Apocalypto (2006) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate. Runtime: 139 mins Release Date: 08 Dec 2006
Not Your Typical Mayan Family Drama (by ccrivelli2005)
A family drama like no other. Two hours plus that rush at the speed of light. This is cinema. I'm sorry but it is. Don't look for inner meanings. This is the work of one of the greatest artists of our time. Yes, I'm talking about Mel Gibson. And as most of the great artists, he's bound to be controversial, erratic and infuriating sometimes but, thank God he exists. He's always going to surprise us for better or worse in sickness and in health. There are no intellectual under pinnings here. This is an adventure flick that takes us to places we've never been before. It <more>
entertains and moves and startles. Masterfully shot at a breathless pace that never, ever, lets go. And then, of course, the acting - if you can call it that. The most remarkable performances by an ensemble cast of unknowns. Gloroious faces that speak louder than words. Well, as you may have guessed. I'm overwhelmed by the experience. Thank you Mel, thank you very much.
I'll keep this review short. I'm dense as to what "message" Apocalypto may have been trying to send. I'm not convinced it's a message movie at all. The film's value lies in its limitless ability to pump adrenaline. The movie belongs in the action section when it goes to video. And in that genre, hardly another movie will be able to hold a candle to it.Apocalypto delivers a rush that does not let up. Once the real action starts, brilliant images unlike any showcased in cinema flash across the screen with dizzying speed. Repeatedly and without letting up, the movie <more>
features scene after scene that hits the perfect note, which is always a high-pitched one filled with tension. Apocalypto is the perfect action film, punctuating its frenzy of activity with beautiful and surprising images.
The reviewers are trying to damn this movie with an untruthful and insincere mantra about its alleged excess of violence: "brutally violent," "over-the-top violence," "unrelenting violence," "ultraviolent," "The Hills Have Eyes in the jungle," "unpleasant, pointless, gruesome, and exploitative," "pure, amoral sensationalism," "blood and gore so extreme that they provoke titters of ridicule," "savage cruelty and sadistic barbarity," "lunatic violence," "feverish, mad violence." <more>
You'd think from the reviews that you were going to see two hours of babies being fed through a wood chipper. One went as far as to claim that it made the Saw movies seem like Little Women or some such nonsense.It does no such thing. The Saw films were gratuitously and sadisticly violent; they set out to make audiences squirm and blanch at their sick, nihilistic machinations.Apocalypto, on the other hand, is the typical, essentially optimistic Disney story of a happy Indian youth ripped savagely from his rainforest life by ruthless marauders, after which he has to escape and fight his way back to his land and people. That's it.The violence arises from the fact that these particular marauders are bloodthirsty Mayan warriors harvesting neighboring tribes for their human sacrifices. Even then, much of the violence is Shakespearean and takes place just off-camera. For instance, you see women being carried off in the rape-and-pillage scene and you hear their cries but you don't see them being raped and murdered. Battles are staged much as they were in Braveheart. And yes, there's a beating heart lifted from a sacrificed man's chest by a blood-streaked Mayan shaman, but moviegoers saw the same thing in Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; it got a PG rating and we read no critical hysterics about "lunatic violence." On the whole, you'll see as much blood and gore on the average CSI episode.It probably should have been titled Jaguar Paw's Great Adventure. The glimpses Gibson provides of Mayan civilization are jaw-dropping. You won't ever see a more convincing cinematic evocation of another time and place in such scope and meticulous detail. Every face seems to have a complete history as Jaguar Paw is marched through the Mayan city. A well-to-do Mayan woman does nothing more than look at the prisoners from her doorway but the story her face tells is voluminous.The last part of the movie is a rousing chase akin to The Naked Prey, and again, no more bloody and violent then the film it resembles. Let's be plain here. What really has the critics'--especially those of the Eastern Elite variety--panties in a twist is the director, Mel Gibson. He said some things that upset them, plus and most unforgivably he's an outspoken and conservative Christian, so they're going to practice any sort of mendacity that will keep people from buying tickets to his film. Don't buy the lies or you'll miss an amazing movie.
