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by on 7/6/2007

Mel Gibson is one of the greatest directors of our time. This is because he does not direct a film production crew, he inspires them to greatness through his leadership. Go on location with a Gibson directed movie and you will see him get wet and dirty with his actors, for to use a quote from his film 'Once we were Soldiers', " in order to inspire your men you have to be where the metal meets the meat." Mel is very much a hands on director who also has the benefit of being one of the greatest actors alive. I will never the forget the night I saw "The Passion", how at the end off the film the audience left the cinema in total silence-you could have heard a pin drop. "The Passion" is cinematic poetry. No matter what your religious beliefs are, the film can grip your heart and soul and move you to tears with its brutal and emotional retelling of how one man protected his family, his friends, his followers and his mantra by dieing on a cross at the hill of the skull in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. No one would put up the money for his film about the last hours of Jesus, so Mel put the money up himself which he got back in quick time through the box office after the movies release. Last year Mel Gibson turned his hand to cinematic retelling of how one simple forest dweller took on the might of the Mayan Empire-and won. The film is called Apocalypto. All the roles were given to Indian actors who were then unheard of outside of Mexico. The script that Mel co-wrote with Farhad Sarfinia was translated into Mayan in order to drag the audience deeper into the story. having the lines delivered in the language of the time makes you feel more like a witness as against some one who is watching a an act. The film was shot in the Mexican jungle at locations that were harsh, hazardous and spectacular. The film has been deemed by some as being gratuitously violent. Well, I took my girlfriend to watch the film with me and Monica, who freely admits to watching many of Hollywood's productions from the last 10 years through hands placed over her eyes to prevent herself from seeing the portrayed blood letting on the screen before her said that she could not see what the fuss was all about. As far as the violent aspects of the film go, Mr Gibson does not step outside the boundaries of what is absolutely necessary to the story. The life of a Mayan during the supposed glory days of the empire included compulsory participation in ritual sacrifice and bloodletting. Self mutilation was practiced in Mayan homes and on the streets. It is now understood that self mutilation is a way of dealing with stress-and nothing could be more stressful than living a life were the principle daily expectations were blood and death. Mayans were regularly summoned to the centre of their cities in order to witness the bloody murders of captives taken from non Mayan villages. Then there were the infamous Mayan ball games in which the losers were often decapitated. Mr Gibson's Apocalyto could quiet as easily have been much more bloody if he had wanted it so. The Mayan Empire had always been terminally diseased. Position within Mayan society was determined by birth and not by merit. The wealth of the Mayans was stolen by military might. The Mayans may have had the knowledge to devise one of the most complex systems of writing ever known; but the civilization was incapable of preventing ecological disaster caused by overpopulation and excessive deforestation of its surrounding lands. It took a long time, but eventually Mayan cancer of excess lead to the civilizations disintegration. The film Apocalypto deserved the best picture Oscar and Mel deserved one for Best Director; but the Academy left the film out in the cold-one can speculate as to its reasons. One thing that you can not say about Mel Gibson is that he makes bad pictures because he doesn’t. The man is a consummate actor and one of the greatest living Directors. The Academy chose to leave Mr Gibson and his film out of the running for the most coveted awards at this years Oscars ceremony, but that does not take away from the fact that Apocalypto is brilliant in every way.

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on 9/5/2011

This is a Mel Gibson movie I liked. (Mel does not star in it; he is the writer and director.) I like the historical setting, showing the Mayan civilization at the dawn of the arrival of western explorers and the Christian religion. This movie has an epic feel to it: from the vast and verdant forest to the imposing city of stone; from warring tribes to rival religions. The people are proud, strong, and determined. There is the hero’s quest to overcome his enemies, escape his captors, and return to his home and rescue his family. There is a powerful scene of his wife giving birth while trying to keep herself and her children afloat in the pit filling up with rainwater. There is a lot of archetypal symbolism and imagery in this story. There is an authenticity to the film, especially in the cast being ethnic and indigenous actors, and the dialogue being spoken in the ethnic dialect. There is graphic violence, but that is understood as part of the culture. Even in the starkness and rawness, there is a sort of enchantment with a world gone by. In the final scene, the family embarks on a quest for a new home. They see the Spanish ships in the bay, the boats of soldiers and a Christian priest landing on the shore. The hero leads his family higher into the mountains, deeper into the forest. But it’s only a matter of time before the two worlds collide. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Product Overview

Set in the mayan civilization, when a man's idyllic presence is brutally disruted by a violent invading force, he is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression where a harrowing end awaits him.


Studio Buena Vista Home Entertainment
SKU 204212212
UPC 786936705089
UPC 14 00786936705089
Format DVD
Release Date 12/22/2013
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Name Youngblood,Rudy
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Dalia Hernandez - Actor
Dean Semler - Cinematographer
Farhad Safinia - Writer
James Horner - Original Music By
John Wright - Editor
Jonathan Brewer - Actor
Kevin Stitt - Editor
Mel Gibson - Producer
Mel Gibson - Director
Mel Gibson - Writer
Morris Birdyellowhead - Actor
Naaman Marshall - Art Director
Ned Dowd - Executive Producer
Roberto Bonelli - Art Director
Rudy Youngblood - Actor
Nominee (2007) British Academy Awards, Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey, Best Film not in the English Language,Golden Globe, Apocalypto, Best Foreign Language Film,Oscar, Aldo Signoretti, Vittorio Sodano, Best Achievement in Makeup,Oscar, Sean McCormack, Kami Asgar, Best Achievement in Sound Editing,Oscar, Kevin O'Connell, et. al., Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review With Apocalypto, Mel Gibson has proven it's possible to create a compelling action/adventure film in almost any setting. Gibson's theme (which is only partially developed), as revealed in an opening caption, is that all great civilizations fail when they begin to rot from the inside. Over the next 2 1/4 hours, he provides glimpses into the degeneracy of the Mayan society on the eve of its encounter with the Spanish conquistadores. However, Apocalypto is not a political tract or a dissertation about why the Mayan age came to an end. Instead, it's a high-octane adventure that concludes with one of the most intense extended chase sequences in recent movie history...I appreciate that Gibson set this in a time and place we don't often see on screen. The cameras, operated by Dean Semler, make this long-dead world come alive.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Variety
Review Mel Gibson is always good for a surprise, and his latest is that "Apocalypto" is a remarkable film. Set in the waning days of the Mayan civilization, the picture provides a trip to a place one's never been before, offering hitherto unseen sights of exceptional vividness and power...Notwithstanding the fantastic sets, costumes, makeup, body and hair designs and natural locations, perhaps the greatest impression is made by the performers' faces, which are superbly photogenic and unlike any normally seen in movies...Production is a wonder. Dean Semler's camera moves relentlessly through the densest of foliage and over the roughest of terrain on locations near Veracruz and in the rainforests of Catemaco, with some additional shooting done in Costa Rica and the U.K.; Gibson clearly knew the impact the lenser of the second and third "Mad Max" films could deliver.
Reviewer Todd McCarthy
ReviewRating 10
DVD, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Actor Youngblood,Rudy
Label Buena Vista Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide ...a mesmerizing vision of the past refracted through the dark obsessions of the present.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone ...a film of blunt provocation and bruising beauty.
Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly ...a virtuosic piece of action cinema...sickeningly powerful.
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post ...a sinewy, taut poem of action.
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer absorbing, disturbing, savagely beautiful "trip" movie...

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