And I’m back! I know… you’re dying to find out what made the cut for my obsession with Karl Urban, part 3. You’ve read parts 1 & 2, right? Well… for this installment I have put together four films that range from science fiction fun to wacky vampire violence, to confusing fairy tale and finally a suspenseful drama. It’s an odd mix, I admit, but overall a good collection of flicks.
Why did I miss this one initially? I love Paul Bettany! Hmmm… Well, this film had potential.
I should stop there, but I won’t. The film had potential but it missed the mark. Apparently it’s either based on a comic or a comic followed it; in either case… it was just this side of good. It’s watchable, and I could be persuaded to watch it again because the action had that Matrix feel we all loved in the 90s only… fresher. It missed the mark in the first place by making the vampires monsters and not the kind that we are used to (I’m not talking about Twilight vamps, either). It’s a tough sell when you mess with a monster we know so much… Secondly, essentially, the Catholic religion has all the power in the world following the fact that during the war through all time between man and vampire, the Catholic church created/discovered some individuals who were capable of fighting the vampires- the Priests. So a small army of these individuals fought the war and defeated the vampires. But then once they were no longer needed, they were thrust back into a society (and menial jobs). This leads to the present wherein a new threat has taken prisoner the niece of one priest (Bettany) and he must go against his Order in order to save her. As happens in these stories, our hero needs sidekicks and thus collects some assistants on his journey. We are also introduced to the villain- whose character name is “Black Hat”(did I mention that this is essentially a western?), played by Urban; and because it’s a western, he tells the audience his plan. Dun dun duh!
OK… this is watchable. It is not good; it had potential. I wish it had met that potential. I would like to have liked this film a lot more. It might be one that I would put on while cleaning or something- background noise where I could pay attention during the fun fight scenes but ignore when it’s wasting my time.
Oh, and remember that previously review from the very beginning of this post? It wasn’t for this film but in this film I would agree- Urban chews the scenery. But he almost has to! That’s how the Snidely Whiplash character is done! And the character/performance would fit perfectly in a silent melodrama (not to say he needs to be silent- he was fun to listen to). He was one of the few things about the film I truly enjoyed. I should look on YouTube to see if anyone has made a clip video of just his stuff because that would be fun.
I just love those quirky foreign indie films, don’t you? No, seriously, I do. Some of my favorite films fit that category. This film may not end up a favorite but it was worth seeing- if only for the wtf factor.
It’s billed as a modern faerie tale. And yeah, I can see that, but it’s really a rom-com with a tragic side. See, there’s an adorable couple- Rob and Lucinda- who have just gotten engaged. She tells her friend and that sparks Lucinda questioning whether the sparks are still there in their relationship. And so she tests him. OK, fine. But she goes too far creating a situation that she can’t come back from. And there is a random little old lady who may or not be magical. And cows. Wait… what? I’m confused. And I watched the film recently!
But here’s the thing- my description is confusing and
the film is a little odd, but I liked it. I liked the oddness, I liked the flow, I liked the growth of the characters. And there were those characters that needed to be smacked- that BFF, for one. Grrrr. I loved the setting- very beautiful. I’ve never wanted to visit a dairy farm so much in my life. I loved the agoraphobic dog that wouldn’t come out of his box. I loved the idea of the “Johnson’s”.
It was a cute movie. And completely different from pretty much everything else that I am reviewing because it was not sci-fi, action, thriller, and horror. Nice change of pace.
Urban did a great job being a boyfriend comfortable in his relationship and life; providing just the right confusion when his girlfriend starts acting out of character, while remaining fully in love with her. And his anger was heartbreaking (and completely justified). I was on team Rob up until the wedding… then I was team “WTF? You’re all nuts!”. Which looks weird on a t-shirt. I’m glad it ended the way it did.
I enjoyed the movie, and if you like silly rom-coms you might too. Just remember… it’s odd.
OK… you know I was born and raised as a Trek fan, right? Well… it’s true. Family bonding included getting a note for a doctors apt to get us out of school on opening day of new films. So I was pretty excited when a new film was announced- even if the idea of a remake scared the bejesus out of me. And to be honest, I love the 2009 film. But it’s not a Star Trek movie. It’s a summer blockbuster. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive but in this instance… they are not connected. And that’s all I am going to say about that.
Why did I enjoy the film? I love sci-fi, action, adventure, snarky comedy, and a fun cast. All of that is present. Chris pine (Kirk) has a lot of fun being a cocky little shit. Zachary Quinto (Spock) almost seems like he’s on the cusp of having an emotion but working so hard to hold it in- works for me since as a half human it would be tough to balance. Simon Pegg (Scotty) made me squee- Scotty was always my favorite. And the casting of Karl Urban made me go, “huh?” But remember- even though I knew who he was due to Chronicles of Riddick, I couldn’t connect the name to the person. And since McCoy was DeForest Kelley, it was a tough sell; until that first scene where he argues with a flight attendant about sitting in the bathroom being safer than sitting in the shuttle main cabin. To be honest- I was giggling with nerd joy from that moment on.
So I had to adjust my visual of the character- Urban is a strapping figure, over 6 feet, and swoon worthy. What sticks out in my memory of DeForest is that final scene walking through the corridor on TNG. The two visuals don’t match. But like I said, I was hooked as soon as he opened his mouth and started spouting complaints. That’s my grumpy country (space) doctor!
The Star Trek films have never given the physician characters much to do- they always are secondary to the captain, first officer, and villain. However, they always say their piece- interjecting humanity into a situation- as well as providing that needed support that allows for the main characters to get away with the crazy things they do. The doctor is the voice of reason. McCoy is just mouthier about it.
To wrap up this film- Urban was initially an interesting choice but turned out to be brilliantly cast. The actor is a huge fan of the franchise and I think that helps him want to portray a good interpretation. Apparently, Nimoy got choked up the first time he heard Urban voice the character. That’s a pretty awesome response.
This thriller started out a little slow, and while predictable, ended up being quite a worthy viewing. The premise is that two friends are on a bike tour through Argentina (though they bailed on the tour and were on their own throughout the film) when they stumble in a lovely town and unfortunate events occur. What are those stories you hear to be careful of when you travel? This movie is a tale of those terrors. One of the girls disappears.
Karl plays “Michael” a mysterious stranger that meets the girls and then his life becomes entwined with theirs. Michael is in the country hunting for his missing girlfriend. It seems there are a lot of missing girls from the area. In fact, it seems there’s a human trafficking ring in the area selling the missing girls to men in neighboring countries. Not an area on my travel list, let me tell you!
So did I like Michael and Karl’s performance? Yes. But my reasoning is because while I hoped he’d end up being a good guy, it was impossible to tell if he was good or evil until the very last moment… and even then, he isn’t what you think. I enjoy things that you can’t figure out… the film was predictable (I knew who was the ultimate bad guy and why within 20 minutes) but having someone that you can’t figure out right away keeps you paying attention. Bonus fun- I liked his hair.
I should mention the girls. Eh, whatever.
Stayed tuned! I’ve still got 2 more posts to complete my obsessive viewing!