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A Couple Of Quick APOCALYPTO Reviews!!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. This first review is short but sweet:

I was lucky enough to catch an advance screening of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto at my university's film center. If you use this you can call me Kajak. I had my suspicions before, but Apocalypto confirms it: Mel Gibson is utterly insane. His latest film is one of the most brutal, intense movies I have seen in a long while and I absolutely loved it. The beginning made me skeptical, but by the time the credits rolled, I was utterly floored. I'm not saying that this is the best movie of the year or anything, but it's probably in the Top 10. The story follows a young Mayan man, Jaguar Paw, through tragedy and a journey across the treacherous jungle. I will refrain from giving away too much, because the film often relies and surprise (as evidenced by the constant gasps in the audience). Though some may question the use of Mayan dialogue (and English subtitles), I think that it is essential to the culture and style of the film's world and anything else would just seem weird. The reason you'll like this film isn't the dialogue, anyway, it's the action. The entire second half of the film is one gigantic set piece... and the tension never lets up. Perhaps it was because I wasn't expecting the film to be anywhere near this violent, but I was shocked. There are gruesome, lingering shots of people having their faces torn off, their hearts ripped out, and worse. The violence in The Passion wasn't a fluke. As far as the other aspects of the films go, the acting from a cast of unknowns was excellent and very believable, the camerawork was good, and the music didn't stand out in a good or bad way. Though Mel Gibson may be an anti-Semitic, alcoholic, gore-obsessed maniac, he is obviously an extremely talented director and I highly recommend his Apocalypto.

This next guy’s got a bit more to say:

Hello there Harry!! I've just come from one of the first screenings of Mel Gibson's "Apocalytpo" at NYU's Cantor Film Center. So this is what I thought... It could have been a brilliant film and had moments of brilliance, but it was heavily, heavily flawed. Mel Gibson doesn't exactly have the best street cred with the Jewish faith and its people, but he has the potential to make some great films if he stops letting himself be so heavily influenced by tired religious overtones and Hollywood cliches. It's alright to have religious undertones, but the main character was paralleled too much to Jesus with prophecies and a rebirth of sorts (although there is a beautiful shot of Jaguar Paw climbing out of the quicksand to be reborn, and resembling a jaguar himself. I lost track of how many times he was reborn/given another chance to live. It was at least 3 with his almost murder on top of a temple, jumping from a waterfall, and coming out of quicksand. A little girl suddenly appears possessed by a spirit of sorts and says (in a horrible dubbing with an older actress's voice) to beware of the day as dark as night and the man who brings the jaguar. And, sure enough, Jaguar Paw (our protagonist) is saved from death by a solar eclipse and then is discovered by the men chasing him when he is chased by a jaguar. The references to this omen by the main antagonists is laughable and needs to be cut. There's a difference in humor between comedic relief and melodrama, and Gibson sways his directorial pendulum too often towards the latter. It had too many heavyhanded and tired tricks (i.e. blood falling from a leaf onto someone...I think we've all seen "Mission Impossible" with Tom Cruise and his scientological sweat). I know he was trying to show how brute, savage, and primal the Mayan people were despite their incredible ingenuity and intelligence, but some of the violence came off as laughable and would have been better off left to the imagination. Another sequence with Jaguar Paw's wife and son trying to stay afloat in the water filled pit they've been stuck in was overkill where the duress of her situation induces her labor and she gives birth to the baby underwater. It was completely unecessary to show the baby coming out from under her tunic under the water. The makeup, costumes, sets, and overall production design was incredible, and it ended the only way it could have, with the Spanish conquistadors landing ashore just as Jaguar Paw and the two remaining antagonists reach the ocean to show how ultimately futile his struggle to escape the expansion of modern civilization and the impending destruction of his way of life. He, his wife, and his children retreat into the forest happy and well to enjoy the few moments of peace they have left before the Spanish most likely either kill them or take them captive. I enjoyed the movie greatly, but I was so frustrated throughout cause it could have been brilliant and had such potential. I'm sure some people in my French New Wave class Wednesday will be wondering who wrote this and I look forward to discussing it with my classmates in further detail. I'm the one near the door. If you use this, just call me AdamLogan.
Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 29, 2006, 3:50 a.m. CST

    TOO SOON!!!

    by BannedOnTheRun

    You heard me.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 3:54 a.m. CST

    second...

    by xXRedflyXx

    #2 and i probably won't see this one...

