Manny's Reviews > Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost by John Milton
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's review
Nov 20, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, blame-jordan-if-you-like, parody-homage, why-not-call-it-poetry, mentions-twilight, story-review
Read in January, 2008

(Joint review with JORDAN)

[A projection room somewhere in Hollywood. Two middle-aged men are looking at a screen, currently empty:]

JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: [for it is he:] Okay Mike, now you've been playing this pretty close to your chest. Show me what you've got.

MICHAEL BAY: I'd love to.

[The film starts. We see the Garden of Eden. Nothing much is happening. The camera pans around and finally looks at some pretty KUROSAWA-inspired clouds. On the voiceover, ANTHONY HOPKINS, as the Narrator, is reading Paradise Lost:]

HOPKINS: Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe...

BRUCKHEIMER: [almost physically ill:] Mike, how could you do this to me?

[BAY looks smug and says nothing:]

HOPKINS: ... Illumin, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.

BRUCKHEIMER: Tell me I'm not hearing this.

[On cue, MEGAN FOX appears, walking in slo-mo and wearing nothing but an entrancing smile. Various bits bounce interestingly:]

BRUCKHEIMER: Hey! Didn't she say you were like Hitler?

BAY: Megan and I understand each other.

[A moment later, we see ROBERT PATTINSON, dressed in similar fashion. BRUCKHEIMER suddenly brightens up:]

BRUCKHEIMER: Mike, don't ever do that to me again. O-kaay. Well, this oughta pack in the Twilight fans. But are you sure we should be showing his...

[BAY is way ahead of him. He gestures to the PROJECTIONIST, who immediately switches to a different shot of the same scene. Various strategically placed branches, stones, leaves etc have restored PATTINSON's modesty à la AUSTIN POWERS:]

BRUCKHEIMER: Better. Wait, is he sparkling?

BAY: It's just the lights. We can fix that in post-editing.

BRUCKHEIMER: And I'm still not happy about the language. No one'll understand a word of it.

BAY: Come on, Jerry. Think Passion of the Christ. Think Apocalypto. Think Inglourious Basterds...

BRUCKHEIMER: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but they had subtitles. Okay, we'll talk about that later. Show me some of the action sequences.

[Another cut. Alarums. Excursions. CGI effects. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, holding a massive laser weapon, is blasting away at what appears to be a horde of DECEPTICONS:]

HOPKINS: ... Full soon
Among them he arriv'd; in his right hand
Grasping ten thousand Thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in thir Soules infix'd
Plagues; they astonisht all resistance lost...

BRUCKHEIMER: Jesus Christ.

BAY: Who else?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Eat wrath-of-God, muthafuckas!

[BRUCKHEIMER raises an eyebrow. BAY looks defensive:]

BAY: It was an ad lib. We haven't decided yet if we're going to keep it.

[An awkward pause:]

BAY: Do you think we should give him a halo?

BRUCKHEIMER: The religious right will like that. I'd say go with it. So I guess you have Dan Craig as Satan?

BAY: Budget said we couldn't afford him. Let me show you what we came up with.

[Cut. MICHAEL DOUGLAS, as Satan, faces GLENN CLOSE. She looks like a rather scarier version of Cruella de Vil:]

DOUGLAS: What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why
In this infernal Vaile first met thou call'st
Me Father, and that Fantasm call'st my Son?
I know thee not, nor ever saw till now
Sight more detestable then him and thee.

BRUCKHEIMER: Who the fuck is she? I haven't read this since high school.

BAY: It's Sin. His ex.

CLOSE: ... Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st
With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd
A growing burden...

[Flashback. A much younger version of CLOSE, with frizzy blonde hair as in Fatal Attraction, is taking joy with DOUGLAS over a celestial sink:]

BRUCKHEIMER: [Doubtful:] Will the 16-24 demographic get it?

BAY: Research is working on that. We're thinking she could maybe boil Eve's bunny. I'll show you another bit.

DOUGLAS: [Making speech:] ... Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.

BRUCKHEIMER: Cut it. Too talky.

BAY: Yup, that's what we thought too. It's out.

BRUCKHEIMER: So how do we wrap this up? I remember it had a crap ending. Total downer too.

[Commotion outside. Raised voices. Suddenly, the door opens, and TILDA SWINTON strides in wearing her White Witch costume:]

BRUCKHEIMER: What the...

SWINTON: Eve was framed!

[She raises her wand and zaps BRUCKHEIMER and BAY, who are instantly transformed into snakes:]


BAY: Hiss!

BRUCKHEIMER: Fucking hiss!

SWINTON: [to camera:] The end.
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05/20/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell BRUCKHEIMER: Hey! Didn't she say you were like Hitler?
BAY: Megan and I understand each other.


Also, Tilda Swinton as Lilith FTW.

Bram Hilarious Manny--great work.

message 3: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Sep 08, 2009 12:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Great review, Manny.

Michael Douglas as Milton's Satan is a hilariously off the mark casting decision. Clive Owen maybe could've pulled it off well, I think. Someone with a bit more swagger and cool guy detachment.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I remember my 70 some year old professor repeatedly remarking on how sexy she thought Satan was in Paradise Lost. It was amusing.

Manny Thank you!

It's true, Pacino was very good in that movie, but it sounded like they were short of money here :)

Doug Fan fiction for Paradise Lost! Love it!

Manny Thank you Doug! There must be more of it out there, but it's true, I've not seen much...

message 8: by James (new) - added it

James M. That had me in tears with laughter. Milton pwns Virgil every time IMO.

message 9: by Manny (last edited Jun 03, 2015 09:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Manny Thank you, I will have to tell Jordan! Most of the good ideas in this one came from her.

Jacob Overmark This changed my perception sort-of-eternally. I´m afraid I´ll have to reshelf Milton now, maybe with my comics.

Manny Brian Aldiss in Trillion Year Spree says there's no reasonable doubt that it's science-fiction. Who am I to question his judgement?

message 12: by Kendall (new) - added it

Kendall Moore As great as this is Manny, nothing will ever top Arnold Schwarzenegger in Hamlet or King Lear.

Arnold: To be or not to be? To be. (lights cigar as he walks away from the explosion.)

Manny Warning: I hope no one here is going to start mocking Last Action Hero. BIG mistake.

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