ‘Go on.’ “In a towel.” ‘You’re going to have to be more specific.’ “Wearing an engagement ring!” ‘Oh, (phew) that’s just Ivy, you don’t have to worry about HER.’

    If there haven’t been any other women gallivanting around Buck’s bachelor pad in towels, then why did it take him so long to figure out who answered the door?

  • Bificommander

    Hmm, the remote elevator might work if this was an Omen/End of Days type of satanic figure, who actually controls it with his mind or something. Granted, there’s cooler things you could do, but showing that the enemy can turn any and every item against you with a mere thought is pretty creepy. But it doesn’t look like that’s what’s suggested, seeing how there’s two goons there too. It seems more like a carefully arranged tampering with the electronic system which required his henchmen’s physical presence. That’s not terribly impressive.

    Oh, and in the book we mostly give Rayford crap for not pointing his fully loaded Air Force One straight down over an active volcano, but for all the ‘implied threat’ that putting Buck on a rooftop with two goons has, I can’t help but notice Nicky himself was the one standing right at the edge of it, with the goons at 10 feet distance. How hard would it really have been for Buck to grab a hold of Nicky during the handshake and pull him over?

  • Parisienne

    I quite liked Gordon Currie’s Nicolae for a while, but I’m starting to go off him… While I grant that he’s doing his generic Eastern European villain accent (I’ve studied Russian and this is actually quite easy once you get the hang of it – the trick is to place the words right in the front of your mouth), I realised in this section that a Romanian accent actually sounds nothing like this at all. Romanian is a Romance, not a Slavic language. I have a couple of friends from Romania and they sound nothing like Nicolae here.Also I still find it very odd that the RTC audience would think it’s ok for Ivy to be staying in the same apartment with Buck. I thought the whole argument about people of opposite sexes living in the same accommodation is that they will inevitably end up jumping on each other (and even if not, they ought to “abstain from the appearance of evil”). I really don’t get why this applies to Chloe but not to Ivy.

  • Anonymous

    I thought the whole argument about people of opposite sexes living in the same accommodation is that they will inevitably end up jumping on each other (and even if not, they ought to “abstain from the appearance of evil”). I really don’t get why this applies to Chloe but not to Ivy.

    Buck is an RTC, so he will never be tempted to stray from his lust for Chloe.

  • Rikalous

    I thought the whole argument about people of opposite sexes living in
    the same accommodation is that they will inevitably end up jumping on
    each other (and even if not, they ought to “abstain from the appearance of evil”).
    I really don’t get why this applies to Chloe but not to Ivy.

    Well, if we go with the interpretation that Ivy’s got no interest whatsoever in jumping any member of the opposite sex, then, no, wait, that wouldn’t be any more palatable to the target audience.

  • Tricksterson

    Because she’s a woman Silly and therefore weaker and more sinful by nature than a man.  Tsk, tsk tsk.

  • Anonymous


    If there haven’t been any other women gallivanting around Buck’s bachelor pad in towels, then why did it take him so long to figure out who answered the door? 

    *THIS*

    By the end of that scene I was screaming at Chloe : “Really? You’re just going to accept that? Not going to ask why she’s there, why she doesn’t bother putting clothes on to answer the door (after all who’s the most likely person to be knocking on that door? No? WHY THE HELL NOT ?!?”

    There isn’t a single thing that Buck says in that scene that he wouldn’t say if he was cheating and trying to hide it (badly).

    It was nice to see Chloe do an emotion other than petulant though.

  • Amaryllis

    My take — which probably doesn’t correspond to what the filmmakers were
    thinking — is that this is a parable about the sorry state of modern
    journalism.

    I don’t care what the filmmakers were thinking– you’re absolutely right.

  • carovee

    What I mean is that this rooftop setting is too much of an allusion to the temptation of Christ in the wilderness:

    I actually liked this scene. Here Nicolae is, correctly, assuming that Buck can be bought with prestige and access to power.  In a better story this would be a great way to show some character development in Buck as a consequence of his RTC-ness.

  • Daughter

    Balloon Juice had a post today commenting that the questions asked by ordinary people to the President last night in his Google forum were far more relevant and incisive than anything our mainstream media is asking. In response, a commenter linked to an article on Politico whining about the President having such a forum at all and treating journalists as if they’re unnecessary middlemen.

