Thursday, July 31, 2014
Directed by Courtney Solomon
Runtime: 108 minutes
A rather quick bit of background information about Dungeons & Dragons. In the early 70's Gary Gygax and some of his friends created a set of rules so their miniature war game heroes and generals had something else to. This lead to (at the time this was written) five editions of the game and has inspired hundreds more games similar to Dungeons & Dragons. The game itself defaults to a fantasy world with swords and magic but with some work and imagination can be adapted to whatever the people playing want it to be. So your experience can range from your all time favorite B movie to something Godfrey Ho would give up on.
Because the source material is so broad it is easy to see how difficult it would be to make a film that appeals to both the fans of the game and a general movie going audience. However what got filmed is a flawed generic fantasy adventure movie with a lot of wasted talent.
From the opening info dump it is explained that their is magic in the world and humans who use magic are nobles. Humans who can't use magic and anyone who is not human is more than welcome to have no say in this society. Also the Child Empress and Jeremy Irons are both seeking the useless rod of plot momentum. After some average computer generated castle footage for the budget of film the movie cut to Jeremy Irons having a lot of fun being evil and dining on the scenery. He is trying to make his own useless rod of plot momentum. It fails and forces Jeremy Irons to be evil by using politics skill instead of his make artifacts skill.
The frame shifts to our heroes, generic rouge hero and Marlon Wayans comic relief character number one. Marlon Wayans is funny and he can act when given the right material. This movie however was far from ideal for him. So our two heroes deiced to rob the school of magic because generic rouge hero hates magic users because the obvious coming romance and the plot demand it. In the school of magic, the wizard love interest is helping in the search for the useless rod of plot momentum. Our heroes interrupt her search and Jeremy Iron's goon squad captain and his friends interrupt them. So they use magic to meet the fourth member of their party the second comic relief character and together they all escape.
Our heroes hide out in the busiest tavern and study a map that leads to the useless rod of plot momentum. Well the map is magical and only works when the characters destined to be in love with other touch the map. Before the other characters can complain the goon squad with their captain show up and a bar fight is started by shouting "Bar Fight!". The dwarf comic relief and Marlon Wayans seek out in the chaos and meet up with the two dimension elf ranger. She only part of the movie is to find the party and sometimes fight. In fact her dialog is so dull I can not recall a single thing she said in the entire film. But before boredom can set in, our two love birds return from the map and tell instead of show where the useless rod of plot momentum is. Also in order to get the rod the group must first get the McGuffin Ruby and that is located in the thieves guild in the city of Out of the Way.
Richard O'Brien is the thief guild master and is rather over talented for the role and material. Our generic hero goes through the maze holding the McGuffin Ruby and defeats all the traps to get the McGuffin Ruby. However the goon squad with their captain show again, kidnap the love interest, and get attacked by the awesomeness of Richard O'Brien and his hired goons. Being the heroes they naturally go to rescue the love interest who forgot she could save herself with magic. At the base camp of the evil goons, the non-human characters wait for the human heroes to save the love interest, and Marlon Wayans' character get killed off needlessly.
With our generic hero injured the movie detours to a blue ewok village that is bigger on the inside than the outside. There Tom Baker (Dr Who's fourth doctor) patches up the hero and explains why the rod of plot momentum is so important. The rod controls dragons and the Child Empress also has a rod that controls dragons and if both rods are used to control dragons. If both rods are used then dragons will kill each other and all of creation will get the middle finger. So the generic hero gets the rod and surprise the goon squad with their captain show up.
This leads into the third act were Jeremy Irons is just having even more fun being evil and commanding average looking computer generated dragons. Sadly the movie ends in a rather predictable manor and leaves one with the impression that they have wasted their lives watching it.
This was a badly written movie. The characters are worse than stereotypes and calling this movie a plot is about the nicest thing I can say about the plot. The computer generated was mostly used to good effect and the practical effects are impressive. Also the movie is paced like an action adventure movie. It would have been a better action adventure film if it was not so generic and written by a couple of twelve year old who just wrote their first Dungeons & Dragons game/film. This also makes for a great drinking game movie, which is the only reason I would recommend a sane person to watch this movie.
MVT: The skeleton holding the useless rod of plot momentum. The skeleton is a shining example of why practical effects done right are always better than computer generated.
Make or Break: Break, badly written characters, stupid plot, writers who did not understand the source material or cared.
Score: 1.3 out of 10
Posted by Brett Ridley at 5:41 PM
Welcome back for another round in the GGtMC Kumite!!!
This week, Sammy and Large William are joined by great friend of the show Karl Brezdin (fistofblist.com) for coverage of Furious (1984) directed by Tim Everitt and College Kickboxers (1992) directed by Eric Sherman!!! We had a great time talking about these films, we think you are gonna enjoy this episode!!!
Direct download: ggtmc_298.mp3
Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema at 4:49 AM
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I wrote a few screenplays back in the day. While you pick your collective jaws off the floor, it should be stated that none of them were ever produced, though a couple of them garnered some small amount of attention/accolades, for what that’s worth. Were I to toot my own horn, I would dare say that four or five were pretty good. The rest were pretty average, though all of them were readable. So, that’s one to grow on for you.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to try a little experiment with this week’s review. Rather than overloading you with my usual brand of snobby analysis and woeful drollery, I’m approaching Paul Matthews’ Breeders (the 1997 one, not the 1986 one) in the form of a “What If?” (incidentally, also the title of one of my favorite comic books from my youth), peeking behind the genesis of this little gem. Just so I’m absolutely clear; this is a fictional scenario. It never happened (that I’m aware of), I have never met, seen, nor spoken with anyone involved in this film’s production, and the characters herein are not intended to represent the actual individuals in any way, shape, or form. Besides, if any of them wanted to sue me over this trifling piffle, I would remind them that you can’t get blood from a stone any more than you can polish a turd. And with that…
A cozy apartment which cannot quite be made out for the multitude of empty J&B bottles and beer cans littering its floor. Four people lounge around the small dining table.
