Thursday Fun: Constantine

In the form of a heartfelt missive (from my heart).

Dear Major Motion Picture Constantine,

I realize that you have taken Jamie Delano’s vision of John Constantine into a dark alley, brutalized him in some undisclosed way (possibly involving fifty dollars in quarters and a sock) and sent Keanu Reeves back out in his place—I get this. I am not a fool.

Why can I not stop loving you?

You’ve shamelessly bastardized all vestiges of the blond, British character who wears a pinstriped suit and looks like Sting in the movie Quadrophenia (who, let’s face it, looks just a touch like Billy Idol—point being, not like Keanu Reeves). And to top it off, you are easily half-an-hour too long, and you have an obligatory Scrappy Sidekick. And yet . . .

Is it because you know how to manipulate my absurd devotion to Judeo-Christian apocrypha? The attraction is surely more complex, because even in the area of demonology, you are not meticulous. You’re aware of how I feel about the mythic figure of Beelzebub, yet you choose to make some other cut-rate fiend ruler of the flies. You mock and spurn me at every opportunity. This has not, sadly, prevented me from watching you four times.

Perhaps it is one of your many peripheral attributes that accounts for my devotion. It is because, ironically, you made me realize that Gavin Rossdale is beautiful by insisting that he put a shirt on? Or perhaps, it is because Peter Stormare just keeps getting scarier as he ages. You know that I’m tragically fascinated by bodily harm, and there’s a lot of it in this movie, which by itself could go a long way toward explaining my affection.

But no. While all these things are admirable qualities, they are not the reason I keep coming back. Two words, dear MMP Constantine.

Tilda Swinton.

Yes, you have redeemed yourself by casting a woman in the role of an androgynous man, and that has made all the difference. Are you out on Blu-Ray yet?

Love Always,


20 thoughts on “Thursday Fun: Constantine

  1. *grins* Constantine easily remains one of my favorite movies that I just “forget” to mention when people ask about my favorit movies.

  2. Great post! I am a huge fan of Constantine, and this coming from a comic book-reading, Hellblazer-loving geek. *g*

    I’m quite fond of Rachel Weisz in it – I like that she and John don’t get it on. Makes a change.

    Also, that opening scene with the mirror is kinda cool. And yeah… Tilda. ‘Nuff said.

  3. Tilda Swinton. OH MY GOD, is she amazing or what? Yeah, she absolutely made that movie worth watching.

  4. Thank you for articulating the reasons that so many of us love the movies that butcher our favorite stories.

  5. Evil angels rock my world. Tilda rocks my world. Put the two together–visual Reese cup. YUM!

  6. I know! It’s just so . . . unmentionable. Some people count reality TV as their guilty pleasure; mine is Constantine 😀

  7. See, this is what comes of sitting down to the topic and realizing that I’m beaten before I’ve begun. Why does it have to be not-remotely like the DC stories? And why does it have to be so enjoyable anyway?

  8. I like that she and John don’t get it on. Makes a change.

    Huh, I didn’t even think of this before, but you’re right!

    And now I’m getting all conspiracy-theory, thinking maybe it’s the Hollywood way of covering themselves, so they can claim they didn’t, in fact, magically make him straight for the sake of the audience’s delicate sensibilities.

  9. Weirdest phenomenon, isn’t it? You just have to sit back and say, Well, I guess this is sort of a different story altogether.

  10. 😉 I will confess that I’ve watched fair number of movies simply because she was in them. Thumbsucker comes to mind.

  11. Ooh, now I’m going to start imagining everything I enjoy in its secret candy-form 😀

  12. There’s to date only two roles I ever Like Shia Labeuf in… This one and Indie. Perhaps my favorite sceen in the movie (… alright one of my favorites) was the graveyard sceen at the very end. (And the Voodoo house sceen with the chair… and the sceen with the cat… And the sceen with the flying devils… *goes on*)

  13. ” … my absurd devotion to Judeo-Christian apocrypha?” Really?

    I’m late to the party again. I blame the time difference. I love this. Funny, witty, informative, researched. The mmp Constantine is my life. I’m not Keeanu, but I always wanted to be Neo. Black coats, slow motion fight scenes, and Trinity … sighs.

    I don’t put my feet in water. I just close my eyes. Seriously. Time stands still, raindrops hang suspended, angel eyes, wings, androgynous men (had to look that up), demons (hell yeah), Beelzebub (had no idea who he was until we met). I’ve come back burning up. The room temperature changes. I’m bruised and fatigued. I’ve dropped a solid? knife I didn’t have. It bounced on the floor. Makes no sense, but I’ve no knowledge of myths, angels, demons, religion, or anything that my mind could use to create this experinece.

    Great movie. Great review.

  14. It is such a visually attractive movie that I totally don’t care if it doesn’t have a lot up here *taps head*

    Re: Shia–I swear that he plays the exact same character in I, Robot. And possibly the Charlie’s Angels sequel. He’s had a very . . . side-kicky past few years.

  15. ” … my absurd devotion to Judeo-Christian apocrypha?” Really?

    Oh, I’m completely fascinated by all the stories that aren’t actually a part of the Western Bible, but were so integral to Middle Eastern culture that they got passed along in a parallel way–stories about Lilith, or Judith’s assassination of the king Holofernes.

    And I like learning about how various local gods (Ba´al, for instance) were co-opted by monotheists, renamed and recast as devils and demons. Beelzebub didn’t start out as a bad guy. He just had several thousand years to to acquire the reputation.

  16. You know, one of my favorite Old English poems casts Judith as an Anglo-Saxon warrior-hero. It’s delightful! circa 800 CE, I think. In one of the Exeter books.

  17. I had a thing for your Keanu. Since we’re making confessions here, just thought I’d get it out. Especially in Point Break… talk about bodily injuries!

  18. Oh, Point Break. If it can be said that he has a “best” movie, that would be the one.

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