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Ben-Hur (2016)

Zep_TepiZep_Tepi PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
Ben-Hur Starts Principal Photography in Italy

The next big biblical movie coming our way is “Ben-Hur” from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures. The film has announced that they have begun principal photography on the film in Rome and Matera, Italy. Jack Huston stars as Judah Ben-Hur and Morgan Freeman as Ilderim. The film also features Toby Kebbell as Messala, Nazanin Boniadi as Esther, Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus Christ, Sofia Black D’Elia as Tirzah, Ayelet Zurer as Naomi, Moises Arias as Gestas and Pilou Asbæk as Pontius Pilate.

The film is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and is written by John Ridley and Keith Clarke. The film is based on the novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ” by Lew Wallace. Two of the producers of the film are notable for their work on Bible-related entertainment, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who is serving as an executive producer alongside Ridley, Clarke and Jason Brown. Other producers include Sean Daniel and Joni Levin.

The main focus of “Ben-Hur” is faith and tells the story of “a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Both must come to choose between retribution or forgiveness.”

“You could not have imagined a more perfect location to shoot this epic than Italy. We can’t wait to get started,” said Bekmambetov.

“Ben-Hur will be in theaters Feb. 26, 2016.

http://www.shockya.com/news/2015/02/02/ben-hur-starts-principal-photography-in-italy/
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Comments

  • C.I.C.C.IC.I.C.C.I PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    I wonder why they had to remake it?

    Has been proven fact that you don't remake classics since more often than not remakes become disasters


    Eg.
    Psycho

    Sabrina

    The Great Gatsby

    Rear Window

    Etc.


  • Zep_TepiZep_Tepi PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    I guess Hollywood is running out of ideas. :lol:
  • ValorianValorian PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    pwede sila tumingin sa Wattpad :lol:

    hindi na ako magtataka kung i-remake nila yung The Ten Commandments
  • C.I.C.C.IC.I.C.C.I PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Zep_Tepi wrote: »
    I guess Hollywood is running out of ideas. :lol:

    :lol:

    Or they are just lazy to read books... There are a number of good books that can be turned into a movie
  • kysh27kysh27 Moderator PEx Moderator
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    A FALLEN HERO RISES IN FIRST TRAILER OF “BEN-HUR”
    via press release

    Ben-Hur_Poster1.jpg

    Paramount Pictures has just unveiled the first trailer of its new epic, action-adventure “Ben-Hur” from director Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”). The trailer may be viewed below:

    Written by Keith Clarke and John Ridley, “Ben-Hur” stars Jack Huston (HBO's “Boardwalk Empire”), Toby Kebbell (“The Prince of Persia”), Morgan Freeman, and also starring Rodrigo Santoro (“300”), Nazanin Boniadi (TV's “Homeland”), Ayelet Zurer (“Angels and Demons”), and Sofia Black D’Elia (“Project Almanac”).

    “Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

    The film is based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.”

    Opening across the Philippines in August 2016, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • Ben-Hur is one of my all-time favorites and my number 1 favorite religion-themed epic, in an era where there is no CGI, that movie is flawless in its epic story and action scenes. That chariot race scene still remains on of the most amazing action sequences ever filmed. I only hope this remake doesn't ***** all-over that masterpiece.
  • QT IIQT II PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Ben-Hur, done dat
  • kysh27kysh27 Moderator PEx Moderator

    ang powerful ng trailer.. hope it wont disappoint
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    BIG REVEAL OF JESUS MARKS NEW “BEN-HUR” TRAILER
    via press release

    The new trailer of Paramount Pictures' new epic, action-adventure “Ben-Hur” is now online, and proudly showcases its Christ-centric tone. The trailer may be viewed below:

    Written by Keith Clarke and John Ridley, “Ben-Hur” stars Jack Huston (HBO's “Boardwalk Empire”), Toby Kebbell (“The Prince of Persia”), Morgan Freeman, and also starring Rodrigo Santoro (“300”) as Jesus, Nazanin Boniadi (TV's “Homeland”), Ayelet Zurer (“Angels and Demons”), and Sofia Black D’Elia (“Project Almanac”).

