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In bygone days people used to read cheap magazines printed on cheap
pulp paper. These were full of stories which, if not particularly
literary, were full of action, color and plot. Later these moved to the
movie serials and B movies, whence they were lifted, in the 1970s and
1980s, as the inspiration for movies like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK,
ROMANCING THE STONE and STAR WARS. This TV movie, third in the series,
is in that vein.
CURSE OF THE OF JUDAS CHALICE is no ground-breaking movie, but it is enormous fun, with a script full of hip, self-aware humor -- Noah Wyle explains the key plot points as he goes along, and is twitted for always speaking in complete paragraphs -- action and a sexy vampiress. There is nothing in this that is original -- I could do a little digging and produce a list of where the key plot points and shots were lifted from -- but it is done with such good humor, that the viewer will have few, if any complaints about the result.
My sole complaint is that Bob Newhart is not on screen long enough with his deadpan delivery. You can't do much better for a dull afternoon's time-waster.
As I recall, Spielberg created "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with the idea
of recreating "Saturday afternoon" movies with a little something for
everyone--humor, high-stakes, scary moments, spectacle.
"The Librarian" series has the same aim and hits it well, so you're guaranteed sheer mindless entertainment. Noah Wylie's geeky "Librarian" keeps saving the day with lots of knowledge and few social graces, generally making a fool of himself along the way. Bob Newhart and Jane Curtain are such steady pros, they make you laugh without appearing to try. There's a well-cast requisite gorgeous girl in each show, and thankfully these female characters can hold their own and do as much rescuing as being rescued. Plus, it's nice to see a series that shows the value of knowledge and learning, even if Flynn has taken that idea a bit far. Geeks and friends of geeks will see much that hits home.
The special effects are good rather than great, but they work just fine. This series doesn't have the massive special effects budget that most blockbuster movies have. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, since many big-budget movies overuse special effects to substitute for plot and character, without making the movie or the effects more interesting.
I enjoyed Librarian #3 "Curse of the Judas Chalice" probably even more than the prior 2 in the series. I loved the New Orleans setting, the female lead Stana Katic, plus this time they left out Flynn's mother (a not well written character). Watch the movies in sequence if you can. I'm recommending the series to several friends, and I'm looking forward to seeing more!
How I love these movies! Sure, there is nothing groundbreaking or
revolutionary about them, but the combination of humor (Jane Curtain,
Bob Newhart,) Good direction (jonathan Frakes,) and a good solid lead
(Noah Wyle,) just makes for enjoyable television. One of the most
wonderful things about the series is that it doesn't presume the lowest
common denominator on the part of the audience's intellect. It seems to
be a series full of historic references that are designed to be aimed
at people who can appreciate them.
I very much enjoy the whole setup to the characters themselves. They are each given delightful backstorys that are fun as well as convincing. I have seen this compared to the Indiana Jones movies. While I agree with that in concept, I think there is a certain playfulness in these movies that the more serious...and far more expensive...Indian Jones films lack. My only regret is that these movies only come out every couple of years. I think that it would be great if this were turned into a regular series...or at least a few of them each year. These movies, to me, make up for the wasteland that is most of "normal" television programming.
Flynn is burned out and takes some time off in New Orleans. He's not there an hour before he's caught up in a bizarre plot by an ex-KGB agent to revive Dracula (yes, Dracula) and raise an army of the undead. To do so, the agent needs to find a chalice made from the 30 pieces of silver given to Judas, hence the Judas Chalice. Along the way, Flynn meets a sexy singer who ably aids him in his battle with the Russian. Noah Wylie's Flynn is much more assured than in his first two outings, but he's still somewhat naive. Jane Curtin and Bob Newhart are back as Flynn's bosses at the magical library, and Curtin's role has been beefed up a bit. In fact, it is she who suggests the vacation. Bruce Davison has a meaty role as a befuddled scientist pressed into service by the Russian. A recent Bond girl, the very lovely Stana Katic, plays Flynn's exotic, ass-kicking love interest. In fact, the movie starts off with a James Bond gag and there are nods to (some might even say swipes from) other movies, including HARRY POTTER, Dracula 2000, BLADE and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. This special effects. photography and music are all first rate, and the jokes come just often enough. And wait until you see the revived Dracula. You may be surprised. Because of the nature of the plot -- the undead and bloodsucking -- I'd say keep the little ones away.
This third installment in the popular ¨The Librarian¨ franchise (1ª:
Quest of the spear-2004- by Peter Winther and 2ª: Return to King
Salomon's mines-2006- by Jonathan Frakes) starts with our intimate
friend Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), he must encounter the ancient Judas
chalice , a silver cup obtained by Judas Iscariote with the thirty
coins after selling Jesuschrist . Meanwhile , Flynn is having problems
, he just doesn't time for his life and relationship . Watching his
young protégé is starting to burn out , Judson (Bob Newhart) gives
Carsen some well deserved holidays . He goes to Bayou New Orleans , the
Big easy , he enters a night club where sees a wonderful singer named
Simone Renoir (Stana Katic). She identifies as Librarian and asks him
for his help . An old scroll once belonging to Vlad Dracul -the famous
and four hundred years old vampire- has been robbed from a museum by a
Russian band commanded by an ex KGB agent and is rumored that the Judas
chalice has the power to bring Prince of Romania back to life . The
incredible adventures led them to a vessel where find the remains of
the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte .
