Sunday, January 18, 2015

Constantine - Played Like A Movie!


Well, that was a cinematic experience wasn't it?

Constantine returned with the episode, "The Saint of Last Resorts Part 2" and it played like a movie. Seriously, I very much enjoyed it and I think a lot of the credit goes to Director Romeo Tirone and his crew.  (Especially whoever his DOP was.)


The special effects were a treat also.  The beasties didn't have that "half real" quality to them, in fact, they seemed quite authentic. 


I mentioned the Director of Photography earlier and whomever that was should get special mention.  Just look at Manny's grand entrance as he showed up to chastise John over Constantine's acceptance of a demon so he could survive Anne Marie's gunshot to the gut.

T.J. Scott and his DOP, who filmed part one of this two-parter, had the same settings to work with but somehow their effort seemed less impressive.


I love it when a director plays with his camera angles and gives a different perspective.  In the above shot, Zed has one of her family's goons pinned down.  She is actually lying over him but the angle we get makes them look like they are vertical.  This adds a unique desperation to the scene where Zed's hair defies gravity, roiling like a storm and is aflame with the back light.  It is really quite effective and the intensity is palpable.

As a quick aside, I'm really not invested in Zed's back story.  To me it seems, too much, too soon.  Same goes with Chas.  A little mystery goes a long way and I think the show needs to focus more on it's main theme and character before we head down a rabbit hole or two when it comes to the supporting characters.


Credit Tirone with getting the balance right between mental terror and physical revulsion.  All too often today's horror stories go for the jugular with their graphic sequences.  Sometimes it's what you don't see that's more horrifying than what you do.  A little blood oozing beneath the door tells us all we need to know about what happened on the other side.  (Writer Mark Verheiden also deserves a nod for this episode too.)


Here's another thing that "Constantine" always seems to get right, comedy.

Charles Halford is so great.  He plays Chas so deadpan so that we do get some emotion he usually sends it out of the park. Take the above frame for example, Chas needed to get in the prison so he got the snot knocked out of him.  Mission accomplished his face says with glee.

Then there is this gem.



Anne Marie warns Chas that the Exorcism will be rough and John will be different.  Chas responds with his usual aplomb.  So great.

Speaking of Anne Marie


I totally bought into the relationship between she and John.  It seemed much more organic in this episode.  Both are wracked with guilt and willing to use each other for selfish reasons.  But this comes from a place where both are deeply hurt and that pain comes from a heart that has been slightly broken. 

I try not to read other recaps before I hammer out my own.  It's to easy to become prejudiced by another's opinion.  I did read one however and it went into great pains to expose the ridiculousness of some of the characters motives and actions.  Especially Anne Maries's.

Eh, so what.  We are dealing with the supernatural here and it would have to be extremely over the top stupid for me to toss the possessed baby out with the bathwater.


There was a lot to cheer for in this episode and it had many callbacks to classic horror movies like the Exorcist and the Pazuzu reference.


That sent chills through me.


When Manny appeared to close the episode it got a little dusty in the room.  It really did.  I think it was because I was so invested in the characters and and relieved they had made it through okay. 

I hope it's not too late for Constantine to show what it can really do.  There are only three episodes left and we haven't gotten any renewal information yet.  This was a spectacular effort (I rate it 9 out of 10 half naked nuns) and if the season closes out like this entry the buzz for Constantine will be too great for NBC to ignore.


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