    “Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption

    The film is based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D’Elia and Morgan Freeman. Produced by Sean Daniel, p.g.a., Joni Levin, p.g.a. and Duncan Henderson, p.g.a.. Screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov.

    Opening across the Philippines in August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    FOUR “BEN-HUR” ACTORS GET OWN CHARACTER POSTERS
    via press release



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    The four principal actors of Paramount Pictures' “Ben-Hur” are featured in the newly-released character posters for the film.

    BH_INT_CHAR_DGTL_ART_JUDAH_PHI%201_zpsmcikpns8.jpg

    BH_INT_CHAR_DGTL_ART_MESSALA_PHI%201_zpsjiee8moe.jpg

    BH_INT_CHAR_DGTL_ART_ILDERIM_PHI_zps2jsm98ul.jpg

    They are Jack Huston as Ben-Hur, a wronged man seeking revenge and redemption; Toby Kebbell who plays Messala, Ben-Hur’s adopted brother and best friend who sets him on his path for vengeance; Morgan Freeman as Sheik Ilderim, Ben-Hur's mentor and benefactor, eventually teaching him to race chariots and Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus Christ, who crosses paths with Ben-Hur at several points in the story.

    The film is based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and also stars Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek and Sofia Black D’Elia. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov.

    Executive Producers Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley and Jason F. Brown. Produced by Sean Daniel, p.g.a., Joni Levin, p.g.a., and Duncan Henderson p.g.a. Screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley.

    “Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

    Opening across the Philippines in August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    “WANTED” DIRECTOR PUTS A NEW TWIST ON THE EPIC ADVENTURE “BEN-HUR”
    via press release

    From Timur Bekmambetov, the director of “Wanted” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” comes the epic action-adventure “Ben-Hur,” based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

    “Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption

    When Timur Bekmambetov was first approached to direct a re-imagining of one of cinema’s most beloved films, he was hesitant. "The 1959 `Ben-Hur' is not just a film, it’s a phenomenon that greatly affected the culture of the 20th century," Bekmambetov explains. “That’s why when I was offered to direct its reincarnation, my initial thought was ‘absolutely not.’ Luckily producer Sean Daniel persuaded me to read the script, which turned out to be this incredibly meaningful story, impressing with not just sensational action but with line-up of amazing life-like characters and deep thinking. Even though the setting and the circumstances are thousands of years ago, the characters' emotions and actions are relatable and have a modern, universal resonance.”

    Writer John Ridley had similar reservations while developing the script. "The most ardent fans of the 1959 film might find it blasphemous to revisit it in any form, but they forget these characters existed 80 years prior. People only tend to remember Charlton Heston and the chariot race, but Judah Ben-Hur is such a rich, classic character. He’s a wronged man seeking revenge and redemption. Compelling characters like Ben-Hur and Messala are the reason we can return to these stories again and again, so I wanted to make the personal conflict between these former friends just as tense and memorable as the climactic chariot race.”

    “The emotional themes of the film, vengeance vs. forgiveness, are timeless. The conflicts the characters experience are as relatable today as they were in Roman times or 1880, when Lew Wallace wrote the novel,” explains Daniel. “It’s human nature, and that doesn’t change.”

    “In many ways we still live in the Roman Empire, we still live with its values,” comments Bekmambetov. “Power, greed and success rule the world, people try to achieve everything in harsh competition, and only few realize that true human values are collaboration and forgiveness."

    Opening across the Philippines in August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • Zep_TepiZep_Tepi PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    TOBY KEBBELL BETRAYS HIS BROTHER “BEN-HUR” IN NEW ACTION ADVENTURE
    via press release


    BH-TKebbell_04_zpsfoadzig6.jpg

    British actor Toby Kebbell has built an impressive career as one of the more versatile young actors working today, moving effortlessly from one genre to another with every project he takes on.
    He recently starred as lead Orc, Durotan, in Legendary’s feature film “Warcraft,” and as the sinister ape Koba in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” He’s currently in production on Legendary’s action adventure, “Kong: Skull Island,” which will be released in March 2017.