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 4:06 a.m. CST

    No shit the passions brutality was no fluke...

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    havent you seen any of gibsons movies?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Tom Cruise and his scientological sweat

    by godoffireinhell

    That made me laugh. Good one.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 5:13 a.m. CST

    So with the fight scenes

    by Im_spartasoth

    Were, the IRA dunked in vats of earl grey. (just for realism). I mean, when the fit hits the shan you go with what you know.you know!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 5:16 a.m. CST

    And yes

    by Im_spartasoth

    I have decided that syntax and pronunciation can take a flying fuck at a rolling doghnut tonight.sorry.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Will pick it up on DVD

    by moviemaniac-7

    Where is Mad Max or Martin Riggs? Where is the Mel Gibson that showed so much promise when he directed Braveheart (a flawed, but very entertaining movie)? Passion of the Christ is a movie that I can only recommend to S&M fanatics and relgious loonies.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 5:55 a.m. CST

    ELEVENTH

    by Seph_J

    Errr fucking spoiler alert this 'review' please. Dick heads.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Will reviewers learn....

    by Mr_Sleep001

    not to give away the closing of films? I know there was the spoiler warning but AdamLogan's review wasn't a review, just a list of spoilers tied together with things that frustrated him summed up by detailing the last shots. You can review a film without giving a whole bunch of stuff away

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 6:17 a.m. CST

    WELL

    by THE KNIGHT

    I seen the jokes coming... Anyone watch that special with Mel last week thrusday on ABC?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Mel is absolutely insane

    by KinkyClown

    I love people who are insane. Eats a bug

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 6:47 a.m. CST

    COOL!

    by revam

    I had a feeling this would be epic violence, though the trailers didn't really show it.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:01 a.m. CST

    The Apocalypse according to Mel Gibson

    by Thomas Cromwell

    And lo! The Antichrist will be born amongst the wicked English and he shall resemble either Jason Isaacs or Patrick McGoohan and yea shall he reach out the hand of friendship to the Jews and together they shall make war on God's chosen people...Americans who have deluded themselves into thinking that they are of Irish or Scottish descent. Hordes of British squaddies and their Israeli counterparts will rampage across America, burning people in churches, exercising unlimited prime nocte, shooting and/or disemboweling wounded prisoners and repalcing Irish pubs with Indian takeaways and kosher shops. But lo! the clouds will part and William Wallace/Bemnjamin Martin will return with armies of angels who speak French (naturally) and he shalt throw gay men (and women)out of windows and will brutally hack the Antichrist's minions apart with a broadsword/curvy knife thing. he will unite all the Americans who think they have right to be called Irish or Scottish and they shalt fight like warrior poets and win their freedom. The Brits and the jews will be sentenced to spend an eternity appearing as the baddies in all Hollywood movies and the supposed Gaels of America will rule for ever and ever AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Note: I actualy love the Scots and the Irish, but i don't love all those Americans who gave (and perhaps still give)money to the IRA just because they think that they are 'Oirish'. Also Mel Gibson is a wanker and Randall Wallace is a deluded prick who thinks that he is William Wallace's ancestor. Some people eh?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Yeah! I can't wait!!!!

    by herzaaes56

    I'm.... 15?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Oh...

    by herzaaes56

    I forgot to mention how Mel is able to direct non-actors and make them believable. You know, that's economics really. Its cheaper to hire non-names and holding casting calls, etc.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:11 a.m. CST

    wow...

