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Dr. Richard Walker feels APOCALYPTO is one of the most wildly entertaining films he's seen all year!

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.

Harry here - the baby birth plays two different ways - in a small quiet theater that doesn't have a large crowd - it plays as an honest scene. In a packed audience - it will get giggles - with a packed college audience I'd imagine it would be very guffaw-y. However, the way the baby is born is actually a very natural childbirth. The water birth process is considered by many to actually be LESS traumatic than "the regular way". And the mother never takes an injury to her belly area - so I was never thinking stillborne. But that's just me.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:24 p.m. CST

    come on, man!

    by occula

    that was the most disjointed review i've ever read. did you like it or not? was it too violent or not? did it suck ass or not? give me a fucking break!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:25 p.m. CST

    si

    by conbarba

    si

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:24 p.m. CST

    ***st

    by AllieJamison

    i am ***st? However...this review isn't bad at all. (For me as a non native speaker:) Thank you. It really showed your level of confusion and seems to make some good points.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:26 p.m. CST

    forth

    by playahatersball

    tally

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:27 p.m. CST

    read it outloud

    by playahatersball

    and backwards, then you'll realize I can spell.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Can't wait. I love Mel

    by slone13

    I don't really give a shit about his personal life, but this guy's been entertaining me for almost thirty years in front of, as well as behind, the camera.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Seeing this Friday

    by zebra

    Mad Mel is debuting the final cut at a casino in Norman, OK this Friday and I have tickets. Cant wait!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:30 p.m. CST

    all hail Melvin Gibsons..

    by nolan bautista

    ..bravest anti-Jew warrior..all kidding aside, i remember Gibson more as Mad Max than some drunken Hebe-hater..i will watch Apocalypto..

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:32 p.m. CST

    So there are conquistadors in this flik?

    by playahatersball

    even though the Mayan civilizaton was long dead by the time the spanish arrived. I realize there are Mayans living in the Yucatan today, but I thought they had been superceded by the Omlecs, Toltecs, Zapotecs and Aztecs by the time of the Spanish arriving. What gives? Any experts on Mexican pre-columbian history able to explain this to me?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:34 p.m. CST

    ...this is a somewhat stream

    by AllieJamison

    ...this is a somewhat stream of consciousness-like review. thus there's more commenting on how Walker FELT, what the film did to him and less analysis or attempt to put the film into a quasi film scientific perspective. I liked it. It was an immediate report rather than a review...which he mentions. and still it wasn't all bullshit. As I said...he made some points regarding the action, regarding certain scenes he didn't like. I dunno.... Mel Gibson is really interesting and seems to have certain sado masochistic ...needs he satisfies in his roles and directorial projects.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:39 p.m. CST

    THINK RICHARDS MADD AT GIBSONS, BEING JEWISH AND ALL

    by greekopa

    WEAPON 5 MEL AND RICHARDS TAKING ON THE MINORITIES CALL MICHAEL BAY

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Why "PASSION" was bloody.

    by Tai_Pan

    To a lot of non-Christians, and perhaps even more casual Christians, it may seem puzzling as to why Gibson would choose only the violent-death aspect of Jesus' life for a film. The answer keeps coming back when a non-Christian presumes to say "the important part of Jesus' life was his teachings and not his death!"... actually, if one is to take the New Testament at face value, THE DEATH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF JESUS' LIFE. Of course, you may debate whether or not you find that to be true from a subjective standard, but the New Testament hammers this fact over and over and over again "for God so loved the world that He gave it His only begotten Son" "died for our sins, " so on and so on over and over. To say that his death was not the important aspect of Jesus' life is rather hollow. From a Christian perspective (let's say Catholic, since this is Mr. Gibson's vantage) why else was Jesus' on Earth if not for that purpose? For the purpose of turning water into wine? To feed a crowd with bread and fish? To teach parables? What is the most easily recognizable symbol of Christianity? Is it a loaf of bread or a bottle of wine, perhaps?-No, it is a cross. The death of Jesus is the seminal moment in history from the Christian point of view. It represents a great sacrifice on the part of God for humanity, so it comes as no surprise to me that if one-in making a film about a particular aspect of Jesus' life- would choose that ultimate moment, and emphasize the pain and sacrifice of the Crucifiction. The blood and violence is not gratuitious for Mr. Gibson. To the contrary, it is most likely an instrument to drive home the theme of what Gibson considers to be the greatest gift purchased at the greatest price. So before spouting off "his teachings were more important than his death" perhaps you should first address the wealth of New Testament evidence that suggests that Jesus' death WAS the most important aspect of his life (far moreso than his teachings). Keeping that in mind, I agree with Mr. Gibson: the violence has a purpose. Capitalizing on violence? Gimme a break. The reviewer is slinging his silly opinion around without asking if there is justification for having such violence in a film.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:44 p.m. CST

