It is difficult to view the 1961 version of “King of Kings” without wondering whether the creative talent involved in the production had any familiarity with the inspiration for their work. Although it was not unusual for Biblical epics to take some fanciful liberties with the subject matter, rarely has the sacred text been so wildly rewritten. Continue reading →
By 1968, the sons o’ fun at Toho were running out of ideas on what to do with their monster movie franchise. In “Destroy All Monsters,” the studio assembled nearly all of their beloved Tokyo-stomping monsters and recycled earlier movie plots regarding extra-terrestrials using the monsters to conquer the Earth. The result was a noisy, raucous mess that will appall the serious cinephile and delight the inner 10-year-old cocooned within the most seriously cynical of adults. Continue reading →
During the mid-1980s, there was a brief output of productions that focused on what life would be like in the aftermath of a nuclear war. These films were fueled by anxiety from the left that President Ronald Reagan was recklessly pointing the world into an apocalyptic arms race. Of course, that didn’t happen, but the legacy of that fear did create some provocative works of art. Continue reading →
The most strident denunciation of Jesus’ divinity in cinema history came with the 1976 drama The Passover Plot. The film was based on a controversial 1965 book by British Biblical scholar Hugh J. Schonfield that argued Jesus was a man who schemed to take advantage of ancient prophecies by creating a following that would recognize Him as the long-awaited Messiah, at which point He would lead a rebellion by the Jewish people against the Roman occupation force in the Holy Land. Continue reading →
In 1973, movie audiences were assaulted by three very strange musicals based on the life of Jesus. All three films offered an unusual consideration of Jesus’ mission and ministry, albeit with varying degrees of success. Continue reading →
Up until the 1960s, the cinema depiction of Jesus followed a consistent standard in terms of how He was depicted – the long-haired, bearded, white-robed Jesus of Renaissance paintings – as well as in the manner of how He conducted himself. The big screen Jesus was a symbol of piety and respect, with filmmakers and actors working with a clearly defined parameter. Continue reading →
Today, The Criterion Collection released a new DVD and Blu-ray edition of John Hughes’ 1985 feature “The Breakfast Club.” While many fans of this film were happy to see its inclusion in The Criterion Collection’s line-up, there were also many movie lovers who were displeased that this film was selected for re-release, especially since it has been widely available for home entertainment viewing for years and it saw a 30th anniversary release in 2015.
Too many people today look at Woody Allen’s 1979 “Manhattan” for evidence of the filmmaker’s alleged perversions. After all, his character in the film is a 42-year-old having a relationship with a 17-year-old girl played by Mariel Hemingway – and wouldn’t logic dictate that everything Allen does on screen is autobiographical?