Wednesday 26 June 2019

The Movie Show Christmas special: Unbroken, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Annie

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

It's a bumper movie show today with three big releases hitting the big screen. Paul Whitington of the Independent and George Byrne of the Herald are in studio with the lowdown on Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings, and the remake of the musical Annie.

Kicking off with Exodus: Gods and Kings, it's clear it's perhaps not quite the hit you might expect from Scott with George calling it "perfectly serviceable" and Paul adding that it's "not terrible".

“No matter what Ridley Scott and Christian Bale did with this they will always be in the shadow of Cecil B DeMille and Charlton Heston and what they did with The Ten Commandments,” says George.

He adds, “It’s fine, the only problem is I don’t know why this is in 3D.  It’s incredibly darkly shot to begin with.  Even sequences that are meant to be in the daytime are very grey and gloomy and I had to take the glasses off on several occasions.

“I can see no artistic reason for it whatsoever because there are no arrows shooting at you.  A chariot comes at you at one point but doesn’t it always?  I think the only reason for it being shot in 3D is to cut down on piracy, to cut down on bootlegging.  It’s very effective in that respect but also you can’t see the screen half the time.  I was very annoyed by that side of it.”

Paul adds, “I think the effects especially early on were very well rendered.  [Scott] should be an expert at it because he was the one who started doing it with Gladiator.  But I thought the creation of ancient Egypt was really nicely done.

“The problems with the film really are it’s in one sense, and George pointed this out, he tries to rationally explain what might be legend in the Bible and that annoyed some of the God squad in middle America.  He sticks quite faithfully to the Moses story until it gets to the parting of the Red Sea and then the 40 years in the desert is done in about five minutes.

“It’s built up very nicely and then this kind of guerrilla movement is the way the Hebrew uprising is done but after that it’s just bang, bang, bang chronologically through the seven plagues.  In the middle you have Christian Bale but even his character you really don’t get a sense of what he’s about.  It’s flat in the middle.”

Check out the video above for the lowdown on Unbroken and Annie.

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