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The Power of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST Compells Riffdaddy to Riff On This! Oh, & Dirty Sanchez too!

Hey folks, Harry here - the final print of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was screened this morning here in Austin, but I just couldn't bring myself to seeing it there, simply because it wasn't a screen I'm particularly a fan of, and I knew I could see it two days later... ya know? However, tonight as I went to the press screening of STARSKY & HUTCH there were three screens at the theater occupied by a church congregation that was STRONGLY AFFECTED. In my screening of STARSKY & HUTCH as I waited for the film to start, two other local film critics that attended Butt-Numb-A-Thon 5 came up, having seen this morning's screening. One of them felt that the film in its final form is possibly one of the greatest films ever produced in the history of cinema. The other, who really liked it at BNAT - was more repulsed by the violence upon second viewing, but seemed to still admire the film. I can not possibly recommend this film higher. It is art, intensely brave cinema and astonishingly beautiful even in its brutality. I fully believe the film will become a classic. We haven't seen the likes of this one before.

HI Harry,    

Long time reader, first time writer.    

It would be an honor for you to amplify my voice to the masses through your medium.  Below is my review of "The Passion of the Christ."      

Ironically, my roomate's church holds services every sunday at the local cineplex.  The church was offered an advance screening by the theatre to all church members and friends on Monday, 2/23/04, and Tuesday, 2/24/04 to the Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's controversial film about the last 12 hours of Jesus' life..  Luckily, my roomate is a great friend of mine who grew up with me in Homestead Fl, and invited me to the monday night show in Orlando, where we both now live.    

There is no other word to describe this film other then INTENSE.   Thinking back on the experience so many things come to mind.  One question I had before seeing the movie was: "How will watching a movie in aramaic and latin effect my experence?" And the answer to that, after talking with some friends and my roomate at a local pub afterward was: "You know, now that I think about it, I didn't even notice."    

Mel Gibson squeezes the lemon, that is this story,. so tight, nothing is left over.  This isn't a film so much as a piece of art, and Hollywood will be cringing on Wednesday when The Passion of the Christ opens in wide release. Cringing because nothing they have produced in a long time can come close to comparison with the brilliance of this film.  The movie is extremely violent.  I cringed at the sight of seeing Jesus flogged.  I wanted to shout to the Roman Guards, "You idiots?  What the hell do you think you are doing?"  I wanted to run from this film at the same time that I couldn't pull my eyes away.  Somehow, by looking away, by not wanting to see, a part of me felt like the Pharisee's of the film; the one's who called for the crucifixion of Jesus, but could not watch the entire beating he took.  I thought, if I look away, I'm no better then they are.  And in reality, you learn much about the Pharisee's as the cross is being hoisted into place on top of Golgotha.     

I know the story of Jesus, was taught the Gospels in sunday school, but watching the movie, (being a student of film) I couldn't understand the motivation of Mel's pharisee's to crucify Jesus.  It seemed false for almost 2/3 of the film.  Just a contrivance, a plot device, a catalyst to give purpose to the violence.   But as Jesus hung from the cross, and the pharisee's watch him suffer, their motivation becomes abundantly clear.  With a smile, they proclaim "Prove it. You say you are the messiah, son of God, prove it."  Their whole intention was to put this prophet, this man who appears to be more then a man, in a position so horrible he would either denounce himself, or prove he is what he says he is.     

And who wouldn't?  Who in their right mind, including me, would not choose to give up the crucifixion if they had the power too?  But that's the point of the movie.  I think I get what the christian faith is, now that i watched The Passion of the Christ.  I don't think I could do what Jesus did.  I don't think any of us could do it.  And that's why Jesus did it. He didn't give into his human characteristics, nor did he give into our idea's of a powerful God.  He just did what he promised he would, no matter what the consequences.      

Whether this is fact, fiction, interpretation, mythical... it doesn't matter.  When you walk out of this movie, you're not the same as when you walked in.  It's not like the Matrix or Star Wars, where you say "That was one hell of a movie." Because it isn't.  There is no Hollywood three act paradigm; no glorified Hollywood violence.  Every punch, every slap, every cut hurts.  As the lights came up at the end, (granted this was a biased audience I saw this with) the entire theatre was silent; stunned.  No one moved.  No one dared to breathe.     

The cinematography was gorgeous.  This is a technically brilliant film.  The symbolic use of Satan walking amidst the events of the film really heightened the emotion.  And the opening scene in the garden of Gethsemane is down right damn suspenseful.  I don't know if I enjoyed the movie; I don't know if I could handle seeing it again.  The one scene that hit me the hardest was while Jesus was being flogged by the Roman Guards, and his mother can only watch her child.  She looks on with gut wrenching empathy, and if that wasn't enough, Mel gives us the reverse shot, and we see Jesus, looking back, his one good eye staring deep into her soul.  And I thought to myself, if only briefly: "Is he looking at me?"      

You can't compare this to any other Jesus film, not even "The Last Temptation of Christ."  It would be foolish too.  Where Last Temptation's Jesus was confused, and took a spiritual journey of discovery with the audience to self enlightenment , Mel Gibson's Jesus knows that no one will fully understand the purpose of his journey except him, and that's okay.  If we did, then what's the point?     

Finally, I have to give a small amount of praise to Mel and his crew.  The make-up artists, camera crew, lighting crew, Mel and his writing partner, the producers, actors, even the guys who made the coffee every morning.  Stand tall.  It's beautiful to see art in cinema again.  I think 2004 is the year we see a new movement in film, what with The Passion and The Dreamers.  It's exciting, intense, powerful, provacative, gut wrenching, and above all... hopeful.     

Go see this movie!!!  You will be amazed!!!!!        

If you post this, call me Riffdaddy.     

Thanks.

Then we had this from Dirty Sanchez...

Hey Harry,

I've submitted a couple of times but never had anything used before. I got to see The theatrical fianl cut of The Passion of THe Christ tonight. I felt that I fell under the same category as most any other film geeks, but not to exclude any other group of people. I'm in my late 20's, I'm a white male, I dont go to church regularly, but I do feel that there is something else at work beyond what is right in front of us. That is as far as I will go with my own beliefs.

The film:

I really don't know how to start. I really cant compare it to any other film experience that I have had. The level of emotion that is sustained throughout the entire picture just drained me. From the time that the Romans got Him in the forest until the last scene, my body was in a clench. I didnt even realize it until the movie was over. My muscles were actually aching in certain spots, mainly the calfs and shoulders.

I dont want to go into detail too much as to give the surprises away, but Ill touch on a few. The flashbacks to Jesus talking to his disciples and his mother are placed perfectly to make the most impact, and the scene where Mary goes to Him when he is carrying his cross, well, that was the breaking point for me. Oh, man. There is another scene where Judas is under the bridge, pay close attention to the screen to the left of him. I'm not sure what it was, but it will probably keep me up tonight.

The only effects that really stood out to me were coloring James C's eyes brown in some of the scenes. It doesnt affect the power of any scene, dont get me wrong, but I did notice it, though.

the cinematography, sets and costumes were all terrific, but theres one area that I have to give extra credit to. That is the make up artist. I dont know where to start explaining how much it hurt me to see those crazy hooked whips digging into His back and chest and removing whole sections of skin. The same for the nail insertions.

I have to agree with what I have read in reviews so far. Granted, this is coming from soemone that paid close attention to the story presented in the film, but not an expert theologian, the Jewish community should have nothing to complain about. From what I took away from this film, the Jews were only responsible by chance or proximity or whatever you want to call it. There were just sa many Jews that were anywhere from opposed to horrified by what was happening to Jesus in this movie. These people were what would represent the majority of the society and not the people that were motivated by politics and/or powere. Even the governor didnt mean for His punishment to go as far as it did. I want to see it at least one more time to try and catch more of what happened in the non-physical scenes, but I will say this, no matter what religion you may or may not be, you should see this film. The fact that this is based on something that actually happened will dig that much deeper in to you if you keep it in mind while you are watching this. Thanks for the site guys!!! If you decide to use this, call me dirty sanchez.

Readers Talkback
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  • At this point I think our minds are made up as to whether or not we will see this movie, so how about posting something of a little more value perhaps.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Ahh, so that's Satan wandering through the crowd in the trailers

    by Cash Bailey

    I thought Luke Goss had just wandered in from the set of BLADE 2 and accidentally got caught on camera.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:20 a.m. CST

    Jesus Christ is this Generations John Lennon

    by Bcphil

    Without the guitar...

  • Imagine what they will feel about The Passion.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Don't forget to get your Passion of Christ mugs, necklaces, happ

    by Black Caeser

    The marketing of the film is just blasphemous. I wonder if they got some product placement in the film.?

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:37 a.m. CST

    Oscar Conspiracy?

    by Still_Jackson

    Without question, this film is brilliant and does exactly what motion pictures are supposed to do - push the boundaries, inspire conversation and reflection, and envoke feelings. Words cannot do it justice as they should not. My hope is that audiences will find this movie for themselves and look past the cloudy distraction of all the media contraversy. To debate the merits and flaws of this film is to debate the very definition of art itself. Too bad this monumental event will go unrecognized by 2005 Oscar voters who can't seem to recollect a film released before October - let alone February of 2004. Let's make sure they don't forget.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 6:59 a.m. CST

    less than 2 more days

    by mara_rhodesia

    2 more days, or approximately.... *looks at cinema ticket* 37 hrs. and 15 mins.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Holy Moses...

    by Blue_Demon

    I'm stoked! I want to see this movie NOW. Most of the reviews I've read online praise it. It was pretty ballsy of Mel to make this film considering the flack he's been getting. I read an article yesterday that said his career might be over because he has gone from action star to "wild-eyed" zealot. Some people in Hollywood have expressed reservations about working with him. I have two words for them: Roman Polanski. They'll gladly work with that man and they think twice about working with Mel? It boggles the mind! I hope "The Passion" makes a ton of money and Gibson is vindicated. The man's courage is inspiring. Come Wednesday, this atheist will be sitting in the theater hoping to see a great movie. Peace.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Holy Moses...

    by Blue_Demon

    I'm stoked! I want to see this movie NOW. Most of the reviews I've read online praise it. It was pretty ballsy of Mel to make this film considering the flack he's been getting. I read an article yesterday that said his career might be over because he has gone from action star to "wild-eyed" zealot. Some people in Hollywood have expressed reservations about working with him. I have two words for them: Roman Polanski. They'll gladly work with that man and they think twice about working with Mel? It boggles the mind! I hope "The Passion" makes a ton of money and Gibson is vindicated. The man's courage is inspiring. Come Wednesday, this atheist will be sitting in the theater hoping to see a great movie. Peace.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:50 a.m. CST

    People keep saying things like "I couldn't take my eyes off it".

    by minderbinder

    Sounds like Mel used religion as an excuse to get away with making an over the top gore fest. So it's affecting to see people beat the tar out of a guy for two hours? Well, no shit sherlock. Is there a point to this movie other than "crucifixion hurts. don't do it". I'm sure the fundies and gore fans will love it but I doubt it will do much for the others. Although it will be interesting...when was the last time we had a well made propaganda film?

