Log in

No account? Create an account
Ban Constantine [entries|friends|calendar]
Travesty and a Sham, no Mad Dogs or Englishmen

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

This movie is the cancer [10 May 2010|10:31pm]

It's so hard for me to find things, especially slash, that isn't 'movieverse', which seem COMPLETELY different from comics. It's like finding out some stranger's moved into your house, replaced all your things, which you can't find now...

Haven't seen the movies, but the trailer was bad, as was the clip, I clicked on a clip among several posted by a fan as 'only scenes worth seeing', but after a few sentences by 'Constantine', I closed it. He's trying to beg his way into heaven...wut??? NO.

Anyone got any good comicverse recs?

So far, I've read Hellblazer: Hogwarts by Camwyn, which is actually delicious, but it's been unfinished since 2006. Some good fics at Yuletide (which helpfully separated the universe)...more please?

...also, reading through "The Devil You Know"'s collection of issues #10-13, not only am I'm more convinced that Constantine is totally wrong (JC in #10 have stated that angels are scary, he's smug about spitting in the eye of heaven, just regretful about Zed, and he wasn't exactly panicky when he quipped that the borders of heaven is the closest he'll ever get). Run on sentence more; I'm also convinced that Keanu Reeves might have made a good Gary Lester, Christ, from the clip I've seen, he totally has way more of a Gary Lester vibe than John Constantine, determined but helpless. I even see some physical resemblance betwen Keanu Reeves and Gary Lester in the picture used in Newcastle Crew's profiles page, srsly, look!
share your thoughts

My two cents. [03 Mar 2005|11:10pm]


Oh, and for the record, I was an adamant Keanusteen-hater since before the trailer came out. I've been following this grotesque crime against comic books for over a year. I've learned the entire plot of the movie before it was even released. I went to see it anyways because I must be a masochist, why else?

God, it was an awful movie, even if it were just on its own. And I know for sure that some of those from the religious flock would be, and are, opposed to seeing this movie - and I can see why. I hated the bloody thing.

Oh, and it's not because I hate Keanu. In my books, he's a shitty actor, but a nice guy personally.

It's also not because John isn't blond, or British, and doesn't wear a ratty trenchcoat.

It's because his personality was drained, his wit is gone, his motives are changed, he's seeking redemption from God, he's trying to get into Heaven, he's portrayed as a victim of fate, that he has superpowers of demo-vision, that he's suddenly the Catholic power-pope version of Inspector Gadget, his magic makes absolutely no sense, he's suddenly a dead shot with a machine gun and blasts apart demons, Rambo-style, that he'd use a gun (and a tacky, holy gun at that) at all, that he becomes a believer upon the film's ending, that he's now a complete and utter wanker. Vigourous chewing of nicorette insues.

The only thing I remotely enjoyed was 1) Satan, and 2) watching his friends die, as horrible as that sounds (though I still think that alcoholic Father dude's death wasn't nearly as creepy as the hunger demon thing in the very first issue of Hellbalzer).

So hello to you all. Hopefully, we'll be able to ride out this diaster in one piece.
share your thoughts

[23 Feb 2005|09:50pm]

Constantine - This adaptation of the comic book Hellblazer has some entertainment value, but it may be better if the viewer watches it with no knowledge of the original comic book character created by writer Alan Moore two decades ago.

The confused plot revolves around occult expert John Constantine, fighting both the demon of lung cancer and demons from Hell searching for the Spear of Destiny in order to bring the son of Satan into the world. Constantine's only allies are his apprentice, Chas, and a psychic detective, Angela.

Director Francis Lawrence, a music video director making his first film, brings a nice visual sensibility to the film, from the noirish portrayal of Los Angeles to imagining Hell itself. I like the noir elements of the script, but screenwriters Kevin Brodbin and Frank A. Cappello fail to deliver a coherent plot, despite basing their script on one of the best story arcs of the comic series. However, the production design of Naomi Shohan and the cinematography of Philippe Rousselot, along with the visual effects, are superb.

