Flash Movie Review: Ben-Hur

One of the benefits for me in living close to a large metropolitan city is to have easy access to the old historical structures that are still standing. I have always enjoyed seeing buildings from different style periods and eras such as Frank Lloyd Wright to Art Deco. The detailing on these buildings is something you rarely see these days. Now there are many modern structures that I find beautiful; in fact, there is a relatively new high rise building here that has series of balconies in different sizes to give the illusion of water cascading down the sides of the skyscraper. No matter where I travel I always try to find time to check out a place’s famous buildings; there is just something about these majestic structures that amaze me. Maybe part of it is due to the fact they are viable and still standing compared to some of the new buildings I have seen that already show decay. I may have mentioned some time ago my favorite movie theater growing up. It was one of those old stucco structures with a large colored marquee in front. Inside there was marble everywhere and all the porcelain and gold decorations were styled after actual objects found in churches, villas and palaces across Spain and Italy. I cannot describe the sadness I experienced when years later the land underneath the theater was purchased and the new owners demolished the structure. What replaced this grand theater was a monstrosity, an apartment building with retail stores. As for a new theater one was built several miles away; it was a cinder block, square structure void of any decorative appointments. Supposedly the candy counter had a bigger selection of candy and they claimed the popcorn was better. There are some things that should not be touched; they are perfectly fine just the way they are.   BETRAYED and imprisoned for several years Judah Ben-Hur, played by Jack Huston (American Hustle, The Longest Ride), returned home to seek out revenge on the person who ruined his life; it was his adopted brother Messala Severus, played by Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four, The East). This adventure drama remake also starred Morgan Freeman (London Has Fallen, Now You See Me franchise) as Ilderim, Rodrigo Santoro (300 franchise, Pele: Birth of a Legend) as Jesus and Sofia Black-D’Elia (The Immigrant, Project Almanac) as Tirzah Ben-Hur. CGI was the main tool used to freshen up this story. It was needed because I thought the script was just a mess. Some of the dialog was ridiculous and out of place for the time period. As for acting it was bland except I did not mind Morgan’s character even though it was similar to many of his other roles. He plays this sensible, mild spoken character who knows more than anyone else. Reading the credits there were two names listed I recognized that have produced other films; each one of their movies was poorly done in my opinion. It explains why this production was no different. You have to know if the horses are even trying to run out of the story then something must be terribly wrong with this picture.


1 ¾ stars



About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on August 24, 2016, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Ugh, sounds like a horrible movie. On another note, when I moved to the tiny town (that has now grown to a small city) in 1993 in Oregon, there was a huge money-raising campaign to restore the downtown movie theater that had been abandoned since the ’70s. They finally raised enough money and many years later it finally reopened as completely restored. It is enjoyed as a movie-house, small concert, comedy, arts and opera venue, and play-house now. It is absolutely gorgeous and thriving now! If you have a few moments please take a look! http://www.towertheatre.org/about/

  2. They did that with a theater in Grand Junction CO as well, the Avalon. In San Diego they had revived some of their old theaters but that was nearly 30 years ago, so I’ve not checked to see if that’s still the case. They were beautiful though the last I saw them.
    As for the movie review. Hmmmm, don’t you ever like anything?
    Granted, I did go see Suicide Squad and it too was, as you said, uninspiring. There were aspects I liked. The script shallow, making the actors to really have to work at developing their character. They wasted too much time “telling” their backstory in the beginning and the end was anticlimactic. I think diCaprio once said that an actor just can’t make a bad script great. But to add to that. A bad or weak director (and producers) can destroy a good script.
    I’d heard that from other directors as well. Today’s focus seems to be more “slam bam, thank you ma’am” rather than meaningful content that is not political in nature.

    • While I am strict, there are some wonderful films I have given 3-4 stars. Did you read this week’s Kubo and the Two Strings review? Or Hell or High Water? Of course the summer isn’t a season known for great films, but we are going into the Oscar season. I appreciate your take on Suicide Squad; marketing and dreams of throwing off each character into their own film tanked the story. Thank you for your comments.

  3. I don’t remember much of the film Ben Hur. I think I kind of liked it then but I’m not sure what I would think now.

  4. There’s little justification for most remakes; there’s no excuse for shoddy, weak remakes. My hope is that all these flaccid remakes and reboots will encourage investment in original movies and new talent instead of throwing money after old rope.

  5. I enjoyed your comments on old buildings and theatres. There is a little old cinema in the mountains where I live, not ornate but cosy, and I will wait until movies show there rather than go to the soulless monstrosities that pass for ‘big’ movie theatres. The experience is so much more enjoyable at Mt Vic Flicks. Thanks for a great post.

  6. Almost all the old movie halls have gone now, taking away with them the quiet warmth and repose in which one could settle down and enjoy a well-made movie. Yes, with the advent of swank multiplexes (I speak of India), a new genre of well-made movies with richer scripts has flourished but the old-world charm, alas, has simply vanished.

  7. Sorry it disappoints. I had high hopes with the original being in my top 5 favorite films.

    Love the comment about Freeman’s role: “He plays this sensible, mild spoken character who knows more than anyone else.” Not asking him to stretch much, are they?

  8. I remember the 50s film with Charlton Heston, dramatic for its time and also made on a extravagant budget. I have not seen this version yet, but expect it is heavily supported with special effects that make you drop popcorn. I might find some time to go the the big screen when it reaches my part of the woods.

    • If you do plan on seeing it once it arrives to your neck of the woods, let me suggest you go to a bargain priced matinee so you will not be upset spending so much money on it. Thanks for the comments.

  9. Oh dear, nothing like the original then?

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