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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the worst Jesus I've ever seen in my entire life. This is the version of Jesus that would actually appreciate the "Bong Hits for Jesus" movement. Read morePublished 2 months ago by AllUpInYoGrill
This movie seems to be illuminati propoganda. The actor Jesus flashes the ok(666) symbol when he commanded the disciples to go and heal and the disciples acted as if they felt... Read morePublished 10 months ago by marsdaman
This movie had terrible actors EXCEPT FOR THE MAIN CHARACTER WHO PLAYED JUDAS. It did show the softer side of judas and how his intentions were confused with his desire for... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Coastal Crafter
I saw this movie on TV several years ago and was convinced that he was not a traitor but was a Patriot who expected Jesus to be the leader to lead the people of Israel out from... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Anthony L Milano
A nice look at Judas Iscariot. It show his dots. I believe Judas is the most mistundersted person in the Bible. Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by the 64/28Sept20Feb27
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. Read morePublished on March 9, 2012 by Knight Poet