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Jesus Christ is this generations John Lennon?

    by JorgeHP

    GOOD!! Cause John Lennon never was much of a role model. And about the guitar, you really don't remember your KISS do you? GOD GAVE ROCK 'N ROLL TO YOU II !!

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Wouldn't it be funny...

    by Donkey Punch

    ...if Mr. Gibson is sneaking a message past all of us through his film making? Wouldn't it be funny if we all just decided to accept his message just because his message was well-written, well-produced, and well-advertised? I am not religious, but I am a spiritual person that was raised Catholic and the Jesus I know taught love and compassion and tolerance. That was why he died for us. Not so some whacko with a HALF BILLION dollars could try and mislead us with his message of hate and cleverly disguised anti-semetism. Anyone besides me remember what his dad has been saying for the past few years about the Holocaust? Sorry folks, but often times when one is raised a racist, one becomes one. And even a rich, good-looking, well-meaning racist is still a racist.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 10:14 a.m. CST

    it doesn't bother anyone that...

    by boohallsmalls

    one gibson and churches are claiming this as 100% historical truth when we know that there is no way they can know that for sure. and two that this is a missionary film. many churches and mel himself have said they wish and intend to use this film as a way to bring more people to the faith. it is a shameless political move no matter what the artistic merits of the film are. there is an air of we're right and you're not that is disgustingly separatist and incredibly dangerous in this day and age.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Thanks, guys. One more day for me!

    by viola123

    I cannot wait to see this. My heart just sinks everytime I read about what happens to Jesus, but I must see this. I will. Thanks for the reviews, Harry. Everyone. I'm sure we'll all have great discussions about the film come Wednesday! I can't believe Mel made this for $30M. Amazing!

  • And you guys are accusing it of "commercialization"? A guy put $25 million into a movie shot in two dead languages - wanted to originally present it without subtitles at all but relented to the distributor, and you guys are accusing him of commercialization? Pretty weak. Before it was "there's no way this will make any money! Why is he doing it?" And now it's "look at this greedy bastard, using the Passion of Christ to make boatloads of cash!" Just admit that you guys, for whatever strange reason, will find ANY reason to bitch about this movie, because you somehow feel threatened by the subject matter, and/or threatened that the movie is actually affecting people in a positive way.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Anyone converted to christianty over this film is a fucking moro

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Mel Gibson has lost it. And by 'it', I mean the memo that told

    by Goon Bighead

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 10:51 a.m. CST

    I've seen the passion twice

    by antmanx68

    Excellent, moving, terrifying, beautiful, disheartening, and triumphant......... This movie is all of those things, no other film i have ever seen has chosen to take such a small approach to Jesus life but still cover all of his teachings so well. After seeing this movie you will understand why Jesus did what he did, and by "destroying the temple, and rebuilding it in 3 days" he stepped out of time and space and took away the sins of all who believe in him. The scene where he comes back to life is subtle, but just the look on his face tells it all....... he is like "I told them i'd be back, now i'll tell the world"..... absolutely incredible. The next morning after seeing this movie I thought i'd be troubled by all of the gore and violence but i felt releaved, releaved that IF the story of Jesus is indeed true, then I have someone who went to hell and back for me...... Way to go Mel Gibson on making one of the best technical and emotionally charged movies i've ever seen.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 11:26 a.m. CST

    How about a review by someone who isn't pre-sold (i.e. religious

    by Red Giant

    What do you expect to hear from those who already hear voices and raise their hands to the sky. Of course they will love it, it's their "thing". If this is even a decent movie, then secular and pointedly non-Christian people would find it well-done and entertaining and emotional as well correct? Well, let's hear from one of them please. Personally I'm staying as far from the nutcases turning cinemas into revival camps as possible. Can you imagine watching this with people all around you weeping and murmuring "Praise the Lord" the entire movie. If you don't think that is what will happen with these church-filled praise-fests you are kidding yourself. I get pissed off when one person even whispers audibly in Return of the King, I can only imagine how frustrating it will be to actually try to just watch this movie. At least you won't have to hear the dialogue, just read it.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 11:38 a.m. CST

    So by the year 2300, I suppose 4 priests will write the Gospels

    by Red Giant

    Religious people hate talking about the reasons why they believe what they do to someone not drinking the kool-aid. Why? Because they can't defend a damn thing except to attack all forms of scientific findings that happen to contradict what they want to think happened. And point to a book written 100s of years AFTER the people it talks about died (in the case of the Old Testament, many 100s of years). Gee, I'm sure it's just like being there. Funny how the only entity ever who could actually walk directly on top of water and could resurrect dead people and who came back to life from being literally dead, is not mentioned in any historical and un-biased documents EVER, except by Tacitus in passing saying "Oh, a guy named Cristus was crucified". Pretty strange isn't it, given that even those in his time knew he could do these miracles? You'd think even the jaded Romans would bring him to Rome to study him to figure out how he did those things to use the power for themselves, hmmm? But no mention at all. Funny how the truth doesn't conveniently fit. The real reason there are so many religious people is simple: men are weak and don't like not having an explanation for the cosmos and things beyond their understanding or control. So they make up an explanation that comforts them. And it's also used as the "opiate of the masses" to shut up poor, stupid people. Then they try to kill and silence anyone who doesn't agree with them. Have a talk with a religious person sometime about carbon dating and the archeological record, it's fucking hilarious.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Dagan

    by boohallsmalls

    guess what? it isn't affecting people in a positive way. it is making them angry and resentful towards other people because their views on the film differ. it isn't bringing people together its tearing them apart. it is just as biased and separatist as all of the worlds major religions (i suppose buddhism can be exlcuded from this - although its more of a philosophy than a religion). its just another log on the fire to help fule the coming religious world war where all the jews and christians will try and kill all the muslims and then turn on each other, leaving only the self spiritual, humane persons who know that no matter your religion, sexual preference, political party etc. that these are all man made labels and the only label the really matters is the one god gave us before we realized we could use film and tv as a form of mind control. we are all human, and nothing else matters. its just a fucking movie, get over it. a well made documentary exposing how a government is oppressing its own people and people the world over will always be more important than a religious film. religion is just another excuse to hate your fellow man for being different. and in my 12 years of catholic school, being raised with jewish and christian family and attending unitarian unversalist services, i have never seen otherwise.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 12:01 p.m. CST

    BULLSHIT!!!! Yes it's a great story...

    by Russman

    But just as the dude said, him dying on the cross DOES NOT PROVE A GODDAMN THING. It doesn't prove that god loves us, it doesn't prove that good defeats evil, it doesn't even prove that there is a god. All it shows us is that the will of this one individual was strong enough to withstand all the cruelty and torture that other men were able to inflict upon him until he died. It's a testament to how vile and cruel human beings can be to each other - esp. to a person, who as Douglas Adams so nicely paraphrased, 'hey, wouldn't it be great if we were all just nice to each other'. I do look forward to seeing this movie and enjoying the STORY, but folks, it's only that - a story. I don't even know why I want to see this story, because it doesn't even make sense. Supreme being rapes a woman, she gives birth to a human supreme being who only uses his powers for good, he's loved by the poor, hated by the rich, sold out by one of his boys and is put to death in a horrible way, all for our sins? Huh? Flame on fools..

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Merchandise

    by Wyldirishman

    Sorry JD the merchadise machine is up and running for this movie. buy your own nail to hang around your neck... saw it on the news thins morning. while it's heart MIGHT be in the right place its still money making on the name of ol JC.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Jesus bashers

    by Jeditemple

    Please think about what you're saying and how it affects yourself and others. One day you will be held accountable for what you've said and done.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Sequel ?

    by Itchy

    Can't wait to see it. Seriously - I respect Mel's balls in making this film every bit as much as New Line's balls for betting the farm on a rotund Kiwi nobody and a no-name cast. That being said, any truth to the rumour they are already casting for the Sequal ? Any bites on what it will be called ? Jesus 2: Electric Boogaloo ? TPOTC 2: Back from the Dead (and Pissed) ?

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 1:04 p.m. CST

    people who've seen it - is it anti-semitic?

    by MiserableRainGod

    I haven't seen the movie, but I've been following the whole anti-semitic thing. I'm curious what you think. I just read a review in the New York Daily News, where the Jewish-looking reviewer says the movie is anti-semitic. Frankly, Jews and Romans both played a part in killing Jesus, according to the Bible, which Mel is dramatizing. Jesus Himself played a part, because He chose to let it happen. As a believing but non-practising Catholic, I don't hold it against any of them, though I believe that they did it. Heck, I think that it was necessary for Him to die in order to save the world. I don't think that it's anti semitic to portray Jews as taking part in the death of Jesus. They did. Sure, it was probably mostly the upper class, chief priests, elders, and such, those who had a vested interest in Jesus' death, but they were still Jews. Just because Mel didn't sugar coat it, or pin all the blame on a dead civilization (Romans), doesn't mean that we all have to hate Jewish people now. Thats just ridiculous.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 1:29 p.m. CST

    The Sequel

    by zacdilone

    Jesus is back,, he's mad, and THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL!

