So, I'm in a movie group on facebook and we're going through and watching reviewing AFI's Top 100 Films list.
I wrote my actual review here, but also wrote while I was watching it. Here's that nonsense:
BEN HUR - as I watched it
So appropriate that I’m watching this on Easter Sunday.
I have to remember to quiet my head and pay attention to the movie because I have all of these side thought streams going on surrounding the topic of Jesus this week.
Is that guy’s name really “Sextus”? awesome.
Judah and Tribune giggle like little girls upon reuniting.
They throw spears and Tribune celebratingly says “Still close...”
Judah says, “...in every way.”
Tribune: “I hope so.”
I didn’t realize it was gonna be one of those kinds of movies.
That was a pretty longing glance Tribune just gave Judah.
It must be the snazzy belt Judah’s wearing.
And Judah gives him a horse!!??
And then they squabble about war, violence, and betrayal.
Tribune says, “You’re either for me or against me.”
Where’ve I heard that before?
There’s a camel trying to steal the scene.
Judah is totally comin’ on to this slave girl he just gave his blessing to marry some other dude.
She really needs to go eat a sammich.
Now he’s wearing a slave ring.
This movie’s kinky.
And now he’s kissin’ on her after he just got done saying how he’d kiss her if she wasn’t already a bride.
Mixed signals much?
And now Judah’s gettin’ busted for roof tiles falling off and scaring the Governor’s horse, throwing him. The tiles didn’t actually strike anything.
Now Judah's on the run and is really good at hiding in shadows. Like a lanky ninja!
And he's held up the Tribune with a spear for containing his mother & sister.
Does Tribune have a white t-shirt on under his roman quilt vest?
Looks like it. Were Hanes around back then?
Weeeeeee!! Rolling down a sand dune! That looked like fun.
One of these things is not like the other….
Judah is at least a head taller than any other man in the water scene.
Except the Roman.
Well played, Hollywood.
YAY JESUS stared down the Roman!!
He totally won that water battle with just his looks!
How'd you like to be the guy that hammers the beat for the boat rowing slaves?
I…don't wanna work…I just wanna bang on the drums all day.
That song was written for that guy.
These guys are getting a great workout.
Look, see? Judah is way hotter than he was before. The beard totally works.
Does anyone know if there was a "Ben Hur workout" the way there was a "300 workout"?
#41 has a nice ring to it.
I feel like I'm watching Les Mis again.
I'd kinda like it if they broke into song.
Did Roman ever sweep things with the brushes on their helmets?
What were those about? Is it a horse's mane thing?
This was before white folks ever knew about Mohawk Indians, so its not like it could be related….unless it was an early human/tribe thing, maybe?
YAY!! The battleships scene just made me happy cuz they filmed it using minis!! Miniatures rule.
The idiot slaves just yelled "We're going to be rammed" and they all stopped rowing.
Wouldn't you wanna row a lot harder???
And of course Judah saves the day because of his brute strength gained from his slave rowing workout.
He's a good spear chucker, too.
And saves the Roman Consul.
Aw, now its like the end of Titanic, except they're both on the makeshift raft.
and fighting. Unfairly - NO BITING!! damn Romans.
They get saved by some Romans & Judah gets to drink some water.
I bet it doesn't taste as good as Jesus water.
YAY A PARADE!!
I wonder if one of those Arabian horses is the same we saw earlier. The one that Judah gave to Tribune.
Emperor just opened his mouth & made it look like it was supposed to be a smile.
And now there's a Coming To America tribal dance scene.
Judah's sitting next to a lady that looks like Meg from Disney's Hercules.
THAT is a freakin' party.
Judah should've kept the beard.
Consul adopts Judah (renamed some Roman name) as his son and introduces him to Pontius Pilot. (always thought that was a cool name)
Judah goes back home, gets greedy with some water, and takes a nap under a tree and then gets interrupted by a Moses looking' fellow who is looking for his son.
They watch some chariot race training and if this were an 80s movie, I'd feel a montage coming on.
This movie is 3hrs long, so I doubt there are any.
Burping is polite.
I would've fit in great back then.
And one wife isn't generous enough.
Sheik thinks his horses are his children. He must be a Dothraki.
I would've liked to see the Horses sing "So Long Farewell…" from Sound of Music when they said goodnight.
Judah finds the girl he was kissing' on an hour ago. Her name is Esther.
Esther still needs to eat a sammich.
She doesn't know where Judah's mother & sister are either.
Neither does her father.
Judah & Esther reminisce about the last time they kiss and then kiss again.
They discuss love and war or something.
Tribune's crackin' his whip with a boyfriend near his bathtub.
Tribune's name is Miss Sala?
Tribune sounds better, but we'll go with it.
He doesn't know where Judah's mother and sister are either.
Judah threatens Miss Sala & leaves.
