March 29, 2004

Worst. Jesus. Ever.

It's to be expected that everyone and their brother who ever made a Jesus movie will be running them all over our airwaves between now and Easter. But let me just say that The Passion has ruined all of the other Jesus movies for me forevermore, and not because of the gore. Nope, it's because Gibson's version, by "cutting to the chase," managed to sidestep every bad Jesus movie cliche' known to man. And boy, there are a LOT of 'em.

Last night, Hublet and I were channel surfing and we landed on Jesus, the latest made for tv Bible flick (it was made in 1999). To say that this Jesus blew righteous chunks is to insult the blowing of chunks everywhere. Hublet and I lasted five minutes with the bad Jesus movie, during which time we groaned, we laughed, we mocked the production values, and we fervently wished that Mike and the 'bots were with us to aid our mockery. I know you're dying of curiosity, so let me just highlight a few aspects of Really Bad Jesus Movies and How to Avoid Them.

1. "Holy" does not equal "Constipated." Bear this in mind while watching.

2. If the actor's idea of Jesus involves a lot of turning his face into the light and attempting to look "beatific" WHILE playing the Son of God as an irrevocably constipated surfer-dude, change the channel.

3. A man whose personal charisma induced people to fundamentally change their lives and beliefs probably didn't deliver his sermons like Al Gore on 'ludes. Also, see #1 above for further clarification.

4. If the production values for the Walking on Water scene resemble something filmed in your bathtub, change the channel. Also, if the Walking on Water scene reminds you of the old Cars video for "It's Magic," just give up and go to bed.

5. I am fairly certain that the inhabitants of the Holy Land did not punctuate every utterance by either flailing their arms, rolling their eyes beseechingly heavenward, or dropping to their knees.

6. Overwrought soundtrack? Why yes, yes it is. NEXT!

7. Lots of eyeliner = visual shorthand for morally compromised. See: Mary Magdalene and Judas. It makes you want to yell at the screen: "No, Jesus! Don't trust him! Don't you see he's just a shill for Mary Kay? This can only end badly!"

8. Language--for folks brought up with the King James version, hearing classic Biblical quotes spoken as, "you have little faith," makes you long for Aramaic.

9. The soft focus and backlighting. Please. It's just too Touched By An Angel to be taken seriously. Holy. We GET IT.

10. Repeat after me: Jesus? Not a hippy. I know he wore robes and sandals and had longish hair and a beard, but there's a difference between period-appropriate costuming and hippie wear. The former actually involves some grooming.

There. I hope my list will be helpful to you, particularly in the two weeks before Easter, when Jesuses (Jesii?) will be everywhere. Watch at your own risk.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at March 29, 2004 02:03 PM

Jesuim? Jesuae?

Have I sent you the video of the drag queen, Ms. Betty Butterfield, reviewing "The Passion"? Her main complaint is that Jesus' nether regions are revealed, but she is quite impressed with his appearance. She says that in the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" they always get a "wall-eyed hippie" to play our Lord.

We saw "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". It was edgy and dark and not the "Starsky and Hutch" kind of evening I was expecting. Still, that Kaufman is a unique guy.

Posted by: Belle at March 29, 2004 03:54 PM

Gibson's Jesus is a big, strapping fellow--which makes sense, if he were a carpenter. Much better than the delicate, fey soft focus Jesus from last night, or--God forbid--a wall-eyed hippie.

Want to see Eternal Sunshine, but may wait for video. Did Jim Carrey grate?

Posted by: BAW at March 29, 2004 03:59 PM

Not only was he not a hippie, we don't even know he had long hair and a beard. He could have easily followed the Roman grooming traditions and have had a haircut like Julius Caesar. But nobody would believe your Jesus if you didn't at least make him a little long haired or something.

Posted by: Jordana at March 29, 2004 07:33 PM

I only watched the last 30 minutes of it and could not beleive it!! especially when It dawned on me that GRACE was in it. I kept looking for Will and Karen and Jack....

Posted by: mary lou at March 29, 2004 07:58 PM

Hmmm... I lasted for about ten or fifteen minutes. Just long enough to notice all the eyeliner and mascara, and the neatly plucked eyebrows. How nice to know that ancient Judea was well-stocked with salons and drug store makeup counters...

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at March 30, 2004 11:03 AM