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 1:46 p.m. CST

    The so-called money-making.

    by Blotchy

    Well folks here it is: Say what you like about the film, but for those of you (Black Caesar) slamming the film over "commercialization" and money-making schemes - haven't been to the official site. There, you can get as many full-sized posters, tent-cards, envelope cards, postcards, door hangers etc as you want... All for COMPLETELY FREE. -- No kidding. - You want 10 posters and 5 mini-posters? It's free. I'm serious - the actual movie poster - not some cheesy pull-out poster either. A truckload of bill-cards? Free. How bout 10 postcards, 3 FullSize posters, 10 miniposters and door hangers galore? Free. Just ask for them. All of 'em FREE. - The government will demand you pay for stamps, but that's it. Give me another movie that offers its material products for free... I think this was a fantastic move on Mel's part. The only thing he did was feel strongly about a movie and poured his own time and money into it. Everyone else has carried the film on top of their own opinions. - Most without seeing it. People who are bitching about Passion's "money-making", truly are looking to complain about anything - because there's nothing here to complain about.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 1:55 p.m. CST

    The funniest thing about "The Passion"...

    by koomoReborn

    ...is that it probably would have failed commercially if not for those in the media, like so many of you here, so intent on pursuading people NOT to see it. I can't think of any other movie that has had such an attack before it opened. Good for Jesus. I here he was a really nice guy, and I'm looking forward to seeing this as my first theater experience of the year, if for no other reason, to piss off all those who want to be my master.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 1:58 p.m. CST

    The sequel should star John Turturro and it should be called THE

    by Mister Pink

    TPOTC is a big fat splat on Rotten Tomatoes right now. One reviewer (from Newsday, I think) called it "a sickening death trip," and I think that's about the best description. This movie is two hours of a man being tortured to death for your mastabatory pleasure. It has no ther message. It certainly provides no evidence for the truth of Christianity. It is subtly anti-semitic in the way that it shifts blame away from Pilate (who was NEVER bothered by a conscience in reality) to Jewish authorities who historically had no reason to give two shits about Jesus. This may come as a shock to a lot of Christians but it doesn't make you tolerant to blame ONLY Jewish authorities. Jewish scholarship does not recognize ANY complicity in the death of Jesus by ANY Jewish authority. Those are seen as late first century Christian smears with no foundation in reality. Gibson's sadistic gay bondage fantasy also (except for a brief flashback) virtually ignores what was important about Jesus' life and teaching in order to dwell in pornographic detail on torture and bloodshed. Only the worst kind of sick fucking fucko would enjoy the flogging scene which just goes pointlessly on and on and on for no apparant reason except the sick gratification of the audience. There is more compassion and spirituality in I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE than there is in TPOTC. I don't understand the good reviews for this thing (well Harry is such a sycophantic, slavering asskisser these days, all a director has to do is shake hands with him and Harry will proclaim his movie as being better than THE GODFATHER). Most of the glowing reviews have come from mindless, brainwashed Christians rather than anyone with any intelligence or knowledge of movies. We can see that now that the legitimate reviews are out Gibson's film was grossly overhyped. This film is the work of fanatic and it will only appeal to other fanatics. One more thing. I don't want to hear one more fucking person say that "we're ALL responsible for the crucifixion," because I'M not fucking responsible. I wasn't fucking there. Don't blame me.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:15 p.m. CST

    aside from all this anti-semitic back and forth, aside from the

    by Fatboy Roberts

    This is gorier. And honestly--that's it. Really. This is a story we've all watched, all heard, all seen in various forms of presentation: Animation, TV movie, Film, marionette, claymation..you name it, this story, and this PART of the story, has been told over and over again. We know how it goes. We know the feelings, the meanings, the morals, we know what it looked like, what it represented, we wear it in 18k gold around our necks every day. So what does this version bring to the table that other versions don't? Relentless violence. People call it intensity, but it sounds more like Sadism to me. Set aside all the anti-semitism handwringing, set aside the political commentary and the endless back and forth about who did what to who's deity, and just look at the movie for what it is--a 2 hour snuff film. Is there a message? Maybe. I dunno. The message seems to be that getting crucified really hurts, primarily. Uplifting? I dunno--the movie seems to only focus on Jesus getting lied about, sentenced to death, and then abused, beaten, tortured and killed. That's the beginning and end of the movie. People are looking at this like some kind of bringing to life of the gospel. I look at it as something akin to Van Sant's remake of Psycho. I've seen it before. If the only thing you're going to add is some extra fap-fap-fap to the remake, if the only thing new you're bringing to the table is close up's of nails entering the wrist--then why should I go? maybe this thing will find a niche audience with gorehound horror fans, who knows. From what I can tell, other than the violence, there's absolutely nothing new here.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Donkey Punch's vile lies

    by Sheik Yerbouti

    You know I have ceased posting on this site, for the very reason that someone named Donkey Punch posts here with such ludicrous garbage. DP would have us all believe that because Hutton Gibson is a Holocaust denier, that Mel is also a racist. So Donkey, you are saying that no matter what a person does, he is his father's son and therefore shares the same opinion with him, or that we can not change who we are, if we were born into a racist family we have no ability to change. The problem I have is that the attacks spewing foward are so unbelievable transparent. These interviews with Hutton Gibson are at the heart of the matter. Why didn't anyone say anything prior to Mel making the Passion. I didn't hear this same type of race bating when he was releasing Braveheart, or The Patriot, I am sure the French and the English had problems with those movies but no one seemed to care. But all of a sudden something the potentially shows the Christian Faith in a positive light comes forward, not only through incredible cinematic art, but with the backing of a major Hollywood star, and I am supposed to believe that these interviews with Hutton are just journalists doing their job? Give me a break, this reaks of a deliberate campaign to submarine a film that might give creedence to a lifestyle a majority of the entertainment industry is vehemently opposed to. The New York media is in full attack mode right now, nevermind that the movie still has not been released to the general public. This could be compared to how the conservative radio talk show hosts went off on Michael Moore as he released his movie, but at least with Michael they attacked him and didn't try to bring in his family. And if you think I am being conspiratorial, you have to admit that more than a few people are coming to this conclusion when it feels like some of these stories are so far out there in left field, and yet they are given national attention to bolster criticism against Gibson. I know that there are also a majority of critics who are applauding the movie, Harry included, but liking or disliking art has nothing to do with this, if these attacks were based on their dislike of the movie that would at least be intellectually honest, no one should say you must love this film, but the fact that so many are quick to form an oppinion on something they haven't seen is truly dispicable.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Fatboy Roberts and Mr. Pink

    by Sheik Yerbouti

    Have you seen the film? To those who are praising it, have you seen the film? Maybe talks should be reserved until Wednesday, and then we can get to the heart of the matter with out the haters and the mindless sheep and talk about this film honestly.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Mel Gibson is a Whack Job

    by Anita Hummer

    Yes, he is. He doesn't like gays, he doesn't like jews, he was raised under the teachings of a radical sect of the Catholic Church which believes in the Jewish/Masonic conspiracy to rule the world. He is rich a powerful enough to do anything he wants and rather than focus on the supposed miracles of this Jesus guy he focuses on the pain and suffering. What is redeeming about that? I think he is intentionally trying to stir emotions that are better left unmentioned. Remember, this is the Catholic Church which consistently protected child molesters. I don't give a rat's ass about the art of it. The message is that the jews and romans killed jesus in a particularly gory fashion.................Jeezis!

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:38 p.m. CST

    "I'm subjected to religious persecution as an artist, as an Amer

    by minderbinder

    Nah, you don't come off as a paranoid nutcase, Mel.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:41 p.m. CST

    the new yorker

    by bigsdl

    anyone read this review yet? its the end of the review that got me... people are going to take thier kids to see this. i remember how i felt as a kid when i saw images of racially or religiously motivated violence....didnt make me feel hopeful or "intense" or whatever...made me feel very angry and scared. where is the hate that anger becomes directed? this may be a great film it may be a shitty one depending on who you ask....what bothers me is it may be an irresponsible one.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Yeah, And Yoko Is This Generations Mary? Give Me A Fuckin Break.

    by ripper t. jones

    However you could make a case for McCartney being this generations Judas.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:52 p.m. CST

    The Last Temptation Of Christ

    by ripper t. jones

    GREAT Soundtrack...Judas was from New Yawk. Bout all I remember.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 2:54 p.m. CST

    To Be Honest...

    by ripper t. jones

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Red Dwarf, Red Giant, but not well-read

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Dude, there are at least 10 extra-biblical sources that reference Jesus (Pliny the Younger, Josephus (sp?) just off the top of my non-brainwashed head. And exactly how comforting is it when you make yourself accountable to an all-knowing, all-powerful God who has the right to judge you for any and every sin you ever committed. Boy, that is some crutch. The fact is, SOMETHING has always existed. It could not have created itself, becuase otherwise it would have had to BE before it WAS. So it is either the universe, or God. But the law of entropy (Newton's 2nd law of thermodynamics) ensures that you don't get order from chaos, in fact, quite the opposite. So the order of the world tends to infer the necessity of a God. Now, you may not believe he exists, but that does not affect God in the least. The fact is, you are as closed minded as the people you hate. You have that right. But just admit that you don't like Christians because you don't understand Christianity, and you don't understand because you rejected Christ. Maybe you met jerks that said they were Christians, and that made you think that God is a loser. That doesn't make is true. I'm sorry you took the blue pill.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Red Giant, but not well-read, Giant (amended)

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Dude, there are at least 10 extra-biblical sources that reference Jesus (Pliny the Younger, Josephus (sp?) just off the top of my non-brainwashed head. And exactly how comforting is it when you make yourself accountable to an all-knowing, all-powerful God who has the right to judge you for any and every sin you ever committed. Boy, that is some crutch. The fact is, SOMETHING has always existed. It could not have created itself, because otherwise it would have had to BE before it WAS. So it is either the universe, or God. But the law of entropy (Newton's 2nd law of thermodynamics) ensures that you don't get order from chaos, in fact, quite the opposite. So the order of the world tends to infer the necessity of a God. Now, you may not believe he exists, but that does not affect God in the least. The fact is, you are as closed minded as the people you hate. You have that right. But just admit that you don't like Christians because you don't understand Christianity, and you don't understand because you rejected Christ. Maybe you met jerks that said they were Christians, and that made you think that God is a loser. That doesn't make is true. I'm sorry you took the blue pill. Why don't people have a problem with concert-goers who get excited, pump their first and shout, but if you get excited about Jesus and what he did on the cross, you're a brainwashed, close-minded freak? Hypocrisy (sp?) makes for the strangest bed-fellows of all.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Just checked out the website, and it's damn creepy.

