Cheap Constantine (2-Disc Deluxe Edition with Comic Book) (DVD) (Francis Lawrence (II)) Price
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| CATEGORY: || DVD |
| DIRECTOR: || Francis Lawrence (II) |
| THEATRICAL RELEASE DATE: || 18 February, 2005 |
| MANUFACTURER: || Warner Home Video |
| MPAA RATING: || R (Restricted) |
| FEATURES: || AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC |
| TYPE: || Action, Action / Adventure, Adventure, Horror / Sci-Fi / Fantasy, Movie, Science Fiction |
| MEDIA: || DVD |
| # OF MEDIA: || 2 |
| UPC: || 012569718579 |
Customer Review of Constantine (2-Disc Deluxe Edition with Comic Book)
Deliciously Thought Provoking
I am not one for things such as horror movies, action flicks with all action no story, demon possession type movies, etc... ; However, I LOVE this movie. What's incredible about it is that there is some really thought provoking material here. There is also some brilliant imagery, such as when Angela & Constantine are in the street as the winged demons are coming after Angela. There they stand in front of what looks to be a religious type store that's closed for the evening with a life sized virgin Mary in the window. There Angela stands in front of the virgin Mother, Mary's arms stretched out & Angela appearing right in the middle of her arms. Its not doctrinally or historically correct on many things, of course its a fictional story. There ARE some things, though, that are accurate or hint at the knowledge that is coming to light, archaelogically & historically speaking. They weave these things into the story seemlessly alongside the things made up just for the story. The ideas are interesting, the action is alot of fun, the artistry is beautiful, the character development is great, and the demons are downright scary (as they should be ! ) Its not a bubble gum type of movie. Its not just there to scare you. Its not there just to let you see things get blown up. You get these things, but you get alot more. One last thing I'll say is that there are a few things that I didn't get the first time around. It has "replay" value. You can go back to this movie again & again and always find something new, something you've missed before.
Cool but lacking.
There are some cool ideas and action sequences here, but the script doesn't do them justice. You never really feel Constantine is in that much danger, that there's anything he can't handle. Without that, it's just a guy going through the motions. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent movie, just not the movie it could've been. Pity.
The New Maltese Falcon: Existential Film Noir With One Foot in L.A. and the Other in Hell
It isn't entirely certain whether Keanu Reeves did his proper homework before he filmed this role, but it is a reasonable bet, being an actor and one reasonably conscientious about his craft, that he did. I am referring to his turn as the title character in Constantine, who is a existential detective/operative for the forces of good against the demons which beset peolpe in everyday life--but the thrust of the issue is that somewhere in the pre-filming process Reeves decided to play Constantine as a disshevelled, exhausted, and embittered man directly along the starkly drawn lines of the great private eyes Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade from the age of great film noir, the 40s and 50s. Although certainly dark enough in tone, the film becomes and is transfomed into a modern film noir by the portrayal of its main character John Constantine as a rough, hard-bitten and weary private eye, this time working in the spiritual world. The gangsters, the Edward G. Robinsons and Peter Lorres of this spiritual realm, are, needles to say, demons. It is Constantine's job to confront them and send them back to hell. How exactly he does this, is something to be discussed later, but I should mention now that there is a difference between the Constantine of this film and the Spades and Marlowes of old. That is to say that the old archetypal hard-bitten gumshoe was not an entirely empathetic personality; his inner world was not the most sympathetic of sorts. He could kill; he was capable of lying, of deception, of rough and vicious action when the situation called for it. Where Constantine is concerned, however, we film viewers have powerful faith in our bones that he is, despite the gauntlet of horrors he has endured, a good man. Constantine isn't the sort of man so seared by his own suffering that he is incapable of feeling empathy for others--of course, neither, could it be said, were Marlowe and Spade, not entirely anyway; Constantine is, simply existentially speaking, utterly devastated by the horror of hell, which he has seen, and the inevitability of his fate, inflicted upon him by God's cruelty. He is, then, totally infested and wrecked spiritually by an overwhelming, all-pervading spirit of futility which diffuses outside himself and projects itself onto his feelings toward the humans he fights for. Why futility? As a boy Constantine has been constantly afflicted with the visions of demons machinating upon and assaulting people; as a teenager the burden became simply too much to bear and the young Constantine commits suicide. According to religious law he is condemned to hell, and as we learn in Constantine's discussion with the Angel Gabriel, it is a fate God will not retract. This is the smoldering, invincible doom which lies at the core of the man, and it is why he walks through the film as a man without hope.
