Tag Archive: passion of the christ

Getting Ready for Easter

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


I have to admit I am a big Facebook fan.


I have connected with former classmates and friends with whom I have lost contact. I stay in touch with former co-workers and fellow writers.


Image from Everything Holiday

Image from Everything Holiday Facebook page

But I also get to see great room designs and recipes. In fact, this past weekend I saw a recipe for colored cookie-dough Easter baskets.  You take small scoops of the dough, dye it the colors you want and shape it into a basket that fits in a mini-muffin tins. Later you fill the baskets with jelly beans and other good stuff.


I saw another recipe for a ring bread that was covered with sprinkles. I am sure there will be plenty of recipes that look fun to try, and I cannot wait to see them all.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com


One of the programs I have been hearing about is The Bible on The History Channel. This is a five-part mini-series produced by Roma Downey (Touched by An Angel) and her husband Mark Burnett. I was able to see one 2-hour episode and enjoyed the story of Jesus’ birth.


Roma Downey played Mary as a 20-something. She was very beautiful and appropriate. The scene in which she gives birth to the baby is outstanding and heart warming as people came to the young couple’s aid. But nor did the producers shy away from the violence of the time period. Harrod’s demand that all baby boys be put to death and the very narrow escape of Mary and Joseph.


Sadly, I missed the final episode as I was in bed sick. But as of April 2nd, the series will be available on DVD. I am willing to bet that this will be a hot item since the show has been wildly popular on the History Channel. I do not know what that says to you but to me it shows a country that is wildly curious about the good book. People want to know.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Now when it comes to this time of year there are lots of religious movies from the past. I think about The Robe starring Richard Burton as a drunken tribune who wins Jesus’ robe during the crucifixion. He does his duty and takes the robe with him. But Marcellus is plagued by nightmares and visions, causing him to return to learn more about the last owner of the robe.


This 1953 movie won two Oscar awards for set design and costume design. It was also nominated for best actor in a leading role, best cinematography and best picture. It also won a Best Picture award from the Golden Globes. Now you are probably wondering who should see this movie. Because of the censorship laws at the time, there is not much that is objectionable but the context is meant for teens and adults.


Finally, I feel the need to mention The Passion of the Christ. This ‘R’ rated movie directed by Mel Gibson is a puzzle to me. It is incredibly violent and harsh. It is also filled with some beautiful re-enactments of famous art pieces.  I can only recommend it if you are fully aware that this movie is rated ‘R’ for prolonged violence and torture. I do not recommend this movie for children under the age of 10.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

During this time of year it is easy to find various religious movies. Or at least it used to be.

Oh, the memories.

Charleton Heston as Moses in "The Ten Commandments," picture from IMDb.com

 The Ten Commandments and Samson and Delilah.  

There are also the movies that weren’t exactly religious but set in the same time period.

Spartacus and Ben Hur


Then there are those set in different time periods.

Sidney Poitier in "Lilies of the Field," picture from IMDb.com

Lilies of the Field and Song of Bernadette


While we love these, what is called for this time of year are the movies about Easter.

The Robe and The Greatest Story Ever Told.


However, in our modern times realism must take precedence.

Jim Caviezel as Jesus in "the Passion of the Christ," picture from IMDb.com

We watch every grisly detail with The Passion of the Christ starring Jim Caviezel and directed by Mel Gibson. This is not a movie I recommend for children under the age of 10 as the violent scenes are intense. You feel every jarring bit and wonder how any man could have taken this. Perhaps that was Gibson’s point while making the most gruesome religious movie I have ever seen.

On the other hand, there are moments of stunning beauty as Gibson recreates well-known artistic tableaux. Not sure that is enough to make me want to watch this movie again.

The Last Temptation of the Christ has also seen its share of controversy.

Daniel DaFoe in "The Last Temptation of the Christ," picture from IMDb.com.

In this movie, we see what might have happened if Jesus came off the cross to live with women and have a family. But we are also given food for thought that Judas might have been in on the plan to betray Jesus. And that the two men might have been the best of  friends.

It is a movie I watch, despite Harvey Keitel’s Brooklyn accent, for the idea that Christ might have been tempted but in the end he still did as he was foretold to do.

Finally, the movie that has become a must see at Easter in Jesus Christ Superstar.  

Ted Neeley as Jesus in "Jesus Christ Superstar," picture from IMDb.com

I was a little girl at the time the movie came out and I remember how it was considered sinful just to sing those songs out loud. Maybe it was the spectacle, the fact that Jesus dies on the cross and doesn’t have a resurrection, that Judas lives and Mary Magdalene is not a vilified persona.

What I love about the movie is the strong character of Jesus who admits sometimes he is scared or get angry at what is happening around him. That he knows what must happen and yet can’t do damage control with the crowds or the disciples.

None of these movies ever seem to get the whole story right. But how could they?  There is so much to cover and the crucifixion must be one-third of your story. They can never get in all of the parables and the beatitudes, all of the intrigue that happened in front of Jesus or behind closed doors. Do any of these movies contain the episode with Zacchius?

Still, it make me wonder if in hearing only a small part of the story does that lead some to find out the rest of it in the most popular book on the planet. 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.