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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well researched and executed portrayal of Jesus' final hours
I was hesitant to watch the movie because of all the reports I had heard about the level of violence. However, my curiosity finally won out and when my neighbour got the DVD, I simply had to watch it.
I loved it! I was absorbed in the movie from the very start and it never let go. It was intense.
Yes there was violence, and yes Gibson didn't shield us one bit...
Published on Oct. 13 2004 by Esther Law

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Passion
ITs hard for me to put into words what this film made me feel. I guess that it did provoke a reaction at all means that the filmaker did his job.The film inspires anger rather than compassion. It reminds us how brutal mankind is. What the film does not do though it represent the subject matter as historically correct. I would have liked to see more of the stuff included...
Published on July 9 2004


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well researched and executed portrayal of Jesus' final hours, Oct. 13 2004
I was hesitant to watch the movie because of all the reports I had heard about the level of violence. However, my curiosity finally won out and when my neighbour got the DVD, I simply had to watch it.
I loved it! I was absorbed in the movie from the very start and it never let go. It was intense.
Yes there was violence, and yes Gibson didn't shield us one bit from the enormity of it. It is graphic and in your face, however it is NOT gratuitious violence. It was simply a portrayal of what actually happened (well, if you believe in the bible). Of course, I still had to cover my eyes at some points. (Interestingly, some movie critics who complained about the level of violence in this movie are perfectly happy with the senseless blood and gore of Hollywood flicks. Go figure.)
I found the pacing fantastic. The use of the languages of the day actually helped the authenticity of the movie. I think that was an excellent decision by Gibson. The cinematography was breathtaking. The portrayal of the Devil sent shivers down my spine. The final scene with the Devil and the final scene of the movie were absolutely perfect. I won't say more because I simply can't give that away.
The movie followed Jesus only during those last hours of his life from the Garden of Gethsemene to the tomb. Sprinkled throughout were flashbacks that did a fantastic job of linking Jesus' life and teachings to his crucifixtion. One could almost see his apostles watching the events, remembering what Jesus had said, and experiencing a mini-revelation, finally unerstanding what Jesus meant.
Another thing I loved about the movie was the excellent use of eye contact. So much was said without words. Like the rest of this movie, it was powerful.
Also, those who have done some research into the Passion will realize that Gibson drew from a variety of sources to flesh out the biblical story. Writings and from various Saints were used. There is so much symbolism and so much depth to the movie. As I said, fantastic.
Finally, all the "bit characters" in this story were fleshed out with their own personalities, constraints, hopes, and viewpoints. The Romans were not all carbon copies of each other. Nor were the Jews. And along the way, we saw characters touched and moved by the events taking place.
Definitely a movie to see, and absolutely a movie to talk about afterwards. All in all, an excellent movie that made the last hours of Jesus' life more real.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take it as you will., Sept. 8 2004
This is the most passionate, and vivid interpretation of the Gospels that has ever been put on film. You can hate it or love it, but you can't deny what it is. Yes, there were a few things I was a little unhappy with, but the overall effect of the film does not lie, or waste time for that matter. It does what it's there to do. Any non-believers can be offended by it for doing what it set out to do, if you want films that are wishy-washy and can't manage to stick to a point, this isn't the film for you. Of course it's controversial! Of course people hate it! But then, for a "disgusting" film, it did rack up, what... $600mil at the BO? Well deserved for Mel Gibson's refusal to compromise in a world that wants him to. You can't dispute that, this film deserves respect, not arrogance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Passion of the Christ (blu ray)...A Strong and Powerful Depiction of Christ's Last 12 Hours! The Definitive Edition, March 13 2012
By 
Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
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VIDEO:

The Passion of the Christ arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The film's colour palette, initially beginning with purposely blue light to showcase a heaven symbol, is full of a wide range of colours. We have the bright colours like the yellows of the sun and sand. Also the darker colours of the night and the deep reds of blood showcase excellent detail considering the amount of darkness to the image. Speaking of detail, one of the most impressive aspects is the wide range of costumes used in the film. The detail and lifelike feel to these costumes is amazing. Detail is exceptional, either in close ups of the characters (take a look at the scourging sequence as painful as it is). (4.5/5)

AUDIO:

