CHARLTON HESTON PRESENTS THE BIBLE
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
In 1992, Charlton Heston hosted four specials recounting famous stories in the Bible. Packaged together in time for Holy Week, all four volumes are available in a box set: “Genesis,” “The Story of Moses,” “Jesus of Nazareth” and “The Passion.” The production balances between Heston in the Holy Land reading excerpts from the Bible and documentary-style motion collages of famous artwork of the stories being told.
WHAT I LIKED
I appreciated the effort with this four-volume series. Almost 20 years old, the specials probably had a relatively high production value, though they do pale in comparison now. The best part of this series is Heston’s passion (if you’ll pardon the pun) for the subject matter. It was at this time that he was cresting as a conservative Christian figurehead, and it was an appropriate association for him to narrate these.
Anyone who has studied the Bible, and the history behind its stories, will recognize most of the subject matter covered. This isn’t meant to offer new ideas and concepts, but rather to preach to the choir (if you’ll pardon that pun as well). Still, Heston gives some lesser known historical context from time to time without delving too far into secularism.
I could have seen my grandfather (whom we lost in 2005) getting into something like this. He would have loved the historical context and the more documentary feel to the piece. The choice to avoid reenactments made this lass flashy, which may not appeal to a younger crowd, but should be great for its target audience, who will see this as a celebration of the scripture.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Having spent much of my younger life in a church setting, most of what is presented in this DVD set is old news. I suppose, like the Bible is meant to be, this is to be reviewed over and over again to get more information out of it. That will work for some, but having heard the stories again and again on a yearly basis during my school days, this bored me a bit.
Plus, the production value is shockingly low. I’m assuming that the bulk of the budget paid for Heston, who lends a huge level of quality to this set. It works for 1992, but in 2011, it’s a bit soft.
No special features are available… just the four parts, totally just over 200 minutes of running time.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
My grandmother… if she actually bought DVDs.