Keanu Reeves is okay in the title role within the context of the film (meaning he'd be woefully miscast for the character as written in the comics) even if he doesn't have more than one facial expression, but in a precious few scenes he actually comes close to approximating an American version of the original English character. Rachel Weisz as Angela, Djimon Hounsou as Papa Midnite, and Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel all deliver very good performances. Shia LaBeouf has some fun scenes as Chas, but is as different from the comic version as he can get. Peter Stormare's Satan is creepy in an entirely unexpected way. One nearly expects Jesse Ramirez, as the man who finds the Spear, to break out into "my preciousss," making it hard to not laugh at him.

There are some great visuals, some good performances, and some entertaining scenes, making it one of the better Hollywood films of this genre in recent years, but it just can't help but be a disappointment to fans of the character. This is one that may play much better for the uninitiated, which is probably the vast majority of people going to see it.

If I sound like a fangirl, it's because I've loved the original character since his first appearance in Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 in June 1985 (even 20 years later, I vividly recall reading that issue). It's hard to not feel cheated by the changes made to the character. For all the changes films like X-Men and Spider-Man made to characters, they still managed to stay true to the spirit of the originals. A few scenes aside, this film fails in that regard. I'm sorry, but John Constantine is a working class ex-punk from Liverpool, and the man bearing that name here is a poor substitute for the original. The film's final scene is entirely out of character for any variant of John.

In summary, it's a good eye candy film which fans of the supernatural thriller genre will enjoy, but which is lacking when compared to the comic books it's based on.
share your thoughts

behold, my faithful, heed the worlds of the prophet Cherie... [21 Feb 2005|07:31pm]

[ mood | giddy ]

...who goes where some of us have not...

Really, it's a gorgeous little snark piece. Deserves to be read. Do not drink anything while reading, though, or you'll quite likely have to clean your monitor. :)

share your thoughts

time to report to the head office in heaven [19 Feb 2005|09:57pm]

[ mood | bitchy ]

Looking for something entirely different, I ran across this:

"Tilda Swinton is all androgynous beauty and sly smiles as a scheming Angel Gabriel and Peter Stormare showboats with demented delight as Satan, who he plays as the psychotic, flipped-out host of a nightmare Fantasy Island."

Can it be? Can there actually be a reason for a diehard Constantine fan to see this travesty of a film? Could it hold a place of honor on...Bad Movie Night???

6 thoughts| share your thoughts

Constantine Sees Stars ... Almost [18 Feb 2005|10:02am]
You know, I rarely, if ever, pay any heed to what the reviewers have to say about a film. But I find it humorous to know that Roger Ebert only gave Constantine one and one-half stars.

That's right ... not even two complete stars.

In other news, Son of the Mask received one and one-half stars from Ebert ...

share your thoughts

more from the salt mines [17 Feb 2005|09:13pm]

[ mood | annoyed ]

Keanu, did you ever read comic books as a kid?

KEANU REEVES: Yeah, I read a couple. Yeah, I followed...what did I like? When I read "Ronin" by Frank Miller, I was like, "Oh my God! What is this?!" Then when I saw "Dark Knight", that series, and then when I went back into "X-Men" and Frank Miller's "Wolverine" series...that was just awesome stuff to me. I collected some "X-Men." Then when I was a kid, [I liked] "Spider-Man." But the whole idea of a graphic novel, to me when I was growing up, was just awesome.

Does this movie feel like a graphic novel?

FRANCIS LAWRENCE: No. My approach to this from the beginning was never to shoot it like a comic book movie. I think that's kind of been done before. I mean, it was done very, very well with Tim Burton's original "Batman." From there, I don't think anybody's really sort of topped that. Everybody sort of built Gotham City again, whether or not it's called Gotham City. Everybody has done all the dutched angles and all the bright colors and made things super campy. And what I wanted to do, and what I always loved about the comic, is that it was kind of rooted in reality and in real places. And that's what I wanted to do, was to really make it feel real. It seems to be working. It seems to be what people are sort of responding to, is that it's not all hyper-real. It's not super-stylized. It's kind of rooted in a gritty reality.

Is bringing this movie and its stars to Comic Con to help clear up any ideas about the film, or is it just to help build publicity?

FRANCIS LAWRENCE: I think there's a mix. Look, "Hellblazer" has a very small fan base but it has a very hardcore fan base. One thing is to help build awareness with people who might not be aware of "Hellblazer" or where "Constantine" has something to do with "Hellblazer." The other thing is a lot of the "Hellblazer" fans are really hardcore. They've been tough on the movie and they've been tough on certain things, and we want to sort of show them we have not made "Van Helsing." It's not a straight up 'pop' movie. I feel that the heart of the character is in this movie, and I think that's important.