    APOCOLYPTO II : ODE TO THE FUHRER

    by The Ender

    IM AT IT AGAIN

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:44 p.m. CST

    MAD MAX 4 - MAD MAX IN JERUSALEM

    by greekopa

    END OF THE WORLD FOR MEL?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:45 p.m. CST

    APOCALYPTO III: THROW THE JEW IN THE WELL

    by The Ender

    Starring Sasha Cohen

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Greekopa That made me fucking laugh

    by The Ender

    good shit

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Regardless of what you think

    by el_slothe

    Regardless of what you think of Mr. Gibson, if you live in Texas you should see this flick. It supports a local guy. Very few folks out of Central Texas get a break so support them. In regards to where the lead of this film comes from, Belton, I can think of 3. George Eads of CSI fame, the band Flyleaf, and now Rudy Youngblood(Gonzalez). If you are from the area support your people, see this flick, period. Welcome to the center of the known universe my children.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Enter The Jesus

    by The Ender

    Instead of dragon. Get it? because jesus was a jew? Fucking cunts

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Wow...

    by Veraxus

    Every time someone writes a review about one of Gibsons movies I can't help but laugh... especially considering the comments about what "The Passion" SHOULD have been (really, had I been directing, it would have been much, much, much more graphic - hence, more realistic). Get over the graphic violence people, you all seem to have a horribly distorted view of history AND anatomy. Your ignorance is really quite entertaining.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:14 p.m. CST

    that review was absolutely maybe positive....

    by The Dum Guy

    So were getting a overly violent film that doesn't have any English dialogue and has something not to do with Jesus. And digital cinematography makes things look not so well, even in scenes that are beautifuly shot.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Stillborn

    by kafka07

    this movie is stillborn...it's dead even before it hits theaters.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 9:45 p.m. CST

    MEL IS A GOD

    by keisereela

    And the king of malibu! Seriously, this movie sounds kick ass. I can't wait!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Mel = new Leni Riefenstahl?

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Here's a bad joke: only difference between Mel and Hitler is that Mel smokes pole and Hitler smoked Pols... Duh, duh, duh.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Boo!

    by beelkay

    Hiss!

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:19 p.m. CST

    What the fucking fucking fuck?

    by Fleet

    Im confused how people can applaude the violence of Saw 1, 2 and 3 and cheer the violence of Hostel... but then get all urky over the violence of a movie like Apocalypto... Please Explain.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Jesus Christ what a terrible review.

    by Gary Yogurt

    Do they still teach you how to write in college?

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 10:59 p.m. CST

    I'm surprised no one's dropped the...

    by slder78

    "I'm never spending another penny of my money on Mel Gibson" line yet. Oh and another fun fact, turns out Michael Richards once made a joke about Jews and said he was allowed to joke cause he was himself Jewish. Turns out neither of his parents are jewish, and he is not jewish either, he just CONSIDERS himself a jew.