    by cornolio55

    the second review confuses me to no end. He wrapped up by saying "I enjoyed the movie greatly".. and then "but...it could have been brilliant" My question is, if it those things you hoped weren't/ or were in the movie, would it still be the same movie you "enjoyed"? Anyway, I suppose I'll see it to find out myself.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:26 a.m. CST

    I wonder if there are still single-frame inserts

    by Frijole

    of Mel in his Hussein beard with a cigar, grinning all crazy-like at the camera. Remember like in that whacky pre-trailer he released to AICN? Heh. Oh, and according to Bloody Disgusting, they're starting prep on a third Starship Troopers movie, and bringin back my man Johnny Rico!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    "street cred with the Jewish faith"

    by Bill Brasky

    Who the FUCK cares? Watch his movies and shut the FUCK UP!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:02 a.m. CST

    hey, HBO is making a "Preacher" tv series

    by Ricky Henderson

    maybe AICN should report on that instead of Mel Gibson's latest debacle? hmmmm?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Do the Mayans kill Jews?

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Seems like that would be a must have seen for Gibson.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Excited!

    by Cat_Corporation

    I love historical movies (being a historian!) and I'm really looking forward to seeing something taking place outside of Ancient Greece and Rome. Despite playing fast and loose with historical truth (where was the bridge in the battle of Stirling Bridge?!) and the dreadful Mel-ian Mullet, as entertainment I loved Braveheart and though the man himself might have a few problems, as a directer Mel has a keen eye and doesn't shy away from the brutal realities of previous civilisations. Count me in.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9 a.m. CST

    People Are Weird About Gibson

    by Captain Mal

    Can't wait for this. Gibson is one of the most interesting directors working, and he manages to be successful too. <p> Regarding my header, I find it strange that in talkbacks about nearly any other movie, people tend to say things like, "Dood, we need a totally gruesome, hard 'R' version of this movie!" and "They better not shy away from the gore!" and whatnot. But when the subject is Gibson, it suddenly turns into a PTA meeting. Everyone starts decrying Gibson's fascination with brutality, as if his films (and he's only released 2 so far, mind you) are even in the same league with any of the horror spectacles out there. <p> Gibson ties his violence to emotion, rather than distancing the audience from it with irony or fantasy, and that must make people uncomfortable. Bravo, sez me. I hope he continues to fuck with moviegoers for many years to come.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:15 a.m. CST

    I'll Download This From The Internet

    by topaz4206

    F**k Mel Gibson.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Damn I can't wait for this movie its not even funny

    by corkiboy

    It just looks weird and different. I mean, a lot of us are sick of all hollywood recycles and wants a little more originality... WELL HERE IT IS!!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Good call Captain Mal

    by BirdMcMonster

    Violence/brutality for the sake of violence is great and all, but when it serves the story emotionally and adds to the environment in which a decent character is invested, its far more enjoyable. Gibson definitely employs the latter.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Mel

    by Almost_Human

    Anyone who has ever been drunk or knows an alcoholic needs to shut the fuck up about Mel. I was married to an alcoholic and I can guarantee you that the old wives tale about "you only say what you really feel when you are drunk" are completely full of shit. He makes good movies and he has a drinking problem. Quit being such a bunch of thin skinned pussies.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Michael Richards

    by Almost_Human

    on the other hand, is an unfunny jackass with no excuse for his behavior.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Captian Mal...

    by LeFlambeur

    ...hit the nail on the head. Whenever Gibson's name comes up people act as if his fascination with violence is something unique to the cinema. I find it wierd that the same people who complain about the Passion of the Christ turn around and paricipate in a jerkfest over the latest 300 trailer.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    So the violence in "The Passion" served the story?

    by Monkey Butler

    Or perhaps the characters? I'm sorry, but I didn't notice that either were present in that film. All I saw was a guy on a shit-looking blue set getting aressted, having flashbacks to when he invented tables and chairs, seeing evil Devil children, having the absolute living shit cut out of him with a whip, and then stumbling around with a block of wood. The myth of the Resurrection can be a beautiful one, but not when it's told by a fucking freak.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Gibson is responsible for all the Kramers in the world

    by TheBaxter

    and so's your mom

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST

    The violence never served the story...

