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Ben Hur [Import]

 Unrated   DVD

Price: CDN$ 16.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • Release Date: April 30 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sex and violence without style May 27 2013
By J. M. Cornwell - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have seen both versions of Ben Hur, its earlier black and white version and the 1959 version starring Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd, so the comparison between the 1955 version and this one is still fresh in my mind. I had recently watched the DeMille version before watching this miniseries and the differences are monumental.

I doubt that director, Stephen Shill, set out to make an epic adventure and in that he succeeded. Shill's Ben Hur is a little movie with the emphasis on sex and as much nudity as he could get on the screen to spice up what needs no spice, rather like adding a cup full of jalapenos to an already spicy chili.

Shill's Ben Hur is earthy with a very young cast, most of whom give credible performances, but in whom there is little of gravitas or depth. Joseph Morgan broods well and purses his full lips as often as possible but fails to give more than brooding life to the character of Judah ben Hur. Kristin Kreuk is wasted as Tirzah and Alex Kingston's full blown charms fail to enliven Ruth, Judah's mother, or give her actions any heft or reality. Stephen Campbell Moore as Messala is feckless and rash without the depth of villainy that characterized Stephen Boyd's portrayal of Messala. Morgan and Moore are at best pretty boys playing at being men writ large and end up scribbled small in the sand, 2-dimensional at best, but not 3-dimensional or noteworthy. Jimenez as Athene was by far more interesting, although lacking in definable motives.

Shills' Ben Hur is a low budget bit of fluff with plenty of skin, sex, and nudity that pales in comparison to the 1955 epic saga. An actor with a little more mileage and a better understanding of the times and characters would have lifted this average film from mediocrity.

The scenery is, however, earthy and realistic and small, matching the smallness of the endeavor. In short, there is very little style or complexity in this version of Ben Hur with few standout performances.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In no way comparable with the 1959 classic April 30 2013
By tbrochny - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a totally 'modernized' telling of the Ben-Hur story.

a. It is not, in any appreciable way, "A Tale of the Christ".
b. It is not spectacular in any sense, as was the 1959 version in so many ways.
c. Its production values are consistent with those of other contemporary television entertainment - technically excellent, but lacking in many of the artistic elements that make for anything more than mediocre storytelling.

Those who love the story of Ben-Hur as told in the William Wyler / Charlton Heston version of 1959, as I do, will probably be left cold, as I was. Viewers not having that standard of comparison will likely find it ok.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Story of Early 1st Century C.E. Jerusalem June 9 2013
By Monty Martinez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Unlike the Heston epic, Christ makes just three cameo appearances. However, this is not a story of religious faith. When present, religion is subordinated in the plot by the movie director to create an intriguing modern tale. This is not a for children-recommended epic, but it is a mature, detailed-filled, contemporary interpretation of the Lew Wallace classic.

At times taking great historical license, this is the story of the Hur family: Their suffering, survival, and triumph over Roman political oppression in 1st Century C.E. Jerusalem. Deeper, this is also a tale of two individuals: one Jewish (Judah) and one Roman (Messala) and their interpersonal bonding as children and their adult psycho-political conflicts. Ultimately, this is an story of power: The Conquerors (Rome personified in the Agrippas, Arias, Pilate, and Tiberias) and The Conquered (namely, the Hur Family, Greeks, Jews, slaves, and other residents of 1 Century C.E. Jerusalem). .

As adult-level drama, the principal actors (the Agrippas, Arias, and Hur) present a tale of an aristocratic member of the Jewish upper class, Judah ben Hur, who painstakingly overcomes great obstacles (unjust imprisonment and slavery at the hands of Roman Military Tribune Messala Agrippa) and who in the end emerges victorious over his Roman oppressors (namely, the Agrippas, Pilate, Tiberias, and, by extension, Rome)..

In the end, "truth" seemingly does win out over "evil": The good does triumph over the bad. The oppressed win, at least for the moment, against the Tiberian imposed Pax Romana. As a bonus, the details of the Wallace book are more finely etched in our consciousness than those presented in the former movie version.

While not recommended for children because of several scenes of the sexual intercourse and of the graphic cruelty and violence, Ben Hur (2010) is, nonetheless, well worth watching.

Thank you.

