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FR MOVIE REVUE: THE PASSION OF CHRIST (post your comments here)
2/24/04 | FR MOVIE REVIEWERS

Posted on 02/24/2004 11:28:50 AM PST by Liz

All the world is waiting for the powerful message in Mel Gibson's ground-breaking film, The Passion of Christ.

Post here your own personal reactions after seeing the film set to open tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Passion has previewed in some areas.

Also post reviews and pertinent comments from your state and area's newspapers and publications.


TOPICS: Announcements; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: atonement; calvary; catholiclist; christ; christian; christianity; cross; crucifixion; everlastinglife; film; gibson; golgotha; history; hollywood; israel; jesus; jesuschrist; love; mel; melgibson; messiah; movie; moviereview; movies; passionofthechrist; passionreview; redemption; romans; sacrifice; salvation; sin; sorrowfulmysteries; thepassion; truth
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To: Liz
"One of the books I recommend to those looking for answers is The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. Offers an interesting perspective on what makes the world work, and the vagaries of human nature.

You don't have to be a believer to read it and it does not proselytize Christianity, or any religion for that matter, although Lewis was an Anglican Catholic convert."



Thank you for your suggestion. I've read the entire works of C. S. Lewis over the years, as part of my study of world religions. He is an interesting writer and a good thinker about his faith.

Some, however, might just take the message from the Screwtape Letters and apply it directly to Mel Gibson and his film. Perhaps it's worth another read, if you haven't read it for some years.
51 posted on 02/24/2004 1:46:28 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: King Black Robe; Solson
i am glad to read the age ranges for kids. my husband and i plan to take our 15 year old daughter and 12 and a half year old son, but leave the 9 yo daughter at home. she sobbed through the first LOTR, so i know there is no way she could handle this.
52 posted on 02/24/2004 1:50:06 PM PST by xsmommy
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To: MineralMan
What? Your not going to go to the movie and then write some screeching savaging that proclaims it to be nothing but a 2 hour slasher film? You not going to go into an indepth pschoanalysis of Mel Gobson's preoccupation with torture? Your not going to go into some rabid rant about how we are all going to come out of the theater as venom dripping Jew haters?

What are you? Are you not an athiest? How dare you not rip this movie to shreds!!!!

OH wait, You are a conservative, that means you have a brain and the intelligence to use it. My bad. ;-)

PS : Hope you don't mind me using you to vent about all the hyperventilating loonies out there.

53 posted on 02/24/2004 2:02:00 PM PST by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: af_vet_1981
If Gibson will do this to inflame against the British, why would he not do it against the Jews? He hates the British, tolerates the Jews? Very interesting!
54 posted on 02/24/2004 2:17:05 PM PST by Blake#1
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To: Blake#1
If Gibson will do this to inflame against the British, why would he not do it against the Jews? He hates the British, tolerates the Jews? Very interesting!

That is one reason why it is so important he publicly repudiate his father Hutton's teaching and comments about Holocaust Denial and Antisemitism. It creates doubt as to why he made certain artistic decisions in the film where the New Testament is silent.

55 posted on 02/24/2004 2:20:02 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: Liz
I saw the film recently for work-related reasons. Let me first add this disclaimer: I'm not a Christian, I honestly don't know much about Christianity, nor am I a militant atheist. I guess my religious views are best described as "I'm not religious."

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that if you're not a Christian this is a strange film. The first thing I said right after I saw it was: "Man, that was a weird film."

The film is unrelentingly violent. It's blood-soaked. Jesus gets so whipped you can see his ribs, blood spatters all over the cobblestones, and the sound is frighteningly realistic. And it doesn't stop after a pivotal scene or two - it goes on and on and on. Non-stop violence.

During the first couple of violent sequences, I winced and cringed. It was compelling and I was moved. By the time Jesus was dragging the cross to where he was going to be crucified, my attitude changed.