The Aramaic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is truly exceptional. In the film's dark opening sequence, the track creates an astounding environment that surrounds listeners, with insect and other small creature life surrounding the listening area, coming from every direction in a 360-degree sound field. Debney's score, in a word, is downright amazing. He captures each and every essence of the film with such subtlety. His softer moments (see `The Olive Garden'), where he enlists a chanting type method is haunting and memorizing fully drawing us to the pain and torment Jesus was experiencing at this point. He then moves to quite possibly one of the best pieces written for a film of this nature in `Mary Goes to Jesus'. Sound effects, too, are precisely replayed; the bag of coins Judas receives from the Pharisees early in the film for his betrayal of Jesus spills before him onto a stone floor, the coins scattering and clanking off the surface to realistic effect. (5/5)

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS:

This movie was nominated for the following Oscars (2005):
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Caleb Deschanel

Best Achievement in Makeup
Keith VanderLaan
Christien Tinsley

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
John Debney (should have won), but lost to Brokeback Mountain (Gustavo Santaolalla)

It has an estimated budget $30 million; however, its worldwide gross was a staggering $604 million! It is the highest grossing 1) foreign language film, and 2) religious film in the history of the movie history.

TRIVIA & GOOFS:

The movie doesn't begin with credits, but only with a verse from the Bible: "He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53; 700 B.C.

During production the film was originally supposed to be titled simply "The Passion". However in October 2003, it was revealed the Miramax studios already had a movie in production with that title. Mel Gibson retitled the film "The Passion of Christ". He retitled it yet again a month later in November 2003 to "The Passion of the Christ".

Mishaps that happened to Jim Caviezel (portraying Christ) during filming:
(1) He was being accidentally whipped twice, which has left a 14-inch scar on his back.
(2) He also admitted he was struck by lightning while filming the Sermon on the Mount and during the crucifixion, experienced hypothermia during the dead of winter in Italy.
(3) He experienced a shoulder separation when the 150lb cross dropped on his shoulder. The scene is still in the movie.

Did you know that Jim Caviezel was given a prosthetic nose and a raised hairline. His blue eyes were digitally changed to brown on film?

Because of their experiences during film production, many of the cast and filming crew converted to Catholicism after the completion of the film. Among those who converted was an atheist who played Judas Iscariot.

Originally, the second confrontation between Pilate and the Sanhedrin included a line where the Sanhedrin say, "His blood be on our heads and on the heads of our children!" Although this line comes from the Gospels, Mel Gibson removed the subtitle of the line to avoid further allegations of the movie having an anti-Semitic message. The actual line in Aramaic was left in the movie. His fear of anti-Semitic message now presents a strong irony to his actual telephone outbursts with his ex-wife!

Gibson's hands nail Christ to the cross during the Crucifixion scene. Gibson said "It was me that put him on the cross. It was my sins that put him there." Gibson also supplied the foot of Jesus (washed by Mary Magdalene) and the arms that tie Judas' suicide rope. His crying, screaming voice is heard during the latter scene.

As Jesus carries his cross, the blood on the cross disappears and reappears between shots.

The loin cloth dripping in blood Jesus was wearing before he started carrying the cross changed back to a clean loin cloth as soon as he started his journey.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This film's depiction of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus was a strong and powerful one. It is very realistic, and extremely well done. The release date of just prior to Easter Sunday is certainly not by coincidence. The very detailed and realistic video, together with Debney's haunting score, was a powerful combination that will keep you in your seats. When you see how Christ died for all our sins, you will weep with everybody else. Highly recommended.

