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This is singularly one of the worst films I've ever seen. After seeing
a wide selection of decent horror at Fantastic Fest a few weeks ago, I
expected this to have some substance because it was picked to screen at
the Austin Film Festival. All I can think of is that someone must have
blackmailed the programmers because it's terrible.
The dailogue is either very cliché, or very stilted (and often both). There are serious continuity issues. The gratuitous sex scene was so completely sudden it seemed like an excerpt from a porn movie. The wigs are terrible, and the costuming as bad. There is no character development, and the motivations shown on screen seem more like red herrings than anything else.
I can't think of anything redeeming about this film other than I didn't pay money just to see it.
This was, without a doubt, one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I knew a little bit about the video game this is based upon going in, and while I can't say I was a fan or knew all that much about the story, I figured I was going to get a kinda Buffy/Medieval Times kinda feel. I was SO wrong. The acting quality that I had expected was not there at all. In fact, even Ben Kingsley, who I thought would be good (I've liked other things of his) was awful. Kristinna Locken was so emotionless that you wanted to cry from frustration. Michelle Rodiguez was the only one with some convincing effort, but even then, she couldn't pull her character out of one-dimension. Although, the actors didn't have much to go on to begin with. The dialouge was laughably cliché in parts and simply pathetic in others. It did NOTHING to help convey the characters emotions or thoughts, nor did it do well with explaining the story, trying for flashy and confusing explanations when simplicity was needed and other times being far too simple. All in all, this movie was horrible.
I almost forgot that I had seen this a month ago. I remember being
excited more for the fact that Uwe Boll was in attendance so I could
hear what he had to say about film-making.
Well, let's say his comments before and after the movie are revelations as to why he makes such crappy films. First off, he can't grasp why people savage his movies so much. He feels that the internet community gives him a hard time because he's German and he makes his movies with Nazi money (his quote, not mine. Of course, he was joking, right?) Secondly, he couldn't care less if the actors he has are right for the roles. In fact, finding actors is his last thing he does to secure financing for his films. Apparently, he thinks the story is strong enough to carry the film. So, this is why we end up with actors like Ben Kinglsey working alongside Michael Madsen. Really, the only thing they had was the time to do the movie and the earning of a paycheck. So, if this doesn't strike you as soulless film-making, I don't know what does. In essence, by waiting until the last possible moment to hire actors, he can make his movies with a secured budget.
Th reason why I write this is because I heard his new "epic" In the Name of the King will be a four hour film split in half like Kill Bill. This depressed me to no end. Uwe Boll really is the next Ed Wood, even though Ed Wood cared about his actors and films.
Just kidding...just kidding!! Why, after wasting nearly 2 hours of my
life watching this trash, should I waste another hour or so dissing
this movie, when everything about it has already been killed stone dead
by previous reviewers? Because, dear friends, I am so excited I just
had to share with you my delight at finding the "worst cameo of all
time", so magnificent in its awfulness that it could (with sheer effort
of will) only be equalled, but never beaten.
It was Sunday. Raining. What the hell, "Bloodrayne" sounded good. Hmmm, Masden, Kingsley, Zane...can't be so bad.
After around 20 minutes or so of this "crowning turd" of a movie my "intellectual defence mechanism" automatically kicked-in and took my mind away to my next vacation, what to have for dinner, and the contents of my Partner's trousers. Sailing away on a sea of serenity(did I actually fall asleep?)I thought myself immune and totally protected from the train wreck of a movie unfolding on the other side of my eyelids. But then....wait! What's this? Snippets of dialogue totally unconnected with the Tequilla Sunrise I was drinking began to pervade my mind. Slowly at first, but growing in intensity. Warily, fearful that I may inadvertently catch another glimpse of Ben Kingsley's excruciating acting/staring, I opened one eye. Was I seeing/hearing things? I pulled myself up in the chair and opened the other eye (after assuring myself that Kingsley was nowhere to be seen). There, in front of me...what can never be described by a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters for a thousand years. The root canal work of movie making, the Xanadu of awfulness....Meatloaf trying to character-act.
I checked out the other movie-goers...hmmm, not many left....and they were all, very much like myself, staring wide eyed and open mouthed at witnessing the birth of a legend. Seriously, it was like watching the first moon landing all over again. This is one piece of crap for man...a whole turd for mankind.
I am sorry that I go on a little, but I cannot find words to describe the cameo piece by Meatloaf, in fact probably such words do not exist - they must be invented - "discrapungent" - try that one. I can only try to capture the magnificent awfulness by describing the effect that it had on myself and, I suspect, the other viewers.
If you haven't seen it (and I beg you all to do so) cut along to any cinema brave enough to show it and set your alarm clock for around 50 minutes. If you have trouble sleeping at the beginning, don't worry, Ben Kingsley will stare you into blessed catatonia....trust me.