    This August, Kebbell will be seen in Paramount Pictures’ epic action adventure “Ben-Hur” in the pivotal role of Messala, Ben-Hur’s adopted brother and best friend who sets him on his path for vengeance.
    Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, “Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala, an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

    "Toby brought a lot to the role of Messala,” producer Duncan Henderson explains. “The character was very interesting to begin with, but Toby was able to instill the character with his own innate sense of humor that he brings to set every day. Messala is a very dark character, but Toby’s portrayal gives him a certain lightness that just adds to his complexity."

    "Toby sizzles on screen," comments producer Roma Downey. “Physically, he just brings it. He’s good looking. He’s grounded. He’s strong, and he inherently has such intelligence and depth. We believe that he loves Judah, and the thing that drives him through the second half of the movie is that love and disappointment."

    "When I met with Timur,” Kebbell recalls, “I realized this wasn’t just about a chariot race. This is a story about brothers, about family, how badly we sometimes treat the ones we love, and how often we need forgiveness. Everything we’re exploring is drawn from the original book."

    Kebbell concludes, “The roles of Ben-Hur and Messala are symbiotic. It was a fun challenge for us to play with the fraternal bond between these rivals. There’s love and there’s hate there, but give too much either way and you’ll lose the unique conflict that drives the film.”

    Opening across the Philippines in August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    AS “BEN-HUR,” JACK HUSTON SEEKS REVENGE, FINDS REDEMPTION
    via press release

    BH-JHuston_03_zpsilvv2cdy.jpg

    British actor-on-the-rise Jack Huston (HBO's “Boardwalk Empire,” Starz's “Spartacus”) plays the title role of Judah Ben-Hur in Paramount Pictures’ and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ epic action adventure “Ben-Hur” based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

    Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”), the film is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

    “Finding the right actor to play Judah Ben-Hur was a process,” recalls Bekmambetov. "We needed someone smart who could create a character combining aristocratic irony and ability to truly care for other people. Jack proved to us that he is capable of doing all that.”

    Huston recalls first meeting with Bekmambetov. "Timur asked me to give him my thoughts on the character of Judah Ben-Hur. I started talking, and he was fervently writing notes. He saw it as a conversation, and wanted to bring as much authenticity to it as he could. Working with Timur has been exciting, because it’s a collaboration.”

    “Originally Jack came to try out for the part of Messala (brilliantly played by Toby Kebbell). But after I talked to him it became clear to me that I'd just found Prince Judah Ben-Hur!” exclaims Bekmambetov. “It felt like he was born in that era. Ironic, well built, experienced horseman.”

    "Jack Huston gives the most extraordinary portrayal of a man on a journey," comments Executive Producer Roma Downey. "Through the course of the film, we see him change physically and emotionally. Physically, we see him go from this handsome, charming, debonair prince, to a man broken and brought to his knees. Through the years he spends on the galley ship, we see his body tighten and his heart harden. He knows that the only thing that will allow him to survive is to harness his lust for revenge."

    "We absolutely loved Jack as Ben-Hur because he was just so brilliant in his reading and understanding of what the character is about," says producer Sean Daniel. "On top of that, Jack’s a Huston, one of the royal families of film. We shot the film at Cinecittà Studios in Rome, where the legendary John Huston directed “The Bible” in 1966, so it was exciting to have his grandson in our film all these years later.”