  • Bificommander

    On a side note, I am now interested in how the Tsion-story will pan out. I doubt this movie will show us the Anti Christ legitimately thinking he’s Christ. But with Nicky’s underlings putting importance on the research, perhaps we’ll at least get evidence that Nicky payed for this study or tried to influence it (and thinks he succeeded), like we all agreed he should’ve done in the book.

    Of course it’s not guaranteed that this hint will not be touched upon at all. That we’ll get no indication Nicky had any reason to assume he’d be named. Which would make his apparent interest in promoting a press release he doesn’t know the contents of even worse than his indifference in the book. I mean, if like in the movie Tsion has been doing this study for years, Nicky can’t hope to have become the leading candidate for the Messiah title in the last few days? weeks? since became a famous big shot. At least Tsion would’ve delayed his presentation to properly study this great new Messiah candidate and see how he measures up to all the other candidates he’s been investigating for years.

    So yeah, let’s see if the movie managed to become not-as-bad as the book, or if they make the fearsome Anti Christ look like an even bigger naive buffoon.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Given that, I have to wonder what they’d have ended up doing to Supreme Commander Leon before LaHaye made Cloud Ten reboot the entire thing.

  • Diez

    Done well, the scene with Cam-Cam and Nickelodeon could have done wonders to teach us about the insidious nature of temptation, how far each of us has to come before we can lay claim to being ‘Christ-like,’ not to mention lay down some smack on Buck’s ego.

    Think of it.  Buck is taken up to the top of the world and offered the whole thing and not only does he accept it, he doesn’t even realize what’s happening until after it’s over.  Imagine the moment when Cammy-boy looks in the mirror and suddenly realizes exactly who he is and, perhaps more importantly, who he isn’t.  The howling, bottomless canyon between his self-image and reality would swallow him whole.  He fall to his knees and sob at his own vanity and foolishness.  He would collapse, break, and be destroyed by the revelation.   And when the last of his tears had finally been shed, when the dust settled on the wreckage of the old Cameron, he would look upon the ruins and understand, at last, the breadth of what he has been freed from.

    And then a new man, built in the image of Christ, would begin to emerge from the rubble.  Piece by broken piece, Buck would be rebuilt.

    Sadly, that would require the filmmakers to realize what they just did.  And while they’re a darn sight better than the authors, that’s still asking too much.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    The problem with the whole Jesus being tempted in the desert comparison for me is that it doesn’t work in the context of the book or movie, with Jesus knowing all along he’s coming back as Turbo Jesus and getting all that Satan offered him and more anyway. Actually, it never even made sense to me as a kid in the context of Luke’s Gospel. If Jesus already knows that if he throws himself down from a high place, his Father will see that he doesn’t actually hurt himself, what is it that Satan is actually offering him? It would be different if Satan were saying “Follow me, and I’ll give you cool powers you won’t have otherwise” , which is what Nicky is offering Buck. As it is, in the Like story, Satan comes off like Ferris Buller (sp) trying to convince his friend to steal the friend’s dad’s cool car so they can go for a spin.

  • Anonymous

    Well, Jesus’s temptation was to avoid the path God had set out for him.  Later, he asks for God to remove the “cup” from his hands.  Satan isn’t offering him anything new, he’s just tempting him to use his powers differently.  The “worship me” part is a little strange, but basically the point is that Satan tells Christ to skip all the noble self-sacrifice and just take over the world outright.  Jesus realizes that’s not the way God wants it, and knows he has to live a humble life and then die painfully in order to truly free people.  Now, that doesn’t make much sense if, as you say, he will later take over the world by force anyway, but in the context of the gospel it works, for me anyway.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    Oh, I can see the Luke story working 
    1) As a symbolic representation of Jesus arguing with himself, and 
    2) Especially in the context of an adoptionist view of Jesus as the son of God, (where he doesn’t start out as a pre-existing aspect of the trinity).

    But that”s not how the fans and authors of the Left Behind series read it. 

  • Lori

     
    As a symbolic representation of Jesus arguing with himself, 

     

    I don’t think it has to be Jesus arguing with himself. It also works as an example of the idea that Satan knows you weak spots and will use them against you and the way that seemingly small temptations can have major consequences. 

    God has a Plan that requires Jesus’ willing cooperation, but which pretty well sucks for him. Satan is tempting him to say “I’ll pass”, which basically means telling God that he’s going to have to figure out a different Plan or just let Satan have the world. 

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    God has a Plan that requires Jesus’ willing cooperation, but which pretty well sucks for him.

