by Scoobie Davis
Advance Screening for Constantine
I saw Constantine at an advance screening last night at Grauman's Chinese Theatre(There were bleachers in front of Grauman's last night; Constantine's premiere is there tonight). Supernatural thrillers are not my favorite genre but since it's a comic book adaptation, I thought I would give it a chance. It was okay, but I don't recommend it unless you are a supernatural thriller fan. I preferred Hellboy (Good news: Guillermo del Toro is directing Hellboy 2).
One of the problems, in my humble opinion, is casting. The character John Constantine is a gritty pack-and-a-half a day smoker. Keanu is not the right actor for the role. You put Keanu in a suit, he doesn't seem like a hard-boiled, world-weary guy; he looks like a yuppie. The role would have been perfect for James Caan 25 years ago (I don't know what contemporary actor would be right for it).
If you see Constantine, sit through the closing credits; there's a 20-30 second segment after the credits. At last night's screening, I estimate that 95 percent of the crowd left before the closing credits ended--and thus missed the extra segment (I always sit through the closing credits).
I saw my old Pico Union neighborhood in the film. The filmmakers tried to present Pico Union as part of downtown LA (in the film, the night scene in which there is a Broadway street sign (Broadway is in downtown LA) was actually filmed at 8th and Alvarado (which is west of downtown).
Does Keanu have crooked lower teeth in real life? In Constantine, he did.
On the topic of Constantine, I saw an episode of HBO's Unscripted in which Jen is an extra for the film. In the episode, there is a shot of the kind of Constantine sign that I expropriated). BTW, Unscripted is a clever, cool show that every up-and-coming actor should see.