'A.D. The Bible Continues' [Blu-ray]
(Adam Levy, Richard Coyle, Vincent Regan, et al / 4-Disc Blu-ray / NR / 2015 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: From executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett comes 'A.D. The Bible Continues' the spectacular 12-part series that picks up where The Bible left off. This powerful spiritual journey begins with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, chronicling the heroic acts and sacrifices of His early followers during the most tumultuous of times as they change the course of human history.
Blu-ray Verdict: Well, ok, taking this review from my standpoint, as a Christian, I have learned to never trust Hollywood with Bible stories. After all, isn't Hollywood run mostly by "Satan's cronies," anyway? Bible stories are very powerful - as written and described in the Bible. When Hollywood rewrites the script, much is inevitably left out and the result is diluted mush.
However, and that all said, I think the people behind 'A.D. The Bible Continues' have displayed a refreshing sense of reverence and faithfulness to the Scripture in their mini-series of a story. Still, much is left out - but very little is changed, so to speak.
Many of the scenes in the episodes are very powerful. In particular, I appreciated the scene where the Roman soldier approached Pilate and informed him that Jesus was certainly killed. This is an important detail, given the many "resurrection-debunkers" who claim that Jesus was not on the cross long enough to die.
I also appreciated the majesty of the scene where the angel descended and rolled the stone away from Jesus' tomb. While both of these scenes do not usually make the cut in other movies about the life of Jesus, I believe that they effectively put skin on an otherwise all-too-familiar story.
Overall, the acting is very solid and, as you may well have already read-between-the-lines on here, I get a very strong sense of the evangelical zeel of the early church, and a good sense of hanging on by a knifes edge. Love is a huge part of this story. It is blatantly contrasted with the bigotry, hatred, back-stabbing, brutality, and scheming that goes on in the Temple and the Palace of Justice.
For instance, when you watch Mary Magdalene embrace a weeping man, who just confessed to murdering one of her closest friends, and she tells him that all is forgiven because he is a new man in Christ, well, doesn't it make you second guess all the petty hatred for your neighbor (sometimes, quite literally) that you have continually pent up? [It should, by the way!]
Anyway, and finally, whether or not one has accepted Christ into their heart, there is no denying the polish and accuracy of this episode when compared to other interpretations of the story. Of course, it's not 'The Passion of the Christ' or 'The Gospel According to St. Matthew,' but it is impressive. Christians, I believe, will be especially impressed. I was, and that alone is saying something, in this day and age! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Continuing The Bible
The Past Comes Alive
Touring the Sets
The Fabric of the Time
Recreating the Power of God