Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Charlton Heston Presents The Bible

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Charlton Heston

Special Features:
Behind the Scenes Featurette

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
7.1 DTS-HD MA Sound
Spanish and French Language
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: Tron Legacy - 125 Minutes, Tron - 96 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official description of the film:

"The stories were told through the generations, stories of what had happened and what was to come. 'The best stories there ever were,' Charlton Heston says about these Biblical accounts. Academy Award® winner Heston (Best Actor for 1959's 'Ben-Hur') takes viewers to authentic Holy Land locales, drawing on the King James text and his remarkable storytelling skills to narrate these inspiring tales rooted in faith.

GENESIS In the beginning... Revisit the wonder of creation, the story of Adam and Eve, the time of Noah, the Great Flood and more.

THE STORY OF MOSES I have been a stranger in a strange land... The clashes with Pharaoh, the Exodus and Red Sea's parting, the 10 Commandments – all part of the tale of the leader and lawgiver.

JESUS OF NAZARETH For unto you is born this day... Explore His ministry, miracles and message against backdrops that include the Jordan River, the Mount of the Beatitudes and more.

THE PASSION Peace be unto you... The Garden of Gethsemane, the Via Dolorosa and other sites provide settings for a powerful exploration of Jesus’s trial, crucifixion and resurrection."

"Charlton Heston Presents The Bible" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
In advance of Easter all of the DVD producers are rolling out their Christian themed movies for sale. Because of this we're treated to "Charlton Heston Presents The Bible." This was originally a TV series which aired in 1997 and now it's collected here in a four disc set. As a Christian myself, I can say that many Christian themed productions are terrible. They frequently have bad acting, low production values, and are super cheesy. I was curious if this DVD set would follow that tradition. Believe it or not, it didn't.

What we have is scenes of Charlton Heston visiting sites in the Holy Land. We see him in Jerusalem at religious sites, out in the wilderness, and other locations where significant biblical events are said to have taken place. It's a little bit silly because we see Charlton driving through the desert and setting up sparse camps as if he's Indiana Jones and not a Hollywood Actor with an entire production crew behind the camera. Heston then stands in a dramatic location like the ruins of a Greek theater and reads passages from the Bible. He reads from the King James Version and the doth's and shalt's are a bit hard to listen to. But as he reads, images from paintings and works of art throughout history are shown. They show everything from statues to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel paintings.

The series is a bit dull, but seeing footage from the present day biblical sites and the classic works of art does make it interesting. It's certainly better than cheesy recreations of biblical scenes using white actors in robes and fake beards. Heston covers Genesis, the story of Moses, and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Unfortunately the footage is in fullscreen and it looks terrible when shown on an HDTV.

Who should buy this? That's hard to say. I think there are probably better Bible documentaries out there. But if you know a Christian who is a fan of Charlton Heston, then this is something they'll probably like. If you're looking for something a bit more modern, you'll want to look elsewhere.

The only bonus feature you'll find on the DVD is a few brief 'making of' featurettes.

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