Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Parade

Easter is this weekend, which means that the movie channels are once again bringing us Easter-themed movies. Most of them are on Sunday, but the Fox Movie Channel is kicking things off a bit early with The Gospel Road, tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM ET.

There's not much to this movie. Country singer Johnny Cash was also into southern country-style gospel music. So, he went to Israel and filmed a lot of places in the Holy Land that correspond to places in the life of Jesus as set out in the four New Testament Gospels. In addition to this, the story of Jesus' life is told in more or less silent movie format with the "dialog", such as it is, being narration from Johnny Cash himself, as well as him singing any number of gospel songs.

That's about all there is to it. As such, it's a bit problematic to review. It's the sort of movie that I suppose you'll find interesting if you like the sort of music Cash sings here. Country/gospel isn't really my cup of tea, so I personally don't care too much for the film. Still, that's a bit unfair to the movie. The cinematography is nice at times: it's tough to go wrong in Israel, at least not when you're trying to film the ancient bits. And Johnny's wife June plays Mary Magdalene, which is also worth a look. (Jesus, on the other hand, is a blond.) However, there's no new ground broken here. One other plus is that, unlike movies like King of Kings (even the silent version is around two hours) or The Greatest Story Ever Told, this movie tells the life of Jesus in a mercifully brief hour and a half.

The Gospel Road is certainly worth a look, at least for the curiosity value. And if you like the music, you might be happy to know the movie is available on DVD.

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