Anytime a film like The Nativity Story comes around, I feel a slight frisson of -- well, not worry, per se, but a slight tightening of the mental shoulders -- primarily because, while it seems obvious that when you review a film based on a book, you're not actually reviewing the book, that fact seems to twist and distort a bit when the book is The Bible. I had a few nice things to say about The Nativity Story in my other gig, but the cardboard nature of Ciaran Hind's' portrayal of Herod and the Three Wise Stooges kinda killed the film for me, so I give it two out of four stars. Now, this obviously doesn't represent how I feel about Christianity -- which is not really anyone's business but mine, frankly -- but the fact of the matter is that I felt myself hedging a little. I'm going to be curious to see how The Nativity Story plays at the box office -- because while The Passion's box office was taken as an indicator of a 'hunger' for Christian-themed films, the box office performance of The Gospel -- released at the exact same time as The Passion, and with similar material and a more theologically correct approach to depicting The Passion but to far, far less box office -- suggests to me that there's a hunger for Christian material as long as it's backed by Mad Max more than anything else.

Are you going to see The Nativity Story? And do your beliefs affect how you watch a film?