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SAVED . . . no, not the sequel to The Passion

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SAVED . . . no, not the sequel to The Passion

Old 05-23-04, 04:07 PM
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Many church people know that not following the 10 Commandments is fun, but if we did all of the worlds problems that we have today wouldn't exist.
Well I would say that if it wasn't for organized religion, then most of the worlds problems today wouldn't exist.

I was watching Hot Ticket at the bowling alley and saw a few clips of Saved! as Leonard and the female critic who I could honestly not give two shits about talked about it and I can't wait for it to open in Vegas. It looks like it could be a lot of fun or could be very awful.
Old 05-26-04, 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by Matthew Chmiel
I was watching Hot Ticket at the bowling alley and saw a few clips of Saved! as Leonard and the female critic who I could honestly not give two shits about talked about it and I can't wait for it to open in Vegas.
Aw man, Joyce Kulhawik is not only a total milf hottie, she's also extremely well versed in film history and quite the eloquent speaker. Ebert had her on as one of the "revolving weekly critics" after Siskel's death, and she was wonderful. Glad to see she's on TV, though, even if I really can't stand "Hot Ticket"'s format.
Old 05-26-04, 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by Seantn
And I must say, I like what Ebert and Roeper said in their reviews. They said that this movie is NOT making fun of the christian religion, it is making fun of the people who use the christian religion to hide behind and use as an excuse for their hateful attitude towards others.
Maybe they're right and I can't say either way until I see it for myself, but some critics disagree:

"This is a shallow, anti-Christian film that relies on tired stereotypes and familiar situations to tar (and feather) everything with the same brush."
-- James Berardinelli, REELVIEWS

"Guilty of every single sin for which it skewers its cardboard Christian villains."
-- Walter Chaw, FILM FREAK CENTRAL

"This is a film that sees only in black-and-white."
-- Ed Gonzalez, SLANT MAGAZINE

"[Dannelly] has an obvious axe to grind regarding institutional Christianity and the actors are hamstrung into stereotypical behavior as a result."
-- Michael Elliott, MOVIE PARABLES

I picked up this quote from Beradinelli's review:

"Saved! treats religion as a disease, not a life choice. It's something people need to be cured of in order to live a meaningful life. (Maybe they don't have to give it up altogether, but the fundamentalist aspect needs to go.) In order to refine this point, Mary is made increasingly sympathetic the further she drifts from her beliefs. Most of the "true believers," like Pastor Skip, Mary's mother, and Hilary Faye, are shown to be hypocrites. And the sympathetic supporters are non-believers Roland and Cassandra. It doesn't take long before it's apparent that Dannelly's objective with this film is not just to lampoon fundamentalism, but to express contempt for it. In this world, the path to salvation comes through renouncing Jesus, not embracing him."

Last edited by DodgingCars; 05-26-04 at 04:23 PM.
Old 05-26-04, 07:33 PM
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There's slant again. who the hell are they? Still going to watch for Malone. I'm sure it will be decent. If not decent eye candy with Malone.
Old 05-26-04, 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by Matt Millheiser
Aw man, Joyce Kulhawik is not only a total milf hottie, she's also extremely well versed in film history and quite the eloquent speaker. Ebert had her on as one of the "revolving weekly critics" after Siskel's death, and she was wonderful. Glad to see she's on TV, though, even if I really can't stand "Hot Ticket"'s format.
In no way shape or form is she a total milf hottie. I almost lost all respect I had for you Matt when I saw total milf hottie in that post of yours.

That and she gave both Eternal Sunshine... and The Girl Next Door both "nots" (which I thought the two are some of the best films of the year) and gave films like The Prince and Me a "hot." She lost all respect from me with that.

