Pop Matters: Judah Ben-Hur is back, and this time he’s really… bland. The third cinematic incarnation of Ben-Hur plays like a ‘Cliff’s Notes’ version of the 1959 Heston epic. Director Timur Bekmambetov neither preserves the grandeur of the original story nor adds anything new to the legend. It’s not a catastrophe, exactly, but it’s deadly dull and feels oddly slight. Common sense suggests this was an unnecessary re-make, and the final product proves that Ben-Hur should have left his chariot out in the stable.