When I heard that Uwe Boll had challenged several of his critics to a
boxing match, I thought it was an example of the man failing to
understand reactions. Rather than come out looking like a misunderstood
hero, he comes off as a spoiled child. So when I hear people calling
Uwe the new Ed Wood, I just want to point out that this demonstrates
ignorance regarding Wood. It is insulting to the poor guy. You see,
Wood made one of the most daring (if staggeringly inept) films that
challenged people's perceptions of transvestism and gender roles, long
before this became a common theme in Hollywood. His major feature was
that he lived only to make films, and did so because of motives other
than cash. Boll, on the other hand, says absolutely nothing in his
films that is of any value, and has shown himself in the media to be
the most cynical, thoughtless idiot that ever drew breath. Another
classic example of the difference between Boll and Wood, perfectly
illustrated by BloodRayne, is that Wood's films made narrative sense.
If you have not played any of the video games upon which BloodRayne is based, then it will make very little sense to you. The parts about Rayne being the child of a vampire and a human, I get, but the film is loaded with references to artifacts that the villain needs in order to gain power, which Rayne must obviously stop him from acquiring. This reminds me of the sequence from Bakshi's adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings in which the explanation of what the One Ring is and what it does was meant to be delivered. By failing to deliver this critical information in a manner that makes sense to the viewer, both films end up disjointed and pointless. Only BloodRayne makes it much, much worse by jumping around from location to location, showing confrontations between Rayne and various enemies without a pause for explanation as to why this is significant. Ten bucks to anyone who can figure out exactly why Boll chose to end the film with a bunch of flashbacks to disjointed events that have no connection to the film's "present time", when the climactic slaying would have done just fine.
Another of Boll's few talents is to classically miscast. Kristanna Loken is surprisingly good as the titular character, and puts in a far better performance than I would have credited her with after that abysmal Terminator rip-off. It is certainly far better than the film deserves. Michelle Rodriguez looks extremely angry to be there. Matthew Davis has this stupid expression on his face all the time that appears to be him begging for some direction. Michael Madsen, Billy Zane, and Udo Kier literally are on autopilot. But Meat Loaf, the poor guy, seems to be trying to take his role seriously, and never have I see an actor look so uncomfortable in his work. He almost looks as if he is going to have a stroke from all the "what the hell am I doing here?" instructions his brain is trying to process. But the real gem here is Ben Kingsley, winner of one Academy Award and nominee for three others. He seriously looks as if he is going to burst out in laughter at any second during his scenes with Loken. And who can honestly blame him?
A mention must be made of the abysmal special effects here, too. Boll at least knows that the audience for a film based on this video game expects to see blood, and a lot of it. However, like every other aspect of his films, the delivery is so staggeringly inept that it makes one wonder how Boll can be so blind to this. Not only does the head of one opponent look despicably fake, the looks on the faces of the extras when they are shown chopping things up with their swords is utterly hilarious. Someone had to direct them to assume that expression, as swinging an actual sword hard enough to sever a limb involves enough exertion that one at least pulls some kind of face in the process. They said it best in Showdown In Little Tokyo - beheadings are not as easy as they look. Yet Boll seems to think he can silence individuals who feel he is utterly inept as a director by hitting them. If I could say one thing to his face right now, it would be that keeping silent and working on making a genuinely good film would have worked a lot more.
So I mean it when I say this film is not as bad as many others have said - it is even worse. A competent director like Wolfgang Petersen would have connected the story together properly, and at least shot the violence in a convincing fashion. A brilliant director such as Paul Verhoeven would have found a way to satirise the social mores of the eighteenth century, and delivered enough convincing violence to give the MPAA fits at the same time. As much as Boll would like to pretend otherwise on the basis of sales figures in countries where they would probably not understand the abysmal dialogue anyway, he is nowhere near the league of Petersen or Verhoeven. And that is a big part of what makes his films so insulting to the general public. Boll would like us to believe that he is some kind of misunderstood genius who keeps striking out with critics because they do not understand his message. Well, Boll, the disjointed plot aside, I understand you just fine. The thing is, when I do understand your films, I do not want them anymore.
So I gave BloodRayne a two out of ten. A one would only further its position on the bottom one hundred, and it is deserving of infamy in neither sense of the word. Avoid.
So women sometime before the XIX, but after the XVI century traveled alone on horseback, half-naked, always cold, carrying swords in their backs, and the cities were a model of pulchritude. Yeah, right. It does not even work as a metaphor. When the director wants to show us an evil character, there is a Ben Kinsgley with an over-sized wig remembering in black and white his cruel dialog: "Tell me where is my damphir" "No" says the mother. "Tell me" "No" Pum! Pow! The scariest thing of this movie is to see such potentially good actors in such lame dialogs. You will experience anguish as an spectator, as you feel other people's shame (the actors). Even if you like awful movies (sometimes I do), please do not waste your money in this one. The director might be encouraged to punish us again. I wish IMDb had negative stars.
