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Monday, September 25, 2006

Cinema Strikes Back calls Apocalypto "a towering achievement of filmmaking"

The advance reviews are coming in fast and furious, and now Blake Ethridge of Cinema Strikes Back adds his praise to the shouting:

"Apocalypto" is a towering achievement of filmmaking. The size and spectacle realized by Gibson rumbles with imagination and life that is rarely breathed into frames of film. We aren't just watching a movie; it literally feels like we are transported into the time and period, and are in a race for our lives.

It's "Wages of Fear" with the pulp adventure feel of the old serials and westerns. It's a lyrical powerhouse of epic proportions that harks back to the days when Hollywood made films on the scale of "Ben-Hur." Decadent, rousing and rife with a macabre message of doom for civilizations that are ruled and controlled by fear.


"Apocalypto" is the sort of bravo epic filmmaking we rarely see anymore. Epics made these days seem to always be CGI fests that have little to offer up besides blandness. Gibson walks the fine line between epic scale and CGI with ease. He fills so much of the frame with hundreds of real details that we can easily overlook the CGI ones. This is a good old fashioned adventure tale with a message.

I really wasn't sure how and if Gibson could follow up Passion. That he decided to make one of the most logistically and overall challenging films of his career seemed risky. How many times have we seen a filmmaker emerge with a huge hit and then quickly descend into obscurity? The success and money seems to always Lava soap off their creativity and artistic spirit. That Gibson pulled off such an amazing film after Passion makes it all the more impressive.

Success and money, while seeming to make him all the more crazy, also seems to have made his art even more primal and pounding with life. If "Braveheart" was volume ten as a voice, then here he has quickly shown us that he can reach up to a volume so high we aren't even sure how far it goes.

You can read his entire review here - warning: *spoilers.*

Technorati Tags: Apocalypto, Mel Gibson, Rudy Youngblood

[Picture via Cinema Strikes Back]