Epic showdown

Epic showdown

Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

That's pretty much the story with Biblical epics in Hollyweird.

When the movie industry focuses on secular works, there are those who feel marginalised.

When they finally get around to committing a Biblical story to screen - such as Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ (2004) - it can end up mired in controversy.

The film was called anti-Semitic and excessively violent by some religious leaders and critics.

This year, Tinseltown has shown uncharacteristic bravery in releasing three movies based on Bible stories.

There are others in the pipeline, reported E! News, including a Pontius Pilate biopic with Brad Pitt, a Cain and Abel project from Will Smith, a David and Goliath actioner and even another reboot of Ben-Hur.

The film-makers behind Son Of God, Noah and Exodus: Gods And Kings have each taken on the challenge of adapting The Good Book in their own way.

Question is, how do Movie Jesus, Movie Noah and Movie Moses stack up?

NOAH (APRIL 3)

WHAT'S THE STORY?

Director Darren Aronofsky's Noah is a very loose adaptation of an iconic story in the Old Testament.

All the main elements - the flood, the ark, the animals, even the dove - are in place, but Aronofsky has also added a lot of rather strange stuff, including rock-encrusted angels, sexual turmoil, an unexpected stowaway and homicidal mania.

It's a fantasy epic, psychological drama and art flick all in one, which is weird.

SPOILER ALERT

There's a rainbow.

WHAT'S THE CONTROVERSY?

Where to start?

Some Christians are upset with Noah because it departs too much from scripture, particularly with its environmental message.

Many Muslims are against the film because they feel that prophets should not be depicted in works of art or otherwise.

The various controversies have been reported everywhere, from respectable sources like BBC News to the entertainment site E! News.

Obviously, there is a lot to talk about!

But let's not talk about it, okay?

WHAT'S THE VERDICT?

In spite of the controversy, Noah has done absolutely killer business.

It came out on March 28 in the US and in its first week of release, Noah has already made close to $100 million worldwide.

It is a nice comeback for star Russell Crowe (playing, yes, Noah) and it proves that there is an appetite for this sort of flicks.

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