on April 18, 2000
Don't listen to the zealots, this is a great movie. Many people believe that this movie "bashes" Christianity, Catholicism in particular. Now, like Kevin Smith, I am a Catholic, and I was in no way offended by this movie, in fact I saw it five times in the theater. This is a movie that shows the idiosyncracies in church dogma, just as every structure has idiosyncracies. The movie shows these points through an interesting and entertaining story of good v. evil. The overall theme of this movie is that people should be more open to new ideas and to realize what Christ was all about, love and understanding. "Jesus wasn't sent to earth to give us the 'willies,' he is a booster." Finally, this is a great movie, with great ideas and great dialogue. I believe that it is Kevin Smith's best work to date. Matt Damon, Jason Lee, Linda Fiorentino, George Carlin, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Alan Rickman, and Chris Rock all give very good performances, but Ben Affleck does a wonderful job as Bartleby. I would certainly suggest this movie to anyone. Faith is a funny thing.
on January 19, 2001
As a pair of two lapsed Catholics, My husband and I rented this movie on the recommendation of another catholic friend of ours. From the moment they unveiled the hilarious "Buddy Christ" to the moment the ending credits appeared we were rolling on the floor howling with laughter as only two people who spent years in catholic school could.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were great as two fallen angels banished by God to hell (Wisconsin) trying to get back into Heaven through a loophole in Catholic dogma. Which would unfortunately destroy the world because it would prove God fallible. Chris Rock was a very funny 13th Apostle named Rufus and Selma Hayek's role as a feisty muse name Serendipity was also good. Jason Mews and Kevin Smith himself in their perennial roles as "Jay" and "Silent Bob" were a scream as two unlikely "prophets" sent to aid the last Scion played by Linda Fiorentino. My favorite performance was that of Alan Rickman who played the surly and much put upon Metatron (or the voice of God). He portrayed the long suffering character of God's right hand angel with an excellent mix of irony, dry humor, and compassion. His fiery entrance scene was classically funny!
I felt that the weakest performance was that of Fiorentino's who played the main character Bethany, the last Scion charged with the mission of stopping the renegade angels. While she did a good job, there was something that seemed slightly forced in her portrayal of a catholic (who worked in an abortion clinic by the way) struggling with her beliefs just going through the motions of faith. The sarcastic lines lacked some bite and her expressions seemed a bit contrived. Her performance improved in the middle of the movie during her scene with Rickman after she discovers her true identity.
Overall, I felt that Dogma was not about bashing the Catholic church, but about some of the funny things about organized religion and faith. Smith touches on a number of different issues here, and the humor was a great way of dealing with the touchy and explosive subject of religion.
Most critics I suspect were offended by the language, but if you've seen one of Kevin Smith's movies before, that's to be expected. Sometimes you have to look past the messenger to see the message. Other critics sited implausible plot, wordy, or the always elegant "it just sucks". One critic bashed Smith for assuming that everyone was Catholic!
Those that thought the movie bashed Catholicism didn't read into what Smith was saying. Selma Hayek summed it up perfectly "You people don't celebrate your faith. You mourn it." Loosen up people, having a sense of humor about it is part of celebrating your faith.
I agree that the dialogue got a bit wordy, but I suspect that was for the benefit of those who didn't have a background in Catholicism. If you filtered out some of the conversational meandering and vulgar interjections by the trash mouthed "prophet" Jay, you'll find some interesting and thought provoking gems in there. As for an implausible plot...hello! We're talking religion here folks, and I think that few people would agree that the Bible is necessarily a wellspring realistic and plausible plots. Religion is about leaps of faith and if you can't handle that, then you won't get the meaning behind the movie.
The critics in the "it just sucks" camp I suspect aren't very patient with the subject of "two hours of Catholic mythology" and are more comfortable with the secular subjects of Smith's other movies (romance, shopping, drugs and the like). Hey, I don't like football, so am I going to complain that the writers of The Replacements and Remember the Titans assumed that everyone in the world enjoys football? No, I'm simply not going to watch movies about football...problem solved. The name of the movie is Dogma, it should give you a clue. And if you don't know what dogma means, look it up.
So here's a warning to all...if you have no tolerance for organized religion, so called Catholic mythology, occasional potty humor (literally), profanity, or you have no sense of humor on the subject of religion, then don't watch this movie. You be disappointed or angry.
