Saturday, August 20, 2016

Movie Review – “Ben-Hur”

While I attended the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, Ted Baehr of recommended and insisted that attendees see the 2016 Ben-Hur movie (Ben-Hur 2016).  Mary and I decided to brave the crowds and view it on its Friday night opening, something we usually avoid.  I am not sure this version can be called a remake because it was very different from the 1959 classic we remember.  I never saw the 1925 release, nor did I read the novel, so I don’t know how this movie compares to the original story.  Regardless, this version was great, entertaining, and presents a clear redemptive message. Ben-Hur 2016

Ben-Hur 1959

Ben-Hur 1925
For folks who like action, this film has plenty to satisfy that appetite.  With today’s technology, the violence of that era was graphically (maybe too much even for me) displayed.  Consequently, I think the acting took a back seat to the modern use of video-game style, rapid movement action scenes.  For folks who suffer from motion sickness, they might have difficulty maintaining their focus on the 3-D version.

I was impressed with the set designs.  Mary and I have been to Israel and the set construction gives a realistic first century feel.  The film does depict the brutality of a dictatorial central government.  This is what America will become if we continue on the progressive path of BHO and HRC.  Bill and Hillary behave like King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.  They incarcerated or had executed most who got in their way.  HRC has stated Republicans are her enemies and, she already approves of the wholesale murder of innocent, inconvenient babies.

I think this movie has a stronger redemptive message than the 1959 version.  57 years ago, Americans embraced Judeo-Christian values.  For the most part, average people lived a more personally responsible life, and cared for their neighbors.  Individuals did not have to be shown The Way, The Truth, and The Life in a movie.  Many families taught it, understood it, and lived it.  For the feelings-based, “Never Trump,” folks, I hope they pay attention to the redemptive message and I suggest applying the following admonition from Jesus from the Gospel of John, Chapter 8, verse 7 (NASB).  “He that is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her.” (Or Trump)  I try to always remember Galatians 5:14 (NASB), “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF’.”

Okay, I’m done with the politics and preaching – back to the movie.  Hollywood finally gets it.  Films with Biblical content perform better at the box office than others (See  Demographically, Christians go to movies more than any other people group.  I hate to say it this way, but Jesus sells.  Based on what I saw, I think there is more scriptural content in this version than its 1959 predecessor.

Overall, Mary and I thought Ben-Hur 2016 was great and well worth fighting the Friday night crowd.  Again, this film has a strong redemptive message and a satisfying ending, one consistent with Shakespeare’s play, “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

Thanks for reading.

For further entertaining and educational reading regarding a past Constitutional crisis, I linked my Christian, Historical Fiction, Civil War series here: Destination Hope.

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