I couldn't believe two hours had gone by that quickly (by socrates99)
Having some Mexican-Indian blood in me, I've always been interested in what I could read about the Aztecs and Mayans and others. But never did I achieve as elaborate a vision in my head, try as I might, as Mel Gibson has with the beautiful Apocalypto. Is it accurate? I've more than just strong doubts in at least one case, but like all good fiction, it probably tells more truth, despite its inaccuracies, than a dozen scholarly tomes. The movie is engrossing and, even more difficult, plausible and quite evocative. I would have bet any amount of money that this movie was impossible to <more>
make. And though some have complained that the film's ending involves an historical inaccuracy, I think there was more than enough reason to put it in.There's a strong story that reminded me of other Third World folklore I've read, only better. In a lot of ways these people could have been North American Indians, but somehow that's not much of a criticism. And Gibson's recent PR problems only highlighted, for me, how it took an Australian-reared actor to make an exciting film about natives before Columbus. Clearly Hollywood is incapable of even conceiving of such a movie, much less bringing it brilliantly to life. Hollywood has an agenda and very narrow perspectives. It's agenda has no room for illuminating the humanity of non-Westerners, and there's too much relying on the same old set of sensibilities and intuition. I think if Hollywood is up in arms it ought to be because Gibson is making them look inept.But as to this particular subject matter, there's no doubt in my mind that what fascinates most Anglos about the Aztecs and the Maya is the idea of human sacrifice. Gibson depicts the ritual as having an element of frenzy to it, and he may be right, but what is more convincing to me, at least, is his idea of what a village raid must have been like. His point by point reconstruction is pretty compelling, and I'm quite sure he could make some early American military raids on Indian villages so vivid and unforgettable that grown men would cry. I only hope he does, but as to this film, I would have depicted the human sacrifice with a nod toward a notion most Anglos find completely foreign, namely that these people understood that gain often entails pain, and they were willing to pay the price. Was it really so unreasonable that these people thought God might want them to create pain, and not just endure it, to gain His favor given that life entails so much struggle anyway? That willingness to endure pain clearly survives today, not the desire to create it in others, and that's the only point I would have added to this wonderful film.
Probably one of the ten best movies of the year (by ewporter)
Apocalypto is probably one of the ten best movies of the year, a compelling action movie with not only adrenaline, but also brains and heart. Its portrayal of the Mayan culture -- including its strange dress, hair styles, costumes, tattoos, body piercing, and decorative scars, as well as its industry, class system, cities, warfare, weapons, myth, and religion -- provide a bizarre and fascinating anthropological backdrop for what is, at its heart, a solid, thrilling, fast paced old fashioned struggle between good guys and bad guys. The movie does have a lot of violence. But the violence is <more>
woven into a story with characters we care about. It is a realistic part of the culture being described. And it is not shown in a hyper gruesome manner, as is much of movie violence today. Thus, I found it much less offensive than many reviews had led me to believe I would. Unlike in some movies, I found the subtitles in Apocalypto so easy to read that most of time I forgot I was reading them. If anything the strange language only adds to the tone of exotic strangeness that pervades this unusually good and thrilling movie.
Though I had no interest in the subject, I took a risk and just came back from seeing Mel Gibson's new flick and it is an exciting adventure which engages from the start with touches of humor that allow us to relate to the characters rather than hold them at a distance.The accusation that it portrays the people unfairly has no merit. Both sides of human nature doubtless existed in each culture from the start. Look at The Fast Runner - a movie about a much smaller aboriginal community in which we see no matter how small your clan is someone will be a criminal and all soap opera elements <more>
will be represented.Rudy Youngblood especially stands out here as the hero. Reading the subtitles will add comic relief to your screening, but the story itself plays visually. Again more is made of the violence than there should be. There is violence but it moves the story along and generates suspense.I would give it a ten except that I understand IMDb sometimes discounts the tens and ones. Even if you had political reasons you did not like The Passion - or Braveheart for that matter - if you like a good motion picture Apocalypto is a good bet.
Tonight I went to an advance screening of Mel Gibson's new film Apocalypto. This is an interesting movie for many reasons, the first being its Mayan language. I am hearing that this is actually considered a foreign film by the Golden Globes because of it, regardless of the movie originating from America. This could be written off as a gimmick, but it is one of the film's strongest points, the movie looks, feels, and sounds despite for a few lines that needed to be edited out authentic.What this movie is is gory. It is one of the bloodiest movies I have seen and should be avoided if <more>
blood bothers you. Here is a great scenic moment from the film. If this sounds too much for you than stay away because yes, it gets much worse.The captives are brought in covered in blue paint. They look up at the top of a vast temple where an executioner is thanking the lords as he rips the hearts out and decapitates their fellow men. The heads roll down the long stair case followed soon after by their bodies. The heart is put on hot rocks and thousands up people cheer. There are hundreds of heads on steaks all around.......This is the first movie I have ever been to where people actually walked out of the theater.Getting back to the movie itself there are quite a few good qualities as well. The acting is superb all around, I actually cared about the main character and his family. The prophecy made by the sick girl is a clever piece of writing as well as the dream the main character has. The empire of the main tribe is quite amazing and will take your breath away in both its horror and its beauty.The early scenes of humor are very nice and help us appreciate the characters and a nice break from the extreme violence that follows. The movie looks amazing, the characters designs and costumes are well done as is the sets. Finally, superb direction by Mel Gibson make all of this work together quite well.My main problems with this movie are these: The movie is too long 2 and half hours and includes some surprisingly campy scenes. The birth in the well did not work for me at all. The last chase sequence is far too long and could have been cut in half.Overall I was slightly disappointed by this film. I wanted more Mayan culture and less running through the forest. However, Mel Gibson had something else in mind and I applaud him for making the movie he wanted to make. Despite my problems the film is quite good if you can make it through the gore. I would be highly surprised if this did well at the box office due to the extreme gore, other language language Americans don't like subtitles , long running time, and of course the now infamous name of Mel Gibson attached. However I enjoyed the movie and might want to see it again. If you can believe that.
