Not recommended. A few laughs of satire about the old show and 70s style cop shows, but all in all, a bit too crude.
Not recommended. Okay, they pulled this one out of the crapper because they thought that the success of the masterpiece, The Passion, would somehow help this trite TV junk. What were they thinking? Unfortunately, I can’t help but compare it to The Passion. But first let me say that this was a sympathy piece, not quite on the level of Monster. It is an attempt to craft a believable motivation for this most despised character in history. In that sense it wasn’t all bad, just mostly. It paints Judas as a guy who is sympathetic with the Zealot cause (nothing new, Last Temptation did it better), and he is driven by his desire to see the Romans overthrown. His hearty zealousness for Israel is frustrated by Jesus’s spiritual kingdom, rather than a military one. Okay. But you know, no mention is made of the fact that Judas as a greedy S.O.B. He used to pilfer from the disciples’ treasury (John 12:6). And Judas is honestly surprised and angered that the high priest, Caiaphas, does not give Jesus a fair trial. What is he, an idiot? Ah, but a sincere idiot. I see. He was only handing in Jesus expecting that Jesus would be fairly treated. So maybe he is a leeeetle bit more honorable than the Scriptures portray him. And he is certainly a whole lot prettier. They used some pretty boy actor to make Judas seem more heroic. All right, The Passion and Judas: Both were made by Roman Catholics, yet Judas stunk to high heaven of agenda, while the Passion was informed by Gibson’s Catholicism, without artificially forcing the Catholic interpretation onto anything. Examples: In the Passion, we do not see Joseph, the father of Jesus. Now, it is historically probable that Joseph was dead by the time Jesus was this old, because the New Testament seems to fail to mention him. Okay, but in Judas, They make a point of saying “Joseph is long dead.” Jesus’s siblings are studiously avoided in order to propagate Mary’s “perpetual virginity.” Well, in The Passion, I don’t mind the avoidance of his siblings because it is so exclusively focused on the Passion, but in Judas, going out of their way to point it out reeks of agenda. Then, in Judas, they show the scene where Jesus talks to Peter and tells him “upon this rock I will build my church…” Fine. That’s in Scripture. But what isn’t is the portrayal of the disciples talking about this moment as Peter’s “elevation.” Yeah, right. The R.C. belief here is that this was when Peter was “elevated” as the most important apostle, from which the papacy claims its lineage. Don’t think so. Jesus wasn’t elevating Peter, he was elevating HIMSELF as Christ! The rock Jesus would build his church upon was not Peter, the man, but the doctrinal declaration of Jesus as Christ. And they try to reinforce this fallacious “elevation” by showing Jesus telling Peter, “I give you the keys of the Kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” Well, what they DO NOT show you is that this statement was made not merely to Peter (Matt 16:19), but to ALL the Apostles as progenitors of the new faith (Matthew 18: 18). The proclamation of the Gospel message would bind or loosen people, not mere humans. Another repugnant Roman Catholic agenda forced onto the story was that at the last shot of the movie, after Judas had hanged himself, some of the Apostles pray over his dead body. This comes from the unbiblical doctrine of Purgatory. R.C. believes that when a member of the church dies, he goes to purgatory to burn off his sins before he can go to heaven. So that is why they pray for dead people, because they believe they still have a chance after death. Contrarily, in the Bible once you die, that’s it, baby, no more chances, “It is appointed to men to die once and then face judgement.” (Heb 9:27). Not only that, but this doctrine of purgatory denies the very essence of New Covenant salvation. The Bible says that Jesus died once and for all for the sins of his people (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 10:10). To claim that one can burn off their own sins, that is, pay for their own sins denies the heart and soul of the Gospel. It denies that Jesus pays for your sins. This is the opposite of faith in Christ.
And speaking of Christ, the Jesus in the movie Judas is what I call the Dr. Phil-Scooby-Doo-Shaggy-Malibu Jesus. Yep. First of all, here’s a real laugher. Jesus gives Judas the money purse for the disciples because, “I’m terrible with money. I seem to lose it.” Good grief! And that after Jesus APOLOGIZES for turning the tables over of the moneychangers in the Temple. Yeah, that’s right. He says, “I lost my temper.” What kind of a god do these Roman Catholic filmmakers worship???!!! I lost my temper?? So, Christ sins too? Shades of The Last Temptation of Christ. And then the psychobabble Jesus regurgitates when he tells Judas, “I wish you could love yourself the way I do.” Yeah, right. All those poor criminals of history are just victims of their own self-esteem. Funny, the Jesus of the Bible assumes the fallen nature of self-love as the starting point to CHANGE FROM when he says, “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matt 9:19) We ALREADY love ourselves. That’s the problem! Jeeesh! And then this stupid Malibu Jesus is frustrated about spreading his ministry, so Judas says, “Why don’t you give us your powers so we can go out and multiple the effects?” Or something as idiotic as that. Then, Sho ‘nuff, Jesus thinks, “Hey great idea” and gives the disciples his powers of miracles and such, like he didn’t think of it. Oh, and let us not forget the politically correct liberal hate speech of the filmmakers when they have Caiaphas, the high priest, and villain, complain that Jesus is attacking “traditional values.” Boy, and the Jews think they are suffering prejudicial attacks in these Jesus movies. Just try being a conservative who believes in biblical morality; you’re then on the level of a… well… a Judas, I guess. Like Jesus would be against “traditional values,” which, by the way folks is merely a synonym for Biblical values. Uh huh. That’s right, this TV Jesus is against the Bible. And lest we leave out politically correct religion, Jesus also says, “I see God in everyone.” Unlike the Jesus of the Bible who calls unbelievers, sons of the devil (John 8:44).
Last, but not least, the language of this film was laughable. In an attempt to “modernize” it or help us stupid moronic Westerners relate to the story, the characters use out of date 80s style lingo. Stuff on the level of “This town’s not big enough for the both of us.” I can’t remember it all cause I was already drenched in notes about the above stupidities. For more on Jesus as he is portrayed in the movies see my article: “Jesus in the Movies” on my website.
Recommended. You do not have to be a sports person to love this movie based on the true story of Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) who turned the 1980 US hockey team into Olympic champions who disabused the invincible Russian team of their multiyear winning streak. It’s a story about the power of the team over the individual, not a very politically correct theme, but a much needed corrective to our individualistic culture that worships celebrity and rebellion. The great line that captured this was when Brooks says, “I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones.” This is the kind of movie that anyone who has every pursued a dream that required relentless hard work will appreciate. Unfortunately, because of the team concept, this movie must deal with an ensemble of kids on the team, and is never able to really build an emotional portrait of any of them to a satisfying depth. That is the problem with ensemble “team” pieces, there just isn’t enough time to develop character arcs appropriately. Plus, the nature of coach Brooks is that he was their coach not their friend, so he simply couldn’t get close to the kids, which made it difficult to develop satisfying dramatic relationships. But the weaknesses are more than made up for in the strengths of this pro-America, pro-family, pro-team story.