It's a long passage, and I know it's deeply symbolic to a lot of people, but it was grueling to watch, especially after already watching Jesus be whipped half to death. He drags the cross while enduring more whipping. There's a trail of blood on the ground behind him. He falls, gets up, falls, gets up, falls, over and over. I started to get distracted and I hate to admit it, bored. When was he going to get to wherever he was going? And would those guys whipping him leave him alone for a second so that he could get there more quickly?

When it comes to the crucifixion, Jesus doesn't just get his hands nailed to a cross, no - once he's nailed to the cross the Romans flip the cross over and Jesus lands face first into the ground. Yikes. Not very nice. Finally they prop up the cross and he dies pretty quickly after that, mercifully for the audience.

It didn't matter at that point. I was numb. I was well past the point of empathizing with the lead character. I just wanted the movie to be over.

All this is just to say, that for someone not familiar with the crucifixion story and all the deeply rooted theological meaning therein, this is a very unpleasant film, and as much as I hate to say it because it sounds blasphemous even to me, tedious.

As far as the anti-Semitism controversy goes, I think that if you go into the film as an anti-Semite, then you'll find plenty to justify the old "Jews killed Jesus" argument, but it's not as if the film is going to magically transform you into an anti-Semite. It's easy to watch the film and not even realize that the priests calling for Jesus execution are Jews. However, the priests really take delight in Jesus' torture, so it's difficult not to dislike them. Whatever.

The central message of the film seems to be: Jesus was not just a martyr, but a great martyr. He didn't just die for his cause, but he suffered a lot first, then died. The next message seems to be, if you're a follower of Jesus, then we should take revenge on whoever it was who killed him because they killed him in such a cruel and undignified way. Of course, the sensible person knows that there's no point in trying to avenge Jesus' death because the people who killed him are long gone.

To me, I wish I hadn't watched the film's unpleasant imagery in order to hear these two messages. Sorry this review is so long, and I sincerely hope no one is offended. Just reporting my experience. Wanted to add my $.02, hope it's helpful.
56 posted on 02/24/2004 2:21:52 PM PST by ReasonGuy
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To: af_vet_1981
***Artistic license to inflame the audience against the British**

The British in that war were brutal!
57 posted on 02/24/2004 2:39:15 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: PoisedWoman; Liz
I'm not really a fan of books on tape, but John Cleese deserves an award for his magnificent reading of TSL on the audio book. I highly recommend it. It is not an abridgment, btw.
58 posted on 02/24/2004 2:44:13 PM PST by Skooz (My Biography: Psalm 40:1-3)
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To: Blake#1
the British burning the congregation in a church in the film "Patriot". Never happened!

To be fair, Mel never said it did. The Patriot was a collection of various stories from the Revolutionary War. The reality, is that the British DID do something very similar at Kings Mountain - they torched a tavern with people in it and did not let them escape. Mel's creative license was simply and RIGHTLY showing how shallow the British "gentlemen's" rules were. They were brutal, and history records that - and Mel rightly added to the picture for our understanding in that regard.
59 posted on 02/24/2004 2:49:01 PM PST by safisoft
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To: Hank Kerchief
Why can't you just leave the Christians alone?
60 posted on 02/24/2004 2:49:04 PM PST by stands2reason (Liberal lurkers: stick around, you may just grow a brain.)
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To: AppyPappy
Such a strange way to Save the world.

So this film's supposed to "save the world" now? Is Gibson the Second Coming?

61 posted on 02/24/2004 2:51:08 PM PST by stands2reason (Liberal lurkers: stick around, you may just grow a brain.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
The British in that war were brutal!

Was there a historical incident where the British ordered an American congregation to be burnt alive in their church building during the Revolutionary War ?

If yes, please provide a source citation.

If no, you need not answer.

62 posted on 02/24/2004 2:56:48 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: Liz
Bump for Wednesday night when I get home from the theater.
63 posted on 02/24/2004 3:00:02 PM PST by Cold Heat (In politics stupidity is not a handicap. --Napoleon Bonapart)
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To: ReasonGuy
Thank you for a very even-handed review from a non-believer. No offence taken here, and no condemnation either.

