Ah, Dungeons and Dragons. Many of you have at least heard of this game. Some of you have even played it. For hours. Or days. Or months. Without eating or sleeping at times. But who’s counting. Anyway, once upon a time, a movie studio decided to make the game into a movie. But something went very, very wrong, for yea, this movie did suck. And suck mightily.
But in a delightfully funny way, if you are easily amused as I am. Once again we’re dealing with a story that takes itself quite seriously, and thus looks even more ridiculous than it would if it were a straight up parody. The film stars Jeremy Irons. No, I’m not kidding. I’m not sure how they got Jeremy to act in this pile of cinematic poop, but I can only guess the kidnapping of close family members was involved. The film also stars a Wayans brother, so, well, just “be prepared” as Scar would say. Right, Jeremy? Stop crying.
Okay, so we start the movie in a bunch of fog. It won’t get any clearer than this. A dramatic voiceover tells us that this kingdom is ruled by mages who have magic who are meanies to the peasants who don’t have magic. Also there’s this child empress who is nothing AT ALL like the one in that Neverending Story or Star Wars, cause this is totally original stuff, you guyz. Oh, and there’s a bad guy, the evil mage – this is where Jeremy comes in – named Profion. Even his name makes me giggle.
The fog clears and we get overly dramatic music as the camera zooms us around the computer animated castle. Don’t worry if you don’t get a good glimpse here, they will show it to you again. And again. And AGAIN. Anyway, we open in a dungeon with a bunch of guys slaving at . . . something. A circular doohickey like you might find on an an office desk next to the Newton’s cradle. Whatever the thing is, it must be heavy to pull, or push, or whatever they’re doing to it. Then in comes Jeremy, flapping his cape with dramatic flourish. I nearly fall to the ground laughing.
He takes a wand out of the circular doohickey, and man is he happy with that wand. He releases a dragon, so three minutes in and we’ve had a dungeon and a dragon. Let’s go home. Wait, no? Oh, fine. Jeremy hams it up some more (I think that’s what his script says. Ham. More ham. Please more ham. Gooood.) Jeremy tries to control the dragon, but no good, so he drops the gate on him just like in Star Wars oh wait.
So the blood (which looks nothing like paint) flows into the river and turns into fire blah blah and then we see our, uh, heroes. The Wayans guy and Skippy the thief. Oh, sorry, Snails and Ripley. Yeah, I know, I prefer Wayans and Skippy myself. Snails has all the appeal of Jar Jar from Star Wars – in other words, you want to kill him immediately. I get that he’s the “comedy relief” but he’s neither funny (not intentionally) nor relief.
Well, Skippy gets the bright idea to rob The Magic School. No, really, that’s it’s actual name. Not Hogwarts. Not Le School De Magica even. Nope. The Magic School. We’ve got a looooong way to go, my friends.
Back we go to another whooshing CGI of the castle (no. 2) and we have Jeremy all stylin’ again, talkin’ smack against the empress to the council, which looks like something out of the Muppet show. Anyway, the empress is “only a young woman” so what threat can she be? I hope she kicks his butt. I doubt it, but hope remains eternal.
Finally we meet the empress, who looks about twelve and acts around eight. But, but, how could he get control of the council just because I am totally transparent and stupid? Gee, I dunno Pollyanna. Anyway, Santa, her advisor, tells her she has to get hold of this “Rod of Sevrille” or something, I just remember it was a, um, rod. And it controls the red dragons which means . . . something. Naturally Jeremy is all over this rod thing. He tells his buddy, a blue lipped guy I like to call Bluto, to go fetch some scroll that has something to do with the rod because . . . I don’t care.
Back we go to Skippy and Snails. Snails is whining more than the child empress and I want to hurt him. He falls on his face. Not good enough. He and Skippy start robbing. Meanwhile, elsewhere in “magic school” we meet Santa’s helper, a magic girl, no doubt, who works in a library looking place and wears glasses so clearly we’re dealing with someone intelligent with a stick up her rear.