  • Nov. 29, 2006, 11:03 p.m. CST

    I saw Apocalypto tonight; disastrous

    by Chris Conway

    I saw the movie tonight as a part of a showing in Texas. Some exciting scenes, but also alot of over-the-top and ridiculous stuff that will turn most people off. It just does not work. People in this showing seemed to hate it.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 12:45 a.m. CST

    MAD MED MAKES MADLY ENTERTAINING FILMS

    by Sepulchrave

    I have learned to love Mel, even though he's a right-wing alcopop crackpot. His films are crazily well=made and always worth a look, even if he's skinning Christ alive, throwing homos out windows or merely, as Jack would say (who really should be directed by Mad Mel one of these days) 'Bashing...brains right the FUCK in'. Hooray for Mel. Fuck Lethal Weapon, though.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Darn you, Michael Bay.

    by SingingHatchet

    In case you forgot!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Christians Have it Wrong

    by Toshiro Kurasawa

    Christ's death isn't the most important thing to Christianity. That is what the churches would like you to believe. Get educated, for Christ's sake! The most important part about your Christianity is your deeds, what you do for "the least of us." IT IS THE DEEDS, not the divinity. Get over having to be right, and GO DO RIGHT instead.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Tai_Pan, Toshiro

    by mediocrates

    Tai_Pan... That all depends on your theology. Some people would argue that the resurrection is more important than the crucifiction, although obviously the resurrection could not have happened without the crucifiction. Toshiro, the whole point of Christianity is that we are not saved by deeds alone, but by the grace of God. Grace is the central teaching of Christianity, not deeds.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:39 a.m. CST

    IM STEAMIN WILLIE BEAMEN

    by greekopa

    LOVE THAT SONG

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:55 a.m. CST

    agree with Toshiro

    by lionbiu

    The death of christ is not the most important part of christianity...at all. The Passion was a terrible movie, it had little plot, little dialogue and was just a sadomaschist dream movie. I agree to make a film about the execution of christ it should be brutal, but not so OTT comical brutal as 'The Passion'...the violence in that movie was never justified. 'The passion' was the equivalent of when your mother cooks you a bad meal but tells you "There are starving children around the world who would kill for a meal" and than expects you to swallow the tripe.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:15 a.m. CST

    sorry. - when i started writing this review

    by dr.bulber

    i was straight and i lit up a joint halfway through. did i already say that? lol. did i like it? - i dont remember. eww childbirth scenes. im NEVER getting pregnant. im hungry. ooh- i should look for some internets porn.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:26 a.m. CST

    xoxo Tai_Pan

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    So well thought out, even a genius like me has nothing to add but bravo.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Caltiki-The Immortal Monster was a Mayan film.

    by Uncapie

    Though shot by Mario Bava in Italy doubling for the land of the Mayans. Blob-esque monsters, bad guys, treasure, babes and the actor that played scientist Ben Cortman in "Last Man On Earth" as... a scientist. What more could you ask for? Its Mayalicious!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this.

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Braveheart was awesome. Man Without A Face and Passion of the Christ were both very entertaining. Bring it on Riggs!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Gibson is such a freak.

    by AnnoyYou

    What the hell did he hope to accomplish with this film? Is it to show the white Christian man's superiority over extinct indigenous people? Is it because he's running out of premises for "high-minded" gorefests? Or is it just another indication that he's lost his marbles? Yeah. I don't know who the hell he thinks is going to pay to see this film.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Best paragraph in AICN review history

    by maxpower

    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 <p> Lawls.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Nothing wrong with Gibson...

    by Seph_J

    ...the guy can direct. Which is more than most directors. I would rather see Gibson direct a film than Paul Anderson, Boll movement, or McG. And anyone who says Braveheart isn't good is clearly pro-semetic.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:16 a.m. CST