Miss Sala the Tribune tells his boyfriend to go find Mother & Siter.
They go to fetch them from the jail but discover Mother & Sister have been forgotten about in the depths of the dungeons..
They're shocked with what they find.
Mother & Sister are apparently released and they find Esther and tell her that they're lepers.
They make Esther promise that she's never to tell Judah about seeing them.
BUT HE'S BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU TWO FOR THE PAST HOUR & A HALF!!
They leave and Esther tells them to wait only once.
Then she cries again & goes to tell Judah she did see them but that they were dead in the prison. She tries to tell him his search is over and his feud with Miss Sala is over.
He leaves to go cry and then stomps off with angry purpose.
INTERMISSION!! Present day movies should bring back the intermission, imho.
It would make going to see a 3hr movie a little easier & concession stands would make more money, I bet.
When we get back from Intermission, we're in a bathhouse scene.
Sheik interrupts the spa skin slapping and oiling up and throws down a chariot challenge & takes everyone's bets.
Miss Sala accepts the challenge and the chariot race is on!!
Judah talks to horses and goes to the race to kick Miss Sala's ass.
He dresses in a lovely shade of blue, prays for forgiveness and gets a jew star from Sheik.
Miss Sala is wearing black. Cuz black = bad guy.
He's got some rad axle spikes on his ride.
The crowd cheers, the band plays. THIS IS GONNA BE BETTER THAN THE KENTUCKY DERBY!
Wait….no….they're just parading around at a slow pace…..for at least 5 mins.
I just said out loud…."Fucking race already."
The horses get scrappy cuz they're fucking ready to race already, too.
2.5hrs in and I'm so done with this flick really.
The Judea section wins the crowd cheer award.
And they're freaking OFF….finally.
Some of the scenes are sped up and look funny.
The cinematography is swell and the camera shake is effective in making you feel like you're in the middle of the action.
At some point Judah loses his pretty blue sheet. I missed that.
The sped up action looks REALLY funny.
Distractingly so. It reminds me of old silent movie action.
Judah gets thrown - that looked wicked. Nice job on that stunt.
Miss Sala starts whipping Judah. That's some bullshit.
The chariot spikes backfire on Miss Sala and his chariot breaks and he gets dragged & trampled a long way before finally letting go of the reigns.
Now skinless, he gets carried off the field and everyone cheers.
Judah gets a leaf crown and everyone cheers again.
Tribune Miss Sala waits for Judah to show up beside his deathbed.
When Judah gets there he takes off his leaf crown and asks where his Mother & Sister are.
Miss Sala says, "the race is not over" and then dies.
Judah pries himself from Miss Sala's not quite yet cold, dead hand and leaves without his leaf crown.
Wasn't that the only trophy though?
Judah goes and find some dudes feeding people in a pit.
Oh! Its a leper colony.
Esther shows up and it looks like she's going to have a picnic.
Judah gets mad at Esther for telling him that they were dead.
She tells him it was what they wanted.
Judah sees Mother & Sister and hides behind a rock.
Esther knocks some sense into Judah and they walk off and find a gathering of people on a hill.
Judah decides to not go listen to Jesus on the hill and leaves because he has business in Rome.
Esther goes to the hill.
Jesus looks like a badass. (I really dig that we never see his face. Just his lovely locks.)
Judah goes to Rome and confronts Cesar.
He gives back the ring the Consul gave him during his adoption ceremony.
He goes home to see Esther & they talk about love & peace.
Then Judah puts the moves on her against the wall & retracts abruptly.
Esther tells him he's become Miss Sala, that she's lost him & leaves.
Meanwhile, back at the Leper Colony…
(is this movie over yet?….oh, just hit the 3hr mark?)
Esther goes to visit Mother & Sister and tells them about Jesus.
Sister can't go because she's dying.
Judah shows up and Mother gets pissed.
Esther says she's going to take Mother & Sister to Jesus.
Judah goes to find his sister and Esther & Mother go to find Jesus…..literally…..really.
Judah finds his sister & picks up her tiny little body that looks like a puppet.
When they get back to Judea, the streets are empty except for some rock throwers that freak out about seeing lepers.
Jesus is on trial and we still don't see his face.
Judah recognizes Jesus from that water day.
Judah gets Jesus some water. The water gets kicked out of Judah's hand.
And he didn't stare down the Roman that did it the way he should've.
Jesus & the two other criminals are crucifed and Judah gets sad.
A storm whips up and the women are in a cave.
It starts raining and it flashes to Jesus on the cross.
Back in the cave, Mother & Sister aren't lepers anymore.
The next day, Judah walks through the mud.
He greets Esther with a Jesus quote & sees Mother & Sister are well and healed.
He cries & rubs their faces.
They live happily ever after.
HALLELUJAH!!! THIS MOVIE'S OVER!!