M. Monty Martinez
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't believe how much I liked this! Dec 30 2013
By Ron Hardcastle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I belong to FSM (Film Score Monthly), a soundtrack discussion group, and we had been discussing this 2-part remake of "Ben-Hur," and I just posted the following there:


Today I watched the 3 1/4 hour "Ben-Hur," the 2010 remake with Joseph Morgan and Stephen Campbell Moore and Emily VanCamp, which I wrote about a month or so ago on another thread, probably about script adaptations, and this was the first time I had ever watched it WITHOUT commercials, and while I liked it back when I first saw it on cable, it has gained considerably in my estimation. I hadn't intended to watch it all, but couldn't turn it off. And it brought me to tears at least 3 times. I believe it was re-edited to lengthen some scenes over what was originally shown on American TV (it's, I believe, a Canadian/German/Moroccan co-production) and there's some slight male nudity as well as some above the waist female nudity that I don't remember seeing when it was broadcast in the U.S. I had picked it up (here) at Amazon for $1 plus shipping and it's one of the best deals I've found in quite some time. HIGHLY recommended.


I agree with some reviewers who bemoan the absence of a Blu-ray version of this, but the DVD is excellent, although I want to advise any who buy this to skip the lengthy flashbacks at the beginning of part 2, which is about as close to a quibble as I can get.

Ben-Hur is portrayed as a sort of Everyman and NOT as the burly superhero as played by Charlton Heston in the remake. And I'm a big fan of that version, having bought it on low fi VHS, then hi fi stereo VHS, then the first edition on DVD, then the special edition DVD, and finally the big and elaborate Blu-ray set. But, as I wrote above, I was quite taken with this version and feel that it stands on its own. And judging by the low prices one can get it here, a real bargain! As I wrote in my title, I couldn't believe how much I like this!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE "TALE OF THE CHRIST" May 22 2014
By GWH - Published on Amazon.com
To start out, I have seen this miniseries, and I have read some of the reviews. A lot of people are comparing this miniseries to the Charlton Heston 1956 version. I have seen both the 1956 version and the silent Ben Hur (in fact I own both on DVD), and one cannot compare this to either of those movies on any level, and in my opinion, for obvious reasons. Not to be tedious and repetitive of other reviewers, I still feel the need to clarify some things, in the defense of this miniseries. First, it is not "A Tale of the Christ", as is lauded in the 1956 version. Quite frankly, the 1956 version is not "a tale of the Christ" either. It is a tale about the relationship of two boys of different ethnicities, who grow apart as they become adults because of the life paths that they have taken, and because of their times and social situations. Jesus Christ is kind of a sub plot if you will. Basically, Judah and Messalla's story is set in the first century during the time and happenings of Jesus Christ. That's it. Neither has anything to do with Jesus Christ necessarily, other than how Judah and Jesus' paths happen to cross. Therefore, telling the public not to watch this for Easter, or for the holiday's is kind of silly, since neither movie is really a "holiday" movie. The networks run these films during the holiday's for ratings and such.

Second, this Ben Hur is a miniseries and it is clear that it was made on a small budget, therefore comparing it to a Hollywood epic block buster is unfair. The 1956 movie won a record 11 Academy Awards and is one of the best movies ever made in Hollywood. But also, in fairness to this miniseries, these young actors did the best they could with the experience that they have. I don't think their acting is all that bad. Again, one cannot compare these young actors to Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd. By the time of the 1956 Ben Hur, Heston and Boyd were veteran actors with a pantheon of experience and credit to their credentials. They were part of the MGM studio system where they were groomed and nurtured and coached to be the very best. Hollywood is not like that today, in 2014. The studio system and the glory days of Hollywood are long gone, and so is some of the quality. These young actors need time to gain some experience, do more projects, and maybe in time they will develop into actors like Heston and Boyd. Liz Taylor didn't start out as an amazing actress. She was in some flops. However, she evolved into the legendary actress that she later became.

Third, I must have missed something but I didn't see a whole lot of sex and nudity as some of the reviewers claim there to be in this miniseries. If the scene's containing nudity that I saw where that offensive to some viewers, then all I can say is that those reviewers haven't seen much TV lately. This miniseries is nothing in the nudity or sex department compared to Starz's SPARTACUS series. All of them. Or HBO's ROME, or SHOWTIME'S THE TUDORS, or THE BORGIA'S. Not to impugn the opinion of other reviewers, but those miniseries that I just mentioned above has 10x's the nudity, sex, blood and gore that the 2010 Ben Hur has .... and the SPARTACUS series is thought by some, to be soft porn. Therefore, I'd say that some reviewers are over reacting concerning the nudity in this miniseries, unless I totally missed those scenes all together.

I'll end by recalling what I liked about this miniseries. I liked how it portrayed their youth and friendship. This one tells you "what happened" in their youth that played a part in the tensions that were present when they reunited years later. The 1956 version does not set one up that way. In the 1956 version, the prologue is the birth of Christ ( which I view as the authors way of setting up the time frame) and then the movie starts. They are adults already when the film starts, and we as an audience must surmise what their friendship as children were like.

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