Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
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18-04-2017, 11:13 PM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
My favorite movie as a child was "Prince of Egypt."
If you don't know it it's an animated musical about the biblical Exodus.
It is more heartfelt (as opposed to the original story, IMHO. Even though it is vastly inaccurate as the story) and thought it was better than the 10 Commandments (again, as my opinion... might be because of my nostalgic bias.)

When I first became an atheist I considered it a guilty pleasure, but now I think it's just a great movie.
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18-04-2017, 11:22 PM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
(18-04-2017 06:53 PM)thecontemplator Wrote:  The original movie with Charleton Heston has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Any fellow atheists out there who like this for it's entertainment value?

Yep, it had a good cast, I mean Yul Brenner...was awesome.

I liked it and yes, I'd watch anytime it was on tv.

This might have been the first year I missed it.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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19-04-2017, 05:54 AM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
The movie Dogma nailed it though... that is where a lot of Christians get their knowledge of the story.

Metatron: Back in the old days, God was vengeful and hot-tempered, and his wrath was borne by the Angel of Death, name of Loki. When Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, that was Loki. When the waters wiped out everything with the exception of Noah and his menagerie, that was Loki. And he was good at what he did. But one day, he refused to bear God's wrath any longer.
Bethany: Why?
Metatron: Because he listened to his friend, a Grigori by the name of Bartleby.
Bethany: "Grigori"?
Metatron: One of the choirs of angels. They're called "Watchers"--guess what they do. So, one day Loki's wiping out all the firstborn of Egypt--
Bethany: Ah, the Tenth Plague.
Metatron: Tell a person you're the Metatron and they stare at you blankly. Mention something out of a Charlton Heston movie and suddenly everybody's a theology scholar!

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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19-04-2017, 07:46 AM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
I think it was incredible. Not only because they ignored the "source" material for the Moses character, but more because there were literally thousands of people involved. That is what I loved about those old Heston epics, when you saw a shot with a thousand people, there really were a thousand people in the shot. The thought that they were able to pull that off in a believable manner still amazes me.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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19-04-2017, 10:33 AM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
(19-04-2017 07:46 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  I think it was incredible. Not only because they ignored the "source" material for the Moses character, but more because there were literally thousands of people involved. That is what I loved about those old Heston epics, when you saw a shot with a thousand people, there really were a thousand people in the shot. The thought that they were able to pull that off in a believable manner still amazes me.
The 1956 version was shot in VistaVision, which involves running the 35mm film through the camera horizontally rather than vertically (bigger image area and 1.5:1 aspect ratio which was shot such that it could be shown in 1.66:1 or 2:1 in the theater), and there were a limited number of cameras. I recall a story about one of those "cast of thousands" shots depicting the Exodus where they had a critical wide shot covered by just one camera and there was some glitch with it (something stupid, I think, like they forgot to load it with film) and they ended up having to re-stage the whole scene the next day.

Both the 1923 and 1956 versions are impressive in terms of technical and artistic accomplishment, but as others have pointed out, in terms of content they are officious, pompous, affected, simplistic bullshit. DeMille learned from the 1923 version: people, especially clergy, liked the Biblical part, but saw the "modern story" as too racy to show to the tender eyes of their innocent congregants (or to give them racy ideas). In later years he admitted he made the same mistake as Griffith did with Birth of a Nation, having multiple narratives covering the same themes. Audiences left either bored or wondering WTF it all meant. So the 1956 version sticks with the "Biblical" story, all four hours of it. DeMille even steps out from behind a giant curtain at the beginning, stands in front of on old-timey microphone, and introduces the film. The climactic parting of the Red Sea is saved for the second half, after the intermission.

Both versions were, at the times they were made, the most $$ Paramount had ever spent on a feature film. Both films also held the Paramount record for revenue, the 1923 version held it for a quarter-century (ironic, because the studio head was terribly resentful about the budget overruns and did not even help promote the film).

The 1956 parting of the Red Sea took 6 months of filming and post-production and is still considered by many to be the greatest special-effects sequence of all time.

So yeah, as a sometime film buff I like them but not for their storyline content.
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19-04-2017, 11:04 AM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
Yes, I love movies where white people speaking modern English (kind of) portray Middle Eastern people from thousands of years ago.
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19-04-2017, 12:57 PM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
(19-04-2017 11:04 AM)ResidentEvilFan Wrote:  Yes, I love movies where white people speaking modern English (kind of) portray Middle Eastern people from thousands of years ago.
Lol well at least now in the current decade we at least shame people for still doing it. That's progress, I guess. For some given value of progress.

Of course, you can't really blame the bean-counters. When China makes an epic that sells out at the local box office, and it can't seem to gross a million bucks in the US, it's understandable for a US producer to want to put Matt Damon or Scarlett Johansson into a film about Asians somehow or other. Until Americans become curious / open and respectful of, and therefore interested in, other cultures, that situation will continue to obtain.

In the case of the old Biblical potbiolers of the 1950s and 1960s ... no one would have paid to see anything that violated the expectations in between their ears, which was basically white guys in robes with long hair and beards. The only minorities would be the eunuchs and slaves in the background. Oh wait, we are still that way today. Huh.
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19-04-2017, 07:33 PM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
I like pre computer movies these days just for the sets. The americans in brown make up is cheesey, but the sets are amazing.
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19-04-2017, 08:49 PM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
(18-04-2017 06:53 PM)thecontemplator Wrote:  The original movie with Charleton Heston has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Any fellow atheists out there who like this for it's entertainment value?
I used to love it, but then Charlton Heston became a lunatic and it lost its appeal. I couldn't separate the person from the actor. Oh well.
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20-04-2017, 07:50 AM
RE: Anyone else like the 10 commandments - the movie.
(19-04-2017 07:33 PM)AB517 Wrote:  I like pre computer movies these days just for the sets. The Americans in brown make up is cheesy, but the sets are amazing.
Yeah and the newly-minted adults coming online this year would have been born in 1999 and have no recollection of an era when you couldn't do elaborate traveling-matte effects with an iPhone and some free software and compute time and some green backdrop cloth. They don't even know the origin of "matte" or what a "traveling matte" would be. They would just pick out the black matte lines around the superimposed image boundary and wonder why it was so mis-calibrated and why it wasn't at least cleaned up in Final Cut Pro.

I have always had some fascination for antique tech and what it could accomplish. A few cases in point:

1) Theater pipe organs or "unit orchestras" were basically mechanical synthesizers run by wind-driven analog computers. It allowed a theatre to provide synthetic orchestral accompaniment for silent films with one artist instead of a whole raft of them.

2) In the 1930s when the government needed to simulate fluid dynamics to predict floods they got together a bunch of people on 200 acres somewhere and built a giant scale model of the Mississippi River basin and then just poured water through it at different places and rates to simulate different weather scenarios. This model actually worked as well as modern computer models, in some cases better.

3) Various examples of early mechanical blunderbusses that did crude basic mathematical computations ... dating back to the steam era. Some of the more recent ones used, e.g., during the Manhattan Project, were even somewhat programmable.

Human ingenuity is more satisfying when it requires real effort to overcome a problem. It is less efficient of course, and I wouldn't want to live in the 1920s or 30s, without antibiotics and a lot of other modern innovations. But I certainly appreciate what they accomplished with what they knew / had.
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