Episode 205: The Book of Mormon Movie Review

27 comments on “Episode 205: The Book of Mormon Movie Review”

  1. Richard of Norway Reply

    Holy cow, I haven’t laughed so hard in… a very long time. This was so funny I burst into laughter several times here at work, causing quite a stir with my coworkers who were wondering what I could be listening to. Nice job! And so good to have Glenn back.

    I only wish more time could have been spent discussing the costumes and props. Those pastel bedsheets were so atrocious! 

  2. CanuckAussie Reply

    I love how God sounds exactly like Warren Jeffs. Who is impersonating who?

    • Jean Bodie Reply

       I thought exactly the same thing CanuckAussie. It sounded just like the tapes they played at Jeff’s trial – creepy. I didn’t go to see the film because I was warned off by my believing son. He told me about ‘tin foil’ helmets or something and that the costumes and acting were awful. Glad I listened. I feel certain that this podcast episode was far more entertaining; thanks a lot guys.

  3. SacKIngsFan Reply

    You want to hear something really funny? Look up the DVD for sale on Amazon. About 80% of the 250 or so reviewers thought the movie was really good.

  4. Hermes Reply

    This movie embodies everything wrong with LDS Mormonism: kitsch masquerading as culture.  And what makes the whole mess utterly unbearable is how seriously people try to take it.  You cannot watch this movie without laughing.  Laughter — self-mocking, loud, derisive laughter — is the magic ingredient missing from the church.

    On a related note, Nephi really is a jerk.  I realized this early on in my disaffection (aided and abetted by my wife, who consistently brought his jerkiness to my attention, urging me not to follow his example when I try to win friends and influence people).  At some point, I realized that there are very few positive role models in the Book of Mormon: most of the characters are cartoons whose moral integrity is about as solid as their dialogue (“and then it came to pass that I did ramble on in the manner of run-on sentences for the space of several pages, and the people did weep, for the Spirit of the Lord came upon them in the midst of my ramblings, and then I did command them to do something obvious or something awful, in accordance with the will of the Lord”).  The famous Captain Moroni (to name one beloved hero omitted from the movie) is an incoherent fascist, throwing promises out and then forgetting them a few verses later (was Joseph tippling while he used the seer stone?), founding gangs of “freemen” to capture and enslave towns that refused to accept “liberty” (i.e. military dictatorship under his iron fist).  If you were going to make a compelling story out of the Book of Mormon, you would have to eviscerate it (kill the dialogue and replace it with something that makes sense).  I would be really tempted (now, as an apostate) to flip the whole thing on its head (the way Patrick suggested) and make the villains into heroes (all the way down: I would make Laman, Sherem, Nehor, Amlici, Zeezrom, and Korihor into good guys, or at least relatable characters).

    That said, the best adaptation of the Book of Mormon (as is) that I have encountered thus far is the Homecoming series by Orson Scott Card.  Card changes the setting (of course), but he develops the characters in very interesting, dynamic ways (much better than Joseph Smith or whoever gave us the canonical Book of Mormon).  Nephi does learn a thing or two (and is still kind of a jerk), and the other brothers (especially Laman) are a lot more believable.  Oh, another thing: there are women in the story, and they aren’t stuck with mute roles.  They are actually very important to the plot.  Someone should make Card’s series into film: Peter Jackson could definitely turn it into something many people (including non-Mormons) would love to see.

    • Elder Vader Reply

      I’ve heard lots of negative feedback about OSC’s homecoming series.  Mostly along the lines of “That jerk is trying to make money off of the Book of Mormon”  — I thought they were clever books.  And I liked reading them.  

      A TV series I think would be good, would be the life of Joseph Smith, but as told by David Simon, creator of The Wire.  Lets plumb the depths of just how defective the foundations really are.  

  5. Chaste_and_Benevolent Reply

    Great podcast. Loved it. And a hearty welcome back to Glenn.

    The Book of Mormon Movie reminded me of the Three Stooges comedies I enjoyed as a kid. Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel are pretty close analogues to Moe, Larry, and Curly.

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Did I buy the DVD? Why, soitenly!