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Old 05-26-04, 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by Matthew Chmiel
In no way shape or form is she a total milf hottie. I almost lost all respect I had for you Matt when I saw total milf hottie in that post of yours.
Now now, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. Different strokes and all that. I think I got a good 10-15 years on you, so I'm at the age where attractive women in their late 40s totally rock my mojo. We're talking the whole proverbial bacon-trampoline.
That and she gave both Eternal Sunshine... and The Girl Next Door both "nots" (which I thought the two are some of the best films of the year) and gave films like The Prince and Me a "hot." She lost all respect from me with that.
I agree with you on "Sunshine", disagree on "Girl Next Door", and never saw "The Prince and Me". But I will say this: when I was in college in Boston in the late 80s/early 90s, Joyce did the movie reviews for the local NBC affiliate. Her passion and enthusiasm for cinema was what got me into foreign and independent films. Plus thinking she was smokin' hot didn't hurt.
Old 05-26-04, 10:02 PM
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I think I got a good 10-15 years on you, so I'm at the age where attractive women in their late 40s totally rock my mojo. We're talking the whole proverbial bacon-trampoline.
And when you start finding Bea Arthur, Betty White, and Estelle Getty to be attractive is when I will ignore every post by you.

I agree with you on "Sunshine", disagree on "Girl Next Door", and never saw "The Prince and Me". But I will say this: when I was in college in Boston in the late 80s/early 90s, Joyce did the movie reviews for the local NBC affiliate. Her passion and enthusiasm for cinema was what got me into foreign and independent films. Plus thinking she was smokin' hot didn't hurt.
Okay, I don't care if you disagree with me on The Girl Next Door, but I paid $5.50 to see The Prince and Me and in no shape, way, or form is it better than Eternal Sunshine. Just for the fact that I paid to see The Prince and Me makes me cry on the inside. And maybe 10-15 years ago, I might've found Joyce attractive, but not now.
Old 05-27-04, 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by Matthew Chmiel
And when you start finding Bea Arthur, Betty White, and Estelle Getty to be attractive is when I will ignore every post by you.
Okay, I just have two words for you: Golden Sandwich....
And maybe 10-15 years ago, I might've found Joyce attractive, but not now.
What do you think of Connie Chung?
Old 05-27-04, 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by DodgingCars


I picked up this quote from Beradinelli's review:

"Saved! treats religion as a disease, not a life choice. It's something people need to be cured of in order to live a meaningful life. (Maybe they don't have to give it up altogether, but the fundamentalist aspect needs to go.) In order to refine this point, Mary is made increasingly sympathetic the further she drifts from her beliefs. Most of the "true believers," like Pastor Skip, Mary's mother, and Hilary Faye, are shown to be hypocrites. And the sympathetic supporters are non-believers Roland and Cassandra. It doesn't take long before it's apparent that Dannelly's objective with this film is not just to lampoon fundamentalism, but to express contempt for it. In this world, the path to salvation comes through renouncing Jesus, not embracing him."
as I noted before, I think Berandinelli's review restates my problem with the film in that it mocks Christianity. All the humour does is mask the one-sided depiction of extemist religion-based schooling. The cookie cutter stereotypical characters further embelish and add gross cynisism (sp) to the already OTT story structure and plot.

Last edited by Giles; 05-27-04 at 10:24 AM.
Old 05-27-04, 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by DodgingCars
"Guilty of every single sin for which it skewers its cardboard Christian villains."
-- Walter Chaw, FILM FREAK CENTRAL

"This is a film that sees only in black-and-white."
-- Ed Gonzalez, SLANT MAGAZINE
These are the last two critics anybody should be reading.

These guys are real morons.

From Chaw's SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD review...

"Where Tarantino will recreate the actual texture of the film that he repositions, Maddin recreates the dupes and bastard formats that represent the films that he harvests. One represents the true fana, the other--archly--the ravages of time and tide."

Now there's intelligent writing, and then there's masturbatory, failed-novelist critiquing. Chaw is in the latter category.
Old 05-27-04, 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by scott shelton


From Chaw's SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD review...