    Apocolypto--Mel's answer to revisionist history

    by Prisonrules

    The Problem most people are having with his films seems to be the violence factor. Unfortunately, in many ways, the violence depicted in his films is much less than the actual historical events depicted. It is a well-known fact that following the battle of Stirling Bridge, as depicted in the movie Braveheart, William Wallace skinned the English Captain and turned him into a belt that he wore the rest of his life...thankfully that didn't make it into the film. In regards to the Passion, well...the Romans were known the world over for their inventive and cruel methods of torture and execution. Now most revisionist history that you read will have you believe that before the white man came to North America, the Native American lived in a Utopian society. Everything was roses and peace pipes according to many revisionists. The truth of the matter is that these were some of the most violent societies in history. Personally I believe that was one of Mel's purposes in making this film. Furthermore...and I haven't seen the film yet, so I don't know how this is handled....but there are many historical reports telling of a Spanish ship that crashed off of the Yucatan Peninsula...several of the survivors were taken captive by the Mayan tribes...some were kept captive for many years before escaping, while others just adopted the Mayan culture and married into the tribe...ala dancing with wolves. Anyway...these are just a few of my thoughts on the subject!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Braveheart was awful too

    by Ricky Henderson

    It was yet another Mel Gibson blood-letting fest. The man gets beaten up and tortured in all his movies. He loves it, the sick freak. If he isn't the one being tortured, he makes damn sure that some other character in his films is. Gibson is a sadist, and people dumb enough to be fans of his movies need to be aware of that.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Confused!

    by Cat_Corporation

    Is it good, is it not? Should I spend my hard-earned £10 when it comes out in the UK? As for Gibson, like many others I don't particularly care for the guy these days, but he's been making interesting projects that appeal to me, so I should imagine I'll check this out...

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah - as for the violence...

    by Cat_Corporation

    As I've said, I don't like the guy and have no wish to defend him as a person, but one reason why his movies have been so violent may simply be that they are set in brutal, bloody times and often with a backdrop of war. Maybe if he makes a rom-com in which the main couple start ripping off heads and severing limbs with broadswords, we can really start talking about Mel's weird penchant for gore...

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    You can make a terrific war movie without the gore

    by Ricky Henderson

    Look at movies like "Patton" or "Paths of Glory." Gibson overdoes the violence. He thinks there's some higher level of enlightenment that can be reached through mutilation of the body. Thats pretty sick.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Mel defended Michael Richards...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Anyone see that shit? TMZ is reporting that Mel speaks out about Richards' "incident" in the new EW and says he feels bad for Richards. Maybe Mel doesn't know Richards considers himself a Jew? Or maybe he's just trying to get in close to him so he can kill him... Just a theory, lol.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Cruel_kingdom you fuckin faggot

    by arghhhhhhhh

    lol, only 15 yr old girls abreviate that

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Have-it-both-ways-review

    by Mister Man

    I will assume this "doctor" has neither attended this university nor, God forbid, is an instructor. That has to be the most spineless review I have ever read.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Gore-less war movies

    by Cat_Corporation

    Yeah, you can make great war movies without gore, but war sadly isn't and never will be a bloodless thing. I think it's important to show the violent realities of war in film, though when this oversteps the mark into glorification, or violence for the sake of just grossing people out (like so many recent horror films) I tend to lose interest. I think the level of violence in Braveheart was fine; the pitched battles are actually pretty tame by today's standards and you don't actually SEE Gibson being tortured at the end (although the sounds and the sight of the torture instruments are pretty grim in themselves); I do think the flogging scene in the Passion goes too far but I actually found the ridiculously caricatured Roman whippers, cackling like pantomime villains, prevented me from being moved by it.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Vog From Dimension X...

    by Lemming

    I think the review has confused digital camera work with green screen backdrops. He's using catch-all terminology saying that digital=cgi. In other words, he's an idiot.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10 a.m. CST

    You lot are bloody nutters...

    by Mr_Sleep001

    Mel is a soulless bloodletter and obsessed with gore, but Hostel's a fun night out? Prisonrules is right when he says even the violence Mel portrays is toned down from the reality of ancient life. And as for the Passion of the Christ, the crucifixion was a horrid violent affair. If you want a happy little death watch Robert Powell or Jeremy Sisto go quietly in their performances. And yes we all know Mel is a dick for having a drunken rant, but 90% of the people on here have done something stupid when they were drunk. And why does no-one care he could have run someone off the road and killed them? Because drunk driving is ok as long as you don't mouth of like a fool...apparently

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Mr_Sleep001

    by Cat_Corporation

    Good call, sir.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Oh and for the fans of hyperbole...

    by Mr_Sleep001

    ...being a drunken tool does not put him in the same league as mass murderers like Hitler, Goebbels et al. It makes him an idiot..

