I’d always meant to watch Kings because of Ian McShane and I guess the conceit sounded interesting, right? Well, I don’t know if I’m going to continue - the conceit turns out to be awfully labored, and damn it’s slow, etc. And I know it didn’t get to finish. But it made me pull out my Oxford Study Bible and look up the original story, and holy crap that would be an awesome movie! We could keep Ian McShane, okay? But truck in a bunch of dust and sandals and such. And do it as a complex, dark, bloody epic sort of thing.
With no irony at all, I’ve got to call I Samuel a crackerjack yarn. There’s a ghost! There’s romance and intrigue and people torn between family and friends and a bazillion people mostly without names get their heads chopped off! There’s even a pee joke! It’s positively Shakespearean! But they’d never make it, or at least they’d never make it good (I’m sure there are plenty of boring pious versions.) Why not? I’m an atheist Buddhist and I’d go to see that!
So why don’t they make that sort of thing anymore for mass non-super-religious audiences? Now you got your Passion of the Christ and your Nativity, but it used to be you could get The Ten Commandments or Ben Hur (well, sort of Biblical) which were for general movie-loving audiences. And farther back there were all those Biblical silents because you could have a lot more sex in your Biblical epics than your regular standard-type epics.
Did movies like The Last Temptation of Christ kill the sincere Biblical epic? Are we too ironic now? Is it too controversial? What?