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Son of God (CNS Movie Review)
cns ^ | March 1, 2014 | John Mulderig

Posted on 03/01/2014 1:50:02 PM PST by NYer

NEW YORK (CNS) -- As the first wide-release film in nearly 50 years to focus on the life of Jesus as a whole, "Son of God" (Fox) represents an epochal event for believing moviegoers.

Though not the most powerful mass media treatment of its subject -- that accolade continues to belong to Franco Zeffirelli's 1977 television miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth" -- director Christopher Spencer's reverent but uneven screen version of the Gospel story ranks as a worthy revival of the Hollywood biblical epic.


Diogo Morgado in "Son of God." (CNS/Fox)

The screenwriters, led by Nic Young, find an efficient entree into their narrative by entrusting it to an aged St. John the Evangelist (Sebastian Knapp) during his exile on the island of Patmos. This is theologically helpful because the opening lines of the Beloved Disciple's Gospel, as recited here, describe the Incarnation, a mystery without which all that follows could easily be misconstrued.

Early scenes leading up to and including the Nativity will remind at least some viewers that "Son of God" is an outgrowth of last year's highly successful miniseries on the History cable channel series, "The Bible." The new footage that follows is at its best in its portrayal of the events that culminated in the crucifixion of Jesus (Diogo Morgado).

Thus Judas (Joe Wredden), Caiaphas the high priest (Adrian Schiller) and Pontius Pilate (Greg Hicks) are all assigned believable motives, while Morgado succeeds in blending messianic vision with very human pain in a thoroughly compelling way -- one that accords, moreover, with the scriptural account.

Catholic viewers will also appreciate the unqualified acknowledgement of St. Peter (Darwin Shaw) as the leader of the Apostles as well as scenes highlighting Mary's (Roma Downey) closeness to her son. And, though the portrayal of the Last Supper seems somewhat noncommittal as to the meaning of the Eucharist, a rough-and-ready celebration of the sacrament is shown to be the chosen moment for the Lord's first post-Resurrection appearance to the Twelve.

As for the ministry and preaching that precede the Passion -- during which Jesus draws the disapproving attention of Simon the Pharisee (Paul Marc Davis) -- there are moments that range from the moving to the awkward.

Morgado brings the requisite gravity to bear in announcing that the passage from the Prophet Isaiah he has just read aloud in Nazareth's synagogue has now been fulfilled. But the story of Lazarus' death and revivification is truncated -- and drained of much of its impact -- by the absence of any hint of Jesus' previous friendship with him and with his mourning sisters.

Despite such shortcomings, as produced by Downey, Mark Burnett and Richard Bedser, Spencer's picture offers some solid catechesis and an easy introduction to the Lord's earthly biography. That's all the more valuable given the erosion in religious literacy our society has experienced since the appearance of "Son of God's" most recent -- yet far distant -- predecessor, George Stevens' 1965 Gospel drama "The Greatest Story Ever Told."

In that context, and despite its unflinching treatment of the Redeemer's sufferings, "Son of God" is probably acceptable for older teens.

The film contains strong gory violence. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.



TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: cns; movie; romadowney; sonofgod

1 posted on 03/01/2014 1:50:02 PM PST by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 03/01/2014 1:50:21 PM PST by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

I was one of the first to see it Friday in an almost full theater in the middle of the day. I thought it was the best depiction of Jesus ever...actually happy and smoking! Yet still having majesty.


3 posted on 03/01/2014 1:53:45 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: NYer

bookmark


4 posted on 03/01/2014 1:54:22 PM PST by GOP Poet
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To: NYer

Might be OK, but for me I’ll keep reading The Bible and use the Theater of the Mind.


5 posted on 03/01/2014 1:56:13 PM PST by prisoner6 (FREEDOM)
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To: fabian; DJ MacWoW; Maudeen

“However, the goal was to spread the Gospel, which was Downey’s intention, so I applaud her.”

Downey is New Age through and through. “Son of Man” is told through the eyes of a New Age guru.

