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Constantine


CarloOos
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There was some brief discussion of Constantine and the ethics of substantially changing the source material over in the Superbowl thread, but I thought I'd give it it's own thread with the arrival of this new footage.

http://www.maximonline.com/entertainment/f...es/constantine/

I think the footage is good, a nice dark, tense atmosphere and some swearing to prove it's not totally watered down, infact I was pleasently suprised to hear it's got an R rating on the Superbowl trailer since most studios would rather cut their various comic book properties to get a PG-13 even if it can totally ruin many aspects of the film (Daredevil).

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Having never read the comic book I have none of the 'baggage' fans have so I'm quite looking forward to this. Certainly has a lot of potential. I'm not a Keanu hater so don't mind him. Good to hear that they're sticking with the R rating.

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I don't hate Keanu but adore the source material so naturally, I'm somewhat pissed off about the change in location and nationality (I don't care about him not being blond the way some fans have ludicrously complained about, though). I do feel that, on the basis of everything about it I've read and seen to date, the film misses the point of the character in many ways (trying to commit suicide, carrying a Holy-fucking-Shotgun, relying much more on magic, completely ignoring his socialist roots) but even so, I'm very interested in seeing what they come up with, especially given the reviews so far have been surprisingly positive and the fact that the story is very loosely based on Dangerous Habits, probably my favourite comic story of all time.

But yes, it's akin to only making a Spider-Man film about the Japanese or Indian versions - much of the basic elements translate across reasonably well enough but generally speaking, it's not the definitive version of the character or one you'd want a film version to be about...

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Here's basically what I said in the other thread regarding the changes, after someone said they've changed so much why even bother calling it Constantine/HellBlazer:

If they had scrapped the whole comic license then they'd have been slated for ripping off HellBlazer, lets be honest unless they do an identical copy of the comic they just can't with win the fans - unless the film turns out to be fantastic enough to please everyone (X-Men, Spiderman).

And in all honesty, as much as I hate Americans making everything there own (believe me I fucking detest Americanisation, if you could call it that), I don't think I could swallow 2 hours of someone with a Scouse accent being an action hero. I must admit what works on the page would spoil the tone in a film.

Anything else lost in the translation, like the socialism themes you speak of and the motivations of the character, are down to the script really. I'm just talking to the aesthetic changes such as the location and such.

I understand where fans are coming from, it's never nice to see your dream project changed into something else, because every detail of it will no doubt mean something to you and irk you when you see it portrayed otherwise. But sometimes it's just neccessary, and sometimes it works better - with The Shining being a glorious example of the source material being radically altered and coming together fantastically.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just watched this. (Yarrrr!!!) If you can get past the fact that Keanu (he tries, bless him) is playing Constantine and the whole American thing, I thought it was bloody good, It felt very British, practically every other character was English and it was a nice and dark retelling of the bad habits storyline. Sure they messed things around a bit, but it had a much better script than I thought it would have.

Alright, the Holy Shotgun was a bit daft!

Click For Spoiler
Knuckle Duster with crucifixes on the knuckles was gang busters though!
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Having never read the comic book I have none of the 'baggage' fans have so I'm quite looking forward to this. Certainly has a lot of potential. I'm not a Keanu hater so don't mind him. Good to hear that they're sticking with the R rating.

I've not long got back from watching this and I was like you before I went in.

I've not touched a Hellblazer comic before so don't know how many liberties were taken but as a movie, it's very good.

Although he isn't the greatest actor in the world, Keanu gets to evoke some character unlike The Matrix Trilogy. His sarcastic, cynical approach to life nevers feels too forced and his deadpan deliveries never fall flat.

As I mentioned, I've never read Hellbalzer so I can't say which (if any) stories the movie stems from but the actual story is good, with some interesting ideas and tangents.

Cinematography is gorgeous as is the direction. The director comes from a music video background and it shows but not i a negative MTV short attention span way. There was a brief moment near the beginning where I thought it might turn into The Cell (also beautiful to look at but ultimatly vaccous and unnecessary). Thankfully it didn't and set the tone nicely.

CG is excellent throughout particulary the more subtle parts e.g. the parts NOT set in Hell.

With a film like this, I'm always weary of a rawk and nu metal type soundtrack but this is kept to a minimum.

Also worth a mention is a post-credits snippet. Nothing Amazing but nice all the same.

It's rated a 15 over here and I don't remember much in terms of coarse language but it never feels missed anyway.

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Another thing l didn't enjoy was the fact he uses guns and stuff, while in the series he use cunning and logic to outwit them. Other than the british humour being lost, the film was really fun to watch.

Or sometimes both.

