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TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE (2007)

SYNOPSIS:
Animated retelling of the life of Moses (voice of Christian Slater), from being set adrift on the Nile in a basket as a baby, through being brought up as an Egyptian Prince to his discovery of his Hebrew identity and God's (Elliott Gould) commanding him to return to Egypt as a prophet and lead the Children of Israel out of the shackles of slavery and into the Promised Land. Once in Egypt and, joined by his brother Aaron (Christopher Gaze) and his sister Miriam (Kathleen Barr), Moses, through God's intercession, manages to defeat the Egyptians and free the Hebrew people. Pursued by Pharaoh's army, Moses parts the Red Sea, destroying the Egyptians in his wake and moves on to Mount Sinai, where facing God, he is given The Ten Commandments. But after 40 years in the wilderness, when his people finally enter the promised land, Moses is barred - he dies somewhere on Mount Nebo.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Even very young children may find the animation a bit too simplified in this retelling of the pivotal story about Moses and his people, and how the Ten Commandments came to be delivered to mankind. Adults will squirm at the dialogue and wonder how actors of such fine calibre manage to squander some of their star credentials with delivery that could pass muster in a spoof. But this is no spoof, more a well intentioned but misdirected CGI work which seems somehow more BC (Before Computers) than AD (After Digital).

Simplistic is perhaps the best way to describe the film, with clunky storytelling and cardboard characterisations. There is also a troubling colour differentiation which makes Moses white, while his Egyptian brother Ramses (Alfred Molina) is a shade darker.

The film's major attribute is its economy; in 85 minutes it covers all the essentials in the book of Exodus, including the famous miracles - the Nile turning into blood, Moses' staff transformed into a serpent, the rain of fiery hail and the arrival of the great darkness, the death of every Egyptian first-born during the night of the first Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, the creation of the Ten Commandments and the destruction of The Golden Calf - making it a potential educational tool. But you do need to be an undemanding toddler to stay with it even that long.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE (2007) (G)
(US, 2007)

VOICES: Christian Slater, Alfred Molina, Elliott Gould, Kathleen Barr, Christopher Gaze

NARRATION: Ben Kingsley

PRODUCER: Cindy Bond, John Stronach

DIRECTOR: Bill Boyce, John Stronach

SCRIPT: Ed Naha

MUSIC: Reg Powell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Henoch Kloosterboer

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Anchor Bay Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 24, 2008







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