You’ve Seen the Movie, Now Buy the Jewelry

I haven’t jumped on the Passion of the Christ bandwagon yet, the “controversial” movie directed by Mel Gibson about Jesus Christs last days before being crucified. Since I haven’t seen it I can’t tell you whether it is a good or bad movie, though I’ve heard from both sides. What does bug the hell out of me about this movie is the tacky marketing that has followed the release of the film. Not only can you see the movie you can now drink from the OFFICIAL coffee mug (I’m surprised they didn’t call it the Holy Coffee Grail). Or maybe you’d like to show your devotion for Christ (or the holy gods of Hollywood) by wearing an AUTHENTIC Nail pendant, so you too can pretend you were there when Jesus was crucified. Do you occasionally forget why Christ died on the cross? Well you don’t have to with your OFFICIAL Passion Witness Cards, which reminds you why he died and also gives you pray suggestions! Plus coming soon – music inspired by the Passion of the Christ featuring the hottest singers of this century including Beyonce and many others.
I find this blatant marketing of religion indespicable. If I were a Christian I wouldn’t stand for it. I realize it is Mel Gibson and Hollywood trying to make money. I realize that is the way Hollywood (and the world) works. Even so if I was religious I would take offense that my religion was being used as a money making device. I also think this blatant marketing reduces the potential for the film at least in my mind and taints the personal impact the film could have on me. The only item being sold I don’t have a problem with is the book since I don’t see that as stretching the limits of acceptability.
When I think back to other movies that have had an impact on the way I think of the past (like Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan) I don’t remember them being marketed like this movie is. They were great movies by themselves and I didn’t need to run out and buy the official “bullet necklace” or “star of david pendant” because I left the movie with more than any souvenir could give me, plus it would have cheapened the experience into another capitalist money grab from the director and the movie industry. It would make me suspect that the director didn’t create this story for the benefit of the audience but for the benefit of his or her bank account.
Again these are just my thoughts. Let me know what you think about this and if you’ve seen the movie let me know what you think of it.

9 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, that is how Hollywood works. Just like everything else, the more money the movie grosses, the higher the public approval rating, therefore increasing viewership… On to the awards, the acclaim, the fame. There is nothing “Christian” left of this when you factor all of this in. Even I know that, and I haven’t set foot in a church in over 10 years. Unfortunately, many people won’t see this, and it will be bastardized like a lot of other things. One of the things that bothered me about this, was the way the movie was cast. If you notice, there are an awful lot of ethinic looking people playing the antagonists, yet all of the heroes, apostles, etc, look amazingly waspy.
    Oh well… Hope no one gets hurt on the nail pendants. They look a little dangerous. I wouldn’t want to fall on one of those!
    -H

  2. I know the lady who plays Mary, the mother of Christ (Maia Morgenstern) is Jewish. And Mary Magdelene (Monica Bellucci) is played by an Italian. They are all pretty white though 🙂 I’ll reserve judgement until I see it (which may be months from now).

  3. I saw the movie and absolutely believe the intentions for making the movie were for the good of Christianity. However, I can’t argue agaist all this marketing crap I’m hearing about. I completely agree with you. I’ll buy the movie but if I come across any of that other crap, I’ll burn it!

  4. It seems that you have an intrest in coffee mugs. That’s great! Me too. Have you an interest in Jesus Christ? He has much more to offer than criticism toward a marketing ploy. By the way, I don’t think Mel made up this story, I believe it came from a much Higher source.

  5. Paul: I didn’t say Mel wrote the story. Though I did say that he directed it because he did. It seems that your religious. How do you feel that your religion is being marketed by Hollywood? I said nothing about the movie. I just said that this marketing of a religion is pretty despicable.

  6. It’s not that I’m “religious”, but I do believe that Jesus Christ is my LORD and personal Savior which actually makes it a relationship. The marketing of the movie Passion is no surprise to you or me. It is sad that people have a need to buy such things, I guess it connects them to movie more. In all actuality,it seems that some who call themselves Christians are more on fire for the movie than they are for the word of God. This film will fade, yet God’s word will remain. My hope is that those who are Christians will get excited about what the Living Word of God has to say and start living it. With all the talk in the media it has brought the name of Christ to mind more recently and that is a very good thing. He came to serve the first time, He will come again to rule. After that the judgement, His purpose was to offer a way to Heaven to avoid an eternal hell which was only intended for Satan. There are a lot more things going on in this world that Christians should be speaking out on than this movie, why we aren’t is a question that needs to be addressed.
    Thank You for the opportunity to express (my) feelings, beliefs, etc.

  7. I’m not at all shocked by this shallow marketing. After all, read the “witness” card. It says nothing about Jesus dying because he loved the people that others hated. It says nothing about how Jesus died because he pointed out the materialistic preferences and selfishness of the Pharisees. Nope. All it talks about is how I, ME ME ME, can get a big fat reward of eternal life, all for ME. It reduces the love and compassion that Christ preached and died for into some cheap magical incantation that will earn you a ticket into a version of the afterlife that Jesus never spoke of.
    Now THAT’s cheap and nasty. Compared to that a dumb coffee mug is nothing.

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