It's really good and I'll write more about it when I get the chance.
Interestingly enough, Jo had a fair-enough comment in response to my Open Letter. Problem is, he followed it up with another comment and this is in response to that ...
First off, I shall quote Jo;
"I went on IMDB to check where else my dislike for Gibson comes from. I have seen six of his movies and not a single one of them contains a performance that I feel justifies his reputation. And the seventh is Passion."
Right, I also went on IMDB and had a gander because I was sure that Gibson hasn't directed that many films - let alone seven. Turns out he has only directed five projects:
1) The Man without a Face
3) The Passion of the Christ
4) Three episodes of 'Complete Savages'
I think I did watch 'The Man without a Face' but I cannot remember much from it so I shall say nothing. 'Braveheart' and 'Passion' I own and have watched a few times - and think they are worthy of reputation. 'Apocalypto' I have recently watched. Funnily enough I did not get the chance to watch any episodes - let alone Gibsons - of 'Complete Savages'.
I have a funny feeling that the 'Gibson' films you have watched are only the ones he has acted in (and 'Passion' being the 'seventh' film of his you watched - Gibson didn't act in that so ... ). Mel Gibsons reputation as an actor is not huge - he has never won an Oscar for acting roles - although he did earn two awards from the AFI (The Australian equivalent to the Oscars) for his acting roles in 'Tim' and 'Gallipolli'. He also earned critical praise when acting in 'Hamlet' in 1990 - but alas, no Bafta of Oscar. I have not seen 'Tim' or 'Gallipolli' so I would not know whether his acting was brilliant in them. Suffice to say, I make no judgement.
Personally, I think Mel Gibson is a high class DIRECTOR, for which this is reflected in Braveheart 'for which he won two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director'. I thought 'Passion' was well directed and, considering the limited and bias source, it attempted to show the story as 'real' as possible - all whip lashings and thorny crowns included. Again, 'Apocalypto' is yet to earn awards, if it will earn any at all as it has some very strange plot points (As pointed out by Elisabeth, there is absolutely no need for the birth of child at the end. Very shit) and a wealth of inaccurate historic references. But visually and cinematically it is as epic and impressive as the deserts of 'Lawrence of Arabia'.
Now, here comes the twisted knife Jo - You have only seen Passion. You may have seen 'The Man without a Face', but if it was as long ago as when I saw it, then I reckon it would be difficult to really form an informed judgement. And 'Complete Savages'? I doubt it.
For one, the whole "I have to confess that I have never been a fan of his work probably because I have seen very few of his films" - you have seen ONE film that was higly criticised across the board, a film that earned no nominations and had a bias box office opening. It might be better to say that you are not a fan of 'Passion' rather than grouping all his directed pieces into one box without viewing them.
You stated yourself that 'I did catch some of Braveheart the other day and it did look motivationally interesting' and this is the film that earned him his initial reputation - and it is that epic scale that he has become famous for directing.
I advise you to watch 'Braveheart' and 'Apocalypto' because they really are worth the watch at least, but the chance of you doubling back on yourself and stating 'Wow, Gibson is a great director' are slim to none because your (un)informed opinion on why you shouldn't/wouldn't watch 'Apocalypto' says alot about how you form a judgement before watching a film.
I reckon the latest edition of 'Heat' probably didn't give 'Apocalypto' the greatest of reviews though - although it may have stated that there are topless guys and girls running around throughout the film - woo hoo! Five Stars. As legitimate as 'Empire'. (Game, set, match)