DOGMA reviews: Post 'em here

Well, Leigh-Anne and I saw it last night, so here are my thoughts (obligatory spoiler space):











I thought it was really, really good. I was afraid Kevin Smith was going to fall into an every-other-movie pattern, but he allayed my fears.

First off, I don’t see how any personal of reasonable intelligence could possibly perceive this movie as anti-religious or anti-Catholic. It does contain a great deal of violence and vulgarity; but in spite of that, it’s the only movie I’ve ever seen–aside from The Rapture–that absolutely accepts religion, and a particular sect’s theology, as 100% true and deals with it on its own terms.

The characters are interesting, the writing is top-notch. Smith still has a ways to go in the directing department; I get the idea that (probably because of budget) he doesn’t shoot a lot of coverage, giving his editor little to work with at times.

And the actors love their roles, and it shows. There is one scene between characters played by Linda Fiorentino and Alan Rickman midway through the movie that blew me away; it is genuinely moving, thoughtful, and had something important to say.

It isn’t without flaws, and some scenes could’ve been done away with, but overall, this movie provided me with a lot of laughs, a good story, and even with things to think about. It doesn’t provide easy answers or choices for any of its characters, and it deals with some serious issues in sublime ways (sometimes too sublime, but not every movie can be perfect).

Highlights include Jay and Silent Bob (as usual), Jason Lee’s scenery-chewing performance as Azrael (he gets maybe three scenes, but he owns every one of them), and Damon and Affleck’s complete inhabitance of their roles.

Anyone else?

“Come on, Phonics Monkey–drum!”

I agree with you about the fact that it wasn’t offensive at all. I saw it with a friend of mine who was raised Catholic, and she agreed. Sure, it was a slightly different view of religion than what we’re used to, but I’d imagine that anyone with half a brain could realize that behind the satire was a well-established and thought out idea of religion should be.

I’m Catholic, and I was brought up on the 2nd vadican,(is that spelled right?)and the movie realy didn’t offend me. Sure it made fun of the stagment idealogies in the catholic faith. but I was taught by my church to not mourn life and not to think of God as mean person who inflects wrath. God is full of joy and loves to see you praise him with all of your heart and soul. He dosn’t want us to fear him but to love him. and all of those “controversial” ideas of God being a women, , a black Jesus, of Mary having children after Jesus’ birth, in fact in it is written in the synoptic gospels his family did include sisters and brothers. The idea that your religion dosn’t matter as long as you have faith in Jesus as your savior. I’ve heard of those ideas with and exception of the 13th apostle. And I wouldn’t dissagree with God’s love for skee ball, I guess God would like to enjoy the universe he created, especially when skee ball deals with chaos and its unpredictable nature and how he can’t control all of the little things. TO A POINT.

hmm, just a thought, to some theologist, they say that God is not a wrathfull as he was 3000 or 2000 years ago. and add to the fact that Alanas morresette, a women, played God.
why is God not as wrathfull. hmm…
menopause=no more wrathfull pms mood swings
hehe, just a joke.

Realm, it’s “Vatican”, as in Vatican City, where the Pope lives.

I liked it. I didn’t feel it was Kevin Smith’s best (It’s been a slightly downward spiral since Clerks), but it was good. It impressed me as a mainstream movie done by Kevin Smith rather than a Kevin Smith Movie per se. I agree with the above posts in that it was entirely inoffensive (I’m Christian myself).

One thing though.
I hate Ben Affleck. Was not convinced. Dont’ like the guy’s style. Damon I can deal with, and everyone else in the movie, Rickman and

[sorry] Lee especially. But I think casting of Bartleby could have been much better handled.

Also, what’s with the names of the angels? Bartleby is obviously Melville’s wierd, watcher character, and Loki is an attempt to link all religions into a whole. Why not go with existing angel names? And I never got a good read of what Rickman’s angel’s name was, does anyone have a spelling of it and/or a background?

I meant to say “. . .Rickman and Lee especially gave amazing performances.”

Last post. Promise.

I thought it was delightful. Funny, smart, thoughtful. Could have been a tad shorter, don’t care much for Affleck, but any complaints were made up for by the pure charm of Alanis as the Almighty.

Lovely film.

Alan Rickman’s angel name is “Metatron”, I guess from Meta- beyond, above, whatever. I thought he said Megatron, from the Transformers, at first.
I did like the movie, it had the great quick dialogue of Smith’s other films. However, don’t see it with a complete atheist, as my SO asked me “Is that true?” at least 20 times. Best bit-“I’ve heard this rant before.”

I’ll be there
Where I’ll teach what I’ve been taught
And I’ve been taught…

Metatron is supposed to be the highest of all angels (well, you can debate if it’s Metatron or Michael) and is supposively the incarnation of Enoch. Enoch is one of only two peopkle who did not die, but were bodily taken into Heaven and became parts of the Divine Host. Just thought I’d share a little :wink:

For the record, Metatron is not part of the Catholic system (which turned very anti-angel way back when), but rather is part of Quasi-Judaism. Kabbalah and the like…

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

A temporary hijack (to move the thread to the top)
This thread over at is unintentionally funny.

