Fine Line Between Heaven and
by the Blonde
and the Maven
Constantine is loosely based on the graphic
novels of Hellblazer by comic book legend Alan Moore.
First-time movie director Francis Lawrence (music video
director for Janet Jackson, Will Smith and Britney
Spears, to name a few) takes on the huge job of
transferring the story from pulp page to screen and gets
it right.The main character is John Constantine,
portrayed by Keanu Reeves (The Matrix and Something's
Gotta Give), who was born with the curse/gift ability to
see demons and angels in their true form. These
intermediaries have been sent to earth to do the bidding
of their respective commander in chief, i.e. Lucifer and
G-d. As a young man, Constantine could no longer deal
with these visions and the havoc they caused in his
life, so he committed suicide. A doctor was able to
revive him but his soul spent time in hell, and this
condemned his soul there for eternity when he finally
dies. Constantine does not want to return to hell,
therefore he works as G-d’s exorcist, sending demons
back to hell when they are reluctant to leave the bodies
they posses. John believes that, by battling demons, he
can score points in heaven and possibly save his soul
from eternal damnation. He is aided by Chas, charmingly
played by Shia LaBeouf (Holes and Even Stevens), who
desperately wants to be like Constantine. Also helping
is Father Hennessy, a drunk and not a very effective
exorcist played by Pruitt Taylor Vince (Monster and
Identity). There is also Beeman, portrayed by Max Baker
(The Time Machine), a nervous, wily guy who procures the
relics and holy ammo essential in defeating demons and
their ilk. Along comes Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz from
Runaway Jury and Confidence), a stoic police detective
who is not convinced that her twin sister committed
suicide. She seeks out Constantine, knowing the circles
he travels in, to better help her understand what
happened to her beloved sister. At first, John does not
want to aid Angela, but when it seems demons are coming
out of the psychic woodwork, he has a change of heart.
Amid all the biblical mythology is the presence of the
Archangel Gabriel, played by Tilda Swinton (The Deep End
and Orlando), who seems to be ambivalent towards
Constantine and his activities. All of this activity
takes place in L.A.—not the Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
L.A. but a Latin influenced, seedier L.A. If that is not
eerie enough, there is a bar that is run by an ex-witch
doctor where the demons and angels can “hang-out” in
neutral territory. Oh! By the way, Constantine can
travel back to hell via electrocution to hunt, as he was
an inmate there at one time and can return at will.
Blonde: Wow! Constantine was like The Exorcist meets
White Noise meets Prophecy meets Raiders of the Lost Ark
meets The Devil's Advocate meets Angels in America and
What Dreams May Come. This poor guy, John, sees demons
and tries to deal with them. I meet demons and marry
them! Let this be a lesson to all you single girls out
Maven: I loved the gothic horror atmosphere of the whole
Blonde: Oh, that just because you have a house full of
Maven: The intriguing occult mythology and catholic
dogma has always fascinated me. The visual effects were
terrific. The whole atmosphere of the film almost
overshadowed the actors. Almost! Keanu can always be
counted on to deliver and Rachel is stunning to watch.
They were also together on screen in the film Chain
Reaction. Their chemistry is good; they almost seem to
like each other for real.
Blonde: I felt this film was evasive and choppy. I
wanted more direct details without as much fluff. They
made you have to think too much when you left the
theater, and I had too busy of a day to deal with all
that dark stuff. The visuals WERE, however, exciting to
watch. I love Rachel Weisz, as well. She is so natural.
I think that she is way underestimated as an actress.
She should be getter better parts in bigger
Maven: Wasn't it a hoot to see Gavin Rossdale (Gwen
Stefani's husband, lead singer of Bush) as Balthazar?
Remember him from the tennis tournament we covered? You
kept asking me who he was and why all those other
photographers were around him.
Blonde: Okay, let me get this straight. Gavin sings as
the lead singer at the White House for President Bush
when he isn't playing tennis or acting in
Maven: NEVER MIND! Go have another cup of coffee!
Blonde: Okay, I will be back in five!
Maven: HELLO? HELLO?
Blonde: Okay! The Java Fitch is back! Have you seen that
new stupid reality show about swapping wives? It is so
terrible that it's good.
Maven: How do you go from occult mythology and catholic
dogma to a reality wife swapping show?
Blonde: WELL, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN THE
Maven: HELLO? HELLO?
Blonde: That's mean!
