Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 03/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is an earnest telling of chapters 25 through 33 of Genesis, and starts when Esau sells his birthright to his twin brother Jacob for a bowl of pottage (red lentil stew), and then gets maneuvered out of his father's blessing by his mother Rebekah. She knows Esau doesn't listen to God's voice, and his two Canaanite wives are a wearisome thing in her life, so Jacob is sent off to her brother (who has daughters), some 400 miles away, where Jacob falls in love with the attractive Rachel...and once there, "everything he touches, flourishes." It is a narrative of great faith and perserverance, and the relationship between Jacob and Rachel is touching and sweet.
Most of the story follows biblical lines, with a few additions; one of them is inexplicable to me, because it is the only part of the film that could be upsetting to children; it shows Jacob on his journey, fleeing a man he thinks is Esau seeking retribution (it is actually Esau's brother-in-law), when his donkey has a fatal fall from a hillside. It is odd that they would embelish the story with such an unpleasant event, because otherwise the sheep, goats and camels are wonderful, and would be enjoyable viewing for children. The story ends as Jacob, his wives and children (the sons who would become the twelve tribes of Israel), servants and flocks arrive at Shehem. The story is continued in another film of this series, "Joseph," which is superior to this film, and highly recommended.
Matthew Modine is fine as Jacob, Lara Flynn Boyle an excellent, lovely Rachel, and the ever beautiful Irene Papas is a marvelous Rebekah. Sean Bean (Boromir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is very good as Esau, and Giancarlo Giannini is Rebekah's devious brother Laban. The score by Marco Frisina adds to the atmosphere, and the cinematography by Ennio Guarneri, though often darkened with a lot of shadows, is nice when using the sub-saharan landscape around Quarzazate, Morocco, where this was filmed; it well depicts how one would imagine the primitive life of ancient nomadic shepherds could be. Total running time is 94 minutes."
Jon Vanhemelryck | Nevada | 12/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great casting, acting, directing, scenery, etc. I was recommended this by a girl from Reno, NV. I'm so glad she did. In the past, when I used to read the Bible passage about Jacob, aka Israel, and Esau, aka Edom, arguing about their birthright over a bowl of lentil stew, I always had difficulty picturing it in my mind. The movie easily cleared this up for me by doing an excellent job of taking me back in time and re-enacting this scene. Regarding the actors and actresses, their personalities and appearances seemed perfect for the parts, especially Jacob played by Matthew Modine and beautiful Rachel played by Lara Flynn Boyle. Whether or not the cast and crew were made up of Bible believers, I think the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had His hand in helping with this movie."
Inspiring Entertainment for the Whole Family
Todd Hudnall | Colorado Springs, CO | 06/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Jacob" is not one of the better productions from the excellent Turner Bible Collection. Nonetheless, it is inspiring entertainment, solidly based on the Biblical account of Jacob. There are portions of the narrative that are brilliantly captured, while other aspects of the story are poorly handled. I would still highly recommend the movie as quality entertainment for the entire family."
Rochelle Satterfield | OKINAWA JAPAN | 11/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie right after I had read the story. It stayed so true to the Word. Outstanding cast! Anyone could enjoy this story.And it is truly a family movie."
I Like Seeing Modine and Laura Flynn Boyle in a Bible Movie!
Bryan E. Leed | Dayton, OH USA | 08/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fun movie for fans of Bible stories on DVD! I enjoyed seeing Matthew Modine and Laura Flynn Boyle as the two main characters in the film. Modine does a great job carrying the film in the lead role. Laura Flynn Boyle, (of TWIN PEAKS television fame), has never been prettier or had a more important role, in my opinion.
Sean Bean, (who played Boromir in THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING film), plays Esau, the older, rival brother of Jacob. Sean Bean seems a little small and skinny to play Esau, but he makes up for it with his great acting performance.
The storytelling is faithful to the Bible scriptures, and the acting, costumes and scenery are very realistic.
My only complaints might be that the supernatural scenes are a little too brief or weak on special effects, like Jacob's Ladder, or when Jacob wrestles the angel.
TNT, the cable TV channel, is releasing some of these films from the 1990's on DVD, with the subheading "THE BIBLE COLLECTION." I can also recommend JOSEPH, but I haven't yet seen the others that are new to DVD.
I have waited for years to see these films. They were originally made by a european company called Lube Productions, for made-for-TV movies or miniseries, featuring semi-famous stars from that era. So far, I can say that the ones I have seen are always well-made, nicely acted, with great costumes and scenery, and pretty faithful to scripture, especially when compared with other, more secular productions of the same stories and characters.
You might also consider THE BIBLE SERIES BOX SET, which has been out for years, not from TNT but still from the Lube Productions collection. This DVD collection includes ESTHER, JEREMIAH, and SOLOMON. Those three are all good, and you can save some money by getting them all at once (though also available separately)."