First up, Christianity Today has a couple of interviews with actors in the film. An interview with Tiffany Dupont, who plays the main lead of Esther, includes interesting tidbits, such as the actress’ church-involvement, how she heard she got the part (in church) and a bit more about the similarities and differences between the film and its biblical inspiration. The interview with Luke Goss (who plays King Xerxes) also holds some interesting tidbits, including his own spiritual background and a couple of stories of behind-the-scenes stuff—like what it’s like to hear Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole reminisce about working on Lawrence of Arabia (sheesh, I’d of liked to have been there for that one).
Also, film reviews are starting to trickle in (one of which has resulted in four Dove Foundation seals). From the more mainstream press, RottenTomatoes quotes Variety as saying: “Blessed with abundant production values and a minimum of campy excess, One Night With the King is a surprisingly attempt to revive the Old Hollywood tradition of lavishly appointed Biblical epics aimed at mainstream auds.” The review also suggests that the weaknesses of the film (some of the dialogue and “flowery” speech-making) are overcome by the actors’ talents and the film as a whole. PopMatters gives the film a mixed review, saying at one point: “It needed a better script and a Charlton Heston—a magnetic, scenery-chewing leading man. But is has its Yul Brynner. King has charismatic villains aplenty.” It also notes the film is a definitely large cut above Gener8xion-produced (and a prime example for my skepticism with that industry) Omega Code, and concludes “their ambitions have done justice to a tale that is tribal history, not a supernatural myth. Esther’s triumph isn’t due to divine intervention. It’s her humanity and bravery that make her a legend, and make that One Night worth remembering, 2,500 years later.” And the Winston-Salem Journal says, “Director Michael O. Sjabel has fashioned an epic story that lacks the old-fashioned energy and drive of the great Biblical epics, but is competent and respectful entertainment nevertheless.”
Reviews from the larger media outlets (from Christianity Today to the NY Times) will be out tomorrow. But this (and the fact that it's now listed to play in my favorite theater in town) is enough for me to make me pick up the phone and give my baby-sitter a call.
(Image: Gener8xion Entertainment)