The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Movie Review: Apocalypto

I really enjoyed this movie! I think it’s one of the year’s best. (So I have to revise my Top Ten list, after all. My job is getting tougher.)

Mel Gibson has crafted a beautiful, if blood-soaked, masterpiece. At the twilight of the Mayan civilization, hordes of warring Mayans sweep across the nation, ravaging one territory after another. They take prisoners for purposes of slavery and human sacrifices to their sun god.

A young man, named Jaguar Paw, hides his pregnant wife and young son in a hole in the ground. Then he’s captured and witnesses the (gory) death of his father. Eventually, he escapes and races to save his family, pursued by his captors and trying to outrun the rains that will drown his family.

The film’s gore is extraordinary, on par with The Passion of the Christ. At a Mayan temple, we see people being sacrificed on the altar, their chests cut open and their hearts ripped out, still beating. Then their heads are cut off and tossed down the long temple stairs. Then their bodies follow down.

Later, we see the killing fields, where thousands of headless corpses blanket the ground.

As you can imagine, the fight scenes are extremely realistic, with head wounds that gush with blood, and spears and arrows that skewer the bodies.

As horrific as the film is to watch, it is also a beautiful, magnificent story of courage and strength and desperation. The performances are superb and Gibson’s direction is right on. While the bloody gore is unsettling, it is not in my opinion gratuitous. Gibson uses it to properly illustrate the story and show us what life may have been like in those barbaric times. I always admire films that serve the purpose of a time machine for us, the audience.

All the dialogue is in the native Mayan tongue with subtitles.

So here’s my revised list of the year’s Top Ten:

V for Vendetta
Casino Royale
The Departed
Inside Man
Match Point
The Descent
Lady in the Water
An Inconvenient Truth
Thank You for Smoking


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