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Blu-ray Review: MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Blu-ray review: SUICIDE SQUAD Extended Cut
Blu-ray review: BEN-HUR
Blu-ray review: PHANTASM RAVAGER
Blu-ray review: PHANTASM Remastered
PHOTOGRAPHY

BEN-HUR (2016)

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 124 minutes, featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, music videos, DVD, digital HD copy

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 DD, Portuguese 5.1 DD, English Audio Description

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

 

STUDIO: Paramount Pictures/ MGM/ Lightworkers Media

RELEASE DATE: 12-13-2016

The latest adaptation of BEN-HUR manages to blend character development, history, action, and the theme of forgiveness quite deftly.   Christian viewers will like it where non-religious people won’t feel offended since the movie doesn’t hit the viewer over the head with religious themes.  Timur Bekmambetov is the right director for this new version even though this movie got lost in the late summer slate of movies as the box office was dying down and a movie called SUICIDE SQUAD still ruling over other movies.  This take focuses more on Ben-Hur and a little less on Jesus while compressing the story of Ben-Hur as a slave to fit the movie’s story in a two hour slot.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

BEN-HUR: THE LEGACY- a look at the history of the novel and the novel’s author, and the other two movie adaptations leading up to the 2016 version

THE EPIC CAST- interviews with the cast and crew and a little fact where Jack Houston was originally auditioning for the role of Messala before the producers asked him to play Judah Ben-Hur

A TALE FOR OUR TIMES- a behind-the-scene making-of featurette that looks at the ancient Italian town used to stand in for ancient Jerusalem, the studio used to film this version was also home to the previous BEN-HUR movie, the production and costume design, the director, and the director’s wife is the costume designer

THE CHARIOT RACE- a behind-the-scenes look at the climatic chariot racing from the prep done for it, the actual shooting, and the digital effects used to expend the outdoor set

 

7 deleted and extended scenes include material cut for pacing

Three music videos (THE ONLY WAY OUT by Andra Day, CEASEFIRE by For King and Country, and BACK TO YOU by Mary Mary) and behind-the-scenes featurettes for THE ONLY WAY OUT and CEASEFIRE

 

The movie in standard definition on DVD and a code to download/ stream a digital HD copy

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  The least take on BEN-HUR is a compressed version of the previous adaptation to fit a two hour slot.  It is entertaining enough for religious and non-religious viewers.  It might not be the classic that the Charlton Heston version is, but it fits the attention deficit generation who can’t stand watching a 3 to 4 hour movie (and where movie theaters want to be able to play a two hour movie an x number times a day for the most profit).

 

This review is 12-26-2016 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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