The Direct to Video Connoisseur
I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.
Friday, December 30, 2011
In the Name of the King: Two Worlds (2011)
Those who follow us on the DTVC Facebook page (which you can do by either clicking on that link or hitting the Like button to your left) already know the story of why I didn't get this movie at the beginning of the week when it first came out. I'd planned on pre-ordering it from Amazon, but lost track of time (as has happened with a lot of other things this holiday season), and ended up ordering it on the day it came out, meaning I had to wait a few days for it to get here. But it did, so better late than never on a new Dolph flick.
In the Name of the King: Two Worlds is an Uwe Boll film starring DTVC Hall of Famer Dolph Lundgren as a dude from the current who is brought back to the past to fulfill an ancient prophesy. That prophesy: kill a sorceress of the black arts that threatens Lochlyn Munro's kingdom. But is everyone whom they appear to be? Is everyone telling the truth? As always, we know we can count on Dolph to be the hero.
I had a lot of fun with this. Dolph was great: funny, kick ass, larger than life. Uwe Boll got that and he played to that strength. He also didn't get carried away with too much backstory, and when he needed the plot exposition, it was quick and to the point, and buttressed by enough action on either end. Then you had Munro as the king, Natassia Malthe as the doctor/love interest, and a great CGI dragon. I'm not saying this is perfect, but it's a lot of fun and worth checking out.
Our last couple Dolph flicks haven't quite been to the level we expect from them. The Expendables was great, but then The Killing Machine was one that didn't work, and Universal Soldier: Regeneration was a major Dolph bait-and-switch. It was nice to just get back to Dolph kicking ass, cracking jokes, and taking names. He has a whole mess of new projects listed on imdb, so at 54 he shows no signs of slowing down yet, and based on this one, I can't wait to see what's next. Dolph Lundgren: we don't call him the Babe Ruth of DTV for nothing.
This is our fifth Uwe Boll flick, and of the five, the last time I had as much fun as I did in this one was in the first In the Name of the King movie, which I reviewed back when I did Wild Card/Box Office Bomb posts. That one, though, was way too long (2 and 1/2 hours), while this one fit in nicely into a 90 minute package, with no wasted time. The guy gets a lot of stick (as do a lot of directors who feature in DTV films-- look at how some people discuss Albert Pyun too), and while it may or may not be deserved, I got a chance to listen to some of the commentary track that came on the DVD, and, if anything, the guy is sincere about movie making. Am I going to go easy on him if I don't enjoy the next one of his I check out? No, but he's earned himself some goodwill on this one here.
Natassia Malthe was great here too, showing that the material in Bloodrayne: Deliverance and Bloodrayne: The Third Reich let her down, and that with the right stuff she's plenty capable of doing well. More importantly, this film was big for Swedish/Norwegian relations, which I think is really important. It's time those feuding nations buried the hatchet, and it was nice that Boll cast Dolph and Malthe in his movie, and that they were able to set a positive example for their countrymen. If we can get the Swedish and the Norwegians back on speaking terms, all the other dominoes with follow: Pakistan and India, China and Taiwan, Israel and everyone else in the Middle East-- okay, maybe I'm getting carried away, Sweden and Norway is a good start.
In the past we've looked at Uwe Boll and his use of a German tax shelter that allowed him to write off 100% of the costs of his movie, plus all of the money he borrowed to make it, meaning he could blow $60 million bucks to make In the Name of the King and recoup his losses. He no longer has that ability, but he still has the good ol' Canadian film and video tax credit. I'd never realized it before, but the good people of Canada, through the generosity of their tax dollars, have given me a ton of great movies. Hell, we wouldn't even have a site here if it wasn't for them. It's time I recognized you, the Canadian tax payer, for all you've done to make mine, and many other people's lives, that much better. Thank you.
I got this new on DVD from Amazon, but if you don't want to buy it, all the other avenues are available to you: Red Box, Netflix, etc. If you're a Dolph fan or an Uwe Boll fan or just a fun B movie fan, this is worth your time and money. I'd give it a look.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1767319/