Bible movies are hot these days. And I am not talking hellfire-and-brimstone hot either. I’m talking blockbuster hot. Hollywood has gone Bible ga-ga. Studios are trying to out-Cecil-B-DeMille each other. Movie producers are tripping over themselves to put the next Jesus epic up on the screen. Bumper stickers are showing up on the rear end of Porsches driving around L A with the letters: WMWJM. Loosely translated you can read that as What Movie Would Jesus Make. As Mel Gibson showed Hollywood, the Bible is a natural source for CGI movies. With a marketing campaign that made the iPhone one look amateur, he pulled them into the theaters in droves.
We’ve already had two of these movies this year. First there was “Son of God”, then “Noah”. Only this Noah doesn’t have God saying, “Noah, how long can you tred water?” Later this year “Mary, Mother of Jesus” and “Exodus” will be showing at a cinemaplex near you. There was even a TV series where the viewer got the whole Bible. Well, not the whole Bible. Its producers followed the Elmore Leonard Commandment: Thou shalt leave out the parts people don’t read.
Pretty soon we’ll be seeing the Crucifixion in 3D. Then the sequel, The Resurrection, will be in 4D. Joshua mowing down the walls of Jericho with the latest in CGI canon, then leading his motorcycle gang into the city for some righteous raping, pillaging and looting. There’s even an animated feature planned where Job gets to pull Satan’s tail.
And Samson is the new Incredible Hulk. He has this long hair, see. The longer it gets the more muscles the guy has. And the more muscles his muscles have. When he runs out of prozac, Samson’s muscles bulge and he pulls down a Philistine town or two. Samson’s strength depends on his hair. When it’s long, you’d better watch out. He’s been dating this blonde named Delilah. Thing is she just flunked out of cosmetology school. Her finals required her to cut someone’s hair. Who did she pick on? You got it. Before you can say, “The Philistines are coming,” Sammy is a bald dude, and his strength is sucked out of him.
But the big one everybody’s been waiting for is the new Moses movie. It’s not the Exodus film. In this one, Moses walks on water to the sound of Jay Z rapping, then he turns the water into wine so the Israelites can party hardy. I can see it now. Leonardo DiCaprio will play Moses and Martin Scorsesse gets to be that Big-Director-in-the-Sky Guy.
Here’s how the story goes. If you needed a lawyer in ancient Egypt, Moses was your man. That was why Pharaoh kept him on a retainer. In case after case, the court ruled in favor of The Mo’. He was called The Mo’ for good reason. Not because his name was Moses. No, it was because The Mo mowed down his opponents with his arguments.
Before you know it The Mo’ wins the Israelite’s freedom on appeal. Then they spend a bunch of years leaving. It’s amazing that it took forty years just to get out of Egypt. Then he finds a mountain and goes up to talk negotiations with the Big Guy. You ever wondered what Moses was doing up in that mountain for so long? So did his relatives down in the valley of the shadow. Maybe God was teaching The Mo’ how to make a good matzaball soup. Could happen. I mean, it could’ve happened. All that time on the road with only manna to eat, it must’ve been a real drag.
Actually the reason he went up on rocky top: The children of Israel were partying like it was 1999 and Y2K was on the way. Guess they figured they deserved a party. Forty years walking in circles and getting nowhere. Here’s where The Mo’ does the trick with the water. Wallah, they’ve got wine. And it’s pretty good stuff. Before you know it, the partying is giving The Mo’ one heck of a migraine. So he takes off for some peace and quiet with the Big Guy himself.
He gets to the peak of the mountain and he says to B. G., “I have a headache.” The Big Guy, always knowing what to do, says, “Take two tablets and see me in the morning.” Since The Mo’ is up there for a little R & R, B. G. thinks it’s about time he gave his people some rules. B. G. and The Mo’ put their heads together and before you know it, they’ve got 613 rules. They were trying to cover every little eventuality. Like don’t throw your gum on the ground so people will step on it. That was just one of the B.G.’s pet peeves. And Moses had a lot of pet peeves himself.
Now The Mo’ being the lawyer he was never saw a technicality he couldn’t get out of. But it sure looked like he and B.G. had them all covered, chiseling those rules into stone. Then The Mo’ realized that he was going to have to lug way too many stone tablets back down the hill. He would need a fleet of trucks. And this was way too many years before trucks were even thought of by Leonardo da Vinci. Finally he convinced B. G. to whittle all the rules down to ten. B. G. would put the other 603 in fine print.
The Mo’ gets the big Ten down to the party-hardyers. Being suspicious, they start reading the fine print. It had been the fine print that had gotten them into trouble with the Egyptians in the first place. One addendum particularly bothered them. “The Lord our God says we can’t have a cheeseburger. And even worse, a bacon cheeseburger. Just what was He thinking. If he didn’t want us to have a cheeseburger, why did he give us such a craving?” They did have a point. But The Mo’ had a great comeback. “Take it up with the union.” And that’s where the movie ends.
If you want to see the previews and know what else’s on its way, I recommend you get out your old King James Bible and start reading away. You never know. You might find some material in there for a movie you can make.