The Pope is denying to the press that he ever said anything of record to Mel Gibson about his new movie.
My friends, things get no stranger than that. Popes deny nothing to the press, ever. They’re not supposed to have to.
Of course the Pope said something! Of course he said something nice! He’s the Pope! He just saw “The Passion,” the story of the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life. What else would he say? “Nice shirt?”
The Pope probably did say something like, “It is as it was.” So what? That’s how he talks. Clinton talked that too, depending on what is was. Big whip. The Pope also passes out souvineers, but that doesn’t make him Ronald McDonald, anymore than saying ‘nice flick’ makes him Roger Ebert.
Of course he said, “It is as it was,” because it was. Gibson didn’t veer from the script. He even kept the dialogue in the orginal languages, which the pope had to appreciate, since he speaks all of them and could also read the English subtitles, and probably did, thinking it was a prompter. I wonder how he watched the movie… on his back? Maybe they projected it on the floor.
Anyway. Mel, to whom it is said the pope bestowed this high praise, turned right around and told Extra.
Have you still no humility? Can no man beat it into you?
I have always liked Mel Gibson. I knew he was a star from the moment I saw him strapped, beaten and bloodied, to the leg of a helicopter in Road Warrior. Then when I saw him in Lethal Weapon, beaten and bloodied, but coming back for more, in scene after scene, movie after movie. Then Braveheart, beaten and bloody, ripped limb to limb. Christ, now this. Beaten, bloody, nailed to a cross.
How can you not like Mel Gibson? His wife is dead, he lost everything, the whole world’s out to get him and he’s innocent. Is he bitter? Sometimes, but he’s chockful of action and adventure otherwise — almost suicidal in his mission – and he excels, to this day, at playing the beaten/bloody/unbowed hero who might die or might not but will surely live in our hearts forever. This describes every movie Mel Gibson has ever made. Especially his latest, which is roughly the story upon which all his other stories have been based.
Having read the book, I don’t want to spoil it for anybody. If Gibson stays true to the original, he can’t go wrong.
But a few touches here and there wouldn’t necessarily hurt. Every director puts a thumbprint on their work. Mel could tighten up the story, get in a little more action. I’m not saying he has Jesus jumping down and kung-fooing everybody but what if the disciples suddenly appeared over the ridge and it’s a fight to the last man, with Mary Magdelene being the one that stabs the Roman just as he’s about to kill the pathetic Judas — yes, Judas, even Judas came back, and Judas, how he hated that whore Magdelene… yet it was Magdelene who saved him. You get your irony, you get your message out there, love, forgiveness, pathos, BOOM! Back into action, always movin movin movin handheld. Big guy, big Roman dude, Danny Glover, switches sides! Yes! Popcorn everywhere. Mayhem on the screen. Meanwhile Christ summons everything he’s got, pops out the nails with his special force and lands lightly on his feet; he cracks his neck a few times. All the people fighting? They stop. They can’t believe this thing. It’s a miracle. Mary’s still in the same spot, praying. Jesus looks terrible, says, “It is finished,” collapses. Dip to black, hold, hold, hold, slow slow reveal, dawn, the tomb. The birds are going crazy. We gradually notice a groundskeeper, raking leaves. Mary Magdelene passes, says hi, notices somebody rolled back the rock on Jesus’ tomb. She enters the tomb… runs out freaked! MUSIC FULL. Cut to groundskeeper. Whoa! Is that Jesus? You see? How well that plays? You’re selling the next one. Cliffhanging we call it. Bring em back to the theatre. Is he dead? Is he alive? Mel should have called me first. I got ideas, man.
One last thing. I really do love Mel Gibson and the Pope and I especially love Jesus. I have spoken disrespectfully in order to gain more attention to myself. I also added ‘janet jackson’ to my keywords. Even worse, I put her first. More confession tomorrow and the day after that. CW