JESUS -- Allen, Capital Plaza, Centre, Crofton Cinema, Embassy Circle, Jerry Lewis Cinema, K-B Baronet West, K-B Crystal, K-B MacArthur, K-B Silver, McLean Cinema, Reston Cinema, Roth's Americana and Roth's Quince Orchard.
The sin of hubris is not mightily understood in movieland. Inspirational Films presents, in time for Easter, a Genesis Project, "Jesus," billed as a "documentary."
It's true that practicially every art form there is has interpreted practically every religious story there is, in styles ranging from immortal to super-kitsch. But from the greatest sculptors to the youngest choir singers, there is customarily some acknowledgement of the distance of interpretation -- the air of doing the best one can to pay homage to the awesome. These filmmakers have dispensed with humility and announced the definitive version.
Not that this "Jesus" commits the most obvious arrogances. It uses the words of Luke without assigning them to a scriptwriter for improvement. But there is a smugness to the production, from the well grommed Jesus, played by Brian Deacon, to the now-you-see-it trick of the multiplying loaves and fishes.
It also has some of the worst crowd scenes in any film. "He speaks well," the extras keep saying as spontaneous critiques. They are also big on chorused groanings.
But it would be difficult to pick the very worst scene, especially for someone who couldn't bear any longer to watch Jesus being crucified, so to speak. Maybe it's when someone asks for a prayer and Jesus thinks a minute and improvises: "Our father, Who art in heaven . . ."