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Mr. Tom Willecome

I've now seen the trailer.

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So anyway, I'm there waiting for the Ramones documentary to come on. I get the usual round of art-house and foreign language films and then they do it to me, like they know it's when I least expect it, there it is:

 

Constantine.

 

I didn't walk out.

 

I took a deep breath, gritted my teeth and, if I'm very honest, there were one or two moments that were pleasantly surprising (Keanu makes a convincing down at heel gumshoe type and the bit with the snob and the fire looks super).

 

My first thought, after the shock of realising what I was watching had worn off?

 

"Bloody hell, they can't even pronounce his name correctly."

 

Maybe that sounds petty but when I hear it it just sounds so wrong y'know?

 

Like how it feels when someone other than your mother uses your full name, in my case; "Thomas". Only writ large in a glossy and careless fashion.

 

After I'd gotten relatively used to the tIne/teen thing it hit me. The glaring realisation of why I'd hated the idea of this film from the off. Since Nicholas Cage was attatched.

 

It was a moment of clarity, I think that the seed of realisation had been planted on Saturday whilst reading "All His Engines" and specifically Jamie Delano's comments therein, but it took a full viewing of the trailer to make me realise where it was all going so badly wrong.

 

It's not religion (although that's a large part of it), it's not the nationality (although that's always going to tick me off, it's not even Chaz (ok maybe it is), no, the problem is this:

 

Blame.

 

You see, with the lousy Sixth Sense alike, super-powers origin story it becomes apparent that the film version of the character is not responsible for what he's become, he's merely a victim of a cruel twist of fate.

 

Not so for our John. No, our John is personally responsible for every death he causes with his constant meddling. Sure, he's saved the world a whole bunch of times and he only has humanity's best interests at heart but that's not the REAL reason he's involved.

 

No, the real reason is that he's a junkie and the adrenaline rush he gets from the danger he puts himself and other people in is what keeps him coming back for more. Yes he has our best interests at heart but it's also his, self-perceived, selflessness that make him feel important. He's playing in the biggest game there is and he wouldn't, nay, couldn't give it up for the world. This film was never going to address that side of the character and, to an extent, that's there really IS to the character.

 

He's not some pathetic whiner who's had a bum deal from God and is trying to get into heaven. He's a player with big balls and a bravado to match and, you see, that character was never going to be in this film.

 

That kind of character requires a deft touch and when the kind of money they were throwing at this film gets tossed around deft touches go out of the window in favour of broad brush stokes and "snappy" one-liners.

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wow... excellent insight, Tom...

 

 

What are those Delano comments from All His Engines that you've mentioned?

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Johnny DC: "Why does Constantine return to magic, despite the harm it causes?"

Delano: "Because the world is fucking boring, remorseless and inevitable. Because he's a junkie and no price is too much to pay when you need to feel that rush of possibility scream through you veins. Because he's scared of dying."

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Rogan, that's the same quote as was used in the interview with past H.B. writers in the "Hellblazer:Secret Files" special.

 

I think your complaint is grouped right in with the religious aspects. They're hand in hand. Free choice vs. the divine plan. This movie goes back to the creation of drama, wherein the gods controlled every aspect of life. Every character was a "tragic" character, because it didn't matter what they did in their life, it was all planned by the gods. They got shafted, they could go out and try to change things, but it didn't matter in the end, because if the gods wanted him to suffer, he would suffer no matter what. No real "free will".

Our favourite comic is grounded in psychological interpretation much more than religious interpretations. Which makes sense since Jamie Delano was the first full-time writer of the character. Whereas this film seemed to think it would be "creative" and move outside the realms of mere religious doctrine usually taught in our Christian religions today (i.e.Freedom of choice), by making John a poor victim in Heaven and Hell's eternal games who wants to find his way out. What, in effect, they did was go back to the oldest forms of drama.

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Hate to say it, Tom, but I think bridges have been burned there. Sure, it'd be nice if Matadoor or Tears actually tried to engage in a debate about the actual qualities of the comic/film, but when every debate turns into pettiness and name-calling, I can see why they don't really bother. I agree with the points you're making, and I think James and Ade have done a fantastic job of trying to remain calm and rational in the face of pretty extreme provocation over on the various review threads, but even I get sick of coming into this part of the boards and seeing nothing but page upon page of spite and bile from Matadoor, Tears, yourself, and everyone who doesn't even bother sticking around for the debate - they just pop in, make their rant, and leave. I'm guilty of that one myself a little more often than I'd like.

 

Ah, fuck it. The film's out next week. Another couple of months and it'll all be behind us.

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Well, Matadoor did seem to appear to ask you where you got the idea that this film was grounded in religion!

Which, 1.)seems that the person is asking for some sort of debate and 2.)showing that the person is also asking for ridicule to come along with that debate.

 

Tears is respectable and I can see why they might be shying away from debate because of those reasons, BUT on the other hand, we must also remember that they have never come across as very open-minded to our criticisms anyway.