If you are a little bit more open minded, I invite you to try out this wonderfully funny movie.
on April 17, 2000
Contrary to some of the negative reviews (who really cares ifan A-list movie looks "subpar"--if it's watchable andenjoyable, then what does it matter), this movie has more than simple comedy and great performances. Smith's "Dogma" asks so many theological quetions that when I left the theatre, I could not stop talking about some of the ideas he proposed--however controversial they might have seemed. Smith's writing, I think, has reached an all time high with this film, following his superb "Chasing Amy" and hilarious "Mallrats" (sorry to all you "Clerks" fans, but watching that film is so exceedingly painful and boring I can't describe it). In "Dogma," Smith rips apart religion and its factions--with a few extra stabs at his own Catholicism--yet at the same time upholds religion as a whole. And his knowledge of the Bible is clearly apparent, for some of his scenes (namely the scene between Fiorentino and Affleck (...)) drip with emotion and truth that Smith's motives are clear: in writing "Dogma" Smith attempted to intertwine lost faith, religious humor, and redemption. And what a fine effort it is! Even if the visuals are not amazing, the script, cast, and the discussions you will have long after the movie has ended are. Rent or buy this movie--it doesn't matter which--just see it. "Dogma" is truly wonderful; one of the best of 1999. END
on October 6, 2000
Forget about any controvery, this movie is a laugh a minute. Being Catholic I was wary of this film, knowing the church was not too pleased with it. Having watched it once, I then bought the DVD.
Granted, Smith takes some artistic license here. I doubt that there was a 13th apostle and I doubt that Jesus had brothers and sisters that we never heard about, but he uses his "theories" with amazing comedic effect. He also mixes in some poignant generaliztions about the faith that ring somewhat true (i.e. Salma Hayek "Catholics don't celbrate their faith , they suffer it)
The cast in this flick is great. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are a couple of fallen angels looking for a loophole that will get them back into heaven. Damon is surprisingly relaxed and funny in his portrayal as the angel of death Loki. The only people that can stop them are Linda Florentino (the last zion), Rufus the unknown 13th black apostle, and Jay and Silent Bob (the prophets?). Chris Rock is hillarious as Rufus and Jay and Silent Bob are......well if you have ever seen a Kevin Smith movie you know they are good for some laughs.
Other supporting cast include Salma Hayek (serendipity - wow, dont miss her dance scene!) and George Carlin(priceless as the cardinal). Overall the cast is fantastic although Linda Florentino was a little off on her timing.
Watch this film with an open mind and you'll watch it again. If you are easily offended, don't even bother....let the rest of us enjoy it.
on January 28, 2016
This is on the quality of the Bluray and not a commentary on the movie. I'm not sure what the producing company was thinking, but the sound quality is awful. I have 7.1 surround sound, and despite adjusting the settings, I found the movie volume inconsistent and frustrating (had to keep manually adjusting throughout the film). The video quality is not bad- not the best either. The special features/extras are extremely low-res, assuming based on the age of the original release of the movie. I purchased this version for my collection and to be able to view at any time since there are no digital versions on my current streaming services. I will say that it was shrink-wrapped as "new," but I found an old security sticker on it, so not sure what that means. The disc itself is in excellent condition. I love this movie enough that I can look beyond the flaws in the production company. I had no issues what so ever with purchasing.
on May 26, 2000
This is an all round great movie that offers so much to the viewer. The plot is original and well crafted. It offers an intelligent, sometimes violent, but ultimately lighthearted telling of two banished angels who have found a loop hole which will enable them to re-enter the gates of heaven. However, this cannot be allowed to happen, for it would negate all existence. It is up to the cynical Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), accompanied by two unlikely prophets, Jay & Silent Bob (who provide some hilarious moments) and the "13 apostle", (Chris Rock) to stop them.
This is probably Kevin Smith's finest work yet, despite it being aimed at a more mainstream market than his usual audience. He uses the same type of characters and much of the same cast as those which made Mall Rats, Chasing Amy and Clerks so watchable. It is a very creative, hilarious, fantasy tale that I can watch over and over again.
The Dvd quality is complimentary to the movie. The 5.1 surround makes full use of its capabilities while the picture is clear. However the extras are dissapointing. For such an interesting movie, it would have been good to understand more about the making of and Kevin Smith's vision, Nonetheless, it is still a must have in your collection.
on February 26, 2010
I wont review the movie plenty reviews here already. So you want to know about the Blu Ray, well having just watched it inspite of the good reviews before me, I dont quite agree. I dont know what the quality of the DVD is like but I didnt find the blu ray anything special. But what I did find annoying inspite of the fact its supposed to be a 5.1, I found the sound to be sub-standard. The dialogue was low and not crisp and had to up and down volume with the scene. Any action sound was over the top. I just found the sound annoying and no way to par to what it ought to be. Personally Id say just go with the DVD.
PS. I went through the deleted scenes and you wont believe just how bad the quality of them was not even VHS quality. So Id say they didnt invest much if anything into this blu ray hence my suggestion to go for the DVD if half the price, this aint anything special at all. 2 Stars for the blu ray experience.
on August 18, 2000
Wow. So few movies succeed at doing what Dogma accomplishes almost effortlessly: laying down a story so well thought-out and complex that it can be viewed and enjoyed in almost any context.
