NBC News Presents:
The Last Days of Jesus

The Last Days of Jesus

No matter what your faith there is something you can take away from NBC News Presents: The Last Days of Jesus

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NBC News Presents: The Last Days of Jesus

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No matter what your religious affiliation you have to admit that no figure in history has affected the world to the extent of Jesus Christ. There also seems to be a huge amount of interest in the NBC Special as evident by the overwhelming success and controversy over Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’. While it may seem that NBC News division is just cashing in on a trend, and to some extent they are, but the release of the DVD NBC News Presents: The Last Days of Jesus covers the subject far better than most television news magazine shows could have. They offer viewpoints from experts on both sides; those that believe and those that do not. Stone Phillips acts as a combination host and investigative report as he transitions between the various topics discussed. All possible effort is made to treat the show as an investigation remaining as unbiased as possible.

The Last Days of Jesus starts off some five days before the execution of Jesus, on the day known to many as Palm Sunday. They follow the believed movements of three men, Jesus, Caiphas and Pontius Pilate, by doing so the producers represent the three main segments of the socio-political structure of the times, the common man, the Jewish religious leadership and the occupying Roman government. The interaction of these groups not only drove life back then but it is, in a very real fashion, representative of how the economical and political world is structured today.

Pilate was commissioned as governor of a post far from the importance of Rome. His only hope of moving back to the center of power was to keep a lid on the smoldering tumult rising in the area. The religious leaders also had a lot in stake with keeping the population quiet. Disruption of the Roman occupation would result in draconian measures. As such Pilate and Caiphas formed a uneasy alliance to make sure the up coming Passover Sabbath would be a quiet one. When Jesus entered the city the population was celebrating, The Last Days of Jesus relates the mood to an extended New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Jesus had the popularity to sway the general population; an example had to be made.

The various experts each provide a different view point and explanation for what little there is known concerning the events of those crucial days. Typically, each aspect of the topic is discussed on several levels, usually religious, economical, political and sociological. Personally, I have always enjoyed this approach, realizing that no issue is one dimensional, it is best to view something from as many sides as possible. To its credit NBC did an exceptional job at presenting the information in an informative manner while remaining interesting.

The Last Days of Jesus production was a bit like something from the History Channel but there was a glossier feel of a broadcast new program. Unlike the History channel paintings and other graphics where used instead of re-enactments. Each portion of the subject was handled with respect and consideration, even when presenting opinions contrary to the beliefs of many that might be watching.

The The Last Days of Jesus DVD is very well mastered. The full screen video was crisp and clear with an excellent color balance. This is very important considering the works of art used to depict the times. The brush strokes and pigment on these paintings, some of them masterpieces, was vibrant. The audio was typical of a news show, nothing spectacular but it gets the job done.

Aside from the main feature that runs about 77 minutes, there are a nice selection of interesting extras included in The Last Days of Jesus. Jesus The Healer, details miracles scripturally associated with Jesus and follows through the ages with accounts and discussion of miraculous healing and the practice of faith healing. Living Faith looks at the lives of people that have survived disease and personal tragedy by relying on their faith. Then there was an interesting featurette in The Last Days of Jesus, God and the Brain that delves into the physiological changes associated with religious experiences. Finally there is Servant Leadership. The featurette in The Last Days of Jesus looks at a movement that attempts to utilize religious and biblical precepts to form a business management strategy.

In all The Last Days of Jesus was an interesting DVD that provided far more than the original television presentation and it would make a good companion piece to the Passion of the Christ. No matter what your faith there is something you can take away from The Last Days of Jesus.

Movie Review of NBC News Presents: The Last Days of
Jesus by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com

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