    by minderbinder

    Yes, there's plenty of "official merchandise" you can buy, yes buy. Plus plenty of propaganda you can pass along to your non believer friends via email, pamphlet or fax (yep, there's even a "fax blast"). But the most disturbing part is the "minor release form" on the site. That's great, let's take kids to what's been described as the most violent R rated movie ever, and find a loophole so their parents can be avoided. Makes sense, brainwashing is most effective at an early age. Fucking creepy.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Rock me Amodeo

    by Mister Pink

    There are only two non-Biblical references to Jesus which are anything close to contemporary. One is a highly interpolated passage in Josephus (actually Josephus also makes a very brief reference to "James, the brother of Jesus) the other is Tacitus who mentions a "Chrestus" who was crucified by Pilate. Both Tacitus and Josephus were using Christians as their sources and really, all they say is that Christianity ws founded by a guy who was crucified. The first cause argument is really tired and easily debunked. To simplify, There was no "time" before the Universe. Time is a physical property of the universe itself so it makes no sense to speak of anything "before" it. The universe is a result of a quantum fluxuation in the quantum field which is eternal. The fluxuation caused the Big Bang. This universe may be unique or, more probably, it's simply one in a series of infinite universes, each with it's own unique set of properties and laws. Either way, it doesn't require an invisible magic fairy in the sky to explain it. Incidentally, even if you could prove a need for a prime motor (and you can't, trust me. Far smarter people than you have tried and failed. If God could be proven we wouldn't be having this discussion) you still would be a long way away from proving that the Christian concept of God must be true, or any "God" at all, for that matter. A 'First Mover" could just as easily be the Lucky Charms Leprechaun or the Hindu Goddess, Kali or a magical talking asshair as your own personal mythology. I understand Christianity just fine, by the way. I know more abouyt than you do, i guarantee you. I just don't buy it for a number of solid, logical reasons, not the least of which is THERE IS NO FUCKING PROOF OF ANY OF IT! And save your scare tactics for the morons at your local church picnic. I don't have the slightest, faintest fear that some wrathful, invisible asshole is going to judge my petty "sins" after I die and burn my non-existent soul in some non-existent hell. Even if such a god existed he would be an insane, sadistic scumbag who no decent person should worship. If faced with such a God after death, i would have no choice but to give him the fucking beat down he's got coming and that son of his too. Heaven would be MY house. I would be the pimp and God and sonny Jesus would be my bitches. I'll tell you something else aboyt Jesus...I better not see him standing up when he pees. That punk better SIT DOWN when he pees in MY crib.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 3:53 p.m. CST

    creeped-out Mindbender

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Would you be as troubled is parents were letting or bringing their children to a Freddy or Jason movie? (I hope you would, and I hope parents would not put this in front of their kids in the name of religion.) But isn't it responsible to warn parents that this is a violent movie? Oh, but how dare Christians have a movie with violence? How dare they actually cover the costs of promotional tools by charging actual money? If Christians aren't giving everthing away and being wimps, then they are hypocrites. And if they refuse to back down, they must be brain-washed. But all YOUR convictions, well, they must just come from correct thinking, 'cause you're so smart, right? (Sarcasm is not one of the spiritual gifts, it's just a free service I provide.) Part of the point of this movie is how STRONG Jesus was, but people continue to have this misguided perception that Christians are out of place discussing painful things, or showing painful topics. The fact is, this is what happened to Jesus, and you just have to deal with it. That's the point. DEAL WITH IT. Deal with Him. Don't avoid it. You know, everone lives forever. It's just a matter of where.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Please. Get a grip.

    by Caerdwyn

    Criminey, all you whackbag religious holy-rollers need to get off it. This is a movie, based on a story... a story that has mutated from one translation to the next over the course of 2000 years. Why blame Mel? Blame the guy who originally wrote it. Or maybe the next fellow who got his hands on it and decided to 'revise' some parts. Oh, that's right, you can't put a name and a face to those people, but MEL GIBSON... why, he's right there, ready to be blasted! Let's put this into perspective. Say it with me... Mel is not trying to brainwash us. Mel is making a movie that just happens to cover some "delicate" subject matter. If we keep avoiding stuff like this, we'll be living in a PC nightmare called Librium.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Mr. Pink, thanks for the laugh

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Your little quantum fluxuation explaination evokes images of a sad little Star trek fanboy living in his momma's basement. Nice try. And I didn't bring up the all-powerful image of God as a scare tactic, it was simply to debunk the myth of Christianity as an emotional crutch. It would be more of an emotional beat-down than you could ever provide, were it not for the extravagant love showed when Jesus took the beat down that we deserved. Re-examine your heart, and your physics. I think your flux-capacitor is showing. I may be a jerk, but God is not. Don't do this to yourself.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Jesus for the Skeptics

    by LannyGrant

    This first Gospel was written 30 years after the events. Compare that to the official biography of Alexander the Great which was penned 500 years after his death. The Koran was written over a 100 years after Mohammad's death. Imagine the Gospels as someone in their mid 40's writing about their high school days. That is how close together in time is was to the actual events. Secular historians that have mentioned Jesus as the teacher and faith healer who was crucified by Pilate: Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and mentions in the Talmud.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:13 p.m. CST

    "Would you be as troubled is parents were letting or bringing th

    by minderbinder

    I guess you misunderstood. The form isn't to warn parents, it is to try and let kids go without having to bring parents along. (which as far as I know has NEVER been done before) Why exactly should this movie avoid the ratings enforcement every other movie faces?

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Mr. Pink, thanks for the laugh (2)

    by rock-me Amodeo

    And as far as God's existence being proven, it would not matter anyway. To both of us, it seems incontravertible. But, "none are so blind as those who will not see." Has your life and your choices brought you peace? Contentment? Respect of your peers? Your family? What a depressing thought, that after death ... well, just a quantum shift. You said yourself, it could be anything. Krishna. Lucky Charms dude. Well, WHY NOT GOD? Seems odd that you hate someone so much that you claim does not exist.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:16 p.m. CST

    mindbender, You're right, I misunderstood

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:40 p.m. CST

    LannyGrant

    by Mister Pink

    You've got some of your facts wrong, dawg. in fact, you've got ALL your facts wrong. The first Gospel (Mark) was written in 70 AD (40 years after the crucifixion, not 30), Matthew in 80, Luke in 90 and John in 100. None of the gospels were written by disciples or by anyone who ever met Jesus. The authors relied on oral tradition, an early sayings Gospel (Q), and in some cases other Canonical gospels (some gaps were also filled in by their own imaginations and OT passages which were construed as "prophesy"). Your "High School" analogy doesn't work because none of the author were relying on personal knowledge or memories. Your assertion about is probably a parakeeted "fact" you heard about Plutarch somewhere, but Plutarch's biography relied on a wealth of contemperary written accounts, including some letters written by Alexander himself. Your assertion about the Koran is complete bullshit since the Koran was compiled from the writings of Muhammed himself. It wasn't put together in book form until after he died but the verses were composed BY Mohammed himself.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:48 p.m. CST

    permission slip is inteneded to warn parents AND get their permi

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I admit I was concerned after looking at the post, but I checked out the website http://www.thepassiondownloads.com/flyers/releaseform.pdf and saw the form is simply trying to allow (presumably) teenagers to attend without their parents present, but not without their permission. I personally would not let my kids see anything as powerful as this without screening it first, but I think it is a fine warning to parents to make sure they think their kids are ready. I wish all movie-makers were as conscientious before slinging stuff onto the screen. Was there this kind of stink before Shindler's list came out?

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Again with the laughs, Mr Pink

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I won't debate you since you have put so much energy into your fanatical disbelief. I say fanatical because you are so ready to dismiss the gospels as written by others with no personal knowledge of the men acually there, yet the writings of the Koran were DEFINATELY the writings of Mohammed. And you KNOW this because ... you were there? I recommend "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell. You know no more than LANNYGRANT when it comes down to it, because neither of you were there, but the EVIDENCE points much more in his favor than yours. Peace out, dawg.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Like the theatres will be able to tell if signatures are genuine

    by minderbinder

    I'd be curious how many theatre owners will accept them. I doubt there will be many teenagers who want to go on their own, the form is obviously for groups that want to "recruit" (or whatever word they're using).

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Yay Jesus!

    by God Emporium

    I love how the Christians who are posting are showing how loving and and understanding believing in Jesus has made them....."Seriously, dude, you're going to hell. No, really."...I guess being Christian means you have to come across as offensive, condescending, and smarmy.....The funny thing is, I'm not sure who or what Jesus was, but I think his message was pretty awesome. One thing for sure, I never want to join any church, especially based on the example of "Christians" around here.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Afraid of Christians?

    by Aristan

    What is this driving desire to "prove" Christianity as a myth? What is the motivation behind all of that anger? Could it be that deep down the thought that the Bible is true is terrifying to you guys? That if it is true, then there is a God we must answer to and an ultimate truth? It is easy to fear what we don't understand. And it is certainly our nature to want the freedom to do whatever we please without any consequence. It has been said that we shouldn't make a jugement on a matter until we have heard both sides (and understand both sides). It is clear to me that those who insist that Christianity is a joke have not heard all of the facts. And they certainly do not understand them. There is a certain group of people who keep turning out a large number of believers in God. They are scientists. Seems the fatcs don't all add up like we once thought, and the Big Bang had to have a catalyst. Those who say that the Bible is a fable and that Jesus is not who He said He is simply do not know all of the facts. There are a large number of books written by doctors, scientists, investigative reporters, etc. that provide evidences the world is afraid to address. Books like "The Genesis Project" send evolutionists running. Anything by Josh McDowell, especially works like "Evidence that Demands a Verdict Vols, I and II", would make the whole lot of you naysayers attack the author's character. Why? Because you cannot tear down his arguments or the evidence. "The Case for Christ", "The Case for Faith", "301 Startling Proofs and Prophecies", as well as dozens of others works have assembled enough evidence to win a dozen juries over - beyond a reasonable doubt. No- God cannot be proven scientifically...But either can it be proven scientifically that Abe Lincoln was president. Those aren't events that can be proven by repeated experiments in a controlled environment. Things like that can only be proven by assembling the facts and coming to a logical and unavoidable conclusion. In that way, it is more than safe to say that God, Jesus and the Bible can be proven. Please don't make such harsh and uneducated statements about Christianity without looking at the facts. And please don't make the mistake of juging a perfect God by what His imperfect people do. It is comments on these talkbacks that generate more hate than a film like "The Passion of the Christ" can ever do.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:30 p.m. CST

