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|Index||13 reviews in total|
I didn't think SciFi Channel could broadcast a worse myth-&-monster
movie than MINOTAUR. I was wrong.
It's okay to make a movie on the cheap; not everyone has access to a big budget, and amazing things can be done with a little imagination and talent. But there's very little of those commodities here. Acting is at a high school level. Direction is worse. Dialogue is trite. Scenes lurch from one dull monster attack to another, with occasional babe (er, goddess) interludes to break the monotony. The goddesses look and sound as it they're reading cue cards at a second-rate beauty contest.
Why must the makers of such movies mess with Greek myth, about which they clearly know (and care) nothing? Here, Homer the tale-teller appears as part of Odysseus's crew. That's an okay idea. Except this Homer (played by the worst actor of the lot, which is saying something) scribbles notes (with a feather quill!) and fawns over the heroes like an embedded reporter in Iraq. Legend tells us that Homer was blind, and recited his stories from memory. There is great power in that idea, a hearkening back to a prehistoric, preliterate age of traveling bards and oral tradition.
A magical movie could be made about Odysseus, and Homer, but this is not it.
A decent enough film, certainly not good but not really bad.
The acting is patchy. Vosloo is quite good as Obysseus, Bourne and Antonakos are OK in their roles but Edwards is terrible as Homer, not so much his performance as the fact that while the other characters are talking in a old style Homer speaks like a modern person and this jars every time he talks and finally Gibson is awful, completely wooden, but thankfully she isn't in it long.
The story is simple with good guys and bad guys and we are in no real doubt about which is which. It is an old fashioned fantasy film with OK effects although the action sequences are a bit poor.
Its a cheap film with a simple script and a decent pace.
The mixture of modern and old speech patterns is annoying and the cheesy extra bit at the end is also annoying but it'll kill a bit of time painlessly.
A funny thing happened on the way to Ithaca...Odysseus went off course and inadvertently discovered the origin of vampires. Not as bad as it sounds, the story is grounded in Greek myth but reconstitutes Persephone as an evil lamia with vampiric children from Hades who lures the wily Greek and his crew for aid in her plot to conquer mortals. The concept is a good one, however poorly written and executed. Despite a lagging pace and the irritating presence of a post-adolescent poet Homer, the film looks good with imposing Arnold Vosloo and the rest of the crew looking pretty much like Homeric heroes, rather than the scroungy leather trouser-wearing biker rejects that seem to be so lamentably much in vogue in BC epics these days. Unfortunately, the two best actors of the crew get killed off, one rather too soon. Mercifully, viewers are also spared the annoying, wailing nonsensical Celtic and/or Moroccan women posing as soundtracks and incidental music score which is also far too prevalent in productions of this kind. However, in the interior cave sequence I did detect very subtly a chorus in the background singing "Agnus dei", a total non sequitur. With a better script, a better use of the actors on hand, and a brisker pace this would have been a winner. It's always a pleasure to see Mr. Vosloo, and he can't be faulted in his rendering of Odysseus.
I've come not to expect much from any SyFy "original" movie. This particular one, though, plumbs new depths of bad writing, atrocious plotting, mediocre-to-bad acting and weak execution. It hijacked names from Greek mythology and applied them to the movie's two-dimensional characters in an attempt, I suppose, to give them some apparent depth, and then to compound the theft shamelessly grabbed some material from Christianity and Bram Stoker, and THEN, not content with making a complete mess of things, swiped an ending right out of any one of the "Halloween" movies. It was flat, predictable and never more than minimally interesting.
I stumbled upon this fantasy film by accident and didn't really expect
much from it, even though it stars the Mummy legend, Arnold Vosloo, who
made an excellent Darkman 2. I was pleasantly surprised.
The premise, about Greek hero Odysseus encountering vampires on a lost island, sounds absurd. The special effects budget was clearly small and there are some scenes when you have to imagine what the heroes are fighting since the camera doesn't show it. However, the whole thing is saved by two factors. Firstly, the writers knew what they were doing. They were obviously familiar with Homer's classic epic, with the protagonist's strengths and weaknesses, and with how people talked and behaved in those mythological times. This helps makes the whole thing plausible. They also didn't waste time on unnecessary plot detours. Further, the story is actually well-crafted and every scene is actually relevant.
Secondly, the cast perform very well. Vosloo, as ever, is charismatic, and delivers his dialogue excellently. Randal Edwards makes a believable Homer and JR Bourne is a courageous Perimedes. All this without any irritating side kicks or distracting contemporary styles of speech.
