'Double Feature: In the Beginning & Noah's Ark'
(Martin Landau, Jon Voight, Jacqueline Bisset, et al / 2-Disc DVD + Digital / NR / 2020 / ITN - Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: Martin Landau stars as Abraham in this historical drama of a man, his people and their faith.
Centered on one of the oldest and greatest spiritual texts of the world, 'In The Beginning' is a powerfully rendered film, retelling some of the most enduring stories from the Old Testament.
One of the most powerful and awe-inspiring epics of all time, 'Noah's Ark' is brilliantly brought to life by an outstanding cast including Academy Award® winners Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen.
With little help from the outside world, the brave and gentle Noah goes against all odds and builds an extraordinary ark to protect his family from the threat of a great flood.
DVD Verdict: Up first is 'In The Beginning' (2000). Martin Landau as Abraham? Jacqueline Bisset as his wife Sarah? Christopher Lee in gratuitous cameo as Rameses I? Only TV's Hallmark Entertainment could make this possible.
The producer back at Hallmark who might nearly have enough money to make a macho Hollywood blockbuster spend it yet again on a another 3-hour two-part miniseries meant to set ratings on fire.
Well not really, but they do come up with a rather interesting and marginally entertaining TV special with an agreeable cast and a modest budget.
The movie is basically a 3-hour long adaptation of the most important events of the Old Testament. From Adam and Eve (with cut-for-TV nudity), Abraham and how he became "the Father of All Nations", Joseph and his multicolored dream coat and the grand story of Moses and the Exodus, the movie has it all and has time to spare.
Then we get treated to 'Noah's Ark' (1999). I think first off it should be noted that this story is a loose adaptation of the story of Noah and his ark as told in the Christian Bible. A very loose adaptation, actually.
Not that it matters much, as the historical validity of the stories depicted in the Bible cannot be verified anyway - something most other reviewers don't seem to realize - and should not be taken as "historical fact" until proved so.
That said, the movie is something of a post-modern, satirical take on biblical events and characters, and is probably only enjoyable if you approach it that way.
In their original form, the biblical stories were probably social commentaries and moral lessons appropriate to the society which created them; this (post)modern approach can therefore be seen as a comment on our time.
Furthermore, the sense of humor used brings out the complexities of the Bible. The acting is superb, which is finally able to bring out the subtlety and double meaning of many of the humorous passages in the bible, to my mind. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'Double Feature: In the Beginning & Noah's Ark' (2-DVD) is out March 17th, 2020 via Mill Creek Entertainment.