"Where Tarantino will recreate the actual texture of the film that he repositions, Maddin recreates the dupes and bastard formats that represent the films that he harvests. One represents the true fana, the other--archly--the ravages of time and tide."
these types of reviews make me simply cringe. Vague, yes. Does he like or dislike the film, I have no idea?
Old 05-28-04, 11:32 AM
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Ebert's 3 1/2 star review here.

I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.
Old 05-28-04, 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by scott shelton

From Chaw's SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD review...

"Where Tarantino will recreate the actual texture of the film that he repositions, Maddin recreates the dupes and bastard formats that represent the films that he harvests. One represents the true fana, the other--archly--the ravages of time and tide."

O.K., I have absolutely no idea what this guy Chaw said. I know this much. I went to go see "Saddest Music in the World" last weekend, first show of the day, and there were about twelve people in the theater. Of those twelve, ten walked out. No lie. The movie was terrible. One of the worst I have ever seen.

And oh yeah, I'm going to go see "Saved!"
Old 05-28-04, 12:21 PM
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There are some for whom any criticism of any aspect of Christianity or Christians constitutes "Christian-bashing." Nothing you can do about that, since they'll take offense no matter what.

I haven't seen Saved yet, but when Ebert and Roeper say that it's not a Christian-bashing film I tend to take them at their word since both raved about The Passion of the Christ (especially Ebert).

Funny clip they played on E&R over the weekend, paraphrased from memory:
Spoiler:
"There's only one reason a good Christian girl would go to Planned Parenthood"

"To firebomb it?"

"Okay, there's only TWO reasons..."
Old 05-28-04, 01:39 PM
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I'm a fairly devout Catholic, and I haven't seen the film yet, but I look very much forward to seeing it. I think religious parody can be very cathartic and necessary. However, on the surface of what I've read, and not seen, it seems disengenous for the distributors and makers of this film to somehow say it's PRO-Jesus, as the material they've circulated suggests. As a Christian, that puts me off. Call it what it is, there's nothing wrong with being anti-Jesus, just don't cowtow and try to reflect your product in way contrary to what it MAY be(again, I haven't seen it yet). That said, the film is the final say, right now it's being projected by studio flacks and religious zealots, I'll judge when it's projected on the wall.
Old 05-28-04, 02:03 PM
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Hmm...I don't think I've ever heard the filmmakers claim that this was a "Pro-Jesus" film, just that it wasn't "Anti-Christian."
Old 05-28-04, 09:57 PM
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Damn, Pipers Alley or River East.

Chicago's a big city, can't we get a screening where parking isn't such a bitch and/or expensive!
Old 05-29-04, 03:43 AM
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regardless of reviews, which are about 50/50 right now, this is one of my top 10 to see this summer.

Mandy Moore actually seems to be a good actress in the few scenes i've seen.
Old 05-29-04, 03:53 PM
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Here's an interesting review from a Christian reviewer (Walt Mueller). Obviously, this is being done from a Christian viewpoint, but, even so, it seems to be a fairly objective review.

http://www.cpyu.org/pageview.asp?pageid=8394

Unfortunately, because it's from a blog, there are no paragraph breaks.
I've been thinking...

5/24/04



Are you ready for Saved?