You do not believe, so to you it was a movie about a man being tortured and executed. End of story.

That said, yours is the review i have been waiting for. no ulterior motives, no underlying agenda, just your raw feelings.

Now, may I ask a couple questions :
Did the movie move you in any way?
Has it raised any questions in your mind about Jesus?
Has it given you any impetus to search for the meaning behind the story you just saw?

NO judgement, no pushing -- I want to know so I know how to approach other non-believers who have seen the movie. I am not a in-your-face evangelical, but I sincerely hope this movie moves some people to come to jesus and search for the reason why those of us who do believe see this movie as a work of love not violence.

64 posted on 02/24/2004 3:00:56 PM PST by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: ReasonGuy
The violence reflects the truth of the times.

We see it again today in Afganistan and Iraq.

They are nearly animals in many ways.

The Romans gorged themselves on it.

It was the way. And it still is to a degree.

65 posted on 02/24/2004 3:05:41 PM PST by Cold Heat (In politics stupidity is not a handicap. --Napoleon Bonapart)
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To: 50sDad
Good post.

I see this film not so much as a missionary tool but as a catalyst to cause serious introspection among the "lukewarm."
66 posted on 02/24/2004 3:06:24 PM PST by stands2reason (Liberal lurkers: stick around, you may just grow a brain.)
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To: Theo; Liz
When I watch the film this weekend, I will be thinking of what kindness the Lord has shown by taking the punishment I have earned for my rebelliousness and selfishness.

Ditto that...

67 posted on 02/24/2004 3:08:31 PM PST by k2blader (Some folks should worry less about how conservatives vote and more about how to advance conservatism)
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To: ReasonGuy
The next message seems to be, if you're a follower of Jesus, then we should take revenge on whoever it was who killed him because they killed him in such a cruel and undignified way.

I wonder, if there hadn't been so much controvery, would you have gone to see the movie? I ask because I wonder if all the protesting is going to lead a lot of people who normally couldn't care less to go, see the movie and misunderstand it.

68 posted on 02/24/2004 3:13:36 PM PST by Dianna
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To: Skooz
Thanks for the reminder. I've heard about the Cleese reading but haven't actually heard it. Would be nice to pop into the CD player on a long car trip.
69 posted on 02/24/2004 3:22:59 PM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
A long trip indeed. My copy (which I purchased and downloaded and then burned to CD) covers three CDs.
70 posted on 02/24/2004 3:57:58 PM PST by Skooz (My Biography: Psalm 40:1-3)
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To: MineralMan
Thanks for the reply. While I object to your use of the word myth (I find it offensive) I don't believe that you meant it that I way. I am sure that you are just saying the truth as you see it. The only other thing I can recommend is CS Lewis Book on "Mere Christianity". It starts with the perspective that Christianity is myth like others and then evaluates it. Very interesting read.
71 posted on 02/24/2004 4:00:48 PM PST by artios
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To: stands2reason
I guess you didn't bother to read what I said.
72 posted on 02/24/2004 4:19:43 PM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: AppyPappy
The Muslims send their children to die for their God. Our God sent His own son to die for us.
73 posted on 02/24/2004 4:22:43 PM PST by Saundra Duffy (For victory & freedom!!!)
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To: PoisedWoman
Thank you for opening your heart to us.
74 posted on 02/24/2004 4:28:09 PM PST by Saundra Duffy (For victory & freedom!!!)
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To: MineralMan
Let's see - - you are not interested in seeing the movie, you claim to be an athiest (how shallow and full of yourself can you get?), and you offer the sneaky jab that the story of Jesus is an oft-repeated "myth". Yet you show up on this thread and pollute it with a bunch of inane posts, mostly talking about yourself and your interests.

Take a hike, Bunky. I don't think anybody cares what you think.
75 posted on 02/24/2004 4:31:19 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Liz
The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis.