It's become "THIS IS WHAT I THINK", then in reply, "OH YEAH?! WELL, THIS IS WHAT I THINK, SO THERE!"

It's kind of like the pointlessness of arguing the merits of Christianity between an Atheist and a devout Christian. Or, political theory with a Socialist and a Conservative Republican.

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Good grief. I totally agree, Christian. Not something I say often...;)

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Ah, fuck it. The film's out next week. Another couple of months and it'll all be behind us.

 

If we're lucky.

 

God forbid it takes off and we have a franchise on our hands.

 

Would any of us REALLY survive "Constantine 2: Ectoplasmic Boogaloo?"

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Well, Matadoor did seem to appear to ask you where you got the idea that this film was grounded in religion!

Which, 1.)seems that the person is asking for some sort of debate and 2.)showing that the person is also asking for ridicule to come along with that debate.

 

Christian- This should be real simple. Rogan placed the comic adaptation based on the film in the threads. Direct me as to where I might find evidence of the redemption issue pointing towards SALVATION???????. Better yet, paste it on here. Redemption for John rests within himself. As stated earlier- his past transgressions. Why is that so difficult to comprehend in the English language? The scene with the snob, is all part of JC'c conjob to gain favor/position given his mortal dilemma with lung cancer as it was the original intent from the writers since the onset.

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James already did. On the thread where you asked for it.

 

Any further questions?

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Christ's sake.

 

As mentioned in another thread:

 

 

 

http://img48.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img48&image...emovie185ry.jpg

 

GABRIEL: "You've wasted your chance at redemption..."

KEANU: "What about the minions I've sent back to Hell? Haven't I served (god) enough?"

 

Keanu wants redemption from his sin of suicide, so he sends monsters back to Hell. But Gabriel says that he's been doing it for himself (ie: he's been doing it for the selfish desire to redeem himself) not for the good of god or humanity. She also says that Keanu needs faith, belief and self-sacrifice - which is why John must be a good little Christian to get into Heaven at the end. And why he can't be conning god, because if you do it for yourself it ain't self-sacrifice.

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Christ's sake.

 

As mentioned in another thread:

 

 

 

http://img48.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img48&image...emovie185ry.jpg

 

GABRIEL: "You've wasted your chance at redemption..."

KEANU: "What about the minions I've sent back to Hell? Haven't I served (god) enough?"

 

Keanu wants redemption from his sin of suicide, so he sends monsters back to Hell. But Gabriel says that he's been doing it for himself (ie: he's been doing it for the selfish desire to redeem himself) not for the good of god or humanity. She also says that Keanu needs faith, belief and self-sacrifice - which is why John must be a good little Christian to get into Heaven at the end. And why he can't be conning god, because if you do it for yourself it ain't self-sacrifice.

 

JC is aware of his cancer dilemma as is the Snob. You bet he is trying to position himself with whoever bites and plays the game as the best a con can play it out. That's right- he didn't have faith and that is another variable he has to contend with. We all know he is doing it out of his own selfishness while attmempting to find a chink in the armor. The part you fail to interweave is the Spear of destiny and what THAT symbolizes for GOD and how JC plays it out to his advantage through the act of noble self-sacrifice as to which God considers.

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The point which is being missed here, because Matadoor sneakily removed this discussion from the context it began in, is that his beef with me has been resolved, in my favour. I simply commented that the religious aspect to Constanteen's 'redemption' was the thing which pissed me off. Now Matadoor is discussing said redemption in a religious context. Whether it's a con or not (and if it is, it's a horribly-written one, if not one person who's read the comic adaptation or seen the film has been able to convincingly demonstrate how it's possible to 'con' an omniscient God - in fact, the scene quoted above rather neatly demonstrates that it isn't, otherwise how would Gabriel be aware of John's 'selfish' motivations to date?) wasn't actually the issue.

 

But don't let a little thing like that stand in the way of a good row, Matadoor.

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No, the real reason is that he's a junkie and the adrenaline rush he gets from the danger he puts himself and other people in is what keeps him coming back for more.

 

...

 

He's not some pathetic whiner who's had a bum deal from God and is trying to get into heaven.

 

Bit from the mail I sent Ethan -

 

"Gone was the adrenaline junkie bastard who confronted the forces of hell and heaven alike armed with only his wits and in his place was a God bothering creep desperate for redemption in the eyes of a Judaeo-Christian Messiah, all the while slaying demons from hell with an Occult Armoury that'd make Q blush."

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The point which is being missed here, because Matadoor sneakily removed this discussion from the context it began in, is that his beef with me has been resolved, in my favour. I simply commented that the religious aspect to Constanteen's 'redemption' was the thing which pissed me off. Now Matadoor is discussing said redemption in a religious context. Whether it's a con or not (and if it is, it's a horribly-written one, if not one person who's read the comic adaptation or seen the film has been able to convincingly demonstrate how it's possible to 'con' an omniscient God - in fact, the scene quoted above rather neatly demonstrates that it isn't, otherwise how would Gabriel be aware of John's 'selfish' motivations to date?) wasn't actually the issue.