    by LeFlambeur

    ...but it did serve Gibson's point. With "The Passion" Mel wasn't telling a story but preaching a sermon. He was using every visual technique he could think of to sell the viewer on his idea of Jesus Christ. What is his idea? Gibson's Christ is probably the biggest, manliest Christ in movie history. In one of the earliest images of the movie, kills a snake by stepping on it. When his cross drops it makes a thunderous thud. This Christ can endure two plus hours of torture and still rise at the end to go kick his enemies asses. To make his Satan, Gibson found a woman, shaved her entire head, and covered her in a whiteish powder and had a man dub over her voice. Goodness is embodied by manly Jesus, evil by an ambigously gendered devil. Alot of the imagerey in "the Passion" is batshit crazy, but I am hesitant to deny the film's artistic merits.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Michael Richards should boycott this film...

    by wolvenom

    now that would freaking hilarious.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 11:56 a.m. CST

    gotta love

    by steele8280

    mel. there's no getting around it. he's probably a genius. don't ask me to explain. it would probably kill me.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 11:57 a.m. CST

    anybody else ...

    by Freefinger

    being annoyed by the Noid??? That little red bastard! If I get my hands on him I'll squish the jujubee internal organs right out!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 12:34 p.m. CST

    The Jews should be hanging from trees with forks....

    by crackerfarmboy

    Who cares about crazy Mel? Fuck this movie! Fuck Mel Gibson! and Fuck Michael Richards! Oh and Fuck you too!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 12:43 p.m. CST

    a great line..

    by white owl

    It was completely unecessary to show the baby coming out from under her tunic under the water.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    The violence did serve the story.

    by BirdMcMonster

    The "Passion" of the Christ was his last 12 hours, which were full of violent suffering. If you want to argue that Mel is a whack job, thats's fine, but as a director, he definitely knows that violence and suffering not only go hand in hand, but also make for a very compelling story.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Could be considered one of our greatest directors...

    by SK909

    if he's shut the fuck up in his spare time and keep a low profile. I hate when I see people who are true artists with real talent torn apart by their own public persona. I guess the media's insatiable appetite for the celebro-weirdness doesn't help either. Anyway, The Passion's violence WAS the story. The point was to make you see what he had gone through, rather than degrade it by having him walk around through the whole movie with a halo behind him. Scorsese's reasoning was the same, but with him it was temptation. The violence and torture Christ was put through are just as valid points of the story as temptation, or love, sermons, etc. It's valid cinema too. I honestly think the film was art of the highest order. The problem is ALL art is ultimately made by a human being and unless you get caught in a drunken rant about Jews, in most cases nobody will ever know your private thoughts, the ones that aren't put onto film. Nobody is perfect. We are ALL prejudiced and people, when they feel cornered and vulnerable and have a problem with addiction will externalize and blame their problems on everyone but themselves. I know, my father is probably one of the worst addicts in the history of addiction. On the flip side of that coin, to me, the Jewish community have a very, very big reason to keep vigilance over their public perception and any very public ideaological rants by celebrities, politicians, preachers, what have you, and that reason is THE HOLOCAUST. Just as I understand where the black community is coming from with their very, very big reason to keep watch over such things - SLAVERY. I guess my main point is, everyone has their reasons, everyone has an agenda and that agenda is not always bullshit (although it may seem like it from your perspective), and, as Jesus Himself said, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. If people would just put themselves in other's shoes once in a while, the world might not be such a fucked up place. Oh, and I have nowhere to put this, but I just saw Primer and I can't believe what that movie did for 7 grand. I was beginning to doubt Sundance's future validity after seeing Brick, but it is now restored in my eyes.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Maybe he's not a racist

    by SanityKaos

    Alright, Mel Gibsons driving in his car drunk out of his mind. He gets pulled over and gets all pissed off. He stops and says "shit..." (That's right he actually stops and says "shit") "I'm Mel Gibson...Everyone thinks I hate jews..Why don't I throw that in this asshole's face!...Really piss this guy off!!" And then he wakes up in jail the next day thinking, "Why the fuck did I do that!?" That's really the best case scenario cause it's either that or he's just flat out racist

