Prince of Egypt

When I say that Prince of Egypt is an odd movie, I’m not exaggerating. Not only is it strange that any major studio would finance a $75 million animated effort about a story from the book of Exodus, but it is also an odd movie in a cinematic sense.

It is the timeless story of Moses, who, after discovering that he was a Hebrew, freed the Jews from the wrath of the Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses. Perhaps a reason why this story was picked is the fact that there are many moments in it that are ripe for eye-popping visuals utilizing all of the latest technology. Indeed, there are some absolutely gorgeous images here, much eye-candy to behold.

Now, what’s so odd about this movie? The 99 minute feature goes by in a breath. Now usually this would be a great thing for film. But when I walked out of the theater I didn’t feel like I’ve watched a movie, and I’m still trying to figure out why. It’s probably because according to the story Moses and the Jews wondered in the deserts for years, and in the film, they are rescued in a matter of 20-25 minutes. Now, this is not to say that the movie should have been a year long, or anything like that, but we could have been given the sense that Hebrews suffered a long journey before getting to their destination. Here, the trip seems effortless.

That said, Prince of Egypt is actually quite good. It is entertainment for older kids and adults, as the PG-rated toon is too intense and its subject matter too serious for toddlers, and it was made to be that way. It is a more than decent adaptation of the classic tale, one that, despite what I have said in the previous paragraph, never talks down to its audience.

The ending is rather abrupt, but it is a good way to sum up what has been a film with no sense of timing.

-- Eugene Novikov

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Screening Log

Snitch

Ric Roman Waugh, 2013

Score: C

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh, 2013

Score: C+

10 Years

Jamie Linden, 2012

Score: B-

The Place Beyond the Pines

Derek Cianfrance, 2013

Score: B+

Warm Bodies

Jonathan Levine, 2013

Score: C

Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravanese, 2013

Score: B-

The Window

Ted Tetzlaff, 1949

Score: B+

The Chase

Arthur Ripley, 1946

Score: B

Street of Chance

Jack Hively, 1942

Score: C

The Taste of Money

Im Sang-Soo, 2013

Score: C+

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