The mild-mannered as well as bungler Flynn Carsen strikes again with new adventures set on exotic places . The intrepid adventurer/librarian/explorer , though quite botcher gets his aims after several risks , dangers and uncountable adventures . Flyn is assigned various missions around the world and recover priceless objects guarded into the Metropolitan Library of New York where are the ark of Noe , the fountain of youth , Excalibur or Arturo's blade... Along with Noah Wyle appear the usual secondaries , as a deadpan Bob Newhart , Jane Curtin and Bruce Davison as professor Lazlo , though this time isn't the sympathetic Olympia Dukakis habitually playing as the Flyn's mother . The film was well produced for TV by Dean Devlin (¨Stargate¨ , ¨Godzilla¨ , ¨Independence day¨) in partnership with TNT and compellingly directed by Jonathan Frakes . He's the famous commandant Riker , and an expert director on Sci-Fi genre , as ¨Clockstoppers¨ , ¨ThunderBirds¨ and television episodes : ¨Star Trek¨ , ¨Masters of Sci-Fi¨ , ¨Roswell¨ ,¨ Twlight zone¨. Rating : Acceptable and passable, this exciting adventure has all the imagination , magic and silliness this kind of amusing demands .
Well I've enjoyed the other two parts of the movie , and I had high expectations for this one too. I wasn't wrong. If you want a funny adventure movie, filled with action and thrills this isn't a bad choice. It's a great one. Although I wouldn't let someone under 12 watching it, especially if it will be played at night. Some vampire scenes ( a few I have to say) will make your heart go faster. The plot of the movie is well constructed and it is light and refreshing. A young librarian who saves the world and fights vampires and former KGB agents ,just in time to rescue ( or in this case, be rescued by) the gorgeous maiden in distress. What can you want more for a Friday or Saturday evening movie ? I have to admit, there are some history issues, easter European medieval history ( I'm from Romania and I do know my history) but this will only make the movie interesting to watch. It will bring a new perspective over some boring stuff. To sum it up ... Go and rent this movie. It will be fun. How often do you see the nerd getting the gorgeous gall ?
The directing/writing team of Jonathan Frakes and Marco Schnabel are
back for another movie in the series.
They open with a James Bond tribute. Our little nerd (Noah Wylie) has certainly come a long way. He is no longer a nerd, and has developed an amazing capability with a sword as displayed in a fight with an ex-KGB agent (Dikran Tulaine), who wants to restore Russia to its former glory.
His plan is to restore none other than Dracula, who will lead an army of vampires. With the success of "True Blood" and Twilight, a vampire story is expected, and it really made things exciting. Our villain has the body of Vlad the Impaler, and now all he needs in the chalice made out of the 30 pieces of silver given to Judas (The first I have heard of that!) But, Flynn Carsen (Wylie) is burned out. It is up to Jane Curtin, in a much meatier role, to get him started. But it is a dream sequence with Croation Stana Katic (Quantum of Solace) that gets him moving. What? No English heroine? Not appropriate in a movie involving vampires, you see.
With vampires, the movie is a bit more exciting and the special effects are ramped up. It is set in new Orleans and that is always a plus for the atmosphere and the music.
Oscar nominee Bruce Davison (Longtime Companion, Short Cuts) gives an impressive performance.
We get the expected ending, and are left wondering if this franchise has burned itself out, or if we will see our hero again two years from now.
I enjoyed the 2nd installment of this series better than the original
movie (and I enjoyed the original a lot!), but I believe that they've
improved yet again with the 3rd installment in the series.
"Curse of the Judas Chalice" had the same light hearted and comic view of Indianna Jones style adventure, but I found the plot to be deeper and more surprising. This series has a surprising character turn as part of its 'formula' in each installment. This time the surprise was two-fold. Although I saw one of them coming well in advance, the other one got me.
These movies are ideal family fare ... amusing and entertaining for adults without including content inappropriate for even young children. Such movies are hard to find these days, but the Librarian series pulls it off solidly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Judas Chalice" has many plot-twists: to see a detailed (and
accurate) synopsis, click on that title on the title-page.
Jonathan Frakes has come-down from whatever trip he was on for "King Solomon's Mines" and directed a good film, scripted by Marco Schnabel. As Wyle produced "King" with these two guys, I guess they're going to be the team for future serials. I thought this movie was very good, but thought it lacked the "nerd" characteristic of the first two films. There is one scene with "Judson" (Bob Newhart) and "Charlene" (Jane Curtain) in which he relapses and jumps up-and-down to protest his being sent on another "trip".....he hasn't had any loving in a long time. He is told to "pretend you are a celibate monk," but "Noah" has taken to "Mom's" (Dukakis) idea of getting all he can. AND, he's horny. Oh, well - I guess Wyle wants to become a movie-star, as he was a star on "ER". In a dream-sequence, he sees a gorgeous lady beckoning him. He doesn't know how important that dream is till much later in the film.
