(I typed this up real time during the movie, but sometimes I forgot to note the time.)
(Five minutes in.) Know when you read lots of fanfic, then go read canon, and it seems like the canon is the less correct of the two? You've had so much more exposure to the fanfic that the canon just doesn't seem right? I had the same sort of thing happen with The Passion. Having seen Jesus Christ Superstar so often, I kept expecting the Passion characters to break into song and lust after each other. That broke the mood of Passion a little for me.
(Seven minutes.) I think it was a good decision to not use English, and I don't mind subtitles at all, I just wish that whatever ancient language this is wasn't so ugly to listen to. My ears kept trying to cringe and block the sound of it out. (Few minutes later...) Hm, well, the language does grow on you a bit, but more than that I like that they're leaving at least half of it untranslated -- you don't need to know what it all means, and I think it helps the mood. Oh, and for some reason their subtitles are just plain white text -- no borders! It amuses me that fansubbing groups do a better job than a big budget movie.
(Later.) Okay, I guess there are two languages being used in this. The one that sounds like Italian (Latin?) is pretty nice to listen to.
(Later.) Peter's denial is handled well -- he comes off as very human. Judas, on the other hand, isn't hardly even touched upon... which I suppose is understandable since this isn't really his story. (However, being spoiled by JCS, the tale seems incomplete without Judas' POV.)
(45 minutes in.) Hm, King Herod is a rather flamboyant man in Passion as well. I guess that means he must have had an odd description in the Bible... At this point, I'm more interested in going and hunting down a Bible (or Cliff's Notes for one? Heh.) and reading the story myself. The movie is okay, somewhat interesting, but it feels really, really lacking in the characterization department. Yes, we all know basically who Jesus was and who the others were, but this movie is giving you nothing extra... It's a little hard to explain this, but I'll try: It's taking the stories we all basically know and just putting them onto the screen in a literal way. There's no extra insight into character motives, no details about these people at all, and as far as I can tell so far, not even a reflection of the film makers' POV on these events. It's all very... flat. Does that make any sense? If we know the stories already, what's the use of seeing the same exact thing in movie form? Just the same basic stories? I want to come out of this (or any) movie knowing more or having experienced some other view or opinion on the subject.
(Note before the next paragraph: Saying "the jews" when talking about a group of people feels really racist, but this group is all Jewish folks, so that's what I'm going to call them.) I hadn't known this part of the story: That the jews chose to release a mass murder instead of Jesus. I can (sort of) see why some people would say 'the Jews killed Jesus', but... in my opinion, they're acting human in doing this. They have a mob mentality going, and *any* group of humans put in this situation would probably act this way. As far as I can tell, everyone's just acting like a person here, and no one person is to blame.
(Later.) To anyone who has seen the movie: I can't make screenshots, but is the pale fellow in the black cloak/hood/robe/whatever supposed to be satan? He keeps showing up at odd times. (Added after the film: He also yells at the very end of the movie.) And on that same subject (ha), the whipping scene is no where near as bad as I thought it would be. People described it as you seeing the flesh being ripped open, but so far it's not bad at all. (However, if you're the religious type and really believed in Jesus and all that, I could see where this would really make you feel bad.) ...eh, ugh. Okay, once they change whips it gets really nasty. Ugh. Who in the world needs to see this? I really worry that there are people out there who get off on this. I don't mean consensual S&M stuff, I mean non-con violence. ...and a few minutes of whipping later... This is just totally disgusting. Blood everywhere, totally graphic. I'm amazed this movie is only R rated. Disgusting. Sick.
(40 minutes remaining.) I try to see the good in everyone, but the Jewish leaders continuing to call for Jesus' crucifixion after he was whipped and tortured into something that looks more like ground beef than a human feels... evil. Of course the Romans who did the torturing were no better. ...all that, but they're all still acting human. So what's the moral of the story? All of the acts are evil, yet everyone is acting human, so by default humans are evil? How depressing.
(Film is over.) I knew going into this that I probably wouldn't like the movie, but lots of people were talking about it so I wanted to check it out. I'm really sorry I did. I should have stopped watching before the ending (long before it). There was no POINT to all this -- other than to get media attention because it's so graphic.
I come away from this with a big fear: Some ultra-religious parents will force their kids to see this so that they'll learn... who knows what. What Jesus went through because he loves us, or whatever crap like that. This would HARM kids. Heck, I don't think it's good for adults to see, and lord knows I'm not a rah-rah "think of the children!" type, but I bet there are lots of parents who will make their kids see this "for their own good". Sigh.
Upon sitting here and thinking more about all this, maybe I did take something from this movie; one of my beliefs has been reinforced: Religion does more harm than good. ...though okay, that's not a fair thing to believe. We only hear about the bad religious people, the ones who kill and hurt in the name of it... but... I don't know. I really don't know.
Short version: Do yourself a favor and do not see this movie. Out of its two hours, nearly an hour and a half was nothing but graphic torture. The "quality" of the story did NOT justify adding that much blood and horrible violence to the film.
I now know way, way too many details on how one would go about crucifying someone.
Oh, and as a final note: (As if we needed even more depressing messages to get out of this film) If Jesus told people to "love each other, love your enemies and your neighbors after I die" then how the heck does ANY religious person justify screaming hateful things outside abortion clinics, gay weddings, or anything else they don't agree with? What the hell? You're going against your own religion in the name of your religion? Sheesh...