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The Bible Stories: Solomon

Score: 83%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 172 Mins.
Genre: Family/Drama/Historical
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English, English SDH


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Continuing with the re-release of The Bible Stories made-for-TV films comes the next in the set, Solomon. Originally released as a mini-series back in 1997, The Bible Stories: Solomon is a near-three hour telling of the life of Solomon (Ben Cross), son to King David, and a great man whom many loved, yet struggled with life's challenges as he approached his golden years.

The movie begins with Solomon's brother, Adonijah (Ivan Kaye) being transported back to Israel due to being injured in a chariot race. Along the way, the two come across a local woman named Abishag (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) who has knowledge of herbs that help heal. After she brings Adonijah to his feet, the two are completely infatuated with her, not only because of her beauty, but also because of her healing power. She would later reappear in the story, which is why this sequence was important.

The story continues as King David (Max von Sydow) lay on his death bed, insisting that it is God's will to have Solomon anointed as the new King of Israel, knowing that Solomon's own brother is trying to take the throne for himself. This treason is punishable by death, but the King leaves it up to Solomon to dole the punishment to his brother and the King's friend (who was a part of the treasonous acts).

Solomon eventually becomes the King and the people absolutely adore him. He walks around and jokes like common folk, which gives him a strong following. He also has a strong passion for God early in his life, but he falls for the lust of women, taking many wives and creating many children from those relationships (although these marriages are also for political reasons). Starting from the first son that he has, he talks about the child being the heir to the throne. But this soon became a common theme for King Solomon.

As the story unfolds, King Solomon ends up falling head over heels in love with the visiting Queen of Sheba (Vivica A. Fox). They pursue a lasting relationship, and the two eventually have a son together. While both feel that the son will be the heir to their thrones, he ends up being what separates Solomon from the Queen as she leaves to take her son back to his rightful kingdom.

It is Solomon who actually heads up the building of the temple that is used to house the Ark of the Covenant in an effort to preserve God's name and what he stood for. As such, the residents didn't mind the increase in taxes used to pay for it. That is, until they realized that the taxes never actually lowered again after the temple was completed and that King Solomon was using the money for personal reasons and putting up false idols.

Throughout the movie, the common theme is that Solomon gradually falls further from God. Between his love of women and his worshipping of these false gods, the King loses all of the blessings that the Lord has given him. Eventually, on his own death bed, he learns that his son will not inherit the many kingdoms of Solomon due to it being torn apart, but will only rule over one due to his own un-Godly mannerisms.

The Bible Stories: Solomon is actually a great story that, despite being quite lengthy, held my attention the entire movie. The acting is, for the most part, quite good. Many films of this type fall a bit short in production value, but Solomon definitely holds its own. There was only one thing that actually bothered me, and that was that many of the star actors had perfect, very white teeth in a day and age when oral hygiene wasn't a priority. While this was distracting enough to mention, it should also be known that the rest of the makeup jobs, including the aging of Solomon, look very good.

The Bible Stories: Solomon is certainly worth a look for anyone interested in stories taken right from the Bible. The video transfer is okay, but not great, and the audio was generally good, although there was a small spot in the middle where some audio problems cropped up for a few seconds. If you can also get past the occasional fade to black that happens in the middle of a moment (remember, it was originally made to have commercials inserted), the story is both interesting and gives a nice sense of morals and other Godly values through both positive and negative examples.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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