I am from New Orleans (where the plot is set) and watched it mainly for that reason, plus wanting to see just what "the chalice" is all about. As it is widely believed it was made of the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas Iscarot, paid to betray Jesus, I was interested. I'm glad it caught me.....
One of the many scenes in "Chalice" provides the plot: high-echelon Russians are out to revive "Count Dracula", in order to put-together an army of vampires which can't be defeated, to return Russia to its greatness. My opinion is, that would be just a little insulting, causing Russia to dislike us more. The Russians DO find a mysteriously spooky crypt in Romania and transport it to New Orleans, which used to be a French colony. A factual priestess of Voodoo - Marie le Veux - IS buried in The St. Louis Cemetery, whose crypt is regularly worshiped by the occult.
"Flynn" (Noah Wyle) is sent to an auction to obtain (by hook-or-crook) a Ming vessel - which, through unintended dialog, he discovers he has bid a million lbs.....much more than the vessel is worth, EXCEPT it has something inside that is much more valuable. He drops the vessel to destroy it, and walks away with the artifact.
Another scene shows how "Simone" (who is the lady in his dream) has been attacked by Dracula (four hundred years ago) and is now a vampire. "Flynn" finds her in a nightclub which once was a church - the fabled "St. Louis Cathedral". I found that to be distasteful. Another scene shows "Prof. Lazlo" giving a lecture on the occult; he eventually is captured by the Russians. At any rate, all the Russians and Lazlo wind-up in New Orleans, just about the time that "Flynn" and "Simone" have a hot love-scene. Just after this jump in the hay, "Flynn" learns that "Simone" is a vampire, but has come through it without being attacked. She has a fridge full of blood, so she's not really into biting people, although we do see a scene with fangs, etc.
The famous French Quarter is shown supposedly during Mardi-Gras, the uninhibited celebration the day before Lent, but not nearly wild enough. All of the characters wind-up in a run-down house on the outskirts of the city (actually filmed in Louisiana), and it is revealed that "Lazlo" is the REAL Dracula, and gets possession of "the chalice", and wants to destroy everyone. He is not desirous of helping the Russians, because he's already a legend. Much fighting between "Lazlo" and "Simone" to protect "Flynn", who wanders outside of the house, looking for a spike to do-in Dracula. He does - and he and "Simone" are united, "Flynn" asking her to watch a sunrise. Well, you can guess that she sacrifices herself for her love of "Flynn". She melts in a flurry of lights.
I think I've told more of the plot of this movie than any other I've reviewed. I suppose it's because I'm from New Orleans, and have an interest in anything concerning Jesus. All that aside, I DID see (again) the townhouse I once lived-in on the corner of St. Louis and Dauphine Streets....never miss it when The Quarter is shown.
This most recent of "The Librarian" series is very professionally made and perhaps portends that more episodes are in the future. Hope so - it really is a very good movie, with everyone in the cast and crew producing an excellent, entertaining film. Cinematography is great - every scene is very convincing. This may be the last of the "nerd" - but, it's the beginning of a series that TV missed. Bravo !
I just wonder WHERE do they store all those "artifacts" when "the library" is changed ?......
Just forget that this is a Made-for-Cable (TNT) movie, THE LIBRARIAN:
THE CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE is such a well made Film, with a fun
pulp story with great acting and decent visual effects, it easily
rivals theatrical releases.
Noah Wyle is back as Flynn Carson, The geeky Historian/Adventurer - this time around after retrieving the philosophical stone at an auction house in London and getting dumped by his Girlfriend in the process, Judson (Bob Newhart) and Charlene (Jane Curtin) decide that Flynn needs a Holiday, especially after his meltdown at the Library, so Flynn travels to New Orleans for a break away from his work as 'The Librarian'
His Holiday doesn't last for very long as an incredibly sexy & mysterious woman Simone Renoir (the gorgeous Stana Katic 'Castle') A guardian to a key which gives clues to finding the Judas Chalice (An artifact capable of resurrecting vampires) needs Flynn's help, because a former Russian defence minister is after the Chalice himself so that he can resurrect Vlad the Vampire along with the forced assistance of Professor Lazlo, an acclaimed Historian who they kidnap (Bruce Davidson).
The Direction by Jonathan Frakes is first class, The acting by all is solid - Wyle,Newhart and Curtin give very likable performances as always and Stana Katic is such a mesmerizing beauty. The Visual effects (considering this is a TNT Movie) are outstanding.
THE LIBRARIAN: CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE is just such an entertaining Film from start to finish - I have thoroughly enjoyed all 3 'Librarian' movies - They are the most superior quality of TVMs that I have ever seen, and would love to see another!
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