Friday, March 05, 2004

"The Passion Of The Christ" was released recently amid a flurry of controversy. While I haven't yet seen what is sardonically called The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre, I must admit the contention revolving around this movie has got me interested.

The movie follows Jesus of Nazareth(not the band) through his last hours, ultimately ending with the most famous execution in Christian literature. Mel Gibson, the director and principal investor for this project, has decided to tell the tale without trying to hard to force his Christian beliefs down our throats. He focuses more on the persecution of Christ after he was handed over to the Romans by the Jews. This, of course, had led most Jews to consider the movie to be anti-Semitic, but almost everything is anti-Semitic to sensitive Jews. Being the world's most persecuted religion means you must be ever-vigilant to attacks, this is probably why you never see Toucan Sam selling Fruit Loops on TV anymore. Nah, I'm just kidding, it was probably the Quakers who had him pulled as spokesman for this delicious breakfast cereal. They have their own cereals, you know. Anyway, this time they might just be right, because the backlash from this movie has caused quite a bit of tension for the Jewish community as of late. This comes as little surprise considering who bankrolled this project. Mel Gibson has been known to make some pretty bitter anti-Semitic statements, as well as racist, sexist, and anti-not Mel Gibson statements. Or, at least that's what I heard.

An inordinate amount of time is spent on the torture Christ went through at the hands of Pontius Pilate. The title of this movie would be more accurate if your replaced the word "passion" with "really hardcore ass-whoopin'", the claret really flows in this flick. Not only does he get flailed mercilessly and get crowned with thorns, but a stomach-turning scene where the Messiah's hands are nailed to the cross. Of course, we all know now that in a crucifixion, one must put the nails through the wrists in order to support the weight of the body, but we'll let it slide this one time.

Overall, the movie is said to have been shot beautifully, truly a wonder of cinema. Mel could well become one of the best directors of our time. He did a great job on both Braveheart and The Patriot, and even though he might be a bigot, he still can direct circles around most of the other hacks out there in Hollywood. James Caviezel, who plays Jesus, was hit twice by lightning during production. That's probably the Old Testament god. He's a tough critic.

As an aside, I don't really know if Mel Gibson is a racist or not, that is simply what I've heard. But I've heard it from alot of sources. I'm simply relaying this rumor. Take that, lawyers!

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