This is based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas . It keeps more or less to the story, and is a fair retelling of it.
During their adventures, they meet a variety of equally interesting characters. Some are helpful, like the young graduate (James Purefoy - Rome ). Others merely want to mock the adventurers - like Isobella Rossellini and Lambert Wilson ( Sahara, Catwoman ).
High Priestess Isabella Rosselini and her top pupil Kristen Kreuk are part of a sisterhood dedicated to keeping demons at bay. They guard the vault to the nether-world. The Kurganites seek world conquest, and don't care about magic or good versus evil.
Part 2. (90 mins)
The Kurganites have captured the Uni. Sebastian Roche ( Odyssey 5 ) gives a very disappointing performance as leader of the Kurganites.
Gerd is on the run, pursued by the Nameless One he unleashed. It wants to possess him, and leave a trail of dead bodies. His only help is from another trainee wizard.and his sister, Katherine Isabelle . He must go on a quest to unite the pieces of the Amulet of Peace. This takes him to the Temple where Kristen Kreuk lives, thus drawing together the plot threads.
The original author, Ursula LeGuin , disowned this primarily because of the casting. Producer Robert Halmi has filmed several pieces in Australia ( Farscape being the best example), where the cast can be selected to have a Polynesian appearance. Unfortunately this work was filmed in Vancouver, so the cast are predominently caucasian.
Patricia Quinn pops up as a sorceress.
The best thing about it is the music, which owes more than a little to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds!
Once in the Holy Land, Orlando must save the Christians from defeat in a war that nobody really wanted. The story feels like Gladiator meets Pirates of the Caribbean , with a bit of SW1: TPM thrown in for good measure. True to modern political correctness, it makes the Templars eeevil and the Saracens noble.
Attila falls in love with peasant girl Simone MacKinnon .
The Eastern Emperor (Tim Curry - Rocky Horror picture Show ) plots against Attila. Worse, the Emperor's sister makes her own plays for power. Attila finally gets an excuse to invade Rome. This brings him up against his old mentor, Powers Boothe ( Agents of SHIELD )!
Archaeologist Billy Connolly ( X-Files: I Want To Believe ) works for Billionaire David Thewlis ( Dragonheart ) on an excavation at a medieval castle in France. Connolly's team include his son Paul Walker (Into the Blue), Walker's girlfriend Frances O'Connor and Connolly's sidekick Gerard Butler ( Dracula 2001 ). They make a lot of apparently off-the-cuff remarks that we know will turn out ironic later.
The Billionaire sends his pet archaeologists through a time portal to the Middle ages. A couple of ex-Marines go along as token red-shirts. Naturally, things go wrong. Luckily it's a Hollywood version of History, without dirt or grime or suffering. Butler goes chasing after a French peasant woman (like all French women in Hollywood, played by an English actress - this time Anna Friel ). The English, especially the villainous Martin Csokas ( XXX ), make things as hard as they can for our heroes.
The Archaeologists seem to know very little about the time period they're studying. The reason why they side with the villainous Frenchies instead of the hard-working English does not make sense either. Perhaps they wish to return to a future where the USA is now Greater Quebec!
Moll Flanders ( Robin Wright ) was born in Newgate prison. She worked in a brothel, became an artist's model ...
The Alex Kingston version had a lot more incidents, but as a TV mini-series it was a lot longer. This film does quite well at over two hours.
This was filmed entirely in Ireland. Ardal O'Hanlon (Father Ted) is one of the Brothel customers, and Jeremy Brett (Sherlock Holmes) is the artist's father.
This was based on a biography on Moore written by his son-in-law, and thus is flattering to the point of being misleading. Moore is presented as being a fair-minded man, whereas in reality he was responsible for the execution of Tyndale for the crime of translating the Bible into English! The other three Thomases - Wolsey (Orson Welles - Casino Royale ), Cromwell (Leo McKern - The Prisoner ) and Cranmer - are all portrayed as extremely corrupt in comparison.
Once upon a time, a Persian king adopted an Ali Baba type thief-boy, Dostan. Fifteen years later, Dostan (Jake Gyllenhall - ) is dragged along when his adopted brothers decide to conquer an Islamic city based on dodgy evidence of secret weapons caches. See what I mean about modern politics?
The King is murdered, and in the most blatant frame-up ever poor Jake gets the blame. The scoundrel and the Princess ( Gemma Arterton ) go on the run together, predictably bickering like ... well, like Han and Leia. They bump into Alfred Molina, who is paranoid about Big Government raising taxation and spending it on secret death squads.
Dostan tries to clear his name, and find out who the real killer is. The King's brother is the Evil Hood (Ben Kingsley - Thunderbirds ). This means that the inevitable twist in the story is not exactly unexpected.
