January and February are generally the months I suffer for my art. The studios figure that since the weather is crappy and everyone spent too much money at Christmas that regular movie goers will be staying at home instead of going out to the movies. That means, of course, that they don’t waste their time releasing the good stuff. They’ll save the a-list stuff until the sun starts to poke its cheery little face through the clouds and people have paid off their credit card debts from the holidays.
Unfortunately I still have to go see all the awful movies that come out at this time of year. It is a time for horror movies starring Jessica Alba, kid’s comedies starring vegetables dressed as pirates and most horrifyingly, a new film from German auteur Uwe Boll.
Boll, for the uninitiated is the two time nominee for Worst Director at the Golden Razzie awards—I’m still not sure how its possible that he lost—and alarmingly prolific director behind such classics as House of the Dead and BloodRayne, the latter a movie so dumb I’m sure my IQ actually lowered while sitting in the theatre watching it. This guy make Ed Wood Jr. look like Cecil B. DeMille. He’s a filmmaker whose work makes the words “straight to video” seem like a lofty goal.
He’s back with his 14th film—who keeps giving this guy money to make movies?—the maladroitly titled In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. I suppose this is meant to be his Lord of the Rings but it comes off more like a bunch of geeky teens sitting in their parent’s basement arguing about who should be the head sorcerer in their game of Dragons and Dungeons.
Based on a videogame called Dungeon Siege, In the Name of the King is a clunky behemoth of a film clocking in at a mind numbing 127 minutes. No one walks away from this mess looking good. A cast of former a-listers proves why they’re no longer a-listers. Wearing ridiculous armor and a velvet cape Burt Reynolds as the King is so tanned and his skin stretched so tight he looks like he just stepped out of Medieval Floridian retirement community. Even Ron Perlman, usually such a talented actor comes off as a community theatre reject and poor Ray Liotta, once the star of Goodfellas and a Golden Globe nominee, is reduced to sneering at the camera while wearing a robe that looks like a castoff from Prince’s Purple Rain tour. As the King’s treacherous nephew, Matthew Lillard, never the sign of a quality production, is even worse than usual.
It doesn’t help that they have to speak dialogue which sounds like it was written by a fourteen-year-old role playing Lord of the Rings fan or perform in clumsily blocked and shot scenes or fight bad guys that looks like the love child of The Toxic Avenger and a dried prune.
The best thing I can say about In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is that it was shot in British Columbia, so I hope lots of Canadians worked on it and made some cash and that its in focus. That’s it.