> He is not, however, a man without things to do. This is one of the film's puzzling logical quandaries; how can God use a man who has been condemned forever to spend eternity without His grace serve at the same time as an instrument of His grace and power to defeat demons? The film presents Constantine with a new situation, one not totally without its benefits--a policewoman, played by Rachel Weisz, inquires of him about her sister, also played by Rachel Weisz, who like Constantine also committed suicide. Can Constantine find out anything about what happened to her? For what it's worth, Constantine should be grateful that he was presented with a charge like Rachel Weisz as opposed to a police detective looking like Rosie O'Donnell, but we see no signs of it in his impassive visage. One of the film's most glaring deficiencies is that it portrays characters which look as though they could be interesting but then are given little or nothing to do and no real room in the plot to gather their own sense of emotional resonance with the viewers; they are treated in half-measures, if that, and left to wither on the vine. To wit Constantine takes to the seedy underbelly of the spiritual world, which, coincidentally, happens to resemble very much the seedy underbelly of the physical world; he visits a dive bar, looking for all intents like a collaboration of the interior decorators of the Moulin Rouge and the pool hall from "The Hustler", if that's possible--it's a classy dump full of demons who hang around with beautiful saucy drunken tarts, much like men they tempt, many of whom--coincidentally--also hang around saucy drunken tarts. It would appear here that men and demons both lust after saucy women, though this should be by rights impossible for demons, being incorporeal spirits, to be subject to lusts of the flesh--but doubtless the headache I feel pulsing painfully over my temples is the result of thinking too hard about the film, which demands no more than a sense of adventure, a blind trust, and an attraction for the nubile charms of Weisz--and I'm prepared to make the best of what I can from at least one out of the three. At any rate, the bar is owned by a character played by Djimon Hounsou, who is convincing as a pimp with class who is a kind of neutral tavernkeeper in the spirit underworld, fighting for no side at all; the problem is, the average person has no tolerance for Switzerland and the script gives his character no real purpose and no real function in the plot other than to look cool wearing a white fedora and a feather boa. Well, nearly no purpose, anyway--he introduces Constantine to a demon who might be Satan's human descendant on earth(unless I'm getting this wrong), played by "Bush" frontman Gavin Rossdale. Rossdale, as a rock star should, scores high on the coolness meter and looks great in a suit, but his character, like Hounsou's, doesn't have much to do, and is killed off grotesquely by Constantine early on so the viewer dsoesn't have time to manufacture any genuine contempt or hatred for him--so we don't even get the thrill of gratification when he's offed, which is simply put a waste of a character.
> There are problems here and they are significant. Principally I am speaking about the plot, which splits into two stories--one dealing with Weisz's dead sister, who is sent to hell for killing herself, and another dealing with an ancient prophecy coming to pass where the devil's descendant becomes human flesh and brings about a new age, or something similar. The rub is in the singular and seemingly insurmountable difficulty in building some kind of plot bridge to link the two; it is very difficult to say abreast of the plot developments and make sense of them, but I suppose it is all brought to a sloppily accomplished and insufficient reconciliation in the denouement where Reeves, Weisz, and Gabriel face off against Satan. The other problem is the logical snag of the mechanics of spiritual combat which the movie presents--should we really believe that actual demons can be defeated by brass knuckles or gatling cannons firing armor piercing projectiles? Any Christian who has some meager knowledge of Scripture knows that the demons are defeated and dispatched by the grace and power of God; yet how does this power manifest itself through instruments wielded by a soul under condemnation? Constantine doesn't say any prayers in his combats with evil or even invoke the name of Christ once, except for the purpose of blasphemy; he has nothing resembling a pious, God-loving spirit which would make him an adequate vessel of God's power--so how are we to believe that out of all the genuinely religious souls who love God, the one person in the world He chooses to be His warrior against the demons is one who hates Him and is destined for eternal separation from Him? Strange. I know. It's a movie. And yet, this movie has very formidable strengths which rescue it from the trash heap of cable oblivion. One is the dark charisma of Reeves, who is able to pull off Constantine as the film noir sleuth of the spiritual world with style; the viewer genuinely sympathizes with him and feels his sense of listlessness which the character exudes in every gesture, every look. The other strength is that Rachel Weisz is an exceeedingly lovely woman, whom you defintely won't mind staring at for an hour and a half while you try to stitch together the gaping holes in the plot; her beauty and melancholy gravitas form a fitting complement to Reeves's almost zenlike state of spiritual numbness. What you do understand very quickly is how beautiful Weisz is and how attracted Constantine MUST be to her, despite the comatic stupor of futility which envelops him; it seems that his travails battling demons have completely decimated his sex drive--any normal male would have made a move on Weisz at least five, maybe ten different times in the movie, but our frigid hero will has no appetite to speak of for hips, lips, and fingertips, which makes us confident that he must be truly damned. And let's face it--the woman wants him. She would have welcomed a big wet one on the lips on numerous occasions, but Constantine is too busy puffing coffin nails and looking like a castrated, seratonin-challenged Bogie to be of much use to satisfy her feminine ardor. Much is the pity, when you get two wonderful kids like this together and the sparks fly from only one direction. There is, I think, only one real thing which the viewer can say about Constantine which he can certify as being beyond all doubt--in terms of libido, Constantine is definitely not in the same room as the two guys from "Nip/Tuck", either of which would have already impregnated and abandoned Weisz by the end of the first hour, which would have made the plot, if it's possible to do so, even more convoluted. The almost total lack of a realization of physical affection between the two fashions a palpable lump in your throat at the end of the movie as your expectations and your biorythms are bitterly deflated by the final triumph of Constantine's dark sense of apathy over the film, and in turn, over its viewers. The male viewer, at least, endures the sensation of an ice pack applied to his loins as all his sexual energies are left cruelly dissipated and unconsummated by the diffidence of our protagonist Constantine, who decides, to the galling decimation of everyone's libidinal hopes for the film, to simply pursue a more meaningful form of friendship with the nubile nymph who admires and subtly adores him, signifying that he is so depressed he cannot manage to pucker in her direction, or, should we say it--horror of horrors, he is simply not attracted to her type--that is to say,...women. At any rate, this cannot be seen as anything other than a rather cold and inconsiderate peroration penned by the writers to a rather muddled and too often unsatisfying film.
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