Saturday, December 02, 2006

The (Mostly) Unseen Contenders of '06: Mel Gibson's Apocalypto


Release Date
: December 8th

MPAA Rating: R for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images

Ten Words Or Less
: Drunk anti-Semite pimps Mayans for cash...that too harsh?

Reason For Existence: There wasn't enough blood in Passion of the Christ.

Mathematical Equation: X = Braveheart + The Mission - Jeremy Irons and all those other white people

Take A Look: The Big, Chunky Trailer

Early Buzz (Good)
: "Apocalypto is a towering achievement of filmmaking. The size and spectacle of the film are enormous, and it rumbles with the kind of imagination and life that is rarely breathed into film. Watching it isn’t just like watching a movie; it literally feels like we, the audience, have been transported into the time of the Maya, and are in a race for our lives." - Blake Etheridge, Cinema Strikes Back

Early Buzz (Bad)
: "Apocalypto would be monumentally funny, and a boon to drinking-game concocters everywhere, if it weren't so truly horrifying to ponder the cultural factors and the individual mental corruption that have allowed it to exist. Even when the film wants you to laugh—and if you've never heard the ancient Mayan phrase for "He's fucked," you have now—the laughter sticks in your throat, clogged, I hope, by your disgust. The movie finally earns its premonitions of apocalypse, but more for what it is than for anything it shows or says." - Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks

Oscar Locks: None

In The Running: Foreign Film, Cinematography (Dean Semler)

Long Shots
: Best Director (Gibson)

Completely Irrelevant Best Picture Odds
: 40-1

Why It's Essential
: As we learned from his last film, he is the Lord's prophet on Earth sent to restore divinty to the land. Unless you're Jewish.

The Achilles Heel
: Rumor is, the director had a run-in with the law a few months ago. You hear anything about it?

The Verdict
: Sure, the trailer is gaudy and pulse-pounding. But if you're a Film Experience reader, you know that's nearly irrelevant. The question is not of his ability as a director -- he's already got one Oscar -- but whether his anti-Semitic behavior will exile him in the political circles of Hollywood. If it's anything less that brilliant, it will die a quick box-office (and Oscar) death.

UPDATE: Tom O'Neil says the Golden Globe voters loved it at their private screening. He also says it's a shoo-in for Foreign Film (which still boggles my mind, but whatever), while hinting that it's basically a pre-colonial S&M snuff film. Ick.

[Modern Fabulousity]


Glenn Dunks said...

I have this awful feeling that it's gonna actually be successful and then there'll be no justice in the world.

Then Michael Richards will make a new sitcom and it'll be popular!

Lucas Dantas said...

Oh no Glenn, heaven forbid!! I'm already frightened enough about Clint eastwood stealing more Oscars, don't add Gibson's vile visions about everything to the sum.

However, I believe that in Brasil Apocalypto will be a hit. Brazillians love gory, insensitive filmaking.

Yaseen Ali said...

"[It's a] pre-colonial S&M snuff film."

Perfect wording, that's exactly what it is. If this gets any attention outside of technical nods like costuming or art direction (even that would make me queasy), I...

Beau said...

Say what you want to about that man, but Gibson can definetely make a film.

Saw this last week. Loved it.

Beau said...


Jill said...

I don't know about the movie, but every time I see the trailer, I keep looking for Jeff Probst to emerge from the jungle and shout, "Come on in, guys!"