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:06 a.m. CST

    SHAMU THE WHALE IS A PRICK!

    by Uncapie

    Stop blubbering!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:12 a.m. CST

    ZombieSolutions

    by Mr_Sleep001

    Well done for oversimplifying the world of politics and belief and ignorance of fact in order too well...I don't know in order of what. "A spaztic, hasbeen, drunken idiot at the end of his career" but he's just produced a major motion picture and his last film was the biggest grossing independent film...that's okay your sarcasm proves you right...I'd hate to employ facts in a debate

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Confused too

    by mooniewawee

    Very confused.... But I can't wait!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    "He just vigrously supports

    by Mr_Sleep001

    "He just vigrously supports the worldview and ethos of those who do (or had). My bad" I'll go back to my point of people say dumb things when they're drunk. Hell they sleep with people they shouldn't or vomit over their boss. And yes anti semitism IS wrong, but not everyone who hasn't quite grasped an open world view doesn't believe mass murder is the answer. And does he vigourously support the view...if he did he wouldn't apologise or try and refute his father's views..no he'd do a Tom Cruise and defend himself and his views

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST

    I'm thinking Rolling Stone didn't think...

    by viola123

    ... it was too violent. I don't get this review. It's more so a slam than anything, and not just for "Apocalypto" but "The Passion of the Christ" and the fact that it brough up "The Passion" makes me question its entire aim to begin with. Sorry, I do. I think it's curious that anyone could think Mel Gibson made "The Passion" for profit purposes, especially when most all of Hollywood was telling him he was crazy to invest his own money in such a project and that he would lose it all. But since "The Passion" was wildly successful, suddenly Mel Gibson knew this all along? Please explain. And yeah, I think the fact that "The Passion" was brought up in the way that it was in a review about "Apocalypto" where the only thing we really hear is that Mel Gibson is a bloodthirsty director, makes me wonder. But well, I'll see what my theater thinks December 8. Again, it didn't seem like "Rolling Stone" or Harry's fest crowd giggled or was turned off by the violence. It sounds like there's a major story here to be seen and a great movie to be found.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    zombiesolutions

    by Prisonrules

    "and most historians reckon that, if he did exist, in terms of the story, he was more of a metaphor for any number of populist revolutionary leaders, not a singular spacegod"....um which historians...if you don't mind me asking...you say most historians...I'm just curious as to which ones...because most of the historians I've spoken with and interviewed do not hold to that belief...much less declare it as fact, and I'll be more than happy to provide you with the names and credentials of those historians whom I've spoken with!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:30 a.m. CST

    That's better...

    by Mr_Sleep001

    ..more like a well constructed argument than crap flinging. But it still seems you've picked and chosen little tibits than look at the wider picture. I've seen Passion a few times now. The Romans are far from noble and when you say 'the Jews' I assume you mean the Sanhedrin rather than the Jews that were following Christ...see they weren't 'Christians' until Antioch which is where the term was coined. How about the Jewish women following and tending Christ were they villains??

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Then you have...

    by Mr_Sleep001

    Simon of Cyrene, another villain? Memebers of the Sanhedrin that stood up for Christ including Joseph of Arimathea. Yes all of those villainous Jews. See and the thing about the Romans was they allowed any occupation to keep its religion and traditions and absorbed it into the empire. The Jews had their own courts, but in matters of death sentences they had to seek approval of the Romans. Which is still the case in some Jewish courts in secular societies. The Jewish courts deal with civil matters, but criminal matter go to secular courts.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:40 a.m. CST

    And I think the main point of the Passion..

