The Ten Commandments ★★½

Slight upgrade, only because my standards are a little different now. I last saw this with my dad in third grade (!) and wrote this old capsule over a decade ago based on my recollection, but having seen the film again at last I can't say it's inaccurate: It goes without saying that this is overblown, and that if unsubtle biblical stories appeal to you, if you don’t mind Charlton Heston hamming it up, if you can sit still for four hours, and if your main interest in film is cool special effects, you might enjoy this. If none of this applies, stay away and spend your afternoon elsewhere. My only real quarrel there is that the special effects, except for the Red Sea parting, look pretty dreadful and I'm surprised I remembered them fondly. Also, unlike my 1992 self I'm aware of how many great actors (Judith Anderson!? Edward G. Robinson?????) are lowering themselves to be in this hammy slice of absolute camp; it makes me feel better about the weird phase we're going through where kiddie popcorn franchises and stuff are considered career-peak material (I know, I know, I'm sorry, I'm trying to remove it) -- though to be fair, Ann Baxter and the, um, faaaabulous Vincent Price appear to be having heaps of fun unlike the reliably staid, awkward Charlton Heston, who isn't even good when he's good and wouldn't know fun if it wrought a pestilence on his firstborn. And considering the film's subject matter and enduring religious audience, Baxter and Yul Brynner's characterizations certainly are jarring in their carnality, to say the least.