If you're expecting a modern-day horror film, you'll be disappointed. But if you watch this with some cynicism, if you're familiar with Homer's Odyssey and enjoy a different slant on the vampire myth, this is a perfect Saturday afternoon movie, which may leave you with some interesting thoughts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie kicks off with a lot of promise, and when I first came across it, I thought hooray another Homeric epic. The cast look good, at first, very Homeric, ironically only Homer looks out of place, more suited perhaps for a high school American pie movie, than a Greek epic. What is more annoying is how much he sucks up so much to the heroes, who don't do anything that heroic anyway. The movie totally lacks in pace and fails to live up to its initial promise. You sit through the movie waiting for the monsters to attack, but when they do they are a bunch of poor special effects. Clearly, the spending on special effects was really kept at a minimal. And the dialogue...don't even get me started. Who wrote that stupid script, at some point the dialogue gets so poor, you would think each character is reciting a nursery rhyme. And just who brought the idea of vampires in a Homeric story? For me, the movie just has nothing going on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know why they bothered to call this a story of Odysseus. I'm no
purist. Homer and the rest of them must have forgotten a lot and
improvised some of the stuff along the way -- but why make a fictional
story of some guy trying to get home and build a house of fictional
cards of it?
Oh, it's very -- modern. The color is desaturated, the special visual effects gloomy, the gore sloppy, the screams of the dying hellish. But when did Odysseus decide to defy Zeus instead of Poseidon? And what's Persephone doing as his companion? And why do they have to descend into the volcano? And why is the fiery cross sacred?
You know what's happening? Bit by bit, frame by frame, these shameful productions are retrogressing fifty or more years to the days of the uncomplicated musclemen in the sand and sandal epics of the 1950s -- dubbed in Italian and shot at Cinecitta. It no longer matters what the story is about, as long as there is a lot of swordplay and, now that we have the technology for it, men changing into monsters and the other way around. Call the hero Odysseus if you want. Or Hercules or Perseus or Romulus or Uncle Remus. It no longer matters.
I was only able to watch twenty minutes or so of this travesty. If this represents the future of cinema, I think it's way past time to apologize to Poseidon and get this horrifying journey over with.
It's neither good nor bad, amateurish acting, poor direction with compentent special f/x,weak script/dialogue. Many movies lately just can't seem to get the language of a time period right without adding ridiculous modern dialogue clichés, slangs and what not. I kept waiting for one of them to pull out a cellphone because most the performances were phoned in, for me the beginning was the worse stupid twinkling lights in the background of scenes of them on the ship while long shots with harpies flying over head were of a cloudy twilight sky, so where did the twinkling stars come from....this is just pointing out one of many flaws and of course this ship was filmed in a studio with no water at all, I'm sure of it. If you're a fan of sword and sandal sci-fi adventure with sorcery and magic it only barely acts as an apetizer, a lightly flavored one at that, leaving you wanting terribly that you had The Odyssey starring Armande Assante in your DVD collection because watching all the hours of a rerun would be more satisfying than watching 90 minutes once you remove commercials of this drivel. I had tivo'd and fortunately was able to fastforward some simply painful dialogue moments in order to watch the special f/x. One thing to keep in mind few things shown as Sci-Fi Channel orginals they are really just productions from foreign markets like Canada, BBC, Germany or worse some reckless direct to video producer. Voslo does what he can but with this material its a wasted effort.
Truth be told, then I had no particular expectations to this movie. And
I will say that the movie is entertaining enough, but it could have
The story is a fairly common one; Odysseus sailing for Ithica and finding the Isle of Mist along the way. Yadda, yadda, yadda... Fairly average storyline with nothing overly impressive or new here.
As a movie of this type, trying to tell an epic tale of ancient history, the movie doesn't really manage to punch through and make a lasting mark or statement. It sort of never rises beyond mediocrity, which was a shame.
The effects in the movie were adequate, well most of them at least. The creatures were hilariously fake to look at. They looked like horribly fake rendered CGI rejects. Had the special effects team worked harder on this, the movie could have been more enjoyable. It is sort of difficult to take something serious when it looks like something that came out of an early 1990's PC game, back when 3D graphics were still an eyesore.
I will say that the props and wardrobe people actually did a great job in the movie, because the costumes and garments were really nice to look at; great details and it did seem valid enough.
Acting-wise, then the movie wasn't all that noticeable. Perhaps because the characters were fairly mundane and generic, not really displaying much personality of difference from one another. It should be said that Arnold Vosloo (playing Odyesseus), Randal Edwards (playing Homer) and Stefanie von Pfetten (playing Persephone) were actually doing their part to carry the movie nicely.
If you enjoy classic tales of this genre, then there are other movies that deal with the same tale and subject that does it better than this one. I am sure that if you are a hardcore fan of ancient history and legends, then you will find some enjoyment and amusement in this movie. For us who just want to watch it for the entertainment of a movie, then "Odyesseus & the Isle of Mists" turns out to be fairly mediocre and it is not the type of movie that is likely to be on the watch-list a second time around.
I really wanted to like this film. I truly did. The cast seemed
excellent (although the inclusion of "Homer" should have told me all I
needed to know about the script). Sadly, the best looking men on screen
could not save this one.
The language is always a problem, and I realize that it is hard to decide between going for pure period speech or making it all modern. I prefer the former with some latitude for comprehensibility, but too many writers today don't even realize how people spoke in times past, so the occasional slip into a modern cliché is just glaring.
So as long as you don't pay any money for it and put your brain in neutral you'll get through it fine. Chant the mantra: entertainment value.
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