I'm already frustrated because the rating system only only goes down to 1 instead of -10....Because Uwe Boll has done it again! He has managed to make a completely god-awful movie, and has caused to me lose respect for the "actors" in this filth. Granted the only one that had my respect was Kingsley...well, not anymore. The non-existent "story" was worthless. There are actually ignorant people that LIKE this crap, and it's sad, because anyone who rates this more than a 1 is probably some 15-year-old kid who got off on that "love scene" that looked like it was straight out of a Ron Jeremy flick. Kristanna Loken's got the personality of used toilet paper, and Michael madsen...well....he just kinda looked like he was drunk..wouldn't put it past him anyway. The only reason why Uwe Boll is still allowed to make movies is because ignorant movie goers and the few fans he has defend him to the death, he is horrible and he should be barred from ever touching a camera again.
Okay, I actually kind of liked this movie. Why? Well, as far as pure
entertainment goes, I was actually entertained. I laughed at a lot of
the acting and dialog, and the fight editing was a nightmare, but in
the end, I still had a decent time with the movie. It gave me what I
expected, but with some decent (and some really bad) acting.
Let's start with the Ed Wood pluses, also known as the "so bad it's good" material. For starters, Ben Kingsley. I have never seen such an accomplished actor do such a terrible job in my life! I couldn't stop laughing whenever he was on screen. I mean, it really seemed as if it was just a wax dummy of him set on a chair. His dialog was uber flat, and I honestly think they just got a sample of his voice and had a computer read his lines. But... he made the entire movie uber campy. It just felt right. Also, there is the clunky dialog. Some of the dialog does work, namely when the characters speak in more modern dialects, but when they try to get all old English or whatever the words become clunkier than a cart with square wheels being pulled by a man with no arms and legs. Michael Madsen also phoned in his performance, but it was ten times better than the "acting" he did in Sin City. And by the end of the movie I had very few problems with him. He did what he had to, nothing more. So, there are the bad parts. They seem minor, but oh are they major. Namely because they are all constantly apparent. One bad part that wasn't funny was the constant shots of people riding on horses. It got old very fast.
The actual good parts come in the form of a few things. For one is Michelle Rodrigez. She really, honestly tried with this movie, and came off as very credible. Her accent, her movements, everything... it just worked. She made this movie watchable. Also, the lead was very well played by Kristina Lochen (sp?). Her dialog is junk, but she can fight, and she plays the tough girl very well. And she looked the part. And Billy Zane, in a small role, is a blast to watch. He eats the cheesy dialog up, and you can tell he is enjoying himself. They should have given him more screen time! A big plus for this movie is the fact that there is actually a coherent story this time. Yes, actually story in a Bolle video game movie! It's not a great story, but it's a fleshed out, coherent story. Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead both were messes in the story department, basically moving from action scene to action scene. Here there is more time for characters to talk, interact. For any other director this movie would be a total disaster, but looking at Bolle's past video game adaptations I would have to say that he is improving in leaps and bounds. He's still not a great director, but he's getting better.
The usual problems come up though. The fight scenes are horribly edited, with some very bad film speed affects being thrown in. He needs to stop doing that, because he actually gets the fight angles right. He shoots from more of a distance, allowing the audience to see the action. Sadly the editing is so off, and some of the effects so distracting, that some decent action seems incoherent and choppy.
Over all, well, this movie is far from being good, but it does what it set out to do. It's actually about on par with the first Mortal Kombat movie. I am not a fan of the director by any means, but I have to say, I had no problem with this movie. I got a kick out of it. It has it's cheese value, and I knew that it would. If you go in expecting anything but pure cheese then you'll be disappointed. If you go in and plan to have a few laughs, crack a few jokes, and just enjoy the film, then you actually will have a good time with it. I know a lot of people are going to just breeze past this review, but I have to say, I have seen some REALLY bad movies, and this isn't one of them. It's got a decent plot, some good acting (and some REALLY bad acting), and it's got action.
I have a feeling that the Dungeon Siege movie will suck though. It's like... three fricking hours long! TO MUCH!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Walking into a screening of Boll's latest cinematic turd, I tried to
keep an open mind. Not an easy task, mind you; after the steaming piles
that were "Alone in the Dark" and "House of the Dead", not to mention
the trailer for the movie I was about to be subjected to, I had come to
associate Uwe Boll's name with everything I hate about Hollywood and
the trash they churn out on a weekly basis. Even then, I was
Deviating tremendously from the source "material" (which wasn't inspiring in and of itself), Bloodrayne follows cosplay-wannabe Rayne as she hunts down Ben Kingsley's "Kagan", lord of the vampires. Whereas I've been a fan of Kingsley since "Sneakers", but his performance in this film is about as intriguing as watching paint dry. Michael Madsen looks like he's about to yawn in almost every scene (probably bored to tears). Kristanna Loken, besides being grossly miscast, couldn't act her way out of a paper bag...someone save this girl, please! Only Michelle Rodriguez could be considered even tolerable, but her performance is nowhere even close to on par as it was in "Resident Evil".
