Uwe Boll Film Ratings
Well, I picked up a copy of one of Uwe Boll’s latest Video Game-to-Film disasters, Far Cry, and I decided to once again revisit my opinions of his previous films. To start with I’m not a fan of Boll and I have no illusions about him as a film-maker. He’s a hack and sloppy director but the lack of quality in his films in my view isn’t so much because of his lacking talent as a film-maker but rather that he rushes the movies to finish in a style akin to the B-films of old.
Some of his movies are unbearably bad but only one in my view is even in the running for the title of Worst Video Game Movie of All Time, a title held rather firmly by Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) in my opinion. But let’s get to it…
House of the Dead
Boll’s first VG-film is also without a doubt his cheapest. What says something about House of the Dead’s reputation is that for a movie that was released during the height of the zombie-craze it did rather poorly for itself. However, if there are to be any films in Boll’s filmography worth watching I’d rank this one rather high in comparison to most of his other films.
The main reason for this is entertainment value. The film has some of the most pointlessly bad dialogue I’ve seen in horror films, the plot is tripe to the Nth level and there’s a general over-abundance of slow-mo effects during the battle scenes with the zombies. The film is so unapologetically stupid it turns all of its weaknesses as a film into strength.
As a personal favorite the film features B-movie regular Clint Howard (dressed as if he was going to a costume party as the fisherman from the I know what you did-movies) and none other than Das Boot’s Jürgen Proschnow as the intentionally named Captain Kirk. Kirk delivers the most amazing array of badass-lines and for me is the reason to see the film. There’s really no redeeming intelligent qualities to the film, it’s pure B-film schlock and if you like that sort of thing I’d actually recommend it to you.
Alone in the Dark
Considered by some to be one of the worst films ever made. In my view this is an exaggeration. Alone in the Dark’s problem is not that it’s bad beyond belief but rather that it’s just incredibly mediocre. The main problems of the film is that it features a cast that isn’t really all that memorable and a story that runs thin on content very quickly. It also features one of Boll’s uncomfortably cheezy sex-scenes which I personally am not a friend of. The ending leaves you feeling really hollow.
Now beyond that the film actually has some good production values and the fist fight scene and the special effects are actually pretty well done. The main problem I see with the film is that the opening text crawl pretty much gives away the plot. If you were to try to enjoy the film in any fashion then you should skip the opening crawl altogether but even then I think the movie would start to bore you by the time the film comes to its half-way point and the incredibly messy battle scenes.
Alone in the Dark is not bad it’s just mediocre and really boring. Because of this it doesn’t have the entertainment value of its predecessor. Not worth your while.
BloodRayne is a mixed bag of a movie if there ever was one. For one thing it actually has some competent action and battle scenes but part of the time the movie still suffers from the sloppiness similar to House of the Dead. The film’s dialogue has some really awkward points but at the same time there’s a lot of really likeable actors in the main roles.
BloodRayne has the uncanny ability to get me both to root for the characters and cringe at the film’s lousy bits. For instance Michelle Rodriguez putting on one of the most unconvincing English accents committed to film vs. the count guy always throwing out of character lines. The film features another uncomfortable sex-scene but also some gratuitous but strangely satisfying violence.
The film is really hard to recommend because it’s not decisively terrible or great. All I can say is that if vampires are not your thing you probably shouldn’t waste time on the movie.
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
When I first saw trailers for this movie I was expecting to be a Xena-style fantasy schlock featuring some pretty poor special effects. However once I actually watched the film I observed a few things: the special-effects were good, the actors were really likeable, the action-scenes looked awesome and by the time we got to the half-way point of this two-hour epic, I wasn’t even bored. Yes, if Boll has ever come close to making a good film In the Name of the King is it.
Now if you look closely it’s easy to find things to poke fun at in this movie. It’s easy to find things that got ripped off from The Lord of the Rings and the plot itself is hardly Oscar-material. However, the movie is really enjoyable Swords & Sorcery schlock with some pretty decent acting and for that its entertainment factor and enjoyability are instantly much higher than in an average Boll film.
I say give this film a chance and judge for yourself.
Now we come to the mother of all bad movies. Postal is a film that words can’t do justice. It is exactly everything the tag-line promises: offensive, gory, disturbing, riddled with jokes that make Baby Jesus cry and even featuring a cameo by the Bollster himself. If I had to pick one word to accurately describe this movie, it would be “sick”.
What’s even more disturbing is how good the production values of the movie are. Boll was able to spend some serious moolah on this sick farce that left my jaw lying on the floor when the film attempted to pass off the 9/11 WTC terrorist strike and running a baby-carriage over with a truck as gag moments.
If your morbid curiosity has been awakened by this description I dare you to try and watch the movie. Everyone else, for the sake of your own better judgement keep away from this movie.
And finally we come to Far Cry. With this movie Boll decided to go back to a more down-to-earth action film genre which is something that I think Boll isn’t half-bad at. The results were kinda surprising. Okay, so the plot has been seen a million times but once again this movie actually has good action scenes and some comedy. Though the comedic elements are kinda hit and miss with some actually being pretty funny and other making me cringe at their stupidity.
However the thing about this movie that works so well is its inherent cliché riddenness. There’s an army grunt, super soldiers, a fat comic relief, a girl to rescue and a mad scientist. While I wasn’t a fan of the battle in the saw-mill which is practically the last 20 minutes of the movie I dare say I wasn’t bored to death like I was at the end of Alone in the Dark.
Here I can once again recommend the movie to anyone who’s just looking for a nice action-packed schlock-film but if you’re looking for anything meaningful you’re more likely to find it in a Schwarzenegger film. =P
That’s all folks!