DISTANCE TO GREATNESS: "BEN-HUR" 2016 VS. "BEN-HUR" 1959 Continue Reading
By Gerardo Valero With more than a little hesitation I recently attended the latest version of “Ben-Hur," directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Its 1959 predecessor, directed by William Wyler, was not precisely a bona fide masterpiece but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. As a kid I grew up believing that the religious-themed mega productions from the 1950s represented Hollywood at its most spectacular.
Their epic lengths and musical overtures/intermissions only added to this idea (I also used to be convinced that their content was surely 100% faithful to history!). Wyler’s version of “Ben-Hur” was (and still is) head and shoulders above all other entries in this category. It didn’t suffer from “Samson and Delilah’s” (1949) cheesiness (think of the phony lion fight and falling temple) nor was it quite as overblown as Charlton Heston’s own “The Ten Commandments” (1956).
Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu is to be President of the Jury of the 72nd Festival de Cannes, taking place in May 2019.
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A bloodthirsty alien, devoid of remorse or conscience, kills off crew members of a deep-space mining ship. But Ripley conveys the strong message to never give up and to do everything you can to try to save your friends and co-workers.
"Far and Away" has all the markings of an epic, even a race -- with covered wagons -- but its land-grab scene with horses and wagons toppling over one another is unintentionally hilarious.
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