    God emporium - Critique noted - and yay Jesus

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I searched the talkback, no one told anyone they were going to hell. Paul and Jesus used hyperbole when they taught, and one might argue that Paul lapsed into sarcasm sever times. But being a Christian is more than just loving everybody, Pollyanna-style. When Jesus called the Pharasee's "white-washed tombs, full of dead mens' bones", he wasn't just love, love, love. Though Jesus loved all of us, he was not afraid to confront ignorance or evil. Some of the things Jesus said were not very nice, but his actions proved his love. The thing is, you can't use your Christianity as a shield to avoid confronting issues or people. I can't pretend that I like it when I say "Jesus" and as many people are offended as smile. But Jesus said it would be that way. His name polerizes people in a way no other does. I hope you have an exciting, adventurous faith-walk. But if you don't offend some people along the way, well, Jesus was offensive to a lot of people. He wasn't sarcastic like me, but he was a lot more offensive. And like it or not, if you follow him, you will be too. Sorry, dude.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Why see it?

    by UncleScrewtape

    We all know how it ends.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:39 p.m. CST

    RMA...But, geez...

    by God Emporium

    Are you saying that because Jesus (a god) had the authority to see into the hearts of men and know everything about them, and then tell them the straight truth, that somehow you have the right to your sarcasm in His name?...I know a man in my town who is a Christian, and he talks to everyone with love and patience and understanding. I've seen him mocked, but he doesn't respond in anger, even if he could justify it. At the same time, he speaks his truth quietly and calmly and is always willing to listen to other people's viewpoints. He even has a little room for a self-deprecating humour from time to time. To me, that guy is a Christian. And by the way, he wasn't overly fond of this movie.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:45 p.m. CST

    The Passion's got me

    by DarqueHeart

    You know, I'm about as unreligious as you can get. In fact when I first heard about "The Passion" as it was originally called, I laughed my ass off. I figured it's some religious freak with too much money going to town. Absolutely no interest in seeing this film. I'd personally like to thank the Anti-Defamation League and all the ultra-sensitive Jewish leaders out there for raising such a stink. Their (and the rest of the 'free' media's) sheer hatred for this film actually made me WANT to see it. Their vicious attacks on not only the movie, but the man AND his family proved to me that someone does NOT want you to see this movie. Reverse psychology? Maybe, but meh... it worked ;) If no one had said a word about this film, then it could've easily slid by into 'Arthaus' fame, but no. Now I've got my ticket and I'll be standing in line with... well... the Religious fundamentalists. Put'er there pal! Let's see how it turns out! Cheers, Darqueheart

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Has anyone clicked on the link below Ebert's review...

    by Yossarian

    It states, in no uncertain terms, that if you watch this movie: "It will destroy your soul. It will destroy your mind. It will destroy your life." Holy Crap! That's the kinda movie I wanna see! It should be the tag line. The greatest tagline ever told, that is./// WOW. Some religious people are crazier than shithouse rats...

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 6:07 p.m. CST

    I'll be quiet now - after one last semi-short post

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I agree with Aristan, and he communicates better than I do, so I'll be quiet. I shouldn't have let Pink's 2nd post make me angry, but it did. Anger is not un-Christian, by the way. Anger is a God-given emotion that lets us know our rights have been violated. But Pink was just voicing his opinion, and that's not a cause for anger. Neither his opinion nor mine counts for anything. All that counts is, "What is the truth?" Then re-read Aristan's post, and don't judge a perfect god by his imperfect people. But I will say this: if you take out the sarcasm, I stand behind everything I've said as truth, as best I understand it. As far as being a good witness, well, I may not be where I should be, but I thank God I am not where I was. Being a Christian doesn't mean being nice 24x7, or angry, or confrontational, or being silent, or teaching and preaching. It is all these things and more, in balance. I might not be very good at it, but I will defend the gospel when pressed, and may God's grace cover my well-intentioned and sometimes bone-headed mistakes. At least I'm willing to take a stand. I can't believe that anything I've said would be more offensive than the Christianity itself, which is the "stench of death" to unbelievers. Why do you think it is so offensive? Because he who dies with the most toys, still dies.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Josh mcDowel is a fucking joke.

    by Mister Pink

    Here ya go ya fucking Jesus Crispies http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/index.shtml This is a chapter by chapter rebuttal of your fucking moron hero. Here's a typical argument from yoour fucktard Christian idol "The Bible is unique so that proves it was written by God." What kind of fucking meaningless argument is that? He also tries to argue shit like "fulfilled prophesy" by taking OT passages out of context and trying to apply them in specious ways to the NT. Mc Dowell has a following among brainwashed Christian robote but serious academics completely disregard his ignorant ass. Oh and whoever the fuck t was that said that scientists now believe the Big Bang was caused by God...you are a fucking retard, man. Sciences necessitates no such thing. Don't believe everything your youth pastor tells you. Remember, he also said it wasn't going to hurt when he put it in your ass. Oh,and evolutionists are runnung scared...give me a fucking break. When you expose yourself as a creationist you automatically losre any intellectual credibility whatsoever.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Hello Talkback, my name is objectivity

    by Jarritt

    I want to be quick and concise as possible about why this movie is causing such a massive amount of infantile backlash, intelligent critcism, blind adoration, and unbiased respect. It doesn't matter whether I am an Athiest, Catholic, Agnostic, Muslim etc. Any belief used in an objective view of a movie about belief will cause unfair bias and that is causing some of the most belligerent, hypocritical, and plain embarrassing talkback ever. There have been many religous films made with various results. From Giant and epic to small and personal. Many have been cheered and booed, awarded and discarded, but never like this. WHY? Because this movie is the feared/hoped "NEW BIBLE". People who despise any form of christianity, Elitist movie fanboys, or anybody who thinks organized religion is for the weak obviously feel threatened by a movie they know will be powerful. If powerful means great is another debate for another time, but Unfortanatley some people will prevent themselves from enjoying the movie for no other reason than their ego tells them that is a defeat(something that we should all evolve past). But the most telling and asinine weapon thrown at this movie by certain people is how it's all "fake" or "bull$%#@" like Pulp Fiction and Lord of the Rings are REAL!!! All movies are fiction(yes, even if it says based on a true story). On the other side many supporters and believers of this story are not only waiting in line with their ticket stubs, They are hoping for a revolution. The Bible is of the print media, a dying form, and any attempts to update it's whole or parts for a current generation doesn't change that.The internet and television do not leave a lot of room for reading. And the internet will not lead any single revolution unless some political law is passed or some richer than rich asshole buys every single domain possible to spread the message. So that leads us to Gibson and his "The Passion", a film whose only pretension is worn on it's sleeve, made by a man that has already proved his mettle in the craft. The Future that this movie can carve is the talk of everybody's dreams and nightmares. So you hated it. So you loved it. The reasons are out of fear and love. Whether this is the root of all evil or the savior of a nation is not my point. Leave your believes at the door so whatever this really is can acutally be discussed.(Sorry, not that quick)

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Who wrote the gospels ...

    by jbreen

    ... is an interesting series that started on the tel-tel recently down here in Oz. Frankly the bottom line seems to be that there is endless scholarly debate as to the veracity and dating of early gospel fragments, the Minority Texts - like the Codex Sinaiticus - and the Majority Texts. Well, that's how it appears to me. The Minority Texts are the earliest extant versions of the New Testament, full of additions and deletions. That means they are unpopular with many Christians who don't like the idea that these show a belief structure in a state of flux, sourcing from multiple sources and containing weird things like 'The Shepherd of Hermes'. One site I viewed today writes that

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Mr Pink

    by darthhaole

    You know, the most amazing thing to me is that no matter how much you hate and bash Jesus Christ...He still loves you and His greatest desire remains to give you eternal life in Paradise. You just have to let Him. It's my hope that one day you will understand this and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. No matter what you've said or done, you can always count on His willingness to welcome you back with open arms. Peace.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 7:33 p.m. CST

    to Pink, with love - from Rock me

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I thought about God Emporiums wise comments on the drive home and have to conclude even more firmly than before that the comments I made to you were inappropriate and wrong. You're entitled to lash out at God, Jesus and Christians. I am not entitled to lash out at you. I can't offer any proof of anything, except that before I met Jesus I was a loser with a big mouth who had no ambition, no drive, no hope. Now I am a Christian who still occasionally has a big mouth (sorry about that, dude), with a home, a family, and great hope. That's what Mel is trying to give people through this film. It's not so much that Christ died. It's the tremendous price he paid so that we could truly live. You and I, we are not very different I think. All the science in the world won't prove anything I have said. But my story is still true, and so is Jesus'. Later.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:05 p.m. CST

    "the most amazing thing to me is that no matter how much you hat

    by minderbinder

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:05 p.m. CST

    "the most amazing thing to me is that no matter how much you hat

    by minderbinder

    What a fucking sap.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:21 p.m. CST

    don't buy it

    by pablo2004

    I saw the preview when I went to see Monster. I like the music they used in the preview-possibly Peter Gabriel's music for Last Temptation. It looked well filmed but then they show a scene of Judas accepting his reward. He is at the end of a long hall and the Pharisees are on the other. Instead of tossing him the sack of silver it just sort of floats rather obviously on a wire until it gets over his head and empties its contents on him. It looked ridiculous and pretenious and doesn't bode well for the rest of the movie. There's something about these "it will change your life" reviews that seem disingenuous. No movie will change your life, and this is just a movie.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Flaparoo

    by nochez

    Kiss my ass.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:36 p.m. CST

    one more thing

    by pablo2004

    Just read some of the talkbacks and wanted to say that Mel is not being persecuted by the big bad secular media. He deliberately provoked controversy as a marketing gimmick. He stands to make a ton of xtian cash off of this movie. The marketing is brilliant if morally repellent.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Kill Jesus Vol. 1

    by Old Guy

    In which Gibson decides to show Tarentino that Mel's still the king of violent action movies! Man, I wish Second City TV was still on ... I can just hear their film critics now: "That cross blowed up real good!"

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:55 p.m. CST

    a work of fiction

    by failed musician

    oh this is so powerful cuz it really happened, blah blah blah. no it didn't. it's myth masquerading as truth and is propaganda. rubbish.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 8:58 p.m. CST

    nope

    by pablo2004

    If the actor had tossed the bag and it were merely slow motion the bag would've arced and not travelled in a straight line. Haven't taken Physics 101 yet have you?

