The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 150 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Ben Mendelson, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Music by: Alberto Iglesias
Written by: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine, Steven Zaillian
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 17, 2015
"Once brothers, now enemies"
From Ridley Scott, the acclaimed director of Gladiator, comes the epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings the story of one man's daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and engrossing 3D immersion, Exodus: Gods and Kings brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey to escape Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.
As a person of faith and a fan of Cecil B. DeMille’s visionary film on the same subject I found little to like in this sterile and pointless retelling. The narrative is coarse and definitively lacking in character development. The nearly complete and utter lack of theological foundation within the fundamental elements of the plot left me wondering why make another film based on this story especially when it has already been done, and better? The portrayal of God as an angry child bereft of divinity and purpose bordered on insulting.
The characters of Moses, with his incessant sword wielding was bad enough, but his “disagreements” with and constant barking at the almighty as well as his lack of spiritual conviction were poorly conceived and detrimental. Integral elements to the original story were either left out completely, skimmed over or improperly tossed in. The important people in Moses’ life, his “mother” Bithia, Seti, Joshua, Aaron, and Zipporah were scantily drawn having only brief lines of dialogue. Did I mention that Moses trains the Hebrew slaves for combat and at one point they carry out missions against the Egyptians?
Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton as Moses and Ramses were the primarily players. I tend to like them both but neither fit the bill especially when compared to the likes of Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner who brought so much more to the same roles. I couldn’t help but feel as though Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelson, and Sigourney Weaver (had two scenes and maybe two lines of dialogue) were sorely underused. As much as I like John Turturro he was completely miscast in the role of Seti. In terms of the scope of the film’s production there is no question that Ridley Scott’s penchant for epic filmmaking is on display.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a poorly conceived and clumsily executed retelling of a Biblical story that has previously been done by Hollywood to much better effect. As someone that enjoys the story of Moses I hoped it would be a refreshing and where appropriate, reverential take. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.
The rating is for violence including battle sequences and intense images.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element):
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Exodus: Gods and Kings comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5.2 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that boasts image quality that is indicative of a newer release film. Resolution is generally strong as images have crisp definition and lucid clarity. Objects onscreen appear dimensionally strong with exquisite rendering that discloses subtle minutia captured by the camera’s lens during close ups. The level of sharpness fluctuates some however this is attributable the extensive CGI used and it doesn’t adversely affect the quality of the video. The color palette isn’t particularly extensive as sepia tones, grays and other neutral colors are heavily utilized. Primary colors come in various shades that when coupled along with sequences containing bright/dynamic highlights gives images enriching tonal warmth. Fleshtones are naturally rendered with warm accents that give them lifelike tonality. Blacks are inky and noise free with discernibly deep gradations that enhance the films many dark sequences. The deep shadows, multi-staged grays, delineated colors, and inky blacks looked terrific on my large screen. I didn’t see any overt signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise.
The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack is demonstration quality and is sure to please discerning enthusiasts who like to show off their home theater systems. This recording has wide dynamic range and boasts superlative clarity and high level detail. Dialogue is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it reaches far into the room. It’s located just slightly in front of the left/right speakers within the acoustic space it occupies in the soundfield. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or inflection of voices. Channel separation and imaging is excellent. This drew out both large and small sound elements and allowed their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable. The mix makes effective and regular use of the surround channels to extend the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this sometimes aggressive soundtrack. This is a dynamically strong mix that utilizes low frequency effects to provide rewarding bass response that on occasion reaches deep enough to energize the room. I had a great time with this one!
- The Exodus Historical Guide – Interactive pop-up feature
- (HD) Deleted/Extended Scenes – 15 minutes
- Audio Commentary by Director Ridley Scott and co-writer Jeffrey Caine
- Digital HD Copy
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a poorly conceived and clumsily executed retelling of a Biblical story that has previously been done by Hollywood to much better effect. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring top notch high definition audio/video quality mated with a dismal supplemental package that is highlighted by a boring interactive historical guide and a decent filmmaker audio commentary. Exodus Gods and Kings isn’t a very good movie but it looks and sounds great on Blu-ray which might qualify it for a rental.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package