Evan Almighty. This is not a Bible movie per se, but it is a modern spin on one: Noah and the Ark. One scene I absolutely loved in this film was when God (portrayed by Morgan Freeman) explains the story of Noah as a “love story.” And you can’t beat the scene of Evan and God dancing at the end of the film; it is a wonderful image of the desire of God to be with us in love and joy, and it still makes me smile to think about it. (See more of my thoughts on the film here.)
Kings. This, too, isn’t a Bible movie per se—heh, for that matter, it’s not even a movie. But this short-lived television series (that was cancelled like a lot of other good series) is directly based on the story on the story of King David, taking the story and characters to a modern day New York-like kingdom. Ian McShane’s performance as Silas (a.k.a. Saul) was brilliant, adding a great deal of depth to his biblical counterpart and eliciting both sympathy and sorrow from me for his choices and path in life. I also thought the writers’ choice as to why Michelle (Michal) chooses to “reject” David presents an interesting speculation on the biblical Michal’s motivations after David flees. I must admit, however, that I initially was a little put off by David’s character; the biblical character—who as a boy had slain lions in defense of his sheep—was much more battle-hardened early in life, while this rendition seemed much too innocent and ignorant. However, by the end of the series, David resembled his biblical counterpart much more closely. I particularly appreciated the exploration of David’s struggle between his passion to support and his moral fortitude to confront a king chosen by God who had slipped so far from the path. One aspect of the series that disappointed me was the absence of the deep friendship between Jack (Jonathan) and David. It would have been interesting to see if and how they worked that relationship out in the series. All in all, however, I was thrilled to watch such a story—and I was deeply disappointed when it failed to secure an audience big enough to warrant its survival. For more on my thoughts on this series, see the Kings category.
One Night with the King. This one actually is a Bible movie, retelling Esther’s story—and while it wasn’t a critical or box office favorite (nor a favorite among biblical scholars, professional or amateur), I couldn’t help myself. It’s one of the only films produced by a Christian studio that I actually like. Yes, it had its faults—it strays more than once from its biblical source, suffers at times due to an unpolished script, and what was up with James Callis’ voice?!—but I enjoyed the story and Tiffany Dupont was notable as Esther. (For more of my thoughts on this film, go here.)
What Bible story would I like to see made into a movie? Awhile back, I was reading through Genesis and thought it would be fascinating to see a film about the story of Joseph from the perspective of Asenath, who became his wife after his ascent to power. Not much is known about her, but the apocryphal stories surrounding her have a lot of fodder for a good story. Also, after just spending some time researching Jesus’ encounter with the Syrophoenician woman in Mark, I think a story from her perspective would also be fascinating. Who was she? How did she, most likely a wealthy woman from a pagan city, know so much about Jesus that she could understand the riddle-like response he gave to her request to free her daughter? Where was the girl’s father? What happened in her life to give her such humility yet such tenacity, confidence and assertiveness?
And now, I tag Lauren, Solshine, Don, Jason and Joe. And, Peter Chattaway or Ken Morefield, if you read my blog and do these things, heh, I tag you too. Oh, and anyone else who wants to play, feel free. If you do and have a chance, drop a comment and let me know when you’ve played.
(Images: Evan Almighty poster, Universal; Kings DVD cover, NBC; One Night with a King poster, Gener8xion Entertainment)