    The panel had an especially good discussion of Nephi’s killing of Laban. This story has the most disturbing line in the Book of Mormon: “It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.” 1 Nephi 13

    Compare this with the Bible: “… it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation
    perish.” John 11:50, NIV Translation. Needless to say, there’s a huge difference between Christ’s voluntary death for the sake of the atonement and Nephi’s murder of a passed out drunk for the sake of stealing his brass plates. And if murder is okay to keep anyone from “dwindling” in unbelief, doesn’t that sort of justify killing apostates?

    This movie review was a great idea. Maybe Glenn and the panel should watch Sons of Provo, and Glenn could explain all the Mormon in-jokes. It was even funnier than The Book of Mormon Movie. But with Sons of Provo it was intentional.

    • ChicagoOG Reply

      Listen to it again…..he sounds just like Bednar in general conference.

    • Chaste_and_Benevolent Reply

      I think the panelists were right about how the South Park guys must have copied this way of speaking from the movie. Of course, the guys who made the movie copied it from another movie that you need a temple recommend to see.

  6. Elder Vader Reply

    New podcast for me to listen to.  Lunchtime movie review is right up my alley!  I love that stuff.  

  7. PollyAnna Burnette-Egan Reply

    I know it’s an old movie, but I really enjoyed this panel discussion. It was really funny guys! I’ve missed Glenn. I’m glad he is back.

  8. Rachel Reply

    I was in Kansas City when this movie was released and if I recall correctly it only showed at one of the riverboat casinos. This kept a lot of the more faithful Mormons from seeing it in theater and provided a lot of amusement for the less faithful.

    On a separate note this podcast was hilarious! Great to hear from you again Glenn.

  9. Paul Barker Reply

    “… and we look forward to having you back for volume 2”  awesome!

  10. Matt Reply

    One good example of the ineptness of the screenwriter is in a scene where Lehi is preaching the destruction of Jerusalem, as I recall. The BoM doesn’t give us direct quotes to work with, but Lehi was supposed to have testified of the people’s iniquities and gotten them angry with him to the point of wanting him dead. It would’ve been a good chance to write some strong indictments. Instead, we get Lehi in a gold fringed bathrobe literally repeating over and over and over, “Jerusalem will be destroyed! Why won’t you listen to me? Jerusalem will be destroyed! Don’t you understand? Jerusalem will be destroyed! Why won’t you listen to me?”

    • Hermes Reply

      Why don’t we listen to people wearing sandwich boards and tinfoit hats today?  This was a question that bugged me as a believer.

  11. Kris Fielding Reply

    My wife and I saw this at the theater in Tucson when it was released. A co-worker who was in my ward had seen it and told me how great it was. He said they did a really awesome job with the story and everything. When we saw if I wondered if we had seen the same movie. I think because many faithful don’t see R-rated movies they don’t really have a high standard for quality films.

  12. Michael Carpenter Reply

    Nice job. Good contrast in how “The Lord of the Rings” translates rather cleanly into an epic movie, but “The Book of Mormon” translates into a stinker. I liked the comments about the reviewer who was able to believe the story in book form, but not in a movie. (Can you say cognitive dissonance, boys and girls? I knew you could.) 

  13. chuckborough Reply

    John and Zilpha – Is this a done deal or still in process? If every church in the world wants to consider me a member, that’s ok with me. They will think I am, and I will think I’m not. We are never really “members” of anything that does not exist. If children think I believe that Santa Claus exists, that’s ok with me. I won’t even contradict them. I know I don’t believe in the existence of the little fellow, but what others think I believe is fine with me. I’m not speaking of hypocracy here or taking advantage of anyone by a “pretense.” You two are quite obviously not pretending to be Mormons. Your involvement in your podcast and other things will continue to be more interesting if you are considered by the Church to be members, especially if we actually have a Mormon President. I’d stay in.

  14. HuskySouth Reply

    After hearing the podcast I just had to watch the movie. I could not believe how hilarious it was. Some parts were like watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Was this really released as a serious movie? ROFL!!!

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  16. Rocky McBee Reply

    That was some of the worst acting I’ve ever heard. So, will the end of episode 9, end with the opening scene of Battlestar Galactica?

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