3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Some find it odd that some one of my most oft-repeated sayings when discussing religion in serious conversations comes from a Kevin Smith movie -- "I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier." But I think that that line alone made this movie more than just a screwball comedy, controversial for the sake of being controversial...
Published on July 1 2004 by Lauren
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Memories
I bought this just for my collection since I don't have it on DVD. I watched it once just to see the editing. it's perfect!
Published 7 months ago by Carl
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
The movie follows a disillusioned Catholic woman (Linda Fiorentino) on her journey, ordered by Metadron (Alan Rickman), to stop two fallen angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) from reentering heaven, thus rendering God's word reversible and ending the world as we know it. Along the way, she encounters workers of God, prophets, and the missing thirteenth apostle (Chris Rock, my favorite part of the movie). I'm not going to reveal any more of the plot, except to say that Alanis Morissette makes a pretty unexpected (and funny, when you consider the absurdity of it) appearance.
The great thing about "Dogma" is that it always seems to know exactly what it's doing. There's parts when it's supposed to be screwball humor (which is most of it), and parts when it's supposed to be more serious. It blends these two perfectly together, and the result makes you laugh and think at the same time. Truthfully, not many movies can do that. Sure, some may watch it only for the appearance of Kevin Smith regulars Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Smith himself, respectively) but if you look deeper, there's some real substance to this movie. It's not a bashing of the Catholic church; it's simply a movie that reminds you to ask questions. Highly recommended unless you're an easily offended Catholic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dogma is cosmic law.,
This review is from: Dogma [Import] (VHS Tape)two angels,who were kicked out of heaven long ago,find a loop-hole so they may return.they need to go to new jersey.jay and silent bob go with the last zion,the 13th apostle rufis-left out of the bible because hes black,and the muse join forces to prevent this for if the angels get to heaven all creation will go poof!it stars matt damon and ben affleck as the 2 angels.alanis morriseete as god,chris rock is rufis and even george carlin as a bishop in the church.of the jay and silent bob movies it ranks second id say,but a lot of people say its the best also.it is the best religious based movie of all time!however,it will piss off all church goers.no naked chicks in this one either.chris rock,although normaly one of the most obnoxious racist bigots alive,actualy doesnt bitch too much in this one.he does make a good point that if there is a christian god-and lets face it theres probaly not-hes black.why would he be anything else?the world started in AFRica right?i abselutely love this movie!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Has A Sense of Humor,
This review is from: Dogma (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)Title: Dogma
Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: George Carlin ... Cardinal Ignatius Glick
Tagline: "Faith is a funny thing."
Plot Summary: Here goes. Two angels who have been cast from heaven hatch a plot to thwart God's plans. Um...meanwhile, a woman who has lost her faith is commissioned by God to stop them, and she learns a lot about herself and about God in the process.
Review and Comments: There, how'd I do? It's freaking HARD to summarize what happens in this movie. Going into it, I had NO IDEA what was going to happen in this movie, and I was totally shocked by what I saw. But we'll get to that in a minute. First...
Main Entry: com•e•dy
Now. When I pay money to watch a comedy, I expect that perhaps serious things will happen, but that overall, this things will be portrayed in a humorous light and that the proceedings will go down easy, even when said comedy contains things I probably shouldn't laugh at-i.e. things most people would find offensive. I expected to find lots of things that most people find offensive in this movie, since I knew it dealt with religion and most people totally lack a sense of humor when it comes to religion. When I was discussing this movie with someone who told me that it might offend me, I said that I could handle it, because, after all, "God has a sense of humor." I was highly amused to find that exact declaration at the beginning of this movie, in the utterly hilarious series of disclaimers. I thought I was ready for whatever happened in this movie.
