Artisan Home Entertainment presents
...And God Spoke (1994)
"The world was created in six days. It was beautiful, but it was overbudget!"- promotional tagline
Stars: Michael Riley, Steven Rappaport, Daniel Tisman
Other Stars: Jay Edwards, Tino Orsini, Lou Ferrigno
Director: Arthur Bowman
MPAA Rating: R for (language, some nudity)
Run Time: 01h:20m:53s
Release Date: 2003-07-23
DVD ReviewIt seems one of the most frustrating and trying experiences in the world today is attempting to get a motion picture made. Despite the presence of a distinct "independent" scene, filmmakers and producers still have to put up with a gamut of unforseen problems, as well as having to please some big-wig in control somewhere. It's enough to drive even the most noble-minded and passionate of artisans up a wall, I would imagine, and I don't think most people truly appreciate what a lot of filmmakers go through to put their vision up on the screen. And God Spoke is a "mockumentary" about just such a situation. It takes two B-movie figures (a director and his associate producer) who want to make a sprawling adaptation of the Bible. Problem is, they're pretty much nobodies in the world of filmmaking and no one wants to back the film. After some wheeling and dealing they get enough money to start production, but it's a production that's falls far short of expectations.
If having to remove the character of Jesus from the script isn't bad enough, they're plagued with every possible problem in the book and, eventually, a serious loss of money, acting talent, and just about everything else it takes to make a good movie. Can you make a B-movie version of the Bible? This comedy attempts to portray the chaos and insanity of just such an endeavor. Is it funny? Well, in many ways it is, but it's mainly because of its fairly on-target jokes about the movie industry. However, when your movie has references to This is Spinal Tap thrown around just about all over the marketing, it's hard to compete and, eventually, it is this hype that has led to the downfall of this movie. No, And God Spoke is not as funny as Spinal Tap and people need to stop comparing the two. Yes, they're both mockumentaries; the comparisons end there. In its own class, And God Spoke is a cute film with plenty to enjoy. However, the level of comedy is, again, very much rooted in its portrayal of getting a movie made, not so much the more obvious jokes, although some of those are funny too.
My favorite idea, and one that seems less and less of a joke with modern Hollywood's approach to filmmaking, is making the fight between Cain and Abel a choreographed spectacle. Here, the filmmakers try to get Lou Ferrigno to duke it out with Andy Dick, coached by an Asian stunt specialist. There's things of that nature that gave me a good laugh scattered throughout the film. You won't fall over in hysterics, but I think most audiences will enjoy the subtle humor here, which is actually more relevant today than when the film came out in 1993. Let's not forget the huge upsurge in independent, low-budget filmmaking that now has almost become an exclusive little clique itself, and this film actually takes pretty good aim at pretentious "for the art" projects. In retrospect, this film actually works better than when it originally released, which is weird but positive for this project. It could have gone much further but, like the parody itself, it would seem the mockumentary was not exactly high-budget or massively produced, so a lot of the humor isn't exploited fully. Ironic, ain't it?
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: There's not much in the way of bells and whistles in this transfer, and the source was pretty messy. It's basically a straight copy of what looks to be a very dirty print that went through no enhancement of any kind. There's tons of grain, marks on the image, and various other small problems here and there. True, it makes the film look more authentic since it's supposed to be a handmade project by amateurs, but you obviously won't see much in the way of pure DVD quality.
Image Transfer Grade: C+
Audio Transfer Review: The stereo audio is about what you'd expect from something like this that is mostly dialogue and is intentionally recorded with handheld mics and such. There are no complaints here, but it kind of goes without saying you're not going to be getting a mindblowing experience. It does the job without any flair, but then there isn't much to begin with.
Audio Transfer Grade: C+
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Extras Review: There are absolutely no additional features. The main menu has options for playing the film or selecting a chapter. That's it. The keepcase insert has the chapter listing.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsIt might be a bare-bones disc, but the movie is interesting enough to warrant a look if for nothing else than to see some funny jokes made at the expensive of any artist who wants to see something through to the end, even if the end might be the worst thing he/she could imagine. It makes for a funny film, but the message by the end is certainly an encouragement for any artist in any field.
Dan Lopez 2003-08-27