(Brunei), February 24, 2005

VCD On Keanu Reeves’ Banned 'Constantine' Selling Like Hot Cakes

by Rosli Abidin Yahya

Bandar Seri Begawan - Bootleg VCDs of the banned film "Constantine" starring Keanu Reeves were found to be sold openly at many outlets in Brunei.

Some salesgirls told the Borneo Bulletin that the VCDs arrived in their shops on Tuesday evening and have since been selling like hot cakes.

"We need to order more copies as you can see only one VCD is left. We have not seen the story but by the way it is going, it must be a good one," said the salesgirls.

They alleged that they were not aware that the film was banned from public showing by the Brunei censor board last week.

"We don't know it is banned and we were only asked to sell, they claimed.

"Constantine" has been banned here in accordance with the guidelines of the censor board, Dato Paduka Hj Ahmad bin Kadi, the secretary, told the Borneo Bulletin last week.

He added that the film was deemed unsuitable for public viewing.

"Constantine" is an apocalyptic thriller that depicts demonic possessions, visions of hell and a renegade angel.

It features Reeves as a chain-smoking exorcist, who dispatches demons to the underworld in the hope of erasing a mortal sin he once committed.

"Constantine" has already made a splash in Asia, earning US$11.9 million when it opened last Feb 9 to coincide with the Chinese New Year.

The R-rated sci-fi thriller is expected to at least triple that figure when it appeared in 3,006 theatres in US commencing Feb 16.

"Constantine" director Francis Lawrence's feature debut centres on Reeves' title character, which can recognise the half-breed angels and demons that walk the Earth as humans.

Co-starring Rachel Weisz and Tilda Swinton, the film is an adaptation by Kevin Brodbin of the comic-book series "Hell blazer".

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