starring Joseph Morgan, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily VanCamp, Kristin Kreuk, Ben Cross, Simón Andreau, Alex Kingston, James Faulkner, Lucía Jiménez, Hugh Bonneville, Julian Casey, Ray Winstone and Art Malik
written by Alan Sharp
directed by Steve Shill
Based on the 1880 American novel by Lew Wallace, this is not a re-make of the great 1959 classic starring Charlton Heston, directed by William Wyler. This is a 2010 British mini-series. I didn’t know that when I rented it. It’s the same old problem I have judging what movies to rent here: the box is in Japanese so I have to decide based on the picture, and if I recognize any of the actors. Sometimes I choose well, sometimes badly. I was suspicious when I rented it because I hadn’t heard of a Ben Hur re-make. I figured I would have because I pay attention to that kind of thing. Nevertheless, I rented it out of doubt. As a television movie goes, it’s fair. But it doesn’t stand up to the Charlton Heston/William Wyler version.
I didn’t watch the entire thing. I gave up at the half-way point. Sadly, I did not stick it out to see Art Malik, a Pakistani-born British actor I rather admire. Art Malik is best known to American audiences as the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist Salim Abu Aziz in the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie True Lies (directed by James Cameron).