Escape to the Movies: Exodus: Gods and Kings - The 11th Plague

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Exodus: Gods and Kings - The 11th Plague

How does Ridley Scott's biblical epic hold up?

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Sounds like the only "Gods and Kings" I should bother with is playing another round of Civilization V.

There's been a lot of Christian movies covered by ETTM this year: Last Son of God, Noah, Heaven is for Real and now Exodus.

Why so many Christ movies this year?

So Prince of Egypt is still the better movie?

Good to know.

Burnouts3s3:
There's been a lot of Christian movies covered by ETTM this year: Last Son of God, Noah, Heaven is for Real and now Exodus.

Why so many Christ movies this year?

Because 12/12/12 was a HUGE missed opportunity and the studios are quadrupling down this year. 12/12/14, not as scary, but LOOKIT THE PLAGUES

Captcha: I'm not even middle-aged! Stop trying to sell me social security! (after 20 clicks) "friend zone"....ok time for the talk - I like you as a safety feature but you can't force me to do things.

"He's got one half of a matched pair of specially-made swords... and yes, Ramses has the other one." Wow. It just sounded kinda bland and boring until that part, but that just sounds cartoonishly bad. That's such an old trope, I can't remember the last time I saw it.

BTW, anyone know the TVTropes page for that?

Why wouldn't a film made by a primarily white nation for a white audience cast a white cast? (USA the least white country out of USA, Canada, Europe and Australia is still 72% white) when Nigerian and Indian film producers do Shakespearean film adaptions they use black and Asian casts because that's who their audience is.

Second thing Jewish is a religion not a race just like you get white and black Christians and Muslims. Israel was mostly populated by white European when it was founded it's only after it's first war that more middle eastern Jews became the dominant ethnicity.

Burnouts3s3:
There's been a lot of Christian movies covered by ETTM this year: Last Son of God, Noah, Heaven is for Real and now Exodus.

Why so many Christ movies this year?

I'm not sure this was suppose to be a Christian movie

"Christian Bale is Moses?! Christian Bale looks about as jewish as Jet Li!"

Oh god. I can't stop laughing at that line, for some reason. If only Jet Li would follow his dreams and one day play Moses in a movie, like he knows he has always wanted to, deep in his heart!

Casting By
Sandra Mooney

Just saying

Also "Passed over" HAH! Religion Joke!!

aaaw come on, I like the "rivals have matching swords" thing.
If executed well it can make for some decent theming.

Burnouts3s3:
There's been a lot of Christian movies covered by ETTM this year: Last Son of God, Noah, Heaven is for Real and now Exodus.

Why so many Christ movies this year?

I would hesitate to call Noah and Exodus "Christian" movies; those are more trying to take cues from the old Biblical epics of the 50 and 60s. Now, Last Son of God and Heaven is for Real, THOSE are Christian movies.

As for the film, it is weird to see how Scott has started making these visually stunning but also ultimately boring or confusing films.

Burnouts3s3:
There's been a lot of Christian movies covered by ETTM this year: Last Son of God, Noah, Heaven is for Real and now Exodus.

Why so many Christ movies this year?

Wouldn't this be a Jewish film? Unless some of the events of the film happen during one of the sequels to the Old Testament of course.

OT: Well that's a shame, 'cos some of the plagues do seem to look good in the trailers.

Who am I kidding? What doesn't look good in Hollywood movie trailers?

Really? Come on, even if your not reglious you should know the story by heart.

So Prince of Egypt is still the go-to then, it seems. Also, I bet Noah is looking better and better with every one of these that comes out.

Moses is a Jew

Is it that hard to find a Jewish actor in Hollywood?

I would say the cast for this movie is bad but I'm sure if it reaches the level of badness like Johnny Depp playing Tonto in The Lone Ranger or, I swear to God this movie is real, John Wayne as Genghis Khan in the Howard Hughes film The Conqueror. But I could be wrong on that part.

