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Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Topic - Mehdi Ouazzani
With Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" and Ridley Scott's "Exodus" preparing to duke it out for Old Testament auteur supremacy, Hollywood's religious renaissance gets off to a none-too-spectacular start with a chewed-over New Testament appetizer called "Son of God." A clumsily edited feature-length version of five episodes from History's hugely popular 10-hour miniseries "The Bible," this stiff, earnest production plays like a half-hearted throwback to the British-accented biblical dramas of yesteryear, its small-screen genesis all too apparent in its Swiss-cheese construction and subpar production values. Yet while Jesus' teachings have been reduced to a muddle of kindly gestures and mangled Scriptures, the scenes of his betrayal, death and resurrection crucially retain their emotional and dramatic power, which the charitable viewer may deem atonement enough for what feels, in all other respects, like a cynical cash grab.
Mehdi Ouazzani isn’t the devil, but he has played one on TV — in the popular five-part miniseries “The Bible” — only he didn’t realize that some thought he looked like President Barack Obama while he was at it.
“Before you go to the set, there was a special person who knows about serpents and scorpions and they go through and clean everything,” said Mr. Ouazzani, describing how one of the snake wranglers even caught one in the middle of production.
“For someone like me, a simple unknown actor, to find himself in a controversy like this – even though it’s nonsense – it makes me known around the world, so it’s something positive,” he said with a chuckle.