Hey folks, Harry here. I loved the early cut of this film - but I love how it seems to be sending people reeling after watching it. I've got some comments (spoiler variety) to add at the end. Can't wait to see a final print of this sucker! Here's the good Dr.
Hey Harry, I was able to catch a screening of Apocalypto at my university last night and I just had to write in with my thoughts. Some spoilers maybe. I have always wanted to see Apocalypto from the very beginning. There's never been a big budget Mayan movie, at least there has never been one that I've heard about, and I'm a sucker for historical epics, especially when the money is there to procide us with some really decent production value. I was also excited that it was Mel Gibson. I don't know whether Mel Gibson is an anti-semetic or not, but for some time I have started to doubt his sanity. If anything I think I'm okay with a bigoted Mel Gibson if he is in fact crazy. His craziness just wanted to make me see whatever he made next. And there was that trailer. Didn't do much for me, but I still wanted to see it. I figured even if the movie was bad, it would be wildly and weirdly bad and I love that in a movie. And there was that Mel Gibson cameo in the trailer and if nothing else I knew that I would in for a treat. And I of course was. Apocalypto was one of the most wildly entertaining movies I have seen all year. I'm kind of upset I saw it at my school, because of the smaller screen and the inferior sound quality, but it was free so who can complain? The movie, was funny, exciting, disgustingly violent (This was especially satisfying since my pass had listed the movie as being rated PG-13, which is contrary to the ads running now and to the violence and blood that I saw onscreen), and it was at times emotionally wrenching. Despite being in Mayan with subtitles Gibson had made a damn fine Hollywood action that had the audience gasping and cheering throughout. Of course the film went over-the-top in many places. Some times too far. There is also a terrible scene with a little girl that begins kinda creepy in a good way and then doesn't end. The scene needs to be cut. Less than halfway through most of the audience began talking amongst themselves, laughing at was going on on the screen or just not caring about it at all. I have never seen so many people pulled out of a movie's story so quickly. I also think the childbirth was way beyond acceptable (or believable) over-the-topness. I thought the baby would be stillborn which would make sense with how much damage the mother takes. It would also make sense with how bloodthirsty Mel Gibson seemed to be throughout the film. Also the arrival of the Spanish is done very poorly. I enjoyed the hell out of it when it happened and was laughing alot, half hoping to see Mel make a cameo as one of the Europeans. So I came out of the film feeling very entertained. I had enjoyed myself, but I don't think that Apocalypto is a great movie by any means. It may not even be a Good movie. During the scene with the bees one of my friends commented on this being the worst movie he had ever seen. This kinda pissed me off because I was really enjoying the Predator-style revenge of Jaguar Paw, and I also couldn't see how he had written the film off so quickly. Talking with him afterwards I found out that he was mainly disgusted with the violence in the film that was so wanton and non-stop. My friend is by no means squeamish. He likes many gory movies as do I, but this movie goes to such a ridiculous place in terms of violence and it goes from taking itself way too seriously to scenes of gross out humor or just wildly insane action-movie impossiblilities. I began to feel ashamed that I had enjoyed the movie's violence so much and I became kind of disappointed in the bloodthirsty reaction of the audience. I don't want to sound all high and mighty. In fact I recommend that people go see the movie, but also I can't possibly believe that there are any serious or powerful messages in the film or any of Gibson's work now. I feel like he takes too much joy in this bloodletting. I liked Passion of the Christ when I saw it. I thought that Mel focused too much on the blood and suffering of Jesus, and not the stuff that matters in the story of Jesus and the bible and whatever. Now I think the whole thing was sick. Passion of the Christ was a brilliant ploy to make a shitload of money and get away with as much ultraviolence in his movies as possible. Yeah, so that's that. This review may have been written really badly and shit, but I'm still kinda reeling from the movie. It was wild, wild shit. Oh and I am pretty sure the entire film was shot digitally. This was a terrible decision. The digital cinematography constantly took me out of the film. I felt like I was watching reenactment scenes in a history channel special at many points. This was a real shame, because many of the shots are beautiful and some of the camera moves are really nifty. But Mel and co. really fucked up by going digital. Yeah. If you use this thanks. You can call me "Dr. Richard Walker." Peace.