Tag Archives: Christ

Movie Review: The Son of God (4 *’s)

The Son of God is the latest of Hollywood’s religious movies. I normally limit my reviews on this blog to fantasy or science fiction; this movie is intended as neither. Some people, of course, may regard the story of Jesus of Nazareth as a complete fiction and therefore appropriate for a Fantasy Blog: I am not one of them. I am a Christian (at least, today I am) and am reviewing the movie in terms of quality of storytelling, etc…. The movie stars a number of people I have not heard of before, with the exception of Roma Downey as Mary, the Mother of God.

 

The story told is, of course, the story of Jesus of Nazareth. It starts with his miraculous birth and ends with his horribly, cruel death on the cross followed by his Resurrection and some of the events that followed that. It, pretty much, follows the events recorded in the New Testament although a few minor liberties were taken, but nothing worth getting upset about. Like most stories of Jesus there seemed to be a strong emphasis on the miracles he performed and, to me, that tends to distract one from his main message: love one another, love God, and talk to one another.

 

Strengths: the movie told the story of Jesus of Nazareth fairly well, although since it was a movie version of four entire Gospels plus, it obviously couldn’t tell every event, but it did hit all the highlights. The special effects were well-placed, well-chosen, and appropriately reverent. The acting was good, and the action flowed coherently from one scene to the next. Weaknesses: I can’t really think of any major weaknesses other than the previously mentioned tendency to focus on miracles instead of message, but a lot of people do that. If you are an atheist, I’m sure you’ll scoff at the movie and regard it as a complete fantasy, so perhaps that is a weakness. It is not a convincing proof that Jesus was who he said he was, but it was probably never intended that way.

 

Anyway, I liked the movie. It wasn’t as violent and gory as Mel Gibson’s The Passion, but it got the point across. I’ll give The Son of God four stars out of five.

Would You Want to be a Vampire? Part One: The Traditional Vampire

With the popularity of vampires among society today, this actually becomes a question worth asking. Once upon a time, most people would have answered with a resounding “No!” Why, you might ask? Let’s discuss that. At that point in time, humanity’s definition of a vampire was very different than it is today. Once upon a time, vampires were creatures of the night; Dracula was their progenitor; and Satan their lord. Ahh, yes, the times of yesteryear. This old, traditional vampire was all but immortal; they could only be slain by a wooden stake through the heart, running water, or sometimes sunlight. They were incredibly strong and had a host of special powers like the ability to change into a bat, or mist, or a wolf. But to remain strong and immortal they had to feed on human blood. That is, of course, one point against them, as most people probably don’t want to make a diet of human blood. But that’s not the worst of it.

 

In the West where Christianity was once quite strong there has always been a strong connection between blood and religion. At the Last Supper, Jesus said to his apostles, “If you eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall have Eternal Life,” and he promptly gave them bread and wine; the bread being his flesh, and the wine his blood (there is debate between Catholics and Protestants whether the bread/flesh and wine/blood connections are intended to be taken literally or symbolically, but that is straying off topic here). The important thing here is that Christ wanted you to consume his “blood” in order to be saved. I’m not an expert on theology or Judaic tradition so I may be getting in a little over my head here, but I seem to recall that blood was an important aspect in sin offerings. So, as far as Christianity is concerned, the blood of Christ served to “wash away” one’s sins; consuming Christ’s blood is a way to accept that and gain entrance to Heaven (like I said, I’m not an expert).

 

Vampires, on the other hand, are a complete perversion of this. They (in the West) were minions of Satan. They consumed blood and granted Eternal Life, as well, but the life they granted was an accursed abomination. It was an eternal, physical life in this “fallen” world filled with sin. Depending on the tradition, a human can become a vampire either by being bitten by a vampire, or by consuming a vampire’s blood. In the latter case, the perverted connection to Christianity is stronger. Here, the victim, instead of consuming Christ’s holy blood consumes the blood of the vampire, the unholy blood of Satan. Thus, it is a reversal of Christian Salvation. As a result, the victim is cursed to walk forever as an undead creature of the night to be forever repulsed by all things holy. Here, the price of becoming a vampire is your very soul.

 

I just made all of that up. How’d I do? J

 

Anyway, the obvious conclusion to the question: “Would you want to be a (traditional) vampire?” should be a resounding “No!” for all clear-thinking individuals.