Yes, that last movie I mentioned exists and, trust me, having the Duke playing a Mongolian was just the tip of that radioactive iceberg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Conqueror_%28film%29

At least Noah used all the vaguery and revisionism of the Old Testament to go fucking nuts.

I mean seriously, why the fuck would you nerf GOD from a guy who can turn a massive body of water into blood just 'cause, into a guy who, if you make him real mad, will make crocodiles slightly more inclined to eat anything that moves than they already are?!

P-89 Scorpion:
Why wouldn't a film made by a primarily white nation for a white audience cast a white cast? (USA the least white country out of USA, Canada, Europe and Australia is still 72% white) when Nigerian and Indian film producers do Shakespearean film adaptions they use black and Asian casts because that's who their audience is.

Partly because Hollywood's audience is so vastly more diverse and international as to make that comparison laughable, and partly because lesser known film industries usually only get to pull in local talent.

I mean, I generally don't care about ethnicity in casting unless it flies so far in the face of historical accuracy as to be inexcusable, provided the actor in question delivers a good performance. I think it's kind of unfair on the actor for a role they put good work into to be overshadowed by some people thinking their skin-tone isn't right. However, 'The audience is white so who cares?' is not a very good defence, especially when it's not very accurate.

Second thing Jewish is a religion not a race just like you get white and black Christians and Muslims. Israel was mostly populated by white European when it was founded it's only after it's first war that more middle eastern Jews became the dominant ethnicity.

That's not strictly speaking true. Yes, Judaism is a religion, and many Jews today look more European than anything else, because [heavily abridged history] they were largely forced out of their native Middle East by the Roman Diaspora, and integrated into civilisation across Europe over the course of centuries, until the Holocaust happened and a lot of them quit Europe and went to found Israel. [/heavily abridged history]

The point is, back in the days of Ancient Egypt, 'The Jews' were an ethnic people as much as they were a religious sect, and probably looked far closer to being Arabic than European.

i4njw:
"He's got one half of a matched pair of specially-made swords... and yes, Ramses has the other one." Wow. It just sounded kinda bland and boring until that part, but that just sounds cartoonishly bad. That's such an old trope, I can't remember the last time I saw it.

BTW, anyone know the TVTropes page for that?

The closest I can find is Bifurcated Weapon, which has Blackstar (the Filmation cartoon in that image Bob used) as an example.

P-89 Scorpion:
Why wouldn't a film made by a primarily white nation for a white audience cast a white cast? (USA the least white country out of USA, Canada, Europe and Australia is still 72% white) when Nigerian and Indian film producers do Shakespearean film adaptions they use black and Asian casts because that's who their audience is.

Second thing Jewish is a religion not a race just like you get white and black Christians and Muslims. Israel was mostly populated by white European when it was founded it's only after it's first war that more middle eastern Jews became the dominant ethnicity.

Judaism is a religion, but there is such a thing as "ethnic Judaism". The religion and ethnicity are tied closely together, but not so close as to avoid distinction. Israel was not "first populated by white Europeans", It was conquered by them. Ever hear of Mesopotamia? Learn yourself some history.

And a movie being aimed at a "primarily white nation" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is no excuse to ignore the mistakes of the past. Remember how upset people got at how white Alladin looked while Jafar was practically a caricature of Evil Arabs? There is no reason to whitewash events that are supposed to have taken place in real history (even if there is no evidence it really happened). I'm not going to say that every character must remain the same race in all incarnations, but to lazily swap out one entire group for another in the name of ease and appealing to some idiotic notion of a "white nation" is not the best way to do things.

The Obscure-O-Meter just exploded at the Blackstar reference. Didn't think very many people remembered that cartoon.

Betcha Charlton Heston is looking at the fail Exodus is and is acting all smug that he starred in the better version.

Ridley, you've done some good films. Biblical films have never really been among those. Stop. Making. Them.

Edit: And stop forcing Biblical symbolism into your other films.

... Most of the review seemed decent.

However...