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Bring on the blood, I say!

    by TomVee

    The reviews in today's papers make it sound like what it probably was intended to be all along, a horror movie. Any reason why we can't enjoy it from that perspective? Lots of gore and blood and torture and flogging and nails being pounded into flesh and thorns being jammed into a skull sounds like a horror movie to me. Look at the sadistic side Mr. Mel showed in PAYBACK, to get an idea of where this may be going. The reviews also suggest it is not particularly well thought-out or directed, but it is apparently certainly bloody. So I say bloody hell and well! Let's see it while we're all waiting for FREDDY VS. JASON II! Welcome to my nightmare! Get in the spirit! Two scientists travel back in time to witnmess the execution and burial of Christ. They sneak into his tomb and steal his body with the intention of bringing it back to our time and putting it on display for profit. On the third day of their return, when they are about to show it off to the world's press, the body ups and disappears on them! Whoa! How's that for a plot? Are we in the Twilight Zone or what?

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 9:36 p.m. CST

    speaking of horror movie

    by pablo2004

    Mel's got this robed and hooded satan traipsing around who looks exactly like Death in The Seventh Seal.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Why does Satan look like "Powder"?

    by CranialLeak

    I swear (yes, I said it!) that chick looks like Sean Patrick Flannery from Powder. I knew there was something evil about that boy.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Great date movie!

    by Hung-Wei Lo

    If you never want to get laid again.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 11:39 p.m. CST

    jesus christ superfly

    by hank quinlan

    In 2 years, no one is gonna give a shit. Sorry, it's true and you know it. Unless this sparks a new American Reich...which I'm betting it won't. Hey look, all this movie is to me is another film from the guy who made two movies I did like. I think it was ballsy to do it in latin and aramaic and I like Deschanel's photgraphy almost as much as I like his daughter. I think Gibson has been playing some Christlike chaarcters for the past decade. It got kind of obnoxious (the Patriot? HELLO?). Is he a strange cat? Sure. Is he racist? Homophobic? I don't know him. Can't say. The movie, sadly, isn't the issue. It's just about so much more. Guess what? It's just a movie (speaking as one who film is their life). In a year, it's just gonna be a little box with a disc in it. Like Natural Born Killers. Like Clockwork Orange. Like Last temptation of Christ. I think a movie can help change a life. But if someone is going to convert to Christianity or go kill Jews then that seed is there. You can't blame the match for the dynamite. I just hope there is some nice artistry in it. And it is a great movie. The other issues are neither started or will be solved by this film. They may reopen wounds. But it's a deeper issue and discussion which the movie might provoke would be good. But that requires open minds. Good luck with that. Just a movie. The bigger issues, for sure are nothing to ignore. So it goes...

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Every time I start to think that I am the least spiritual person

    by FluffyUnbound

    Where the hell were some of these reviewers educated? Does it bother them that they don't know anything about anything? How did they get jobs that require them to write about an ART MEDIUM? I'll make it simple: anyone who says anything to the effect of, "This film dwells excessively on violence and not enough on the other aspects of Jesus' life, like brotherly love and compassion" should immediately lose their job writing for a newspaper and should be forced to return to college to take some anthropology, history, and art history classes. They obviously don't know enough about these subjects to comment intelligently on a film like this. TPOTC is not really a proseltyzing film as it is conventionally understood, because it is not didactic. It is not attempting to use a narrative to present an argument. Instead, it is an attempt to bypass argument entirely to induce a state of "ecstasy" as that word would have been understood by people by a medieval mystic. The aim of the mystic was to use an unrelenting on one aspect of the divine as a tool to transcend rational understanding of the divine. Meditation on the "passion" of Christ was a traditional technique. Obsessive contemplation of the suffering and wounds of Christ was claimed by these mystics to produce fits during which the devotee would receive the godhead directly, would have visions, hear voices, speak in tongues, etc. It was not designed to be an uplifting experience, or even a particularly coherent or accessible one. Surrender to the agony of the slaughtered god-figure can be powerful stuff if you are already among the converted. The Christians hardly invented the concept, since it has been present in Western religious culture since AT LEAST the shamanistic cults of Thessaly and Thrace back in the pre-Homeric era, and is always present whenever you find ascetic variants or counterparts to mainstream, "sociable" religion. It really isn't possible to understand the breadth of Catholicism and its theological or aesthetic history without taking this sort of mysticism into account. Trying to tell Mel Gibson that TPOTC is a "failure" because it doesn't include enough "happy" Jesus moments is like trying to argue logic with a flagellant in a plague town. The fact that you even start the conversation exposes that you just plain old don't understand what you are dealing with. Judging the film in its own "genre" [which is hard, since it is the first of its kind - the cinematic equivalent of a hair shirt - a film the point of which is to make the viewer surrender to a different type of consciousness through horror, empathy, and guilt] then it is successful precisely to the degree that people suffer when they watch it. To be a success, it should lead the suggestible among the devout to just about the brink of stigmata. It should also lead people who are NOT among the initiated to recoil in confusion and revulsion. It sounds like Gibson is halfway there.

  • Feb. 24, 2004, 11:45 p.m. CST

    Sorry about all the typos.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Yes, English is my first language. I don't know if you'd be able to tell from a couple of those sentences there, though.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 12:18 a.m. CST

    sick physically, not an emotion

    by davesuede

    I appreachiate the sentiment, film used to convey the terrible torture, the sacrifice of Christ going through so much pain and suffering to absolve us of our sins. Just back from the movie, and i saw it with a church group. I felt sick physically the whole way through it. I appreachiate the fact that this film shows the cruel nature of the death of the saviour. But the only reason that this movie will cause so much debate is that i has surpassed what is nessisary for a film to be noticed. It is not groundbreaking in its acting, directing, or production. If Gibson had wanted to convey what Jesus meant to us and leave us with a lasting impression of what we owe to him he should have pressed upon the flash backs to his moments of wisdom and advice on how to live as a Christian, not shown us blood splattering accross peoples faces and horrific sound effects for two hours. If you leave this movie without being able to speak dont be fooled into thinking you where moved, you where shocked, if anything its the only movie in twenty years to do that effectively, pity he had to use the passion of Christ as a Medium.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 12:22 a.m. CST

    might be good...

    by irussel

    i haven't seen it yet, but i hear its got lots of action, sex, violence, and they really nail him at the end. wait, we were talking about kill bill, right?

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 2:27 a.m. CST

    This funny little hatefilled thread. Truly sad. Also, the Christ

    by JDPRITCHETT

    Boy, is these arguements and stuff dated and already defeated. You need to get caught up on these historical issues. Go futrher at: www.tektonics.org to start. But most skeptics will not do what most believers do, research the other side's arguments and read the recommended books. It seems that you all have an interest in these things, get caught up and keep learning. BWT, there is too much poor history from non-believers AND too much bad theology from believers being tossed around on this talk-back site along with plenty of silly mud-slinging on both sides. Skeptics and Apologetics have been over most of this and presented better arguement then these retreads here. Apologetics usually win on history, facts, and logical discerment, and skeptics dig new arguements for rebuttal because they can't concede defeat. Well, some can't and others get SAVED. HA! :) MisterPink Red Giant and others.... Why so much hate? You, my friends, sound more brain-washed than the people you accuse being brain-washed. In this supposed 'Christian nation' there are more people like you than people who believe. How many christians run in your circle. Any? Probably not. Maybe one or two that you'd never speak in this mannar to if they were in your circle. And you will say we are everywhere. I disagree. I know of very few christians, there are more not in chuuch on Sundays than are. You and yours aren't there. Yet were everywhere huh? Actually, we are not. There are very few in the scheme of the population of the country and even more so the world. However, there are plenty who somewhat identify with christianity than actually are. Make sense? But christians everywhere, sadly this isn't the case and when one pops up he/she is already labeled a fanatic, by a bunch more, much bigger majority of non-religious FANITICS who have a disdain for those who simply believe in something. You speak in the most vile disdain for those with whom you disagree. Why? To what end does it serve you? Is there no civil discourse in you? I am not trying to get you to beleive in anything. I am asking you to be nice. You would not speak that way to people if they were in front of you. You know you wouldn't. I understand that this is the internet and you can act and type in a mannar other than you would in society. But is it neccesary to become an animal? And if you say you would spew this level of hatred and obscenity in public, many poeple...christians or no...would not find this acceptable and you know it. Not that it matters because in reality you do not behave this way normally and wouldn't like someone who behaved this way in person to you as you do on the internet. Be big and at least apologize for being mean. You won't, but we know you don't really like yourselves either, so... Not to make you mad, but we will pray for you. We love you despite your hate for others. Also, you all don't 'know' as much as you think you do. I assure you of that. There is no convincing you of course. But you must realize that YOUR facts and sources of opinion are just as biased as those who veiw the SAME documents, texts, and art, writing, etc. AND a few other texts, documents, etc. your preferred 'scholars' leave out to form their biased opinion so you 'brainwashingly' consume because of your pre-disposition to hate 'all things Jesus'...so to speak. Look at the otherside of the coin and THEN make your own mind up. Your reporting from whichever 'scholar's opinions' you prefer and form opinions to directly support their beliefs. And most of your postings are inaccurate, and half-written. Skipping a few things, as probably does your favorite 'scholars' do, to state your case. Do some research from the otherside, the 'christian' perspective, and then weigh the evidence as a whole. I come to my conclusions in this same mannar. From all prespectives. I have no intellectual problems with my belief in the Bible, God, and Jesus. Though I have faith (which in the original Greek sense of 'forensic proof' client recieves-patron provides}, I also have research. You are not painting a complete picture in your posts of historical contexts, but mainly I just ask that you find kindness within you to at least follow one principle that is both universally good as well as Biblical. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you respond in the manner you do because of someone taking the same tone of dissent with you, you are every bit as in the wrong for behaving in like manner. As I am sure though, you spew without needing to be provoked. Look in the mirror before you attribute characteristics to other people with whose beliefs you object. Finally, yes, some christians could be nicer too. And I did like 'The Last Temptation of Christ'. As a Christian, i find no reason to dislike the movie by default. I mean, it was a spiritual character study that happened to base it's premise on an obviously contraversal figure and used portians of that narrative of his life to propel its own story. It could easily been called 'The Last Temptation of Bubba Earl Jimbob' and avoided the controversy, but it didn't...butmight as well have since it WASN'T meant to be the 'Jesus' Jesus. It was supposed to be 'us' and the 'human' struggle. If you missed that, then you didn't get the movie. If non-belivers didn't get that, you did too and don't 'know' films like you think you do. Also, there was a disclaimer before the darn movie started that admitted as such, so it was of no slap to my face. One more thing on the violence, why is this violent over-the-top, but Kill Bill is brilliant? Don't get me wrong, I loved Kill Bill (christians can like movies too, ya know), but how is this different? Maybe, because it is REAL. If it wasn't, then it would be viewed in the same mannar as Kill Bill. These people can not hypocritically praise one and denounce the other. They do though. Because unlike Kill Bill, TPOTC is real. And that makes all the difference. Otherwise, the violence and gore wouldn't even be on the critics radar.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 2:38 a.m. CST

