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The Passion of the Christ
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Danny Baldwin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 02.21.2004 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first step to quitting is admitting you have a problem.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 02.21.2004 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:


Would now be a good time to admit that I actually liked Freddy Got Fingered? Sure, it's a bad movie, but it's so off-the-wall insane that... no, never mind, there's simply no way to defend the movie. I almost tried.


Hee hee. I know what you mean, Michael. There is something almost compelling about it. I think the two biggest problem I had with it was 1) the repetative nature of the scenes -- Tom Green enters; something strange happens; people commence yelling at the top of their lungs; scene ends -- and 2) it never quite had the courage to be as shocking or repellent as it seemed to want to be. Seeing Rip Torn get doused with a gallon of simulated elephant jism, for instance, is simply not as outrageous as it sounds since, well, it ain't real. I did love the "Zebras in America" cartoon, though.
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 02.21.2004 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
2) it never quite had the courage to be as shocking or repellent as it seemed to want to be.


That was my biggest complaint--it exists as nothing. Without giving the raunch some kind of context, Green is completely defanged.

Eric
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 02.21.2004 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This just in: Ebert calls Passion a "very great film":

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040221/lasa002_1.html

Funny how people latch onto silly rumors that have no basis in anything.

Roeper digs it, too.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 02.21.2004 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That actually makes a tad more sense. Considering Ebert's a scholar of Catholicism, I found the idea of his rejection of this movie wholesale completely inscrutable. Actually, I am little disappointed too; I was curious to find out how a movie could go so wrong in his eyes, since Gibson isn?t exactly a slouch when it comes to filmmaking.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 02.21.2004 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was, of course, the exact fear I had hen getting into the discussion. Damn WABC. Or, maybe, it was true, but he changed it, because of controversy, such as this.
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the night watchman
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Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 02.21.2004 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
Or, maybe, it was true, but he changed it, because of controversy, such as this.


Yeah, what a sellout, that Ebert.
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The Third M?n
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Joined: 09 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: 02.22.2004 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Danny Baldwin wrote:
Or, maybe, it was true, but he changed it, because of controversy, such as this.


Yeah, what a sellout, that Ebert.


Nah, he can't have done such a thing. It's all WABC's fault, what with all those idiotic rumours, trying to spark some cheap controversy...

Anyhow, my anticipation for this film has just heightened. The bad thing is I have to wait till March twenty something to see it.
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 02.22.2004 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This just in:

Newsweek does not like Gibson's film.

It's a very peculiar review. Take your time and read it, but I don't know whether or not the reviewer's excuses for not liking the film can be justified.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 02.24.2004 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reading some other boards and it seems that perhaps we should be less worried about The Passion inspiring anti-Semitism than about it fueling hatred for Christians. Funny how that works.

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 02.24.2004 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Third M?n wrote:
This just in:

Newsweek does not like Gibson's film.

It's a very peculiar review. Take your time and read it, but I don't know whether or not the reviewer's excuses for not liking the film can be justified.


Thanks for the link, Mr. Lime. A quote from the Newsweek review: "From a purely dramatic point of view, the relentless gore is self-defeating. I found myself recoiling from the movie, wanting to keep it at arm's length?much the same feeling I had watching Gaspar Noe's notorious 'Irreversible,' with its nearly pornographic real-time depiction of a rape. Instead of being moved by Christ's suffering, or awed by his sacrifice, I felt abused by a filmmaker intent on punishing an audience, for who knows what sins. Others may well find a strong spirituality in 'The Passion'?I can't pretend to know what this movie looks like to a believer?but it was Gibson's fury, not his faith, that left a deep, abiding aftertaste."

Ansen is a very good critic, and his statement coincides with my pre-conceived fears regarding a Gibson-directed version of this story. (One of the worst things about Braveheart was the masochistic conclusion, with Gibson spread out like a certain martyr on a cross.) I'm still amazed that so many conservative evangelical groups are backing this torture-filled picture. Who would have ever guessed that Christian radio stations would be handing out free tickets to the bloodiest movie of the season? I admit I'm deeply enjoying the irony.

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 02.24.2004 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relevant quote from Richard Corliss' positive review in Time:

"Is the film anti-Jewish? Well, which Jews? Start with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical senate that found Jesus guilty of violating temple law and handed him to the Roman authority for summary punishment. The rabbis had their reasons; they saw the upstart as dangerous, blasphemous, possibly insane for proclaiming himself the Messiah and telling his followers they would live forever if they ate his flesh and drank his blood. The film sees the rabbis as doctrinally pure but politically corrupt. Indeed, it suggests they are a rogue cell calling a midnight caucus for a frame-up. But Gibson also shows many Jews (and no Romans) treating Jesus with a kindness and charity one might call Christian. We acknowledge, then, that The Passion is rabidly anti-Sanhedrin ? opposed, as Jesus and other Jews were, to the Establishment of the time. But to charge the film with being anti-Semitic is like saying those who oppose the Bush Administration's Iraq policy are anti-American."

Although I haven't yet seen the movie for myself, I think I buy Corliss' logic regarding this point.

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 02.26.2004 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think L.A. Weekly's Scott Foundas is one of the best critics working, and I've been eagerly anticipating his take on The Passion. Here are two excerpts:

1. "...the film in question is called The Passion of the Christ and that its protagonist is no ordinary human being, but Jesus of Nazareth. Try forgetting this, though, just for a moment ? indeed, it may be necessary to do so in order to clear one?s mind of the incessant media fracas that has swirled around this production ever since it was announced... Gibson has made a big, bold, nightmarishly beautiful film not just about the dawn of the Christian faith, but about the awful tendency of human communities (wherever and whenever in the world they may exist) toward self-preservation, intolerance and mob rule. The Passion of the Christ will certainly have special resonance for Christians, but even those indifferent or hostile to the film on historical and/or theological grounds may find themselves moved by its potent depiction of physical, psychological and religious oppression.

2. I would, however, like to say a few words about Mel Gibson, who is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, the subject of many women?s fantasies, and who has had to pay a price for not conforming to certain people?s notions about how such an icon should behave. (How many other filmmakers have ever been held accountable for the beliefs of their elderly fathers?) On the cover of Entertainment Weekly, a headline questioned: ?Can Mel Gibson Survive The Passion of the Christ?? And make no mistake, Gibson has done the unthinkable ? not by directing and financing a movie about Jesus, mind you, but by speaking openly about the emptiness of wealth and fame, by daring to question the integrity of The New York Times and (most sinful of all) by reminding Hollywood that there are conservatives in its midst more conservative than Governor Ah-nuld. In short, Mel Gibson scares certain people, and such behavior doesn?t earn you many friends in this town. But Gibson exudes a confidence that says he doesn?t need them anyway, thank you very much. Which, of course, only scares them all the more."

I still haven't seen the picture for myself, so I can't say whether his take is accurate--and his suggestion that certain protests have been fueled by the same self-preservation instincts explored in the first excerpt may be unjustified--but I do appreciate how Foundas strives to view the film within contexts separate from the issues of anti-Semitism and gore.

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 02.27.2004 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just read Rob's review. Bravo; very nicely done. It seems as though the "controversy" is starting to fade since the film's release, and many of the reviews I've read, both positive and negative, have aroused my interest again. I might end up seeing in the theater after all.
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Al_Bundy_007
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Joined: 28 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: 02.28.2004 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

long story short- ***/****
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