...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

December 14, 2006

Apocalypto - 5

Or should I say, Mel Gibson's Apocaplyto? The marketing of this film was just weird...Mel Gibson is the only big name, and the previews make this film seem like an action film, which it is...sorta. Granted the marketer's probably had there hands full, with all of Gibson's antics and that the entire film is in the Yukatek Maya language (Another problem associated with this is that I think it makes the audience less suspicious of the fact that this is a fictional account- some of the dialogue is definitely contemporary English translated back into this ancient language). What made this film better than I thought was that the plot is actually (believe it or not) more complex than I thought it would be. It has all the usual film elements; gore, action, a man driven to save his family, an oracle, and other homage's to many previous films. But is it also does give a picture of what the times and historical period might have looked like. An interesting film, but not a great one.
Apparently I'm not the only one conflicted about this film. Here is a quote that somewhat sums it up for me:

"The difference between a great movie and a merely acceptable one often isn’t a matter of what you put in, but what you leave out. "Apocalypto" could have done more with less."
If the film had ended five minutes earlier, I think it would have been a better film.


chris said...

i'm still shocked about the amount of positive feedback this movie is getting.

it's long, somewhat boring at points and has an incredbly skewed (maybe ethnocenteric) message.

ps. what's you netflix account e-mail address. i tried to add you. mine is thecall@geneva.edu.

~greg said...

Now you have reason to start a film blog :-)

The key is to understand where people are coming from even if they don't agree with your opinion. I am guessing that this film is somewhat of an achievement in the history of film (that is if you've seen a million films and if you are thinking about 10 years or more down the road). People also never lose repect for a best director (they lose credibility) why do you think Kevin Costner is still making films and no one whispers in his ear that he should just move on to raising some kids or something.
This is an interesting article that explains it better than I can.