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Judas [DVD]

Johnathon Schaech , Jonathan Scarfe , Charles Robert Carner    DVD

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "It's never too late" 30 Aug 2004
By Alejandra Vernon - Published on
This film gives an "alternate possibility" for the eternal life of Judas, after he betrayed the Lord and hung himself on the tree, and though there are many scriptural inaccuracies, the film is always reverent in its portrayal of Jesus, and shows him as strong, and knowing His destiny. Jonathan Scarfe is appealing in the part, and in appearance is light-haired and somewhat like a Durer painting of Christ.
As Judas, Jonathon Schaech has a forceful personality and swarthy good looks, and gives us a Judas that above all wants temporal power, has little understanding of the true kingdom of God, and is hostile to anything that doesn't include the expulsion by force of the Romans out of Judea.

Pontius Pilate (Tim Matheson) is played as a weak bumbler whose greatest dread is being transferred to Albania because of his ineffectiveness. He also has trouble taking his paws off his skimpily clad wife, Claudia Procles. Claudia (Fiona Glascott in a high camp performance) is a bossy little wench with an annoying voice, and seems to know more about the laws and how to implement them than the men in charge, reminding me of the TV ads where the woman tells the idiot guys where it's at.
Others in the cast of note are Owen Teal as Flavius and Bob Gunton as Caiaphas.

Filmed in 2001, this sat on the shelf until the interest in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" spurred the executives at ABC Television to give this a chance, and it was aired in March of 2004.
Shot on location in Morocco, it has some nice cinematography by Michael Goi, and a lovely score by Bill Conti; the writing credits go to Executive Producer Tom Fontana (from the sharp and critically acclaimed series "Homicide: Life on the Streets"), and has some distinctly unbiblical language. It was directed by Charles Robert Carner on a very low budget ($ 5 million) and limited time (23 days), and all this considered, it is an entertaining, and occasionally moving film.
I have to confess that I didn't care for it much the first time I saw it, but subsequent viewings gave me more appreciation of it.
The message it imparts according to Paulist Productions is that "It's never too late to turn back to God".
Total running time is 120 minutes.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE PASSION OF JUDAS 8 Oct 2004
By Michael Butts - Published on
Long considered the necessary scapegoat in the crucifixion of Christ, Judas Iscariot has remained a mystery in many ways. If he was "predestined" to be the one who betrays Jesus, why did it make sense for him to be the one? As portrayed in this movie, Judas was a militant, one who wanted power and glory in his quest to liberate the Jews from the Romans power. He was also jealous of Jesus' love for anyone else, and his despair as necessary as Jesus' execution.

Johnathon Schaech has the brooding sensitivity to adequately bring his role to life; Jonathan Scarfe as Jesus is a little too Scandinavian to be convincing in appearance, yet he delivers his lines earnestly and with religious fervor; Tim Matheson seems a little too "Hollywood" in his portrayal of Pilate.

Filmed in a brief time and on a shoestring budget, "Judas" received attention after the phenomenal success of "The Passion of the Christ." It is a more sanitized version of the story of Jesus, but its lack of strong graphic violence will make it a must for those who felt Gibson's Passion was too passionate.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Judas and Jesus for Modern Time 10 Jan 2007
By Jeanie B. Snell - Published on
The film JUDAS has a well-written screenplay by Tom Fontana which weaves together the theme of Judas (Johnathon Schaech)as the voice of power and violence and Jesus (Jonathon Scarfe)of love and peace. The pacifist side of Jesus is often scorned in our day and many people are not ready to believe in a humble Jesus. It is unlikely in Biblical times that Judas could speak to a person of the high priest status, but such a talk would seem reasonable today. This is a story that fits our colloquial English and modern sensibilities.