Is everyone familiar with the term "Dark Comedy"? This term regards events that are serious, but presented in such a way that they elicit laughter...often in a "You have to laugh or you'll cry" sense. Well, if that's the definition of a dark comedy, then Dogma is a pitch black comedy of the darkest kind. There are scores of violent onscreen murders, there's angel dismemberment, and there's a scary performance that moved me to declare, "Wow, Ben Affleck can act." In other words, there are tons of highly disturbing things that happen that I didn't expect, and I'd just like to warn people right now that while this is an intensely entertaining and overall fun film, there are some downright freaky moments that nearly caused me to have a heart attack because I wasn't expecting them. Be forewarned.
I'm familiar with the journey story outline taken here...a character embarks on a journey, gathers friends along the way, learns some kind of a lesson through the proceedings, and is a changed person when the movie ends. In this movie, most of the lessons are about faith; about believing in something you cannot see. Within the mythology of the film, no denomination or church has gotten everything right about God, so it's fun to watch the different reactions when the characters learn the truth about what God is really like (and the complex heavenly infrastructure, complete with angels and demons and...Muses? From Greek Mythology? Ok...).
I have a very strong faith in God (a faith that has helped me through many difficult times, and a faith that is so strong it moves me to capitalize the "G" in God even when I try not to), and because of my faith I can fully relate to the quandaries faced by the lead character Bethany. God can be cruel. God's plan is hard to understand. Life often doesn't make sense. And the one that people often refuse to say...God is freaking WEIRD. This movie captures that weird spirit perfectly. The quest that is given to Bethany is weird, and the companions that she picks up along the way on this journey are even weirder.
But central to all the weird happenings, the movie has a good heart. The things Bethany learns as she proceeds along this journey and the way she comes to a realization of God's love are moving. The whacky moments are plentiful...just about everything that happens is weird in one way or another. And the action is top notch, keeping me on the edge of my seat as I was drawn into this world. My head filled with a seemingly endless stream of questions that kept me guessing...Will the demons prevail? Will the angels succeed in thwarting God's plan, thus proving God fallible and destroying the premise upon which the world is built-that God can't be wrong? How many people will have to die strangely disturbing violent deaths before this film isn't classified as a comedy by most video stores? I was so drawn into what was happeniong that when the movie finally ended, I was still thinking about the ideas it had presented. Most people don't talk about this this, but in the bible, lots of things happen that make no sense, and people are forced to trust in God even when they don't have answers. That's what this is about, and I loved seeing it presented in this way.
In fact, I loved every minute of this movie...whether I was laughing or crying or covering my eyes or gasping in disgust. This movie surprised me so thoroughly that my first thought after finishing it was to watch it over again to see what I'd missed the first time. I absolutely loved it, even as I realize why it offended so many people. So maybe I can't watch it with most of my friends. I love it anyway.
The Bottom Line: I repeat: God has a sense of humor. So do I. This movie is indescribably weird in every possible way (and in a few ways that I once thought were impossible) but it's engaging, exciting, and hilarious as well.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dogma,
5.0 out of 5 stars for my boyfriend,
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Memories,
This review is from: Dogma [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)I bought this just for my collection since I don't have it on DVD. I watched it once just to see the editing. it's perfect!
5.0 out of 5 stars My son loves this movie!!!,
3.0 out of 5 stars An original, bright, comedy,
The humour comes thick and fast, with some absolutely classic scenes involving Damon's Loki exacting vengeance on a board meeting, Alanis Morissette's God doing handstands after defeating the apocalypse and some very very brilliant pop culture references. The acting is also crucial, with particular stand-outs including Damon's most freewheeling role yet, Fiorentino treading a fine line between the serious and the comical and Affleck proving that with the right script and a role that doesn't reek of self-satisfaction (Pearl Harbour anyone?) he can be a very likeable, good, performer. It of course goes without saying that the supporting cast is uniformally excellent.
