Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Rough seas ahead? Noah may be riding an opening weekend box office wave that netted $44 million floats to top of box office but a CinemaScore survey of audience members resulted in a very-tepid average score of C. That score pretty much matches my reaction and, honestly, I’ve only cooled to it since. The more I think about it, the less I like it. You can read my review (followed by the actual Biblical account) here.

Worldwide, the film (which reportedly cost north of $125 million to produce) has  pulled has already in at least 95.1 million dollars. So, it’s likely to earn its money back — but imagine how much better it would do if more people, you know, actually liked it.

JESUS milestone. The 35th anniversary of the 1979 docudrama JESUS is being celebrated tomorrow (4/1) with Cinedigm and Mission Home Video’s release of a fully restored and re-mastered, HD-quality Blu-ray and DVD edition with an all new symphonic score.

Releasing under the title The JESUS Film, the Biblically-accurate film is based on the Gospel of Luke. It’s described as the most-watched film in history and is said to have been translated into over 1200 languages. (I didn’t even know there were that many languages but, as it turns out, there are.)

Over the last 35 years, the film has been viewed billions of times and is recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Translated Film” in history.

“While many have seen the original JESUS film, watching the 35th anniversary, re-mastered edition is akin to experiencing a brand new movie,” according to JESUS Film Project Executive Director Dr. Erick Schenkel. “During the film’s restoration,” he notes, “each of its 173,000 frames were individually and painstakingly re-touched and re-colored, and the entire audio track was re-done with dialogue, sound effects and new music. As a result, individuals who have seen the original film dozens of times have marveled at the beauty of the 35th anniversary edition.”

A faithful depiction of Christ’s birth, ministry, death and resurrection as told by the Gospel of Luke, virtually every word Jesus speaks in The JESUS Film is quoted from Scripture. The script was reviewed for biblical accuracy by 450 leaders and scholars. Further historical accuracy was ensured using clothing, pottery and other props made with first-century methods to portray a 2,000-year-old Palestinian culture.

The story of the movie’s impact on literally hundreds of millions of people over the past 35 years is chronicled via an exclusive new short feature narrated by actor Ernie Hudson that’s included on the re-mastered Blu-ray and DVD. Each disc will also include The JESUS Film in a total of eight languages – English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Vietnamese, German, Korean and Arabic.

In addition to being made available in retail and online stores, The JESUS Film Project has joined Cinedigm and Mission Home Video with Tugg to offer 35 theatrical viewings prior to Easter. For more info on that click here.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11