    by Mr_Sleep001

    ...was ot show the crucifiction for the brutal act it was. Not some happy peacful image romanticised by Renaissance era artists.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Quite possibly the most

    by Jared

    Quite possibly the most incoherent review I've ever read on this site...and Lord knows there's been a few.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Nijna go ninja go

    by mooniewawee

    ninja go ninja!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST

    impressive list of names, Zombiesolutions

    by Prisonrules

    I'm curious if you've actually read any of their works or if you are basing your opinion solely on what others have said about them? Dr. Craig Bloomberg, Dr. Bruce Metzger, Dr. Edwin Yamaguchi, Dr. John McCray, and Dr. Gregory Boyd all have differing views when compared with your list...so for you to say MOST historians was completely inaccurate. Though I respect most of the works of the historians that you listed, I have found that in many cases, their conclusions are far reaching and based on very little evidence. Elaine Pagels' analysis of the Gospel of Thomas for instance, leaves much to be desired. furthermore, most of her works are nearly thirty years old. And I've never actually read anywhere in which Gerd Theissen has claimed the view in which you speak...he does speak about the social implications of the early church, but I've never read anything in which he claims that Jesus was merely a symbol of several different revolutionaries. As for Dr. Maccoby, he has gone on record stating that the Jesus of the Gospels was in fact a historical figure...and not a symbol or metaphor or a combination of people, though, as an orthodox Jew himself, he does place the blame of Jesus execution squarely on the shoulders of the Roman's and absolves the sanhedrin of their involvement.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Toshiro and Mediocrates:

    by Tai_Pan

    As I alluded to earlier, the importance of a specific aspect of religion (like religion itself) is ultimately is whatever you take out of it. Keeping that in mind, you are free to say what you feel is the most important aspect of Christianity, however the evidence that Jesus’ purpose in life was to die for the sins of the world is pretty overwhelming and straightforward. Toshiro, please keep in mind that I said “most important aspect of Jesus’ life, and not Christianity itself (two different topics). The most important aspect of Jesus’ life is quite clearly not his deeds (save for those which worked towards Jesus’ Crucifiction) but rather his death, which, from a Christian perspective, allows for eternal life with God, not just for Jews but for all humanity that should accept Jesus. Since the death of Jesus is meant to reflect the notion of great sacrifice on the part of God, it seems to me that violence, even extreme violence, is justified to relay the magnitude of “the ultimate sacrifice.” Ultimately, mediocrates, I don’t understand your argument (devil’s advocate?) about the resurrection being most important (especially as several biblical characters are resurrected)… perhaps you would care to elaborate? Looking at it from Christian perspective, I don’t see how the resurrection could be of greater importance than the death, which had the twofold effect of 1. Showing God’s sacrifice, born of His love for humanity 2. Saving the human race/ allowing for everlasting life. To that end, I still see the importance of this aspect of Jesus’ life, and thus the need for focus on this aspect (and hopefully, even if you disagree about the proximate point of greatest importance in Jesus’ life, you will be able to see that the death of Christ IS an extremely important aspect of his life, and deserves the attention Gibson gave it).

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:23 p.m. CST

    maybe its a catholic thing....

    by lionbiu

    .....but I was always told that his resurrection is far more important...hence Easter being the most important date in any Christians calender. The focus on his death has brought nothing but misery, we should celebrate his life and words...and I aint even christian (anymore)

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Mel Gibson...

    by lionbiu

    ....he was a arse for saying what he did, but that was months ago and everyone should let it go. But I still stand by my criticism of The Passion...of course crucifixtion is brutal, but the violence was SOOOO OVER-THE-TOP that it just became laughable....and if you are EVER GOING TO DO A MOVIE ON JESUS'S SACRIFICE YOU MUST SHOW HIS RESURRECTION AND ACENSION TO HEAVEN!! All we got was a glimpse of his arse.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:36 p.m. CST

    people are morons...

    by deadpool51

    im sick of hearign peopel say Mel focused to much on the voilence in Passion of the Christ. THATS WHAT THE DAMN MOVIE WAS ABOUT!!!! it wasnt about jesus's life, it wasnt about he being betrayed, it was barely about him even being crucified. It was about him takign a freakign beating for what he beleived in. Hell is in the damn title of the movie . "passion" means the suffering , in bible terms. look it up in the dictionary. SO why woudl a movie about jesus suffering , not show alot of violence. Woudl you have felt as much for him if you just heard the whips ? No , you had to see it so you could feel his pain. that was the point of the movie, to be violent and heart wrenching so you can see what he went through and not just read it.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Or you could see and anthropologist persective...