Maven: I don't see this movie up for any awards except
visual effects. It was still fun to watch if you are
interested in biblical mythology and all that it
entails. I rate this film a B for bravery in light of
all the politics surrounding The Passion and the
The Blonde: You rate it a
B? A B? I would have fallen asleep if it weren't for the
two star actors being in the film. I was almost bored. I
think our readers will be, too. I don't recommend this
film for anyone but kids, and not young ones. I rate
Constantine a D for dark. If you have to go, then I
recommend you bring along some angel food from home to
protect you from the dark side…don't waist popcorn on
this film or your money.
The Maven: Have you decided what you're wearing to the
Blonde: No, but it will either be the Gucci or the
Halston number with my Manolo Blaniks heels. In
addition, lots of diamond jewelry from Harry Winston for
sure. What about you?
Maven: My Louis Vuitton Nikes and my Missy E Sweats.
For jewels, I will wear my Wal-Mart rhinestones.
Blonde: Over my dead body! You can borrow anything I
have. This is THE OSCAR'S we're talkin’
Maven: What about our hair? Are we getting it
Blonde: Of course José Eber is coming over to do mine.
Maven: Oh, then I'm just going over to Regis in the mall
after my grocery shopping.
Blonde: Sometimes you just puzzle me!
Maven: See you at my house at 6:00 for the
Blonde: See you at 6:00 sharp, but this time don't
forget the red carpet like you did last year.
The Blonde and the Maven Do
Blonde: Well, it is OUR holy night Maven. This is the
night of jewelry, designer clothes, who's with who and
who is not with who anymore, limos, lavish parties, OH,
and of course, the little gold statue which can up a
stars salary by millions each picture. I am rooting for
Chris Rock, as he certainly has some big shoes to fill…
I wonder if this will be a night of politics or a night
of truly deserved recognitions?
Maven: Why should this night be different than any other
Blonde: Good one! All-righty then… Let's get busy!
The envelope please, with the first category, Best
Picture. Oh Mav, are we saying who WILL win or who we
believe SHOULD win?
Maven: Now that is a really good question, even for you!
Let's do a touch of both and see what
Picture: The Aviator; Finding Neverland; Million Dollar
Baby; Ray; Sideways
The Blonde: Okay, what
happened to Hotel Rwanda? That was my vote! Having said
that, I now give my vote to Ray. We all know how I felt
about Sideways and if that wins I am giving up my SAG
card! The academy might go for Aviator, or Million
Dollar Baby for the sentimental vote for
Maven: The momentum is fast for Million Dollar Baby.
Movies in this category usually win with the heart at
the Oscar’s. The other award shows gave it to The
Aviator and Sideways. Ray and Finding Neverland just
didn't have the punch of Million Dollar Baby. My vote
goes to Million Dollar Baby.
Blonde: Oh, that last remark made me nauseous and
knocked me out. So you go with the obvious. Personally,
none of the contenders are TRUE Oscars in my book.
Actor: Don Cheadle; Johnny Depp; Leonardo DiCaprio;
Clint Eastwood; Jamie Foxx
Blonde: I thought they were all marvelous and true
contenders. However, I think Jamie Foxx made the biggest
acting stretch, so he gets my vote.
Maven: Jamie was blessed with this once in a lifetime
role as Ray. He immersed himself body and soul. No one
else holds a candle to that
The Blonde: I thought Don
Cheadle did, but it was not as much of a stretch. Jamie
even fined-tuned his piano skills for this one. He
deserves the gold.
Actress: Annette Bening; Catalina Sandino Moreno; Imelda
Staunton; Hilary Swank; Kate Winslet
Blonde: Hands down Hilary Swank, and I wasn't even a
true fan before but… I certainly am now. She is a
talented actress and a lovely lady. Hilary worked
herself so hard in this role and it showed with her
acting and her body. Go Hilary!
Maven: Hilary has an amazing talent of disappearing and
becoming her character. Remember five years ago she was
also up against Annette Bening (American Beauty) and
Hilary won for Boys Don't Cry. Imelda Staunton is a very
close second, but I think she and Annette will cancel
each other out.
Blonde: Imelda was terrific, but I think Hilary will win
Supporting Actor: Thomas Hayden Church; Alan Alda; Jamie
Foxx; Morgan Freeman; Clive Owen
Blonde: For me, this is not a contest. Morgan is the
ONLY choice. He is so poetic in every role he plays and
this one is no different. He has been passed by too many
times when he deserved to get the Oscar. This has to be
Morgan's pay-off year!
Maven: I believe Morgan will take home the Oscar. He has
previously been up four times and he IS a tremendous
actor. However, Clive Owen gave a terrific performance
in Closer, but the movie wasn't that popular. Comedic
performances seem weak compared to dramatic ones, so
Thomas Hayden Church got the only nod he's going to get.