Still, the script does pander to vulgarity several times, which you'll either lap up or resent given the nuance, interesting humour of the rest of the movie. Smith also has a slight tendency to over-talk his script, as if to constantly to remind us that this is a satire and not something to be taken seriously. Whilst he points out in an ironic foreword that this should be evident ten minutes in, he still feels the need to hammer it in a little too much. Saying that though, the serious elements of the story are mostly done very well, thanks in no part to Fiorentino. Destined to become some kind of cult classic among Smith fans, this is a much smarter and funnier comedy than any of the one I've seen this year yet. So, whilst not brilliant perhaps, at the very least Dogma is witty, vibrant and original.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Even God has a sense of humor",
The Church is in a renewal process and seeking to attract people to enlarge its flock. Some of the changes involve revamping the depressing image in the crucifix for a smiling, winking and thumbs-up Christ. Also, a Church in New Jersey decreed a day in which everyone that passes through its gates will be cleansed of all sins and forgiven by God. Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) are two angles that have incurred in God's wrath and therefore were expelled from heaven and condemned to live in Wisconsin from the rest of their eternal lives. They see this as an opportunity to be forgiven and allowed to return to heaven.
The path to their destination is not an easy one though, since by achieving their forgiveness they would prove God wrong, and existence will cease because it is based on the fact that God is always right. Therefore, Loki's and Bartleby's journey affects a large number of people and other mystic figures. There are two sides to the conflict, those that want to prevent them from getting to their destination, and those that want to help them and create chaos. Among muses, demons, the thirteenth apostle and a Golgothan, which by the way is super gross, we find a woman named Bethany (Linda Fiorentino). She is at a tough stage in her life and has almost lost her faith, but is requested by Metathron, the voice of God, to stop the two angels in their quest.
The way in which the film questions some of the beliefs of religion is smart and funny, and the talented cast help make this a very pleasant experience. For example, Chris Rock in his role of the thirteenth apostle is hilarious, showing his usual sense of humor with quick and witty jokes. I also found interesting the questioning of God's sex and Jesus race, which I think spices up several scenes throughout the movie and allows for some very funny moments.
3.0 out of 5 stars Reigning catechism and dogma,
Oh, wait. I read what others have posted and am somewhat relieved. Smith himself does not view the film as sacrilege. It's his funny Valentine to the Church itself. (Don't expect flowers in return, Kev, but at least a few of us lapsed get your drift). And, hey, as even Madonna is quick to point out, once a Catholic always a Catholic.
It doesn't really matter that the theological ramblings of some of the characters are kind of sophomoric, even freshmanic. Even you've ever had an all-night theological bull session in college, you'll relate. And it doesn't really matter that the characters who most often indulge in the bull throwing are in fact angels who should probably know better. After millenia of being banished to the third ring of Wisconsin, how can you expect much else? And why are these angels named after the Norse god of thunder and a Herman Melville's less than motivated scrivener?
In other words, this movie really is a movie of ideas. Whether these ideas are really all that profound is another matter. Can Church law actually be twisted in such a way that the very universe unravels? Can God possibly look like Alanis Morissette--and sound like a Wookie? These are questions that won't keep anyone up at night, but the movie is just brainy enough to let the eggheads and the budding theologians in on the overall fun.
And it is fun. Good cast, pretty good script--dialog that is mostly sharp (with some clunker lines interspersed among the gems). Unfortunately, as the amazon.com critic above observes, the movie suffers due to direction that is only fair to middlin'. It took me a while to realize that the actors weren't off, so much as the pacing. A lot of the dialog seems rushed. Linda Fiorentino is normally such a natural, but in many scenes her dialog seems alternately rushed and repetitive. Eventually, it dawned on me that she (and Alan Rickman and other normally very good actors) had been indeed been "on," but the camerawork, the choppy delivery of lines and overall pacing--all directorial concerns--contributed to the impression that the actors weren't doing all they could. (Actually, they were probably doing MORE, actually working harder than usual.) I mean, Chris Rock should always be slam dunk funny. Here he has his great and not-so-great moments.
So the film remains something of a shaggy dogma story. And if you keep that in mind, you'll likely find the film a lot of fun. I don't know how it fits in with his entire oeuvre, but it piqued my interest to check out more. Kevin Smith is an original talent. And besides, Jay and Silent Bob are cool guys.
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Dogma (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Bilingual) [Import] by Kevin Smith (DVD - 2002)