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Ooooh...Gibson made a violent movie like "Passion"

    by DerLanghaarige

    Has anyone ever seen "Braveheart" uncut?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Focus Groups Hated It Right Up Until Guy's Head Got...

    by wash

    ...Cut Off. I love The Onion.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    AWESOME!

    by keisereela

    I can't wait! He can go fuck a goat for all I care, as long as he makes good movies I loved everythig Mel Gibson has directed so far and this seems to be another one served right up my alley.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Fuck you, Mel Gibson

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    and fuck your piece of shit movie, too.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Is it o.k. if I really want to see this?

    by DarthCorleone

    I'm already dreading the self-conscious guilt at the ticket counter.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I'm there.

    by snakecharmer

    Fuck the haters. In the end, It's about what I want to watch. I could careless what people think when I'm buying dvds or tickets at the box office. Mel is good director. He's a flawed person just like the rest of you. Some of the stuff some of you post is hateful also. See you on the 8th, spacemonkies. Lates.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    snakecharmer

    by chiahead

    I think you mean you COULDN'T care less what people think when you're buying dvd's or movie tickets. Nonetheless, I second your opinion.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Monkeybutt2000

    by Almost_Human

    If you are referring to Michael Richards, he wasn't drunk man. That's why it's inexcusable. He's just a talentless hack without the stage skills to handler a heckler.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 5:18 p.m. CST

    And all you Mel haters who drink...

    by Almost_Human

    I hope you remember all your hatred when you have one too many and try to fuck your girlfriends sister or attack a mailbox because it was making fun of you.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    correction

    by Almost_Human

    try to fuck your girlfriends sister IN FRONT OF HER

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Finally saw the preview for it

    by streakerfreak1983

    I finally saw the preview for this when my fiance and I went to see Casino Royale and both our mouths dropped to thee floor. It was so intense. We can't wait to see it. I don't care what Mel Gibson is like outside of his film making. My favorite director is Kubrick and he was a huge asshole. We all still pay to go see Sharon Tate's husbands work (dear old Roman). Geez, most of the best art and films are made by insane assholes.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:41 a.m. CST

    FUCK THE MAYANS

    by greekopa

    GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Sounds good

    by mooniewawee

    Appears to be better than I expected.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:46 a.m. CST

    greekopa

    by mooniewawee

    What's your silly little mayan-hate about? Lecture us.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:23 a.m. CST

    can someone honestly explain something to me

    by Bloo

    without going into hyperbole, or telling me to shut the "f" up or accusing me of being a racist. But my question is, why is that Mel Gibson gets drawn and quatered for druken, yet racist comments about Jews and YET Al Sharpton adn Louis Farkhann get away with a WHOLE lot more against the Jewish community and yet noone calls them out because of it

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:26 a.m. CST

    oh and

    by Bloo

    Apocolypto looks crazy insane but good

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:39 a.m. CST

    scorsese offered Mel a role in The Departed?

    by mooniewawee

    Well that's what the EW article says... http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,1564173-5-5_1||233612|1_,%2000.html

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    My fav Mel moment

    by arghhhhhhhh

    I think my favourite mel Gibson movie is that one where he told the Jews to go Fuck themselves. Give that man an academy award

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Mel is a fuckwit, but....

    by chinesefood

    Braveheart was awesome. I hope he dies of testicular cancer, but until then I'll enjoy his movies. And Michael Richards is an fucking moron, but he's far less of an offensive character than Mel. His biggest crime is he just isn't funny.