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Tiny Bam

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Submitted By otoya
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Movie review
The tale is simple, yet a surprisingly powerful one. A peaceful Mayan village is attacked by invading forces and Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) is viciously separated from his family (but not before hiding his wife and child in a well) and sent to a fantastical city built on blood, fear, and oppression, where he is to become a human sacrifice to the gods. A twist of fate offers him a chance to escape and with his unwavering determination and bravery he embarks on a bloody voyage to rejoin his family. Savagely pursued by his enemies, Jaguar Paw will need to utilize the skillful prowess and cunning tricks taught to him by his father to evade capture
Special Features:
The main special feature "Becoming Mayan: Creating Apocalypto" is about 30 minutes and covers the construction of the sets, the costumes, makeup and weapons used in the film. We do gain some insight into the arduous processes of recreating an entire civilization with fantastically enormous sets and hundreds of extras. Painstaking details are insisted upon for nearly every aspect of Apocalypto. The featured filmmakers, including director Mel Gibson and writer/co-producer Farhad Safinia discuss how their major goal was to ensure that the audience felt as if they were watching actual events and that someone had merely captured intense footage of real people doing factual activities. Locating the perfect jungle and constructing massive sets were two of the most important aspects. Filmed in Catemaco and Veracruz, Mexico, the large Mayan pyramid, the shanty town and much more were all built entirely from scratch.
The thousands of costumes in the film all had unique patterns and designs, and a social structure was created merely with the use of colors, such as jade, which was primarily worn by the wealthy. Everything was handmade and individually sewn. Seeing the amount of effort put into each aspect of the film reminded me just how visually phenomenal the finished product looked. It's unfortunate that the story was little more than a glorified and graphic version of Disney's The Jungle Book (live action, of course).
Actor Raoul Trujillo (Zero Wolf) was immediately asked upon casting if he would be willing to wear a prosthetic nose. Going to great lengths to create authentic Mayan facial features, Apocalypto's 200+ makeup artists used plenty of prosthetics for noses, earlobes, scarification, tattoos, hair and more. Every extra had makeup artists clamoring about so that no shot could be conceived as unauthentic. Simon Atherton, a veteran weaponry expert who worked on Gibson's Academy Award winning Braveheart, was called in to research the tools and materials the Mayans had available to them. From there he constructed weaponry that has never before been seen onscreen, but that represents incredibly realistic artifacts. The Mayans didn't have glass, so they instead used a hard black rock, obsidian, to fashion swords, blades and arrows.
The single deleted scene features a less than 30-second clip of the captured villagers observing a tattered and wounded deer struggling to get away from the pillaged towns. Gibson and Safinia provide commentary to state that the deer, which was trained to walk with a limp, was sorely disappointed that its footage ended up on the cutting room floor. Safinia and Gibson also provide a commentary track for the feature which reiterates most of what was covered in the documentary. All in all a skimpy disc with the typical generic special features, we're sure to see a superior version in the not-too-distant future.

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