The Bible: In The Beginning… (1966 Film)

Recently I watched The Bible: In The Beginning, a 1966 film that covers the events of creation until when Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac.

Now, I will say that for a film so old, the visuals hold up — and the scenes in the Noah segment of the movie are really well done (compared to the mostly computer generated effects done nowadays) … and many scenes are well shot and really transport you to a different place — for example, during the Tower of Babel section when you see little people moving in the distance — those are actually actors!

The most effective and interesting parts of the film to me were the Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah parts. The Noah part is impressive due to the animals and care it took to coordinate everything. The sets also looked really neat, and I enjoyed the idea of Noah’s family staying busy during the time on the boat, taking care of the animals. The Sodom and angel scenes though were striking for a different reason — it was an incredibly dark and terrifying thing to watch. The goat with with weird headdress and its human female worshipers was particularly creepy, and the city masked in dark shadows was very unsettling, along with the terrifying mob of men.

Unfortunately the rest of the film just isn’t very good, and has some very questionable content. The very first part of the movie features multiple scenes of male and female nudity, when it could have been implied and not shown. The other part is the casting of George C. Scott as Abraham, who doesn’t look the part at all … and his (and his wife’s) dialog is so hard to understand and bizarre that audiences will get bothered by it. Luckily, Peter O’Toole makes a brief cameo as an angel, and balances things out somewhat, acting-wise.

Personally, I would avoid this long, strangely cast film with pretty graphic content.

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The Torah Codes

The Torah Codes is an interesting documentary that takes a very close look at the significance of hidden messages within the first five books of the Old Testament, and how they have been discovered in recent decades — some even discussing recent events.

The concealed words and phrases are found by modern Jewish scholars using a Cray supercomputer that looks for unique words in equal letter distance sequences, within small blocks of Ancient Hebrew text. The smaller the amount of text searched and more numerous equal letter distance words and phrases found, the more unlikely it is that these are just random occurrences of words, and were very likely purposely generated, by the author.

The film itself is interesting in that it jumps between talks with Jewish scholars to a military captain serving in Israel and with people in a town nearby anti-Israeli forces (whose enemies keep trying to blow their town up with rockets). While this is an interesting approach editing-wise, it’s pretty clear why this was done — there just isn’t enough code-specific material to warrant a full documentary run-time.

That said, the code parts are interesting, and certainly thought provoking. Unfortunately you do get the sense only Jewish scholars (focusing on Jewish things) are involved though, as not one clearly labeled/named Christian seems to be involved in the project.

The biggest weakness of the film though is its paltry 60-minute run-time. While the Captain part adds to the film in the end, the other non-code material seem to act as filler, and comprises probably 1/2 to 2/3 of its length. I would definitely give this a watch if you find it for cheap or free online, but the $14.99 price most places charge is way too high for the tiny amount of actual content received.

The Coming Convergence

This documentary’s creators also made “The Final Prophecies,” which I reviewed last year, and in that review I said this:

“…and the film, despite its focus on “prophecy” — barely seems to mention Jesus Christ’s saving grace and the fact that Satan truly exists, and wants to literally damn humanity to Hell. Prophecy is a nice subject, but if there’s no reason for people to believe (God’s love and compassion), that makes it a hard sell.”

Unfortunately, their new film misses the mark yet again. About 20-25% of the film is just a random pretty girl walking aimlessly (through what looks like Detroit), while she narrates confusing and cryptic dialogue to a bewildered audience. Basically, a massive chunk of the film’s total run-time is complete nonsense, and will only turn away non-Christians if they watch it.

And does the film cover Jesus Christ or Satan? Nope, not really. Yet again, the people making these films omit these two figures almost completely (this makes you wonder if the films’ creators simply want to avoid all talk of Jesus and Satan!).

Now, a few minor things like the increasing number of earthquakes and massive volcanoes being found in the ocean are neat, but when things like “No one knows the day or hour” is brought up, the film suggests an answer I have never heard before in my life. Even more bizarrely, the film doesn’t talk about the Rapture whatsoever, barely discusses the Antichrist and avoids all talk of the Tribulation. This feels like a generic prophecy film aimed at all audiences, by saying nothing of real value.

I rented this for $4.99 from Amazon and — even if it was free — I wouldn’t watch it again, and wouldn’t recommend it to other Christians … and definitely not nonbelievers.

Six – The Mark Unleashed

I didn’t plan on watching this film, but one evening after working at my house I turned to TBN and “Six: The Mark Unleashed” came on. Apparently this is a film from 2004, starring well-known stars like Eric Roberts, Stephen Baldwin and Christian film star David A.R. White — and the film’s main star is actually Jeffrey Dean Morgan, best known for his recent work on cable television nowadays.

The story takes place sometime after the Rapture, when all that’s left are the unsaved people of the world, and after a global world leader has taken control of things. The film also implies this is during the Great Tribulation, because the world leader has already begun calling himself God and demanding worship. In exchange for their devotion, people are implanted with a chip on their hand or forehead that gives them access to all sorts of knowledge, and allows them to behave however they wish (carnally) without any punishment.

The few people who resist are unable to buy or sell anything (the first part of the film shows David White’s character and his friend stealing cars in order to get paid, in black market dealings) and are tracked down by devoted followers of the Antichrist. When found, they are given a choice — take the implant willingly, or be sent to jail to be executed (or if they resist too much, be executed immediately).

Unfortunately the movie suffers from some cheesy editing, dialog and bizarre plot points (like David’s friend trying to hack a satellite controlling everyone, or prison cells being covered in Biblical verses, while inmates walk around with Bibles [wouldn’t guards destroy those?]). I can’t really recommend this — not because it’s blasphemous or insulting — but because overall the film isn’t very good.