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Five Better Movies than 'Risen' for You to Watch Instead this Weekend

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Risen looks like a hot pile of horse shit, so rather than go see it just to have something to do on Saturday night, stay home and watch any one of these five movies featuring thematic similarities, cast, or crew members from Risen

 

Shakespeare in Love

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Joseph Fiennes isn't known for much, but the one thing he is pretty well known for, Shakespeare in Love, is still a pretty great movie. Sure, maybe it's not Best Picture great, but it's an immensely enjoyable movie with a fantastic script and some really great performances, including what I would argue is Ben Affleck's best performance. While Fiennes is virtually the least memorable part of the film, I think it speaks to how good everyone around him is, and the fact that John Maddin's tepid direction does little to make him stand out in the crowd. Nevertheless, it's better than its reputation suggests, and certainly better than the rest of the movies he's known for, all of which have the same color scheme...

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Available to stream for free on Netflix and Amazon Prime

 

Whale Rider

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Cliff Curtis is getting a lot of notice these days for being one of the most ethnically diverse actors around. The first time I really noticed him was as the stubborn father of Keisha Castle Hughes in 2002's Whale Rider. Apart from being able to work in his native New Zealand, Curtis shines as a man having to break with tradition and not wanting to give in an inch. Seeing him unsaddled from accents and wigs and whatever else movie studios would do to make him fit another mold, he manages to turn in a terrific performance, matched every step of the way by the sublimely talented Hughes. It's a wonderfully uplifting film and one that you should absolutely watch if you have a daughter. Available on iTunes

 

The Devil's Double

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This is what we call a two-fer, as Risen stars Stewart Scudamore and Frida Cauchi last appeared on screen together in 2011's The Devil's Double, one of the weirder movies I've seen in the past few years. What seems like a pretty straightforward movie about one of Saddam Hussein's sons and his body double turned out to be a lot stranger and more kinetic than I expected, especially from the director of the worst James Bond movie. Though there are some troubling issues around Dominic Cooper in the lead role, the rest of the cast, hero and villain alike, is full of Middle Eastern actors, which is certainly more than Risen can say. Available on Amazon Prime and iTunes

 

Fandango

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Waterworld effectively ruined the career of director Kevin Reynolds, who is now directing films like Risen. Once upon a time, however, Reynolds directed a good Kevin Costner movie called Fandango. I don't know if that's where the movie ticket website got its name, and I don't care because the word Fandango makes me think of this movie and not Keenan Thompson's Miles Mouvay. I know what you're thinking, a road trip movie with Costner, Judd Nelson, Jason Robards' son, and two nobodies is good? Yes, it is. Might be Costner's best performance. Give it a whirl some time. Available on Amazon and iTunes

 

The Gospel According to St. Matthew

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If you've absolutely, positively gotta watch a Jesus movie this weekend, might I suggest one you've likely never even heard of. Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1964 film The Gospel According to St. Matthew is far and away the most legitimately moving film about Jesus ever made. As an atheist, Pasolini sought to divorce himself from the myth surrounding the man and instead just tell the story straight from the gospel of Matthew. It's an absolute masterpiece, arguably Pasolini's best film, and one that does something I've never seen a Christian film do, and that's to humanize Jesus for non-believers. Christian films have a nasty habit of preaching to the choir, making them insufferable to anyone outside of devout, usually Evangelical, Christians. This film is the exact opposite of that and should be required viewing for anyone directing a Christian film. Available on Amazon Prime and in full on YouTube


Steve attanasie

Steve Attanasie

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