PAUL MATTHEWS is in his thirties, unshaven, and thin in that way people with tons of manic energy are. ELIZABETH MATTHEWS is in her thirties, petite, and filled with long-suffering pleasantness. GARETH ROWLANDS is in his thirties and is stocky like an old school weightlifter. PETER THORNTON is in his late forties, tall, and has been down this road perhaps once too often.
Paul holds a pen over a legal pad filled with scribbles, crumpled pages of which limn his portion of the table.
So, what have we got, now?
Paul squints at the tablet.
Alien sex machine.
A collective head nod. Peter rises from the table.
I’m just the DP. It’s nap time.
He saunters over to a couch in the living room, divests it of any detritus, and flops down on it, his eyes shut before even hitting the cushions.
So, is it sexy?
Is what sexy?
The alien sex machine. Is it sexy?
Course it’s not sexy. It’s an alien.
Jeff Bridges was kind of sexy in STARMAN. He
was an alien. And ours is supposed to be a sex
machine. Should be sexy.
I don’t want the alien to be sexy. This is a horror
How about a sidekick for the alien? She can be sexy.
Okay. The sidekick can be sexy. But the alien can’t be.
Are you putting your foot down?
He stomps his foot for emphasis.
Ooh! We can set it at a university.
That’s not bad. An all-girls’ school?
Who gives a shit? We’ll only focus on the
women, anyway. Then we can have a shower scene.
Wait. Where’s this set again?
You know we’re shooting on the Isle of Man, right?
With a lot of British actors.
They can do a Boston accent.
They all dwell on this for a beat.
How about this? A meteor crashes on the front steps
of this university, but it’s not like a normal meteor. It’s
like a spaceship for the alien and his sidekick. They
get out and hide in the tunnels under the school, and
start picking off students.
Having sex with the students.
We can’t show that.
Sure we can. Ever see THE BEAST WITHIN?
That’s not the point. It will look silly. And, yes, I
did see THE BEAST WITHIN. With you. And it
looked fucking silly.
Could the sidekick have sex with them?
No. She’s female. Females can’t impregnate females.
Says who? They’re aliens.
Now who’s being silly?
Paul springs to his feet with inspiration, KNOCKS his head against the lamp over the table, and immediately sits back down.
I’ve got it!
Elizabeth checks Paul for damage. None.
Pieces of the meteor. All the chicks at the university
get a piece of the meteor, and it’s like an aphrodisiac.
It draws them to the alien.
How do they all get a piece of it?
Who cares? Doesn’t matter. The point is, they
become like zombies or something. That way, we
can cut down on effects shots with the alien.
How about the sidekick carries the monster’s eggs,
and she implants the possessed students with the eggs.
Lots of people love that new age, gem power shit.
And it could kind of be like Superman and
Paul narrows his eyes at Elizabeth.
You’re really hellbent on this sidekick sex thing,
How about this? One of the girls is lured by a
gem to the monster’s lair, where she’s covered in
some alien goop stuff, like spunk or something. Then the sidekick pukes her eggs up on the goop,
and all the other possessed girls lap it up, making
Paul nods along.
Yeah. That works, actually.
Not silly at all.
Then we can have soldiers or something—
In Boston, it would probably be a SWAT team rather
Oh. Rightrightright. Boston. So, a SWAT team
goes down into the tunnels, and the monster picks
them off, too.
Oh, and we can have a girl SWAT guy, but the
Captain’s really sweet to here, maybe overly sweet,
and touches her inappropriately while they’re in
the middle of the mission.
Like grabs her boob inappropriate?
I was thinking more like caresses her cheek
Who the fuck would do that?
I don’t know.
Wait, wait. He caresses her cheek so that we
care about them later on when a couple of the SWAT
guys accidentally shoot her.
So, the alien doesn’t get her?
No. This makes it more tragic. She’s shot by her own comrades.
I think you just don’t like my ideas.
I like them when they’re good.
Elizabeth makes a fist at Paul, faux angry. A KNOCK at the door.
Thank God. I’m starving.
Is that the Chinese?
Paul rises, crosses to the front door, digging in his pocket for money.
Back to sleep, Peter.
Paul opens the door, reveals the DELIVERYMAN. He is in his mid-thirties and is a large, slimy monster with a mouth full of jagged teeth. Deliveryman waits semi-patiently, greasy paper bag in his hands. Paul looks him up and down.
Twenty-five quid, please.
(to Gareth and Elizabeth)
We may not have to cut back on the effects, after all.
Wait. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
You ever wanted to be in movies?
Never thought I had the looks for it, really.
MVT: The monster. Clearly.
Make Or Break: There’s a scene early on where a character comes across the monster (seemingly in a closet) with a victim. The filmmakers then cut away for some length of time, only to cut back just in time for said discoverer to get knocked to the ground. We don’t see anything else that happens in the interim. This is likely because nothing did, and even if it did, it would be just as feeble as the rest of this film.
Posted by Todd at 3:00 AM