I received a package from MGM a few months ago. Inside was a video tape and a short letter asking me to review the tape. The tape contained a pre-release copy of the movie Saved, starring Mandy Moore. I erroneously assumed the film was another feeble and less-than-excellent attempt by well-meaning Christians to put out a film that would capture a mainstream audience - but of course, never does. As a result, I put the tape in my gym bag while planning to get around to watching it during a free moment. And there it sat. . . . for almost three months until I screened it last Thursday. I had heard enough rumblings about the film that I thought I should give it a look before its scheduled upcoming release on Friday, May 28. Before I tell you about the film's content and what I think about it, let me tell you something about the film and its intended audience. This is a typical film about teens that's designed to be watched by teens. Consequently, it's a rather simple story written to get laughs while communicating some simple messages. But don't for a minute believe that it's going to be ineffective at communicating its message. What about the story? Simply stated, the film follows Mandy Moore's character Hilary Faye, as she aggressively attempts to be the unstoppable spiritual leader and evangelist at her Christian high school. The film follows the tension between those who follow Hilary, and those portrayed as being outside the Kingdom of God because of their choices and life circumstances. Classmate Mary - caught in the tension - finds out that her boyfriend is gay. She thinks she has a "vision" from Jesus telling her to sleep with him in order to fix and save him. Their encounter leads to her pregnancy and need to deal with a host of difficult and confusing issues. So I began to watch the film. My initial expectation from others who had negatively criticized the film for "stereotyping Christians" was that maybe they were overreacting in typical defensive Christian posture. Instead, I expected this film would do the church a favor by satirizing our often-times ridiculous, shallow, and un-biblical understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we need to see ourselves the way the world sees us to see how lame and off-base we really are. To be honest, we deserve it. The first third of the movie seemed to fulfill that expectation. I found myself laughing several times as the film mocked our lack of depth, our cookie-cutter faith and attempts to evangelize and disciple according to formulas, our dualistic and un-biblical division of the world into sacred and secular arenas, and our dis-integration of faith into all of life. I was also chuckling at the portrayal of our sometimes absolutely ridiculous attempts to be relevant to the world. My emotions changed during the second third of the film as the story began to unfold at a deeper level. The film seemed to be moving from well-deserved critique of the church to promoting an agenda that was anti-biblical. While I think it's fair to blast Christians when we fail to represent our Lord because we've failed to understand what it means to represent our Lord (again, something that needs to happen if it's based on fact), I'm troubled when the critique shifts from addressing the blatant inconsistencies of those who call themselves Christians, to questioning critique of the authority of the incarnate Word and God's written revelation of himself. It was clear the film was moving in that direction. I can't argue with the facts as presented in this middle section of the film, that is, that oftentimes those who don't follow Christ are more compassionate, kind, understanding, and even Christ-like than those who say they follow Christ. But beneath this portrayal there was an underlying questioning that began to rise to the surface. These portrayals of pagan as hero and Christian as villain revealed that the film was masterfully questioning (for its intended young and impressionable teenage and pre-teen audience) the validity of biblical authority and God's design and order for the world. The last third of the film confirmed these suspicions as a pro-relativism message came through loud and clear. All life-styles are legitimate, all choices are legitimate, and the only sin is to believe there is such a thing as sin. As the film comes to a close, true redemption is portrayed as release from the rigid constraints of Christianity as it is not "the truth," but relativism that sets the captives free. While I believe this film could do us a favor by challenging many of the un-biblical constraints and prescriptive formulas of fundamentalism gone crazy, it goes much farther by questioning what the Scriptures have proclaimed for millennia to be good, true, honorable, and right. In the end, my understanding of the film's intended audience, their developmental stage, their impressionability, and the film's message left me with a pit in my stomach. Any young viewer who wants to know what a Christian is will get a horribly twisted and discouraging message. Believers are portrayed as fools, not for Christ, but simply narrow-minded fools who desperately need to be released from the constraints of their misunderstandings. At the film's conclusion, the eyes of the blind Christians - young and old alike - are opened as they are "saved" from thinking homosexuality is sinful behavior. My guess is that the film will have the power to communicate the same message to its young viewing audience with great effectiveness. Young believers will be challenged to get with the program. Young non-Christian viewers will be challenged to tell young Christians to get with the program. However, the film does us a favor by showing the ridiculousness - sadly - of what some Christians think a Christian is. If that's what we're showing the world, then we've really blown it and we must be called to task. This is a film that will redefine Jesus, redefine the message of the Gospel, and redefine Christian ethics as a boundless arena to do whatever feels right to you. The film promotes and validates all lifestyle choices, particularly in the area of sexuality. Perhaps it's not the least bit surprising that the film's website - www.savedmovie.com - reveals that "the cast and filmmakers are quick to point out that the main message of the film is one of love, one of inclusion and acceptance of all religions and beliefs." Young viewers will get the message as the film serves as a powerful "evangelistic tool" for reinventing Christian faith in the image of the postmodern worldview. You should go the site and read more on your own. In the end, Saved deconstructs Jesus and the Gospel when it should have only challenged Christians to look in the mirror and correct the errors of their ways. The latter is needed and necessary. The former provides us with an irrefutable example of the results of postmodernizing the faith. If you're a parent or a youthworker, I would suggest you see this film. Chances are, you're going to have numerous opportunities to discuss Saved and its message with the students you know and love. Be ready.
Old 05-31-04, 02:23 PM
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Forget that blog crap. Saw it yesterday and I enjoyed it a great deal.

