Stigmata (1999) Movie Review

Director: Rupert Wainwright

Writer: Tom Lazarus, Rick Ramage (Screenplay)

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Thomas Kopache, Rade Serbedzija, Enrico Colantoni

Plot: When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself.


Tagline – The messenger must be silenced.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Science & Religion as One

Story: Stigmata starts as we meet Father Andrew Kiernan (Byrne) who travels the world in search of a way to debunk religious miracles, with his latest one putting him in the bad books at the Vatican, meanwhile in Pittsburg party girl Frankie Paige (Arquette) receives rosary beads from her travelling mother and soon starts experiencing strange vision and events that she denies doing.

Father Andrew is set to Pittsburg to investigate the mysterious events of what is happening to Frankie, trying to get to the bottom of why she has become targeted by evil forces.

Thoughts on Stigmata

Characters – Frankie Paige is a hairdresser and party girl, with her latest worry being, whether she has become pregnant or not, she receives gifts and letters from her mother that is travelling, with the latest being a rosary beads. Her life is turned upside down when she starts going through horrific visions and events, causing her to have the effects of a stigmata, unaware of the injuries being inflicted upon her, needing help and being unaware of where to find it. Father Andrew Kiernan travels the world in search for answers about religious miracles, he is drawn in the very thin line between science and religion, where he is willing to leave people believing miracles, if it makes their lives better, which doesn’t always set well with the Vatican. He is assigned to learn the truth about what is happening to Frankie, a case that will let him question his own faith more than ever. Cardinal Daniel Houseman sends out the order for the investigators, he choices when they get closed down and that includes seeing him trying to make sure Father Kiernan only does what he wants.

PerformancesPatricia Arquette as the young lady going through the painful experience is strong, we do believe her everyday woman, while seeing the frustration building up within her. Gabriel Byrne is always strong in an investigate role, this is no different from him. Jonathan Pryce only turns up a little bit and brings his class to the film, while the rest of the cast don’t have anything to do.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that has become the target of an evil presence putting her through a stigmata, where the person sent to try and save her is an investigator priest who has started to lose his faith. This is an interesting story with a twist on the exorcism ideas, we do have a woman getting put through a ritual by an evil presence, while also having a priest that isn’t all about letting religion be the answer to everything. We do get plenty of balance between science and religion showing how the two sides can be spoken about in the same conversation. It does show how the findings have always changed the stories of how religion has been revealed, which is interesting to see how history can always been seen in different lights.

HorrorThe horror in this film revolves around how Frankie is going through an unexplainable experience, it does show how religion can bring the worst horrors in life.

SettingsThe film put the film in modern American in Pittsburg, which shows us that these events could happen to anybody, though Frankie’s apartment is just weird.


Scene of the Movie – The train of terror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The sound mixing is terrible.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting horror that will balance science and religion together well, with strong performance.

Overall: Interesting Horror.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – M – The Myth (2005)

Director: Stanley Tong

Writer: Stanley Tong, Hui-Ling Wang, Hai-shu Li (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Hee-seon Kim, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Mallika Sherwat

 

Plot: Archaeologist Jack keeps having reoccurring dreams of a past life, where he is the great General Meng Yi, who is sworn to protect a Korean Princess named Ok-Soo. Jack decides to go investigate everything with his friend William.


Tagline – An Unforgettable Journey Through Time Unearths A Hero For The Ages

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Time Travelling Chan?

 

Story: The Myth starts as Jack (Chan) an archaeologist is having dreams of being General Meng Yi, who was sworn to protect Korean princes Ok-Soo (Hee-Seon). Back in his normal life, Jack joins forces with his physics friend William (Ka Fai) as they investigate the myth behind a floating coffin, one in which they break.

Jack gets left in the Indian land being tracked before escaping, rescued by Samantha (Sherawat) taken back to her temple, where he can learn about his previous life as General Meng Yi, to finally unlike the secrets to his dreams.

 

Thoughts on The Myth

 

Characters – Jack is an archaeologist that reluctantly goes back into the field for a scientific mystery, he can handle himself when needed. Jack has been having dreams/visions that he is General Meng Yi part of a Chinese army that was sworn to protect Princes Ok-Soo. Jack learns about the idea that reincarnation which helps him unlock the secrets of the power being the sword they discover. Ok Soo is the princess that General Meng Yi protects, gets into a relationship with, as he is willing to give up his life to protect her from every enemy that comes her way. William is the physics friend that works with Jack, only for him to have his own desires with what they find together.  Samantha is one of the ladies that finds Jack, she rescues him to help teach him about what could happen in his life, with his dreams.

PerformancesJackie Chan can handle any form of stunt and fighting sequence sent his way, this gets to let him use his skills, while also showing us that he can handle a serious side in a film when required too. The rest of the cast do play to their strengths without needing to do as much, they let Jackie do his thing and get to play along with either the laughs, the action or the romance.

StoryThe story follows an archaeologist searching for answers about his dreams which saw him be a once brave warrior and protector of a princess, he must travel around Asia to learn about new mysteries which will unlock the truth. This is a very interesting story because it focuses on the idea of reincarnation and always looking to follow the same path to protect, we do get science here which plays into the idea that we could see a material which would make the laws of physics challenged, which does mix into the ideas the story gives us about following the path you were destined to. It might feel farfetched sure, but it is an ambitious story that wants to play on faith more than anything.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action is what you would expect from Jackie Chan, the chases sequences, the hand to hand combat, let alone the final act which is hard to achieve with the fighting involved. The adventure side of the film does take Jack around Asia in search for his answers. The romance comes from the relationship between the two from battle and through the dreams.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, mostly to create the different situations that Jack finds himself in. the final act looks fantastic for what is created.

Special EffectsThe effects uses in the film are great to see on show, the final act does take up most of these which will leave you happy with what they achieve.


Scene of the Movie –
Sticking chopping board.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough time with the supporting characters in the modern time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun Jackie Chan movie that will get everything you need for one of his films.

 

Overall: Jackie Chan enjoyable film.

Rating