The climax involves a genuine super-weapon, a magical dagger which can turn back time.
The location and cast are Slovakian, which kept costs down. The song is My heart goes with you, as unoriginal as it sounds. The fight double is Tony Leung, probably the best thing about this effort.
The boy recruits a dragon ( Helena Bonham Carter ) to help him bring the bandits to justice. She and the sell-word bicker a lot - it turns out that their backstory is intertwined.
As with the other movies in the series, the plot has a satisfying twist.
Damadar plans to revive a slumbering dragon, and use it to destroy a city. The city sends a handful of mis-matched adventurers on a dungeon-bash - much closer to the game than the original movie was.
The one interesting idea in this film is that the hero joins an EVIL group of adventurers on a quest! And as he loses his heroic edge, we see genuine character development.
Kevin Sorbo ( Hercules ) stars as the title character. He is a fish out of water who becomes King by virtual accident (like the John Goodman film), and starts changing laws. Roy Brocksmith ( Total Recall ) is the royal eunuch. Thomas Ian Griffith ( John Carpenter's Vampire$ ) plots against King Kull, and raises sorceress Queen Tia Carrere from the dead.
Kull goes on a quest, taking a ship to the Isle of Ice (like Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger ). The climax is similar to She by Rider Haggard , a comparison Howard himself might not mind. Compared to other Howard adaptations, this is closest to Conan the Destroyer in feel.
It is the year 1600, and Solomon Kane (James Purefoy - Rome ) is the greatest swordsman in the world. But when the Devil tries to claim his soul, he suddenly finds religion and becomes a pacifist!
Kane falls in with a family of Puritans, led by Pete Postlethwaite ( Rat ) and Alice Krige . They trek across late Elizabethan England, during the time of Shakespeare. The place looks like the modern-day Czech Republic, and is full of thugs and bandits. A thug in a medieval Jason mask is magically enslaving people so they serve an evil sorcerer named Malakili (Jason Flemyng - Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels ). Was not this originally a storyline in the ultra-low-budget 1990s TV show New Adventures of Robin Hood ?
This effort owes little enough to Howard's character, or to historical accuracy. Solomon Kane is an English privateer sailing under the Union Jack ... with all three crosses on it! That is like using the US flag in the same period, including all fifty stars!
There is an unnecessary back-story shoehorned into the plot, concerning Kane's relationship with his father (Max Von Sydow - Flash Gordon, Dune, Judge Dredd ). Lots of cliches are inflicted upon us ...
However, it could have been worse. Kane does not have a love interest, thankfully.
Compared to the recent trilogy of supernatural swashbucklers, this is not as good as the first Pirates of the Caribbean film but it is better than the other two.
All in all, however, this is a reasonable attempt that might even kick-start a straight-to-DVD franchise. The cast is great, the SPFX are excellent ... Maybe with a better script, the next film could be truly worthy.
Renaissance Denmark, and the title characters (Tim Roth and Gary Oldman) ride to the Royal castle. Their luck has changed - but they begin to suspect that now fate has taken over.
Prince Hamlet (Iain Glen - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ) has summoned them to attend him. A mysterious theatre-master (Richard Dreyfuss - Jaws ) dogs their footsteps, and from the sidelines they watch Hamlet’s story unfold.
Oldman accidentally stumbles across a number of scientific discoveries, thus revealing the characters’ potential. Roth, meanwhile, attempts to discover what is going on. And the disturbing realization that they are mere players, and all their world is a stage, is never far away.
The makers retained the original Shakespearean dialogue, though the sets and costumes are Art Deco. The sadistic violence is typically shakespearean - think of Theatre of Blood . And Titus' revenge reminds one of of Hopkins' most famous role!
Venice, circa 1590. Antonio (Jeremy Irons - Dungeons and Dragons ), the title character, borrows money from the Jewish money-lender Shylock. The small print? If Antonio cannot repay the debt in time, Shylock can instead claim a pound of Antonio's flesh!
Al Pacino, famous for OTT acting, here manages to rein himself in as Shylock. The other performances are also impressive. Oddly, the female lead ( Lynn Collins ) is a newcomer who was last-minute replacement for a big-name star ( Gwyneth Paltrow ). Perhaps she will get more opportunities in the future ...
Tristan (James Franco - Spiderman ) is orphaned by Irish raiders, and is raised by King Marke (Rufus Sewell - Knight's Tale ). By a strange twist of fate he falls in love with Isolde ( Sophia Myles ), daughter of the eevil High King of Ireland.
Kevin Reynolds delivers some nicely-executed action scenes. The romance is well done, though the plot is old enough to seem predictable. All in all - watchable, though it is easy to see why it flopped.