The gospels don't fully explain why Judas betrays Jesus, so the imaginative tale of Judas' mother who needs a funeral, fills the gap. The music underscores the power of God in scenes such as, when Jesus pays a poor man's taxes and then asks Mathew, the tax collector, to follow Him. Background information is explained by the expanded role of Pilate's wife. Why Judas had to identify Jesus, was imagined to be because the centurion, named Flavius, could not identify Him because he had been arrested for refusing to capture Jesus. The film makes parts of the Bible come alive as for example, when the disciples gained the ability to go two-by-two to heal. This is often omitted from stories about Jesus because it is difficult to dramatize. Using low tech camera tricks instead of computer graphics, made the healing seem more real to me. Judas suggestion that the disciples pay for their ministry by highway robbery, adds poignancy to Jesus in the garden saying "Did you come with swords to capture me, as though I were a common thief?"

I found this story to be very inspiring. I hope it will be shown again on TV. It would be a good story for churches to show to their teenagers who strive to be like Jesus.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very, very disappointed 15 April 2014
By Daisie Marshall - Published on
I usually do not review a product exceedingly harshly, but this time I will make an exception. I own many of the movies about the life of Christ; so I was interested about how they would handle Judas. The movie did set forth an idea as in a few other movies of his wanting to overthrow the Romans (as many did); and felt Jesus was the answer (as many did). The storyline is not in question.
But the acting was terrible, the movie was completely jumbled from scene to scene. They have a disciple raising a person from the dead before Jesus raises Lazurus. All of the disciples were portrayed as idiots listening to all radical points of view and totally oblivious to Jesus's mission. Some of them at one point took up the idea that they were to overthrow Rome AFTER they had followed Christ for quite awhile. They were like kids. And last but not least; I am open to recent movies that use today's vernacular; to make the story of Jesus more reachable to today's viewers. But this was a bit much. I thought they were going to "high-five" any moment and say, "Yeah; we're cool." There is a difference between the Living Bible's contemporary wording and a movie script that screams "Cult Classic".
This had Judas plainly talking to Christ and all of the disciples about war against the Romans; Never even considering Jesus's real mission and being corrected by them rarely-even being presented as some kind of power play between he and Jesus. In any case; I would have liked to see this movie presented in a better way i.e., a totally different script, better acting, and maybe Judas not trying to be the leader to the mindless apostles; AND with the character of Jesus being played as the driving force he was, as opposed to a kind of jelly fish. I am sorry; that is the only way I can describe it.
In all; I would not advise people not to buy it if they want to experience it. But do not expect an epic or even a depiction of the Biblical Jesus and apostles because it is not there. It is almost laughable.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Value of a Well-Executed Audio Enhancement 9 Mar 2012
By Knight Poet - Published on
SPOILER ALERT! My comments pertain primarily to the ending of this movie so I'd recommend NOT reading past this point if you haven't already seen it. As with most movies, there were some scenes that I liked more than others. But rather than dwell on the ones I didn't like, I'm choosing instead to reflect positively on my favorite scene, this being the last one. The image I recall is one where a couple of Jesus' apostles were praying over the lifeless body of Judas who had committed the final act in the drama of fleeing from the realities of mortal existence. Something was spoken about their prayers being in accordance with what Jesus would want them to do. And then as the praying voices of these devotedly loyal apostles gradually fades into the shadow-kissed corners of the smoothly transitionalized soundstage, the voice of the Master Himself fades in until the perceived volume of Jesus' voice praying in unison with the apostles goes from being equally mixed with them to being the only one reciting this prayer to the end followed only by a momentary pause filled with the lingering void of dead silence (part of my emphasis here is on my recollection of the absence in this scene of an irrelevant musical score or any other artificially contrived elements of sound design). This was more than just a passionately powerful method of using an audio track to creatively suggest that Jesus had magnificently triumphed over physical death just as He had said He would (since only the Living Spirit of a Crucifixion-Conquering Jesus would be praying WITH these apostles at this moment in the sequence of events being portrayed). For me, this scene was also a gentle reminder that the Timeless Truths Jesus eloquently expressed through His love-dominated actions and words are just as supremely relevant and important today as the faith-fact of His morontia resurrection three days after an unsuccessful legal attempt was made to shut Him up using a handful of rusty old nails and a trembling tree of torture.
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