Tuesday, February 13, 2007

About Films

Apocalypto
I saw this film at the dollar movie so it had a lot going against it from the start. The screen was small, the stereo sound was way too loud, and a guy on my isle was smoking grass. The opening scene involves a pack of indians killing a boar and then tricking one of the indians into eating the balls. The dialogue could have been lifted directly from american pie or some equivalent. I started to wonder what I had gotten into. As the movie progressed I realized how adept Mel Gibson was at setting up the story with real characters and moving it along. Eventually, the boar, the balls, and the relationships payed off. This film really kept me interested and entertained in a way that I haven't been for a while. Occassionally Mel Gibson goes too far with the violence, or uses too much dialogue. Also the script seems to want to punish it's characters more than necessary (much like passion of the Christ) but it never got rediculous. This is essentially a chase movie, and as such, it works really well. There are great moments of tension such as in the sacrifice scene where Jaguar Paw is put on the alter. This scene also conveys a spiritual subtext and gives meaning to the title of the film. In a way, this scene is kind of the climax of the film and it comes too early, but the film still manages to sustain afterwards and builds again to a nice third act surprise. This is not a low budget movie. If you were turned off by the trailer looking hoaky, don't worry, the visuals are great. What Mel Gibson does here as a story teller is very conventional, but the Native American setting gives it some nuance and allows it to feel fresh. The movie ended with a rain storm and when I left the theatre, it was pooring rain. Somehow, I made a nice connection with the film on a deeper level than I expected. Overall, I had a great time at the movies.

5 Comments:

Blogger Bryan Summers said...

I loved this movie. It has been a long time since I've actually been afraid during a movie, but one scene gave me the serious willies.

Very exciting movie. I highly recommend it.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

South American rather.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Seth Kawasaki said...

I have been wanting to see this movie. I heard the visuals were really good. My step-mother said it is a combination of The Book of Mormon and Predator. I found it interesting when it was at the Provo Town Center that they had to put up a sign saying that the movie had subtitles. The only reason I can think that they would do that is because so many people complained. The other day I was at Pan's Labyrith (which I would like to write a reveiw on someday) and a girl sitting near me said: "this movie has subtitles? Darn it!" We live in an illiterate age.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

Bryan, you hit it right on the head. I was affraid at certain points in this movie as well. I didn't realize it though till you said that.
Seth, I was wondering if you had seen this film. I wonder what you would think of it. I thought it should have been NC-17 but I still liked it. Much of the reviews I read talked more about Mel Gibson then about the film. I plan to buy the DVD but I already know how I'm going to edit it (to make it better, not necessarily less violent).

9:56 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

Seth, I love the story about the lady and the subtitles. People are unbelievable. I think when I edit this film, I am going to take the subtitles out.

10:00 AM  

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