Finally, I notice that it is a habit of Amazon.ca to put reviews for standard DVD into the blu ray section of the same movie. So, before you read a review in the blu ray section, please kindly look at the date, so that you do not waste your valuable time. I hope this point and the above review are helpful to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More meaningful than well made, July 19 2004
By A Customer
i'm not going to say this is the best movie i have ever seen. I won't even say that it was really good. But i will tell you that this movie made me more completely understand my Christianity. Sure, the violence was probably in excess, and there are some extremely gruesome scenes that probably could have been edited out. But when I walked out of that theater, my eyes red from crying, I was really glad that I went to see it because it made me want to be a better and more religious person, and it made me want to kneel down and pray right then and there and thank the Lord for all the suffering and pain he has gone through so we could be here. So, in the long run, the movie is ok but the feelings it provokes, the way it inspires your faith, that is what is important. That is why i think this is a must see film for everyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The absolute truth, Sept. 3 2006
By 
Warren Mills "Godzilla" (Toronto Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is an amazing picture that shows the true life and sacrafise of christ as it truely happened. The gore and everything is nessacary because that is what christ was put through on his way to the cross, and that was the price for our sins to be forgiven. I think it was a great film and it gets two thumbs up for taking a risk of offending people to portray the truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At least 6, as many as 15 Oscar nominations, July 18 2004
By 
Wesley Mullins (Kentucky) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Passion Of The Christ (DVD)
How to review a film whose ending is familiar to most of the world? It is a safe assumption that you already know the story of Jesus and his last days (if not the specifics, then at least the general details). There is also an unending amount of criticism on the film's faithfulness of the Gospels and the depiction of Jews. Therefore, rather than discussing those dead horses, my review will focus on the film's chances for the 2004 Oscars.
Gibson's film attempts to depict Christ's brutal last hours, sparing no subtleties and being unapologetic with its almost gory content. Authenticity warranted Gibson's determination to present the true horror of a Roman crucifixion. The same quest for authenticity produces a film in featuring ancient languages and a meticulously researched wardrobe/costume department. Lost in all the rigmarole over the content of the film is the expert craftsmanship of The Passion, which will no doubt insure a plethora of Oscar nominations (Set Direction, Costume and Makeup have to be cinches).
Visual Effects, Sound, Editing and Sound Editing also will be recognized when the nominations are announced. Seems unfair that a film like The Passion has to compete against CGI created special effects in other films, but Oscar always has a soft-spot for films that create impossible shots "the old way". The scourging scene and the moment when Christ is nailed to the cross look so real that both are hard to watch. Despite being placed in the gritty, dirty lands of Israel the film has a crisp, clean look. The stunning opening scene in the moonlit, foggy Gethsemane night insures a nomination for Cinematography.
If the film only gets one nomination (not likely), it will go to Jim Caviezel. Even if he goes on to a monumental acting career, his role as Jesus will be the defining moment in his life. At the very least, the physical demands of the role deserve a nomination. Other acting nods could be dished out for the supporting roles of Pilate or one of the Marys.
That could bring the total to twelve. The real test of Hollywood's tolerance for a film that embraces values not shared by most there will come from the final three categories (Writing, Directing, Best Picture). Writers nominated writers and directors nominate directors. Getting those nominations will be an uphill battle, as both categories have a very high ratio of "artists" who sneer at the disciplined lifestyle of people like Gibson and find much of his beliefs to be offensive. In a less biased world, those nominations would also be certainties, but don't expect them.
That only leaves Best Picture. If it were said that an independent film produced for 25 million dollars and driven by one man's vision would receive high critical praise and break box office records by bringing millions of people to the theater who never go to the movies, than most would say it is a lock for a Best Picture nomination. But since the film in question is religious-based, nothing is for sure. With a divided country, I expect to see an Oscar ceremony this season equally divided. It could be the first great apocalyptic battle of Good vs Evil if Mel Gibson and his film are nominated in this category alongside Michael Moore and his little movie. Would be a contest that would stand for so much more than the ownership of a small golden trophy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, July 16 2004
By 
This review is from: The Passion Of The Christ (DVD)
I saw this movie the weekend it was released. I was very intrigued to see it, partly due to the hype, but mostly due to the fact that I grew up in a Traditional Catholic household and was happy to finally see what I believed being portrayed in the mainstream.
I thought the movie was very well done and I applaud Mel Gibson and all those involved in the movie for taking the risk that they did to make this movie. Yes, a risk. If most people haven't noticed, Hollywood is full of gas bag liberals interested in destroying anyone professing a faith in God from a Christian perspective. They will destroy your careers if you open your mouth to say you disagree with the mainstream media.