Am I really the only person SO damn stupid as to NOT be able to tell Jewish people from other white folk? I honestly dont see a difference.
Sounds like the BS I heard about us Slavic people looking "noticeably" different from other Europeans... WTF??? We look the exact same :P

Mr. Q:
I would say the cast for this movie is bad but I'm sure if it reaches the level of badness like Johnny Depp playing Tonto in The Lone Ranger or, I swear to God this movie is real, John Wayne as Genghis Khan in the Howard Hughes film The Conqueror. But I could be wrong on that part.

Let's not forget Prince of Persia ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473075/ ) starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton. Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina got the 'ethnic' nod... which, no disrespect to their acting abilities intended, is no more accurate than whitewashing the main roles.

Elijah Newton:

Mr. Q:
I would say the cast for this movie is bad but I'm sure if it reaches the level of badness like Johnny Depp playing Tonto in The Lone Ranger or, I swear to God this movie is real, John Wayne as Genghis Khan in the Howard Hughes film The Conqueror. But I could be wrong on that part.

Let's not forget Prince of Persia ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473075/ ) starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton. Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina got the 'ethnic' nod... which, no disrespect to their acting abilities intended, is no more accurate than whitewashing the main roles.

Huh. I just realized that Ben Kingsley was in Exodus plus, way back in his career, he scored an Oscar for portraying Gandhi.

Seriously, Hollywood. You need a charismatic, ethnic actor? One who can charm your pants off, do great action scenes, and do solid emotional scenes?

Go get Oded Fehr.
image

Still can't believe Disney didn't use him in the Prince of Persia movie...

Mr. Q:

Elijah Newton:

Mr. Q:
I would say the cast for this movie is bad but I'm sure if it reaches the level of badness like Johnny Depp playing Tonto in The Lone Ranger or, I swear to God this movie is real, John Wayne as Genghis Khan in the Howard Hughes film The Conqueror. But I could be wrong on that part.

Let's not forget Prince of Persia ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473075/ ) starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton. Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina got the 'ethnic' nod... which, no disrespect to their acting abilities intended, is no more accurate than whitewashing the main roles.

Huh. I just realized that Ben Kingsley was in Exodus plus, way back in his career, he scored an Oscar for portraying Gandhi.

Yup. Though I'm less inclined to cite the latter for miscasting as Sir Kingsley's grandfather was Indian, coming to Britain by way of Zanzibar.

Trishbot:
Seriously, Hollywood. You need a charismatic, ethnic actor? One who can charm your pants off, do great action scenes, and do solid emotional scenes?

Go get Oded Fehr.
Still can't believe Disney didn't use him in the Prince of Persia movie...

Sh!t yeah. The only rationale I can come up with is he wasn't interested or they didn't want it to be confused with The Mummy. But yeah, when I heard the initial announcement I figured he had the role.

aaaw come on, I like the "rivals have matching swords" thing.
If executed well it can make for some decent theming.

Yeah, It would have been decent, and thematically fit if Moses ditched his sword for his staff, or even better gave his sword to Ramses as a gesture of goodwill, a "I never wanted to challenge your throne, I don't want to threaten you a blade in hand"

***

Wouldn't this be a Jewish film?

Christianity is an upstart jewish sect to begin with.

***

Is it that hard to find a Jewish actor in Hollywood?

Frankly, knowing how Hollywood functions, if they went for a Jewish actor, they'd end up picking an ashkenazi whose genealogical tree contains more viking than hebrew ancestors, which would do nothing to fix the movie's whitewashing problem.

***

John Wayne as Genghis Khan in the Howard Hughes film The Conqueror. But I could be wrong on that part.

Well, given how much Temujin fucked around, there's a non negligible chance that Wayne was one of his descendants anyway.

***

Second thing Jewish is a religion not a race just like you get white and black Christians and Muslims. Israel was mostly populated by white European when it was founded it's only after it's first war that more middle eastern Jews became the dominant ethnicity.

