This is an outstanding Audio production that blows the Bible Experience out of the water. Allow me to explain why.
1. The actors are a little better. From the most important roles, (Jesus, Paul, Moses), to the minor roles, (Pilot, Abel, Ebed-Melech), the acting is superb. There are only a couple of places where the actors should have showed more emotion, but these occurrences are few and far between. The Bible Experience contained good acting, but they weren't quite as good as the actors in the WOP. I think this had a lot to do with coaching. JoBe Cerny has a lot of bible knowledge and he coached the actors throughout the project, paying careful attention to the smallest detail.
2. The sound effects are better. The Bible Experience tends to overdo the sound effects, which can be distracting. This is okay, but it can take away from the text. The Word of Promise has sound effects sprinkled throughout, but they're never overdone.
3. The music is much better. The differences here are night and day. The Bible Experience will sometimes throw in some rock, techno, and African beats. This is not right for the Bible, IMO. The Word of Promise, on the other hand, contains orchestral scores that are moving and always fit the mood of the event.
4. The NKJV is more literal than the TNIV. The TNIV is so modernized and the gender issue causes some passages to become watered down.The NKJV is a word for word translation that is very accurate and easy to read. I will point out though, that some of the actors struggle with the difficult passages. I think this was one of the reasons why Jim Caviezel sounded so awkward at times.
I will now rate the performance of the actors, music, and production values.
Martin Jarvis as the voice of God: 10/10
Mr. Jarvis was the perfect choice for this role. I never grow tired of his deep bass voice. A lot of time and effort is required for this role, and Martin Jarvis did not disappoint.
Jim Caviezel as Jesus: 7/10
Strong at times and flat at times, Mr. Caviezel gives a mixed performance in the WOP. In the teaching passages, he comes across as a little bored and a little flat (especially in Luke). However, the scenes from the crucifixion and the gospel of John are fantastic! A good performance overall.
Michael York as narrator: 10/10
They couldn't have picked a better person for this job. Mr. York has an amazing voice that fits the mood of the Bible. He even pronounces the names correctly and makes it sound effortless. What a tremendous accomplishment!
Stacy Keach as Paul and Job: 10/10
Really, Mr. Keach's performance in the WOP is off the chart. I can't tell you how good it is, you'll just have to hear it for yourself. He's outstanding as an actor (the book of Job and Acts) and as a reader (the epistles). I had never heard of Stacy Keach before this, but now I hear his voice every time I read one of the epistles.
Richard Dreyfuss as Moses: 7/10
Personally, I've never watched the Ten Commandments, so I can give an objective review here. Mr. Dreyfuss is a great actor, and his portrayal of Moses is, I believe, very accurate. The only problem I have with his acting is in the book of Deuteronomy. At times, his voice gets a little flat, but this doesn't occur too often. Overall, he does an admirable job in the WOP.
Gary Sinise as David: 10/10
Wow...is all I can say. Really, I didn't know what to think when I heard that Gary Sinise was playing this role, but he did a fabulous job. What an outstanding performance! He shows the right amount of emotion in all instances. I love his voice in the Psalms.
Jason Alexander as Joseph: 10/10
I can't think of anything that I didn't like about Jason Alexander's performance as Joseph. This is a stong, flawless performance. The actor interviews made me realize that he is not a Christian, but simply finds the Bible to be interesting. Many of the actors in this project share his views.
Louis Gossett, Jr. as John: 10/10
I love Mr. Gossett's voice! When he reads, "In the beginning was the Word" I can't help but smile.
Ernie Hudson as Peter: 10/10
I've never seen Ghostbusters; so again, I can give an unbiased review of Mr. Hudson's performance. In my opinion, he was great! He's got a great voice, and the sermon in Acts 2 was preached, not read.
Marisa Tomei as Mary Magdalene: 10/10
She had a short roll to play, but she made a big impact on the final outcome. The scene with Jesus after his resurection is incredible. I can't help but shed a tear or two.
Jon Voight as Abraham: 8/10
His performance is flawless, but I can't really think of anything that sets his portrayal of Abraham apart from others.
Marcia Gay Harden as Esther: 8/10
Excellent performance, but I think she could have showed a little more emotion at times. However, this will not bother anyone who hasn't heard Angela Bassett play this role in the Bible Experience (she was fantastic).
Malcolm McDowell as Solomon: 10/10
Incredible voice, great acting ability, and a sense for the dramatic, Mr. McDowell proves that he is one of the best actors out there with this performance. Awesome, is all I can say. P.S. I've never seen him star in the porn movie that one of the other reviewers talked about, so that wasn't distracting to me.
Music by Stefano Mainetti: 10/10
Each orchestral score is incredible and just downright moving. The music always adds to, but never takes away from the event.
Production by Carl Amari: 10/10
Mr. Amari obviously has great respect for God's word. The production is amazing. The time, effort, and energy that went into this is incredible, to say the least. Thank you, Mr. Amari for an incredible product that will minister to people until the return of Jesus Christ.
Please buy this product. Even if you're not a Christian, you will thoroughly enjoy this as an unbelievable work of art. More important than the actors, music, and production value is the words of life found in the pages of the greatest book of all time. You should purchase this product for that reason alone. Do yourself a favor, and buy the Word of Promise today.
P.S. Thanks J.D. for pointing out the fact that my comment on the Bible Experience could be offensive to some. I have removed it from my review. After reading an interview with Kyle Bowser (producer of the B.E.) I understand completely why an all African American product was necessary. In fact, I think it was a great idea. I am glad that Carl Amari used some black and Hispanic actors in this production.