Cinema: John & the Whale

The Bible. Lured by ballyhoo or simple piety into the vast, glittering void of this enterprise—an experience roughly equivalent to being swallowed by a whale—a bored viewer will nonetheless feel twinges of gratitude. After all, it might have been worse. Producer Dino De Laurentiis originally intended to tackle the entire Old Testament, hiring every writer, actor and director in creation for a series of films running Lord knows how long. He has settled for 22 chapters of Genesis, compressed by Director John Huston into three hours of empty illustrations from Scripture.

Most entertaining is a kinetic, eight-minute Creation, astir with turbulent photography....

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