Take time to read the link:

http://thelasthiker.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/the-son-of-god-movie-is-not-what-we-think-do-you-know-the-voice-of-your-master/

EXCERPTS:
She was quoted in an article talking about how she listens to books on tape by Eckart Tolle. “I get my own selections [on the radio in the car] — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…” She goes on to say, “My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’” Really? Because I have never heard my pastor’s wife talk like that? If you are not familiar with Eckart Tolle, he is a New Age teacher who twists the Bible and adds it to his Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Shintoist philosophy. If you are familiar with him, and you like him–whatever. He is a false teacher when it comes to Christianity. Charlie Campbell has a list of his troubling statements...

Aside from her VERY questionable theological beliefs, she has gone to the University of Santa Monica to get a degree in “Spiritual Psychology.” When I first read that I thought, “so?” BUT when I looked it up, the University of Santa Monica is not just a school like Cal Poly or USC that people from all walks of life go to. When you click on their home page you will see that it specializes in New Age degrees.

ACTRESS Roma Downey has talked to her mother through a psychic on live TV. The Derry-born Touched By An Angel star was a guest on a celebrity version of the US psychic show Crossing Over, hosted by medium John Edward. Roma’s mother Maureen died of a heart attack in Derry when she was 10. And Roma was heartbroken that she was never able to tell her how much she loved her. So she jumped at an offer from the producers of the show on the Sci-Fi Channel to speak to her mum using Edwards for the connection. (source).


6 posted on 03/01/2014 1:57:37 PM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: NYer

**The film contains strong gory violence. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.**

Says it all.


7 posted on 03/01/2014 2:07:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer; DJ MacWoW; Salvation

After having to watch 30 minutes of trash in previews of coming attractions (those contained more damaging images than any so called violence in this movie),I saw Son of God on Friday and it was definitely lacking in reaching the masses with the salvation message (the real reason for Christ coming to earth). I agree that the depiction of the Lazarus scene was weak at best. Scriptures were left unfinished that would have given the viewing audience how to be saved. As much as most Christians wanted this to be THE MOVIE THAT WOULD CATCH THE WORLD BY STORM OF JESUS DYING TO SAVE US FROM OURSELVES (OUR SINS) this movie falls short. There have been other low budget films that have done far better. This is a Hollywood and unfortunately Christian networks hype.

No unsaved person except those under conviction can walk away from the film with how to be saved from eternal damnation. It just isn’t there. I hope if anyone took a friend, afterwards there was much discussion and filling in the blanks of the obvious missing dialogue of the movie.


8 posted on 03/01/2014 2:28:26 PM PST by Maudeen (Proverbs 3:5-7)
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To: fabian

Fabian, Because you have actually seen it:

Is it an entirely new film, with some or one of the actors as the mini-series, or is it an expanded mini-series that was re-cut and some new scenes added?

I can’t figure that out from the review.
Thanks, G-F


9 posted on 03/01/2014 2:30:50 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: left that other site

PING


10 posted on 03/01/2014 2:34:41 PM PST by kingattax (America needs more real Americans.)
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To: stars & stripes forever
Is there anything blasphemous in the movie?
Downey may not be a perfect Christian, and may be a bit mixed up about some things - but I'd tend to cut her some slack.

God uses flawed people (as the Bible clearly shows).
Noah was a drunk, Moses a murderer, Aaron was an idolator, David was a philanderer (killing the husband of his adultress).
And Roma is a flake.
And "Psalm73" will spin an occasional Allman Brothers album - the shame!

11 posted on 03/01/2014 2:48:14 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: GreyFriar

From my research...I understand that there are newly filmed scenes, but I never saw the mini series. I think it is a bit light on actual texts fro. The New testament, but the happy attitude and majesty of Jesus more than makes up for that. I think they picked the perfect actor for the role.


12 posted on 03/01/2014 2:51:14 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: stars & stripes forever
" Downey is New Age through and through. “Son of Man” is told through the eyes of a New Age guru. Take time to read the link: http://thelasthiker.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/the-son-of-god-movie-is-not-what-we-think-do-you-know-the-voice-of-your-master/"

So true. Thanks for posting that info for FReepers. On Friday I sent out an e-mail to a circle of friends and family, warning them about Downey and her New Age-ism.

13 posted on 03/01/2014 2:53:34 PM PST by NH Liberty ("For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus..." [1 Timothy 2:5])
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To: Salvation
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

The Passion of the Christ was rated R, for sequences of graphic violence. The crucifix is a fairly graphic image, yet that does not keep catholics from attending mass.

