Judge David Johnson is a slingshot savant.
From shepherd to King of Israel in 191 grueling minutes.
The story of David is an epic tale of war, deception, friendship, betrayal, adventure, and erotica. This 1976 biopic manages to distill all of that awesomeness into three hours of Holy Tedium.
Facts of the Case
The feature is chopped up into two parts, each running 90 minutes. Part 1 deals with David's rise from lyre-playing shepherd boy to giant slayer to throne usurper. The focus is on David's tumultuous relationship with Saul—i.e. Saul repeatedly tries to kill him. Eventually, David takes over as King of Israel, which leads into Part 2: David Takes Over as King of Israel. Instead of firing stones into the foreheads of tall Philistine freaks, he has to manage the kingdom, appease the tribes, move the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, deal with his rebellious, hairy son, and pork the neighbor's wife. All this—and Brian Blessed!
David is one of the most badass characters in the Bible and his life was rich with drama. Someone apparently forgot to tell the producers of this plodding, talky, endless production. It's pretty much like the import Old Testament epics of the '60s and '70s, just a lot longer and filled with way more missed opportunities. So many cool David moments get short-changed:
David vs. the Bear
David vs. Goliath
David vs. the Philistines
David vs. Absalom
Look, this sucker is boring. The dialogue is unending and not very compelling, and the major events in David's life are rendered with disappointing limpness. I don't know, maybe it'll do if you're desperate for a visual interpretation of one of the most famous characters in the Bible, but this sucker will put anyone with a moderate-to-low attention span into a coma.
The full frame video quality isn't great. Part 2 is noticeably better than Part 1, which has some serious transfer issues. The 2.0 stereo mix is shallow, but Brian Blessed's gut laugh might push your LFE ever so slightly. There are no extras.
I don't recall the word "lethargy" tossed around much in 2 Samuel.
I anoint thee…Guilty!
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