The first 95 minutes or so -- up to the eclipse -- is possibly the best movie to date in 2006. It's a voyage of discovery through a virgin world of alien but understandable sensations and it culminates in an arrival at a city of pyramids which constitutes one of the recent cinema's great set pieces. Bizarre, spectacular, hypnotic, fully realized -- like landing on an alien planet of savage, fascinating beauty. After the eclipse, however, the movie settles into a conventional "chase" mode which, though interesting, can't compare to the first 95 minutes. The ending <more>
disappoints in that it introduces an outside element to this previously enclosed world, and the ending can't resolve the movie's basic dilemma: how can it be both the story of a civilization's decline and also the story of a man's personal triumph.The subtitles actually help in that lines which might have sounded silly or stilted when spoken in English somehow "work" when condensed to printed form. Though one subtitle stumbles with a piece of discordant slang. These subtitles also help create a distance between the modern audience and the lost world of the past being shown on the screen. And words, either spoken or subtitled, often aren't needed here because the cast has great faces and can use these faces to convey both information and emotion.Though not a fan of "The Passion of the Christ" and though feeling that "Braveheart" was overrated, it's thumbs up for Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto." If only we could get rid of that ungrammatical ad-line: "No one can outrun their destiny."
And now for something completely different. (by TheZapRowsdower)
Mel Gibson's conduct as of late has been questionable to say the least. What with his drink-induced Anti-Semitic rant to his pledge to support Jewish actor Michael Richards, who had just finished an angry racial tirade although Mel Gibson should be given credit for trying . We live in a world where everybody gets so angry. The Passion of the Christ opened to hostility because it was mistakenly taken for Anti-Semitism. This was about as absurd as German people getting riled up over Schindler's List, but I digress. Many people are still angry with Mel Gibson over his supporting an <more>
alleged racist, over his drunken Anti-Semitic remarks, some are still angry over his depiction of the Jews in the Passion. We all need to get over it. We need to forgive and forget, because our anger is affecting our opinions on his work.Imagine a world where the Pianist was never given a chance, because Roman Polanski is a fugitive from the United States, under statutory rape charges. Imagine a world where nobody watches Falling Down, because Joel Schumacher destroyed the Batman franchise. Is it really in our best interest to hold a grudge? Especially in Mel Gibson's case, which was something so incredibly trivial? Doesn't Apocalypto deserve a fair shot? Doesn't it deserve reviews that are better than "mixed"? Well, yes.Apocalypto is unlike anything we had seen before. It's not just the fact that Mel Gibson filmed it in a dead tongue which had been done before, BY Mel Gibson , but the fact that it explored a civilization that Hollywood hasn't taken the time to explore. It went into the life of a Mayan, and it threw him into what was basically the beginning of the end of their civilization.Jaguar Paw, a Mayan father played brilliantly by Rudy Youngblood, is taken away from his family to be sacrificed. He escapes a brutal sacrifice and begins his journey home - all the while being chased by his captors. We're talking one big, long chase scene. And it's awesome, to say the least. Don't want to give too much away, but there's plenty of bloodshed and a high body count.To perform in Maya must have been a difficult task for performers who were not Mayan. But they pulled it off, and they did it very well.Don't mean to use a stereotype, but the visuals are breathtaking. This is the best cinematography I have seen all year. The scenery was amazing, and the costumes and make-up were great. Mel Gibson has been compared to Cecil B. DeMille in a negative context for some odd reason . DeMille has NEVER done anything like this before. I can see a few things, here and there, including a large cast and epic scenery, but this is a much different endeavor than, say, the Ten Commandments. In fact, this wasn't a religious film at all and I've seen it referred to as such . This is more in the vein of Braveheart than the Passion.I'm hoping to see Apocalypto get its due at the Oscars this year. I can at the very least see one for Cinematography. I'd put it up for Best Picture... maybe not the win, but definitely a nomination. While I felt this was Mel Gibson's weakest film, I DID hold his other films in very high regard. The story wasn't all that deep, but Mel Gibson had a Hell of a way of telling it. I enthusiastically recommend this film. This is a definite must-see.