    by Darwyn

    A slightly different perspective - My historical interpretation that I like best is anthropologist Marvin Harris - he documented the historical Jesus who inherited a lucky break. According to Harris, preceeding Jesus was a prophesy that held that someone would rise up to lead the loyal flocks to glory - problem was, everyone kept getting excited everytime someone actually rose up to incite hell against the overwrought, overextened Romans only to have the Romans, despite this, kill the poor bastard. So finally, a brilliant prophesy manager hits on an idea - maybe the son actually DIES and only later, when everyone’s been on their best behavior, do they get reborn to lead us all to our glory and power! Well, that obviously, was genius - then the next guy who rises up can die the biggest, most humiliating death, and it proves nothing - in fact, that would be what was supposed to happen. This way, unlike the early American Millerites who pushed back the date of apocalypse when it didn’t happen on time, the coming of glory wouldn't be a series of dashed expectations shaking people in the faith. They truly hit the jackpot. When Jesus died, truly a powerful man in his day, but a power that extended to whipping callous money-lenders as well as good deeds for his own group as Harris documents, his backstory was filled out to mythic proportions and he became the martyr the loyal flock had needed so badly. Furthermore, there were ripe possibilities for behavior modification. For instance, if god sacrificed his son for us, that left no doubt God is on our side – religions that involve sacrifice, even relationships involving sacrifice, are documented to be the most stable and tight-knit, as the members are sure of the sacrificer’s commitment to the group. Furthermore, if Jesus DIES for us, then sacrifice becomes, for us, a worthy, noble, honorable, spiritual path in life, instead of one where we feel like crap for being stepped on by those in power. In other words, making dying and being a glutton for punishment a great thing makes people feel good about taking the punishment of authority; and it allows the system to work – something that worked so well for authoritarian forms of government, it spread like wildfire into feudalist Europe. Finally, if the constant chance that Jesus will come back if we are only good enough is looming, people have a real tangible motivation to be on their best behavior when the proximal factors of their life aren’t so glamorous – Jesus is watching you, and he’s waiting to scoop you up into heaven any second. This is why doomsday or apocalyptic cults work so well – if you think you only have to be good for another day or year, you maintain a higher output of moral energy than you can maintain if you think it’s ultimately proving pointless and unrewarding day to day. Religion is invaluable, because it makes people content, glues people together for common bonds, and allows for the maintenance of a sometimes inefficient social system that steps on people. It allowed us to get to the point where capitalist, complex technologically networked systems can glue people together in efficiency, by not allowing anger spread by oppressed populations when the time wasn’t right for social change. Instead, people became proud of their Jesus-like stoicism in the face of harsh-times, prayed some, and took solace in a similarly believing network.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:16 p.m. CST

    POTC was for guilt -- Apocalyptico = heathen savagery

    by Darwyn

    The passion of the Christ, though I didn't see it, was clearly about reinforcing the idea in people's heads that this guy went through all this shit for YOU!!! It makes you feel guilty, like you owe god something. It kicks in that hardwired scheme for reciprocity - if someone does something for you, you do something for them. Consequently, the guilt and need to repay something that can never be repayed, makes you act on your best behavior all the time. But the practical side of that is even if we're all being sweet as pie to each other because we are doing so out of guilt and compulsion, the result is that everyone does get along better. Although this worked a hell of alot better in the past than nowadays.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    lionbiu

