'Ben-Hur' more real than 'gluttonous orgies' of comic book portrayals

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |

LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner) – The first trailer for the new Ben-Hur movie was not well-received by moviegoers in March, but two new trailers have garnered wider praise.

The newest trailer, released this week on YouTube, has more than 180,000 views and twice as many likes as dislikes. A trailer that was posted in June has collected more than 1.3 million views and about four times as many likes as dislikes.

The movie will be released Aug. 19.

The reception for those trailers contrasts greatly with the first trailer, which had more dislikes than likes and had people wondering why the movie even was made.

It is the fourth film version of the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace.

Hollywood screenwriter and author Brian Godawa saw an advanced screening in June and said he really liked it, although he could not provide details due to an embargo.

"Ben-Hur is a movie that is what Christians have been asking for. A real Hollywood epic with a legitimate Christian worldview," Godawa wrote on his website. "It has some fantastic action sequences that rival anything in recent blockbusters, and in ways far more human and interesting than most of those gluttonous orgies of overspent excessive CGI comic book world destructions. Ben-Hur is more like Saving Private Ryan and better for it."

He called it a "timely movie dealing with forgiveness in a world of violence, hatred and oppression against Biblical faith."

"Thank you, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett," he wrote, referencing the executive producers. "And thank you, Paramount for considering the Christian audience with respect. I hope your box office supports your decision."