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The Lamp-post It returns, the general topic forum, combining the general discussion threads from Tumnus, International and Wood between the worlds.

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Old 10-09-2017, 09:59 PM
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:03 PM
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Battle for Sevastopol. A piece of history I hadn't known about.
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Old 10-15-2017, 05:52 PM
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Lev (NOT "Leo") Tolstoy was at Sevastopol when the British and French besieged it. His written account of the siege, though published decades before the advent of motion pictures, has a remarkably _cinematic_ feel to it.

But moving on to what _I've_ seen:

It has often dismayed me that Christian-directed Christian-audience films are _very_ often trash in the artistic sense. Good intentions, even _sometimes_ a good message, but no skill in the execution. Lately, however, a secular DVD which I bought and watched giveth me great reassurance.... because it showeth me that even the most amateurish Christian moviemaker could not _possibly_ produce a movie as _dumb_ as the Lionsgate release "Tales of an Ancient Empire."

Thirty-six years ago, director Albert Pyun released the fantasy-action picture "The Sword and the Sorceror," starring the otherwise-TV actor Lee Horsley. Mister Horsley was nostalgically given a walk-on role by Mister Pyun for the 2008 "Ancient Empire" movie, and probably was privately glad that he _wasn't_ given a larger part. Kevin Sorbo, nominally the first-billed cast member of the new film, got barely ten minutes on screen, and had almost no action to do in those minutes. "Ancient Empire" featured a legion of vampires, but the former Hercules only managed to slay one vampire in the whole story. Still, Mister Sorbo doubtless was grateful for any star-billed employment, since he had finished the run of "Andromeda" and had not yet obtained his gig in the better-made "Mythica." And the ten-minute limit makes him virtually blameless for the shoddiness of this production.

My mind simply is boggled by just _how_ bad "Tales of an Ancient Empire" is. Some artwork that is prominently featured suggests to me that the script may have been derived from a graphic novel or series thereof. Any such comicbook work may have been done coherently; the movie, however, is nothing but a rambling patchwork mess of scenes which make hardly any sense. This lack of comprehensibility was partly due to staggering, wavering, blurry camera work-- which was especially evident when Michael Pare (who was absent from the middle of the movie, yet who carried more of the overall story than Mister Sorbo did) was supposed to be doing a death scene, but it was impossible to tell _how_ he came to be mortally wounded.

Moreover, there are gaps in both action and exposition, so bad that it seems
as if they changed directors three or four times as they went. I've mentioned that Kevin Sorbo slew a vampire in "Ancient Empire;" actually, he wasn't even _seen_ doing this, there was only a narrator _saying_ that his character did it-- by a lucky hit. Now, I enjoy watching most things Mister Sorbo does; I smiled when he slipped in one "Andromeda" reference by saying, "It's never easy." But this movie never even allowed him to *BE* Kevin Sorbo, just a dorky slob. He can at least put this on his resume as acting way _outside_ his character type.

The one bright spot for me (besides the Dylan Hunt quotation mentioned above) was that "Tales of an Ancient Empire" featured no fewer than thirteen strikingly beautiful women. My favorite of these was a blonde named Sarah Ann Schultz, whose face reminded me somewhat of Teri Garr in her prime. Miss Schultz was also a more expressive actress than most of the other women, beautiful or otherwise. But this isn't saying much; acting by both sexes was downright comatose at times.

Sheer humanity forbids me to inflict this pathetic movie on anyone else. It goes in the trash-- which is _not_ home to any of the other Kevin Sorbo material I possess on video. In the DVD's cast interviews, one of the supporting male actors (I believe his name was Sasha Mitchell) remarked that in fantasy movies "there are no rules."

Right. Mister Pyun certainly _didn't_ observe any rules involving consistency, logic or clarity in a film plot.

Last edited by Copperfox; 10-15-2017 at 06:11 PM.
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