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The Apostle back to product details

The amazing feat of Bobby Duvall
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written by mrfrosting July 9, 2004 - 10:46 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
"The Apostle" is a very good movie. And I'm surprised that it was ever made. On the surface, it looks like a religious tale. But more to the point, it's a character study. It's a portrait of the good and bad in a person. It's about failure and redemption.

Duvall is amazing to watch. The slow pace of the film works well -- it manages to bring the background hum of the cicadas to the foreground at several points. The film is a richly layered piece of work.

Things to note: if you have a strong dislike of church, sermons or God in general, you will probably not appreciate this film as many of the scenes involve church services and preaching; though a person with a healthy amount of skepticism could still marvel at this film. The documentary on the disc is also helpful in exploring the film, its production and the ideas within and around its characters and situations. It's been over a month since I've seen it and it still pops in my head every once in awhile.

I hear Robert Duvall yelling at me about Jesus
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written by spazgirl January 9, 2003 - 2:01 PM PST
5 out of 11 members found this review helpful
It's the morning after I watched "The Apostle" and I'm still hearing Robert Duvall doing his preaching thing: "Jee-ah-sus!" It's a long film (133 minutes) and a good chunk of it (well over half) was people (mostly Duvall) singing, yelling, or otherwise vocalizing about Jesus. The preaching scenes, for the most part, are quite long and don't further the story in any way - this minimized their impact on me. The movie does a pretty good job of simulating the kinds of religious fervor that I have seen on various cable channels, but unlike the TV versions, I couldn't just change the channel when I had had enough. So one problem I had: too much preaching. Another thing that bothered me was the foley work - too many scenes had way too much chirping (cicadas? crickets?) that was so loud that it distracted me from the dialogue; there were a couple of other incidents where there was excessive superimposed loud noise that was pretty annoying. Then there are all the unanswered questions (not really spoilers): What did Duvall's character do two days earlier that gave the church reason to vote him out? What was the significance of Billy Bob Thornton's character? (If you have an answer, I would respond with something like "That's pretty weak...") Why did Duvall, as director, get to keep the film at 133 minutes when there was so much fat that could have been cut out and when so many other directors mention in their DVD commentaries that they had to sacrifice scenes they thought were crucial to keep it under 2 hours? And why do I keep hearing "Jee-ah-sus!" and when will it stop?

12345678910

(Average 6.82)
281 Votes
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