What is this movie really about? How do you describe the character of John Constantine?

KEANU REEVES: He's fighting for his life. We were traveling here this morning and I was like, "So, when they ask us what this film's about..."

FRANCIS LAWRENCE: I told him not to say. I said, "You guys have to see it."

KEANU REEVES: Redemption, and all that.

FRANCIS LAWRENCE: If you look at "Dangerous Habits," if you know that it's based on "Dangerous Habits," it is sort of clear what the film's about.

KEANU REEVES: Constantine, you know, he committed suicide to get out of here. He can see things and has knowledge about the way the world works that is distressing to him, and he tried to get a way out. He committed suicide and now he's trying to find his way into Heaven, into the Lord's grace. I think it's about him trying to find his life, a better life, and his struggle with his own nature. Because he's not the nicest guy all the time, which is fun.

For those who aren't familiar with Midnite, can you describe him?

DJIMON HOUNSOU: Midnite...I can tell you he's a very Rico Suave-sort of witchdoctor, you know? I mean, that's pretty much the look of Midnite. I think he's gone through so much with Constantine and dealt with so much for a long time, those guys are a great team. Or at one time, they were a great team.

Why the name change from "Hellblazer" to "Constantine?"

FRANCIS LAWRENCE: I think honestly it's because of "Hellraiser". People, when you say "Hellblazer," they say, "'Hellraiser,' the movie with Pinhead?" "No, no. 'Hellblazer's' this other graphic novel." I think that was the biggest thing.

Is that a challenge then to attract the "Hellblazer" fans?

FRANCIS LAWRENCE: No, I think every single "Hellblazer" fan knows that this is a movie with John Constantine. I think they are all very aware.

Entire interview available here.

2 thoughts| share your thoughts

Final Thoughts [17 Feb 2005|12:14pm]

[ mood | devious ]

watching this movie, and thinking of others related to the ilk (Dogma, et al)

Is anyone but me sick of moviemaker not having the balls to use *real* occult and religious material in a film? Why do they consistantly have to invent imaginary-but-sound-like-they-could-be-real names for angels, powers, chairs, demons, and the whole shebang? Christ on Crutches, a copy of THE LESSER KEY OF SOLOMON is printed under the damn Penguin Press!

(I'm really starting to think I need to start working on a truly 'occult' movie. Gaiman and Morrison have their hypersigils done, one drenched in mythology, one drenched in pop culture and the media grid, I'm starting to have ideas about where my attempt starts...)

5 thoughts| share your thoughts

[17 Feb 2005|11:41am]

[ mood | aggravated ]

Ok, and now, for the people that don't intend to see it at all, are on the fence, or don't need to be 'surprised' to watch a movie, here are the

spoilersCollapse )

1 thought| share your thoughts

Ok, spoiler-free review first.. [17 Feb 2005|11:07am]

[ mood | apathetic ]

alright, sorry about the day's wait here, last 24 hours have been very computer-busy (graphics work) so although I've been sitting in front of two terminals solidly, I've had enough consuming the brain to not get around to writing a review. A major test render is running right now, so one box is locked solid rendering for the next 45 minutes, I might as well use the other to get this knocked out.

First, overall rating: 3 out of 5 hangovers (I feel kinda shitty, but it's a stylish kinda shitty, I still have some will to live)

I've realized one thing from watching this movie. Keuna Reeves wants to be the Clint Eastwood of Horror/SciFi/Cyberpunk movies. There were definately several moments in Constantine that gave this away most definately. As I expected earlier, this is Elseworlds:HellBlazer. Keanu as John has about as much to do with our John Constantine as does "The hero known as hellblazer" from Doom Patrol, or maybe Mite Constantine would be a more accurate relation. It's certainly as though DC told the movie makers "You can make a character based upon our work, but it must be different enough that we don't have a reason to sue you".

It's Bizarro Constantine all right though, as though they deliberately skirted away from doing anything that would make the uninitiate go 'hey , that's John Constantine!", but yet allow the long-time readers to go "Ahah! I see who this guy is meant to be, it's our John"

except terribly in reverse. (your brain hurting yet?)

