Review – Immortals

I saw this at a preview the other day. I’ve made an effort to get a brief review out as soon as possible. Here we go:

“Immortals” is kind of like “300”, Zack Snyder’s violent, epic geekfest of Greek mythology, except a lot less camp. The visionary Tarsem Singh calls the shots for the film which chronicles the life of Theseus, a burly Greek hero who has to prevent the evil King Hyperion from obtaining a weapon that can destroy humanity. From the first few scenes, it appears to work. Theseus (played by the upcoming Superman Henry Cavill) is introduced in a scene with John Hurt and one begins to anticipate his journey against evil. From there, however, the plot proceeds to go down in a never-ending spiral that not even Zeus can correct. Mickey Rourke is unimpressive as Hyperion; it’s easy to think that the casting director chose him solely on the grounds of his growly voice. Aside from the casting, the rest of the film is filled with copious amounts of violence and rather silly dialogue. A motivational speech to Theseus’ small army at the start of the final battle is weakly delivered while an unnecessary act of torture in the opening few minutes had every single male member of the audience squealing in discomfort. 

Despite its muddled plot, some of the fight sequences are very impressive and well-choreographed, especially towards the final few frames. Yet one has the feeling that it’s just already been done. It’s exhilarating to watch in the cinema but it’s impossible to praise the film for originality. You see elements of “300” throughout the film, such as frequent slow-motion and extended, gory battle scenes. Both films are overdone in terms of gore and style, “300” having some

Theseus aims the Epirus Bow…

kind of silly charm, “Immortals” being the more serious beast. Despite this, it’s better than some of the more recent big-budget fantasy films, even though its claims of “Epic 3D” on the advertising posters are deliriously misleading; not a single shot in the film had any indication of more than two dimensions.

Nevertheless, I was happy enough when I left the cinema. “Immortals” is nothing special and it won’t go down as the director’s best film but it’s entertaining enough for the average cinemagoer. I just wish they added a little more to that minotaur scene.

3 stars out of 5

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The Entertainment Media Show, October 2011

It's a queue of nerds!

Attending the Entertainment Media Show in Earls Court, London last saturday was an impulsive decision to vastly upgrade my nerd status. I didn’t regret it. Guests signing autographs and posing for photos included Arthur Darvill, Caitlin Blackwood, David Prowse, Edward Furlong, Evanna Lynch, Eve Myles and John Hurt, while there were an immense number of stalls selling all manner of strange collectibles. Up I got at 7.00am (my friend and I had bought early-entry tickets for 9.00am)  and ventured down to Kensington. I immediately got a numbered ticket for Edward Furlong as I wanted his signature and wandered aimlessly around the vast rows of stalls, which sold anything from original film posters to screen-used shield props to rare DVDs to actual samurai swords, while someone dressed as Bill Paxton bumped into me and I almost trod on Kenny Baker.

Er...

I stayed mostly wordless as Edward Furlong  signed my picture, mostly due to fear of meeting someone famous, but also because he looked generally ominous. He was nice enough, however, and alongside a badass signature still retained that slightly whiny Californian accent, albeit broken, that had annoyed so many in the extended cut of Terminator 2. I was delighted to have finally met him.

My friend offered to take pictures of me with anyone who I thought fit, and as there were quite a few in costume, I took up his offer. I actually ended meeting another celebrity, the “Entertainer-nator” who, despite his limited vocal ability, managed to get to the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent. “How strange”, I thought, as he complimented my t-shirt in a rather artificial yet hilarious Austrian accent.

The Entertainer-nator

The next thing I knew, Picard rolled along with two Vulcans. The seemingly enemy aliens seemed to be in a surprisingly colloquial situation with the Enterprise Captain.

Picard and two Vulcans

The next picture was taken directly after the thing hissed loudly causing a violent reaction on my part followed by a pathetic effort to retain dignity. You can see the fear on my face.

Alien

Darth Vader then force-choked me and held me in suspension for ten seconds while somebody else took the photo. Strangely enough, he released me afterwards and said “you’re welcome” when I thanked him for the photo.

Darth Vader

I also got an autograph from a man named Paul Blake who just happened to have played Greedo in the original Star Wars. Since he had no queue and was dressed in a more dignified fashion I felt more inclined to speak to him at greater length. He shared my enthusiasm for the famous scene and mentioned that it was shot on a boiling hot friday afternoon in perhaps fifteen minutes at either Elstree or Pinewood (he couldn’t remember which). He also strangely enough complimented my shirt and said that my signed picture could take “pride of place on my mantlepiece”. Which it has done.

There were also plenty of free talks to wander into which brought together all the actors from the same show/films as well as a few individual talks. There were about three Ewoks, an R2-D2 and Darth Vader sitting in the Star Wars talk who all somehow had a strange anecdote each about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Eve Myles made everyone burst into laughter at several points in her talk and Evanna lynch showed William Melling how to do her undeniably idiosyncratic dance from the first installment of the Deathly Hallows which was somewhat amusing yet quite strange. Lynch retained the same voice her character speaks in in the Harry Potter series, which added to the strangeness.

I'm not trying that...

The whole thing was an entirely new experience for me and was so vibrant and exciting that it has caused me to write this post with such speed that I am scarcely aware of what I am going to churn out next. I will, however, end by saying that when leaving Earls Court I was feeling smug as I had managed to steal part of the wrapper for Edward Furlong’s sandwich that he had bought on the day. I expect it will fetch around £3,750 on eBay, especially considering it consists of tuna mayonnaise with cucumber. A worthy find and an excellent end to an awesome day.

Tuna Mayo, eh?