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Ridley Scott
Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver
Writing Credits:
Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine, Steven Zaillian

The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Box Office:
$140 million.
Opening Weekend
$24,115,934 on 3503 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1 (3D)
Portuguese (3D)
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 150 min.
Price: $49.99
Release Date: 3/17/2015
• Both 2D and 3D Versions
• Audio Commentary with Director Ridley Scott and Co-Screenwriter Jeffrey Caine
• “Historical Guide” Text Commentary
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• “Keepers of the Covenant” 7-Part Documentary
• “The Lawgiver’s Legacy” Featurette
Gods and Kings Archives
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Exodus: Gods and Kings [Blu-Ray 3D] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 4, 2018)

For the umpteenth retelling of a famous Biblical tale, 2014’s Exodus: Gods and Kings takes us to Egypt circa 1300 BC. The Pharaoh Seti (John Turturro) rules, and Hebrews serve as slaves.

In poor health, Seti needs to choose the next leader, and he selects between his natural-born son Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and his adopted child Moses (Christian Bale). Seti opts for blood and gives Ramses the gig.

This leads to conflict, as Moses eventually discovers his own Hebrew origins and becomes a leader of those oppressed people. Moses encounters severe conflicts with Ramses as he attempts to lead the Hebrews to freedom.

As alluded, Exodus takes on a story depicted many, many times over the years. Of course, 1956’s Ten Commandments remains the best-known version, but you can throw a rock out a window and hit another adaptation.

This doesn’t make Exodus a waste of time, of course. Just because it adapts well-worn material doesn’t mean it can’t give us a new spin – or at least good entertainment.

Given the real talent involved, I went into Exodus with high hopes. In addition to Bale, Edgerton and Turturro, the cast boasts Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and other notables – and it also plops famed director Ridley Scott behind the camera.

What could go wrong? In terms of filmmaking, nothing extreme, but Exodus nonetheless fails to become an especially involving tale.

Actually, one controversy greeted Exodus: “whitewashing”, the same issue that confronted 2017’s Ghost in the Shell and other movies that cast white actors in non-white roles. While Exodus features “ethnically-correct” performers in some supporting roles, all the major parts go to white actors.

Look, I get it. American studios won’t want to greenlight a $140 million effort like Exodus without a decent roster of “name actors” involved they can sell to US audiences.

Still, at this point in history, it’s a bad look. At best, it seems culturally insensitive to cast roles in this way – though it seems unlikely to stop/change any time soon.

In any case, the actors don’t create the main issues with Exodus. Instead, the film falters because it takes a dramatic, legendary tale and makes it downright dull.

I believe I’ve seen at least three versions of the Moses story: the aforementioned 1956 Ten Commandments, the 1923 silent version and 1999’s animated Prince of Egypt. Though the 1956 flick remains the most famous, I don’t think it fares best.

Oh, the 1956 version comes with some good moments, but it can be campy and hammy. Despite its animated origins, Prince becomes the most compelling and satisfying of the takes I’ve witnessed. (The less said about the flawed 1923 film, the better.)

As noted earlier, all the talent involved with Exodus caused me to hope it’d become the strongest of them all, but that fails to come to fruition. While it tops the 1923 version, Exodus feels substantially less satisfying than the 1956 Commandments or Prince.

This occurs mainly because Exodus seems so sluggish and bland. Every once in a while, we get a memorable moment – like Moses and the burning bush or some of the plaques – but much of the film essentially meanders and stays in neutral.

A film like Exodus needs to find some form of passion. Normally one would expect a spiritual dimension to carry it, but the basic interpersonal drama can excel even without consideration of the religious elements.

None of these muster much to rouse the viewer or provoke emotions. Exodus tends to present its characters and events in an oddly bloodless manner that leaves matters flat and bland.

In a lot of ways, Exodus reminds me of Scott’s Gladiator, mainly because both films sputter when they focus on character drama. Gladiator came to life during its battles, but it dragged through its more low-key moments.

The same holds true for Exodus, except to a more extreme degree. Its character pieces feel even less compelling than those in Gladiator, while its action moments do less to compensate.

That’s partly because we get fewer fights, of course, but it’s also due to the semi-lackluster way Scott depicts the action. Even when the movie should spring to life with excitement, it stays somewhat uninspiring.

None of the actors manage to elevate the material. As noted, Exodus comes with an excellent cast, but they provide performances that feel competent at best. While none embarrass themselves, no one can add verve to the tale, either.

Ultimately, this all makes Exodus a tough slog. It wanders through the desert for 150 unengaging minutes and never threatens to deliver the inspiring drama it aspires to bring.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio A-/ Bonus A+

Exodus: Gods and Kings appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a stellar transfer.

Sharpness excelled, as even in the widest shots, the film appeared accurate and concise. If any softness occurred, I didn’t see it. I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and the film lacked edge haloes or source flaws.

The palette mainly opted for a mix of gold and teal. Within stylistic choices, the hues looked fine.

Blacks were deep and dense, while low-light shots depicted appropriate clarity. This was a terrific visual presentation.

With plenty of action scenes, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix often opened up to give us active information. These used the various speakers to create an involving, effective sense of these situations and circumstances. The elements meshed together well and moved in a satisfying manner.

Audio quality also pleased. Music was peppy and full, while effects demonstrated good clarity and range, with fine low-end response as necessary.

Dialogue also worked fine, with natural, concise speech. The soundtrack complemented the material in a satisfying manner and added to the experience.

This set includes both 2D and 3D versions of Exodus. The picture comments above reflect the 2D image – how did the 3D compare?

In terms of visual quality, the two seemed largely equivalent. I felt the dark scenes looked a bit murkier on the 3D version, but otherwise, it held up well when matched with its 2D counterpart.