    Sucks for him in the short run but not in the long run, which is why I think Jesus’ status as man vs God matters to how much this works. We humans have a bias for short term rewards over long term rewards, and if Jesus worked the same way at this point, then the temptation scene works. But if he doesn’t, being God and all, then no, God’s plan doesn’t suck for him any more than getting a tetanus shot sucks compared to getting tetanus.

    At least thats how it appears to me.

  • GeniusLemur

    The sacrifice does come off as something Jesus doesn’t want, even if
    he’s willing to do it. And maybe he isn’t 100% sure about the whole
    thing. Remember, one of the gospels (I think it’s Matthew, I don’t have
    it handy) records his last words as “My God, my God, why have you
    forsaken me?” Hardly the words of a man certain of his own triumph.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I once saw some bit of woo, the sort of thing you;d see on the history channel these days,. but this was back when the history channel was respectable, which made the likely unsupportable but Interesting To Imagine claim that, by a remarkable coincidence, the Aramaic phrase “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, spoken aloud, is homophonous with the Mayan phrase “Now at last I see the light”

    (This was part of their justification for why the 2012 mayan apocalypse was TOTES GONNA HAPPEN in the then-far-off year of 2012, since clearly Mayan is the secret language of god)

  • Tricksterson

    “You’re far too keen on When and How
    But not so hot on Why.”

  • Daughter

    I’m not sure that I’d interpret it that way. In Luke, it’s Satan who says that God won’t let Jesus get hurt if he throws himself down. Jesus responds that that’s not necessarily the case, because you’re not supposed to put God to the test.  (Iow, don’t do something stupid, mistakenly thinking that because God loves you or you’re special to God, he’ll protect you from the consequences). So what I see the devil offering is a “prove you are who you really say you are” temptation, and Jesus not only doesn’t take the bait, he tells him it doesn’t work that way.

  • GeniusLemur

    And it’s a fascinating bit, because its a scripture duel. The devil attacks with scripture, and Jesus counterattacks with a contradictory bit of scripture. I don’t know what people like LeHaye would make of that.

  • Ursula L

    And it’s a fascinating bit, because its a scripture duel. The devil attacks with scripture, and Jesus counterattacks with a contradictory bit of scripture. I don’t know what people like LeHaye would make of that.

    I’m pretty sure it’s their favorite bit of scripture.

    After all, if the devil can use scripture in a corrupt way, than any undesirable reading of scripture can be rejected.  

    So scripture is absolutely true, with the “correct” (their) use.  But it can be used by the devil as shown by any “incorrect” (different from their own understanding) use.  And it justifies every oppression and cruelty against people with the “incorrect” understanding of scripture, as they’ve [sarcasm]obviously[/sarcasm] been trapped by the devil’s use of scripture, and nothing you can do to stop the devil is worse than being controlled by the devil.  

    It’s all a matter of whether you read the story with humility (I might be wrong or misled) or hubris (others might be wrong or misled, and might mislead me.)

  • GeniusLemur

    Probably not their favorite: it’s an intellectual debate, and there’s no smiting involved. But for how they’d interpret it, yeah, you’re probably correct. I was thinking they’d apply some humility and intellectual honesty to it. I don’t know how I could have thought that.

  • Anonymous

    I always figured that LaJenkins didn’t think the devil read Scripture.  Otherwise, he might have flipped to the end of Revelation at some point and realized, “Hey, if I follow this plan, I’m going to suffer in a lake of fire forever!”

  • JenL

    As in the book, Rayford actually lies to Chloe. It’s
    a minor little fib — he tells her he can’t chase Buck away because he’s in the
    shower, even though he isn’t. That doesn’t amount to much here in the movie.
    But this scene in the book comes just a few chapters after Buck and Bruce
    agonize over the possibility that Buck might be tempted to lie to the
    Antichrist in order to save lives. So lying to the devil to save lives is bad,
    but lying to your daughter to prod her into talking to the engaged older man on
    the porch is OK?

    It makes *perfect* sense if full-blown patriarchy comes pre-installed with RTCism.  Chloe, as the daughter, is subject to Rayford’s “guidance” in matters of courtship.  Buck’s RTCism is far more important than minor details like an age difference or any pre-RTC engagement Buck may have hanging out there.  (After all – if Buck got engaged to Ivy pre-conversion, and Ivy’s not an RTC, Buck’s not actually going to marry her, right?  Not when he has Chloe being offered to him by a good RTC friend.)

    Lying to Chloe in order to guide her courtship isn’t really lying to an independent other person, it’s just nudging someone in the right direction.  Whereas lying to Nicolae is an actual lie to an independent individual – a *man* that you have no right or duty to control.

