Trendy Film Report: Hollywood and the Religious Tidal Wave
2014 is shaping up to be a year devoted to biblical heroes. It’s hard to ignore the trending films being doled out of Hollywood and the titles definitely signal a surge in stories that celebrate the classic renderings that any devoted Christian would appreciate. Big name stars and famed directors are helping to propel the message of God in a way that coerces our attention and leaves us wondering what inspired this sudden appeal for all things biblical.
Son of God starring relatively unknown Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ is leading the charge. Christopher Spencer, an under the radar talent, directs. The film is jointly produced by television producer extraordinaire, Mark Burnett, whose impressive roster includes powerhouses like Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice and The Voice, and his wife, actress Roma Downey of Touched by an Angel fame who plays The Virgin Mary. The general consensus seems to hinge on the fact that this is a film marketed to an audience that are well versed in the workings of the bible as it pertains to the life of Jesus Christ, and don’t mind being greeted with a story that presents nothing new or revolutionary. It’s a play-by-play replication of the basics, and for some that might be wearily redundant.
Noah, on the other hand is garnering interesting reviews and making quite a splash (no pun intended) even before it’s debut on March 28. It’s not surprising that this being hyped as an early blockbuster since it is laden with major talent. Russell Crowe who plays Noah reunites with former A Beautiful Mind co-star, Jennifer Connolly who plays his wife. And adding Harry Potter alum, Emma Watson, definitely helps to increase viewer wattage. It’s also relevant to know that Darren Aronofsky is directing this ambitious venture, which if you are at all familiar with his past offerings (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan), heightens the expectations for this vehicle. It’s already creating batters of controversy amongst religious groups, which signals that this won’t be just another sullen interpretation of a biblical tale. We can expect to be tossed around and pleasantly revitalized by the currents funneling this epic reverie. Worth seeing if like me, you are fan of Aronofsky, and can’t resist his directorial charms.
Another film garnering a lot of buzz is Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring heavyweights like Christian Bale (Moses), Sigourney Weaver (Tuya), Joel Edgerton (Ramses) Aaron Paul (Joshua) and John Turturro (Seti). Scott’s attachment to this film automatically elevates the quotient, based on his past gems (Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator to name a few). He has however encountered some slight turbulence with his more recent confections (Prometheus and The Counselor), but not everyone is perfect, and even on his worst day, Ridley Scott is still one of the most prolific directors in Hollywood. Unfortunately we have a long wait before we can feast our eyes on this much-anticipated fanfare. it’s scheduled to hit theaters in mid-December. But that at least gives us added incentive to make it to the end of the year! Christian Bale decked out in body-conscious coverings is reason enough!