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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: May 20: Dante's Inferno


May 20: Dante's Inferno

"A darkly comedic travelogue of the underworld - set against an all-too-familiar urban backdrop of used car lots, gated communities, strip malls, and the U.S. Capitol. And populated with a contemporary cast of reprobates, including famous - and infamous - politicians, presidents, popes, pimps. And the Prince of Darkness himself."

Dante's Inferno is one incredibly creative film. The movie is technically animated, as paper cutouts are pupeteered in front of elaborate sets. It's kind of hard to explain and the best way of putting it would be saying it's an adult pop-up book with voice acting and a soundtrack. It's incredibly unique and deserves major points for its imagination and execution. The film is incredibly smart and combines a wicked sense of humor with some really f**ked up moments. But, with a trip through hell, all of that is pretty much expected. 

Apparently Hell is what happened when Satan came across a bunch of paper, colored pencils, and some scissors. 

Dante's Inferno is a modern retelling of the ancient classic poem by Dante Alghieri, where a man, also named Dante, is guided through the nine circles of hell by Virgil the poet. The film clearly has an extremely liberal and almost athiest agenda, so much of what Dante (Dermot Mulroney) and Virgil (James Cromwell) witness, leans very left and hard against religion (Fox News is the beast of fraud, every pope wanders the underworld). This will clearly rub some the wrong way, but if you can get past the bias, it's still pretty enjoyable. While it's definitely out to offend (as any film about Hell would), the whole thing is so damn creative and so well made you can more easily forgive it's stance. 

It also leaves you wondering how someone could come up with all of this...

I would definitely recommend Dante's Inferno. It's worth watching to see how it's made alone, and leaves you wondering if you could make something like it on your own. It gives a kick in the ass to your creative mood and makes you want to draw, write, paint, sing, and hell, even dance. The film can be rather hard to watch because it's incredibly weird, disturbing, and just f**ked up, but it deserves, at least, an attempted viewing. Get past its prejudice and simply watch it for what it is- an elaborate puppet show about a man's journey through hell. 

The Good:
the dark fairy-tale production value and an extremely creative sense of humor
The Bad:
dated in it's liberalism (many Bush administration jokes) and clear bias towards one side
The Ugly:
Hell... it really is

Overall: 7.1/10


Abandon all hope — Ye Who Enter Here

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