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MatthewJ Profile
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The Passion - Mel Gibson


Has anybody seen this?
Is it any good?
Is it worth the hype?
Or is it overblown / violent Hollywood fare?

I will probably buy a DVD import of this soon to see what the fuss is about. I always liked Gibson as a person, a man of charachter, principles and struggle.

I think at the least he should be commended for taking on this topic, despite the wrong interpretations of Christ's mission.

Maybe in the least likely of places, Hollywood, people are getting one last chance to be introduced to this before the troubles start.


Gibson:

Gibson:

Reader's Digest:

"What does your faith mean to you today? What role does it play in your life?"


"Well, you're not going to get along too far without it. I think the next decade is going to be really interesting, and I think we're in for a pretty wild ride, all of us, right around the globe. I believe that faith, for me, if you're going on a wild ride, it's kind of like slapping a seat belt on. Not that it's going to save you here [laughs], but that you'll be able to transcend the madness by appealing to a higher power."
3/13/2004, 7:08 am Link to this post Send Email to MatthewJ   Send PM to MatthewJ
 
questers Profile
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Re: The Passion - Mel Gibson


We saw Gibson's film on the day it came out and wrote a review of it on the next day. But we decided to hold off posting it, because we are now working on a much more comprehensive overview of many films on the theme "Christ in Cinema". We have been working on this project non-stop every day (realizing that our visitors might be checking in for a review on Gibson's film), but it has gotten so big that it will now be like a mini-website in and of itself. Anyway, we are hoping to have it up very soon. Check back for updates. Thanks for sharing.
3/13/2004, 8:21 am Link to this post Send Email to questers   Send PM to questers
 
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Re: The Passion - Mel Gibson


Sounds great, Cinemaquesters.

About "The Passion": I saw it on opening night in an AMC in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I wanted to observe the audience response more than I wanted to see the movie.

I don't know about you all, but with almost every Hollywood movie that has been put out in the last decade or more I have felt I knew the entirity of a film by its ads alone, and I don't just mean the plot, but pretty much all aspects of it. The act of watching the film then becomes one of filling in the blanks and looking for scant, scattershot details that didn't make it into the advertising campaign. With the "Passion" ads I predicted this would be the same, and it was.

However, although I don't think it is great artistically, I do commend Gibson for having the courage to make the film and stick to his principles and beliefs. I wish there had been someone else who had made a better film (or somehow, you know, a film like "The Gospel According to St Matthew" was simply picked up for mainstream distribution and, if need be, hyped appropriately.) This film though was not advertised in a moral way. Pastors and churches across the nation literally signed contracts with the distributors to only talk of the good in the film and downplay the bad, and the negative reaction in the media at large seems to be much more about money-making (controversy sells), and political damage control. Gibson seems sincere, but I am unsure whether he realizes what kind of corrupt game he is, or has fallen into.

And what of the audience response that night? I'll tell you that I saw very little. There was indeed a mild clapping after the film ended, but it was lukewarm. I heard mightier, more heartfelt clapping during showings of "The Phantom Menace" and the three "Lord of the Rings" movies. I stood by outside the exit of the theater watching the audience members leave and I knew they were not as moved as they could have been had they been shown a better film. Had I not know what movie they had watched, I might have assumed they'd just come out of some other popular but non-religious/spiritual film, like "Lost in Translation" or "Something's Gotta Give."

If you want to see a recent example of just how dumb-downed, confused and psychotic the young generation is in America, watch "The Butterfly Effect."

Matthew

3/13/2004, 11:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to friendlessvoyage   Send PM to friendlessvoyage
 
Chris Kelvin Profile
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Re: The Passion - Mel Gibson


Luckily I haven't heard or seen much of the film already. Although I don't really like Mel Gibson's work I certainly will see "The Passion". I really don't know what to expect. I didn't pay much attention to the hype around it. The only image I saw was the butchered body of Christ on the cross which I thought was very powerfull. So I have high expectations. I just hope it won't be a disappointment.
3/15/2004, 3:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Passion - Mel Gibson


I have just seen this film. This is a very very very very very bad film. I mean if you want to see a sadistic horrorfilm that butchers a human being for 110 out of the 120 minutes, then this is the film for you. The whole story of Christ is just raped here. This film is as empty and dumb as Hollywood itself. There isn’t anything else than the horror. I was thinking: haven’t we seen enough, but no, on and on it goes, it doesn’t end.
I really doubt Mel Gibson’s intentions: My guess is he just wanted to make money: why not make a film about Jesus Christ and go completely over the top with horror and violence? For sure people will talk about it and go see this. Money in the pocket.
And what are these special effects doing in this film? It reminded me of Lord of the Rings. Mel Gibson is so naïve…. He portrays it so black and white. Heaven, hell, punishment???? It’s all so simplistic. If Gibson really thinks people will start believing when they see this film then he is naïver then I thought. There were people in the theater that were shocked when Jesus was hit in the face the first time after about 10 minutes in the film.
What is the point of all this violence and horror? Sacrifice? To forgive humanity’s sins? It’s the ONLY point in the movie and Gibson wanted to make sure you really got the point!!!!! He even showed a title card at the beginning of the movie with a few sentences to explain what the movie was about.
The only glimpse of light I saw in the movie was when Jesus spread the word on the mountain and when he broke the bread at the last supper. It was the only time I really saw something worthwhile: the smiling face of Jesus that was filled with love and humanity. These little moments that lasted only a few seconds where more powerfull than the whole movie.
If you haven’t seen this film: don’t. If you are planning to buy it on DVD: don’t: your throwing away your money. This is a very very very bad film.
The only thing left for me to say after I have seen this film is that this film is a product of the times we live in. That says enough.

After all this controverse and talk in the media the only thing good that came out is Pasolini’s “The Gospel According to St. Matthew.” They are playing it next week on television. Be sure I will see this film.

Chris.
4/9/2004, 4:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Passion - Mel Gibson


Yes, the praise and adoration the movie has been receiving is surprising. On my drive and back from Georgia to Texas recently I listened in on many of the Christian radio stations and one after another would praise the film and talk about its latest box office records (the most recent I've heard is roughly half a billion worldwide). That good people are putting such hope on such phony, shallow film (regardless of Gibson's intentions) is a sad thing. What more evidence does one need that Christianity, as a religion, as a heritage and movement, is dead? You know, I mean, "Kill Bill" has a lot more SPIRIT and, heh, truth in it, than this by-the-numbers Jesus Thrill Ride...

Matthew
4/9/2004, 7:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to friendlessvoyage   Send PM to friendlessvoyage
 
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Re: The Passion - Mel Gibson


We couldn't agree with you more, Chris! The film is, as you say, "as empty and dumb as Hollywood itself".

Last edited by questers, 4/9/2004, 7:43 pm
4/9/2004, 7:37 pm Link to this post Send Email to questers   Send PM to questers
 


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