The Passion of the Christ

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Everyone’s heard of movies that are cursed. One terrible event after another happens on set, things go horribly wrong, the movie goes way over budget. Sometimes, people even die. But it’s not a curse, it’s just bad luck. Right? Well, sometimes there’s just one little detail that elevates movie curses from “Oh, that sucks” to “Please, hand me the fucking holy water.”


Passion of the Christ

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Apocalypto (2006) The Plot: In the early 1500s, a family group of Native Americans live a happy life in the rainforest jungle. Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) is becoming a strong hunter under the guidance of his father Flint Sky (Morris Birdyellowhead). However, Jaguar Paw’s nightmares tell of a change that is coming. A group of bloodthirsty warriors attack the village, killing many and enslaving the rest. The warriors bring the victims with them a massive Mayan city, and the women are sold while the men are taken to the top of a pyramid for human sacrifice. Jaguar Paw tries to survive and eventually get home to his pregnant wife and child whom he left in an underground cave.



In our inaugural weekly edition of Scenes We Love, I wanted to find a perfectly topical scene, seeing as it is Easter Sunday. But as it turns out, there aren’t too many great scenes worth revisiting from “Easter movies.” Unless, of course, you’d like to re-watch Jim Caviezel being whipped to shit as Jesus in Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ. It’s a well constructed scene that delivers the maximum possible emotional impact, especially for those who really love their Jesus, but it’s not exactly a scene we love. We appreciate it, but we don’t love it. So instead of making you watch Jesus get brutalized, lets watch one of the all-time great race scenes, the Chariot Race from the 1959 William Wyler epic Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston.



It’s time to put an end to it. Since David Edelstein’s 2006 article about Hostel, the phrase “Torture Porn” has been bloated short hand for any movie that features torture or excessive gore. Beyond being a misuse of the term, the problem with its spreading like an infection in an open wound caused by a crowbar is two-fold. One, it’s been tossed around so liberally that it barely has any meaning anymore. Two, when it does have meaning, it’s used as a loaded gun to take down a certain brand of film that deserves more thoughtful criticism.



When Christmas comes around, we watch Christmas movies. When Halloween comes around, we watch scary movies. But what do we watch on Easter? Do we really need to see again what Mel Gibson’s Passion has to offer?



This week’s Culture Warrior gives an exhaustive review of the decade that you won’t find anywhere else on the Interwebs.



This week, Landon looks at Hunger and asks why we watch movies that are hard to watch.



From Twelve Drummers Drumming to Nine Ladies Dancing to a Partridge in a Pear Tree, we take a look at Twelve Films that should have been sung about.

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published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.23.2015

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