Any good film on the life of Christ will include a scene of the crucifixion. In comparison with some of the gore displayed in contemporary films on mindless topics, I will definitely show my support for this film.

14 posted on 03/01/2014 2:57:07 PM PST by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: Psalm 73; stars & stripes forever
Downey may not be a perfect Christian

All the people that you listed are certainly sinners but they have something Downey doesn't, a belief and trust in God. I don't think that her New Age degree in "Spiritual Psychology" qualifies. Neither does her husband's belief that she's "so self-realized I’m (she's) practically levitating.”

I'd also like to point out that Christ believing actors in Hollyweird are black listed. Downey is not.

15 posted on 03/01/2014 3:03:05 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: kingattax

IMNSHO, as a tool for Evangelism, the Original Series absolutely did not cut the mustard.

It did, however, succeed in cutting the cheese.


16 posted on 03/01/2014 3:03:52 PM PST by left that other site
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To: DJ MacWoW

“All the people that you listed are certainly sinners but they have something Downey doesn’t, a belief and trust in God.”

2.Matthew 7:21
[ True and False Disciples ] “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.


17 posted on 03/01/2014 3:15:21 PM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: stars & stripes forever

Yes. Ignoring sin and redemption isn’t spreading the Gospel.


18 posted on 03/01/2014 3:19:25 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: DJ MacWoW
"...they have something Downey doesn't, a belief and trust in God."

See, now if I was an unbeliever, there is nothing in anything you wrote that would attract me to Christians or Christianity.
I see lots of piling on someone who may still be searching, lots of name-calling.
But no grace, no mercy.

They should know we are Christians by our love - not by our amazingly high standards of what constitutes a "real" Christian.

19 posted on 03/01/2014 3:52:34 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Psalm 73

New Age isn’t Christ centered. Watering down the Gospel to make it “comfortable” isn’t the Gospel.


20 posted on 03/01/2014 3:55:56 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: DJ MacWoW
"Watering down the Gospel to make it “comfortable” isn’t the Gospel."

Fine, then, you cast the first stone.

21 posted on 03/01/2014 4:00:24 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: stars & stripes forever

So what...the movie is not new age.


22 posted on 03/01/2014 4:01:50 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: stars & stripes forever

Yes...that Matthew quote is so true..especially of some Christian leaders of today!....so called


23 posted on 03/01/2014 4:04:40 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: fabian; DJ MacWoW; Maudeen

“So what...the movie is not new age.”

What has been omitted in “Son of God” is that Jesus is the only way for salvation. He is the only way.

False religions recognize Jesus, but they don’t recognize Him as Lord and Savior. This version of the life of Christ leaves the door open to the interpretation that “all roads lead to heaven”


24 posted on 03/01/2014 4:09:33 PM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: Psalm 73
Fine, then, you cast the first stone.

I did.

A new ager trying to water down Scripture is a false teacher. The Word warns about those that would tickle our ears.

25 posted on 03/01/2014 4:09:40 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: stars & stripes forever

That is BS....hs clearly shares in the movie that he is the way. Have you even seen it? Oh brother...you just need something to pick apart, I think.


26 posted on 03/01/2014 4:13:54 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: fabian

“hs clearly shares in the movie that he is the way”

What was omitted is “No one cometh to the Father but by Me.”

Words mean something.


27 posted on 03/01/2014 4:15:39 PM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: DJ MacWoW
"Fine, then, you cast the first stone."

I did.

Stop it - read Matthew 23 - then read it again.

"For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice..."
Hosea 6:6a

28 posted on 03/01/2014 4:24:35 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Psalm 73
The word warns about people like Downey. She is New Age and talks to the dead. If you want to believe that she has knowledge of the Father, fine. But don't you dare tell me not to tell others that she's a false teacher and why.

Nothing from Hollywood comes from God. Nothing

29 posted on 03/01/2014 4:29:20 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Psalm 73

None of the people from the Bible you mention were false teachers.

False teaching leads to the unforgivable sin.


