Soloman Kane

The Great Ursus and his lovely invited Gee and myself to the movies tonight to see Soloman Kane. I'm rather fond of sci-fi/fantasy films and was up to be entertained. However, I'm now home again and I had to share my experience with you. Hopefully, you'll learn and won't feel the need to part with your hard earned cash or precious time for this particular pile of poo.

Solomon Kane, the nasty piece of work has a bit of a problem. His soul is damned because of his evil ways with the sword, knife and gun (I thought the scriptwriters had read David Gemmel's White Wolf. Shame they didn't use it to their best advantage). He runs off to a monastry for a year, finds God, etches religious symbols on his body to ward off the evil he's brought upon himself. He's thrown out and told to go home. We have a flashback to tell us he's a second son, his older brother and an even nastier piece of work, than he was in his good-old-bad days. Anyway, he meets up with a family of nice Pilgrims off to the New World and they travel awhile. To cut a long story short, most of the family have a sharp introduction to the wrong side of a sword and the girl (Meredith) is taken off by a mysterious warrior in a skin mask. In order to redeem his soul, he makes a promise to save the girl. I won't spoil the surprise and tell you more. Truthfully, I just can't bear to write about it anymore.

How may I mock thee (Soloman Kane)? Let me count the ways.

Firstly, make sure the scriptwriters are paid enough to write actual dialogue, not cliches. When I first began down creative writing classes, my tutor spent many an hour crossing out the cliches I'd painstakingly reproduced. After much mockery, he broke me of that particular, nasty habit. I would suggest that any budding scriptwriters avail themselves of his services; it's worth it, if only to avoid the public humiliation of having to own lines like 'the only Devil in here is me.'

Secondly, as Gee pointed out, they couldn't come up with their own imagery/plot for themselves and shamelessly nicked it from at least 6 films including: Willow, Beastmaster, Lord of the Rings, I am Legend and Never Ending Story.

Thirdly, it always helps if the characters are English and from Cornwall area that they should sound as if they actually come from that region. I know this is a huge bag of worms for many films. Take Sean Connery's Spanish accent in Highlander, pretty much the same as his English James Bond. However, using a mostly British cast, it should be fairly straight forward to employ a dialogue coach to at least make sure the accents don't become a mashup of Scottish/Norfolk/Welsh and Queen's English.

Fourthly, I understand that the intention was to have the location in the rain, to show the blight on the land. However, 2 hours worth of rain and mud has not convinced me that this strategy works at all. The director was a touch heavy-handed. I kinda got it after the first half hour of rain and mud; it just got a bit dull very quickly thereafter. There are better, more subtle ways of getting the point across. I kept thinking the poor actors must have had a good dose of athelete's foot after the filming.

Fifthly, with that amount of rain James Purefroy's hair shouldn't have been that lank and greasy. Ewwww...

Sixthly, just because it's a fantasy, there is no excuse for lazy plotting. Any action was preceeded by much flag waving. There was gore, but not a huge amount; but no thrills and certainly, no surprises. Towards the end of the film, the twist in the tail might have come as a bit of a surprise to Solomon Kane, but it certainly wasn't to those of us in the cinema. If anything, we're wondering why it took him so long to catch up. Thick is not sexy in your male lead.

Seventhly, if you're going to tell a tale based around Christian beliefs of redemtion, why have a random Pagan woman healing the lead after he'd been crucified (along with two other unfortunates)? Also, what was with the random witch/hag? And by the way, I knew the girl was the witch from the get-go. What was her infecting Meredith, for it to go.....nowhere? There was no point to that event, and the editor should have stuck to his/her guns and axed that whole sub-plot.

The only surprise worth noting is that he and the girl, don't get it together in the end. The only bit of control exercised throughout this whole project.

I don't count it as a complete waste of time. I got to hang out with some of my favourite people, take the piss and be entertained by their piss takes. Plus, I got a blog post out of it. If I were you, I'd save the money, have a coffee and a panini instead of wasting the money on a cinema ticket. Wait until it hits the Sci-fi Channel.

Comments

  1. I haven't been to the pictures for quite some time. You've persuaded me to continue that policy.

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  2. dave ~ granted I tend to put the stinkers up here. I like the cinema experience. There are some good films out there...you just have to be canny in finding them.

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  3. BWWWUHAHAAA ... *röchel* ... kneedeep in the mud ... I bet the soundtrack was something like "bling, clang, buöörp" ... ach, nice. Really nice!
    Pagan sells. "Mystic" sells. Monastery verry goottt.
    Candles, mud, staring. Maybe they have "Part II: How it began ..." already in the pipeline?

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  4. Haven't seen and shant bother.....don't much like sci fi anyway.
    good review nevertheless!

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  5. mago ~ this was the starting story. I think the sequel is more of the same. Bleugh.

    sarah ~ I'm big into sci-fi/fantasy, but there really was no excuse for this. Really, there wasn't.

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  6. Thanks for the warning Roses! In return can I suggest you also avoid "The Book of Eli". No details. Just consider yourself warned unless you really like the leaden scripts, heavy ham acting and pretentious waffle.

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  7. I'd watch anything really (just remember how I only barely made it through Twilight) but I'm giving that a miss.

    I do like bad movies because some are so bad that they are good. Just look at the gem that is Barb Wire or perhaps the Spice Girls movie. Love it!

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  8. macy ~ honey, I'm a writer, of course I like pretentious waffle. But I'll pass on the Book of Eli. When I saw it had Rent-a-Baddie Gary Oldman, I decided to pass.

    cyberpete ~ truly awful movies are a work of art...I'm not sure SK gets that accolade though, that still belongs to Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus.

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  9. Killer Tomatoes!

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  10. mago ~ with, or without mozzarella and olive oil?

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  11. With juice! of course you know them already, sorry.

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  12. mago ~ yes, I have heard of the film, though I've never seen it. I'm breathless with anticipation.

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