    Also I still find it very odd that the RTC
    audience would think it’s ok for Ivy to be staying in the same apartment with
    Buck. I thought the whole argument about people of opposite sexes living in the
    same accommodation is that they will inevitably end up jumping on each other
    (and even if not, they ought to “abstain from the appearance of evil”).
    I really don’t get why this applies to Chloe but not to Ivy.

    I was with you right up until your last word.  What I want to know (well, okay, I’ll admit I actually do know, but have to ask anyway) – Why does this apply to Chloe but not *Buck*?

  • Rob Brown

    “Leadership without accountability does not sound very compelling”

    We live in an extremely “uncompelling” world, in that case. >_>

  • Ursula L

    I haven’t watched the clip for this discussion, but the elevator trick reminds me of the first episode of the first season of the BBC show “Sherlock.”

    Spoilers below:

    ******

    In this episode, Mycroft Holmes wants to meet with John Watson.  As John is walking down the street, he manages to have every public telephone that John passes ring.  When John finally answers a phone, Mycroft directs John’s attention to a series of security cameras.  As John looks at each camera, he sees that the cameras rotate to look at him.  Then a car pulls up, and an attractive woman in the back seat asks John to come with her.

    The way in which Mycroft can manipulate ordinary technology is impressive.  It creates a scene that conveys both the intimidation of someone having that level of control, and the curiosity that seeing such power in action would inspire.

    ******

    End spoilers.

    The elevator  trick is a good start.  But the elevator, alone, doesn’t go far enough.  After all, a single malfunctioning elevator could be coincidence.  

  • Rob Brown

    Buck’s RTCism is far more important than minor details like an age
    difference or any pre-RTC engagement Buck may have hanging out there.

    I’m with you on how Rayford shouldn’t be lying to Chloe, and on how when it looks like Buck’s trying to cheat on his fiancee with Chloe Rayford doesn’t bat an eye and assumes that Buck’s the salt of the earth, and on how if Chloe doesn’t want to see Buck then Rayford should be like “You need to go” or at the very least try to find out what the hell’s going on and whether it might just be a misunderstanding…

    But there’s one thing I want to ask which I really hope I don’t regret asking.  Still, I gotta know: why is age a factor here, when both of them are adults?

  • Anonymous

    Down on the street, Buck strides from the building, passing chairs randomly strewn about on the sidewalk as sirens blare in the distance of this dangerous, post-Rapture city. And there, on the mean streets of this chaotic, violent world, Buck’s motorcycle sits, undisturbed.

    What’s sad is that without even trying, the Death Wish movies did a much better jobs portraying post-apocalyptic levels of rampaging street violence* than the LB and TF books and movies which are set, you know, in the apocalypse. 

    *All it took were some guns, squibs, and a 20-30 multiracial extras with chains and knives going on a rampage.

  • JenL

    But there’s one thing I want to ask which I really hope I don’t regret asking.  Still, I gotta know: why is age a factor here, when both of them are adults?

    The specific numbers aren’t that big a deal to me, actually – my longest relationship was with a guy 14 years older than me, and my stepdad (who raised me) is 15 years older than my mom. 

    On the other hand, there’s something odd about the mismatch of what should be their maturity levels in the story.  She’s still in college.  I don’t know if she was supposed to have been in a dorm or an apartment, but she was presumably being supported by her parents, not out there earning her own way.  Did she have a job?  Add in the way she’s described as acting,  and I’d say Chloe doesn’t really have an independent sense of herself yet.  Buck, on the other hand, is supposed to have significant journalistic credentials – he’s already worked his way to the top of his career field.  His recent conversion *ought* to be making him reconsider who he is and what he stands for, but I see no sign of that.  Obviously, he lives on his own.

    In that scenario, it *feels* like Buck and Ray are of similar ages.  And to me there’s something odd about a father herding his daughter towards someone who is a better match (in maturity) with the father than the daughter.  Rather than pushing Chloe towards someone she can grow with, this feels like a father handing off guardianship duties to someone who will continue to make sure Chloe stays in the “proper” path.

    (This might feel different if I were actually watching the clips, but I … just have a weird aversion to actually watching clips or shows online.  I have no idea why.)

  • Rob Brown

    Okay, when you put it that way I think I understand.  As far as Rayford herding Chloe toward somebody seemingly like himself, if that’s how it comes off then that’s definitely…strange…but even if it were another person in their early 20s he wanted her to date, I still don’t think Rayford should be herding Chloe towards anyone.  It’s her life, after all, and should be her choice, with him staying out of it.

