OxBlog

Friday, December 15, 2006

# Posted 7:59 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

NEXT MEL GIBSON FILM TO HAVE DIALOGUE ENTIRELY IN YIDDISH? The man clearly doesn't believe in making films in English anymore. So why not make amends to the Jewish community with a film in Yiddish?

Perhaps Gibson could film the story of a heroic Jewish policeman in late 19th century Poland who constantly annoys criminals and anti-Semites. Gibson could call it "Lethal Kvetchin".

OK, I'm sorry. That was a terrible, terrible joke. But seriously, I was very surprised to see Gibson's new film Apocalypto get a remarkably positive review in the New Yorker, which tends to look down its nose at almost every big-budget Hollywood production.

The film also came in for praise from the Weekly Standard, which calls it "innovative" and a "a virtual masterpiece. The Standard also celebrates the film's ability to offend PC liberals, a virtue to which OxBlog is not insensitive.

But the real quesiton is, how many people will spend ten bucks to see it?
(7) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
"But the real quesiton is, how many people will spend ten bucks to see it? "

Apparently, a lot:
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/boxoffice/weekend/

I think you have to have an OPEN-MIND to see the art in art regardless of who the artist is.
I think he is one of the most innovative and best film makers ever. But then, innovation always is resisted by "normal" minded people.
I do however despise his anti-semitism comments.
 
Oof. I should've realized the movie already came out.
 
David,

Just a heads-up.

I see your school-friend Nir Rosen is participating in a new website about Iraq set up by Eason Jordan:

IraqSlogger.

Zeyad, whose blog Healing Iraq you may have looked at before and who is currently studying at the new CUNY journalism school in New York, is also working at IraqSlogger, translating Arabic press articles.

*
 
the film's ability to offend PC liberals
==========
I have to say that I got a little chided here for being too harsh in suggesting picking up of fleas in another comment.

If I had to rephrase, what I object to most are increasingly inculcated mores suggestive that Conservatism (or non-PC thought) is somehow more Respectable, because it is somehow more intellectually rigorous or more socially valuable.

Liberals do not *have to* be cowed but this "offense" onslaught, caught wavering, or worried in the slightest about the prowess of muscular liberal intellectualism. They ought, as Peter Beinhart rightly enjoins, simply go about fighting the good fight, as they see it.

Gibson's Passion failed because of its obsession with Christ-the-Suffering-King, *literally*, another of Gibson's over-emphasis on physical violence. If Apocolypto fails as epic, because it, too, focuses just on the violence of Mayan culture, then put it down as second-tier art, perhaps, on that basis; but from what I've heard, it just a riveting-good story telling, nothing more.

As for the Standard's "Brutally Honest" bits+, there are a great number of "facts" and any number of ways to thinking about how to put them together instructively. The tacitly accepted idea that there are more "PC liberal" pieties than "PC conservative" ones is an asymmetry that could be easily challenged, IMHO.
------
+did you notice the Alaskan cruise offered on page-2 of the review, to ride alongside your favorite WS pundits? It occured to me that might be a bit of unintended slapstick, as such an outing could be another's version of an "Apocolypto"...
 
But seriously, I was very surprised to see Gibson's new film Apocalypto get a remarkably positive review in the New Yorker, which tends to look down its nose at almost every big-budget Hollywood production.

David,

I don't think that they look down their nose, I just think that they realize that so many of the big-budget Hollywood films really suck as of late.

I only go to the theater to see independent films or films that otherwise I feel need my support.

I buy plenty of DVD's and it's amazing how much the experience of a good surround sound system and HD tv can make it like the theater.
 
"But the real quesiton is, how many people will spend ten bucks to see it? "

Apparently, a lot:
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/boxoffice/weekend/


LOL! Apparently not very many.

With only two exceptions (March 3rd and Sept. 8th), there is NO OTHER WEEKEND Apocalypto would have been in the number one spot this year.

And although Apocalypto was no. 1 this weekend, it only had the 65th highest opening weekend of the year. The movies with better opening weekends were:

Pirates of the Carribean 2, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Da Vinci Code, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Cars, Superman Returns, Mission Impossible III, Talladega Nights, Happy Feet, Casino Royale, Scary Movie 4, Click, The Break-Up, Over the Hedge, Saw III, Madea's Family Reunion, Jackass: Number Two, Inside Man, Nacho Libre, Big Momma's House 2, The Devil Wears Prada, The Departed, Underworld: Evolution, Borat, Miami Vice, V for Vendetta, Failure to Launch, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Open Season, Monster House, Poseidon, Little Man, When a Stranger Calls, You, Me and Dupree, The Grudge 2, Step Up, Deja Vu, The Pink Panther, Eight Below, Silent Hill, RV, The Shaggy Dog, The Omen, Barnyard, The Hills Have Eyes, Snakes on a Plane, Glory Road, Hoodwinked, Last Holiday, Nanny MacPhee, Curious George, Eight Below, Date Movie, The Benchwarmers, The Sentinel, Lady in the Water, John Tucker Must Die, Barnyard, World Trade Center, The Guardian, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, The Prestige, The Santa Clause 3, and Flushed Away.

Apocalypto was just lucky to be released on a weak movie-going weekend. Or maybe not so lucky. The first two weekends in December ALWAYS have weak box office. So, maybe it's release was by design.
 
And Apocalypto is going to take a big box office hit for its second weekend. Just wait. You'll see.

How many people will spend ten bucks? Answer: apparently, not so much.
 
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