Ok Major points: Firstly, Keanu and the filmwriters do a pretty good version of their American collolary to John Constantine, it's true. At least they didn't try to put a sassy loudmouth brit in LA; when they decided to make him American, they did a good job of transposing the personality to American I think. The movie itself, removed from any comparison to comic roots, is kinda nifty, it flows ok, has some neat visuals here and there but doesnt throw them around willy nilly, has only one 'matrix-bulletime-shot' that isnt actually anything of the sort once you realize what's happening. I counted about 4 times the entire audience burst into laughter at some of John's general assholeness to the world around him. I'm sure a good percentage of them hadn't read the comic, so that was interesting.

It's not the personality I have problems with; although this john just wasn't smart mouthed and perpetually defiant enough (I found myself filling in the 'right' responses for this John on several occasions). Aside from one or two good lines, most of Keanu's successful representations of John's defiance, were purely physical; so this is really more the fault of the script than Keanu here.

The plot takes from DANGEROUS HABITS fairly heavily, sometimes even down to taking dialogue *almost* verbatim, however several critical lines are changed just subtlely enough to strip the original weight from them. Several of the camera shots are also direct lifts from comic panels, and taken on their own visually, it pleases my inner fanboy to see these few nuggets of fanboy pleasure on screen. (Watching the bloodied feet of the first-fallen descend into view had me slapping the people in the seats next to me, while ooh-ooh-ooh'ing like a chimp).

Anyway, John's background has been completely changed, and one detail in particular bothers me, (revealed in spoiler info), because it changes John's reasons for a lot of things. Many of the other characters share a similarly weighty body of catholic-guilt style baggage.

The whole movie in fact drips with catholic dogma; look - I know they got a catholic exorcist to 'advise' the movie, and I realize americans only associate some of this 'mumbo jumbo demonic occult stuff' as only being the property of those loony catholics. I realize that Dangerous Habits was certainly loaded with much of the same, but it wasn't owned by that material like this movie is.

But back to the point, it's not the personality, no, It's the ethics.

I remember an interview with Garth, on the subject of John's ethics. (paraphrased because I don't have the source at hand).

"John believes he follows the politics of the anarchist, the revolutionary socialist, the punk rocker; but really he follows the politics of the junky, the politics at survival at any cost, especially other people's cost"

*these* are the things they changed that really bugged me, the fact that there are at least two major moments in the movie that I cringed, at actions and decisions that I just had to go "No! John, not anyone based on his character in any universe, would make that choice!!"

I'll give you exact details in the spoiler-inclusive review, and it's rather hard to illustrate in more detail without giving info away.

Buit, to sum up. They missed a chance to make a movie in which people leave the cinema cheering for a 'Good Guy' that actually lives entirely by his own rules, shown that God is a choice not a neccessity and really made a movie demonstrating that all power and authority should be inherently challenged, to the very highest levels.

Instead, we get a movie that, while fun, ultimately kowtows to the weight of christian beliefs it should have made people question again. Stylish in the right ways, no substance though.

1 thought| share your thoughts

[15 Feb 2005|06:05pm]

[ mood | apprehensive ]

right, let's do this shit, walkin out the door now..

share your thoughts

[15 Feb 2005|05:51am]

[ mood | contemplative ]

Thanks to the mysteries of providence, I'm off to see CONSTANTINE tommorow, for free.

I'm going to this expecting to see 'Bizarro Constantine:Hellblazer' more than anything to do with John Constantine.

For all the puristsd out there, I have these words

1) Don't sweat it, It doesnt bother me that much and I spend a good deal of my time trying to be the walking incarnation of that bastard. (let's see, I'm a British, blonde, alcoholic, chainsmoking unrepentant reverse-engineering chaote bastard, I think I have a shot at this)

2) you should read The Justice Conspiracy of Hellblazers (great fun little read mate) for an eye-opening idea of why Constantine is an 'Eternal Champion' sort of figure, more important than the look and nationality of the guy (which is what everyone is bitching about) is the dynamic of the guy.

From everything I've seen so far (and i've been following this movie for a very long time, unsurprisingly) that man Keanu seems to have grokked that reasonably well, without need to veneer himself in lots of bad cockney and football hooliganism references...

