Friday, November 9, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Adventures of the Holy Bible (1997) (Mexico: Una Biblia Magia y Tiene el Gran Día)

This is a little known film that came in under most critics’ radar, not appearing on my doctors’ x-rays, either. It is the heartfelt tale of the Holy Bible (Gary Oldman) as he struggles to find his place in world. Set in early 1st century AD, the Holy Bible confronts several adversaries, Herod the Great (Rod Stewart) and Jesus Christ (Keanu Reeves) chief among them. After performing three undeniable miracles, which were raising the debt ceiling, tap dancing in the Old West, and photographing Satchmo in his natural habitat, the Holy Bible is pressed to death by the evil Gutenberg (Steve Guttenberg), becoming far more famous is death than in life.

The movie touches on a few important philosophical issues that were commonly swept under the rug in the late 90s. Case in point, in the middle of the film a young girl (Phyllis Diller) asks the Holy Bible, “If the creator is perfect, why is the world imperfect?” Through a series of Power Point presentations, mostly consisting of pie charts, the Holy Bible manages to blame the imperfection of creation on the creation itself. Many prominent celebrities, after seeing this scene, immediately dropped out of creation to dwell in the outer void, and face federal charges for an array of metaphysical crimes. Jim Carrey and Cary Elwes, who played the Gospels Mark and Mark II respectively, dueled to the death in the theatre during the film’s debut in Mexico City. A Mexican child (Javier Ruiz) famously asked, “Are both the mens dead?” Philosophers of all ages, from pre-school to post-office, were unable to answer the child’s query, because they were all at home sleeping off a drunk. When questioned, the drunk (William Jefferson Clinton) claimed he did not know a single philosopher, so they were all sued for divorce.

What pleased me most about this film was the candy. There are not many movies printed on edible stock these days, but it was all the rage for several weeks in 1997. If you can find an original print, eat it quickly so that the local children do not hobble you in an effort to steal your wonderful treat. I also enjoyed the color of Gary Oldman’s sideburns, but as I’m a stickler I must point out that the historical Holy Bible was quite without sideburns of any color. Though there was ample nudity in the film, it was mostly chickens who went unclothed, and the years of therapy have told me to say that I have no interest in seeing naked poultry.

All in all, Steve Guttenberg needs more chances to show off his brilliant talent. Greta Gerwig, though not appearing in this particular film, is also quite a skilled young actress. Maybe someone should write a script where Greta falls in love with Steve, but there’s a complication: Steve has been frozen in carbonite for 8,000 years and Jaba simply refuses to let him thaw out. But Greta knows that Steve needs to be freed, or else the fate of cinema might be left to Disney, which I don’t think a free American could possibly accept.


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