Apocalypto

It has been an incredibly long time since I amended this blog and since it is 2am and I am mildly pissed I’m not sure that this will be much of an update to be honest. If there was an international award for social shoddyness (spelling suggestions for these made up words are warmly accepted and immediately discarded at my usual e-mail address) There has been so much rant worthy political and climate science shenanigans each week since I last ‘blogged’ (I am just keeping up with the joneses using that ridiculous word) that each time I fail to rant about the latest outrage makes it harder to rant about the next. I seem to have some misguided feeling that I should backdate my irritation and so express a grumpy old man opinion on everything that has annoyed me since February. Clearly that’s not going to happem (luckily for you).

So more than a little pissed I have been inspired to update my thoughts at 2am having just watched Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto for the 2nd time. So please sit yourselves down and strap yourselves in because I am about to be blushingly positive about something for a change.

I read all the terrible reviews when it first came out and that was enough to stop me going to the cinema to watch this film, but eventually when it came out on DVD I was at least impressed enough by the gorgeous photography of the previews and adverts to want a look for free – so I was evil (getting anything from hollywood can be construed as an evil act considering the pile of shit they normally serve up to the world in the name of entertainment) and managed to acquire it in some unmentionable fashion (which for the lawyers may also include legal purchase – yes I consider perfectly legal capitalism to be unmentionable).

However having watched it once I went out and bought it on blu ray for £20 randomly. Let’s hear it again for the piracy is killing music and Dvd argument please.

I have to say it was an incredible shock, what a truly excellent film, I really can’t believe Buena vista (Disney) even bothered to release it. It is light years beyond their usual fare.

This film is shockingly good. It would be incredibly hard to make a pig’s ear out of the photographic opportunities of the South American rain forests and Gibson more than adequately passes that simple test. However afficionados of Planet Earth will probably miss the huge sweeping arial views of the rain forest which we rely on to provide environmental context to the scene. Gibson, however manages to conjure an entirely believable view of the jungle without resorting to those cliched techniques, prefering to rely on the exceptional abilities of the cast and gorgeously filmed close ups of the detail of the lives of the indigenous tribes who are the stars of the story. This is truly a masterpiece of modern cinema. The enitrely subtitled script is utterly convincing and contrives to demonstrate the common humanity that unites the modern populations of the Edgeware road and the indigenous people of South America in the 15th Century.

In addition to the fantastic script and beautiful scenery, the cast are truly amazing. I believe it would be possible to enjoy the film without any subtitles at all thanks to the incredible expression brought to the subject by the cast. They are able to convincingly convey a deep richness of emotion using facial expression alone, aided by Gibson’s unexepectedly magnificent direction. Gibson has managed to produce a seat gripping acttion movie which works on many levels, simultaneously satisfying the contemporay need for unadulterated action with philosophical undercurrents which leave the thoughtful viewer pondering the nature of humanity.

So to sum up Apocalypto is a fantastic epic adventure, beautifully filmed, graced with superb performances by the cast and tied together with refreshingly intelligent direction. Gibson has achieved a wonderful balance between the contemporary action flick and subtle story telling. The only reason I can think of that this film was so badly reviewed is pure jealousy. It really is exceptional – a must see!

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