    by Tai_Pan

    Comparatively, the death of Jesus was most miserable (as Mr. Gibson has so clearly pointed out) but how has the relation of his death caused misery? To the contrary, I'd say there are most likely millions-perhaps even billions- of Christians who take joy in knowing that Jesus death "set them free from sin" (as the song goes). What misery are you referring to? Also, it isn't as if focusing on his death comes at the price of "not celebrating his life and words"... why is it that people find these two ideas completely incompatible? Also, the resurrection is depicted in "The Passion," even if briefly it is certainly a *very* important aspect of the film (I say "film," to indicate just that). By the way, did the movie not juxtapose Jesus' teachings, deeds, words with his brutal death? There were quite a few flashbacks with Jesus at various points in his life, covering some of his teachings (one of the more striking flashbacks for me was the "drawing the line in the dust" scene) Why is it that this is looked over, instead of asking or examining whether his "deeds and words" are highlighted amongst the betrayal and torture of Christ? To me, the film makes a clear contrast between the "better" aspects of his life and Jesus' gruesome death. To say that the ascencion and more of the resurrection should have been scene is a "must" is mere preference (nothing wrong with that, but I rather enjoyed the film's ending where it did).

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:46 p.m. CST

    The Lion and the Winter

    by mooniewawee

    I Vote the LION!

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 4:09 p.m. CST

    The flying spaghetti monster was raped for your sins!!

    by Darwyn

    Raped for three days. For you. So your somewhat complicit, aren't you? The Flying Spaghetti Monster wouldn't have been raped if you hadn't gone and sinned. Don't you feel sorry.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 4:24 p.m. CST

    reply

    by lionbiu

    POTC had little redeeming features. I agree it did have some flashbaks to Jesus's deeds, but they were too little and Jesus's death is not what billions of Christians celebrate...his sacrifice is important, but its his words that holds together christians. I don't know if christ resurrected or not, but his philosophy on life is something anyone can take regardless of their religious background. Focusing on Jesus's death caused huge problems between the jewish and christian community. Also for the dumbarse who seemed to not understand what people are complaining about........the violence was OTT and I could have felt jesus's suffering with suggestion. A good director can gain sympathy and emotions from their audience without being so blatant.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Yeah, POTC may be artistic, but deep, it was not...

    by Darwyn

    That's right - you can infer what it was about. There was TEN MINUTES of torture (In movie time, alot) and the title a direct quote of the old passion plays which have the same plot description, and we know what those were about. Call it pretentious, but I bet you that's what that movie was about: Mel Gibson's attempt to make Jesus's death so graphic that we never forget what it means to say that someone "died for your sins." A religious guilt trip.

  • Dec. 2, 2006, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Lionbiu

    by Tai_Pan

    actually, millions of Christians do celebrate the death of Jesus (not the fact that he died, but yes: there is celebration that he died for the sins of humanity)... Have you ever seen a Cross worn on someone's neck? Of course that is rhetorical, yet you seem not to recognize that the wearing of a cross is a symbolic celebration of something. As to "huge problems" in the Christian/Jewish community, I'd have to ask what you are referring to (yes, I remember some protests over the portrayal of the Sanhedrin, but I think that is a far, far cry from "huge problems".... I think that is quite an exaggeration), and then further ask that you show something akin to "misery" flowing from that supposed rift. As for it being a "religious guilt trip" I think that is silly. If you believe, then there is reason to respect the magnitude of the sacrifice, and if you don't, then you don't... the only reason to gripe about a guilt trip is if you think Gibson is trying to make you feel guilty, in which case I think that statement should be backed up by evidence, or cast to the winds of subjectivity.

  • Dec. 3, 2006, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Kurosawa's curious theology

    by Oberon

    "Christ's death isn't the most important thing to Christianity. That is what the churches would like you to believe. Get educated, for Christ's sake! The most important part about your Christianity is your deeds, what you do for "the least of us." IT IS THE DEEDS, not the divinity. Get over having to be right, and GO DO RIGHT instead." There's a name for this, and it's called Pelagianism. And at least doctrinally, pretty much every Christian church has adamantly rejected it: the whole point of the Incarnation is that fallen human beings are incapable of their own resources to achieve salvation, to realize the Good. To do good flows from grace, rather than causing it. All I'm saying is that if you're going to represent Christian teaching (Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox) even in its broadest, most basic sense, do so accurately - whatever you think of Mad Mel and his cinematic talents and personal prejudices.