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A Goth’s Month in Review: February 2012

by on 2012/02/29

I’ve been watching so many barbarian films this month that I’ve been dreaming of ransacking villages. Hmm, come to think of it, I’ve had worse dreams.

Something deep down in my Slavic blood is drawn inexplicably to barbarians, greatswords and battle axes, and ancient battles. It has been this way since I can remember. I used to spent long hours wandering around in the woods of my family farm imagining I was Conan, a mighty Viking or some other smashy adventurer. We fashioned the weapons of war from tree branches and did things that would cause today’s over-protective parents a complete nervous collapse.

If I hadn’t just attended a presentation last week by the great Dr. Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine (man, that was cool), I might postulate that I am the reincarnation of a wolf-pelt clad berserker in a former life. Of course, I know to suggest such a thing would be moronic. Yes, moronic.  (And why does everyone I meet who believes in reincarnation always claim to be a reincarnation of Cleopatra? You can’t all be Cleopatra, people).

This month, while Hacker Renders breathed in the rarified air of high fantasy, I rollicked in the mire and muck of low fantasy. So here’s my favourite, surprise, disappointment, and least-liked, as well as the movie I’d like to see based on my sword and sorcery super friend’s reviews.


Favorite
The Golden Compass (2007) on 2012/02/19

* * * * *

“Who’d have thought an effort riddled with kids and animals would not just work, but work so very well? Not me, that’s for sure. And yet we have The Golden Compass, an epic steampunk-pirate-cowboy-fantasy mashup boasting big production values, and bigger ideas, a compelling confection, yet ironically cultish, with little mainstream acceptance.”


Surprise
King Arthur (2004) on 2012/02/15

* * *

“It should be said that I’ve never liked Clive Owen (Children of Men). I always thought he had a face as impassive as a coal shovel, with a manner as interesting as a blancmange pudding. So I slid this flick into my Playstation 3, licked my poison pen and got ready to write something scathing. As the credits roll, I find that I simply can’t do it. I know, I know. I’m as surprised as you are. Clive Owen is actually kind of great in this gritty, dirty “historic” take on the Arthurian legend.”


Disappointment
By the Will of Genghis Khan (2009) on 2012/02/25

* *

“I had very recently watched the sublime Mongol and was desperate for the promised sequel which was due out, at the time, in 2010. When I spotted By the Will of Genghis Khan directed by Andrei Borissov, I thought I had found the sequel at last. Mongol was a moving painting of a film by Sergei Bodrov released in 2007. Watching it was akin to a religious experience, and I am an atheist. Borissov… Bodrov. Ok, they aren’t even close. I make no excuses.”


Least-Liked
Red Sonja (1985) on 2012/02/12

* * *

“Hacker Renders told me that Arnie even joked that Red Sonja is used as an object of fear and discipline in his home.  Mr. Pumping Iron is reported to have said: ‘When my kids get out of line, they’re sent to their room and forced to watch Red Sonja ten times. I never have too much trouble with them.'”


Show Me
Stardust (2007) on 2012/02/28

* * * *

“Stardust’s reach might well surpass its own grasp, but it’s as original as it is aware of its influences, surely a difficult compromise to manage. Nonetheless, it succeeds, its strengths more than able to offset — or distract from — all of its flaws.”


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