  • Lori

     
     I still don’t think Rayford should be herding Chloe towards anyone.  It’s her life, after all, and should be her choice, with him staying out of it.  

     

    This is true and a perfectly sensible position. And totally foreign to the RTC subculture. The idea that a father should butt out and allow his young adult daughter to make her own choices just does not compute for the target audience for LB. To them a father is responsible for his daughter until he passes her off to her husband. Full stop.

    Within that view, a suitor who is a better match to daddy then to the daughter is actually more of a feature than a bug. 

  • Dmoore970

    The idea that a father should butt out and allow his young adult daughter to make her own choices just does not compute for the target audience for LB. To them a father is responsible for his daughter until he passes her off to her husband. Full stop.

    Let’s face facts.  This has been the attitude of most human societies throughout most of our history.  The idea that women are independent adults and should be allowed to make their own decisions in their own interests is a relatively new one.  I’m not excusing the RTC attitude, just pointing out that it is a whole lot more common than we would like to think, and that we should consider it in this larger context.

  • Lori

     
    The idea that women are independent adults and should be allowed to make their own decisions in their own interests is a relatively new one.  I’m not excusing the RTC attitude, just pointing out that it is a whole lot more common than we would like to think, and that we should consider it in this larger context. 

     

    This is definitely true and I didn’t intend to imply otherwise. My beef with RTC culture isn’t that it’s horrible in some unique way, but that it’s stubbornly  hanging onto the horrible long after it should have let it go. That isn’t unique to RTCs either, but it is the issue that’s relevant to the creepy aspects of Buck & Chloe’s horrible relationship and Ray’s part in it. 

  • Anonymous

    The idea that women are independent adults and should be allowed to make
    their own decisions in their own interests is a relatively new one.

    To these characters, the attitude that women are dependent children who should never be allowed to make their own decisions is a relatively new one. As in, the characters only joined a subculture that believes this about a few weeks ago.

    Before that, they were godless secular humanists who looked down on religion and “traditional” values. Why are they suddenly acting like this?

  • Anonymous

    Why are they suddenly acting like this?

    I’m not sure about Buck* and Chloe, but as far Rayford goes, being the narcissistic jerkwad he is, patriarchy is one of the many benefits of RTXianity, so of course he’s going to embrace this position (not that he didn’t already embrace it, but now he has prooftexts to punctuate his tantrums). In fact, the only change in behavior or attitude that RTXianity seems to demand of Rayford is that he not flirt tepidly with women-not-his-wife, which isn’t that big a deal for him since his wives seem to disappear or die with alarming regularly.

    *Tho’ with Buck, I’m sure the answer is that as a real manly real man among men, he knew deep down this was how he should be treating women, but his evil secular humanism kept making him treat them like, you know, people.

  • Dmoore970

    Well, I suppose you could say Rayford and Chloe picked it up from Irene and her church members.  Buck would have had to have learned it from Pastor Bruce since his conversion.  Apparently he is a very quick study.

  • Dmoore970

    Come to think of it, we can ask how Ray and Buck knew that whole evangelization spiel they used on Chris two clips ago.  Presumably they learned it from Pastor Bruce’s old materials and never bothered to update it for a post-Rapture world.  But you would think that having converted just a week ago, they would remember how bizarre all this would have sounded to them back then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I think it’s because the authors were too scared to actually portray protagonists who didn’t act like RTCs, even before they were converted. Chloe moved far away from home and explicitly rejects her mother’s teachings, only coming around just now. Rayford doesn’t do that, but he ignores and disregards his wife’s teachings as well. And Buck is a new convert, yet he’s acting like someone who has been steeped in this subculture from birth. That isn’t what would normally happen, is it? I know that new converts can be zealous but even they can’t manage to mimic all of the little social cues and mores after a week!

  • Rob Brown

    I think it’s because the authors were too scared to actually portray
    protagonists who didn’t act like RTCs, even before they were converted.

    Makes you wonder how they would have portrayed Mary Magdalene if somebody approached them about writing a book from her point of view.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s because the authors were too scared to actually portray protagonists who didn’t act like RTCs, even before they were converted.

    “Makes you wonder how they would have portrayed Mary Magdalene if somebody approached them about writing a book from her point of view.”