Anyway, I'll have a status report for you all tommorow, how about that. I'm not expecting Garth Ennis style work out of this movie, I'm just expecting not to be completely insulted to where I want my money back.

Oh yeah, this isn't costing me anything, now innit?!

Ooops, just forgot something.. better point out something to the argumentative shites of the world.

yes, Constantine is my real last name, Conrad is my first. my birth predates Alan Moore's swamp thing by about ten years so I can't thank my parents for being rampant AMoore fans either. Life is full o funny little coincidences like that..

anyway, to hell with me, discuss the damn movie.

8 thoughts| share your thoughts

advance reporting [14 Feb 2005|10:38pm]

[ mood | amused ]

Granted, this is hearsay, but...

There's a fellow my catdancer works with. Sort of a go-getter type, likes action movies, sports, and explosions. Was really, really looking forward to Constantine. Never read the comics. Actually managed to track down an advance showing, some promo thing a local radio station ran yesterday.

So he comes in today and Cat walks up to him and asks, so, how was Constantine?

And he says, not bad, not bad. Well, the effects were pretty good. Not much of a plot though. Lots of things blowing up.

So, you know, overall, he wasn't unhappy that he'd gotten in free to see the film, is the point. Which I thnk we all knew was the upshot of this overhyped piece of dreck, but hey, it's nice to have it confirmed.

Outside hearsay source: CGI effects, excellent; movie, crap. Yep.

share your thoughts

[13 Feb 2005|07:34pm]


share your thoughts

[09 Jan 2005|06:55pm]

I just finished reading the comic adaptation of the film. If it's even reasonably faithful to the film, the film will be even worse than I feared. Ugh.
1 thought| share your thoughts

The Ninth Gate [31 Dec 2004|04:53pm]


Anyone else seen this and thought of our Scouse bastard friend?



1 thought| share your thoughts

[01 Nov 2004|07:40pm]

"I think where we got the biggest backlash is that he's not English and he's not blond...That stuff is really superficial." - Constantine director Francis Lawrence
12 thoughts| share your thoughts

lives that keep their secrets [20 Oct 2004|11:47pm]

[ mood | perplexed ]

From SciFiWire:

09:00am ET, 27-July-04

Constantine Is Gritty

Francis Lawrence, who directed the upcoming supernatural film Constantine, told SCI FI Wire that he deliberately avoided shooting the movie in the style of a comic book, even though it's based on the Vertigo graphic novel Hellblazer. "My approach to this from the beginning was to never shoot it like a comic-book movie," Lawrence said in an interview at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend. "I think that's been done before."

Lawrence added, "It was done very, very well with Tim Burton's original Batman. From then [on], I don't think anybody's really topped that. Everybody's built Gotham City again, whether it's called Gotham City or not. Everybody's done the dutched angles and all the bright colors and made things super-campy. And what I wanted to do, and what I always loved about the comic, was it was rooted in a reality and in real places. What I really wanted to do was make it really feel real. And it seems to be working. It seems to be what people are responding to. It's not all hyper-real. It's not super-stylized. It's rooted in a gritty reality."

To play up Constantine's gritty look and feel, Lawrence transferred the action of the story from the comic's London to Los Angeles, scene of many films noir. "I was referencing the movie Training Day, because we were shooting in L.A., and it's sort of this different side of L.A. you don't see," Lawrence said. "It's a little more ethnic. It's a little more realistic L.A. It's not just sort of the landmarks of L.A. I like the colors of that. The feelings and the textures of that. And I actually worked with the production designer of that film on this as well. If you want a reference for [the film's] look, you can go with that. The 'noir' comes more in the tone of the character and the structure of the story and the way Constantine interacts and deals with people and the world around him."

Constantine stars Keanu Reeves as supernatural detective John Constantine, who is facing death by lung cancer and must find a way to stave off the demonic forces that want to drag him to hell. "There are plenty elements of horror in this," Lawrence said. "There are plenty of scares. It's creepy throughout. What's interesting about this movie, and what I'm really proud of, too, is that it's not really genre-specific. It's not a supernatural thriller. It's not a horror film. It's not four kids in a van going off and getting chopped up by an ax murderer. It's not just fantasy. It's this weird blend of all these things."

