In recent years, we’ve seen a spate of cartoon superhero movies coming out of Hollywood—”Batman”, “Superman” “Ironman”, “Spiderman”, etc. Even Greek and Roman superheroes, such as Jason, Achilles and Spartacus have been given new life on the big screen.
Americans seem to like larger-than-life characters, whether they are imaginative (Batman) or based on real, historical figures (Sparatcus). And despite what you read and hear from relativistic news reporters these days, most of us—that is, we who are neither eggheads nor elitists—still like the good guys; we still like them to triumph in the end.
Personally, I have always been fond of historical “sword and sandal” (S&S) epics; sure, call them my guilty pleasures—classics such as “Quo Vadis”, the marvelous, nearly forgotten Charlton Heston 1972 classic, “Antony and Cleopatra”, “The 300 Spartans” (the 1964 Richard Egan version, that is, not “The 300” remake which I thought was bloody awful—literally), and the like.
I will also admit to companion S&S guilty pleasures—the 1960 George Pal fantasy, “Atlantis, the Lost Continent”, and the Italian-made Steve Reeves “Hercules” films.
With that said, I was thrilled to learn last week that Hollywood is rediscovering the Bible. Who would have thought?
With all its negative portrayals of religious people—from murderous popes to vampirish nuns, I was somewhat skeptical of Hollywood’s coming wave of big-budget Biblical movies. Will they be genuine in their story telling or will they be vehicles to belittle monotheistic values and the people who believe?
A number of these biblical epics—with 21st century CGI special effects—are planned, according to various reports.
The first blockbuster, “Noah”, is due out in late 2013. Watch for actor Russell Crowe playing the Old Testament ark builder and zoo keeper.
While many of us may not take these stories literally (did a Great Flood really cover the entire Earth in human memory?), you must admit that they are timeless in the telling of their spiritual and moral truths.