    Opening across the Philippines on August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    RODRIGO SANTORO FEELS BLESSED TO PLAY JESUS CHRIST IN “BEN-HUR”
    via press release

    ben_hur_ver12_xlg_zpsjxwz9xtv.jpg

    Brazilian superstar Rodrigo Santoro (“300,” “300: Rise of an Empire”) plays Jesus Christ, who crosses paths with the film's mortal hero, Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) in Paramount Pictures’ epic action adventure “Ben-Hur,” based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

    Watch the music video “Ceasefire” by King and Country for “Ben-Hur”

    Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”), the film is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

    “As soon as I met Rodrigo, it was clear he was the right actor,” recalls Bekmambetov. "He has a God-given talent - Rodrigo can play this spiritual figure while still coming across as the boy next door.”

    "Rodrigo was a perfect choice to play Jesus," comments producer Roma Downey. "He’s got strength, kindness and depth."

    Playing the role of Jesus was a serious undertaking for Santoro. "Billions of people all over the world have a very personal and intimate relationship with this man, with his image, with what he represents," comments Santoro. "It’s a tremendous responsibility, but it’s also a unique opportunity to have a chance to explore and to have a deeper understanding of what he went through and try to practice his teachings."
    "I think the first thing that I had to do was attempt to erase any preconceived ideas I had about him," says Santoro. "Things that I’ve heard, things that even my grandma told me when I was growing up. I went to a neutral place and started from there."

    Santoro undertook a physical and mental regime to prepare for the role. He spent a lot of time practicing yoga, meditation, and adopted a strict, cleansing diet.

    "I tried to connect to what I truly felt about this man because I had to play Jesus," Santoro continues. "How do I understand, as deeply as possible, this person and everything he represents? I wanted to create a portrait of the man behind the myth. I wanted to make him relatable without sacrificing any of his teachings, his aura, his spirituality and everything that was so unique about him. It was the most challenging thing I have ever done."

    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the film’s emotional finale, proved a harrowing experience for the cast and crew. The day was bitterly cold. The crosses were set on the edge of a deep ravine, totally exposed to the elements. Snow had fallen the day before.

    "I had a problem just going there to film that scene,” recalls Bekmambetov. “It was terrifying to see Rodrigo on that cross."

    "When I was up there on that cross it was so cold it was almost unbearable," recalls Santoro. "I was on the top of a cliff looking over all those people. When they took me down from the cross, my body was involuntarily shaking. I couldn’t stop. It was probably the most emotionally charged experience I’ve ever had."

    "The only word I can use to describe the feeling of being in the crucifixion scene is surreal," explains co-star Nazanin Boniadi. "You get a slight sense of what it must have been like at that time to see this beloved man unjustly and brutally killed."

    "Rodrigo's hands were strapped to the cross, and his body was vibrating with the cold," says Downey with a shudder. "His courage, the level of commitment to playing this role was mesmerizing. The take was 20 minutes long and everyone watching was held in complete silence.”

    Opening across the Philippines in August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    GET INSIDE THE ACTION OF “BEN-HUR'S” CHARIOT RACE SEQUENCE
    via press release


    BH-03_zpsmfsqu9zl.jpg

    The breathtaking, action-packed chariot race sequence in Paramount Pictures' upcoming “Ben-Hur” gets the spotlight in the newly released featurette that may be viewed below:

    “Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

    The climactic moment of the film, Ben-Hur’s deadly chariot race against Messala, was shot over 32 days at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios. From day one, the decision was made to film the majority of the chariot race in camera, requiring twelve weeks of intensive chariot training for Huston and Kebbell. Though both had previous horse riding experience, racing with a four horse team proved to be a completely new skill set.
    "I’ve grown up with horses," says Jack Huston. "I feel very comfortable and confident around them, but there’s something entirely different when you have to control four of them simultaneously. The sheer strength of them is incredible. You don't just coast around a corner, you skid in that sand. It’s one of the most exhilarating adrenaline rushes I’ve ever experienced in my life."

    “Chariot racing was truly an extreme sport of its time, though we were drawing inspiration from NASCAR and Formula 1, riding a chariot with four horses is way more dangerous.” Director Timur Bekmambetov confesses, “I’ve had a chance to try driving it when on the set, and to be honest, that was really scary, forget about comfort, suspension or airbags, a rider is very close to the ground and the only way to maneuver the chariot is to use the weight of his own body, balancing on the platform. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible Steve Dent, our Horse Master and Stunt Coordinator, and Phil Neilson, our 2nd Unit Director.”

