Gibson’s Passion stirs Jewish-Christian conflict 

Remember the good old days? When you could ski fresh tracks all day after a good dump, maybe even get a few decent turns (gasp) the next day? Remember when there were two locally-owned video stores and if you were a friendly enough person you could sometimes charm/bribe the store clerk into ignoring your late charges?

I remember those days well, only 10 years ago my friend Karen would sweetly smile and wipe my deviant rental record clean because we were friends, because she was a good person, because in the scope of things it didn’t really matter if I dropped my video off a 5 p.m. or 9 the next morning.

Well those days are gone. The Whistler trend of chain corporations running out our mom and pop businesses has hit the video market hard. I really don’t care if I can now pay my cell phone bill at the video store. And at the other place even the staff must pay their late charges. What is the world coming to?

Sure, I realize that video stores are in business to make money, and it’s hard to make money when most of your videos are two days late, sitting next to the bong on various coffee tables about town but hell, irresponsibility is in our blood, it’s Whistler.

In any case, the reason I’m so pissed is I forgot to return Bring It On Again and that crap-fest is definitely not worth paying ten bucks to see.

But enough complaining, let’s focus on the theatres. At least we have more than one now, perhaps progress is a good thing. The best film opening this week at the Village 8 is Eurotrip , a juvenile comedy about four Americans romping their way through Europe, trying to get laid, doing drugs and travelling from one cliché to the next. The premise is that Scott is trying to hook up with an old pen pal after discovering that Mieke is a girl’s name, and she’s hot.

Produced by the same guys who did Old School (hilarious) and Road Trip (still pretty good) this movie pokes fun at the creepy oddness of Euros and the general ignorance of Americans. So that’s good.

One note of warning: the guys that wrote Eurotrip are the same three geniuses who wrote the screenplay for The Cat in the Hat , which sucked enormously. Still, any movie where a guy gets completely juiced on Absinthe then makes out with his sister has real promise, especially when held against the other two duds opening this week, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Welcome to Mooseport. One is a Disney "Find your Voice, Live your Dreams" story about a girl who wants to be a star. Great for pre-pubescent girls but I’m old enough to disregard "coming of age" movies. The other stars Gene Hackman as an ex-president who moves to a shithole town and runs for mayor against the local plumber. With no political satire at all, this one beats watching your houseplants grow, but only barely.

Opening Wednesday the 25 th , amidst a bunch of religious controversy, is Mel Gibson’s new movie The Passion of The Christ a bible-based retelling of what happened in the 12 hours before Jesus was crucified, ie-Who Killed Jesus? Gibson’s well-crafted film places most of the blame on the Jews, mainly Caiaphas, the head honcho at the temple in Jerusalem who has a nervous but comfortable understanding with Roman Empire Prefect Ponitus Pilate to keep the peace.

Caiaphas detained Jesus because he was afraid of Pilate’s wrath. Pilate, a menace and a tyrant by historical accounts, didn’t want Jesus to whip the commoners into a frenzy and possibly unseat him. He made the call to crucify Jesus based on charges of sedition, not heresy. Mel Gibson, however, portrays Pilate as a bit of a softy, torn by the situation and unsure what to do. Gibson’s treatment of the story shovels more of the blame on the Jewish temple elite and this is what’s causing all the fuss. The movie is pretty good though, no matter what you believe.

In any case, Jesus dies in the end then comes back three days later. A miracle that we celebrate nowadays by hiding candy on our children and trying to somehow convince them that a bunny can lay eggs.

Regardless, the timeless moral of the story is to be like Jesus, choose peace, love and forgiveness over sin, hate and waging war on a country just because you want to build an oil pipeline and make a bunch of money.

By the way, sedition means actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority. It’s good to expand your vocabulary. Especially these days.

At Village 8 Feb. 20-26: Welcome to Mooseport, Eurotrip, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Lord of the Rings, Butterfly Effect, Along Came Polly, Last Samurai, Monster, Miracle, 50 First Dates. Starting Feb. 25: The Passion of Christ.

At Rainbow Theatre Feb. 20-26: Cold Mountain.


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