Shot with native 3D cameras, parts of the stereo Exodus worked very well, primarily in terms of depth and dimensionality. If you want a movie with a lot of “pop-out” moments, Exodus will disappoint, as it lacked those elements.

However, it did boast an outstanding sense of immersion and depth. Some scenes looked more impressive than others – hail, the swarms of insects, rain on the mountain – but the image became engaging in the way it depicted environment. While this didn’t become a 3D presentation that went nuts with its possibilities, the stereo version added to the movie’s impact.

In terms of extras, this package starts with an audio commentary from director Ridley Scott and co-screenwriter Jeffrey Caine. Both sat separately for a screen-specific look at historical elements and adaptation areas, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, and connected domains.

Overall, this becomes a pretty good chat. As is his wont, Scott occasionally tends to simply narrate the film, but he still adds a lot of useful info, and Caine throws out some nice notes, too. The commentary definitely merits a listen.

A text commentary, The Exodus Historical Guide lives up to its title, as it provides background information about the events depicted in the film. It contributes a nice layer of details that help flesh out our understanding of the movie’s material.

Nine Extended and Deleted Scenes fill a total of 14 minutes, 57 seconds. Most of these tend toward moderate expansions of character notes, but a few more substantial elements appear,

In particular, the added footage fleshes out the Moses/Ramses relationship a bit better. I can’t claim any of this material seems crucial, but some of the clips seem useful.

By the way, in an unusual twist, all the deleted scenes can be viewed either 2D or 3D.

The disc opens with an ad for AD: The Series. Sneak Peek adds promos for Wild and Birdman. No trailer for Exodus appears here.

Over on Disc Two, the main attraction comes from Keepers of the Covenant: Making Exodus: Gods and Kings, a seven-part documentary. It spans two hours, 33 minutes, 15 seconds and provides notes from Scott, producer Mark Huffam, 1st AD Lee Grumett, production designer Arthur Max, construction manager Ray Barrett, senior art director Oliver Hodge, 3D modeler Julian Caldow, hod greensman Roger Holden, costume designer Janty Yates, makeup artist Tina Earnshaw, art director James Wakefield, prosthetics supervisor Conor O’Sullivan, 3rd AD Christian Labarta, hair designer Nana Fischer, stunt coordinator Rob Inch, horse master Dan Naprous, editor Billy Rich, associate producer Teresa Kelly, VFX supervisor Peter Chiang, visual effects data wrangler Felix Pomeranz, digital artist Stephen Tew, composer Alberto Iglesias, and actors Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Tara Fitzgerald, John Turturro and Golshifteh Farahani.

“Keepers” breaks into research and development, script, story and characters, sets and production design. From there it looks at costumes and makeup, props, previs/storyboards, cast and performances, stunts and action, editing, music and various effects, the use of 3D, and cut scenes.

With so much time at its disposal, one expects a detailed discussion within “Keepers” – and that’s what one gets. The program covers a broad array of production topics and does so in an involved, engaging manner. Granted, we get a little too much praise for Scott along the way, but “Keepers” still adds a lot to our understanding of the filmmaking processes.

An extension of the documentary, 14 Enhancement Pods occupy a total of 48 minutes, seven seconds. Across these, we hear from Scott, Max, Barrett, Yates, O’Sullivan, Farahani, O’Sullivan, Fitzgerald, Pomeranz, Hodge, Holden, armoury master Richard Hooper, animal handlers Alan Amey and Mark Amey, model maker Richard Thomas, senior SFX technician David McGeary, SFX technician Jonathan Bickerdike, bird handler Christopher Belsey, and SFX floor supervisor Camin Bourne.

These segments examine weapons, props and statues, costumes, effects and depicting various plagues, animals, sets and locations. None of these offer crucial information, but they add to our understanding of filmmaking processes.

The Lawgiver’s Legacy: Moses Throughout History goes for 23 minutes, 14 seconds and provides notes from Scott, Edgerton, Fitzgerald, Bale, Biblical Studies Professor William Schniedewind, Ancient Near Eastern Studies Professor Christopher Hays, Old Testament Studies Professor Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, and Egyptologist Kara Cooney. As expected, “Legacy” examines aspects of the historical record in relation to Moses and connected concepts. It becomes a good recap.

Finally, The Gods and Kings Archive breaks into three areas. Under “Pre-Production”, we get two collections of stills: “Ridleygrams” (137 frames) and “The Art of Exodus: Gods and Kings” (440). All offer good material.

Two more sections show up within “Production”: “Ridleyvision” goes for 13 minutes, 28 seconds and lets us see Scott’s perspective on the shoot – literally, as it records footage via Google Glass. It’s fun as a novelty but not really all the informative.

Under “Unit Photography”, we get more stills. This area encompasses 463 images across three domains. We get a lot of good photos here.

Finally, “Post-Production and Release” splits into three domains. “Promotional Featurettes” includes “Domestic” (11:48) and “International” (8:15) reels. They involve remarks from Scott, Max, Yates, Bale, Schniedewind, Cooney, and Edgerton. They’re watchable but not especially useful – especially given how much we learn about the movie elsewhere.

“HBO First Look” lasts 12 minutes, 14 seconds and features Scott, Bale, Edgerton, Max, Inch, and Yates. Like the promotional featurettes, “First Look” exists to sell the movie, so it’s not especially interesting.

The “Marketing Gallery” goes into three sections. We find five trailers, 10 TV spots, and 160 stills used to promote the movie via social media.

Oddly dispassionate and flat, Exodus: Gods and Kings occasionally spurs to life. Too much of it lacks real drama or passion, factors that make it a slow ride. The Blu-ray brings us excellent picture and audio as well as a terrific set of supplements and an effective 3D version. While the movie leaves me cold, I think this becomes a top-notch release.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main