Monday, May 9, 2011

Apocalypto (2006)


Apocalypto: Mayans party like it's 1999.


Am I the only person who thinks this is a great film?  On the heels of the $370 million plus grossing, gay/S&M/Catholic soft core porno flick The Passion Of The Christ (2004), alcoholic mess Mel Gibson got to write his own ticket,  and then went on to write, produce and direct this spectacular, career ending monstrosity of a movie. Apocalypto has some of the most amazing acting, sets, hair and make-up ever seen on the screen. It's like Cecil B. DeMille and John Waters were directing simultaneously. The scene where the hero, forest dwelling Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood whose career may have also been killed by this film) is taken captive and is about to be sacrificed to the Mayan Sun God (Kinich Ahau, played by the Sun it's best on screen appearence since Antonioni's Red Desert) is one of the most compelling, and whacked out scenes ever to (dis)grace the silver screen. Since it's on cable nearly every day I've watched it dozens of times and it never fails to stun me. I especially love the little fat prince and the shaman's ability to roll his eyes back in his head.  I'll not defend Mel Gibson's drunken rants (which I find highly entertaining and can listen to over and over), and I can't say I've liked his acting except the first two Mad Max flicks, but this one is a doozie. Worth setting your Tivo/DVR for.

17 comments:

Brett W. said...

I also love this film and actually own the DVD. Best foot chase since Naked Prey, and I'm a big fan of Mesoamerican cultures past. How the Maya came up with some of those rituals (genital blood letting springs to mind) is quite beyond my comprehension, but it is intriguing as all get out.
Terrifically realized vision on the part of Mean Mel.

Andy S. said...

Scrambled syntax here:

"sacrificed to the Mayan Sun God (Kinich Ahau, played by the Sun it's best on screen appearence since Antonioni's Red Desert)"

Didn't quite get this...but your post still made me want to rent the movie, which I'd avoided like the Plague up 'til now. Thanks!

barry said...

I agree. Great and very under- rated film. If his drunken rants were not an issue I'm sure the film would have gotten more attention than it did.

WEISSMAN said...

YEAH, it was a lotta fun

Donna Lethal said...

The guy who played Jesus in "Passion" is now giving talks in churches saying he can't work anymore after THAT movie. Mel's taste for kitschy gore can't be denied-it started in Braveheart.

The Hound said...

""sacrificed to the Mayan Sun God (Kinich Ahau, played by the Sun it's best on screen appearence since Antonioni's Red Desert)"
Didn't quite get this..""

Kinich Ahau was what the Mayans called their Sun God.

Dan Buskirk said...

http://www.phawker.com/2010/01/08/cinema-the-12-best-films-of-a-dreadful-decade/
I listed it as among the most beguiling films of the decade. I saw it with a packed audience the weekend it came out, and by their reaction I thought I was seeing one of the blockbusters of the year.

The Hound said...

"I listed it as among the most beguiling films of the decade."

Saw your list, didn't you like City of God? I think that was my favorite flick of the naughts...

Tom said...

I am checking out other films on that Buskirk list due to the inclusion of Bad Biology, which I stumbled upon one torrent nighta couple months back! But I do wonder where is Takashi Miike? I just counted and he directed 45 movies in the naughts. And amazing TV too, like Multiple Personality Detective Psycho which was incredible!

Dan Buskirk said...

I should have been more exact here, the list I wrote was for films of U.S. (and Canadian) origin. I did enjoy CITY OF GOD (and his follow-up, the under-appreciated BLINDNESS) and the films of Takashi Miike (although I enjoy his body of work - or what I've seen of it- more than any one film of his). Narrowing the list to North America really underlined for me how the energy has drained out of our film culture in the decade, probably mostly due to the decline in funding for independent film. Internationally, I still found much to be wowed by, much of it across Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.

The Hound said...

". Narrowing the list to North America really underlined for me how the energy has drained out of our film culture in the decade, probably mostly due to the decline in funding for independent film. "

It's not just film....I think the golden era of pop culture is long gone....

Skoolboy Jim said...

Thanks Hound! Got it in my Netflix cue

J. D. King said...

"The guy who played Jesus in "Passion" is now giving talks in churches saying he can't work anymore after THAT movie."

Bad career move. It happens.

Amy said...

Oh good, I was starting to think I'd dreamt this film - saw it at Le Grand Rex, an amazing cinema in Paris, and what an experience. But I was so taken with the theatre I forgot about the film. Never see it mentioned anywhere. This and City of God, thank Hound.

The Hound said...

"- saw it at Le Grand Rex, an amazing cinema in Paris"

I saw Christiane F. at Le Grand Rex in 1981 (the Euro title was somethng about Kids from the Bahnhof Zoo), except the Zigfield no theater in NYC can compare these days, they've all been cut up into multi-plexes.
Remember when you can smoke anything in the balcony?

simonthecat said...

This was a tremendous movie - somebody did some serious homework for this.

pharmacy reviews said...

This is an excellent movie, I watched it with my girlfriend and she was astonished seeing those sacrifices, she couldn't understand how people in that time did it.

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