Awkward dialogue, terrible camera work, poorly choreographed fight scenes (were they even choreographed at all?), sex for the sake of sex, and a plot so simple it seemed possible to screw up (and yet he did), Boll once again proves his directorial ineptitude. This guy couldn't direct traffic if he wanted to, as proved (once again) by this train wreck of a film.
After watching BloodRayne, I am thoroughly convinced Uwe Boll will
eventually make a good and entertaining movie (five years from now at
the very very least.) As Alone in the Dark was a step up from House of
the Dead, BloodRayne is a step up from Alone in the dark.
Unfortunately, before he gets there Boll will have to continue to trek
through the vast expanse of mediocrity one baby step at a time, and
there is far more entertainment from a shamelessly bad movie than a
merely mediocre one.
The opening credits take place over a nice little montage of paintings, then moves to a sunset in the mountains effectively establishing the mood in a surprisingly competent fashion. I found myself entertaining the idea, "You know, maybe just maybe Boll finally made a good movie." Then just like Alone in the Dark, the first actor opened his mouth and my hopes collapsed. I shook my head, sighed, then braced myself to endure another 80 minutes of performances downplayed to the point that they lack conviction. Vladimir (Michael Madsen), the seasoned vampire hunter and head of Brimstone, delivers his lines with a tone that implies he's been around and seen everything. As a free bonus, Madsen adds an additional quality: unenthusiastic boredom.
Kagun (Ben Kingsley) the old powerful vampire lord, having achieved demi-God status amongst mortals, spends most of his time sitting, standing, or walking. He takes action only in the ceremonial sense. Played to perfection by Kingsley who goes so far as to make his own appearance in the film seem equally ceremonial and equally inconsequential.
(Although one has to wonder if Kingsley and Madsen both went overboard in their performances, or if the editing pushed the performances over the threshold. Dwell on that for a moment, but don't answer.)
Domastir (Will Sanderson), Kaguns' henchman, forever has a crazed wide-eyed stare that lacked any sense of menace. It reminded me of that look pro wrestler gives during their pre-match smack talk rants (which I, try as I might, can't watch with a straight face) ,and from hence forth I saw Domastir as the little wrestler who couldn't.
As for Rayne, herself, Kristanna Loken does an admirable job of wanting to go somewhere with the role despite being trapped by a film that's lost. It knows where it wants to go, but doesn't know how to get there. She does what she can to explore the bloodlust and turmoil of vampirism (or dhampirism) even though the film she's starring in cares only enough to explore blood, blood, and more blood (a point hammered home by the final overly-long montage at the end.)
And then Billy Zane, Elrich, comes to the rescue. Zane salvages his role by going in the exact opposite direction as the rest of the cast. He opts for an approach reminiscent of his role in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, and gives two well timed blasts from the defibrillator to counter the rest of the film floating on tharzine.
More interesting, yet, is the scene with Elrich and Domastir face to face. When Domastir has a sword to Elrich's heart, staring as intently as ever like a crazed man obsessed with reading a name tag, Elrich pushes the lil' wrestler wanna-be's sword aside and dismisses the whole encounter like it was part of his Las Vegas illusionist's show where Domastir is hypnotized. Elrich and everyone in the audiences knows it's a joke, but Domastir remains clueless.
Gallons of gratuitous gore splatters the death sequences in direct answer to the growing number of PG13 films that should shoot for a hard R but sadly whore themselves to younger audiences. It's a nice thought, but it comes across as gore for the sole sake of gratuity to the point of goofiness. A direct contrast to BloodRayne's overly grounded ("grounded" as in six-feet under) performances. Yet another indication, that Billy Zane had the right idea.
Budgetary and time constraints show up in the choreography of the fights and battle scenes, and even more so in the editing of said scenes. The fights seem curiously rehearsed like a stage-dance, and the swords (practice weapons aside) have unusually thick edges. Fair game for criticism? Eh, in places, sure. No doubt, though, that Boll bashers will target anything and everything not up to Lord of the Rings standards.
In my Alone in the Dark review I mainly focused my criticism on Boll's parasitic dependency on better films for material in his own to the point that Alone in the Dark cannot stand on its own without Equilibrium, Evil Dead, and the Matrix. BloodRayne is like a baby's first step, reluctantly letting go and making an unstable effort to walk letting go of the blatant rip offs ("homages" on steroids) and finding its own style.
Uwe Boll's not there yet, but he's getting there one step at a time.
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