    I strongly suspect that they would give that somebody a flat “No.”, and then try to lecture them on the Scripturally-based impossibility of Mary Magdalene (or, indeed, *any* woman) having anything so Human as a “point-of-view”.

  • Rob Brown

    *Snrk!*

  • Tricksterson

    I think it’s less a matter of being scared than being incapable.  They seem to think that as soon as you “get right with the Lord” you get implanted with tyhe whole package, not unlike being assimilated by the Borg.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    In that scenario, it *feels* like Buck and Ray are of similar ages.  And
    to me there’s something odd about a father herding his daughter towards
    someone who is a better match (in maturity) with the father than the
    daughter.  Rather than pushing Chloe towards someone she can grow with,
    this feels like a father handing off guardianship duties to someone who
    will continue to make sure Chloe stays in the “proper” path.

    The segment you discuss is basically lifted verbatim from the books, where Rayford is cheering Buck on instead of being all growly-daddy because Buck appears to be two-timing Chloe.

    The scene only works if Rayford read ahead in the book, or was psychic and knew that Buck wasn’t cheating on Chloe. L&J are assuming a great deal about their audience from that one scene alone – that their audience is just as familiar as they are with a subcultural paradigm of male control over females at all stages of their lives.

  • carovee

    The scene only works if Rayford read ahead in the book, or was psychic and knew that Buck wasn’t cheating on Chloe.

    It could have worked if, rather than lying, Rayford had treated his daughter like an adult and said, “look, you need to discuss this with Buck”.  But that too, appears foreign to hard core RTC’s.

    This front porch refusal to take no for an answer scene is
    repeated in some variation in almost every film I have ever seen.

    Which is sadly why so many people DON’T see it has the red flag that it is.

  • carovee

    Crap, how do I fix italics?

  • Lori

     
    Crap, how do I fix italics?

    If you’re not logged in and therefore don’t have an edit button on your post (at the bottom where the “Like” is on other people’s posts) then there’s nothing you can do. Fortunately the one thing Disqus consistently has going for it is that coding mistakes don’t bleed out of the post in which they’re made, so you can’t unleash the plague of italics on the whole thread. I’ve been thankful for that many times.

  • Rob Brown

    The scene only works if Rayford…was psychic and knew that Buck wasn’t cheating on Chloe.

    And even then, he should have gone to Chloe and said “I know that it looks like Buck’s cheating on you, but it turns out he isn’t.  See, what happened is…” etc.  Instead of leaving her alone with a guy she really didn’t want to see.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    I don’t know if she was supposed to have been in a dorm or an apartment, but she was presumably being supported by her parents, not out there earning her own way.  Did she have a job?

    This came up in an earlier post – IIRC in the prequels her mom didn’t want her to go and threatened not to pay for it, but she got a full scholarship, though we’re not exactly sure how.

  • Thebewilderness

    This front porch refusal to take no for an answer scene is repeated in some variation in almost every film I have ever seen. It teaches that a womans no always turns into yes.
    To rational reasonable people it is a red flag signaling that you are dealing with a potential abuser.

  • Rob Brown

    This front porch refusal to take no for an answer scene is repeated in
    some variation in almost every film I have ever seen. It teaches that a
    womans no always turns into yes.
    To rational reasonable people it is a red flag signaling that you are dealing with a potential abuser.

    I’m thinking back to seeing Bond films when I was a kid–too young to understand very much of the plot, really–and the same kind of thing was in those, possibly something worse in fact.  In many of them you would see 007 kiss whichever woman was in that flick, and she’d initially resist, but a few seconds later she’d do a 180 and start making out with him.

    I didn’t walk away from those movies thinking “So all you have to do to make a girl like you is make her kiss you for several seconds, no matter how much she fights to get away from you!”, but I do kind of wonder whether anybody else too young or stupid to know better got that idea.

  • GeniusLemur

    That’s the reason I figured Bond had a naturally occurring mind-control agent in his saliva: if a woman resists, she gives in as soon as he gets his lips on her.

  • Rob Brown

    I bet he’s a mutie! :p

  • http://profiles.google.com/vlowe7294 Vaughn Lowe

    One of the problems with this movie is that it jumps around too much.  The elevator could have been a nice, suspenseful scene, if it had been given enough time to properly build… “Where is it taking him?  What’s going on here?”  By the time we even figure out that the elevator is acting wonky, the scene is already over.

