It’s been a while since my last Unwatched Pile of Shame-athon and with good reason, some of the titles I have promised myself I will watch are truly uninspiring. Every time I glance over at the pile of DVDs a cold shiver runs down my spine.
First up was Legion, Paul Bettany takes leave of his senses and stars in a low rent action thriller even Dolph and Jean Claude would have turned down.
For what it’s worth the ‘plot’ sees Bettany plays the archangel Michael who becomes the only hope for a group of mismatched strangers and mankind’s only hope against the apocalypse. Denis Quaid SKYPE’s his performance in and everybody else looks a bit embarrassed to be involved. Maybe Bettany’s involvement lead the cast to believe they were in a better film. Nothing very impressive happens for 90 entertainment free minutes.
Director Scott Stewart was also behind Paul Bettany’s other action dud, Priest which was even less enjoyable than Legion. Ultimately, Legion was not very good and didn’t even manage to be so bad it’s good, it was just so bad.
How do I follow a film like that?
Solomon Kane that’s how! Starring James Purefoy as the title character and based on the books by Robert E Howard. This low(ish) budget take on the pulp character is actually a ruddy good piece of entertainment. Kane is a haunted man (like all good heroes), desperate to redeem himself for a lifetime of crimes, he now lives a peaceful life and should he stray from the peaceful path he will be dammed to burn in hell.
After an encounter with a family who showed him kindness, Kane finds himself fighting for more than just his soul as he battles supernatural forces to save a kidnapped girl.
Purefoy is terrific as Kane, he always been a watchable actor who has annoyingly never made the transition to leading man. The special effects are pretty good, his accent is a bit uneven but it all adds up to a heap of entertainment that reminds us that fun isn’t a dirty word for a movie. Co-starring Max Von Sydow and the late Pete Postlethwaite, it might be a bit jumbled in places but it’s far better than Legion. Then again not much in this world could of been any worse, or could it?
The final choice in this unwatched pile trilogy was Skyline, as it was from the directors of Alien vs Predator Requiem, my expectations were very low. Whilst it’s difficult to understand how it took the creative minds of two men to make such an awful film, at least Skyline shows constancy in their work and manages to be worse than their debut. It was never going to be great but I was optimistic it could at least be watchable. It wasn’t, but I braved the 90 odd minutes and loathed nearly every frame.
Aliens invade earth, and the cliché-o-meter starts there. In fact there is nothing even vaguely original about the movie, I feel sorry for the solid cast involved as they are all better than this.
Featuring that guy from Scrubs (Donald Falson), that guy from 24 and Six Feet Under (Eric Balfour) and that guy from Dexter (David Zayas), it was a chore to get through and the sorry mess is executive produced by Brett Ratner.
There is a worrying theme with many of the titles in the unwatched pile, clearly I have a soft spot for awful looking films. To date I have only really enjoyed 3 or 4 films out of around 12, but then with films like Skyline and Legion what was I expecting?
I don’t like to be so cruel towards any film, as I know first hand just how hard it is to get even a small amount of money together to make it. However, it really gets my back up that toss like Skyline and Legion get made at all, when better films out there are desperately trying to get made. Both films might be low budget by the blockbusters standards. but that’s still tens of millions being wasted on these substandard projects.
Solomon Kane is the clear winner of this bout, it’s an entertaining and watchable piece of hokum that does the job. Sadly, I am not even half way through the unwatched pile of shame yet.
Wish me luck.Pin It