Urban Cinefile
"I do have something David Mamet hasn't. Which is? A big house in Beverly Hills "  -Steve Martin
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday, October 23, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A DVD
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

GABRIEL: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Arc Angel Gabriel (Andy Whitfield) is the last of the seven Arcs to step into the ancient war between the Light and the Dark, whose warriors, seven each side, have warred over the souls in purgatory for centuries. As Gabriel takes human form - as do all the Arcs and the Fallen - he faces an all-powerful enemy in the ruler of purgatory, Sammael (Dwaine Stevenson) who now holds the balance of power. But he revels in the redemptive power of love when he rescues Jade (Samantha Noble) and resolves to end the savage war.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Technically accomplished and visually arresting with a strong bid for commercial acceptance, Gabriel defies its minimal budget to deliver an exciting, supersized audio visual experience. The audacious screenplay takes as its starting point the eternal battle between light & dark as metaphors for good and evil, delivered in metaphysical dialogue, and goes on to embrace old fashioned action elements, biblical themes and even a sort of brotherly love or esprit de corps, if you like, among the angels. The film's forefathers include the Frank Miller style graphic novels adapted for the screen, as well as films like Bladerunner - and of course, the similarly themed gothic Russian films, Day Watch and Night Watch.

Like the latter, Gabriel's characters are metaphysical beings who take human form and absorb a fair amount of violence before reviving themselves at death's door. Both try to harness the primal power of good and evil at their most aggressive stage of hunting human souls.

Shane Abbess makes his debut with a bold and ambitious film, a calling card for his considerable directing talents. Plenty of close ups (maybe a few too many similar ones) and a stylistically frenzied coverage of action scenes mark him as a visual director with promise. His vision for a dark brown purgatory where Gabriel battles to overcome evil oozes with atmos and the production design, make up and costume departments all rise to the challenge. Music and sound design are also top notch.

But the script is less accomplished, suffering from lack of clarity, overwriting and repetition and a tendency to explore the distant worlds of the metaphysical characters.

Andy Whitfield carries the bulk of the film as Gabriel, Michael Piccirilli makes a striking and dramatic Asmodeus (with black-holed white eyes) and the entire cast is energetic and engaging.

There are extended deleted scenes on the DVD, together with a featurette on the making of the film.

Published March 6, 2008

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 2

TRAILER

GABRIEL: DVD (M)
(Aust, 2007)

CAST: Andy Whitfield, Dwaine Stevenson, Samantha Noble, Erika Heynatz, Michael Piccirilli, Harry Pavlidis, Jack Campbell, Kevin Copeland, Brendan Clearkin, Matt Hylton Todd, Valentino del Toro, Goran D'Kluet, Amy Mathews

PRODUCER: Shane Abbess, Anna Katharina Cridland, Kristy Vernon

DIRECTOR: Shane Abbess

SCRIPT: Shane Abbess, Matt Hylton Todd

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Holland

EDITOR: Adrian Rostirolla

MUSIC: Brian Cachia

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Victor Lam

RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 15, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Searching for Uriel - Extended - Deleted Scenes ; Jade and Gabriel Talk on the Rooftop - Deleted Scenes ; Raphael Assures Uriel - Deleted Scenes ; Gabriel: Genesis - Featurette

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

DVD RELEASE: March 5, 2008







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017