Alan Alda's not even in the running really; too little
Blonde: I don't agree with your comedic remark. Helen
Hunt and Jack Nicholson both won from the comedy, As
Good as it Gets. What about Diane Keaton in Something's
Gotta Give. I just didn't think he or the movie was
Supporting Actress: Laura Linney; Cate Blanchett;
Virginia Madsen; Sophie Okonedo; Natalie
The Blonde: Sophie was truly
wonderful in Hotel Rwanda, but so was Cate in Aviator.
This one is a tough one to call but…I think I have to go
with Cate as it was such a stretch for her, including
Maven: Cate will take it because of the role. Playing a
four-time Oscar winner is a sure thing. Although I liked
Natalie Portman going against her type in Closer. Every
time I turn on the T.V., I hear praise for Cate, and
that's why I think she will take it.
Blonde: Keep in mind that Cate is quite loved and is THE
darling in the industry. I agree with your comments
about Natalie as well, but looks like it would have to
be too much of an upset for her to bring home the Oscar.
Best Director: Clint Eastwood for Million
Dollar Baby; Taylor Hackford for Ray; Mike Leigh for
Vera Drake; Alexander Payne for Sideways; and Martin
Scorsese for The Aviator
Wow, how do I even guess this one with two beloved
directors and some newcomers? Although the ending of The
Aviator disappointed me, that was the writing and not
the directing. Scorsese got some really great
performances out of these actors. Everyone loves Clint
and he is like a God in Hollywood, so the sentimental
aspect for Million Dollar Baby is quite high. I won't
even give merit to Sideways. Vera Drake brought stunning
performances. I will be true to myself on this one and
go with Taylor Hackford for Ray. This director was white
and had to really cross a bridge and truly understand
the heritage of the characters to be able to bring home
such amazing performances by the whole cast. I vote for
Maven: Clint not only directed and acted in Million
Dollar Baby, he even wrote the score. I don't think the
academy will reward Alexander Payne's Sideways because
visually the movie wasn't flashy enough and the honor of
an Oscar will go to the actor in Ray not the director.
Hollywood loves Scorsese, but they like Clint better,
and so he will win.
Blonde: I am glad that, in The Pianist, they gave the
Oscar to the best actor and director and didn't split up
the two. Now that was a film that I call Oscar worthy!
Visually as you stated, Million Dollar Baby was not
flashy either but I agree against what I want that Clint
Animated Movie: The Incredibles; Shark Tales; Shrek
The Blonde: This is so hard to vote for.
They were all equally great! I thought Shrek 2 was
as good, or even better, than the first. Shark Tales was
adorable and original. The Incredibles was unique and
fun to watch. I will be happy with whoever brings the
Oscar home for this category. However, because Shrek won
in 2001, I will vote for The Incredibles. Spread
Maven: It really says a lot about us when we love all
the nominees. I too loved The Incredibles. Shark Tales
was fabulous and Shrek 2 was good. The Incredibles was
incredible, so that gets my vote.
Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkban;
I, Robot; Spider-Man 2
Blonde: Personally, I didn't really love any of these
films. But that's too bad for me. I will just give my
vote to Harry Potter, as Spider-Man wasn't all that
creative as the first and I, Robot wasn't as visually
creative as Harry.
Maven: I've got to give it to Harry Potter. I fell in
love with Doby. Although I, Robot was stunning, there
wasn't much diversity, and Spider-Man was the same.
The Aviator; Finding Neverland; Lemony
Snickett’s a Series of Unfortunate Events; Ray;
Blonde: For me, this Oscar is between The Aviator and
Troy. Ultimately though, I will have to give it to Troy.
This was such a major undertaking of costumes with such
a large cast. Yes, Troy is my vote! I think the Academy
will give it to The Aviator, though.
Maven: I'm going with The Aviator. The Academy loves
those classy costume pictures, Most of the stars will be
wearing something like them to the Oscar's and the
others will wish they had.
The Aviator; House of Flying Daggers;
Passion of the Christ; Phantom of the Opera; A Very Long
Blonde: Even though I was disappointed in the casting of
Phantom, I can't believe that it only received two
nominations. It was visually beautiful. However, The
Aviator had exquisite cinematography. This is a hard
call. I would like Phantom to win, but will give my vote
to The Aviator.
Maven: This IS a tough one. Do we go with panoramic
views such as The Aviator or intense color schemes as in
House of Flying Daggers? I'm going with The Aviator.
So there you have it, Oscar watchers from The
Maven and The Blonde. See you at the Oscar's and don't
forget the popcorn!
The 77th Annual Academy
Awards will be broadcast live on abc on Sunday, February
27, at 8pm ET.
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