Old 01-23-2012, 05:36 PM
Poops Underrated Movie of the Week: Constantine

Apparently, this does not resemble its comic book counterpart much at all; And people hate it for that. Having never read a panel of the comic (which I do plan on!) I still think the movie stands on it's own as a pretty solid genre offering.

As much as people bash on Keanu Reeves, I like the dude, and he's actually pretty solid here. His somewhat monotone voice actually work for the character here and he plays the douchey anti-hero part well imo. Rachel Weisz adds some beauty and class to the proceedings and although Shia LaBeouf is in it, he's pretty dialed down here and doesn't have much screentime. LaBeef haters rejoice!

What I dig about the flick is it's balls to be a big budget, mainstream comic book genre flick with some rather negative religious views and a harsh tone throughout. This is like Hellboy's meaner, more psycho brother with a slightly noirish bent. Constantine is very much like the hardened detectives you would find in old school Hollywood film noir. The flick sports some badass imagery and a cool mean streak. I particularly love the bit with the priest and the liquor store. Harsh!

This is a very CGI heavy movie but the visuals never overwhelm you and feel like an extension of the story rather then just cool looking shit thrown at you to make you go "Whoaaa...." every five minutes. The design of Hell, the demons and the various other supernatural bits are well done across the board. I really loved all the different ways Constantine used to travel to Hell or to "see" into the other side. Cool shit!

Special mention should go out to the finale of the movie, which could just have been a demon shoot 'em up (which does happen but its not a very long scene) but the movie opts for a more offbeat, wordy finale. It sounds stupid, but it works quit well and gives the ending its own unique little spin we don't see in genre movies like this. Peter Stormare's Lucifer is a scene stealer in the finale. He little banter with Constantine is darkly humorous and highly entertaining to watch.

Now, the movie does have its flaws. At times the story feels a bit stuffed and a bit rushed all at the same time. A few minutes of runtime to pad out some of the cool mythology and such would be have been great. The side characters (Weisz aside) weren't taken advantage of enough either imo. A few more scenes with Gabriel and Balthazar in particular would have rocked.

Other then that I think Constantine is criminally underrated. It's essentially a horror flick with a blockbuster budget. There is plenty of dark imagery and slick cinematography. The story is a tad smarter then most; raising some interesting theological questions and world it creates is solid and convincing. We get an awesome anti hero in John Constantine played by a good Keanu Reeves as well as a strong supporting cast. This is one of the most underrated genre films of the past handful of years.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:12 PM
Hear. hear Poop!

There are flaws, believe me, but I like how everything just....is in this film. This is what Constantine uses, these are the villains, this is the mythos of Angels and Demons. Everything feels established for the viewer to just go along the ride of the movie. Hell (no pun intended), there isn't any big bad fight scene, but the action is just so precise and to the point that it's awesome either way.

I loved the scene between...
Constantine and the Devil
. He's in the movie for just a few minutes, but you felt like he's been there all through the movie.

Granted, i haven't seen the film in a good while (a rewatch is in order) and i haven't read the source material, but it was a solid watch for this schmoe.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:14 PM
I love this film. Very underrated. Despite the look of the comic book character compared to the film version being different, I though Reeves made for the perfect John Constantine.

I would love to get a sequel.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:37 PM
I've never read the comic book but I thought Reeves made a bad ass Constantine. This is just really cool movie. It's far from my favorite comic book movie but I wish more comic book movies had the balls this movie has.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:47 AM
I loved, loved, loved it when I first watched it. Then I read the issue of Sandman featuring Constantine and was very intrigued. So I read Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. Then I read Hellblazer. I really wish we would have gotten a movie featuring that Constantine.
The film is still a fun time, I just wince at the moments that fly in the face of what could have been.
Kudos to Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare, though. They steal the show.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:35 AM
Bought this movie this morning on Blu Ray after being inspired by this thread.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by The_Soloist View Post
Bought this movie this morning on Blu Ray after being inspired by this thread.
Cool! I inspired someone to spend their money!
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:16 PM
I haven't seen Constantine in years, but I remember enjoying it. Some of the angelic/demonic moments were very well executed, and were far from exploitative as some Hollywood blockbusters can be. I haven't read the comic either, but as a film I remember enjoying it quite a bit when it first came out. The ending was definitely the best part.
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