Roeper wrote a piece last week on the way Hollywood attacks Catholics and Christians, and seemed to be insinuating that the anti-semitism charge of the film isn't true. He mentioned that he saw the film, though didn't comment on whether he liked it or not.
Until now, it's all been hype and speculation about Mel Gibson's new film "The Passion of the Christ" But, today Carole Mikita talked with a nationally recognized critic who has actually seen it.
Richard Roeper of "Ebert and Roeper at the Movies" says it is one of the most intense movies he has ever seen, but he means that in a good way.
Richard Roeper/ "Ebert & Roeper at the Movies: "IT IS, I THINK, THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE ABOUT THE FINAL DAYS IN THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS CHRIST AND WE HAVE SEEN, OVER THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS OF CINEMA, LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF MOVIES MADE ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND I THINK THIS RANKS RIGHT AT THE VERY TOP."
Richard Roeper says "The Passion of the Christ" is a stunning work of art. Many wondered if Mel Gibson was taking too much risk using 30-million dollars of his own money. Roeper says this is a blockbuster.
"IT LOOKS LIKE A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE, IN TERMS OF THE SET DESIGN, THE CINEMATOGRAPHY, THE AMOUNT OF EXTRAS THAT ARE USED IN THIS FILM, THE LOCATIONS SHOOTING, THE ACTING, IT ALL OSCAR QUALITY. "
Carole Mikita: "There are pastors, church leaders of a number of Christian denominations that have, in recent years, warned their members not to go to R rated films."
RIchard Roeper: "PEOPLE SHOULD BE CAREFUL. I DON''T THINK THIS IS A MOVIE THAT 8 OR 10-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN SHOULD SEE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, BECAUSE IT'S JUST TOO INTENSE AND IT'S JUST TOO VIOLENT. SO, I HOPE THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS MOVIE HAS EARNED IT'S 'R' RATING, IF ANYTHING IT'S CLOSE TO AN 'NC-17' RATING."
Recent articles have suggested that Gibson went too far in some scenes, with graphic depictions that some in Hollywood will not want to work with him after this. Roeper doesn't agree.
Carole Mikita: "There have been some very interesting behind-the-scenes marketing techniques with this film, as well."
Richard Roeper: "LIKE NOTHING WE'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE. AND I THINK MEL GIBSON'S BEING A LITTLE DISINGENUOUS WHEN HE SAYS HE HAD NO IDEA ALL THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. HE'S BEEN OUT THERE FOR THE LAST YEAR FANNING THE FLAMES AND NOT SHYING AWAY FROM THE CONTROVERSY BUT IT'S WORKED REAL WELL, HASN'T IT?"
"The Passion" opens next Wednesday, and there are many theatres nationwide that are already sold out for the entire day.