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2 items from 2006


17 March 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- Despite its opening credit sequence featuring comic book-style illustrations, Ultraviolet was not inspired by an actual comic but rather, believe it or not, by John Cassavetes' Gloria. This futuristic tale of a genetic mutant woman blessed with otherworldly abilities attempting to protect a young boy from murderous humans is the latest entry in the "This film is so bad we're not screening it for critics" genre. As usual for this sort of thing, expect a big opening weekend followed by an immense drop-off, with video riches in store.

Milla Jovovich, who has, thanks to The Fifth Element and the Resident Evil series, become the go-to babe for sci-fi, stars as the scantily clad Violet, who displays a mean aptitude for weaponry of all kinds combined with dazzling gymnastic feats and martial arts. It takes only a few minutes for her character to hear this directive that will no doubt gladden the hearts of the sci-fi geeks in attendance: "Please remove all articles of clothing and proceed into the scanner."

Violet is part of a race of genetically modified mutants slated for extermination by the majority humans. While attempting to protect a 10-year-old dubbed "Six" (Cameron Bright), she's hunted down by the villainous Daxus (Nick Chinlund) and his minions. We know Daxus is bad by the tight black suit he wears as well as the metal nose plugs that somehow don't produce a nasal tone in his voice.

Aided by Garth (William Fichtner), a sympathetic fellow mutant, Violet goes on the run, frequently engaging in numerous battles with an assortment of evildoers.

The tale, beginning with narrated flashbacks that make it curiously seem like a sequel, essentially is an excuse for a seemingly endless series of ultraviolet, uh, ultraviolent, action scenes in which the titular character kicks serious male butt. Although extravagantly staged, they're more than a little derivative; a rooftop gun battle and a highly choreographed swordfight owe more than a little to The Matrix and Kill Bill, respectively.

Other sequences are rather more ridiculous, such as one in which Violet makes deadly use of her opponent's dreadlocks and a flaming swordfight that looks like something out of Cirque du Soleil.

Director Kurt Wimmer, filming in high-definition video, uses extensive visual tricks to produce a comic book-style effect, with mostly ugly-looking results. There are at least some notable locations thanks to the extensive use made of various futuristic looking buildings in Shanghai.

Fortunately, the film comes in at a brisk running time, with only the threat of the inevitable sequel dampening the relief that it's over.


Screen Gems


Director-screenwriter: Kurt Wimmer

Producer: John Baldecchi

Executive producers: Tony Mark, Sue Jett, T.C. Wang, Charles Wang

Director of photography: Arthur Wong Ngok Tai

Production designer: Choo Sung Pong

Editor: William Yeh

Costume designer: Joseph Porro

Music: Klaus Badelt


Violet: Milla Jovovich

Six: Cameron Bright

Daxus: Nick Chinlund

Nerva: Sebastien Andrieu

Young Violet: Ida Martin

Garth: William Fichtner

BF-1: David Collier

Detective Cross: Kieran O'Rorke

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 88 minutes »

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Abrams Won't Drop Rodriguez Despite Legal Woes

15 February 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Lost creator JJ Abrams insists Michelle Rodriguez will not be dropped from the hit US TV show despite facing serious drunk driving charges. The Resident Evil actress was caught speeding in Hawaii, where Lost is filmed, three times last year, and was charged with DUI offenses after an incident on November 30. But Abrams is keen to stand by the actress, who plays Ana Lucia in the show's second season. He tells the New York Post, "While we don't want to report on the fate of any of the characters on the show I would say without question, that any reports that anything that's going on with any of the actors as being problematic or resulting in changing the storyline to sort of, you know, get rid of them, is just erroneous and silliness. There's a lot of stuff that has happened that's extracurricular, and it's in the news. It becomes fodder for speculation." »

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