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Review: Pathfinder – The Legend of the Ghost Warrior (2007)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 31/05/10.

So it’s come to this. I have tried my best to avoid negative reviews on this site for two reasons:

  • I like movies too much to bag them, finding redemption in some of the most heinous atrocities captured on celluloid (Teen Wolf FTW!).
  • Two – Everyone says I’m a really nice guy (someone said that once).

But then I watched Pathfinder: the Legend of the Ghost Warrior.

Set in a pre-Columbus North America (Vinland), Pathfinder (also a remake of the 1987 Norwegian flick of the same name) stars New Zealand thesp Karl Urban as Ghost; abandoned as a child by his colony of Nordic Viking brethren and adopted by a Native American tribe, Ghost is raised as one of them but is clearly an outsider struggling to assimilate due to his appearance. Years pass until another marauding Viking expedition (led by personal favourite Clancy Brown) shows up with evil intentions:  as Vikings do.

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Retro Review: Legend (1985)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 30/08/09.

Legend

Legend is director Ridley Scott’s attempt at 80’s style fantasy, starring Ferris Bueller’s Mia Sara as Princess Lili and as her love interest a pre-Top Gun Tom Cruise as forest dweller Jack. In a convoluted series of events, Jack takes Lili to see some sacred unicorns – which he shouldn’t for some reason – and then she proceeds to touch one – which she shouldn’t for some reason. This turn of events leads minions of the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry, in top form) to chop off the stallion’s horn – an item of coveted power – and kidnap Princess Lili, both to be brought before Darkness in a master plan to bring eternal night to the world. Now the ‘heroic‘ Jack, aided by his misfit band of elves and dwarves, must rescue the princess and save the world from its inevitable pitch-black doom.

The massive problem with this movie, and there are copious issues, is the fact that it takes so much pleasure in being so damn dark that there’s minimal fun to be had – a crucial element of fantasy. Take similar genre films from the time – Labyrinth had the music, Willow and Princess Bride had charm and characterisation, and the one thing that they all shared was a sense of wonder. Legend is too dark and scary for children yet the plot and pacing is too juvenile for adults.

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There Can Be Only One (Again)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 24/09/09.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

Today in Hollywood, the terms remake, or even worse reimagining, are cause for derision from movie aficionado’s such as me. Nothing spoils a classic film or a childhood favourite more than a half-assed reboot. In spite of occasional box office successes, most of these dreaded reimagining’s are, for the most part, massive lumps of shit – despite the introduction of today’s superior CG effects and quite possibly larger budgets, they are missing depth – a certain charm – something which has made them such fondly remember pieces of celluloid to begin with.

Some future reimagining’s (I even hate typing that word) that are being talked about as future projects include such treasures as Gremlins, Robocop and it has even got to a point where director’s are digging up their own work – such as David Cronenberg with The Fly. But with all that being said, there is one reboot on the horizon that I cannot contend with. A cult classic from the 80’s, highly prized and definitely a personal favourite of mine – 1986’s urban sci-fi swashbuckler Highlander.

Before you get all up in my grill accusing me of blasphemy, first read what I have to say. As I said, Highlander is a personal favourite and a classic, no doubt. But there are just so many elements in the film, and the franchise as a whole, that starting from scratch could benefit from.

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Avatar Day

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 23/08/09.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

In a mere 16 minutes, never has an opinion changed so quickly. The general feeling I had leading up to these 16 minutes was somewhat apathy mixed with ‘hope-this-doesn’t-suck-itis’ (which is a real condition, look it up). Needless to say, a quick 16 minutes was all that was needed to turn that feeling into some serious fanboy, boner inducing giddy excitement. Those 16 minutes came in the form of 16 minutes of preview footage of James Cameron’s Avatar. It was Avatar Day!

I must say, up until the past week, there has not been very much promotion for this film at all – besides word of mouth stuff and internet reports. All we have been told is that Avatar will be James Cameron’s long-in-gestation super-movie, a movie that Cameron had to wait until technology caught up with his vision. The much talked about aspect is the newly designed Fusion 3D camera system, apparently ready to revolutionise the entire film industry. Talk is cheap, especially when all you hear is talk for so long.

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