    “Good evening Mr. Williams.  I’ve been expecting you.”  Ye gods, all he needs is a white cat, a shark tank, and a giant laser.  Movie, if you want to be taken seriously, you gotta avoid cliche’s like that.  Sorry, but Dr. Evil and Megamind pretty much ruined our fear of supervillians.  They want the Antichrist to be buffoonish, but dangerous at the same time and it just doesn’t work.

    When the devil asks you if we have a deal… the answer is always no.  Maybe Buck is hoping to get out under the “fiddle contest” escape clause.

    Damn.  I was hoping for a scene where Rayford would go to get the morning paper and find Buck curled up on the front porch.  Chloe… ya wimped out.  

    “I’m sorry.  I should have told you that there’s a woman staying in my apartment.”  YA THINK?!

  • Münchner Kindl

    Without Fred pointing it out, I would’ve missed the allusion to Christ’s temptation on the rooftop; all the sweeping hand gestures of Nicholai reminded me of was him telling Cam-Cam subconsciously “It’s a grand view, but also a long way down, and it will only take a small shove…”

    I also couldn’t help thinking on how badly choosen the time for this encounter was: Cam-Cam urgently wants to head over to his girlfriend to talk down to her (“Clear up the miscommunication”) and get some action “Touching hands”, and he has to delay this for a job interview in the middle of the night. (Though that was weird in the book, too – in the middle of a sparring match with the Antichrist in NY, Buck’s mind wanders off to Chloe and he agrees if he can live in Chicago with his girl-friend).

    Fred already pointed out how Buck wants access; and I realize the director can bend the source only so far, but still: Nicholai tells Cam-Cam that the UN wants control of the media to keep the fearful people from riots etc., and after asking “What if I refuse?” (a really stupid thing to tell the Big Bad, esp. if it’s a long way down and no back-up), Cam-Cam wants access to all stories. Uh, if you agree to tell the people what’s necessary to keep the peace, you already agreed to bury or alter the truth! Why do you want or need access to it? I doubt the guys at Fox, who are so sure of their mission, make any effort in finding out the truth; they probably are too busy already just inventing their next story than to spend additional time finding out things that might cause a shift in their stone-walling and denial.

    If this is about access to people – that fits Buck to a T; or if Buck were a real journalist, this would be a good way to show Nicholae manipulating Cam-Cam masterfully. But so I just wonder if both sides are agreeing to the same deal or to different versions.

    When Chloe turns into little-girl mode by whining to her Dad that Cam-Cam won’t go away, I thought “That’s what sprinklers /garden hose are for”.

    And Cam-Cam’s obnoxiousness and condesceing behaviour comes through not only clear, it’s also red flags all over.

    Add me to those who are surprisied that Chloe accepts Buck non-explanation as if he isn’t able to lie (or bend the truth by omission), without any further elaboration why his assistant is crashing at his apt., or running around in a bath robe. (Will Buck tell Ivy to apologize to Chloe for her nasty brush-off and tell her to be nicer to people – though journalists should know that! – or are Chloe’s feelings not important because she was “wrong” – not really, but she said it, so that’s good enough for Buck.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What I thought was surprising is that Buck could have easily told Ivy, “Hey, my girlfriend (or good friend) might be coming by. If she says [phrase] to prove she’s Chloe, then tell her I’m not in.” Then run to a pay phone, call Chloe, and say, “Hey. if you’re in New York, and a friend of mine answers the door, she’s just staying for a couple days – tell her [phrase]. Don’t ask why now; just make sure you say it to her when you introduce yourself.” Cue* Buck zooming off.

    But because of the need to follow the book series very closely, the writers had to have Buck omit to remind Ivy of Chloe and thus set up the whole “It’s not what it looks like” plot.**

    And yeah, I agree that the scene works very well as a “secret place to meet the Big Bad and, gee, that street down there’s awfully far away, you know” thing. I think for secular viewers the interpretation would be mafia-esque, but for Christian viewers the interpretation would be more along the temptation-of-Jesus line, only Buck fails the test. Or rather, the movie has Buck pretending to fail for the purposes of being the sooper sekrit agent.

    But it would have worked so much better for Buck’s RTCism to come *after* the dawning realization that he’s just signed on with the Antichrist for the next seven years.

    Alas, filmmakers.

    —-

    * Incidentally this tends to get crossed up with ‘queue’. A ‘cue’ is a signal or start of action. A ‘queue’ is a line-up. :)

    ** Personally I still think it works to believe Ivy is lesbian and the ring is her fiancee’s engagement ring, and she’s just acting like she does around Buck because she’s caught wind that he’s best buds with some high-ups and she wants to ride on his coattails.

