Links: Reviews of Ungli, Exodus: Gods and Men, Action Jackson, The Hobbit, Lingaa

Actor Emraan Hashmi has had a rough time of late, with every release flopping at the box office. Ungli tried to appeal to the audience’s inner vigilante, but the film was all kids of stupid. My review is here.

Ridley Scott as director, Christian Bale as Moses… it sounds so good. But dear god, it’s so bad. Speaking of god, how do you like the idea of the universe being run by an 11-year-old boy?

A few of the plagues in the Book of Exodus really do sound like cosmic pranks, like unleashing countless frogs and swarms of flies upon Egypt or making Egyptians break out in boils. The plague of frogs and boils sound particularly like the sort of things that would make an 11-year-old clap their hands with glee. But there are others that are no laughing matter. The water of the Nile turns to blood, livestock and babies are killed, crops are destroyed. What is particularly disturbing about God in the Book of Exodus is that he’s intent upon showing off and in the process, making everyone – Egyptians and Israelites – suffer simply because he can and because he feels like it.

In fact, the first plague affects all of Egypt, slaves and masters. As one after another natural and supernatural disaster strikes the country, it becomes increasingly clear that this is not power play to free the Israelites. Rather, the plagues are to rub the Egyptian gods’ noses in the metaphorical dust and to somewhat literally put the fear of God into the Israelites. More than once, the Pharaoh says that he’s ready to free the Israelites and let them leave Egypt. More than once, we are told God hardens the Pharaoh’s heart and the Pharaoh recants that decision, setting the stage for more catastropes. Had God not made the Pharaoh change his mind, there would have just been two plagues.

In some ways, it’s perhaps more comforting to think that a child, who is enjoying playing around with his new toys, would behave so petulantly, rather than a grown up god who made us in his own image.

Read the whole piece here. (It’s long.)

Action Jackson is, without doubt, the worst film I’ve seen. It’s the one time, so far, that I’ve been seriously tempted to boycott a film. Except it was the only release that week, which meant we had to review it even though it is flatly offensive in every possible way. My review is here.

Finally, it’s time for Peter Jackson to exit Middle Earth and as The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies show, it’s about time. I remain on Team Aragorn, thank you very much.  My review is here.

Rajinikanth is back, and he’s got a double role in Lingaa. The film’s real star, however, is the subtitlist. My review is here.

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