Aside from impressive 21st century digital effects, this new take on the Moses story pales in comparison to Cecil B. DeMille's iconic 1956 version, The Ten Commandments, which is far more resonant and intensely dramatic. Biblical epics are tricky to get right, and Ridley Scott certainly knows how to make them look and feel terrific (see Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven), but his films are generally about the spectacle rather than the human emotion. So this version of the biblical story will only appeal to viewers who have never seen a better one.
It's set in 1300 BC, when the Israelites have been in captivity in Egypt for 400 years. Now rumours of liberation are circling, centring on Moses (Christian Bale), the adopted son of Pharaoh Seti (John Turturro), raised as a brother alongside the future Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton). When it emerges that Moses is actually a Hebrew, he is sent into exile in the desert, where he finds a new calling as a shepherd and marries his new boss' sexy daughter Sefora (Maria Valverde). Moses also has a run-in with the Jewish God, who appears in the form of a young boy (Isaac Andrews), challenging Moses to free the Israelites. As Moses attempts to spark a slave revolt, God sends seven horrific plagues to convince Ramses to let his people go.
The script struggles to have its cake and eat it too, finding rational explanations for the plagues and miracles while still maintaining God's supernatural intervention. It's a rather odd mix that demonstrates just how compromised the movie is: it's a big blockbuster rather than a story about people. Several elements work well, such as depicting God as a boy, although the screenplay never manages to make much of the female characters. And only Ben Mendelsohn manages to inject any proper personality as the weaselly overseer of the slaves. Bale and Edgerton both catch the complexity of their characters' situations, privilege mixed with personal revelations. But Scott is more interested in parting the Red Sea than taking them anywhere very interesting.
Continue reading: Exodus: Gods and Kings Review
Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton star as Moses and Rhamses in director Ridley Scott's big budget interpretation of the Exodus Bible story. The film isn't out until December but check out the trailer for 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'.
Director Ridley Scott has dealt with some epic stories whether it's the might of the Roman Empire and the obsession with gladiators, slavering murderous aliens in space or legends of British folklore. But now the 76-year-old director is tackling the Bible and is adapting the story of Moses for the big screen in Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Following the passing of 'The Sopranos' star, screen great Robert De Niro will step in to portray the lead character on the HBO series
Robert De Niro has been appointed as the lead actor in the upcoming HBO mini-series Criminal Justice, a seven-episode stretch that the late James Gandolfini was initially slated to star in. The passing of Gandolfini had left the project in limbo, however with the appointment of De Niro the show will continue to air as planned.
De Niro will now star in the crime drama in place of Gandolfini
HBO confrimed De Niro's appointment to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, 25 September, adding that Gandolfini will be given a posthumous executive producer credit on the show. The mini-series is an American adaption of the hit 2008 BBC series of the same name, which was the brainchild Peter Moffat and starred Ben Whishaw and the late Pete Postlethwaite. The HBO version, which is being made in association association with BBC Worldwide Production, of the show will be initially directed by Steven Zaillian, with others stepping in as the series progresses. Moffat will serve as an executive producer on the HBO series.
Hbo fans will be excited to hear that one of networks biggest and most memorable stars, James Gandolfini, is to return in a pilot for a new drama, reports U.S.A Today.
Gandolfini is of course most famous for his portrayal of Tony Soprano in, arguably, HBO’s most successful show of all time, The Sopranos. He is now set to reignite his love affair with the paid-for TV channel by starring in the pilot for a new adaptation of Criminal Justice, a BBC series created by Peter Moffat that – like another of HBO’s big hitters, The Wire - follows a single case across an entire season. Screenwriter, Steven Zaillian - responsible for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - and novelist Richard Price are writers and executive producers on the new project, and Zaillian will direct the pilot episode, which will be filmed this fall in New York City in a co-production with BBC Worldwide.
Inevitably, talk of Gandolfini’s return has sparked debate as to whether fans are in line for ‘the new Sopranos,’ but can Criminal Justice be as good as the gangster show? Well, it’s hard to tell, considering the pilot hasn’t even been filmed yet, but it’ll have to be some show to take on David Chase’s New Jersey behemoth, which is often cited as the best TV drama of all time. No pressure, then.