Category Archives: 51-60%

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

It's remarkable how little Michael Sheen looks like Michael Sheen in this picture; more a gracile Russell Crowe than a seriously ripped Simon Pegg.
It’s remarkable how little Michael Sheen looks like Michael Sheen in this picture; more a gracile Russell Crowe than a seriously ripped Simon Pegg.

“Every War Has a Beginning.”

Directed by Patrick Tatopoulos
Starring Michael Sheen, Rhona Mitra and Bill Nighy

In ye olde Transylwherever (I’d say at least five centuries south of Captain Kronos, but it’s hard to say for sure,) the war between the savage werewolves and the corsetry-pioneering vampires wages on, despite the captivity of William, the first werewolf. Then the birth of an apparently human child to a captive werewolf leads to the creation of a new breed of immortal; the shapeshifting werewolves known as Lycans.

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The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

Tarzan

“Human. Nature.”

Directed by David Yates
Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou and Christoph Waltz

In order to gain access to the diamond mines of Opar and save his King from bankruptcy, ruthless Belgian civil servant Leon Rom (Waltz) promises to deliver the title card to Mbonga (Hounsou), chief of the Leopard Men. Rom arranges for the Earl of Greystoke and former Tarzan (Skarsgard) to be invited to visit the Congo. Greystoke is all ‘whatevs’, but US attache George Washington Williams (Jackson) persuades him to go in order to root out Belgium’s double-secret slave trade, and his wife Jane (Robbie) insists on coming along to visit old friends.

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Gods of Egypt (2016)

What's a Stargate?
What’s a Stargate?

“The Battle for Eternity Begins”

Directed by Alex Proyas
Starring Nikolaj Coster-Walder, Gerard Butler, Brendon Thwaites, Elodie Yung, Chadwick Boseman, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush

In Ancient Egypt, the gods live alongside humanity, but a little above, being as they are about twelve feet tall. When beloved commie monarch Osiris (Bryan Brown) retires and passes the crown to his son Horus (Coster-Walder,) the ceremony is interrupted by the desert god Set (Butler), who wrecks Horus in a fight and rips out his eyes. Set declares himself king and announces that he will be monetising the afterlife and throwing out Osiris’ ‘give what you can afford’ policy on offerings, enslaving the human population, including petty larcenist Bek (Thwaites) and his beloved Zaya (Eaton).

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Warcraft: The Beginning (2016)

warcraft-quad

“Two Worlds. One Destiny.”

Directed by Duncan Jones
Starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Daniel Wu

The orc wizard Gul’Dan (Wu) promises to lead the Horde into a lush new world from their own dead one, by opening a portal powered by the lives of hundreds of prisoners. As the Horde descend on Azeroth, orc chief Durotan (Kebbell) begins to doubt Gul’dan, even as his magic restores Durotan’s stillborn son.  As the knights of Stormwind begin to tool up with dwarf-made handguns, the orcs advance, and the young wizard Khadgar (Schnetzer) approaches Commander Lothar (Fimmel) with a warning that dire magic may be at work.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Alice_Through_The_Looking_Glass_Poster_01

“It’s Time for a Little Madness.”

Directed by James Bobin
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen

After a three year spell of freedom captaining a ship around the world, the oppressive ways of England impel Alice (Wasikowska) to return to Underland, where she finds the Hatter (Depp) dying of melancholy and undertakes to borrow the Chronosphere from Time (Baron Cohen), a half-clockwork god whose great clock maintains the passage of time in Underland, and travel back in time to save his family from the Jabberwocky.

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The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

Buckle up, kids; we're in for a weird ride.
Buckle up, kids; we’re in for a weird ride.

“This movie is totally out of control”

Directed by John Landis
Starring… Well, no one really.

This film is not so much a single film as a series of sketches, including news and current affairs parodies, mock advertisements and movie trailers and spoof pornography. The longest single segment is A Fistful of Yen, a half hour parody of Enter the Dragon which ends up as a Wizard of Oz pastiche.

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Monsters: Dark Continent (2014)

Monsters

“Fear has Evolved”

Directed Tom Green
Starring Johnny Harris and Sam Keeley

When alien life-forms spread from Mexico to the Middle East, the active role of US forces stationed there in combating the aliens provokes local insurgency. Four friends from Detroit are dropped into the midst of this two-fronted campaign under the command of experienced sergeants Frater (Harris) and Forrest. When a search and rescue mission goes pear-shaped, Frater and the last surviving recruit, Michael (Keeley) are trapped, surrounded by unfriendly forces.

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Falcon Rising (2014)

IMG_7892034418939

“He swore to protect by any means necessary.”

Directed by Barbarash
Starring Michael Jai White, Neal McDonough, Laila Ali

Marine with PTSD John Chapman (White) is chided by his sister Cindy (Ali) for cutting his meds, then called to Rio by an old buddy now in the diplomatic service (McDonough) after Cindy is beaten and left for dead in the favela where she was doing humanitarian work. Chapman flies down to Rio to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and his bubble gum is confiscated on the flight.

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The Summer of Lovecraft: The Haunted Palace (1963)

The film makes it clear that the 'honour' is all hers.
The film makes it clear that the ‘honour’ is all hers, and another alternate tagline asks more accurately: “What was the terrifying thing in the PIT that wanted women.”

“A warlock’s home is his castle…Forever!”

Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Vincent Price, Deborah Paget and Lon Chaney Jr.

The Story

Although the film is called ‘Edgar Allen Poe’s The Haunted Palace‘ and ends with a line from the titular poem, it is actually based on H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’ (as was The Resurrected,) in which the eponymous New England gentleman’s fascination with his sorcerous ancestor Joseph Curwen leads him to resurrect the long dead, serial killing warlock from his essential salts. At first Curwen instructs Ward in alchemy, but soon takes advantage of their uncanny resemblance, murdering the young man and taking his place to continue his work, raising and torturing the smartest folks in the graveyard for their wisdom. When his anachronistic ways lead to his committal, Ward’s friend Dr Willett uncovers his work, releases a being he has summoned and abused, then kills Curwen and reduces his body to the ‘essential saltes’ from which he was raised.

The Film

18th century warlock Joseph Curwen (Price) is accused of stealing the souls of young women, and burned to death by the people of Arkham village, swearing vengeance from beyond the grave before the flames take him. 110 years later, his great-great-grandson Charles Dexter Ward (also Price) moves into Curwen’s palace along with his wife Anne (Paget).

summerattemp2

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The Summer of Lovecraft: The Resurrected (1992)

resurrected

“Death used to be the end. Now it’s only the beginning.”

Directed by Dan O’Bannon
Starring John Terry, Jane Sibbett and Chris Sarandon

The Story

Written in 1927 but not published during Lovecraft’s life, “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” is a more or less traditional horror tale that plays with a pretty typical Lovecraftian theme, that of the past coming back to haunt someone obsessed with it. It’s been adapted a few times — it has a pretty limited effects budget, and the actorly gimmick at the core of the story is popular.

summerattemp2

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