Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Movie Reviews: Déjà Vu / Frequency / The Passion of the Christ

Déjà Vu

Director Tony Scott and Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington unite for the 3rd time with Déjà Vu, a film which appealed to me more than their past 2 collabos (Crimson Tide & Man On Fire). Denzel stars as ATF Agent Doug Carlin, who's brought in to investigate an explosion which destroyed a New Orleans ferry and took the lives of hundreds of military personnel and their families. Then Carlin stumbles across a female victim whose death doesn't follow the same pattern as the other fatalities from the bomb blast.

Carlin's still pondering that particular death when FBI Agent Pryzwarra (Val Kilmer) offers him a chance to solve the bombing and catch the killer using a new, top secret surveillance technology. This new investigative weapon allows the FBI team – and now Carlin – to view a real time playback of specific locations within the city of New Orleans from 4 days in the past. As Carlin gets caught up in watching the events unfold, he becomes convinced there's a way to stop the devastating event from actually taking place.

My fav scene is when Denzel hops in a car, dons a special helmet that allows him to see into the past, and chases the villain (Jim Caviezel) through the busy streets. Phwoar... it's one of the most amazing and unique car chase sequences I've ever seen in a film.

As the film's villain, Jim Caviezel steals moments away from Denzel... =P Jim is one of my fav actors... =D There's an icy, menacing tone to his performance that absolutely sells his religious/patriotic zealot character to audiences.

I've liked Jim Caviezel since watching Frequency. In that movie, Dennis Quaid (another fav actor of mine) is the fireman father of John Sullivan (played by Jim Caviezel). John's father was killed 30 years ago in the line of duty, and John is a detective who's investigating a previously unsolved, decades old serial murder case that's just been reopened upon the unearthing of the skeleton of one of the past victims.

Having made contact with his long dead father via a ham radio that has managed to transmit and receive signals from 30 years into the past, John saves his father from an untimely death, but both must then deal with the repercussions of that act that changes both the past and present.

I love brilliantly made movies like Déjà Vu and Frequency. Movies like that make me grip the edge of my seat in suspense!

Btw, Jim Caviezel also starred in Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ.

Speaking of The Passion Of The Christ, in that context, the word "passion" means suffering. I have A LOT to say about this movie.

To me, it's the finest and greatest tribute to Christ I've ever seen in film.

You might be wondering why some movies about Christ dun offend as well as this one does. There are a few reasons. For starters, in past efforts, Christ's scourging and torture is left unrealistically brief and inconsequential. The Passion is the only movie ever made to show the horrifying brutality of the pre-crucifixion price paid by Christ.

The Old Testament prophetically describes the results of Christ's beating as rendering Him unrecognizable by His own people. Mel Gibson and producer Steve McEveety address this modern omission head-on with the single-most graphic depiction of a true-life torture ever filmed. No, the Gospel is not for the faint-of-heart. This violence was not gratuitous, but appropriate.

What other things bother today's critic? To be blunt, UNBELIEF. Jesus is clearly shown as the Son of God. And, importantly, unlike many movies that end with Jesus' death on the cross, The Passion, in the last brief scene, shows Christ in His tomb resurrected in the promised victory over death.

You see, Christians only see this bodily resurrection as an accurate representation of the life of Christ – unbelievers have to reconcile the claims of the Gospels with their belief systems. Many people today feel particularly offended by Jesus' claim to be "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and that "no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Anybody can make a film about a great guy named Jesus, an itinerate carpenter-teacher humbly dispensing words of wisdom just like Buddha, Confucius and the Dalai Lama – nobody gets offended, everybody's happy. However, no other recognized spiritual leader in history has claimed deity, nor have they been killed and brought back to life. Jesus drew a line in the sand between Himself and all past and future "spiritual leaders."

A particularly bizarre charge is made that Gibson's film inaccurately portrays the Jewish religious leadership and the mob as orchestrating the illegal execution of Jesus. Maybe some of the films detractors didn't read the New Testament Gospels... hmmm... *shrugs*

Well, yeah, the execution was illegally conducted... Jewish law was broken... the story is therefore not a condemnation of the Jewish faith and its law, but of sin and corruption. All times, all institutions have experienced corruption at the hands of greedy, power-hungry men. Nothing new here – and certainly nothing anti-Semitic.

Everyone should see this movie. I guarantee that many viewers, once "offended" will be transformed... =P


Anonymous said...

Hi there, it seems that you finally managed to watch the movie, DejaVu :p and like the movie. Well I saw it 2 weeks ago and I gotta agree with you that the chasing scene is the best through out the movie.
Actually, I watched Frequency few years ago and it is quite an exciting movie as well.:)
Well, if there's other good movie around let me know. C ya. Cheers. :)

- Yian Keong

michsue said...

hey ya! will do... ;D catch up wit ya when u're back! cheers!

Anonymous said...

I rather watch The Da Vinci Code.

michsue said...

check this out then -

movie review of the da vinci code