Director Kevin Smith offers a script so brimming over with forbidden thoughts, one might mistakenly think his intent is merely to shock. But Smith wisely roadmaps his assertions to his audience, bringing us to the conclusion that, gee, this guy really thought about it.
Think of Smith as a thinking man's Tarantino, able to fire off mile-a-minute fascinating banter, but without the sophomoric undertones. Characters are round and clearly defined, even if some of the introductions are a bit speechy (Alan Rickman's entrance dialogue with Linda Fiorentino comes immediately to mind).
The story itself is briliantly written, twisting and turning deftly on the many loopholes and contradictions man has introduced to religion. In the end, Smith returns us to a playful, relaxed atmosphere. But we walk away knowing there is much to learn and consider here, and that additional viewings will undoubtedly be necessary in order to grasp the fullness of Smith's vision.
on September 7, 2000
Kevin Smith proves once again that he can both extensively impress and infuriate his audience unlike any other filmmaker since Oliver Stone. With this unique spiritual odyssey into the comedic inner workings and inconsistencies of modern faith, Smith creates his most farcically eloquent scripted film yet. Filled with many religious and mythical characters assembled from Christianity, ancient legends, and artistic license, Dogma is a joyous examination of the sensation, joys, and humanity of religions and shouldn't be construed as an assault on faith in general. The plot tells the story of two banished angels who find a loophole back into heaven thanks to Catholic theology. Yet, if they succeed they screw up existence in the process. Overflowing with fantastically witty performances from Alan Rickman (The Voice of God), George Carlin (Cardinal Ignatius Glick), Chris Rock (Rufus the 13th Apostle), Ben Affleck (Bartleby), Matt Damon (Loki), Jason Lee (Azrael), Linda Fiorentino (Bethany Sloane), Salma Hayek (Serendipity), Alanis Morissette (See it for yourself), and Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith (Jay and Silent Bob), Dogma is almost too irrelevant and silly for it's own plausibility.
Yet, its sheer charm and comedic genius make it a jovial masterpiece of cinema merriment that will entertain and cause controversy for years to come. As for the film's many religious dissidents, frankly I find the film so filled numerous ideologies, beliefs, and opinions that it is most probably over the heads of most of it's detractors. Now for the DVD package, Dogma has a fine anamophic wide screen presentation and just a theatrical trailer. Wait for the option loaded Dogma DVD that is supposed to come in near the end of the year before you purchase this marvelous film.
P.S. Remember if you're not eternal or from another plain of existence plug your ears.
on December 29, 2004
"Dogma" is a movie that ought to offend my religious sensibilities, but, oddly, I find it to be a most religious movie. Long on deep theological questions and religious craving, but woefully short on theological sophistication or even basic knowledge, writer/director Kevin Smith has created a smart, hip movie that is emblematic of all that is right and wrong with religion today -- especially Smith's own Roman Catholicism.
Smith has to be commended on the all-star cast he assembled for this flick: Damon, Affleck, Fiorentino, Garafalo, Carlin, Rock, Hayek and Rickman. Each delivers an impassioned and believable performance in his most bizarre of plot lines. The plot? Two renegade angels, banished for millennia from Heaven, have found a loophole back into Paradise. Problem is, if they exercise it, they will have contradicted the infallibility of God, bringing existence itself to an end. God, meanwhile, on one of his monthly skeeballing forays as a human, has been waylaid by a triplet of hockey-stick wielding, hellish thugs, and lies comatose in a New Jersey hospital. Saving the universe is in the hands of an unlikely bunch: an abortion clinic worker, the "13th Apostle," a pair of sex-obsessed, slacker "prophets," a stripper muse and a cynical, angelic mouthpiece of God.
While juvenile in places (the climactic fight sequences seems to have been choreographed by 5th graders) the film is full of the holy longing that many in our time feel is missing from religion. Missing? Not really. Misplaced? Definitely. Disappointed with the spirituality of the Roman Catholic Church, director Smith has gone off into the desert of contemporary society to find the building blocks of a faith he can believe in. That his theology and ecclesiology are way off the road (Christ is not a separate person from God; shooting off angels' wings won't make them human; the pope would never sanction replacing the crucifix) is hardly the point. A longing for authentic religious experience and a desire for communication with a benevolent deity *are.*
For those who see "Dogma" as a mature expression of the state of Christianity today, I say, "Please, take another look." For those on the inside, let "Dogma" be a window into the half-baked beliefs and longings of those who don't come to Church on Sunday. For all, I say, listen long and hard to Alanis Morissette's exquisite and soul-stirring "Still" that plays over the credits at the end. Wow!