25 January 2013

Movie Review: "Apostle Peter and the Last Supper"

Rated: Not Rated
Starring: Robert Loggia, Bruce Marchiano, and Laurence Fuller 
Released: April 2012
Synopsis: Simon Peter, one of Jesus' closest friends, is imprisoned for being a follower of "The Way."  His execution is imminent...but Martinian, a prison guard, wants to know more about Peter, and so does his wife.  Peter proceeds to tell Martinian about Jesus: his life, his ministry, his death, and his resurrection.  Will Martinian believe him?

Story: 4.5/5
The Gospel is known as "the greatest story ever told," and this one does a great job of telling it.  We see Jesus teaching, healing the sick, and at the Last Supper; the last part is the most poignant.  When Christ says that someone will betray him, several of the apostles' inner thoughts are shown, which is a powerful storytelling device that really brings home the film's message.  Also great is when a demon is shown taunting Peter, trying to get him away from Christ, and Peter is completely steadfast and absolutely refuses.  I did have one quibble: The crucifixion and resurrection are discussed instead shown, and those were the most important parts of Christ's life; that may have been because of budget constraints, though.  (More on that later.)

Production Values: 3.5/5
The acting is great, but this definitely wasn't a big-budget production.  The "exterior shots" of ancient buildings were obviously created with computer animation, as pretty much anyone over the age of ten could tell.  Still, the sets seemed real enough, especially when you consider that it was shot in a building in California rather than on location in the Middle East.  Every scene with the aforementioned demon is appropriately creepy, and the Last Supper sequence is quite dramatic.  If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, though, either turn the volume up or have an ASL interpreter handy, because, though there are closed captions on the disc, they seriously lag, to the point of being quite an annoyance to me, and I'm used to watching movies and TV shows with captions and SDHs.

Special Features: 3/5
There aren't too many special features on the disc, but it provides four deleted scenes and six previews of other films, such as What If...? and Jerusalem Countdown.  The one problematic feature is "Behind the Scenes," which has some great testimonies, but suffers from poor audio--music overpowering the dialogue--and has two women wearing outfits that show a little too much, though one is only seen from the back.

Moral Content: The scary scenes with the demon would likely frighten younger kids, but those over the age of ten should be okay.  Apostle Peter and the Last Supper has no profanity, zero sexual content, and only slight violence, such as a guard being hit and Malchus' ear being sliced off, the latter of which is mentioned in the Bible (Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:57; Luke 22:50).  This film may not be for the very young, but it's definitely not as hard-edged as To Save a Life (not that it is any better or worse of a film.)

Conclusion: This may not be The Passion of the Christ, but it tells the story of Apostle Peter and Jesus amazingly well.  Fans of the Visual Bible series or the Kendricks' films will definitely enjoy this one.  Like an old-school Biblical epic, this one tells the world's best story quite well.

Score: 4.5/5

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