    "When you come out the gates, you’ve got another seven teams with 28 horses surging forward with you," Huston continues. "You have to play to the camera, but at the same time, you have to watch the action. It's like driving a racing car and acting at the same time."

    "The training was fascinating to me," says Kebbell. "We started with a horse and cart, then two horses pulling a chariot, then four. There was a big learning curve. What threw me at first was that no matter how many pushups and pull-ups I did, the parts I had to strengthen were my fingers. The fingers have to be able to divide your strength between four horses to control them."

    "I think at first Jack and Toby thought, ‘How hard can it be?’ Henderson speculates, "But keeping control of all four horses is an incredibly physical task. They have the ability to get away from you at any moment, so you have to stay on top of that. It's not only about your safety but the safety of everyone around you."
    "Driving a chariot at 40 miles an hour doesn't sound incredibly fast, but try doing 40 on a motorbike with your visor up and you realize how wild it is," Kebbell says with a grin. "It’s an incredible feeling when you turn the corner with the sun in your eyes and the dust pounding your face.”

    "We got some incredible footage of Jack and Toby driving the chariots at a full gallop," says Horse Master Pete White. "You can clearly see that is them neck and neck on the track."

    Opening across the Philippines in August 17, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    ACTION-PACKED “BEN-HUR” ALSO A TIMELY STORY OF FORGIVENESS
    via press release

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    Paramount Pictures’ and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ “Ben-Hur” is a spectacular, action-adventure in epic scale in the tradition of “Gladiator.” But more than that, it is a timely story of forgiveness, the very core of the original novel from which the film is based, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace.
    In fact, although “Ben-Hur” has all the makings of a classic revenge epic, the aspect that endeared the project to the creative team was its redemptive themes.

    "One of the last sentences Christ spoke was ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they've done,’” explains screenwriter Keith Clarke. "With his last few breaths, he forgave those who responsible for his death.”

    "So much tragedy in the world can be averted by forgiving our enemies,” Clarke continues. “I’m a huge admirer of Nelson Mandela, because he was able to confront the people who had wronged him and forgive them. In the Middle East, conflicts have raged for generations because of the difficulty of saying ‘I know what you’ve done to me is horrific, but I forgive you.’”

    Producer Sean Daniel says, "Regardless of your own personal faith, you will appreciate the profound and universal themes explored in the film.

    "If you watch this movie, and you’ve never read the Bible, you’ll enjoy story, the action and adventure,” says producer Roma Downey. “If you are a Christian, the film will mean that much more to you.”
    “Ben-Hur doesn’t give you a message of faith overtly, but it is there to give you something to think about,” explains producer Mark Burnett. "It’s a message of hope that’s been part of this story since Lew Wallace wrote it in 1880. It’s a story that’s been told before, because it’s a story worth telling again and again, for this generation and for generations to come.

    Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”), “Ben-Hur” is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title and separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

    Now showin across the Philippines, “Ben-Hur” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
  • artalm_2604artalm_2604 PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    [CENTER-HIDDEN]
    Ben-Hur_Poster1.jpg

    Philippine Release Date: August 17, 2016
    Director: Timur Bekmambetov
    Cast: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Morgan Freeman
    [/CENTER-HIDDEN]

    [JUSTIFY]From Paramount Pictures and MGM comes Ben-Hur, the latest re-imagining of the best-selling 1880’s novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Featuring history, drama and action of epic proportions, the film brings back to life the character of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince whose thirst for revenge brings him head-to-head against the Roman Empire itself. Blending familiar themes with modern advancements in filmmaking, the movie recreates the Holy Land during the time of Jesus Christ, creating an enticing mix that will appeal to both fans familiar with the original movie (released in 1959) and to those who are just getting acquainted with the classic epic. [/JUSTIFY]

