Sunday WTF?

Sunday WTF? June 14, 2015

2 Samuel 21:18-22

After this a battle took place with the Philistines, at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants. Then there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great size, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he too was descended from the giants. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of David’s brother Shimei, killed him. These four were descended from the giants in Gath; they fell by the hands of David and his servants.

Speaking of … whatever happened to the David and Goliath movie that was supposed to come out this spring?

Biblical3The film — with a reported budget of $50 million — promised to be “biblically correct in every way.” Yet I don’t think they even acknowledge the existence of the biblical passage above.

BoxOfficeMojo reports that the film was released back in April to 34 theaters, where producers recouped $316,100 of their $50 million investment. That sounds … not good.

Writer/Director/auteur Tim Chey blames the movie’s woes on — what else? — anti-Christian persecution. He claims he can’t get his film shown in theaters because evil Hollywood studios think it’s too “God-centered.”

Martin Stillion, writing for Peter Chattaway’s FilmChat blog on Patheos,* Peter Chattaway of Patheos’ FilmChat blog isn’t buying that excuse. “I could give you a dozen reasons that distributors wouldn’t want to touch this film, and none of them have anything to do with its being ‘God-centered,'” he writes. “They have to do with its being a very, very bad movie.”

Stillion backs up that assessment with many, many details from the film. “I would have thrown something at Goliath myself if I thought it would move the story along,” he says of the film’s sluggish, repetitive pace. Do read the whole review. Stillion’s charitable restraint somehow makes it even more devastating.

I’ve only seen the trailer for David and Goliath, which raises one of my pet peeves about such “biblically correct” projects (beyond even the usual, not-at-all “biblically correct” notion that ancient Israelites were white-skinned people with British accents):

We see people marching across deserts and walking past ancient ruins because that’s what “biblical” places look like now. But David and his contemporaries didn’t live in ancient ruins, they lived in new houses. And just because 3,000 years of human habitation have turned some places into eroded wastelands doesn’t mean they have always been eroded wastelands.

Filming on location in Morocco offers a good approximation of what Iowa might look like in 3,000 years, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good representation of what Palestine looks like 3,000 years ago. Israel has a slew of good Wes-Jackson-type scientists who understand this. It’d be nice if some of them got hired as consultants for the next “biblical epic.”

Update: Corrected to credit Martin Stillion for the fine review at Chattaway’s blog. (Hat tip and thanks to Cuniraya and Peter for catching that.)



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