And, if you like to read and like science fiction; Lewis's trilogy ending with "That Hideous Strength". This trilogy depicted the idea of "God" closer to my idea than any other writing I have seen.

76 posted on 02/24/2004 4:46:39 PM PST by jonathonandjennifer
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To: 50sDad

An astute analysis.

Prairie

77 posted on 02/24/2004 4:54:36 PM PST by prairiebreeze (Decide for yourself! See "Passion of The Christ.")
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To: MineralMan
I am intrigued by your stance of atheism. I read your file information and you said that you do not respond to personal notices, so this is the only place I can ask you a few questions. What is that you believe in? When you look into the faces of your children, what do you feel? Do you believe that all of ‘this’ is just an accident? How do you define morality? At what point in your life did you come to the realization that we may be alone? I really am interested in how you think / feel about these issue. Of course I have more questions but enough for now.
78 posted on 02/24/2004 5:27:38 PM PST by roylene
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To: Lancey Howard
I must say that MineralMan does not deserve such an attack. I have had a few dialogues with him in the past, specifically during the Roy Moore/Ten Commandments case, and while he chooses not to believe, he has never insulted those of us who do. Not to my knowledge anyway. Further more, he is straightforward in his expressions and in no way did he "sneak" a jab in. If he has something to say he does so directly from what I have seen of his posts. He doesn't "push" his atheism in that he insults believers as some non believers have done. He is very respectful in his replies on matters of faith and religious rights. While I wish he did believe, I respect his choice not to. I do so because he has respected my choice TO believe in past conversations and he was cordial to me. He is the only self described atheist that I have ever respected. Instead of being so disparaging, dismissive and condemning towards him wouldn't it be more productive to pray for him that his heart become open and receptive to the love and knowledge of Christ? After all, isn't that what a REAL Christian does? I'm sorry but I feel that the attack on the man was unwarranted.
79 posted on 02/24/2004 5:28:59 PM PST by PleaseNoMore
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To: safisoft
Could you, would you provide more information on the "Kings Mountain" incident? War is Hell, somebody once said, so these things happen, victory at any cost!
80 posted on 02/24/2004 5:39:02 PM PST by Blake#1
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To: ReasonGuy
Thank you for posting your response to the film. I haven't seen a review from a regular person who is not aquainted with the story of Jesus. It was very interesting.

You may wish to do some reading about Christianity and the meaning of the Crucifiction to believers to make more sense of the film. Ask "why did Gibson show so much suffering" as you research. It makes perfect sense to a Christian why he would. It was interesting to me to see that you didn't see the point in it.

81 posted on 02/24/2004 5:42:33 PM PST by freemama
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To: per loin
Please come back to this thread and post your reactions after seeing the film I am interested in the opinion of the non-Christians after seeing it.
82 posted on 02/24/2004 5:46:34 PM PST by freemama
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To: veronica
I'll be back later. Going to a MardiGras fundraiser for our youth groups.

Put on the purple, green and gold!

Shrove Tuesday!
83 posted on 02/24/2004 5:57:42 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: MineralMan; Dataman
It is similar to numerous similar myths in several cultures, and I have a great interest in such mythology.

Ah, yes; like the myth of the noble pagan, who considers himself outside and above the culture above which he's a member, looking down on others from the lofty height of a pretense to hyper-rationality....

Hey! You don't exist!

Dan
Why I Am (Still) a Christian

84 posted on 02/24/2004 5:58:57 PM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: AppyPappy
I can't imagine that it would be any interest to anyone but a Christian.

Isn't that sort of like saying that "Braveheart" wouldn't be any interest to anyone but a Scotsman?

From a non-spritual aspect, it's a depiction of a man being tortured to death.

