Son of God Blu-ray Review
It’s been quite some time since there has been a high quality telling of a biblical story matched up with a grand scope and vision on film. So when I initially heard about SON OF GOD it brought delusions of a new BEN HUR or THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. I say delusions because not only are those two of the greatest films in the history of cinema but because SON OF GOD wants so desperately to be one of them… and fails desperately in the attempt. Instead of putting together a strong narrative, SON OF GOD is content to be a capstone to THE BIBLE, the cable mini-series event watched by so many in 2013.
The story of Jesus’s life and death is arguably one of the best-known stories in the world. With such a huge history of both film and written word at its disposal you would hope that SON OF GOD would bring something new to the table. I mean – what is the reason you should watch this version rather than any of the myriad other films? Well – there isn’t any (reason, I mean). The only reason to watch this is because you want something to go with your Blu-ray set of the mini-series… in fact besides the filmmakers own views that this was just such an important film to make, I can’t think of a single other reason you should own (or even rent) this poorly made film. SON OF GOD sadly never quite feels like a feature; it seems instead happy to wallow in it’s disparate scenes and poor editing.
Indeed, if I didn’t know the story of Jesus I wonder if I would even know what was going on during SON OF GOD. The filmmakers claim this movie to be a revelation for their followers and for new viewers and believers alike. What they forget is a basic tenet of storytelling – you should never assume the audience knows everything you know. This isn’t to say that SON OF GOD is exceedingly hard to follow – chances are you’ve heard more than a little of the story of Jesus at some point during your life. The problem is SON OF GOD doesn’t do anything to help you along with the story. There is no real arc to the film outside of the basic plot and even that is telegraphed from the start. Where SON OF GOD claims to be reverential, instead I found it insulting.
The story is well known so I’m not going to spend any more time on it than the filmmakers spent editing together this exquisitely expensive-appearing television movie. Instead let us talk about what SON OF GOD says about the state of modern cinema: apparently there is a segment of the population who have been waiting for a biblical-based film about the presumed (depending on your beliefs) son of god, Jesus of Nazareth. But not just any telling – something with a smarmy, soap-operatic Jesus who early in the film appears to think he is a jedi (notice subtle eye twitching and waving his hand – ‘these aren’t the fishes and loaves you’re looking for’). I make a joke but in fact found the whole experience quite disingenuous.
I suppose SON OF GOD is an inevitability; Jesus of Nazareth for the Bruckheimer generation. The gospel according to Michael Bay (minus the requisite explosions). The filmmakers spent far too much time on special effects and trying to make things look cool and far too little time paying respect and homage to the source material (if that was even their goal). I don’t mind at all that a new version of this story came to the screen; I’m just sad it’s such a ball of meh. I cannot recommend this film to anyone.
SON OF GOD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.39:1) SON OF GOD is competently, if a little bit ‘televisioney’, presented in High Definition. Sadly the money spent on locations didn’t translate to authentic looking clothing and most of the film you’re jarred out of the past while wondering why everyone has such perfect hair and beards…
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio for SON OF GOD is very well presented and beautifully mastered though there are times when the dialogue is difficult to hear.
SON OF GOD: Reborn (28:33) This feature delves into the making of SON OF GOD but focuses primarily on the transition from the Jesus story in The Bible to the feature film. The filmmakers clearly felt that SON OF GOD was going to change people’s lives… but instead of coming across as faithful servants they reek of self-serving.
From the Set: The Passion (07:19) A behind the scenes look at the filming of the crucifixion scenes for SON OF GOD (or, actually, for THE BIBLE but later used for SON OF GOD).
SON OF GOD: Un Reino Sin Fronteras (22:58) A Spanish-language feature on SON OF GOD, features cast and crew interviews and many clips from the film.
Put Your Faith Into Practice: Introduce Children to a Relationship with Jesus Christ (05:16) The filmmakers discuss Compassion International and the ministry behind SON OF GOD.
The SON OF GOD Blu-ray also features an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the feature and the Theatrical Trailer (02:27).