Of...course it is.

One more from SciFiWire:

09:00am ET, 26-July-04

Reeves Talks Constantine

Keanu Reeves--who stars in the upcoming Constantine, a film based on Vertigo Comics' Hellblazer series--told SCI FI Wire that the movie deals with redemption in a world that's not always a great place. "He's fighting for his life," Reeves said of his character, John Constantine, in an interview at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend. "Constantine committed suicide to get out of here. He can see things and has knowledge about how the world works that is distressing to him. He committed suicide. Now he's trying to find his way into heaven and the Lord's grace, and I think that's symbolic of him trying to find ... a better life. It's a struggle with his own nature, because he's not the nicest guy all the time, which is fun."

Reeves plays supernatural detective Constantine, who has had to strike deals with demons in his work and now faces death due to lung cancer, with hell lapping at his feet. Reeves, who plays the blond British comic character as a brunet American, added, "I really love the guy. I love his anger, and I loved his wry sense of humor about the awfulness of the world and having to deal with [it] day in and day out, and what that's kind of turned him into. [Co-star] Djimon [Hounsou's] playing Midnite [a witch doctor], and we're like warriors in this world of shit, just trying to deal with it. And I like that." Constantine, directed by Francis Lawrence and co-starring Rachel Weisz, is slated for release in February 2005.

From Upcoming Horror Movies:

Director Francis Lawrence talked with SciFi Wire recently about the Keanu and the film, saying...

"Well, I don't want to get into anything sort of personal, but, I mean, Keanu is kind of a haunted guy, and he's sort of elusive and he's kind of mysterious," Lawrence said in an interview on the set in Compton, Calif., last December. "He's had some sort of tragic things happen to him, and I think [he] ... lives that life a little bit. He's also, I would say, a little self-destructive, which I think Constantine is, you know?"

He then added... "What I think first attracted me to this project was just the character himself. Not the fact that he was English, not the fact that he had blond hair and not the fact that he wore an olive-colored trench coat. It was sort of what made him who he was. And I think we've maintained that."

What is that, exactly? "I think it's the whole idea of an antihero. This guy that sort of understands the world to be a place that normal people don't know exists. I think that he's sort of a supernatural, hard-boiled detective. He reminds me of the Sam Spades and characters from the classic film noirs."

Huh. Um...huh. Maybe this film won't completely tank. Maybe Keanu can pull it off. Why, Constantine and Keanu are so much alike...they're both sort of elusive and mysterious, and kind of haunted, and have to stand in buckets of water for their powers to...wait.

That's neither Keanu Reeves nor John Constantine. Sorry, forgot there for a moment...

share your thoughts

so here's the thing [20 Oct 2004|10:44am]

[ mood | blah ]

Updates are going to be kind of on the rare side here, because, well, I get so disheartened when I search up information on the film.

How'ver, ran across something strange a couple nights ago. There's another community here doing basically this same thing.

It's called any1_but_keanu, and they seem to have more members. So...do we all want to convert to their side? Do we want to propose they host us as a sister link? Do we even care?

This question, of course, goes out to the...erm...one-point-five??...members we have on here, of course. :)

share your thoughts

Shia LeBeouf to play Chas?? [03 Sep 2004|06:42pm]

[ mood | baffled ]

Shia LeBeouf, the former child star of Holes, has been hired for the film "Constantine" to play a character called "Chaz Chandler".

They couldn't even leave the 's' in--had to be Chaz, not Chas--what, they figured we as Americans are so moronic we couldn't figure out who it was anyway, so why bother?

This does present interesting complications, how'ver--considering John Constantine's on-again, off-again bisexual nature, and his on-again off-again fling with Chas--when Chas is stable, when John's not sober--how is this going to work on-screen? Knowing the way other American films play out, I can roll this one along in my head--younger, buffer actor to play Constantine in his forties to start with, so there's that confusion; tied into a 'best friend' who's beautiful in some fundamentally impossible way, and also, very young; oh, and of course they're not having sex.

Oh, dear gods, I can see the slash potential already. The sad thing is, there already are Hellblazer slash stories, good ones...the ones that come out of this film? They're going to suuuuck...

5 thoughts| share your thoughts

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]