Ultimately, so was "Braveheart". :-)

85 posted on 02/24/2004 6:03:09 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Except that Braveheart didn't depict a 12 hour sequence of events
86 posted on 02/24/2004 6:05:19 PM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: MineralMan
You disgust me... You truly do...
87 posted on 02/24/2004 6:06:10 PM PST by gatorgriz ("The world is full of bastards - the number ever increasing the further one gets from Missoula, MT")
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To: Liz
Have not seen it yet, but have got advance tickets for Saturday at 7PM. That ought to be good night to see it for the wifey and my mom and sister. I will be babysitting and may wait until the DVD is released. (I really hate movie theaters).
88 posted on 02/24/2004 6:08:58 PM PST by LowOiL (Christian and proud of it !)
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To: MineralMan
It doesn't depict the ugliest part of Jesus' life; it depicts the most beautiful. It was the ultimate sacrifice, made willingly, out of love. :-)
89 posted on 02/24/2004 6:08:59 PM PST by alnick
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To: af_vet_1981
***If yes, please provide a source citation.***

My answer had nothing to burning a church. I merely pointed out that the British green uniformed Rangers and Tories of the war showed an extreme form brutality during that war.
Try reading THE ROMANCE AND TRAGEDY OF PIONEER LIFE by AUGUSTUS LYNCH MASON written in 1883.
90 posted on 02/24/2004 6:13:20 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Bush_Democrat
re: Does it qualify if we just respond with a message that says, "I gave up flaming for Lent"?)))

LOL! good one...how about being provoking? Lucky I'm not Catholic.

91 posted on 02/24/2004 6:15:35 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: alnick
It doesn't depict the ugliest part of Jesus' life; it depicts the most beautiful.

Well spoken, I agree.

92 posted on 02/24/2004 6:16:37 PM PST by LowOiL (Christian and proud of it !)
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To: MineralMan
re: CS Lewis

Anglican Catholic convert? He was Anglican, I thought...?

93 posted on 02/24/2004 6:17:17 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: King Black Robe
Some liberal columnist up here in Boston wrote a column in the Boston Herald that anybody taking their child to see this movie should be arrested for child abuse.

I found that statement quite ironic, considering the trashy movies, TV shows, music and video games that Hollywood has been foisting upon our youth for decades now.

94 posted on 02/24/2004 6:20:07 PM PST by SamAdams76 (I do not like the new "Starbucks-style" coffee lids at Dunkin' Donuts)
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To: PleaseNoMore
agreed bump
95 posted on 02/24/2004 6:20:13 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Liz
I quite agree that Screwtape letters are a very good source for insight into the mind of evil. I understand that when Lewis released the letters in a series in a British newspaper some readers objected that the newspaper should not be printing such demonic writings. They did not get the joke! And I also agree that Cleese's reading is superb - he makes a great Screwtape. I also copied cassettes and then burned onto CD. Not sure they are available on CD. It does not take up much space as an MP3 if your car has a player.

I must nitpick at you in one area, however. You state, ...although Lewis was an Anglican Catholic convert." Lewis and his brother were born and raised as members of the Church of England (in Ireland). He fell away from the faith, but returned years later (a long conversation with Tolkien was key in the process). He never became a Roman Catholic, nor may he fairly be considered an Anglo-Catholic. He always believed in mere Christianity!

Yours faithfully,

Martin

96 posted on 02/24/2004 6:21:27 PM PST by Martin Tell (I will not be terrified or Kerrified.)
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To: MineralMan
A little friendly advice. Try approaching subjects or individuals you disagree with sometime with an open mind. You and everyone around you will be a lot better off.
97 posted on 02/24/2004 6:24:03 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Liberalism is Communism one drink at a time. - P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: jonathonandjennifer
His genius is selecting subject matter. An incomparable writer.
98 posted on 02/24/2004 6:27:03 PM PST by Liz
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To: Lancey Howard
Take a hike, Bunky. I don't think anybody cares what you think.

I do, for one -- a great deal more than I care for your hostility.

99 posted on 02/24/2004 6:27:26 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Skooz
How's about cross-country?
100 posted on 02/24/2004 6:27:54 PM PST by Liz
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