  • Ken

    Fred already pointed out how Buck wants access; and I realize the director can bend the source only so far, […] Why do you want or need access to it?

    That’s always going to be the problem if you refuse to “bend the source.”  Buck and Rayford’s actions make no sense, whether you’re talking about their supposed characters, the coming end of the Earth, or even what Christians in general are supposed to do.  Yes, I know there’s disagreement about the last one, but I don’t think “serve Satan and further his plans” would appear on any list.

    The only plan in the book that did make sense was Bruce’s “dig a big hole and crawl in it”.  (By the way, how’s that going in the movies?)  And the only Christian action is “tell everyone what is happening in the hope some few will believe and be saved.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, with LaHaye’s order to reboot the franchise (he sued Cloud Ten, and apparently part of the settlement is that they have to reboot it to his specs) it could be years before we see Bruce’s water tank fake burial idea.

  • Anonymous

    I have actually taken a liking to these LB movies we’ve seen so far, so that makes me sad. It was kind of predictable, though.

    What was his beef with Cloud Ten? Were there too many scenes and characters that almost rose to the level where a human being could tolerate them? Did he feel the endless logistics being cut out simply gutted his masterpiece?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    http://www.christiancinema.com/catalog/newsdesk_info.php?newsdesk_id=727

    I guess it kinda boils down to “he didn’t like the movies” (>_>)

  • Ken

     

    I guess it kinda boils down to “[LaHaye] didn’t like the movies”.

    But Kirk Cameron obviously did, so how are we to decide which of these great theologians is correct?

  • Anonymous

    Remember the rooftop scene in “Devils’ Advocate”? My mother adored horror films, the creepier the better but she literally couldn’t watch that scene. Had to keep peeping out between her fingers.

    Memo to LB writers and film-makers, whatever you come up with, someone else did it first and did it better.

  • cipher

    Earlier, in a faithful adaptation of a scene from the book, the filmmakers were no more successful than Jerry Jenkins had been in portraying a phone call to an unlisted number as a sign of the Antichrist’s terrifying power.

    Wait – that’s a sign of the Antichrist’s power? He knows how to use Google?

  • JenL

    But Kirk Cameron obviously did, so how are we to decide which of these great theologians is correct?

    Based on some quick google-fu, LaHaye claimed he was promised a $40 million investment in the cast, CGI, production, and promotion, resulting in a blockbuster.    Instead total (Hollywood-accounting) costs came to something like $17.5 million.  (http://bit.ly/wamxyF)   Rather than a blockbuster, he got a box office gross just over $4 million.  (http://bit.ly/yAN6QB)

    I’m not sure if I’m amused or dismayed by the thought that LaHaye apparently thinks America would have flocked to see this movie if only it had starred a couple of big names and had better CGI.  Or does he really think it just wasn’t properly promoted?  

    I wonder if it’s occurred to him that the fact that a significant segment of his target audience won’t go to a movie theater might reduce his potential ticket sales?  Or does he figure he’ll just make it up with video sales?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Huh! Honestly, though, I think if they focussed Left Behind in the Southern-Baptist type areas they might actually get a sizable en-masse theater attendance, especially if the budget were increased, because honestly, the movies DO look kind of amateurish.

    Surprised Kirk Douchebag isn’t insisting that he can still be Buck Williams, even though it’s been about a decade since those movies.

    Plus LaHaye would get the $ from people like me who’d be just thunderstruck at the idea of an actual big silver screen Left Behind and would go for the lulz.

  • Ken

    Suddenly this reminds me of the Atlas Shrugged fiasco.  The backer is sure this is the story the public has been waiting for; then it tanks in the theaters and he starts blaming the actors, directors, effects, marketing, distribution – well, really everything except the story.  Meanwhile everyone else is saying, “Yeah, what do you expect, the story sucks.”

    I am kind of wondering what good it does LaHaye to get back the rights.  Google says he’s 85 so the odds of him seeing the completion of a ten-picture series are kind of low, actuarially-speaking.  Then again, for most of his life he’s been claiming that the odds of having that much time are pretty low, Biblically-speaking…

  • GeniusLemur

    And again, with “American Carol.” It’s an interesting pattern: far-right wingers create the kind of far-right entertainment they insist the country is desperate to see… and it bombs. Titanically.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrewjomatthews Andrew Matthews

    I think “leadership without accountability” sounds pretty darn “compelling” in the literal sense of the word.


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