Click For Spoiler
When he was interrogating Balthazar he bluffed his confession out of him, which was rather cunning I thought. Although he did finsish him off with the crucifix shotgun....
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Or sometimes both.

Click For Spoiler
When he was interrogating Balthazar he bluffed his confession out of him, which was rather cunning I thought. Although he did finsish him off with the crucifix shotgun....

l rather he use magic you know?, instead it want all Buffy on us.

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Another thing l didn't enjoy was the fact he uses guns and stuff, while in the series he use cunning and logic to outwit them. Other than the british humour being lost, the film was really fun to watch.

comment from another board that I read

"Cmon, Constantine fucking managed to outwit a demon, a DEMON man. Can you you even se Keanu Reeves managing to outwit a 3 year old?"

I think Nick Cave would have made an excellent Constantine.

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I found it utterly monotonous. So much talk (much of it steeped in Catholicism) of what was going to happen and what they were going to do - backed up by yet more vacuous meandering and a slither of action. The SFX were great, but I was counting the seconds towards the end.

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Enjoyed it a great deal, but I have no history with the comic book at all so that probably helped. Reeves I thought was fine in the role and Tilda Swinton seemed a great choice for Gabriel, though I wished she'd have had more scenes.

The ending seemed a bit anti-climatic but apart from that I liked it.

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I've only seen the TV trailers so far, and don't really see the point of it using the Hellblazer license to be honest.

I can't comment on the state of the comic now since I haven't read it since the early issues, but back then they were basically all about Constantine's character (which includes the blond hair). Losing this makes the whole thing a bit pointless.

Does he even smoke in it? (not that this is big or clever, etc, etc)

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Does he even smoke in it?

Yes, lots apparently.

And what makes you think that it has lost all the characterisation? Because he doesn't have blonde hair? From what I've heard there's hardly any action and there's plenty of characterisation for Constantine. Hell, they even renamed the movie after him...

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And what makes you think that it has lost all the characterisation? Because he doesn't have blonde hair? From what I've heard there's hardly any action and there's plenty of characterisation for Constantine. Hell, they even renamed the movie after him...

Just going by the little I've heard and what I've seen in the trailers, to be honest. The toting of big guns just made me sigh a little.

The hair thing doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. Retaining all 2 of JCs distinguishing physical characteristics - the blond hair and the smoking - wouldn't seem to be too much to ask though. It helps in bridging the page/screen gap for readers of the comic.

Bah - everyone's being fairly positive about it, so I'll watch it with an open mind.

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I'm going to get slated for this but I thought Keanu was excellent in his portrayal of John Constantine. He actually played the part really well, and came across as the tortured soul not sure of his place in the world.

The movie enjoyable, and nicely dark as it should be at points.

The girl playing Gabriel was superb. Very nasty.

four thumbs out of five from me

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I agree with Phelan. I watched it last night, I didnt really know what to expect because i'd never read the comic.

I was very impressed with the lot, the acting, the action even the style was pretty gloomy and bleak.

Loved it actually, best film i've seen in a while.

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Man, I didn’t like it. :unsure:

Good bits first:

Visually, it was interesting (although I was expecting a lot more). One of the coolest looking films in years.

Top cast. Stomare and Swinton stole the show. Keanu didn’t drop the ball either, which is always a good thing… Rossdale was nothing more than adequate, though.

Bad things second:

Could they have made the plot anymore convoluted? For those new to Constantine, I thought they could have held our hands a bit more. Either they needed to explain some things better, or chop a ton of crap from the first act and streamline the movie so things rolled along much quicker.

The "villain" (Manaan or whatever) basically never appears in the film… They give us Balthazar and Gabriel and we see that Hispanic chappy running around a lot, but the villain (i.e the instigator of all things bad) never directly does anything or says anything… I guess you could say Constantine’s real antagonist is the system. Even so, Manaan was wasted.

The chair thing is horrible deus ex machina. They'd written Constantine into a corner, so they invented a nonsensical way for him to instantly learn everything he needs to know and I hate shit like that. Lazy screenwriting/directing.

The Chaz subplot. Woefully under-developed. Waste of a potentially cool sidekick character. The odd (as in maybe twice) cool exhange asside, he didn't do much.

The love subplot. I suspect they did it to soften Constantine. But the cool part about him (or so I’ve been told) is that he isn't soft. If that’s the case it cheapened the climax of his character arc, at least implying that he was giving his soul to make his girlfriend happy.

They should have had him do it out of sympathy/empathy for Isabelle. He and her are so similar -- they "saw," nobody believed them, they killed themselves. It would have juxtaposed his earlier selfishness better.

Alas, I might it like more on a second viewing. But I thought Greg Widen's THE PROPHECY was miles better.

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