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Hey, when exactly did Ben Affleck get so goshdarn cute? What's this? He acts too. Hmm. His sidekick, Matt 'Big teeth' Damon I always thought was a great actor. Kudos to the new and improved actor Ben.

Ben always shines in pop-culture-camp-cult-icon writoer/director/ creator Kevin Smith's maniacal film creations. Smith has brought us Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Clerks. He's infamous for those cheapy movie, oops Indie flicks with stoners Jay and Silent Bob? Yeah, he did Dogma too. Dogma is infused with Smith's usual blend of sarcasm mixed gently with pubescent humor just like the others Smith has reigned over. This one didn't tickle my fancy quite as heartily though...

Story in a doggie bowl... We meet a seraph, (layman's term: an Angel of Death) named Loki (Matt Damon). He has been kicked out of heaven for listening to the conscience of his best friend, ex-watcher angel Bartleby (Ben 'boom boom' Affleck). Now Loki finds out how he and his best friend can get back through the Pearly Gates and make nice with God. All they have to do is get to New Jersey and walk through an archway at the 'Catholicity Wow' campaign scheduled in a couple of days. They are kind of sneaking in the back door. They have found da loophole in God's complete power. Very deep.

What happens next is just funny stuff, yet very intelligent at the same time. Though, not really as well-put-together as the prior Jersey chronicles, for sure. Director/writer Smith has all the expected laughs; two 'modern day' prophets straight from the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures set. His returning, Jay (laugh riot Jason Mewes) is such a pigguy every time he speaks it's verbal "man" diarrhea. Here we are in the middle of an apocalyptic crisis and all he can think of is humping the last chick, who is also the last descendant of Jesus Christ, and possible savior of the world as we know it. MEN! The other "prophet" is Jay's movie- trilogy buddy Silent Bob played by Smith.

Smith mixes in a nefarious demon made of feces and other yummy wasteful concoctions
( =men style toilet humor squared) which was the worst part of the whole movie quite frankly. He semi-redeems himself by making the unknown 13th apostle, Rufus (Chris 'Just a funny guy' Rock), a bitter black man who wants it known Jesus was a really brother, and sexy muse Serendipity, who dances in a strip bar to inspire these days.

Serendipity is played by a verbally understandable Selma Hayek. That's a first! Maybe she got some very needed English pronunciation lessons since her basically indecipherable banter in her Wild Wild West job this past summer. Thank God.

These hormone heavy pubescent prophets hook up with a disbelieving Bethany (Linda Fiorentino). Bethany had a visit from Metatron (Alan 'way under rated' Rickman) the angel voice of God. He let her in on some of the facts, left some of the more scary ones out. Metatron is a scene stealer dating back to before time. Bottom line for Bethany? The world needs her help. Beth isn't into her new found 'Saver of the World' role. Then she has a change of heart. She just can't help it it's in her blood to be kind to strangers, share the Inn, offer a cozy manger, maybe serve a last supper with wine and water before oblivion. Can she do it?George Carlin is 'Mr. Church' Cardinal Glick, rhymes with...and he's great. You can just tell he enjoys the parody a little too much.Tee hee.

Jason Lee is the whiny little demon, Azreal. Spoiled and selfish to perfection. Love this actor to pieces. He's a double dipped butternut cone slowly dragged through Butterfinger© bits and devoured slowly and methodically!

Dogma has great moments, and very clever elements. See it just for that. There are some just God awful parts where you're about to exit towards the left, but just then the clever stuff comes back. You may just leave with a little bit of the Holy Spirit nestled in your funny bone. Natch, the church has been running around screaming "blaspheme!" in high shreiky tones shaking fists and stamping orthodox shoe wears...See it and decide. It seems a little pro religion to me. Well, with a bit of Smith's sinister wink-nudge sarcasm thrown in. It's not Clerks or Mallrats, for that I held back a star just cause I could (like Smith cares). The story is great.

PS...Casting Alanis Morrisette as the almighty has got to be a condemnable action.

Snack recommendation: Mooby's Brand Breakfast Sandwiches

Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Jason Mewes, Selma Hayek, Kevin Smith and many more...
Directed by: Kevin Smith

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