Or, as Sami Michael once said (I'm paraphrasing): "after the european settlers kicked a million Palestinian Arabs out, they needed underpaid workers to build the actual infrastructures of their state, so they brought in Arabs like me"

many Jews today look more European than anything else, because [heavily abridged history] they were largely forced out of their native Middle East by the Roman Diaspora

By the time Titus besieged Jerusalem, over 80% of Jews already lived outside of Palestine: they were not forced out: most of them took advantage of the greek-then-roman hegemon and spread throughout the mediterranean world.

P-89 Scorpion:
Why wouldn't a film made by a primarily white nation for a white audience cast a white cast? (USA the least white country out of USA, Canada, Europe and Australia is still 72% white) when Nigerian and Indian film producers do Shakespearean film adaptions they use black and Asian casts because that's who their audience is.

The difference is probably that the USA is a multiracial country comprised of many different cultures while the other two nations you mentioned are effectively not.

Well, Hong Kong actually does the multiracial casting game well enough. Caucasians and Asians play large roles in their films/shows.

GamemasterAnthony:
The Obscure-O-Meter just exploded at the Blackstar reference. Didn't think very many people remembered that cartoon.

Betcha Charlton Heston is looking at the fail Exodus is and is acting all smug that he starred in the better version.

The general consensus here is that Dreamworks' "The Prince of Egypt" is the superior version.

OT: Bob spent half the video's runtime complaining about the ethnicity of the cast instead of their performances. But was this whole review a build up to that pun at the end? Ha ha, wordplay! Well played, Bob.
But it is disappointing to see what's been happening with Ridley Scott lately. Maybe I'll find some answers to that in today's Intermission column...

That's just unfortunate. I've been looking for more Ridley Scott cinema to love, but its just not happening. I suppose this film fares even worse when compared against Aronofsky's inventive telling of Noah.

This does make me want to watch Prince of Egypt again.

Still want to see this movie for the VFX and SFX. Was not expecting this movie to be of anything high minded or serious to begin with.

I just love see huge armies of people on screen at the same time. lol

Honestly, I don't get why there was such a focus on the "whitewashing" when I think the bigger issue was that it tried to turn the story of Moses into just another blockbuster action film.

legend forge:

P-89 Scorpion:
Why wouldn't a film made by a primarily white nation for a white audience cast a white cast? (USA the least white country out of USA, Canada, Europe and Australia is still 72% white) when Nigerian and Indian film producers do Shakespearean film adaptions they use black and Asian casts because that's who their audience is.

Second thing Jewish is a religion not a race just like you get white and black Christians and Muslims. Israel was mostly populated by white European when it was founded it's only after it's first war that more middle eastern Jews became the dominant ethnicity.

Judaism is a religion, but there is such a thing as "ethnic Judaism". The religion and ethnicity are tied closely together, but not so close as to avoid distinction. Israel was not "first populated by white Europeans", It was conquered by them. Ever hear of Mesopotamia? Learn yourself some history.

And a movie being aimed at a "primarily white nation" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is no excuse to ignore the mistakes of the past. Remember how upset people got at how white Alladin looked while Jafar was practically a caricature of Evil Arabs? There is no reason to whitewash events that are supposed to have taken place in real history (even if there is no evidence it really happened). I'm not going to say that every character must remain the same race in all incarnations, but to lazily swap out one entire group for another in the name of ease and appealing to some idiotic notion of a "white nation" is not the best way to do things.

Except Bob himself notes: "...even though we don't actually know what period of Egyptian history the events of the Book of Exodus are supposed to have taken place in and thus don't fully know what the ethnic appearance of ancient Hebrews actually was." So you really can't argue for historical authenticity.

But regardless of 'authenticity' or not, the movie didn't take a dime of my money, so they can cast whoever the hell they want to be whomever the hell they want. If Bollywood wants to make a movie about the signing of the declaration of independence and the Revolutionary War with an entirely Indian cast, and then release it worldwide, they can knock themselves out, no one is forcing me (or anyone else) to watch it.

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