Santa uses pixie dust to try to decode the scroll but it doesn’t work so he sends librarygal over to get him some “magic wig” or something. It was magic. The idiot thieves release some loud magic stuff and so librarygal (let’s call her LG – she has a name, but I don’t care) goes to check it out. Immediately Skippy and LG start snapping at each other, so you know they’re gonna be doin’ the magic tango before the movie’s over. Can we go home now? No? Right.
She hears Santa being attacked so runs to help him, dragging the two idiots along with a magic rope. Bluto is torturing Santa, who throws her the scroll right before Bluto offs him. LG then scoops up some magic dust and shoots Bluto across the room. Then she uses what looks like the same magic dust to make a portal into which she runs, dragging the thieves with her. I need to get some of that dust, talk about multipurpose.
She runs off and Bluto and his men follow. Suddenly, she has no idea what to do, being only a girl, so she has to free Skippy who pulls out his sword. Oh, woot. Then this dwarf shows up (no I’m not making this up please say my creative writing is not this bad) and he has some sort of seizure that I think is supposed to be funny. It’s mostly disturbing.
They all escape into the sewer (where have I seen this before, oh where???) and Bluto posts guards rather than wade in poop himself. Yeah, well, do the viewers get a choice, Bluto? No, we don’t. But we do get a break. Part Two next time.
Yes, that’s right gentle readers, I too have joined the bandwagon of 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve been reading reviews of it for a while. There are a couple of blogs that are covering this series. They are awesome, each in their own right. First is Jennifer Armintrout’s blog. She goes chapter by chapter into the madness, and her comments are both insightful and hilarious. Another of my favorites is Speaker7– I’m not sure your real name Speaker – who uses a creepy puppet and blue stuffed rabbit in the starring roles of Christian and Anastasia. I do know the names of the puppet and rabbit – Hugo and Goofy. If the movie does not use these two fab actors, it will be an absolute travesty. Her blog makes me laugh so hard I think I’ve pulled something. Fuckballs!
And that is part of the appeal. If you’ve ever watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and if you haven’t, you simply must check it out) then you know that something can be so bad it’s good. Or at least good to laugh at. On MST3K, a man and his robot pals make awful movies bearable by shouting wisecracks at the screen. The best shows involved movies that were intended to be serious and thought- provoking, but ended up sappy, stupid, or just plain awful instead.
This is what has made 50 Shades of Grey a bestseller, and a cult classic. Judging from the reviews I have read, this book, while intended to be an epic romance, is 110 percent awful for multiple reasons. First because it is the love story of a sociopathic hero and his victim, er, true love. Second is the fact that it is not just a rip-off, but a rip-off of Twilight, of all things. (You can see my opinions on that in an earlier blog entry.) Third, and perhaps the biggest reason of all, is the terrible writing.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve not picked on the use of S&M in the book. It’s not something I could imagine enjoying, since I tend to stay away from instruments of torture; but it’s none of my business what people do in their own bedrooms as long as it is consensual and between adults. And there are plenty of romance novels that take smut to new levels. The difference in 50 Shades and your average Harlequin is that this book has somehow crossed over into the mainstream. Also, and this shouldn’t be forgotten, the sex scenes are so badly written that it’s hard to believe anyone could find them erotic.
At least, that’s what I’ve discovered so far through the recaps of various brave souls on the Internet. But recaps are not enough. Like they say during presidential elections, you can’t really complain if you don’t get out there and vote. Because every vote counts. Ha, not really. But it is hard to ethically give a bad review to something I haven’t read myself. I need to experience the taste of Circus Peanuts in order to to fully inform you that they are the worst candy that has ever been created. Therefore, despite their warnings, I just have to read this stupid book. Otherwise I might have to do something useful with my time, and I can’t have that. So without further ado, in my next entry I will begin my recaps.