DOGMA: Post your objections here! Don’t matter if you haven’t seen it.

I’m planning on seeing it this weekend.

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

I haven’t seen the movie, so this is just an observational comment.

I’ve read/seen six critical reviews of the movie, including two in the Washington Post. The only favorable review I have come across is from Roger Ebert. He liked it a lot.

No one else liked it much, although the reasons didn’t have anything to do with the ‘controversy.’ Most comments were along the lines of unfunny and stupid.

These are not my opinions, as I haven’t seen the movie. I only point this out for those who think the critical reviews are overwhelmingly good. For what it’s worth, there are tons of movies I like that the critics pan, and vice versa.

divemaster, out of curiousity, what were the other reviews you read? I’ve seen positive reviews from Ebert, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the SF Chronicle, the SF Examiner and Gannett News Service.

“Come on, Phonics Monkey–drum!”

Jophiel, I’m impressed with your knowledge of little known Kabbalic/Angelic lore. To expand on the Metatron Definition-- Metatron is the cheif hierarch in Briatic lore, Enoch was only his earthly form though according to Talmud and Targum. He was named as Michael in the “Tanhuna Genesis”. Just to sum up he’s also been called the angel of darkness, the watchman of the night, and even Sammael himself. Sorry, I had to do it, my name IS Ophanim. Isn’t religion fun?

Indecision is the key to flexibility.
Kyoko Baby,

I liked it. I thought Chris Rock was excellent.

Jay and Silent Bob rule!

“Does that mean she’s part black?”

It’s a really good movie.

It fulfilled it’s main mission in my book: it’s a comedy, and it made me laugh.

Of course, being a Kevin Smith joint, it also slipped some thoughts and concepts in there, between the funny dialogue. It never got preachy, it was first and foremost an entertaining movie.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.


Besides the two in the Washington Post, there was one in the Washington Times, the one from Ebert, one from the Onion, and one from the woman who was co-hosting with Ebert on his TV show (from Boston, I think).

I do not mean to imply that the movie was trashed (although some of the reviews were more harsh than others), only that the negatives outweighed the positives according to the above critics (except Ebert).

I didn’t care too much for this movie. Not because it was 'controvesial" and I certainly wasn’t offended by it, but mainly because all of the religion talk sucked all of the humor out of the movie for me.

It seemed that whenever the laugh train got rolling it was derailed by some stupid soliliquy on the state of the church.

It was unfocused. Is it a review of the catholic church? If it is, then drop the sight gags. Is it a comedy? Then drop the philosophy.


I’m not a shrimp, I’m a King Prawn.

-Pepe the Prawn

Overall, I didn’t like it, even though it had some very funny bits (Buddy Jesus and the disclaimer at the beginning in particular). Jay and Silent Bob were just idiots who didn’t add anything to the movie. To quote Daffy Duck, if they’re prophets then “I’m a mongoose.”

First, I like seeing Salma Hayek in a bikini as much as the next heterosexual, but what’s with those Drew Carey glasses she was forced to wear. Why hide a beauty like that?

More importantly, the movie set down it own logic and then didn’t follow it. The maverick angels were condemned to spend all eternity in Wisconsin, except for when they themselves decided travel to New Jersey to end the world. Everyone from heaven and hell was supposed to be looking for them, and yet they couldn’t find them.

And finally, the movie’s basic premise was flawed. The movie says that Catholic Church’s decision which inadvertently would have allowed the angels to get back to heaven would prove God to be imperfect, even though such action would prove no such thing. Just like a governor’s decision to grant a pardon to a person on death row doesn’t mean that the jury that found originally the guy guilty was wrong, the Church’s action in the present doesn’t mean that God was wrong to begin with.

I’m probably being too hard on the movie, but these things bugged me. Flame away.

divemaster, out of curiousity, what were the other reviews you read? I’ve seen positive reviews from Ebert, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the SF Chronicle, the SF Examiner and Gannett News Service.>> Phil

Michael Wilmington, current top movie reviewer for the Chicago Tribune (and, I suppose, Gene Siskel’s heir) gave it a luke warm review. Kind of in the same vein as your own: OK, but flawed.

I probably won’t see it, at least in the theater, not because of any objection to the subject matter, but because I don’t generally have time to see movies, and I know my wife won’t care for it, so I won’t waste her time. But it sounds to me to sort of be another “Life of Brian;” funny, irreverent, but not literally blasphemous.

(And let’s not go into an argument about what “blasphemy” means)

Of course, as a former Catholic, any movie that pokes fun at Catholicism might deserve a look.

“Its fiction, but all the facts are true!”

I just saw it today. After not caring too much for Chasing Amy or Mall Rats, I was really happy. I’ll buy this one when it comes out on tape.

Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.–Coleridge