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Christmas 1999

In this issue:    Dogma   End of Days   Christmas Films   Ash's Christmas Picks   The Cat People   and   ASH2K.
NEW IN THEATRES: Dogma *****

Writer/director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) has come under a lot of fire for Dogma, his controversial comedy that deals with angels, God, and more blasphemy than a particularly disgruntled Slayer CD. He claims that the film, while irreverent and unconventional, is actually pro-Catholic, this is because, like all heretics, he is a blasphemous liar. The film is no more pro-Catholic than Mien Kampf is kosher, although it is faith-affirming near the end. What it does do, aside from viscously attack all the tenants of the Catholic Church with the tenacity of a pit-bull on amphetamines, is draw a distinction between Christian ideas and Christian beliefs. It holds the teachings of Christ as pure, good, and holy, while portraying church dogma as petty and harmful. But who am I kidding. You didn’t go see the movie to ponder the ideas and beliefs behind your faith. You probably saw it because it has hunk o’ the month Ben Affleck in it, or perhaps because of hot chick o’ the week Matt Damon. You know, just because the sect of renegade plastic surgeons who created these ‘beautiful people’ out of stolen body parts and protein gleaned from liposuction clinic refuse happened to come up with a pair of soulful brown eyes and a million-dollar smile doesn’t mean you have to moon over them like school-girls. It’s almost enough to make me go renew my NRA membership and go on a little Good Will hunting expedition of my own. Not that I’m bitter. Speaking of bitter, Dogma also stars Chris Rock, whom you’ll all remember as the guy who managed to offend three-quarters of the world’s population within the two-hour timeframe of last year’s MTV Music Awards. But the best performance by far is that of Alanis Morrisette as God, who as we soon learn makes peoples’ heads explode if they hear her voice. For those of us who remember her Too Hot to Hold days,, this turns out to be the funniest joke in the movie, albeit an unintentional one. Isn’t that ironic?

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