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.
Monday, February 2, 2015
In the Name of the King 3: The Last Job (2014)
Last November Jamie was in the process of moving, and she needed to take a couple weeks off from the podcast. Because I didn't do a good job booking guests for those two weeks, I decided for one of them to go solo, and I picked this movie because it was the the third of three films, the first two of which I'd already covered, and I figured if Jamie hadn't done the previous two, my doing it solo would obviate her need to. For the previous two you can go here for part one, and here for part two.
In the Name of the King 3 is an Uwe Boll joint that doesn't seem to have much to do with the first two, except that like part 2, here we also have a modern day warrior (Dominic Purcell) zapped back into the past. This time he needs to fight for a kingdom that's been usurped by the king's brother after the king dies. Hamlet it certainly isn't, but the question is, will Purcell or won't Purcell save the day.
My bad joke aside, this wasn't the worst thing ever, though it doesn't bring anything remarkable to the table to make it any more than that. Part 1 had tons of stars, as it was big screen flick, and part 2 had Dolph, which almost always works. Dominic Purcell isn't horrible here, but he's that one notch below a Dolph, and a film like this that is otherwise unremarkable needs a Dolph in the lead. It had the classic Boll low-budget schlock, like the CGI dragon, and the medieval villages that are dotted with trails beaten down by automobile tires, and that kind of thing is fun, but overall this just kind of is what it is: something you could kill 90 minutes with or maybe pop on in a bout of insomnia at 2 AM or while procrastinating on a paper.
Let's look at Mr. Boll first. He's gotten quite a reputation, most of it deserved, but this effort felt more like an Albert Pyun situation, where maybe he had a better vision of something better he wanted to do, and whether it was time, budget, casting-- or all three-- he was left trying to make the best of things. I don't know either if he's setting this one up to do a fourth installment. The thing is, the second film was a solid DTV flick, with Dolph at the helm; this felt more like it was being made for the sake of being made, and with all the projects Boll has going, it doesn't seem right that he'd do something for the sake of doing it. And the visible car tire tracks in medieval Europe doesn't feel like Boll either. My guess, and maybe I'm way off here, is that he was under contract to deliver this, and he just wanted to get it over with. If so, it showed.
Purcell is an interesting casting choice as the lead in a film like this. When I see him I think of a legit baddie, and he seemed to work well as the assassin who did his last job. It's someone like Dolph that does well in the transition to the guy stuck in a time in the past who needs to get back to the future. For Purcell to do this well, he needs more character development and more overall work in the script, and a film of this scope just isn't able to do this. It made his casting seem like an afterthought or like he wasn't the first choice. Where Purcell would have worked better for me was as the assassin who tries to get out of the business and his employers won't let him, and then from there we go into the traditional actioner.
One thing I like about the medieval movie, is it can be done simply, especially now with the advancements in computer technology. Throw in that computer dragon, while everyone else is dressed like they came from the local Ren Fest. "Would you like to sample my wares?", then Purcell beheads him and says in a monotone "not today." Throw in some Dr. Seuss names for mythical objects, and you got yourself a movie. What I don't get is why we need to keep sending people from the current time back there? Just make Purcell either from the medieval time, or set the whole thing in the current.
Finally, I loved this scene here, where Purcell makes himself a coffee in the hotel after he kills his mark at the beginning of the film. The whole hotel thing definitely reminded me of things I hate in hotels though. First off, this coffee maker was much better than any I've seen in a hotel room. Also, as he's going from room to room, we see a TV remote on the dresser near the TV. Ugh! I hate the hotel TV remote! It almost never works, and all it does is steer you to the overpriced movie channel. Then you're pressing the off button and you get nothing. You gotta hit it like five times. I just leave the TV on 24 hours and say the hell with it.
Considering I'm doing a hotel TV remote rant, it's time to wrap this up. While this isn't horrible, it's not very remarkable either. As I said above, this feels like maybe Boll was just doing it to fulfill a contract. As far as my solo podcast, it was much better than the (as of now) unpublished Force of Execution one, but as always, the pods are much better with Jamie joining me on them. You can always check us out live every Wednesday from 8-9 EDT at www.mixlr.com/2nd-unit, and can download the podcasts after on the archive page here on the site; or on iTunes, just type in DTVC Podcast and subscribe.
For the In the Name of the King 3 episode, right click here and select "Save link as".
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2379386/