...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Where Is My Rubber Chicken?

Or: Un-Review Strikes Again!

Obviously, again, we had seen a movie. Obviously, again, I was asked to un-review it...
This was last Friday. Time and sickness intervened yet again... But do not despair, Dear Reader, I have my trusty tea-mug by my side, and fortified with two finally acquired antibiotics capsules (mmmm...drugs)I am here to bring you an Un-Review of:

The title of this un-review refers to that well-loved Monty Python sketch with the knight and the rubber chicken. And I really would like to commit JUST that act on certain reviewers, fo instance here.

Argh. We read a couple of the reviews after watching the movie (to be sure, we did not do it until a day has passed so as if to make sure it was not just our late-night imagination made us think this movie was actually a movie, and not a flick...)--and I distincly remember looking at each other (this was The Husband, and The Lizard Queen and her hubby) and saying: "They gave this movie an 'F'?"
I think only some young reviewers and one or two blogger got this piece. And you know what? That would be OK...as long as reviewers'critics remember to place certain type of cinema into its proper context. I mean: Spiderman got As and B+-s...this one, all in all, a C+??
Granted, there were plotholes in this to drive an F-350 through, yes (starting right with the opening scene). However, if you are MINIMALLY familiar with Christianity (which I am, passably, but necessarily, being a medivealist and a Calvinist Hungarian,) OR the comic series Hellblazer (which I am not, admittedly, but maybe I should be). If you, Dear Reader, enjoyed the heck out of Hellboy or Underworld, you are in for a ride with this one. If not, well, perhaps it's not for you. But I like to have my brain and my moral sense challenged. I like movies where yes, it is about good or evil, and at the end everyone must choose. I like choices that even a chain-smoking, almost suicidal, unfazed and cynical exorcist has to make. I think the idea that Hell looks like Los Angeles in a really, really hot and windy day (even the palm trees are there!) plus some half-rotten Gollums slithering about... is just sufficiently sick enough. Not to mention Djimmon Hounsou's character (remember him in Gladiator), Papa Midnite, whose nightclub and its basement is almost as cool visually as some twisted scenes from Underworld. All in all, the whole visual imagery is really well done, and, briefly driving through certain parts of L. A, exudes the correct atmosphere. And you know, I do NOT want to kill the ending for tho who have not seen it yet, but I cannot help but chuckle and quote my husband: "The Devil might think that he's playing chess with God, but God knows that in fact it's a games of solitaire, and the Devil is only one of the cards." Loosely paraphrased, The Husband is much more elgant than that.

There will be people who think or say 'well, Keanu Reeves really stumbled with the Matrix 2&3, so he now plays in 2nd rate movies..." Hehe. I say, he is just perfect for this role. Besides the fact that the Matrix movies were hardly a stumble, Keanu Reeves is one of those few guys still alive (with Johnny Depp, maybe?) who can act out the taciturn chain-smoker P.I- equivalent in a mystical-horror thriller comic-novel adaptation thingy. John Constantine, the anti-hero of this movie (did you notice how many un-heroes are around these days?) tracks down the otherwordly transgressers of an eons'-old pact and 'deports their ass back' as he puts it. The reason he does it, is that, well, he believes there is Heaven and Hell, because he sees the creatures inhabiting both planes. He, however, does not have faith. He thinks, since he committed suicide but was revived, he can literally 'buy his way' to Heaven with doing this little service...However, his suicide or non-suicide ceased to be an issue a long time ago with the Powers Above...he became such a world-class selfish, proud and unbendable asshole (wow, I cussed in an un-review, yet again...bad me, no cookie!) that for those sins he definitely WILL go to Hell upon his unevitable death (remember, chain-smoker?) At the beginning of the movie we learn he has maybe six months to live, accompanied by an X-Ray image of his lungs. Not. Pretty.
So, our Constantine, after some preliminary adventures, teams up, however, reluctantly, with a cop who is looking into her twin sister's alleged suicide, and the plot goes on from there until the inevitable ending where, after trashing a hospital, a possible sequel is sketched up to the evening horizon of L. A..

I could go on, really, but I think that my thoughts, coupled with what the Husband said here, may be sufficient for you to go and see it. Me, if you are in the DFW Metroplex and want to see it with a buddy, am available for a second evening. And, of course, if you have some coments, we can continue in the 'Comments' section.

But I would definitely bring out the rubber chicken for the critics on this one. Dear Lord, I almost forgot: and have them read the Book of Job, BADLY.


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