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Dante's Inferno
Dante's Inferno
Actors: Dermot Mulroney, James Cromwell, Paul Zaloom, Martha Plimpton, Dana Snyder
Director: Sean Meredith
Genres: Comedy, Animation
UR     2008     1hr 18min

Hell goes animated as apocalyptic graphic novel artwork and eerie Victorian toy theater converge in this subversively satiric update of a literary classic. Reinterpreted with the use of intricately hand-drawn puppets and s...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Dermot Mulroney, James Cromwell, Paul Zaloom, Martha Plimpton, Dana Snyder
Director: Sean Meredith
Genres: Comedy, Animation
Sub-Genres: Animation, Animation
Studio: TLA
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 08/26/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 18min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

21st Century Update
A. B. King | 06/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ovation TV is showing this film in their animation week. Thank you, Ovation.
As Virgil says, "I don't like puppets." But I will make an exception for this work of art. The technique is similar to the Shadow Puppetry of SE Asia. At one point, Ulysses introduces a movie of what he did after Troy. The "movie" uses the traditional shadow puppets to show Bush's fantasy of bringing democracy to the Middle East. The entire movie is clever in its use of the puppetry.
This is the ultimate message movie with heavy-handed commentary. But hey, it's Dante's tour of Hell, no subtlety needed. I have only read summaries of the original story so cannot tell you how close it is to Dante's version. Beatrice makes a token appearance. But the people shown range from Lizzie Borden to the man who set up the Jews to be blamed for the crucifying of Christ. There's even a surprise guest from the Bush Administration. Fox News provides some transportation.
Gay men are shown being forced to dance to techno music. Someone is condemned for downloading Metallica. Several Popes show up, including John Paul II. Somehow you will be offended by this movie. Get over it.
I am looking forward to owning my own copy so that I can pause the film and read the signs on the scenery.
A Modern Realization
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 07/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Dante's Inferno"

A Modern Realization

Amos Lassen

"Dante's Inferno" is a subversive and darkly satirical realization of the original which was written in the14th century. It is not regular movie fare--it is presented with the use of intricate paper puppets and miniature sets. We are taken on a travelogue of Hell and it looks a lot like the way we live today. Dermot Mulroney is the voice of Dante and he awakens to find he is lost in a strange part of town, both in reality and in metaphor. James Cromwell is the voice of Virgil, the ancient Roman poet and he has a mullet haircut. Dante follows Virgil through the depths of Hell and they enter the very underbelly of the inferno which very much resembles modern urban life. We see slums and used car lots, strip malls and gated communities (it kind of looks like Little Rock, Arkansas until we see the U.S. Capitol Building). There are politicians and popes and icons of pop culture and they are all sentenced to cruel and unusual punishments. Lucifer is nothing more than a human appetizer dipped in fondue. The punishment that all receive fits the crime of which each is guilty. Dante, as he spirals through all nine stages of hell, realizes the method of punishment. He comes out of his journey determined to change the course of life he has been on.
The director, Simon Birk, gives us an amazing modernization of a classic and he seems to fear nothing. He is innovative and creative and his humor, while at times sardonic, is wonderful. You must remember that this is not the inferno as Dante wrote it and Birk seems to use a combination of Monty Python and Mike Judge to come to his black humor. The animation is amazing and the use of puppets is stunning and the sets are impressive. The script is ripped from the headlines of today's press.
This is a message movie and to deliver what it wants to say it uses very heavy commentary. There are plenty of laughs and here is astoundingly good entertainment. (Of course if you have read the original the film is that much more entertaining).
Updated Version of Hell = Entertainment
gex144 | USA | 06/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Likewise, I also saw this on OVATN. Despite this film being composed mainly of 2-D cardboard pieces (with the exception of God and Lucifer), the low budget doesn't stop this film from being entertaining. Theme and message aside, this film gives plenty of laughs for those who can appreciate it's various forms of humor (from political, historical, to some slapstick). Hilarious to see some famous political figures in certain levels of hell, especially Fox News somewhere in the 7th or 8th (can't remember exactly, but somewhere around there), thus making a statement at how fake and/or biased the news is when it comes to stories, implying that they tell half truths or blow a story out of proportions making them whole lies. That's just a tip at the iceberg when it comes to the parodies this remake of a classic story makes upon the modern world. If you can withstand the cardboard pieces, you'll be in for an interesting form of entertainment."
Dante's Inferno
Antiquarian | SF Bay Area | 12/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The film is outstanding; one of the best films I have seen in my life. It is an excellent update of Dante's magnificant medieval poem, "The Divine Comedy." I originally saw the film at the San Francisco Film Festival and really had to own it. The concept of using paper puppets is an intriguing twist. I recommend the work to all."