Day 154: Risen (2016)

download (1)Since mankind could start filming things, we have seen countless films regarding the bible and how things went down for Jesus Christ. Until this year, we had never seen a film that explored the subject matter present in today’s film Risen. All Roman Tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) wants to do in 33 AD is to finally relax and make his way back to Rome. Unfortunately for him, he is given a hefty task by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) and that is to find the body of Jesus (or Yeshua as he is known in the film). There were rumblings in Judea that Jesus was going to rise out of his tomb and walk the Earth again. The Romans and most of the Jewish are against that idea and so Clavius has to find the body to prove that theory wrong before it spreads and changes the minds of all the Jewish community. The film also stars Tom Felton (Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire) as Lucius, Cliff Curtis (Live Free Or Die Hard) as Yeshua, María Botto (Only Human) as Mary Magdalene, Stewart Scudamore (The Devil’s Double) as Peter, Stephen Hagan (Against The Dark) as Bartholomew,  Luis Callejo (Triage) as Joses, and the film was directed by Kevin Reynolds  (The Count Of Monte Cristo).

720x405-CLAVIUS-desert-108One thing you can always question when going into a film like this is whether this films is Christian propaganda? The other question you can also ask in rebuttal of the last one is whether this was just an honest attempt at looking at a different part of the story? Obviously, you have to form your own opinion because I am not here to enlighten you on the subject of God, but merely to be objective in the art of film making and storytelling. The film was an excellent example of amazing film making because the cinematography was pretty top notch. The sets made you believe that you were in 33 AD Judea and some of the visuals can be a little hard to take. There is this one scene where after they crucify a body, they just throw them in a ditch like area and throw salt over them. You see all the rotting corpses and all of the flies. I can only imagine how disgusting that must have smelled like back then. I had wondered going into the film how factual it was and I came to find out that it was historical fiction meaning that they place fictional characters in real historical situations. It makes sense why they did it because it offers you a point of view from someone who was a non believer. So I ask you again, Christian propaganda or another way to look at the story? Nevertheless, the film features some great acting along with great storytelling as well as great costumes and amazing sets. If you don’t mind watching these kinds of films, then I would say give it a shot because it was worth the watch. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 24: Bringing Out The Dead (1999)

017_BRINGINGOUTTHEDEADQUADSoon enough you’ll figure out that I am a fan of Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), but I honestly did not know that he directed today’s film. In 1999, Scorsese directed the film Bringing Out The Dead which starred Nicholas Cage (Raising Arizona) as paramedic Frank Pierce. Frank has been on the job for way too long to the point that he is burnt out and the ghosts of patients that he couldn’t save are starting to haunt him whether he is on the job or off. Over the course of three turbulent and mind exhausting nights, Frank will have to try and survive the nights without completely losing his mind in this drama/thriller. The film also stars John Goodman (Death Sentence) as Larry, Patricia Arquette (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) as Mary Burke, Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) as Marcus, Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan) as Tom Wolls, Marc Anthony (The Substitute) as Noel, Mary Beth Hurt (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) as Nurse Constance, Nestor Serrano (The Day After Tomorrow) as Dr. Hazmat, Aida Turturro (The Sopranos) as Nurse Crupp, Cliff Curtis (Blow) as Cy Coates, and Sonja Sohn (The Wire) as Kanita.

bringing-out-dead-pic-1_758_426_81_s_c1This film is so intense in just about everything and it’s awesome. Nicholas Cage does a great job playing a guy who is just going through absolute hell and looks like he’s been going through absolute hell. This is one of those rare times that I really enjoyed his performance because he’s hit or miss with me. The film is very dark in nature so it has that look that Shutter Island had with it’s dark color tones with the bright reds, etc. I really enjoyed the scenes where every thing is all of a sudden sped up to make them look even more crazier than they are. The film also shows you how dark and dingy the city can be and it shows you sections you’ve never seen before as well. I love how Scorsese almost focuses on that as well like he’s making the city a vital character as well. I have to say that I truly enjoyed the side story between Patricia Arquette and Nicholas Cage because they are both struggling with inner demons while Cage is being haunted by the dead, she is dealing with a dark past of her own. It definitely added a cool dynamic to the film that kept the story rolling. Martin Scorsese is definitely one of my favorite directors and there are a lot of films that I still have not seen that will probably show up on this challenge. Check out the film for yourself, I am giving the movie an B for a final grade.