30 posted on 03/01/2014 4:35:01 PM PST by reasonisfaith ("...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thessalonians))
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To: stars & stripes forever

You sound like a hypocrite actually..the message is their for those who want and need it. For your information, they may have not included that due to so many phoney Christians misrepresenting that. There are poor souls around the globe that God still sends the truth to and they may never have heard about Jesus, but they innately know about the need to be forgiving...which is mandatory to receive salvation..which was indeed in the movie!


31 posted on 03/01/2014 4:35:47 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: DJ MacWoW
"The word warns about people like Downey."

And about people like you, too.
I'll pray for you, but our conversation is over.

32 posted on 03/01/2014 4:39:09 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: fabian; DJ MacWoW

“There are poor souls around the globe that God still sends the truth to and they may never have heard about Jesus”

All the more the Good News is told that Jesus is the only way.

http://www.patburt.com/


33 posted on 03/01/2014 4:40:53 PM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: reasonisfaith
"...false teachers."

OK, one last time - did you see and hear Roma Downey blaspheme God?
Is she a teacher? Really? Who set her up as a teacher of scripture? I didn't know she was.
Or did you just have a bad movie experience?

34 posted on 03/01/2014 4:42:58 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Psalm 73
our conversation is over.

Thank the Lord! I've never enjoyed wishy-washy Christians that don't stand up for God.

35 posted on 03/01/2014 4:43:38 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Psalm 73

To do a movie on the Bible is the willful act of becoming of Bible teacher.

To leave out the glorification of God and the blood atonement of Christ is to eliminate the very nature and identity of the Bible.

This is not a movie on the Bible. It’s Roma Downey’s “Ancient Mythological Drama in the Middle East” (with characters borrowed from the Christian Bible).


36 posted on 03/01/2014 5:03:31 PM PST by reasonisfaith ("...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thessalonians))
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To: reasonisfaith

You don’t have a clue. Did you even see the movie? Oh boy.


37 posted on 03/01/2014 5:23:33 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: stars & stripes forever

Ya know it really is sad. Here you’ve got Roma Downey with Sodom of California talking about how wonderful her movie is but they blacklist someone like Kevin Sorbo for being a Christian. A real one. And still there are some who are just too blind to see why.


38 posted on 03/01/2014 5:43:13 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: stars & stripes forever

I enjoyed The Bible miniseries and am looking forward to seeing “Son of God”


39 posted on 03/01/2014 5:56:16 PM PST by make no mistake
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To: DJ MacWoW

“There are some who are just too blind to see why.”

The Lord led me to compose a song on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It was the complete chapter of Isaiah 59. This is the state of America.

Isaiah 59:10

“We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.”


40 posted on 03/01/2014 6:29:48 PM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: stars & stripes forever
God's Word is so elegant and descriptive.

Have a Blessed evening.

41 posted on 03/01/2014 6:35:02 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Maudeen

"After having to watch 30 minutes of trash in previews of coming attractions (those contained more damaging images than any so called violence in this movie), I saw Son of God on Friday and it was definitely lacking in reaching the masses with the salvation message (the real reason for Christ coming to earth). I agree that the depiction of the Lazarus scene was weak at best. Scriptures were left unfinished that would have given the viewing audience how to be saved. As much as most Christians wanted this to be THE MOVIE THAT WOULD CATCH THE WORLD BY STORM OF JESUS DYING TO SAVE US FROM OURSELVES (OUR SINS) this movie falls short. There have been other low budget films that have done far better. This is a Hollywood and unfortunately Christian networks hype.


No unsaved person except those under conviction can walk away from the film with how to be saved from eternal damnation. It just isn’t there. I hope if anyone took a friend, afterwards there was much discussion and filling in the blanks of the obvious missing dialogue of the movie."


Thank you Maudeen! Your post describes the core issue and the problem with a watered down message. 

42 posted on 03/01/2014 11:06:47 PM PST by overdog2
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To: fabian

I saw the miniseries.


43 posted on 03/02/2014 5:01:30 AM PST by reasonisfaith ("...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thessalonians))
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To: overdog2

Oh really?..”forgive us our sins,as we forgive those who sin against us”....also...as Peter was angry and fighting..”turn the other cheek”...which is a metaphor for being patient with those that hurt us. You and others Christians who are do sure you have it, totally missed it in the movie.


44 posted on 03/02/2014 7:52:59 AM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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