This pays lip service to the ancient Greek myths, but it is style over substance, an inferior copy of 300
Zeus has made a law that the Gods do not intervene openly in the affairs of mankind. They cannot heal themselves, and humans can use magical weapons. Villainous King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke - a much better villain than he was in Iron Man 2 ) wants to free the Titans, and start a war with the Gods. To do this he needs a magic bow, so he sends his army to capture the oracle ( Freida Pinto ).
Our hero, Theseus the peasant, teams up with comic relief (Stephen Dorff, who looks like he did in Blade fifteen years ago). They must succeed where well-trained soldiers have failed.
Ten years have passed since the previous film. Perseus (Sam Worthington - Terminator: Salvation ) has a ten-year-old son, whose mother has conveniently died or disappeared. This leads Perseus free to team up with a new love interest (Princess Andromeda - Bond Girl Rosamund Pike ), a comic relief (the son of Poseidon), and a bunch of expendables. They must find Hephaestus (Bill Nighy - Shaun of the Dead, POTC 2 & 3 ), overcome some CGI beasties (far inferior to scenes in Troll Hunter ) and save the world.
The monstrous Titans, led by Kronos himself, are about to escape and destroy the world. Zeus (Liam Neeson - Aslan in Narnia ) goes to his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes - Voldemort in Harry Potter ) for help. Since Hades was the villain in the previous film, this is probably not a good idea. The first time these two actors worked together was as opponents in Schindler's List - how the mighty have fallen! In the tradition of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys , Ares (God of War) is an antagonistic character too.
Someone steals the lightning bolt of Zeus (Sean Bean - Game of Thrones ), who in turn blames Neptune (Kevin McKidd - Rome ). Percy (short for Perseus) is Neptune's illegitimate and unknowing son, who lives in NYC with his mom ( Catherine Keener ) and her slobbish BF (Joe Pantoliano - The Matrix ).
Pierce Brosnan ( The World Is Not Enough ), unconvincingly disguised as a greybeard in a wheelchair, sends Percy to the Demi-Gods's training camp so he can master his gifts. He gets a love interest ( Alexandra Daddario ), a daughter of Athena. But since all Gods are related, thus all Demi-Gods are too ... So he is upholding the ancient Greek tradition of incest.
The teenagers train with metal blades and no tuition - But at least they can heal minor wounds.
The trio (Percy, the babe and the token black guy) go on a quest to find three magic pearls to get into the Underworld. They encounter Medusa ( Uma Thurman , who was Aphrodite in Baron Munchausen ). Hades (Steve Coogan - Night At The Museum ) is cast in the villain's role, equating Tartarus with hell. Persephone ( Rosario Dawson ) is a nympho, although the token Satyr is toned down to PG level to make this a kiddie-friendly film.
The studio threw money at this - there is lots of CGI and big-name stars - in the hope it would be the new Harry Potter . But they forgot that Harry Potter was a world-famous International publishing phenomenon before it was a movie. And it had something of a moral centre, while this has none. The post-credits sequence shows the protagonist using his superpowers for personal gain (well, to even a childish score with lethal consequences).
Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman - Noah ) and Annabeth ( Alexandra Daddario ) head off on an unauthorised quest together, along with the Token Black Guy and Percy's clumsy one-eyed brother Tyson. They encounter a few celebrity cameos, such as Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) and Missi Pyle . They get some magical gadgets from Hermes (Nathan Fillion - Firefly ), who can make time for them but not for his own son. They also encounter some monsters that are actually quite impressive, considering they are CGI.
There are some villains who want to use the fleece to revive their ancestor Kronos (Robert Knepper - Stargate: Universe: Season 2 ), King of the Titans, so he can destroy Olympus. This is the ultimate form of teenage rebellion, and the Olympian Gods are a bunch of deadbeat parents who can make time for infinite vengeance but abandon their children on a world plagued by horrible monsters.
This is much darker than the early Harry Potter films. And though it cannot have had a huge budget, the production values seem very impressive!
Eventually Balthazar finds Merlin's sucessor in - where else - modern-day New York City. Unfortunately for him, it is a skinny nerdy kid from a few Judd Apatow films. As the title of the film suggests, there is a compulsory homage to the classic Mickey Mouse cartoon. However, our nerdy hero is genre-blind insofar as he has obviously never seen the cartoon!
Horvath wants to rescue Morgana so they can destroy the world together. He gets a Johnny Rotten-looking sidekick to help him.
There is a violent sub-species of vamp known as the Vampanese, led by Ray Stevenson ( Rome ). They want to start a war and wipe out the vamps.