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A Crunchy Thumbs Up for APOCALYPTO

Dreher manfully admits that he was wrong to advise his crunchy crowd to abstain from Mel Gibson’s new film. I was also inclined not to see it. It just seemed too strange and not that interesting, even with the blood and guts and all. But apparently it’s another stunning masterpiece. (And if you go to Rotten Tomatoes, you will see that the mainstream critics are growing increasingly appreciative; the fashionable tendency to write Mel off is fading.) So I will see it right after the 25th; it’s probably not the best source of Christmas cheer. Feel free to give your opinion...especially if you want to warn me not to waste my time.

Discussions - 5 Comments

It just seemed too strange and not that interesting, even with the blood and guts and all.

One could draw the conclusion that the poster sees lots of blood and guts is a redeeming quality in film. I guess I come from the rather conservative and old-fashioned Hitchcockian school, which is none too popular these days. The ability to film raw, not to mention very scary, evil without an ounce of bloodletting on the silver screen is a lost art. It’s kinda gone the way of telling a really funny joke without the use of crass vularity.

But, hey, that takes a lot of work and effort. In these "why bother" days, it’s just more profitable to let the bloodlettting and bad language do all the hard work.

Peter, go see it. The gore is integral and appropriate. In pacing and story line it reminded me a bit of The Last of the Mohicans, starring Daniel Day-Lewis (a better movie, with a great lead actor). I found its pace draggy, but a real story, with coherence and significance, was being laid out. The contrasts are broadly drawn but interesting and illuminating: jungle v. urban; tribe v. city; fear & cowardice & slavery v. their opposites; men v. (and +) women; at the end, Native American v. Spanish. Rousseau would sortof like it.

Paul, I’m inclined to take that Rousseau comment as somewhere between faint and extravagant praise...I liked THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS too, because it wasn’t so Rousseauean, finally...Have the best Christmas ever!

One review I read placed Gibson squarely pro-Spanish and imperialist against the poor, suffering natives. Quite differing views.

Peter, apropos to my Rousseau comment: he’d think that the issues and various parties were fairly treated and that the good guys (the jungle dwellers - his Caribes), or at least Jaguar Paw, won (against the forces of urban/imperial evil). Of course Rousseau was more interested in the European/Westerners versus American Indians than the intra-Indian battle. He would agree with the movie’s portrait of the sweetest of the conjugal bond, as well as the attachment of amour-propre to the desire for independence and liberty. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas.

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