    A christer fanboy movie.

    by cds

    The worst of all possible worlds.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 2:45 a.m. CST

    How can people be so STUPID?

    by Veraxus

    I'm already aware that 99% of the worlds population are certifiable fucktards, but the more people that bash this film the more proof I have. It's obvious that your critics on here dont get it. The Passion was created as a window into the past... a picture of reality. It's despicable that special interest groups are willing to destroy the film, Mr. Gibson, and even the Christian religion in general just to put money in their pockets. That's REALLY what its about... they have three faces: The Accuser, The Apologetic, and The Beggar. The Accuser looks for potential high-profile targets (read: anything Christian) and attempts to mercilessly destroy said target in pursuit of free exposure. Regardless of the outcome or consequences (and regardless of the validity, or lack of, the claim) the Apologetic takes over... explaining that they are really only protecting the 'little guy' and only had 'good intentions.' The Beggar, emphasizing the good intentions bit, then begins asking for donations while the publicity is still high and free. Is The Passion antisemitic? Hell no... it's not even a fucking issue. That's the way it happened. Or maybe Mel should have replaced the priests with Nazi ninja zombies? But then there's the groups who arent in it for the money but are just in it out of pure discriminatory hate for the Christian religion (Some of which frequent these very Talkback boards). It's funny that we have a word for Jew-hating but no word for Christian-hating... after all, which of the two HONESTLY happens more often... without recourse, remorse, or justice? For those who bitch and moan about the violence... guess what, that's what Jesus went through. He didn't bleed flowers and sunshine for your sins - it wasn't fun or happy and you better bet your ass he experienced more pain and suffering than you are capable of comprehending. If you want an all singing all dancing Jesus film then go rent Jesus Christ Superstar. As for my critical review... I thought it was brilliant... the kind of cinematic art that, while ironic, is only matched by Terrantino's Kill Bill. My one quibble is technical (I'm am shit-sick of people criticizing the content - get over it)... I hated the subtitles. Even as sparingly as they were used the film would have been better off without them. They were distracting, especially since the movie did a brilliant job of presenting itself visually. The music was moving and the performances brilliant and heartwrenching (Oscar caliber performances all around). The flashbacks were carefully plotted and placed in just the right places to help maintin a certain ammount of empathy with Jesus - to embelish the fact that he was a living, breathing, eating, drinking person like YOU. Subtle use of supernatural elements tie together themes of fate and spiritual manipulation. Even Judas and the priests were puppets of the devil - portrayed as a pale and eerily sexless creature. We see characteristic Roman brutality, quick glimpses of demons and spirits... there's so much more there for people intelligent and open minded enough to look for it. Now start reviwing this like a MOVIE instead of using the topic as a bully pulpit for bashing Christianity.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 3:40 a.m. CST

    The stupidity of Anti-semitism in a nutshell

    by I Eat Glue

    I get a real kick out of people being mad at the Jews. If they did kill Jesus, so what? Wasn't one of Jesus' big lessons forgiveness?

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 5:52 a.m. CST

    I always preferred the middle path, myself

    by 4rc4n15

    Buddha could probably teach a few of the slavering smacktards around here a lesson. Like, oh, I don't know, anger doesn't really get your point across any better than being intelligible. It just makes you look stupid. Aesthetics, anyone? Just because you can push yourself to an extreme doesn't make you any better. Just more extreme, and less happy. And your karma isn't some God-driven retribution for your bad deeds, it's to do with the internal decay that results. The problem with the idiots who rave here is that they don't understand the nature of responisibility; they think anonymity precludes it - well, sorry, but you can't be anonymous from yourself. So, I guess, screw the smacktards and focus on finding your own path. They'll keep making the same mistakes, and you can find new levels of understanding to share with those who wish to learn. And, in a roundabout way, perhaps that's what Gibson is attempting. He's obviously learnt or understood something, and he's trying to share it. If you don't like the idea of the movie (that's what reviews are for, if I remember) don't go see it.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 6:24 a.m. CST

    Australian reviews just in 1/12 out of 4... 2 out of 4. Very vio

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 8:33 a.m. CST

    "TPOTC is a "failure" because it doesn't include enough "happy"

    by minderbinder

    It seems bizare to make a movie about a guy who inspired a major world religion and focus completely on his death while ignoring his teachings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he teach things like forgiveness? Sounds like the movie is much more about pain and hate, neither of which have anything to do with "being a good Christian".

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 8:43 a.m. CST

    I remember years ago...

    by Blue_Demon

    when I went to see "The Last Temptation of Christ" we had to be searched before entering the theater because people calling themselves Christians ( in all fairness they may NOT have been Christians but just trouble-makers ) said they would run up and slash the screen or cause all kinds of havoc because of the offensive nature of the film. My girlfriend at the time had to have her purse searched! And we had to walk a gauntlet of screaming people saying we would go to hell for supporting the movie. I felt like a teenaged girl going into a Planned Parenthood clinic. I saw photos in Time magazine that showed Christians carrying huge photos of Lew Wasserman and signs that said the movie was "Bankrolled by Jewish Money." Jerry Falwell stated that "This film will cause a wave of anti-semitism." ( Did it? I must have blinked and missed it ) I wonder what changed the Christians' tune this time? Perhaps because Mel chose to film this straight from the Gospels as opposed to Scorcese's filming a novel of peculative FICTION that asked a few questions about faith that made a few squirm? People, RELAX. Nobody is going to be killed over this movie, nobody will beat up on people of the Jewish faith. And getting vicious in a talk-back over whether Jesus existed or not is like getting into a fist fight over what color the Easter Bunny is. Believe me, this country has the attention span of a mongoose on speed. Three weeks from now we'll all be arguing about whether Ken Watanabe will be a good R'as Al Ghul or not. You don't like this film or the ideas behind it, don't go see it. It's that simple. Personally, I want to see it because of the description of certain scenes ( Gethsemane, the tormenting of Judas, etc. )and the praising of the cinematography. Oh, and Monica Bellucci's beautiful face. I'm hoping to be entertained. That's it. Again, calm DOWN.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 8:46 a.m. CST

    whoops!

    by Blue_Demon

    make that "speculative" not "peculative". stupid "S" key!

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Just when I thought America couldn't get worse

    by TotoroSan

    We now have TPOTC to push us further down the road of a fundamentalist Christian agenda. I fucking weep for our future.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 9:13 a.m. CST

    pain and hate

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Back for a few minutes. Friend Minderbender (and I'm still sorry for snapping at you yesterday), there is a lot more to "being a Christian" than happy moments. Pain is what you feel when you realize you have fallen short of the example Jesus set, time and again. Hate is what you get when people judge you for who you follow, not who you are. Pain and hate are as much a part of the Christian expereince as peace and joy, because it is a human experience. I won't pretend I can do justice to Christianity on a talkback when whole libraries have been devoted to it. But as human and fallible as I am, I hope some of the comments here (and the movie. Does anyone remember the movie?) cause a few people to seek out the authentic Christ. Not the Christ portrayed by fallen priests or some televangelists, but the real deal. Seek out some strong but gentle Christian (not me. Working on the gentle part. Catch me in a few years) and ask them, "Dude, exactly why do you beleive and how has it changed your life?" I have many people who's lives have been changed by Jesus, but I have never met anyone who's life was radically changed for the better by the power of atheism.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 9:24 a.m. CST

    I agree with that

    by Themis

    "The real reason there are so many religious people is simple: men are weak and don't like not having an explanation for the cosmos and things beyond their understanding or control. So they make up an explanation that comforts them. And it's also used as the "opiate of the masses" to shut up poor, stupid people." Yes I agree with your statement and I would add : and women. Christianity like any organized religions are made by men and for men. Women are secondary roles, that is to say the famous "the mother or the whore".. no comment. I hope one day those religions will be considered as fictitious as Greek mythology, because that's all they are, myths to give power to a few men over the rest of the population. Despite my rejection of religion, I'm interested in this movie... The story of Jesus doesn't move me at all, but it's always interesting to watch movies that provoke such controversy because they deal with the heart of Western civilisation (which I'm part of). So let's say I'm definitely curious...

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 9:32 a.m. CST

    I've been raised with christians, been to all the sunday school

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Good point, Themis. Exactly.

    by rock-me Amodeo

    The point is, Christianity was not made by men. It was made by God. It is represented by Jesus, and the final act of that redemptive work is what the film is about. Nobody would get this excited, bad or good, about the Easter Bunny or tooth fairy (becuase they never existed) or about Buddha or Confuscious (because they had no power other than their teachings). If Christianity was just made up, don't you think that it would have died after 2000 years? People work so hard to reject the claims of Jesus and the bible, one must admit that there is a real POWER there. Whether you beleive in electricity or not, it still knocks you on your back when you touch it. The evidence that the POWER of Jesus is real is observable every day. It still knocks people on their backs. Myth doesn't do that.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Hello, ObscureReference, how're the wife and kids?