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    [JUSTIFY]Ben–Hur brings us the story of two men, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and his adopted brother Messala Severus (Toby Kebbell). While they always compete with each other, especially in horse racing, they are as close as brothers can be. However, Messala has always felt like he had something to prove to their family, particularly to Judah’s mother Naomi (Ayelet Zurer) and his sister Tirzah (Sofia Black D’Elia) with whom he has feelings for. He leaves home to enlist in the Roman army, while Judah marries Esther (Nazanin Boniadi), a Jewish slave set to marry another man. After a few years, Messala returns to Jerusalem triumphantly as a tribune of Rome. He asks for the help of Judah to ensure that the Judean governor Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbaek) arrives safely to the city. However, after Pilate was attacked by an insurgent in Judah’s house, Judah is accused of sedition and sent to a life of slavery in a galley. After surviving a battle at sea, Judah washes ashore and meets Ilderim (Morgan Freeman), a wealthy sheik who teaches him to become a charioteer so that he can defeat Messala in a race. Judah reunites with Esther but despite her warnings, he becomes caught up in his plans for revenge against Messala. The chariot race ensues and after everything was done and dusted, Judah realizes that there is more to life than vengeance as he embraces the teachings of Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro).
    [/JUSTIFY]

    [CENTER-HIDDEN]BH-JHuston_03_zpsilvv2cdy.jpg[/CENTER-HIDDEN]

    [JUSTIFY]The movie took a lot of liberties from the original film and novel in that it was almost unrecognizable save for the major elements which were adapted. Sheik Ilderim and Jesus Christ had more prominent roles, with the former being elevated to a position of power and influence and the latter’s story being more intertwined with Judah’s life. In a way, the film wanted to highlight different parts and portions of the story as compared to the 1959 adaptation. Most of the changes contributed to the overall plot, and while much has changed with the retelling of the story after 57 years, the main themes remain the same: redemption, vengeance and forgiveness.

    The liberties taken with the plot and storyline provided a deeper insight on the story’s antagonist, Messala. We get to see his motivations on turning his back on his family and serving the Roman Empire, and Toby Kebbell was able to portray a character that was conflicted between loyalty and honor. On the other hand, Jack Huston was able to portray a Judah Ben-Hur that transitioned well from keeper of the peace to hardened slave to vengeful charioteer. His transformation during the movie went beyond the physical in that he was able to successfully portray the change in Judah’s demeanor as he went through all the things that happened in his life. Morgan Freeman’s commanding presence served him well as the influential Sheikh Ilderim, Judah’s mentor and backer in the chariot race. His enhanced role was pivotal in the plot moving forward and Freeman handled it with the gravitas that he is known for. [/JUSTIFY]

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    [JUSTIFY]One of the best things about the movie is the cinematography especially in the epic scenes. The battle at the Ionian Sea was shot with breathtaking scenes that bring out the palpable tension of a battle at sea and a struggle for survival. The chariot race was just as grand, with the wide shots of the cheering crowds capturing the spectacle of the occasion and the action shots of the racers bringing on the adrenaline rush as we witness Judah overcome the obstacles he is faced with. The sound mixing and special effects were on point, all coming together to build a grand narrative of epic proportions.

    All in all, Ben-Hur is a film that builds on the components of earlier adaptations while bringing in a style of its own. It leverages on the advanced technology available, making the most of its talented cast and tweaking an already solid storyline to create a narrative that is both fresh and familiar. It is surely a movie for fans of historical drama and for those looking out for the next good release to hit the big screen.
    [/JUSTIFY]

    [CENTER-HIDDEN]Rating: 8/10

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    Ben-Hur is now showing in theatres nationwide.


    Discuss the movie here: Ben-Hur (2016)
    More movie reviews here: Official PEx Movie Reviews

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  • C.I.C.C.IC.I.C.C.I PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Rotten Tomatoes

    30%
    Guess not as promising / impressive as the Original.

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