Background on my history. Born catholic, went to catholic school and went to church, recently just stopped caring about religion (well a while ago). I'm an atheist now. The film doesn't bash religion or christians. I doesn't also sound to preachy. It's a nice blend of the two which comes off from the characters own belief.

I can see why some may get uppity about some of the ways religion is shown, but really it's nothing big. The acting was good all around and Mandy moore pulled off the bad girl well. Malone was excellent and well. Over all a good flick with plenty of laughs in it. Well worth the price and I'll pick it up on dvd.
Old 06-01-04, 01:21 AM
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Do the christians run fast or slow? We know jack hates the fast ones!
Old 06-01-04, 01:31 AM
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they are in wheel chairs!

I liked the film. simple as that
Old 06-01-04, 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Forget that blog crap. Saw it yesterday and I enjoyed it a great deal.

Background on my history. Born catholic, went to catholic school and went to church, recently just stopped caring about religion (well a while ago). I'm an atheist now. The film doesn't bash religion or christians. I doesn't also sound to preachy. It's a nice blend of the two which comes off from the characters own belief.

I can see why some may get uppity about some of the ways religion is shown, but really it's nothing big. The acting was good all around and Mandy moore pulled off the bad girl well. Malone was excellent and well. Over all a good flick with plenty of laughs in it. Well worth the price and I'll pick it up on dvd.
Completely agree. It's not preachy at all nor does it bash religion. It merely pokes fun at the people who go overboard with it. I saw this at a sold out matinee (HUGE theater) and everyone seemed to enjoy it. So many times the laughter even drowned out the dialogue. Moore was great. But Malone shined.
Old 06-11-04, 09:32 AM
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Saw this last night and laughed my ass off. Really have to disagree with Beradinelli on this one:

"In this world, the path to salvation comes through renouncing Jesus, not embracing him."

The movie has nothing to do with renouncing Jesus but rather renouncing fanaticism and hypocricy.

There are MANY laughs in this thing, so many that you forgive a little heavy-handed moralising at the end. Culkin nearly steals the show.
Old 06-13-04, 01:58 AM
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Originally posted by Matthew Chmiel
Well I would say that if it wasn't for organized religion, then most of the worlds problems today wouldn't exist.

Completely agree with you about "organized" religion.


checked out SAVED and saw that some critics loved and some said it didn't go far enough.

I haven't laughed so hard consistently at a movie all year. A wonderfully written dark comedy that perfectly takes advantage of its PG-13 rating and runs along the edge.

Mandy Moore is surprisingly very good as the do-gooder Jesus freak of the film, and Macauley Culkin is subtle and witty as a crippled, non-Christian attending the American Eagle Christian school.

Jena Malone, Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Donovan and especially Eva Amurri (the bad girl Jewish transfer student) are all right at home in this movie.

obviously, if you truly believe that God elected George W. Bush then SAVED probably would seriously offend you.

Anyhow, it was extremely funny and well-written.

The entire theatre i was in laughed constantly throughout. Hopefully more people will get a chance to see this as it goes wider. I don't understand any of the critics that didn't like this one.

To each his/her own.

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