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I have to get back to work, but when you introduced yourself, I had a funny flashback to 20 years ago, viewing Rocky Horror Picture Show (27 times), when RiffRaff says, "Say hello to oblivion..." and we all shouted, "Hello Oblivion, how're the wife and kids!" It's cool, man. Make the world a better place. That's what I'm supposed to do, too.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Personally, I think we as a society and species can leanr a lot

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 10:24 a.m. CST

    My $0.02

    by uligulli

    I've been reading over this talkback and I thought I'd throw my opinion into the ring. FIRST, the movie. I haven't seen it but I do want to. I'm a bit put off by talk of all the gore, but I'll likely go this weekend, and I hope to enjoy it. SECOND, religion, god, life, the universe and everything. Just so you know, I was raised Christian (Lutheran) but I call myself an agnostic - which is an athiest without the courage of his convictions! :-) I don't know what put the universe in motion. I wasn't there. I do generally support scientific notions such as the Big Bang theory, for which there is a great deal of evidence, but a good scientist will tell you that the theory breaks down at some point because we have an imperfect understanding of how Einsteinian physics and quantum physics fit together and the like. Okay, so the scientists don't KNOW. Cosmology and astrophysics is a lot of theory, but I can appreciate the scientific approach. My feeling on the religious side of things, however, is that the faithful seem to purport to KNOW. I've never heard a Christian say "Well, I wasn't there when the universe was created, so maybe there isn't a god or maybe He isn't what I think He is, I just don't know." The component the faithful have is just that - faith. You believe what you believe, I'm sure not going to change your mind by arguing about it. I don't have faith. I like to think I'm reasonably open-minded - so who knows, maybe the Christians are right. But maybe the Moslems are right, or the Hindus, or the Taoists. Or maybe God is a giant green space-chicken! Or the furry hippo thing from South Park. Or maybe the scientists will be right, although I can't personally comprehend how you can have an effect without a cause - darn my linear thinking! But I don't understand why the athiests have to be so nasty - it is possible to discuss this topic in a civil manner. I don't hate religious people - how could I hate my Mom and Dad? I just don't believe what they believe. Where things get tough is in the tug and pull of society. Take, just for example, same-sex marriage or abortion. A Christian might typically say, "The Bible says 'x' is a sin, so it should not be sanctioned by society". The athiest says "I don't believe in your God or the Bible, so I can't accept that argument as reason to do or not do 'x'." In logic, we might call this a problematic premise. :-) One might also argue against the Christian desire to do or not do 'x' simply on the basis of the separation of church and state. On same-sex marriage, I might say "I'm sorry, but I believe in a secular state, so I cannot allow the religious definition of marriage to restrict the legal definition of marriage." Again, just an example. Well, how can you possibly move any further than that? Both sides get frustrated, and then the name-calling begins. Pretty tough to get stuff done when one side says the other is a bunch of stupid tards who believe everything they read, and the other says the first group are evil sinners destined for hell. The athiests are kind of starting in a hole, because they want to prove a negative: God does not exist. They usually end up trying to shift the burden of proof: Prove that God exists. (Or maybe, more particularly, prove that your version of 'god' exists.) Well, as an athiest, you probably wouldn't accept less that the physical manifestation of God Himself - and I don't think anyone has enough prayer miles to pay for that trip! All we have are arguements and theories, on both sides. My suggestion to the athiests when they're being annoyed by a Christian: politely say "I'm sorry, I respect your beliefs but I'm an athiest and I would ask that you respect mine." This is a cue for a Christian to not say something annoying like "Well, God believes in you even if you don't believe in him." Alright? A lot of writing just to say I don't know - and I don't think any of us really do. ULI

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 12:42 p.m. CST

    I'm tired of Jesus

    by Ryvver

    Jesus = dead horse (no pun intended). I just can't see the 'passion' of Christ any other way. This story has been told to me over and over and over again through my 26 years of life and the fact that there's a 'new' interpretation of it doesn't make it any more interesting to hear. I really have no desire to see this movie. How many versions of Peter Pan has there been? Dracula? You've Got Mail? Just because someone gives a story (or history, if that's how you see it) a facelift once in awhile doesn't change what's underneath and what's underneath is an aged, wrinkling, senile, burdensome grizzled geezer of a story that just needs to be put to rest. The tragedy isn't in the way Jesus dies for the benefit of the rest of us...the tragedy is that Jesus dies over and over and over again every time the story gets told at Easter or every time a Mel Gibson comes up with a 'new' interpretation of it all. Do we really have to kill Jesus that many times to understand the meaning of sacrifice? Are we that lame-brained that we have to beat that dead horse to get the point? I'm tired of Jesus. Give him a rest. Half of the world's problems today might have to do with how people hang for dear life onto sensibilities of the past that no longer make sense in the world today. Things change. People change. Truths change. Maybe the ideas of sacrifice and love are things we'll always need to understand, but this is 2004...can we please get at those ideas in a new way that we haven't all heard a million times? Uggh.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 2:16 p.m. CST

    OK, since Obscure Reference is here, this is the part of the tal

    by FluffyUnbound

    ...go off about the value of delusions. I am thinking this morning about the Byzantine Emperor Basil Voulgaroktonos, the Bulgar-Slayer. He was a fellow who would go about doing things like burning out the eyes of 10,000 prisoners at a time, and leaving one or two guys with one eye to lead all the blind guys back to their own country. He also became a religious fanatic during his reign, and started doing things like walk around in a burlap robe instead of his imperial attire, would fast for weeks at a time, took a ow of celibacy after he had taken care of the succession, etc. Deluded? Almost certainly. I bet if Andy Rooney met him, old Andy would say he was nuts. A loon. But I think that it is BETTER that he was this way, instead of being Basil the Insurance-Salesman, going to PTA meetings, making sure never to give any potential customer offense by having a belief or opinion, carefully considering the tax implications of his new mortgage, etc. As a deluded religous fanatic Basil was much more worthwhile a human being than he would have been had he not been deluded. So I actually LIKE Mel Gibson more, now. At least he is interesting. Without his delusions Mel would just be one more ageing white guy wearing a beret, taking an hour or two a day to hit the stationary bike, maybe get a little too much botox done, etc. Without his fanaticism Gibson is just another asshole. With it, he is a poet and a martyr. It's not like if we got all the people like Gibson to give up their delusions that they would suddenly become better people. They'd just be boring in addition to being conniving and contemptible.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 5:56 p.m. CST

    "the fact that so many people have formed an opinion of somethin

    by MisterGrimloch

    yeah, you're right. it sorta reminds me of every LOTR retard fan (that does not mean ALL LOTR fans) who went out of THEIR way to insist that ROTK was the "greatest film ever" (a ludicrous assessment made only by the naive and immature) before ever having seen it. then, AFTER having seen it, they went out of their way to insist that anyone NOT thinking the same were obviously "wrong" (again, very naive and immature, as well as indicative of someone who obviously hasnt seen too many films in the first place). i have NOT yet seen TPOTC, but i intend to. it looks very interesting. i suspect it will be much better than any of the three LOTR films, but that is currently unknown to me.

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 6:20 p.m. CST

    "Pain and hate are as much a part of the Christian expereince as

    by minderbinder

    Don't know if it's been mentioned, but a woman had a heart attack at a screening and died. It's gonna be an interesting BO result...

  • Feb. 25, 2004, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Elitism, atheism and Kirk Cameron

    by Paul T. Ryan

    You know, more than anything else, there's one defense of this film that really pisses me off. It's the idea that secular film buffs who don't respond to the film are "elitist". To me using the "elitism" as an excuse for a negative reaction just shows that someone has run out of ways to defend something. It's pretty much saying you can't have an opinion of the film that is your own, because your head is full of secular "elitist" dogma. On the other hand, many of the Passion-boosters who argue this claim can also be accused of not having an opinion of their own, as they're already converted. See how it works? It's fair to suggest that there can't really be a trult objective opinion on this film from any angle. We've all got our own preconcieved notions about Jesus and they will influence our reception to it. I'm getting free tickets from a friend of mine who's a Catholic schoolteacher, so that may help to make me a little more open minded. I'm an atheist (and there are some of you out there who'll either tremble in horror or sneer with superioity) and I make no apologies for that. I am still facsinated by spirituality and I don't begrudge anyone their beliefs. In fact, I find more relevant spirituality in art, film and music than in religion myself. What does irk me, with this and other Christian films, is the idea that these films will convert people. I don't know about The Passion, but no Christian film I've seen has had that effect on me, or anyone I know. The recent crop of christian apocalytic films (Left Behind, Omega Code,etc) all preach to the converted, making truly timid attempts at presenting any opposing argument and bashing the viewer over the head with dogma and zero subtley. That said, Left Behind made me believe in one thing: you'll believe Kirk Cameron can grow facial hair!

  • Feb. 26, 2004, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Hmm

    by 4rc4n15

    'Buddha or Confuscious (because they had no power other than their teachings)' I hate to turn this into a theological discussion...but...well. Considering Buddhism has existed for far longer than Christianity, not to mention the other major Monotheastic religions (Judaism, Moslem), wouldn't your assertion be incorrect? I have to point this out, but the creation of Christianity was at a pivotal point in civilisation - the fall of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages. The Priests of the Catholic Church gained much power and influence exactly because they were the only ones who were rich and could read and write other than kings and nobles. I think this has far more to do with the spread of Christianity than any powerful message, which in essense was no different from teachings that had existed for hundreds possibly thousands) of years prior in the Middle East and Asia. Just because our western civilisation is founded on a particular faith - which happened to be spread by missionaries from Europe into the New World - does not make it any more plausable than any other god-centred religion you care to mention. On Buddhism, I would say that the teachings of a man who showed that avoiding extremes and finding peace with oneself and ones surroundings is just as poignant as a Jewish man being nailed to a cross in a Roman colony. But, this is just my opinion. It stills stands that the unavoidable fact is that Christianity came at a time when old civilisations crumbled and Holy Men had an easy time converting the heathens who couldn't read or write and had very little food.

  • Feb. 26, 2004, 7:19 p.m. CST

    The GingerTwit

    by LeoO

    Read C. S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity" (yes the same guy who did the Narnia books.) Don't worry, it's a reasonably short paperback, and it doesn't beat you over the head. He lays out in words far better than I could how it all works and makes sense that Jesus was the Son of God and how only by His death and resurrection could we be freed from the power of sin. Many approach religion from a perspective of faith or mysticism and I respect that. Lewis' great gift is explaining Christianity to the relentlessly rational, to the "but why?" type. He was an atheist who eventually became a theist/deist, and then a Christian, under the influence of J. R. R. Tolkien. And the arguments that swayed him were reason and rationality, not "take it on faith."

  • March 5, 2004, 2:36 p.m. CST

    To Mels US fans

    by Sepulchrave

    A few points to Gibson

  • Dec. 18, 2007, 1:39 a.m. CST

    dirty sanchez

    by thedirtysanchez

    Someone else used my name. It wasn't the greatest name to use, but it was mine. Anyways, Sanchez believes in great horror films, plenty of gore, and no redeeming value whatsoever. Want to know why? Because they are fake! Anyone wants a dispute, fly me to New York City (my old hometown) and we will talk. No other way can it be known, Dirty Sanchez is a lot of things, but he is not a pornographer like the impostor!