That aside, the movie was intense, but those of us who believe Jesus Christ is God and died for us, know that it was a blood bath. There are descriptions written on the what truly happened. And normally when you are whipped that many times, have thorns pushed into your skull, and are beat to the point no one really recognizes you, there will be a bit of blood.
And for those people who think it was a bad movie because you didn't get more of what Jesus was all about or His teachings, you really missed the point of the movie. It's about Jesus' LAST 12 HOURS of life on earth. During that time, He really wasn't preaching to the general public. He did that before those last hours. Gibson is a Catholic. He knows the teachings of Jesus. I am a Catholic and grew up being taught those teachings as well. I have an understanding of Jesus and His teachings. For those lacking that knowledge and wanting it, I suggest picking up a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A graphic and respectful depiction of Christ's suffering, July 14 2004
By 
David O'Brien (Dublin 18 Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Passion Of The Christ (DVD)
I've a lot of respect for Mel Gibson both for his staunch religious beliefs and his skill as a director.I thought Braveheart was a very well directed film.
I was pleased when I learned that Jim Caviezel was being cast as Jesus in 'The Passion Of The Christ' and I was also very happy when I noticed that he had brown contact lenses in his eyes for the part.I could never understand the western-ised attempts in previous religious films to give Jesus blue eyes and pale skin.Jesus was a Jew from Nazareth so it was almost certain that he had dark skin and dark eyes.
Anyway, I considered the film to be tough going because of all of the violence but it was a respectful and solemn piece and made you feel a sense of revulsion at the cruelty that was endured by Jesus and also a feeling that HE died for our sins which gives one a feeling of hope also.
Caviezel gave an honest,decent performance and he really looked as if he was suffering as the passion took place.
Overall, a good film but for a few criticisms.
The whipping scene went on for too long.I know that we had to see the full extent of the cruelty suffered by Our Lord but I really think that the scene entered the realm of snuff , it was that excessive.
Another thing I didn't like was the scant attention to showing the Resurrection - surely an integral part of the whole crucifiction.I didn't like the way the film portrayed His Resurrrection from the tomb.I thought it was sloppily done
Finally , the only other piece that I found distasteful was the crucificion when the thief beside Jesus had his eyes pecked out by the crow.I thought that was totally unnecessary also.
Overall, it was a well-made film with a few minor flaws.I would watch it again however just to try and reinforce a few beliefs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With the hype machine dead and gone. Passion still holds up., July 14 2004
This review is from: The Passion Of The Christ (DVD)
Its been a few months since I went to see The Passion of the Christ twice in theatre. Both times I was moved to tears and both times I witnessed the brilliant direction of veteran director Mel Gibson. I wonder, where are the riots that Jewish leaders claimed would occur? Where was the rampant anti-semitic acts that were to happen because of the this simple little film? As far as the papers were concerned, the sky was supposed to fall after this movies release. Instead a wave of love spread through out our nation. People from all walks of life were brought together by this film to celebrate their faith and witness the raw and inspiriring portrayal of the life and death of Jesus Christ. Christians everywhere were supposed to suddenly hate the Jews after watching this movie, instead something else happened. Christians everywhere showed their intelligence and good will and understood that this film had NO such message. All of that talk and concern, over nothing, all it did was take away from the REAL story about this movie. The story of a God that loved man enough to sacrifice himself for us. Come Oscar time, we will see how Hollywood treats this masterpiece. Will politics get in the way of truly rewarding the best film of 2004? Only time will tell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Phenomenal, July 13 2004
By 
Gordon Ehrensing (Raleigh, NC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Passion Of The Christ (DVD)
Dubbed the most controversial movie of the year, "The Passion of the Christ" is an unrelenting gorefest of holiness and self-sacrifice. Though it is early in the year, I can believe anything as religiously charged as the death of the Christian man-god Jesus will surely take the cake for 2004. Jesus, who's name as he was known during his lifetime was Yeshua bar Josef - loosely meaning "Joshua son of Joseph" - is here played magnificently by James Caviezel, better known for his role as Edmond Dantes in "The Count of Monte Cristo." Portrayed are the final days of Jesus during which he was betrayed and crucified for crimes of political rebellion.
As modern Jews well know, to be Jewish and claim Messianic abilities is far from a peaceful commitment. This term as a pre-Christian concept was fundamentally political in meaning, in which Jesus was preaching the Kingdom of the Jewish god, rather than that of Rome, here on Earth. By travelling to the center of Roman occupation in Israel, Jerusalem, and bringing with him an unorthodox and unacceptable message, Jesus was foolishly and stubbornly committing suicide. This tale, like the tale of untold hundreds of messiahs before and after him, depicts the torture and the unbelievable strength of character required to die such a martyr's death.
Being a firm believer in the tenants of atheism, I went into this movie skeptical and faithless. But through witnessing such a powerful and premeditated religious experience, I have found myself transformed into new levels of spirituality and love for Jesus Christ. I may not agree with his message, but I would blindly follow anyone with such headstrong determination.
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The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson (DVD - 2012)
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