Monday, 10 March 2014

Blu-ray Review - The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Agony And the Ecstasy
Director: Carol Reed
Starring: Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Enterainment
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Retail: $24.99
Running Time: 138 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Releasing on Blu-ray for the first time last week is the  1965 classic film The Agony and the Ecstasy starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. The film was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and 2 Golden Globe Awards. There are no extras or features on the Blu-ray.

Loosely based on Irving Stone's biographical novel of the same name, The Agony And The Ecstasy chronicles the four years it took the now legendary artist Michelangelo Buonarroti to create the Sistine Chapel's spectacular ceiling fresco, which depicts the twelve apostles.

Artists didn't have much freedom back them, especially when political religious figures are involve, so Michelangelo persuades Pope Julius II to allow him to paint the entire vault instead of just the ceiling panels.

Painting such a masterpieces came with several ups and downs, as Michelangelo was accused of blasphemy and heresy because of the Pagan-looking symbols in his painting. Plus, being exposed to lead paint caused the artist to suffer from blindness. Despite all the setbacks, he is determined to finish painting his masterpiece.

I thought I had seen most of Charlton Heston's films, but this is the first I am hearing about The Agony and the Ecstasy, so I was eagerly looking forward to reviewing the Blu-ray. The film is more of a political drama with the Pope Julius II trying to control what Michelangelo is painting. The cinematography is outstanding, as well as Heston's performance. The film itself is a little boring in parts; running a little too long for me. Overall, The Agony and the Ecstasy is an interesting film and it looks great on Blu-ray.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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