 

But don't let a little thing like that stand in the way of a good row, Matadoor.

 

Mark- JC is dealing with his past transgressions- meaning taking his own life. With that there is a humanistic understanding as to what despair as a person led you to those drastic actions with the understanding of the theological repercussions later in life. Don't flip it the other way around. If you are adept at conning- you better have a grasp on the theological repercussions to play your cards out to your advantage- Heaven or Hell especially knowing your own mortality is imminent. Having knowledge of both worlds exisiting did not prevent JC from attempting suicide in his younger years. If you re-read the script. The omniscient all knowing God that you mention is more tailored to JC having seen- the faith without proof part. JC refers to being able to see as a curse. This is the reason not the Omniscient GOD knowing his actions before they unfold. This lends itself to the FREE WILL argument down the road whereby GOD does NOT see JC's conning abilities.

Good night.

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Mark- JC is dealing with his past transgressions- meaning taking his own life.  With that there is a humanistic understanding as to what despair as a person led you to those drastic actions with the understanding of the theological repercussions later in life.  Don't flip it the other way around.  If you are adept at conning- you better have a grasp on the theological repercussions to play your cards out to your advantage- Heaven or Hell especially knowing your own mortality is imminent.  Having knowledge of both worlds exisiting did not prevent JC from attempting suicide in his younger years.  If you re-read the script.  The omniscient all knowing God that you mention is more tailored to JC having seen- the faith without proof part.  JC refers to being able to see as a curse.  This is the reason not the Omniscient GOD knowing his actions before they unfold.  This lends itself to the FREE WILL argument down the road whereby GOD does NOT see JC's conning abilities. 

 

Maybe a wiser mind than mine can make sense of this. I honestly don't understand what is being said here. I wasn't kidding yesterday when I suggested you phrase your posts more carefully - this is gibberish. Really.

 

Anyway...let's do this again, shall we?

 

What do you mean by the FREE WILL argument? You bring it up every time this issue is mentioned, but have never explained what it is. As I understand it (and hey, I've only got an A-Level in Religious Philosophy, so I may not be thinking at a high enough level for you here), the Free Will Defence (a rather clever bit of religious backsliding which attempts to explain why, if God is all-loving, evil and suffering actually exist in the world - it's all because Man has Free Will, see?) has nothing AT ALL to do with whether God can see into the minds of Man. Not a bit. Nada.

 

Either God is all-knowing or He isn't. If He is, he can see into John's mind when he attempts suicide, and will know that it's being done for selfish reasons - to save himself. By the film's own internal logic, according to the reasoning Gabriel gives in the scene quoted by James above, this means that God won't be fooled, and therefore won't accept John into Heaven. The fact that He actually does seem to believe that John's 'suicide' attempt was unselfish suggests one of two things. ONE: God isn't actually all-knowing, and the film has contradicted itself. Or...TWO: John's 'suicide' is, in fact, a sincere and selfless attempt to save someone other than himself, and he has attained the Redemption - from God - which he appears to have been after all along. Which one is it? Where does Free Will factor into that at all?

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Maybe a wiser mind than mine can make sense of this.

 

A wiser mind? You need to look down the other end of the scale to find someone who can tranlsate that.

 

As I've said before: if you're writing a film based on a well-known religion and the plot requires you to contradict some part of that religion (particularly a well-known one like God's omniscience) then you have to explain why the religion is wrong. In this case, if the writers want God to be limited in his knowledge, they have to explain within the film that this is the case. Otherwise it is to be assumed that the movie is playing out as per the standard rules.

 

So Matadoor is left with a choice: either Constantine cons a limited god and the movie is amazingly poorly written, or Constantine is a good little Christian boy and the film is a shit adaptation.

 

He can't have his Communion wafer and eat it.

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if you're writing a film based on a well-known religion and the plot requires you to contradict some part of that religion (particularly a well-known one like God's omniscience) then you have to explain why the religion is wrong.

 

Oh, James, James, James. When will you learn? Actually explaining otherwise nonsensical plot elements is "spoonfeeding" the audience, apparently, which is to be avoided at all costs. Don't you see?

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Well, you see Mark....Heaven and Hell exist cotermanditly with the existence of fairies and humans on a mortal dimension outside of the planes of our existential castle. In this light, it is obvious that redemption and suicide are exigesises of the Englishman's right to rule colonials. Outside of this Yahweh is good but evil, you see. He's Palestinian, in a sense! Ah, now it becomes clear that the Israeli conflict with Arabs is all a con to make the extraterrestrials raise Reagan from the grave of Stalin. OK, so schizophrenia being what it is and stupidity being inherently American, John Constantine is attempting to play Poker with HIS DOGS!

Need I go on?!

It's quite simple if you speak the grammar of the Englishman! Sooth sayeth me, you don't get it!

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