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Ron Reed

Judas - Mar 8, ABC

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One of the most complex characters in the Gospels, Judas lived and died in a time of political and spiritual unrest. In his search for answers, he found Jesus Christ. But what led Judas to betray the man he called friend and Messiah? Written by Tom Fontana, creator of Homicide: Life on the Street and Oz, this ABC movie offers a 21st century interpretive dramatization covering the time Judas spent with Jesus. Starring Johnathon Schaech (That Thing You Do) as Judas, Tim Matheson (West Wing) as Pontius Pilate, Bob Gunton (Shawshank Redemption, The Perfect Storm) as Caiaphas and Jonathan Scarfe (ER, Gideon


I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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Thanks for the heads-up, Ron -- I'll keep my eyes peeled for this one, as 'Homicide' was my all-time favorite TV drama. Besides having great characters and a wonderfully dark sense of humor, it occasionally addressing spiritual issues in a genuine, hearty manner. I hope Fontana and co. don't botch this one...


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Thanks, Ron, I had heard about this ages ago and had assumed that I'd missed it. I guess it just took a long time to produce and/or air.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: . . . as far as I know, it's the only film in which Judas is the central

: character. . . . You would think there would be a Judas film already.

Good point. Personally, I would consider Jesus Christ Superstar more of a Judas movie than a Jesus movie, but apart from that, I can't really think of any others. I don't see anything that fits the bill in Kinnard & Davis's book. Maybe Dracula 2000 qualifies? smile.gif


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Maybe Dracula 2000 qualifies?

...

Good Lord. Another one who...who saw it...

And then spoke of it...

8O

I'd agree--Superstar is more of a 'Judas play'--apparently there was a "St. Judas" musical that came out shortly after Superstar did, receiving some small accliam but then fading away...


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Curious note: I caught Along Came Polly today, and in there, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a has-been former child actor who is now reduced to working in community theatre ... and he's working on a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and although he has the part of Judas, what he REALLY wants is the part of Christ. I found this interesting, since I would have said Judas was the better role (in strictly dramatic terms, as per the musical written by Rice and Webber -- I'm obviously not speaking historically or theologically here).

It also occurs to me that someone once said Cecil B. DeMille could never make a movie about the past without SOMEHOW making it a love triangle -- e.g. the Moses-Rameses-Nefertiri triangle in the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments -- and in that light, one COULD argue that Jesus, Judas, and Mary Magdalene form a "love triangle" of sorts in his 1927 film The King of Kings. The film begins with Mary hosting a party and asking where her lover Judas has gone, and when she hears that he has gone to follow Christ, she goes after him -- and is promptly converted herself. But as I recall, the film does continue to play on that notion that Judas wanted Jesus to be a political power, etc., hence the film's title.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Just a link to the discussion of this TV-movie over on the Passion thread.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Wow. Jesus looks just like VIGGO MORTENSEN.

Check yer link there, buddyboy!


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But everytime I see Viggo in King I think, wow, this guy woulda made a great screen Jesus.

Yeah, Judas is so bad I can hardly work up the energy to review it.

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Well, Jeffrey, Mortensen has done the Satan thing--I'm sure that now, having met him, you figured the poor guy deserved a better rap...


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FWIW, the latest Biola Newswire included this account of a special screening of JUDAS at Biola U, following by Q&A with the director, executive producer, and actor Jonathan Schaech:

ABC'S "JUDAS" FILM SCREENED AT BIOLA

For director Charles Robert Carner, ABC's upcoming movie "Judas" is a Good Friday movie, not an Easter Sunday movie.

As he explained to a crowd of 250 packed into Myers Hall for an advanced screening of the flick, which airs on Monday, March 8, it is because of this that there is no resurrection scene at the movie's end.

Carner joined the film's executive producer, Frank Desiderio, and lead actor, Johnathan Schaech ("That Thing You Do"), for an intimate Q-and-A format session following Biola's exclusive Feb. 18 screening.

While Desiderio originally envisioned the film airing on Good Friday after the film's completion more than two years ago, he now sees the timing of the release of "Judas" as an opportunity for evangelistic dialogue.

"Mel Gibson's movie is creating a cultural wave that we're surfing in on and I like it because you've got a movie in theaters and a movie on TV," Desiderio said. "This creates an evangelical opportunity for Christians and non-Christians to talk to each other."

Desiderio believes that the unique perspective of "Judas" puts Gibson's film into context by illustrating the political unrest of that era and showing why the Jews and Romans felt threatened by Jesus


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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The Passion according to Judas

It's hard to watch Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" without concluding that the suicidal Judas Iscariot was chased by demons into the pit of hell. On the other hand, it's hard to watch the ABC television movie "Judas" without concluding that somehow, before he hanged himself, his sense of remorse put him back on the road to redemption. These movies offer radically different takes on the Passion and events that led to it. While Gibson has been attacked for his stark, traditional Catholicism, "Judas" (March 8, 9 p.m. EST) offers a modern, made-for-television, post-Vatican II Catholic approach.

Terry Mattingly, March 3


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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he group hugs with the apostles and recruits like a college football coach.

Heh. I made the same comparison in my review.

This guy has the guts to say what I didn't have the guts to say. It really is painfully bad.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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It really is painfully bad.

Alas. And they seem to have had such good intentions. Probably explains why it sat in ABC vaults for a while until the Passion frenzy.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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OH, man ... Why'd I have to read this thread 13 minutes before the movie is to be broadcast??

That does it. I'm watching Behind the Scenes: Charlie's Angels.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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And seemingly a short-tempered Jesus too. I tuned in at a random moment, just long enough to catch this exchange:

JUDAS: But--if everyone is special, then we're all equal.

JESUS [over his shoulder as he walks away, very ticked off] Yes!

That alone was enough to make me want to watch the entire Gospel of John again.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Well in his review of Judas, Tom Shales of the Washington Post couldn't resist a truly heinous jab at Gibson's little film that could.

Regardless, the Big Lie was born, and two millennia later, Gibson would find a way to recycle it and gross more than $200 million in the process. Surely his parking space in Hell has already been reserved.

I thought this was supposed to be a [TV] film review. How about some journalistic self-control?

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I started watching it, and couldn't even make it through the preview. A BLOND (Aryan) Jesus?

So you don't think he had blue eyes? wink.gif

I could't get through it but maybe 1o or 2 minutes at a time. The Charlie's angels story was done better.


...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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