The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

CONSTANTINE - a half-assed hurried movie review due to monstrous OT that doesn't leave me much time to even review a movie by Cary Coatney.

I can't believe it's not satanic butter. The day has finally arrived after long gruelling days and hours of production hell (no pun intended) The Constantine movie based on material from one of my most beloved comic books, Hellblazer is finally getting released in theaters all over the world.
I've taken the production of this movie very personally, since it's been given the green light at roughly the same time that I was hired at the studio. My department is right next to script processing - which formats movie and television scripts to fit the studio's fussy requirements that they have to be typed and distributed in a certain way to everyone involved to the production's liking. One script that had been coming back over and over had been Constantine, going way back to when Nicholas Cage was involved with the project and he left after some director, whose name escapes me at the moment, jumped ship because he was a faithful Hellblazer fan, and he'd be damned if he thought Nicolas Cage would make a great John Constantine. So after a strange series of (unfortunate)events(heh), it wound up in Keanu Reeves' hands and he went and sought out a former video movie director, Frances Lawrence to pick up the reins.

In previous blog entries, I've mentioned that I'd been scoping out some of the sets while the movie was being filmed. Some of the sets I've seen were in the midst of construction such as Papa Midnite's secret emporium (where sits an electic chair that opens a portal to a dimension to hell) and other sets such as the psych ward pool therapy room which is used at the climax of the film. The latter was one I managed to peek my head through the door of Stage 16 with or without the kind permission of security or production personal. People involved with the project were very tight-lipped about certain particulars even to their fellow badge waving co-workers, so most of the dirt that I managed to come across in the element of the storylines were from my neighbors in script-processing, who through a astonishing record of 52 drafts during the past several years, never really got bored with it. Perish the thought that they didn't have fond memories of typing it over and over again, since they claim it was a enjoyable script to work with.

I can't ever forget the props. One morning, one of my supervisors and I went to breakfast on the lot for a meeting and it was hard to navigate around the streets because they were these tow trucks bringing in these banged up junkyard cars stacked FIVE HIGH - all doused in some ugly secretion like webs and they were blocking many main access avenues. These were used in part of a scene where Constantine takes a trip to hell by planting his feet in a pan of holy water in Rachel's apartment to find out whether or not her sister really committed suicide by going to this hellish dimension which is nothing but a decimated dystopian future of Los Angeles where these cars are laid abandoned except for some headless demons trying to hotwire in the ignitions. Amazing the sequence is nothing more than lots of green screens and CGI which doesn't last longer than maybe 3 minutes.

I saw the picture last Sunday night- and I wasn't expecting it to be as quite this good. This is what should have been our new Exorcist movie instead of what was released last August. There are so many twist and turn scary moments in this film that the only frightful thing missing is a actual Boston priest convicted of molestation. I almost forgot that this was a movie based on a comic book - and I'm sure the general movie going audience will treat this as a well made horror flick. A few caveats that made me wince in the second half of the movie were a few super heroic bad boy scenes that has Reeves running around with a souped up crucifix tommy gun that supposedly squirts out holy water and some amped up fight scenes that wouldn't seem out of place on a Angel episode. It's examples like this that's going to stir up the pot on the rabid hyperbolic drooling rantings on fanboy messageboards.

Keanu wasn't bad in this role - in fact he makes John Constantine so sardonic and cynical- you'd swear the role was tailormade for him or that at least he's doing a reverse about face on Neo (look for a Matrix: Revolutions parody on that movie's ending towards the end of this picture). The actor who played Papa Midnite was dead on and one of the coolest thing about the movie was they put the DC Comics Vertigo logo in the opening credits that blows away hellish ash cinder with a mighty wind ( I would assume to counteract Marvel's boisterous ego banner in their movies of late).

You swear that you may want to quit smoking and drinking after seeing this movie. This movie should favor well with the Surgeon General that they may want to use snippets of this movie to use for their next ad campaign. There's a real clever gruesome scene between a priest run amok in a liqour store that will haunt me for the rest of my days. If you just dismiss the idyllic inaccuracies such as not Keanu's dyeing his hair blond or that Constantine's faithful cabbie pal, Chas is nothing more but than some little runt with a smart mouth, or that psych ward Ravenscar is in LA and not in England, then what you have left is a genuine good horror movie with a whacked out exorcism opening scene. The whole plot wielding the Spear of Destiny just for sport of Heaven and Hell's siblings is tightly paced.
A Trio Arrives
After the screening that I attended at the Hollywood Arclight, there was a Q & A with Frances Lawrence last night and one of the things he revealed about the movie is that there is a cut of the movie that has around 45 minutes of extended scenes that we are mulling over on whether or not to put that out on DVD. These would includes scene with a character called Elle a woman/half demon that Constantine has a relationship with that was cut out of the film. The director said the cut that is being released is his favorite because it portrays Constantine as a loner. The regular DVD is nearly already completed in the can.

One of the questions that Lawrence is shocked about hearing over and over is why not the British accent? He says after doing so much research with the source material after getting the assignment, he noticed that Constantine has adventures all over the world in places such as South Africa, India, America, the middle east, blah, blah, blah. Why should it matter what accent he has? He also said that if there are further movies in the future, that they'll probably take place in a different setting.

Then we all got T-shirts and all went home. Marv Wolfman and Len Wein were sitting behind me. They always seem get into these things without having to wait in line like everyone else- but it's great to be in such prestigious company sometimes.




  • At 1:45 PM , Blogger Coat said...

    Ladies & Gentlemen -

    Alan Sinder on the photoshop drums & percussion.




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