Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hollywood May Get Religion Wrong: What Are The Odds?

Rod Dreher sums up an upcoming Hollywood release.
Just so you’re clear: from the director of “Showgirls” and the team that brought you “Pulp Fiction” and “American Psycho,” comes a new cinematic life of Christ that claims the Virgin Mary was raped and that Jesus was no miracle worker, but rather the world’s greatest ethics guru.
Dreher neglects to mention Paul Verhoeven also directed Robocop, Total Recall, and Basic Instinct, so I don't know what could go wrong.

Ok, I will admit that I'm a little worried that Verhoeven might recycle some material..  I hope he doesn't have John the Baptist say, "Here at Security Concepts, we're predicting the end of crime in Old Detroit within 40 days. There's a new guy in town. His name is RoboCop."

Also, Robocop's analysis of eternal life lacks metaphysical nuance:
Emil: Smoke?
Dougy: Nah. You know those things'll kill you.
Emil: Yeah. You wanna live forever?
I would also hate to see "love your neighbor as yourself" reduced to Prime Directives "Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.  Those directives seem so, for lack of a better word, robotic.  I also don't want hear Jesus call the disciples by saying, "Dead or alive, you're coming with me!"

Total Recall's discussion of eternal life is also a bit weak: "Relax. You'll live longer."  Likewise, when Jesus talks with his disciples about who people believe him to be, I'd prefer not to hear: "If I am not me, then who the hell am I?"  Also, these lines really won't work as a description of either Hell or the apocalypse:
The walls of reality will come crashing down. One minutie, you'll be the savior of the rebel cause, and the nest thing you know you'll be Cohaagan's Bosom Buddy, you'll also have fantasies about alien civilizations as you requested. But in the end back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized.
Taking lines from Basic Instinct would also be problematic.  I don't want either the woman at the well or the woman that Jesus saved from being stoned to ask: "What are you gonna do ? Charge me with smoking?"

On the plus side, Verhoeven could cast Samuel L. Jackson as a pharisee and have him ask the deeply profound theological question about hamburgers from Pulp Fiction:
Well, if you like burgers give 'em a try sometime. I can't usually get 'em myself because my girlfriend's a vegitarian which pretty much makes me a vegitarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger. Mm-mm-mm. You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?

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